Was the Sonny Liston vs Ali Fight Fixed?

Was the Sonny Liston vs Ali Fight Fixed?

Created by DJR1581 on Nov 16, 2007

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Since: Oct 07

Maryland

#1 Nov 16, 2007
I think it was, and I think it was Liston's unwillingness to lose on purpose again that was the reason for his death. I think he was murdered, how does a man with a needle phobia die of a heroin overdose. Earlier in his life after winning the title, he at first refused to go on an exhibition tour of Europe when he was told he would have to get shots before he could travel overseas.
fixed

Cambridge, MA

#2 Nov 17, 2007
the reason sonny liston lost to ali in lewiston maine is because the mafia gave him 2 choices,either lose to ali,or lose his life!phanthom punch,down goes liston,the mafia made millions betting on the heavy underdog ali,and sonny made some pretty good cash himself.
bottlecap

United States

#3 Nov 17, 2007
fixed wrote:
the reason sonny liston lost to ali in lewiston maine is because the mafia gave him 2 choices,either lose to ali,or lose his life!phanthom punch,down goes liston,the mafia made millions betting on the heavy underdog ali,and sonny made some pretty good cash himself.
When I heard the fight on the radio and thought it was fixed. Later I saw the fight on film and Ali was so so much faster than Liston that Sonny couldn't catch Ali with hard punches.

Ali was easily the better fighter in both fights.

What about that substance that was rubbed in Ali's eyes??? There wasn't much follow up on the story, probably because Liston lost.
Eddy Smegma

New York, NY

#4 Nov 17, 2007
Despite his criminal record and underworld (Mafia) ties, a majority of whites wanted Liston to win that fight. As my dad told me, whites initially liked Ali (Clay) due to his winning performance in the 1960 Olympics in Rome. But his conversion to black muslim, draft evasion and big mouth alienated white boxing fans.
bottlecap

United States

#5 Nov 19, 2007
Eddy Smegma wrote:
Despite his criminal record and underworld (Mafia) ties, a majority of whites wanted Liston to win that fight. As my dad told me, whites initially liked Ali (Clay) due to his winning performance in the 1960 Olympics in Rome. But his conversion to black muslim, draft evasion and big mouth alienated white boxing fans.
Your dad is 100% right.
Shiv

Oxford, UK

#6 Nov 30, 2007
I have studied the footage carefully on youtube and can conclude that the match was fixed. Liston started to go down before Ali's hand hit him properly.
wiseone

Chugiak, AK

#8 Jun 19, 2008
of course it was fixed. the black panthers and muslims wanted ali to win because he was a black activist even tho he was a mediocre fighter. theres no way he could ever beat liston who was 100 times better
silver effect

United States

#9 Jun 19, 2008
Eddy Smegma wrote:
Despite his criminal record and underworld (Mafia) ties, a majority of whites wanted Liston to win that fight. As my dad told me, whites initially liked Ali (Clay) due to his winning performance in the 1960 Olympics in Rome. But his conversion to black muslim, draft evasion and big mouth alienated white boxing fans.
my dad used to know Ali BEFORE he got famous. they grew up in the same area [Louisville], and sometimes hung out at the city parks, jogging, etc.

as for Liston, not sure about the details in the investigation of that original fight but i know his 1971 death was just as controversial [whodunnit-style]....and interesting.
johnnyr

AOL

#10 Jun 29, 2008
Sonny Liston died alone of a heroin overdose. A
sad end for a man who was used and abused by
the boxing world/underworld. As for Ali, the
former Cassius Clay, he chanted Allah Akbar on
9-11. May that traitor burn in hell.
Bob Smith

Spartanburg, SC

#11 Oct 11, 2008
Sonny Liston was the baddest fighter in the history of Planet Earth - inside or outside the ring.

Sonny Liston's fists were a massive 14 inches around (or 15 inches, depending on whom you ask), and Sonny's wing span was a ridiculous 84 inches - the greatest wingspan of any heavyweight champion in boxing history, with the exception of Primo Carnera.

Sonny Liston destroyed all of the top-ranked heavyweights of his day (except for the ones who refused to fight him), including Zora Folley, Eddie Machen and Cleveland Williams.

(Muhammad Ali's handlers, most notably Angeo Dundee, continually ducked Folley, Machen, and, most especially, the fearsome Cleveland Williams, while Ali was on the way up. During their repeated verbal sparring sessions, which occurred over a period of many months, prior to their first fight, Sonny Liston often told Ali to "go fight Cleveland Williams, and then get back to me." Ali's handlers were not stupid - they knew Williams would demolish Ali, whom Liston knocked out twice in two of the most vicious brawls in heavyweight boxing history.)

Henry Cooper, the former British Heavyweight Champion, flat-out refused to fight Sonny Liston - under any circumstances. Cooper knocked Ali down in their first fight with a thunderous left hook (Ali would have been knocked out if the bell hadn't saved him), and Cooper had been quoted as saying, on more than one occasion, "If Mr. Liston approached me on the street, I would walk the other way."

Ingemar Johanssen, who was the reigning heavyweight champion at the time, when Liston was busy cleaning out the division in the early 1960's, constantly ducked Sonny Liston...Liston called him out on several occasions in front of the national media, but the silence from Johanssen was deafening. Johanssen had won the title by knocking out the former champion, Floyd Patterson.

During a 1987 interview, Floyd Patterson said he was convinced Liston threw both fights to Ali. According to Patterson, Ali's cut man for the first fight had contacted all of his friends and relatives before the fight and told them that it was fixed, and that they should bet everything they had on Ali (this was also mentioned in a casino sports betting paper in 1991, as well).

Liston's handlers and cornermen got wind of the scheme and put their money down on the "sure thing", and everybody cleaned up - due to the 7-1 odds against Ali at the time of the first fight. In the second fight, Liston was STILL the favorite, the odds were 7-5 in Liston's favor - and all the wise guys cleaned up yet again.

Both fights with Ali were fixed, and this is a fact, not speculation - and people who were close to both Liston and Ali have admitted as much over the years. Liston's bodyguard at the time of the first Ali fight, asked Sonny if he should bet more money than he already had on Liston to win. Sonny told him that boxing was funny and you never knew who would actually come out on top in a heavyweight championship fight. After Liston failed to come out of his corner for the 7th round during the first Ali fight, Liston's bodyguard knew what was up. He asked Liston later, why he hadn't bothered to inform him that the fight had been fixed. to which Liston said, "With your big mouth, we would have both ended up in the river wearing concrete shoes...I just did what I was told."
Bob Smith

Spartanburg, SC

#12 Oct 11, 2008
Watch Sonny Liston's fights. Pay close attention to all the fights you can lay your hands on before the Ali (Clay) fights. Liston routinely knocked fighters' senseless with his JAB (he also knocked more than a few heavyweights' TEETH out with that same left jab). And his right hand was absolutely fearsome. Sonny could knock you out with either hand.

But, mysteriously, when he fought Ali the first time, he threw a total of maybe FIVE right hands during the entire fight. And most of those right hands were fly-swatter punches. If you watch all of his other fights leading up to the first Ali fight, you will notice that he set boxers up with his left, and when he went for the kill, he used lefts and rights in combination, especially a powerful straight right, or right hook to the head.(Or a right uppercut, he had a ferocious right uppercut.) He threw a good number of right hands in every single fight he ever fought - except for the Ali fights.

The eyes don't lie. Watch the fights.

There exists reams and reams of evidence that overwhelmingly proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that Sonny Liston threw both fights with Ali.(Read "The Devil and Sonny Liston," by author Nick Tosches, for starters.)

And consider this -

Ever watch Ali's fight with Doug Jones? This fight took place about 11 months before Ali's first fight with Liston. Doug Jones was a journeyman light heavyweight (14.5 pounds lighter than Ali during the time of their fight at Madison Square Garden on March 13, 1963)...Ali's handlers wouldn't let Muhammad fight Cleveland Williams or Zora Folley or Eddie Machen, or ANY of the top contenders of the day, so Ali agreed to fight Doug Jones, as one of his two tune-ups for the first fixed fight with Liston.

Jones was the agressor duing the entire fight with Ali, and he came forward incessantly with great success - despite the great disparity in their weights (and the alleged disparity in their boxing prowess). Ali won a unanimous decision in this fight, and many observers thought that THIS fight was fixed, and that Jones had clearly won, despite Ali's strong showing in the last two rounds of this 10-round fight. You can watch this fight on DVD, or online...ESPN sometimes shows it on their "ESPN Classics" channel. Listen to the boos and watch the reaction of the Madison Square Garden crowd after you watch it...I watched this fight and I thought that it was, in the very least, a draw...Jones won at least five of the first seven rounds, and if I had to pick a winner on the night in question, it would have been Jones...Doug Jones stunned Ali in the first round with a good shot to the head.

Watch the fight. Then tell me that Ali is "The Greatest"...
Bob Smith

Spartanburg, SC

#13 Oct 11, 2008
Henry Cooper knocked Ali down (and almost out) with one punch. Chuck Wepner knocked Ali down with one punch. Joe Frazier knocked Ali down with one punch. Sonny Banks knocked Ali down with one punch.

Nobody ever knocked Sonny Liston down with one punch - except Muhammad Ali...

Contary to popular opinion, Muhammad Ali was one of the most overrated fighters in history.

And he got the title handed to him via a total setup.

Think about this - if the Liston/Ali fights were fixed (which they were), how many other Ali fights were fixed? Tell me that a boxer who gets knocked down by Henry Cooper is one of the greatest fighters in history? Tell me that a boxer who loses a fight to Doug Jones (a journeyman light heavyweight), is one of the greatest fighters in history? How many more of Ali's fights were fixed. Watch the movie "Raging Bull" and ponder this important question...

Boxing's murky past is checkered with countless fixed fights, various and sundry Mob goings-on, and sordid, shady dealings behind closed doors. It's a fact of life, and anybody on the inside will tell you this. The same holds true for ALL professional sports, but that is not the subject of this post.

Sonny Liston was the most fearsome (and accomplished) heavyweight champion in history. And in my humble but informed opinion, he would have knocked out Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Mike Tyson and yes, even Rocky Marciano.(During a made-for-TV boxing special back in the mid-1980's, an in-his-prime, Heavyweight Champion Mike Tyson admitted that he would have been afraid of fighting only one man in heavyweight boxing history - Sonny Liston.)

Nobody could stand up to Sonny Liston - unless the outcome had already been predetermined.

(***Interesting sidenote - For all of you "conspiracy theorists" out there - and, by the way, there ARE no conspiracies, Watergate never happened, wink-wink - Zora Folley, whom Muhammad Ali continually ducked until Folley was well past his prime at age 35, died under very mysterious circumstances. He allegedly got into a playful wrestling match near a motel pool in Chandler, Arizona, with a close friend. Supposedly, this "friend" eventually threw Folley into the pool, which resulted in Folley hitting his head on the side of the pool and drowning - unbeknownst to the many people in attendance who actually witnessed the event. The autopsy revealed a deep hole in the top of Folley's head, and two blunt-force trauma injuries on the side of his head...yet Chandler AZ "officials" ruled Folley's death to be "accidental". This is especially interesting in light of the way that Sonny Liston allegedly died...Liston supposedly died at a motel, just like Zora Folley. And much has been made over the years of Liston's alleged (and absolutely irrefutable) Mob connections...Sonny Liston won the last fight of his career, in June of 1970 against Chuck Wepner...and many people have alleged over the years that Liston was supposed to take a dive in the Wepner fight, but he refused...six months after the Wepner fight, Liston turns up dead - the result of an alleged "heroin overdose," which is a circumstance that seems very unlikely, in the least, given the fact that it was common knowledge among anyone who ever knew him, that Sonny Liston, the baddest fighter in the history of Planet Earth, was deathly afraid of only one thing - needles.)
Bob Smith

Spartanburg, SC

#14 Oct 11, 2008
Sonny Liston was the baddest fighter in the history of Planet Earth - inside or outside the ring.

Sonny Liston's fists were a massive 14 inches around (or 15 inches, depending on whom you ask), and Sonny's wing span was a ridiculous 84 inches - the greatest wingspan of any heavyweight champion in boxing history, with the exception of Primo Carnera.

Sonny Liston destroyed all of the top-ranked heavyweights of his day (except for the ones who refused to fight him), including Zora Folley, Eddie Machen and Cleveland Williams.

(Muhammad Ali's handlers, most notably Angeo Dundee, continually ducked Folley, Machen, and, most especially, the fearsome Cleveland Williams, while Ali was on the way up. During their repeated verbal sparring sessions, which occurred over a period of many months, prior to their first fight, Sonny Liston often told Ali to "go fight Cleveland Williams, and then get back to me." Ali's handlers were not stupid - they knew Williams would demolish Ali, whom Liston knocked out twice in two of the most vicious brawls in heavyweight boxing history.)

Henry Cooper, the former British Heavyweight Champion, flat-out refused to fight Sonny Liston - under any circumstances. Cooper knocked Ali down in their first fight with a thunderous left hook (Ali would have been knocked out if the bell hadn't saved him), and Cooper had been quoted as saying, on more than one occasion, "If Mr. Liston approached me on the street, I would walk the other way."

Ingemar Johanssen, who was the reigning heavyweight champion at the time, when Liston was busy cleaning out the division in the early 1960's, constantly ducked Sonny Liston...Liston called him out on several occasions in front of the national media, but the silence from Johanssen was deafening. Johanssen had won the title by knocking out the former champion, Floyd Patterson.

During a 1987 interview, Floyd Patterson said he was convinced Liston threw both fights to Ali. According to Patterson, Ali's cut man for the first fight had contacted all of his friends and relatives before the fight and told them that it was fixed, and that they should bet everything they had on Ali (this was also mentioned in a casino sports betting paper in 1991, as well).

Liston's handlers and cornermen got wind of the scheme and put their money down on the "sure thing", and everybody cleaned up - due to the 7-1 odds against Ali at the time of the first fight. In the second fight, Liston was STILL the favorite, the odds were 7-5 in Liston's favor - and all the wise guys cleaned up yet again.
Bob Smith

Spartanburg, SC

#15 Oct 11, 2008
Sonny Liston was the baddest fighter in the history of Planet Earth - inside or outside the ring.

Sonny Liston's fists were a massive 14 inches around (or 15 inches, depending on whom you ask), and Sonny's wing span was a ridiculous 84 inches - the greatest wingspan of any heavyweight champion in boxing history, with the exception of Primo Carnera.

Sonny Liston destroyed all of the top-ranked heavyweights of his day (except for the ones who refused to fight him), including Zora Folley, Eddie Machen and Cleveland Williams.

(Muhammad Ali's handlers, most notably Angeo Dundee, continually ducked Folley, Machen, and, most especially, the fearsome Cleveland Williams, while Ali was on the way up. During their repeated verbal sparring sessions, which occurred over a period of many months, prior to their first fight, Sonny Liston often told Ali to "go fight Cleveland Williams, and then get back to me." Ali's handlers were not stupid - they knew Williams would demolish Ali, whom Liston knocked out twice in two of the most vicious brawls in heavyweight boxing history.)

Henry Cooper, the former British Heavyweight Champion, flat-out refused to fight Sonny Liston - under any circumstances. Cooper knocked Ali down in their first fight with a thunderous left hook (Ali would have been knocked out if the bell hadn't saved him), and Cooper had been quoted as saying, on more than one occasion, "If Mr. Liston approached me on the street, I would walk the other way."

Ingemar Johanssen, who was the reigning heavyweight champion at the time, when Liston was busy cleaning out the division in the early 1960's, constantly ducked Sonny Liston...Liston called him out on several occasions in front of the national media, but the silence from Johanssen was deafening. Johanssen had won the title by knocking out the former champion, Floyd Patterson.

During a 1987 interview, Floyd Patterson said he was convinced Liston threw both fights to Ali. According to Patterson, Ali's cut man for the first fight had contacted all of his friends and relatives before the fight and told them that it was fixed, and that they should bet everything they had on Ali (this was also mentioned in a casino sports betting paper in 1991, as well).

Liston's handlers and cornermen got wind of the scheme and put their money down on the "sure thing", and everybody cleaned up - due to the 7-1 odds against Ali at the time of the first fight. In the second fight, Liston was STILL the favorite, the odds were 7-5 in Liston's favor - and all the wise guys cleaned up yet again.

Both fights with Ali were fixed, and this is a fact, not speculation - and people who were close to both Liston and Ali have admitted as much over the years. Liston's bodyguard at the time of the first Ali fight, asked Sonny if he should bet more money than he already had on Liston to win. Sonny told him that boxing was funny and you never knew who would actually come out on top in a heavyweight championship fight. After Liston failed to come out of his corner for the 7th round during the first Ali fight, Liston's bodyguard knew what was up. He asked Liston later, why he hadn't bothered to inform him that the fight had been fixed. to which Liston said, "With your big mouth, we would have both ended up in the river wearing concrete shoes...I just did what I was told."

(To get your eyes opened up regarding what really happened in those fights, read "The Devil and Sonny Liston," by author Nick Tosches..)
Bob Smith

Spartanburg, SC

#16 Oct 11, 2008
Sonny Liston was the baddest fighter in the history of Planet Earth - inside or outside the ring.

Sonny Liston's fists were a massive 14 inches around (or 15 inches, depending on whom you ask), and Sonny's wing span was a ridiculous 84 inches - the greatest wingspan of any heavyweight champion in boxing history, with the exception of Primo Carnera.

Sonny Liston destroyed all of the top-ranked heavyweights of his day (except for the ones who refused to fight him), including Zora Folley, Eddie Machen and Cleveland Williams.

(Muhammad Ali's handlers, most notably Angeo Dundee, continually ducked Folley, Machen, and, most especially, the fearsome Cleveland Williams, while Ali was on the way up. During their repeated verbal sparring sessions, which occurred over a period of many months, prior to their first fight, Sonny Liston often told Ali to "go fight Cleveland Williams, and then get back to me." Ali's handlers were not stupid - they knew Williams would demolish Ali, whom Liston knocked out twice in two of the most vicious brawls in heavyweight boxing history.)

Henry Cooper, the former British Heavyweight Champion, flat-out refused to fight Sonny Liston - under any circumstances. Cooper knocked Ali down in their first fight with a thunderous left hook (Ali would have been knocked out if the bell hadn't saved him), and Cooper had been quoted as saying, on more than one occasion, "If Mr. Liston approached me on the street, I would walk the other way."

Ingemar Johanssen, who was the reigning heavyweight champion at the time, when Liston was busy cleaning out the division in the early 1960's, constantly ducked Sonny Liston...Liston called him out on several occasions in front of the national media, but the silence from Johanssen was deafening. Johanssen had won the title by knocking out the former champion, Floyd Patterson.

During a 1987 interview, Floyd Patterson said he was convinced Liston threw both fights to Ali. According to Patterson, Ali's cut man for the first fight had contacted all of his friends and relatives before the fight and told them that it was fixed, and that they should bet everything they had on Ali (this was also mentioned in a casino sports betting paper in 1991, as well).

Liston's handlers and cornermen got wind of the scheme and put their money down on the "sure thing", and everybody cleaned up - due to the 7-1 odds against Ali at the time of the first fight. In the second fight, Liston was STILL the favorite, the odds were 7-5 in Liston's favor - and all the wise guys cleaned up yet again.

Both fights with Ali were fixed, and this is a fact, not speculation - and people who were close to both Liston and Ali have admitted as much over the years. Liston's bodyguard at the time of the first Ali fight, asked Sonny if he should bet more money than he already had on Liston to win. Sonny told him that boxing was funny and you never knew who would actually come out on top in a heavyweight championship fight. After Liston failed to come out of his corner for the 7th round during the first Ali fight, Liston's bodyguard knew what was up. He asked Liston later, why he hadn't bothered to inform him that the fight had been fixed. to which Liston said, "With your big mouth, we would have both ended up in the river wearing concrete shoes...I just did what I was told."

Oh one more thing - about that "heroin overdose" story. It was common knowledge among anyone who ever knew him, that Sonny Liston, the baddest fighter in the history of Planet Earth, was deathly afraid of only one thing - needles.

(To get your eyes opened up regarding what really happened in those fights, read "The Devil and Sonny Liston," by author Nick Tosches.)
Donald Aubrey

South Haven, MI

#19 Feb 1, 2009
Let's see, Ali was over-rated and a not very good fighter because he was knocked down by mediocre fighters. So where does that put Joe Louis, who was knocked down by Buddy Baer and by Two-Ton Tony Galento--Tony Galento for god's sake? Louis must Really be over-rated.
Ali was the first man to put George Foreman down and the only one to put him out and Foreman was a much more accomplished fighter, and puncher, than Liston ever was.
bigbobjob

UK

#20 Feb 25, 2009
liston better than ali.hahaha.if the first fight was fixed how come liston had linament put on his gloves after round 3? if fight 2 was going to be fixed, he would have made it look better than it was. change sports cos you know jack shit about boxing
Eliimm

Baton Rouge, LA

#21 Apr 25, 2009
johnnyr wrote:
Sonny Liston died alone of a heroin overdose. A
sad end for a man who was used and abused by
the boxing world/underworld. As for Ali, the
former Cassius Clay, he chanted Allah Akbar on
9-11. May that traitor burn in hell.
Really?? You were with Ali to hear him chant this or is this just some hater's legend because this is the first time I've heard of it. It doesn't sound right at all.
Eliimm

Baton Rouge, LA

#22 Apr 25, 2009
Ali beat Cooper twice and demolished Cleveland Williams less than a year after the second Liston fight. Liston must be a great actor because he had no legs after his the phantom punch. He couldn't defend himself after they let the fight restart.

“Uncle Tom”

Since: Feb 07

Brooklyn, NY

#23 Apr 25, 2009
yup it was fixed

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