Sonny Liston

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Sonny Liston

Duggerman
Administrator


What do you think of this guy? He was one of the best ever--long reach, killer instinct, a tough chin, and he even punched harder than George Foreman. I think he was over the hill in the fights with Muhammad Ali.
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Re: Sonny Liston

Shane
Wasn't it Chuck Wepner who said that Sonny punched harder than Big George?
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Re: Sonny Liston

Maximillian
"You wanna lose your money, then start betting on Sonny!!"

-Muhammad Ali

Honestly, I think Liston was scary. But like Tyson and Tua, he shut down when you turned up the pressure on him. He loses points in my book for the Ali losses. AJ could be right, we don't know his age or if he was too old when Ali got to him, but it's the way he lost those fights that belittle me. Sonny was a quitter when challeneged, but a monster to inferior opponents.

GIFSoup
"Take that, Big George!! I'mma BAAAD MAAN!! I shook up the world!!! I'm pretty!!!!"
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Re: Sonny Liston

Duggerman
Administrator
In reply to this post by Shane
Redemption wrote
Wasn't it Chuck Wepner who said that Sonny punched harder than Big George?
Yep. Chuck Wepner fought George Foreman on the way up and Sonny Liston in his last fight when he was in his 40's. Old Liston apparently punched harder than young Foreman. That's incredible. But there's a popular misconception that Foreman punched harder.
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Re: Sonny Liston

Urban Legend
In reply to this post by Maximillian
The Greatest wrote
 Sonny was a quitter when challeneged, but a monster to inferior opponents.
You just summed up my exact thoughts on Sonny Liston.
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Re: Sonny Liston

Duggerman
Administrator
Liston didn't have much heart at the end of his career, but he was no quitter in his prime. If he were, he would have quit when Marty Marshall broke his jaw or when Eddie Machen took his punches for 15 rounds without going down. Ali just caught Liston on the decline.
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Re: Sonny Liston

Duggerman
Administrator
Here are two rare interviews with Sonny Liston.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6OJkxv1pyM&feature=related
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Re: Sonny Liston

Hit Em' Hard
Sonny Liston is the most underappreciated heavyweight champion of all time. I like him because he wasn't just a bomber; the guy could box too. Not too many guys would survive Sonny Liston at his peak.
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Re: Sonny Liston

Evan Fields
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Duggerman wrote
Redemption wrote
Wasn't it Chuck Wepner who said that Sonny punched harder than Big George?
Yep. Chuck Wepner fought George Foreman on the way up and Sonny Liston in his last fight when he was in his 40's. Old Liston apparently punched harder than young Foreman. That's incredible. But there's a popular misconception that Foreman punched harder.
Speaking of Foreman, here is a pic of them together. Sonny's long reach was ridiculous. His arms hang out of the picture and Foreman's don't.



Love this pic because it gives an idea of Liston's reach and overall dimensions. His shoulders are just about at the same height as Foreman's, yet his arms go beyond the picture (whereas you can see GF's hand). Though GF is craning his neck a bit forward, it's still obvious that he wasn't much taller than Sonny. 6'1 seems about right for Liston.
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Re: Sonny Liston

Duggerman
Administrator
I really wish we had a Sonny Liston on the scene now. The guy was a cold blooded killer in the ring. He was still pretty good even as he aged. After losing the fights to Ali, he went 14-1.

Here's an article about how a fight between Joe Louis and Sonny Liston would have went. That would have been a great fight for sure.

http://coxscorner.tripod.com/louis_liston_fl.html

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Re: Sonny Liston

the boston strong boy
In reply to this post by Duggerman
good fighter just ran into a better fighter ali if liston was fighting today he would most likely be undefeated look at how pitiful the HW div is today he would kill the klitsko bros they probably wouldnt want any part of sonny liston
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Re: Sonny Liston

49-0
He had a good jab and plowing power as you have said. But I'd still put him in the "Shavers, Foreman" category. He had a big punch but little else.
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Re: Sonny Liston

Entaowed
This post was updated on .
Shavers could hit harder than anyone, but Liston & Foreman were much better.  Foreman is an all time great, Liston many rank close, Duggerman here even slightly higher.  Foreman had some skill & a good jab, besides tremendous & unrelenting power, even when not as savvy as during his comeback.

But just counting up skills has very limited meaning!  HOW important or dominant a skill or native ability is, & how influential in the sport, goes most of the way of saying how great one is.  Ted Williams could not field or run well, yet batting creates a lot more value than both put together, & he was so good as a hitter, that his total value as a player was superb, amongst the best ever.

Rocky cut easily, was small with a tiny wingspan/reach, was not fast, had poor balance...Archie Moore said after his last fight that he did not even recognize a feint...These things are limitations that must be taken into account in fantasy match ups & ratings.  But his punching power, endurance, heart...meant that he is an all time great & easily the greatest of his era.

Clueless & biased folks often cherry pick what they like or do not like, but if we want to be rational, you consider ALL< including how to WEIGHT the individual & total effects of all talents & deficits.

I asked a friend of mine who boxed & wants to again: what do you call a HW who has no great knockout punch, rarely goes to the body, cannot fight on the offensive, is a poor inside fighter yet clinches a lot...

He said "I call him nothing, I think he should find another line of work".
I said OK, but you can also call him Muhammad Ali.
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Re: Sonny Liston

It's Dale
Entaowed wrote
I asked a friend of mine who boxed & wants to again: what do you call a HW who has no great knockout punch, rarely goes to the body, cannot fight on the offensive, is a poor inside fighter yet clinches a lot...

He said "I call him nothing, I think he should find another line of work".
I said OK, but you can also call him Muhammad Ali.
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Re: Sonny Liston

Hit Em' Hard
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Duggerman wrote
Liston didn't have much heart at the end of his career, but he was no quitter in his prime. If he were, he would have quit when Marty Marshall broke his jaw or when Eddie Machen took his punches for 15 rounds without going down. Ali just caught Liston on the decline.
I feel ya. The "Sonny Liston had no heart" theories are pure and unfiltered bullshit. The only fights Sonny is known for are the bouts with Patterson and Ali. Patterson could never beat Sonny Liston and he knew that. Cus knew it. Everybody knew it. It wasn't until JFK told Patterson to face Liston that Patterson did it and was knocked out right away.

But the "Sonny was a quitter" theories are based solely on the Muhammad Ali fights. The first time they fought, Sonny was old. He had to be at least 39 or 40. And he admitted he only trained for two rounds. Furthermore he underestimated Clay's speed and brilliant athleticism. The second time they fought, Sonny was recieving threats from the Nation of Islam on the regular. I don't blame him for taking a dive in that fight. You're old, the NOI is thirsting for blood, and you're getting a big payday? Yeah, Sonny opted out and I don't blame him.
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Liston.

Entaowed
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Duggerman
He had his problems & sins, yet he also was hounded & stereotyped with racist & "bad man" mojo.  It is funny how things shift, one guy becomes good or bad depending upon societies fears & loathings, & Sonny was a pawn in that foolish shell game.  He acted out & badly when dirning, but was also persecuted by the cops

With all his famous menacing scowl, he also seems to me to have a certain innocence, a Sadness of the Ages upon him.  While not psychologically together, there also appeared a Zen-like calm, sweet & even vulnerable with his wife, adoring of children, a contradiction of potential health & real life problems, grooving & training to "Night Train".

His last fight with Ali & his death a source of endless mystery, an enigma to the end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQP2slQmiaY 
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Re: Liston.

Duggerman
Administrator
I've merged this into our current Sonny Liston thread. I try not to have identical threads with the same topic.
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Re: Liston.

49-0
Watching the ridiculous Phantom Punch movie about Liston got me thinking, "Why didn't he participate in the 1969-70 boxing tournament to win Ali's vacated title?" Sonny went 14-1 since losing the rematch to Ali but never got a shot at Joe Frazier for the belt. Why did he not fight Frazier or participate in the tournament with Patterson, Ellis, Bonavena, Chuvalo and all those others?
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Re: Liston.

Shane
@49-0, I dunno why Sonny never participated in the tournament but he ducked Joe Frazier. At that age, Sonny would have gotten destroyed by peak Frazier and he knew that.
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Re: Liston.

Apollo
Banned User
Shane wrote
@49-0, I dunno why Sonny never participated in the tournament but he ducked Joe Frazier. At that age, Sonny would have gotten destroyed by peak Frazier and he knew that.
I back that. Frazier would've raped Sonny Liston at that point.
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