Cassius Clay

Winston Carlisle Yearwood is better known to Barbados as Cassius Clay. Though some may very well wonder why he is referred to as such on the island, some can't be bothered as he is simply loved by all come what may.


Cassius Clay grew up on the streets of Barbados under some of the most harsh living conditions imaginable. Despite this, he was able to rise above it all and become a source of inspiration for many who could see themselves through him and grasp onto some measure of hope for themselves.


His father was a Guyanese who owned a rum shop at the Careenage in the very heart of Bridgetown and his mother was a domestic helper who had three other children besides Cassius.


His Story

From a child, Cassius was sent by his mother to live with his father in an effort to "bring him under control". Efforts obviously proved futile as Cassius spent his days hanging out at his father's shop as he saw no real reason to spend his time in school.


As a result of his father's death Cassius sought shelter in the very streets of Barbados, making them his home. Evidently a case of wherever he lay his head became his home scenario, Cassius found himslelf in situations that were not always as comfortable as a home setting should be and while on the streets supported himself by way of odd jobs.


While on the streets, Cassius learnt how to fight for sport and survival. The other boys on the street were of great assistance as they were just as tough as him, thereby offering a most welcoming challenge that aided in his further toughness.


This toughness of character was soon temporarily blown out as in the late 1960s Cassius was sent to the Government Reformatory School (Dodd's) as he was, what can be easily considered to be a case of, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.


Despite the understandable depression that might have very well accompanied such a sentence, throughout his three years at Dodd's, Cassius was able to remain an eagerly compliant  young man which was far from what he was accustomed to. During that period in Dodd's he was exposed to a few much needed life skills such as cooking, tailoring and agriculture. His time in this institution turned out to be such a period of growth for him that on his departure, he was able to go back and offer his services as a monitor and speak encouragingly to the many boys who were left there.


His Boxing Careeer in Barbados

Boxing in the days of Cassius was seen as a sport that was quite easy to get involved in as it required no start-up fee whatsoever. This made it quite suitable for those who were not in a financial position to get involved in the other sports that may require some start-up cost.


His clear and precise boxing techniques soon won him not only many titles here in Barbados but also the name that we are so very fond of today, "Cassius Clay". He is known to have fought some 111 fights including 17 international spells that took place in Canada during the 1980s. This earned Cassius a reputable record of 15 wins, 2 losses and opened up the gates for him to be recognised in the entertainment industry.


Being a man of great adventure Cassius further exposed himself to tricks of the trade and soon Barbados saw what became an entertainer by night and a boxer during the day. His tricks of the trade, including such feats as balancing a bicycle on his chin, a ladder in his teeth, trays of filled glasses on his thumb, eating fire, doing the limbo and singing with the band Zodiac in the early 1990s.


Cassius Clay is truly a man who has been through it all and has lived to share the story. Such an inspiration to so many young men and women in Barbados and elsewhere who may very well want to call it a day. For Cassius Clay, Simply No Way!


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