Sonny Banks

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Lucien "Sonny" Banks (June 29, 1940 – May 13, 1965)[1] was an American boxer best known for being the first fighter to drop a young Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay). At the time Banks was a rising prospect and known for a fast sharp left hook.

Banks was from Lee County in northeast Mississippi, near Tupelo. He was born in the farming community Birmingham Ridge, about halfway between Tupelo and Saltillo. (Source: Rick Cleveland column)

Banks fought Clay in 1962 and knocked him down for a count, although he lost the match. Banks at the age of 24, died in 1965 from injuries sustained in a 9-round bout against Leotis Martin.

Professional boxing record[edit]

18 Wins (14 knockouts, 4 decisions), 7 Losses (5 knockouts, 2 decisions)[2]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 14-1 United States Leotis Martin KO 9 1965-05-10 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Banks died three days later from injuries sustained during the fight.
Loss 59-5-1 United States Cleveland Williams KO 6 1964-07-21 United States Houston, Texas
Win 13-11-3 United States Don Warner KO 1 1964-05-18 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Win 9-0 United States Lee Batts KO 2 1964-03-16 United States Philadelphia Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Batts knocked out at 1:08 of the second round.
Loss 8-0 United States Lee Batts SD 10 1963-11-29 United States Battle Creek, Michigan
Win 14-8-3 United States David E. Bailey SD 10 1963-10-18 United States Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Win 10-0 United States Jim Jones UD 8 1963-07-06 United States Madison Square Garden, New York City
Win 19-14-2 United States Freddie Mack SD 10 1963-06-05 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan
Win 4-2 United States Leroy Roker TKO 6 1963-03-15 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan Referee stopped the bout at 0:40 of the sixth round.
Win 10-18-5 United States Lou Bailey KO 1 1963-02-09 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan
Win 9-11 United States Gene Jackson KO 3 1962-07-28 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan Jackson knocked out at 2:02 of the third round.
Loss 23-17-1 United States Young Jack Johnson KO 5 1962-05-26 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan
Loss 10-0 United States Cassius Clay TKO 4 1962-02-10 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan Referee stopped the bout at 0:26 of the fourth round.
Win 14-3-2 United States Clay Thomas KO 2 1962-01-27 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan
Win 16-13-1 United States Tunney Hunsaker KO 2 1961-10-16 United States Detroit, Michigan
Win 8-5 United States Willie Coleman TKO 5 1961-08-07 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan Michigan Heavyweight Title.
Win 3-3-1 United States Joe Shelton KO 2 1961-06-06 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan
Win -- United States Herman Wilson KO 1 1961-04-25 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan
Loss 2-6 United States Chuck Garrett PTS 5 1961-02-06 United States Marigold Gardens, Chicago, Illinois
Loss 2-1-1 United States Joe Shelton KO 3 1960-10-11 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan
Win 2-1 United States Rufus Handsome KO 1 1960-09-23 United States Detroit Olympia, Detroit, Michigan
Win -- United States Chico Gardner KO 4 1960-08-31 United States Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois
Win 1-3 United States Ted Davis KO 1 1960-08-18 United States Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, Michigan
Win -- United States Lloyd Washington KO 1 1960-07-12 Canada Peace Bridge Arena, Fort Erie, Ontario
Win 1-1-1 United States Ernie Berthet, Jr. PTS 4 1960-05-19 United States Detroit, Michigan

References[edit]