Muhammad Ali Headgear, 5th Street Gym, circa 1973

In 1960, Cassius Clay launched his professional boxing career after a successful Olympics. Pictured is his Everlast head protector from the 5th Street Gym in Miami, where he trained for his first fight with Sonny Liston in 1964.

Some have argued that it was in the 5th Street Gym and the surrounding neighborhood with its vibrant mix of racial, political and cultural identities that Clay took his first crucial steps to becoming Muhammad Ali.

This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not currently on display.

Image courtesy of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture

Posted: 8 February 2011
About the Author:

Jessica Porter Sadeq has worked in the Central Office of Public Affairs since June 2007. In August 2008 she joined the Internal Communications department as an internal communications coordinator.