The film chronicles Cassius Clay s arrival in Miami in the fall of 1960 (fresh from earning an Olympic gold medal in the Rome Olympics), his life in Overtown when that neighborhood was still considered Harlem South, a vibrant center of black entertainment and commerce and his affiliation with the famed Fifth Street Gym on Miami Beach. Over the course of the next few years coinciding with the height of the national civil rights movement Clay evolved both professionally and politically, piling up victories in the ring and adopting the black separatist teachings of the Nation of Islam. As Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami makes clear, it was in this period that Cassius Clay, in essence, became Muhammad Ali.
Muhammad Ali: Made in Miami combines original footage with interviews of Ali confidantes Angelo Dundee (his trainer) and Ferdie Pacheco (his fight doctor), Ali s Miami neighbors, former Overtown residents, and sportswriters and photographers who covered the young phenom, as well as such nationally recognized figures as best-selling Ali biographer Thomas Hauser, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Remnick, and Columbia University historian Manning Marable. The film also includes a consideration of Ali s friendship with Malcolm X, his famed encounter with the Beatles, his dramatic victory over heavyweight champion Sonny Liston, and his subsequent refusal to fight in the Vietnam War all episodes which played out in Miami.