Aside from Muhammad Ali, who beats prime Sonny Liston?

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Aside from Muhammad Ali, who beats prime Sonny Liston?

Duggerman
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I'm talking about the powerful prime Sonny Liston from 1958-60. Those were his peak years.

I've always said that it's a short list of guys that would beat this monster in his prime. Ali did the impossible, even fighting Liston while blinded. The man had balls.  But other than Clay/Ali, who stands a chance?

I say George Foreman has a good shot because of his size. Though the sparring stories about them sound like Sonny was winning overall, you gotta remember that George was only 19, not yet prime and very inexperienced. In a real fight, though, both guys were at their best in the first few rounds. I think George's size and power would hurt Sonny. Sonny would have to attempt to get inside Foreman's reach and range the way Joe Frazier did, and George was always at his best when guys came straight at him. So I have Foreman winning this by knockout.

Lennox Lewis and the Klitschkos - They'd beat Sonny for the same reasons. They have the reach to keep him away and the boxing ability to frustrate him. Sonny generally led with his left hand using his powerful jab, and once he hurt you, he'd follow up with finishing clubbing shots, primarily his left hook and uppercuts. Lewis and the K-Bros would know this strategy and be more than ready. I dunno. I just see all three of them breaking Sonny down and knocking him out eventually, although Lewis may do it much earlier because he was more aggressive. Lewis knocks him out before round 5, and the Klitschkos do it around 8 after wearing him down even further.

NOTE: Sonny may have a puncher's chance against Lennox and Wlad, but I think they'd be too cautious not to get hit by him. Or at least get hit often enough to get put in real danger.

Joe Louis versus Sonny Liston could go either way, but I'd pick Louis to win because of his patience, ring smarts and overall skill. As was the case against Clay/Ali, Liston would not see most of Louis' blows coming. Louis had the hand speed to get there first, and the jab to prevent Sonny from getting anything going. Sonny was a big brawler,  and Louis would feast on the many countering opportunities Sonny would bring him, as well as Sonny's predictable fight plans. I don't think Joe would come right out attempting to bomb Liston out right away, but he'd box him and patiently wait for the right moments to counter with his dynamite blows. When that moment comes, Liston is out.

NOTE
: Again, Sonny has a puncher's chance here. Louis may have been down a lot, but considering he rose off the canvas to knock out Tony Galento, was never hurt by the fatal-punching Max Baer, and survived 72 brutal overhand right hands from Max Schmeling before finally going down, leads me to believe that he could take Liston's punches. But again, no one should let Sonny land one punch too many.

Larry Holmes would win this one with his trademark jab. He didn't have Clay's speed and overall skill, but he would use a similar fight plan. Larry would outsmart Liston, using his jab and tying the big man up when Sonny got close or tired. Larry wasn't generally aggressive, so he may win by decision, or possibly late TKO if Sonny quits.

Evander Holyfield had the courage and wits to beat Sonny Liston. He may get himself in trouble trying to trade with Liston, but while this may work to Liston's advantage, it would also work for Evander. Sonny would not be expecting such a fierce fight from Evander. I could see Evander fighting up close and countering Liston with  vicious body shots and uppercuts, and Liston wincing. This puts Evander in danger, of course. But given his solid chin and Liston not liking resistance, I think Evander would do well in these exchanges, and he was smart enough to mix it up by countering and brawling. So Liston would not be able to adjust. He'd probably underestimate Holyfield and end up quitting on his stool, a'la the fight with Clay.

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Re: Aside from Muhammad Ali, who beats prime Sonny Liston?

Evan Fields
Evander beats him. I think Larry would put up a good fight against Liston but eventually goes down. Vitali might beat Liston, but Wladimir gets knocked out. Lennox Lewis barely edged by Ray Mercer so I pick Lison to kill him.
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Re: Aside from Muhammad Ali, who beats prime Sonny Liston?

Duggerman
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Evan Fields wrote
Evander beats him. I think Larry would put up a good fight against Liston but eventually goes down. Vitali might beat Liston, but Wladimir gets knocked out. Lennox Lewis barely edged by Ray Mercer so I pick Lison to kill him.
I think Holyfield definitely has a chance. If Marciano or Frazier fought Liston, I'd be rooting for them but I don't think they'd survive. Eventually the ref would stop it.
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Re: Aside from Muhammad Ali, who beats prime Sonny Liston?

The Golden Jet
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Duggerman wrote
I'm talking about the powerful prime Sonny Liston from 1958-60. Those were his peak years.

I've always said that it's a short list of guys that would beat this monster in his prime. Ali did the impossible, even fighting Liston while blinded. The man had balls.  But other than Clay/Ali, who stands a chance?

I say George Foreman has a good shot because of his size. Though the sparring stories about them sound like Sonny was winning overall, you gotta remember that George was only 19, not yet prime and very inexperienced. In a real fight, though, both guys were at their best in the first few rounds. I think George's size and power would hurt Sonny. Sonny would have to attempt to get inside Foreman's reach and range the way Joe Frazier did, and George was always at his best when guys came straight at him. So I have Foreman winning this by knockout.

Lennox Lewis and the Klitschkos - They'd beat Sonny for the same reasons. They have the reach to keep him away and the boxing ability to frustrate him. Sonny generally led with his left hand using his powerful jab, and once he hurt you, he'd follow up with finishing clubbing shots, primarily his left hook and uppercuts. Lewis and the K-Bros would know this strategy and be more than ready. I dunno. I just see all three of them breaking Sonny down and knocking him out eventually, although Lewis may do it much earlier because he was more aggressive. Lewis knocks him out before round 5, and the Klitschkos do it around 8 after wearing him down even further.

NOTE: Sonny may have a puncher's chance against Lennox and Wlad, but I think they'd be too cautious not to get hit by him. Or at least get hit often enough to get put in real danger.

Joe Louis versus Sonny Liston could go either way, but I'd pick Louis to win because of his patience, ring smarts and overall skill. As was the case against Clay/Ali, Liston would not see most of Louis' blows coming. Louis had the hand speed to get there first, and the jab to prevent Sonny from getting anything going. Sonny was a big brawler,  and Louis would feast on the many countering opportunities Sonny would bring him, as well as Sonny's predictable fight plans. I don't think Joe would come right out attempting to bomb Liston out right away, but he'd box him and patiently wait for the right moments to counter with his dynamite blows. When that moment comes, Liston is out.

NOTE
: Again, Sonny has a puncher's chance here. Louis may have been down a lot, but considering he rose off the canvas to knock out Tony Galento, was never hurt by the fatal-punching Max Baer, and survived 72 brutal overhand right hands from Max Schmeling before finally going down, leads me to believe that he could take Liston's punches. But again, no one should let Sonny land one punch too many.

Larry Holmes would win this one with his trademark jab. He didn't have Clay's speed and overall skill, but he would use a similar fight plan. Larry would outsmart Liston, using his jab and tying the big man up when Sonny got close or tired. Larry wasn't generally aggressive, so he may win by decision, or possibly late TKO if Sonny quits.

Evander Holyfield had the courage and wits to beat Sonny Liston. He may get himself in trouble trying to trade with Liston, but while this may work to Liston's advantage, it would also work for Evander. Sonny would not be expecting such a fierce fight from Evander. I could see Evander fighting up close and countering Liston with  vicious body shots and uppercuts, and Liston wincing. This puts Evander in danger, of course. But given his solid chin and Liston not liking resistance, I think Evander would do well in these exchanges, and he was smart enough to mix it up by countering and brawling. So Liston would not be able to adjust. He'd probably underestimate Holyfield and end up quitting on his stool, a'la the fight with Clay.
You've got a good list there. I think some of the guys in the '90s would have upset him though. Whose to say how he'd do against Riddick Bowe? Razor Ruddock? David Tua? Even prime Tony Tucker in the '80s