Thursday, February 29, 2024

60 Years Ago This Week, Sonny Liston vs. Muhammad Ali

February 25, 1964 

Interesting commentary at the beginning, about Clay determining the “geography of the fight” with his trademark tactic of leaning back to lessen the impact of the opponent’s jab.

This fight shook the boxing world, as Liston was a huge bad-ass who consistently beat opponents to a pulp, easily and quickly. For him to quit by refusing to leave his corner to start the 7th round was … inconceivable. 

But at the same time Liston’s track record and connections are enough to make one wonder about his integrity in such a situation. His story makes for very interesting reading. Guys who get their start funded by mobsters and who then spend years being mob enforcers, and who go to prison a couple times for beating the shit out of guys (including a cop), are not the most upstanding, generally.

He took a “rematch” in 1965 and got “knocked out” in the first round.