Clay fought the entire round with blurred vision as Liston tried to knock Clay out.
Liston expelled a lot of energy in that round and in the seventh round Clay now able to see after his eyes were washed out came out and hit Liston with some blinding combination punches. Liston returned to his corner a beaten man and did not come out for the eight round.
Cassius Marcellus clay was the new Heavyweight champion of the World.
Who would have guessed that he would not only change his name to Muhammad Ali but change the way we viewed boxing. Muhammad did what no other fighter in history had done; he made boxing entertaining. Every kid around the world wanted to be like him and Jeff and Isaac Decker were no exceptions.
Isaac in particular would try and imitate his hero with Ali shuffles and holding his hands low. Jeff used blinding speed of punch to unleash fury upon his opponents in the ring.’
Soon both brothers were to become household names in North Shields.
The boxing team made up of senior boxers- Bill Peters at light heavyweight; Billy Paris, Middleweight, Terry McCabe Light middleweight, Gordon Paris welterweight, Bobby Brunton Lightweight. Schoolboy boxers included- Harper brothers Ian and Paul, David Ferguson, Roger Duel, Billy Wilson, Albert Robinson, Terry Patterson, John Gallagher, Alistair Barnett, and Jeff and Isaac Decker. It was a formidable team and North Shields Boys club had a fearful reputation as they travelled around the British Isles taking on anyone. They won many boxing titles and some would go on to bigger and better things inside the ring.
For Johnny Decker however, life was just one endless sea of people he saw as friends.
He had no concept of time or what was going on in the world around him. He was locked inside a bubble in his own head. Every day was the same for him as he travelled about in search of a few pennies. He would jump on the train and end up in Whitley Bay Spanish City in the summer months anywhere where there were lots of people Johnny would be found.
North Shields ran a festival on the Fish Quay every year and Johnny would turn up.
People would dress up and it was a real carnival type of atmosphere.’ Johnny had no idea what the carnival represented but he liked to be around the people.
Johnny got himself arrested time after time for getting on the train without paying until the courts could do nothing to stop him and Johnny was allowed to travel free of charge.
Johnny Decker is one of the characters of North Shields it wouldn’t surprise many folks if they built a statue to him one day as he has become synonymous with the town and it’s people. Just like the wooden doll in Northumberland Square.
Going into the Jolly Bowman in Battlehill in Wallsend Linda Martin and her Friend Sheila Bryson settled down to eat something before going to the bingo hall. Looking at the menu both ladies tried to decide what to eat.
Well I’m going to try spaghetti Bolognese Sheila, what are you having?’
“Well I’m undecided really; I don’t know whether to go for the Scampi here or to have the mixed grill. I’m really hungry so I think I’m going to have the mixed grill