Chris Smith first met Ali in the aftermath of his fight with Sonny Liston

Photographing great sporting events and personalities never fails to thrill. I’ve been doing it for 50 years and one of the highlights was photographing Muhammad Ali. Charisma, the power to charm and inspire, he had by the fistful, as well as magnetism to draw people to him. He was athletic, with great strength and speed. And, as he would be the first to point out, he had undoubted good looks. I first met him in 1964 at the famous Fifth Street Gym in Miami, when as Cassius Clay he was training for his first fight with the reigning world champion, Sonny Liston. After photographing his training session we piled into his Cadillac and headed across town for Liston’s gym. When we arrived, Ali produced a steel bear trap from the back of the car and announced his intention to “use” it on Liston, who he described as a big ugly bear. Liston arrived for training to be greeted by a crowd of onlookers, at the centre of which was Ali screaming and brandishing the trap.