Sonny Liston

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Liston, Sonny

(Charles Liston), 1932–71, American boxer, b. Little Rock, Ark. While serving a sentence for robbery at the Missouri State Penitentiary, Liston became interested in boxing. In 1953 he began his professional fighting career. A hard-hitting heavyweight, he became (Sept., 1962) the world's heavyweight champion after a crushing first-round knockout of Floyd PattersonPatterson, Floyd,
1935–2006, American boxer, b. Waco, N.C. He was brought up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was sent to the Wiltwyck School at Esopus, N.Y., an institution for emotionally disturbed boys, where he first began to box.
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. He defended his championship in 1963, knocking out Patterson once again, before losing his title to Muhammad AliAli, Muhammad
, 1942–2016, American boxer, b. Louisville, Ky. Born Cassius Marcellus Clay, he was a 1960 Olympic gold medalist. Shortly after upsetting Sonny Liston in 1964 to become world heavyweight champion, he formalized his association with the Nation of Islam (see
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 in 1964. After losing his return match with Ali in 1965, Liston began a comeback in 1966. His lifetime record was 50 victories (39 knockouts) and 4 losses.


See biography by N. Tosches (2000).

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References in periodicals archive ?
* Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston fight-worn gloves that were worn by Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston in the famous May 25, 1965 'Phantom Punch' bout in Lewiston, ME -- perhaps the most controversial sports event in history.
Have no doubt about it, Sonny Liston was very good.
To this question, the story of Muhammad Ali offers a resounding "yes." Of the post-Louis heavyweights, it seems that only Muhammad Ali (and, as we will see, Sonny Liston) has risen to the legendary status of his predecessors.
To be held in MIA's fourth floor eastern gallery, the temporary exhibition 'Mohamed Ali: Tribute to a Legend', will present a unique collection of artefacts from his career (1942-2016), including pictures from Ali's outdoor exhibition bout at the Doha Stadium in 1971 and memorabilia spanning his journey to the 1960 Rome Olympics; his world title winning bout against Sonny Liston in 1964 and his final world title winning fight against Leon Spinks in New Orleans in 1978.
At a press conference ahead of the first Sonny Liston fight, 1964 "I'm king of the world!
Ali seventh-round KO v Sonny Liston, Miami 1964 The brooding, menacing Liston was supposed to put the loudmouth from Louisville in his place.
From first taking the world title from fearsome Sonny Liston in one of sport's biggest upsets in Miami in February 1964 to the epic Rumble in the Jungle in 1975 when he retook it against George Foreman in Zaire, Ali straddled the globe.
The BT Sport film centred on the great man's two fights against Sonny Liston, the first when he upset the odds to win the title, and the second when successfully and swiftly defended his world crown.
February 25, 1964: Cassius Clay, 22, is crowned heavyweight boxing world champion after a shock win over Sonny Liston - and later changing his name to Muhammad Ali.
1962: Sonny Liston (pictured) won the world heavyweight boxing title, knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round in Chicago.
Loving the limelight, the swaggering hoodlums also counted boxing champions Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and Sonny Liston as mates.