Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Was Ali's greatest fight as a conscientious objector?
HBO Films examines the inner turmoil of the Supreme Court's decision regarding Muhammad Ali's status as a conscientious objector to The Vietnam War.
Muhammad Ali holding his RING heavyweight champion belt in 1964.
The fuse is ignited in HBO Films' presentation of Muhammad Ali's Greatest Fight when Justice William J. Brennan Jr. proclaims, "These days, Ali is a hero for taking a stand," adding, "people are not going to like it if we send him to jail."
The film broaches the former undisputed champion's declaring himself to be a Muslim follower of the Nation of Islam, the subsequent changing of his name from Cassius Clay, and the ultimate resolution after he is stripped of his title as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, convicted of draft evasion and sentenced to five years in prison in June of 1967.
Still, it is Marshall who delivers a compelling, if not seemingly conflicted, speech during a rivoting meeting of the judges.
"I hate the Nation of Islam. Elijah Muhammad and his bunch of thugs and gangsters organized from the jail. They preach racial segregation. I am an integrationist," says Marshall, who was born in 1908 -- the year Jack Johnson defeated Tommy Burns to become the heavyweight champion.
"Oh yeah. A negro was the heavyweight champion of the world. What happened that very next day? They went out looking for the 'Great White Hope' to take back the title. There were race riots in Springfield, Ill., the home of Abraham Lincoln, and 89 negroes were lynched that year."
"He lost his title. He gave almost three years in his prime and millions of dollars so that he could stand up for what his conscience told him was right. He is clearly a man of great principle."
Also starring is Christopher Plummer as Supreme Court Justice John Harlan II, the grandson of the lone judge to vote against segregation in 1896 after calling the white race the dominant race.
"If this court sends Ali to jail," says Harlan, at one point, "It is, in effect, saying that there is one law for Whites, and one law for Blacks."
Photos: THE RING
Lem Satterfield can be reached at email@example.com