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Did Sonny Liston throw his 1965 fight against Muhammad Ali?

  • A Very Poor Dive

    Liston had clearly agreed to lose the fight and departed at the earliest opportunity from a light punch from a light puncher. Ali didn't even know if he'd hit him. Liston didn't care what anyone thought. He wasn't going to wait around and take punches from someone he had agreed not to win against. At his best Liston was one of the top 5 heavyweights of all-time, And possibly the best, But he was vilified and despised by all and sundry.

  • Ali’s lunch was short and choppy and didn’tappear to generate much power.

    Any punch thrown by a heavy weight is sure to be powerful. Yet, Ali hit Liston with much harder punches in both fights and Liston did not go down. In the post fight interview, Ali himself did not know which punch had put Liston on the canvas. That would lead one to think the “knockout punch” was nothing special. Otherwise Ali would have known which punch had put Liston away.

  • Mob bet heavy on Ali.

    Mob bet on the underdog Ali and cleaned up! Liston was owned by the mob. It is also my opinion that Liston was murdered by the mob. He was terrified of needles according to his manager. The murder scene had a needle and a balloon that contained heroin. His death was staged to look like an overdose.

  • To dam good

    He is too Good to lose that easily it makes no sense as to why he would be able to just let knocked out like that one he has the most feared fighter of all time by the way I am now just saying this to fill the words needed count

  • Liston was a thorn in the side of the established forces associated with boxing.

    Sonny Liston was for a period between 1958 and 1963 the greatest heavyweight who ever entered the ring. He was a brilliant boxer with no technical flaws. His left jab was the best in boxing history and he was a devastating puncher with either hand. Denied a shot at the title until 1962, He had by then defeated all of the top heavyweight contenders.
    By the time Liston fought Ali in 1964 he was probably past his best. Also he had fought less than 6 rounds in 41 months! He undertrained and entered the ring with an injured left shoulder which worsened progressively during the fight. However when he withdrew after 6 rounds the bout was level on the official scorecards.

    The second fight was a farce. Liston went down from a harmless punch in the first round delivered by a non-puncher. Ali, Who had obviously expected him to delay his exit until later was completely surprised shouting "Get up, Nobody will believe this" and later asking his cornermen "Did I hit him? " Ali never wanted to talk about this fight afterwards, Which showed that he wished the entire episode to be glossed over and forgotten.

    We'll probably never know why Liston took a dive - muslim threats or mafia pay-off and orders? - take your pick. The reality is that it was not in the interests of the boxing establishment (promoters, Officials and administrators, Newspapers and television) for Liston to win. He was unpopular and a poor box-office draw who provided little media excitement. As he went down in Lewiston Maine in 1965 he almost brought the boxing establishment down with him. Given how he had been treated previously it is easy to believe that is what he intended.

  • The fight was definitely fixed

    The 2nd Liston-Ali fight was obviously fixed - Liston, Who took without flinching the best punches that a really heavy puncher, Cleveland Williams, Could throw, Went down from the most insignificant of punches with his two outstretched arms and gloves breaking his gentle fall. He rose eventually from embarrassment as the referee didn't know what to do. Ali didn't go to a neutral (or any) corner and no count was even started. Ali who was equally embarassed shouted at Liston to get up saying "Nobody will believe this" and later asked his cornermen "Did I hit him? " If you examine the earlier part of the round it is clear Liston never attempted to deliver a significant punch.
    What seems to have happened is that Liston had agreed to throw the fight. The reason is unclear (threats from the muslims or the mafia, Or a deal to get a slice of Ali's future earnings). However rather than exiting in a later round and having to take punches from Ali, Who would have been emboldened by knowing that Liston couldn't deliver any serious punches in case he knocked Ali out, Sonny decided to opt out at the earliest opportunity. He didn't care what damage it did to boxing - he felt rightly that the boxing establishment was against him whatever he did.
    It all caused great panic as the 'establishment' - promoters, Officials and boxing sportswriters all felt their livelihood was endangered by the fiasco. They tried in vain to legitimise the knockout and never forgave Liston.

  • The most obvious dive in boxing history

    This was surely the most poorly acted dive in ring history. Clearly Liston had agreed to lose but no one, including Ali, expected him to do so in the first round, hence Ali shouting "Get up, nobody will believe this" and asking his cornermen "Did I hit him?" No boxer ever landed a knockout punch without knowing it instantly. Whatever the background to the 'fix', and there has been much speculation, Liston carried it out in a way such as to do no favours to the boxing establishment that had treated him so abysmally for all his career.

  • Yes Sonny threw the fight

    It doesn’t matter now, Ali is in the books as champion and the winner of both fights. But I do believe Sonny threw the fight. But on another note Muhammad Ali now knows his belief as a Muslim was wrong. Because he is now in eternity. He lost the biggest fight of his life, his soul

  • Liston Probably Had No Choice But To Take A Dive.

    Sonny Liston was the strongest and one of the most naturally talented heavyweights of all time. Between 1958 and 1964 he was unbeatable and completely dominated the heavyweight division. Denied a title shot until September 1962, he received the most hostile press of any champion in history, including Jack Johnson. He was never accepted by the boxing establishment and was ultimately willing to throw the Ali fights due to a combination of threats and enticements. His poorly acted dive in the second Ali fight was a deliberate act of retribution on those who fixed the fight but expected him to delay the ending until much later. He was the only relaxed person in the ring after the fight.

  • The fix was in

    Ali was perhaps a top five GOAT HW.

    It does not take away from the fact that Liston threw the fight. There should not be a doubt in anyone's mind. Ali, was not noted as a big puncher. There is no way Ali could ever knock Liston out. The only phantom about that so-called punch, was that Liston went down. Ali screamed at him, get up you yellow bum, no one will believe this. I heard that Liston's wife and kid were being held hostage. I never saw a man in boxing brace himself before he hit the canvass.

  • Complicated, But No

    What was the incentive for Sonny to throw this fight? Who paid him to do so? The theory makes no sense. It seems far more likely that, in the grand tradition of mob-controlled fighters, Liston was forced to take this fight when he did not have much desire to do so. Liston was pretty old (nobody really knows how old he was) and the training period was extended artificially when Ali had a severe hernia that required surgery.

    Old fighters have a very hard time staying in top shape and Liston obviously was not up to it. He came into the second fight in poor shape, got caught with a clean punch before he got warmed up and went down. Was the fight on the up-and-up? Not really - Liston didn't want to be there. But the mob doesn't pay its own fighters to take dives against fighters it doesn't control. That's just not how it works.

  • 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).


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