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Did Sonny Liston throw his 1965 fight against Muhammad Ali?

  • Of course Liston took a dive.

    The dive was obvious, in fact too obvious for anyone with even a passing knowledge of boxing. It threw the world of boxing into disarray and threatened its future, which is why so many boxing journalists tried desperately, out of self-protection, to validate the 'knockout'. Liston kept his part of the bargain, namely to lose. He felt no obligation to make it look real and must have enjoyed the post-fight disarray.

  • A Shameful Episode

    Liston was clearly ordered to take the dive. Ali knew this but expected that Liston wouldn't do so for three or four rounds. Liston made it look as bad as possible by going down from a very mild punch in the first round but didn't expect Walcott, the referee, to be so out of his depth to not control the situation including Ali's annoyance at not being able to claim a proper but fixed victory.

  • Sonny goin' down

    Mark Knopfler's song is all the evidence needed, "Sonny Liston's ballad" from his magnificent 2004 solo effort, Shangrila. It's obvious from Sonny's reaction to the so-called "anchor"punch that he was not hurt & the looked he gave Clay pays testament to the fix as well. Sonny clearly was a man of his word.

  • Sonny goin' down

    Mark Knopfler's song is all the evidence needed, "Sonny Liston's ballad" from his magnificent 2004 solo effort, Shangrila. It's obvious from Sonny's reaction to the so-called "anchor"punch that he was not hurt & the looked he gave Clay pays testament to the fix as well. Sonny clearly was a man of his word.

  • Liston was 'the dog that didn't bark'

    Ali broke the rules by not going to a neutral corner. Walcott broke the rules by not disqualifying him and also by declaring a knockout without having counted over Liston. Liston didn't protest either then or afterwards, which he would have been expected to do if he had suffered a legitimate knockdown. We can only speculate as to the genesis of the fix - threats by the muslims or by the mafia? Fix - it definitely was!

  • Worst dive in boxing history

    Liston certainly showed the world the fight was fixed with a deliberate, and poorly acted knockdown from an insignificant punch, especially when landed on a boxer of Liston's durability. Clay didn't even buy it, saying he didn't believe the punch was hard enough to drop, let alone K.O. Liston. He realized Walcott wasn't counting, so he went right back down until he believed it was 10 seconds. You already know something's up by Sonny's lack of protest when he was declared knocked out with no count. He knew the rules of boxing, yet seemed to be the most relaxed man in the ring after the "fight".

  • Worst Dive in history

    Liston certainly showed the world that the fight was fixed by his deliberate and poorly acted knockdown from an insignificant punch. When he realised that Walcott wasn't counting he rolled down again. Walcott didn't know what to do and Ali could see what Liston was up to, namely exposing the fix for all to see.

  • Liston wanted everyone to know that it was a fixed fight.

    According to Paul Gallender, Liston admitted to former middleweight and welterweight champion Emile Griffith that he had to throw the fight, “Oh my poor Sonny,” said Emile. “He had no choice but to lose. He told me later he was gonna show that fight was fixed by taking the worst dive of all-time.” Anyone who looks at the replay and views the evidence objectively would agree that Liston did just that. As has been said elsewhere he panicked Ali who realised that the 'knockout' was not believable. Liston was the only relaxed person in the ring after the farce had ended.

  • Something wasn't right.

    I am not sure what was going on but something wasn't right. I watched HC at Ali traing camp before the secound fight. He wasn't himself, unhappy not talking, acted as if he was upset about something. That punch didnt seem like enough or evan close to hurt liston that much. Then listen down then he is up and then down. Ali messed the count up by not going to his corner. This looks bad. I don't know for sure but something wasn't right. Ali was a much younger and faster fighter so I believe he would have won anyway. But maybe someone else wasn't quite sure. If so I feel sorry for both men and if not I feel sorry for both men.

  • Liston's reputation marred by obvious dive

    It cannot be disputed that Sonny Liston was the best fighter in the world, possibly the best ever, between 1958 and 1963. He underestimated Clay/Ali for their first fight, hardly trained and came into the ring sporting an injury to his left shoulder which limited his deadly left jab. That, despite contrary FBI evidence, is the simplest answer to his defeat.
    In the second fight he went down from a feather duster punch. The simplest and obvious explanation is that he took a dive - conveniently in the first round. A boxer pre-ordained to lose cannot therefore afford to throw a knockout punch and consequentially may have to endure considerable unnecessary punishment. The simplest answer is that Liston was committed to taking a dive in that fight and took his exit at the earliest opportunity. Why he took a dive or who was behind it we can only speculate upon. Unfortunately it marred his otherwise outstandin record.

  • Just think it was as tasty as a barbeque chicken

    The barbque chicken is tasty but i also like it with a nice glass of rew wine not cider as its disgusting i prefer sex on sunday morning after chicken and wine the night before my wife usually sucks me off real nice on a sunday morning,we are both into our late 80s but still enjoy it ...Thanks

  • Silly Myth Destroyed.

    Watch the slow motion replay. Liston walks into a short but powerful right hand by Ali. Ask any fighter how much fun it is to walk into a punch. Liston's head is clearly jarred. If slow motion replay and multiple camera angles had existed at the time this silly myth would never have been born. By the way, it is IMPOSSIBLE for there NOT to have been a conspiracy in JFK's assissination.

  • Silly Myth Destroyed

    Watch the slow motion replay. Ali catches Liston with a short but powerful right hand as Liston walks into it. Ask any fighter how much fun it is to walk into a punch. Liston's head visibly is jarred. If replay and multiple camera angles had been available at the time this silly myth would never have been born. By the way, it was impossible for there NOT to have been a conspiracy in the JFK assassination.

  • Look at the ripple

    Sonny Liston's whole body ripples when Ali hits him. That's pretty difficult to fake. It looks like Liston walks into it and was simply caught way off guard. It can happy to any fighter and this time one of the most talented heavy weights of all time had it happen to him.

  • No, he didn't

    It would have been much more lucrative for Sonny to recapture the World Heavyweight crown. Besides, he wasn't someone who could be threatened to taking a dive. He was afraid of no one. He had more reason to win this rematch as he quit in the 8th round of their title fight due to a shoulder injury.

  • Liston dumbfounded by perfect right

    I believe Liston got caught with a perfect right that was unguarded. Ali hit him with the perfect short punch and Liston was brought down by the shock of the unexpected event. Whether he could have gotten up without the big flop onto his back is another question. Ali had him psyched out before the bell even rang and it was Ali's fight. The timing situation was a bit of a joke but Liston was beat.

  • No! He was never counted out!

    I have watched the fight countless times. 1) Sonny beat the count! Wrong you say, however I am correct. The ref never even began to count. Sonny said later he waited for the ref to start counting, but was able to get up before the ref started. If Sonny took a dive he would have STAYED DOWN. He got up and began fighting with Ali. 2) Think.. Was there a conspiracy with the time keeper and the ref and Liston to throw the fight? Of course there wasnt! Walcott the ref, was told by a sports writer and the time keeper to stop the fight after a
    Ali and Liston began fighting again. 3) Liston took a heavy right hand punch to the from Ali about 30 seconds prior to the "anchor" punch. If he was going to take a dive, that would have been a great time to fall. 4) If you watch the punch carefully you can see that it lifted up Liston's right leg. You can also see his head snap back and a ripple through his whole upper body from the force of the punch. 5) If you still have any doubts, watch the MMA fight with Anderson Silva knocking out his opp with a short right while back peddling. Same punch Ali threw!

  • No, Muhammad Ali was insurmountable.

    No, Sonny Liston did not throw his 1965 fight against Muhammad Ali, because Ali was the greatest fighter of all time. Ali fairly defeated Liston. Because Liston lost, some of his fans will want to find a way to explain it. However, there is no evidence that he threw his fight. He simply lost.

  • He got caught

    M. Ali had a wicked short left jab. He got caught by it plain and simple! I had a friend who trained with him and had learned the technique . I saw him k.O. A guy the same way. (Guy picked a fight, was over in a couple of seconds).

  • No way Jose. Sonny Liston is my grandfather, and I know better.

    My Grandfather Sonny did not throw this fights but he did state to the family that if he could have picked up the count from the mat timer, he would have gotten up. Walcott blew this fight - not Ali or Sonny, and Sonny also said that the Anchor Punch surprised him.

    Lynel Gardner
    Sonny Liston Estate


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