From pens and swords to rhymes and fists.

On this day in 1964 Muhammed Ali, still known back then as Cassius Clay, defeated World Heavyweight Boxing champion Sonny Liston in the first round of their title fight. Ali's feet were too quick for Liston, as was his tongue - before the fight he made one of his most famous boasts, that he'd "sting like a bee". This boast was among the first of the many that defined the persona that made him both loved and loathed.

Interestingly, four years ago we noted that it was on this same date that Samuel Colt received a patent on his revolver, and that Thomas Davenport received a patent for an electric motor used to power a printing press. Back then we used the coincidence of these two events to asked whether the pen was truly mightier than the sword. Back then we needed two events to ask that question, whereas this time we can do it with one. Ali's victory was without a doubt a result of his fists but there should be little doubt that his tongue took a toll on Liston as well.

Go to: How to lose an online argument.