Sonny Liston

ListonCharles "Sonny" ListonPariah: The Lives and Deaths of Sonny Liston
Charles L.wikipedia
325 Related Articles

International Boxing Hall of Fame

Hall of FameHall of FamerIBHOF
Liston was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.

Professional boxing

professional boxerprizefighterboxer
undefined 1930 – c. December 30, 1970) was an American professional boxer who competed from 1953 to 1970.
In the early 1960s, the seemingly invincible Sonny Liston captured the public imagination with his one-sided destruction of two-time heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson.

Floyd Patterson

Floyd PatterstonePatterson
A dominant contender of his era, he became the world heavyweight champion in 1962 after knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round, repeating the knockout the following year in defense of the title; in the latter fight he also became the inaugural WBC heavyweight champion. Roy Harris, who had gone 13 rounds with Floyd Patterson in a title match, was crushed in one round by Liston. Ironically, Patterson's manager, Cus D'Amato, associated with racketeers and had his manager's license revoked by the New York State Athletic Commission for alleged misconduct in connection with the Floyd Patterson–Ingemar Johansson title fight in June 1959.
However he did not fight number-one contender Sonny Liston.

Cleveland Williams

The year 1959 was a banner one for Liston: after knocking out contender Mike DeJohn in six rounds he faced Cleveland Williams, a fast-handed fighter who was billed as the hardest-hitting heavyweight in the world against whom he showed durability, power and skill, nullifying Williams' best work before stopping him in the third round.
Hugh Benbow, his manager, and Sonny Liston, former world champion, visited Cleveland Williams in the hospital.

Willi Besmanoff

He rounded out the year by stopping Nino Valdez and Willi Besmanoff.
Besmanoff fought many top contenders of the era, including Sonny Liston, Archie Moore, George Chuvalo, Zora Folley, Eddie Machen, Roy Harris, Willie Pastrano and Bob Foster.

Zora Folley

Top contender Zora Folley was stopped in three rounds.
Between 1960 and 1962 Folley was knocked out by Sonny Liston, Alejandro Lavorante, and Doug Jones (in the rematch).

Chicago Golden Gloves

The Chicago-based Golden Gloves tournament
Liston captured the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions on March 6, 1953, with a victory over 1952 Olympic Heavyweight Champion Ed Sanders.

Eddie Machen

Machen
Liston's streak of nine straight knockout victories ended when he won a unanimous twelve-round decision against Eddie Machen on September 7, 1960.
Later that year he met ring legend and future champion, Sonny Liston, and although he lost by a clear 12-round unanimous decision, fought a sharp hit and move match that many believed was later studied by heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali.

Roy Harris (boxer)

Roy HarrisRoy "Cut-n-Shoot" Harris
Roy Harris, who had gone 13 rounds with Floyd Patterson in a title match, was crushed in one round by Liston.
Harris subsequently won six consecutive fights, before being stopped 2.35 minutes into his bout Sonny Liston.

Arm span

reachwingspanarm span (reach)
Liston was particularly known for his toughness, formidable punching power, long reach, and intimidating appearance.
For instance, boxer Sonny Liston, while 185 cm (6 ft) tall, had a reach of 213 cm (7 ft).

Jim McCarter

Jimmy McCarter
Liston competed in the 1953 United States National Championships at Boston Garden, passed the preliminaries stopping Lou Graff in the second round on April 13, but lost in the quarterfinals to 17-year-old Jimmy McCarter on April 15.
McCarter fought out of the Lloyd Athletic Club and won the Diamond Belt in Philadelphia and went on to win the National AAU Heavyweight Championship in 1956, reportedly with a decision vs. Sonny Liston.

Missouri State Penitentiary

Jefferson City Correctional CenterMissouri PenitentiaryMissouri State Penitentiary for Women
Convicted and sentenced to five years in Missouri State Penitentiary, Liston started his prison time on June 1, 1950.

Cus D'Amato

Constantine "Cus" D'AmatoCus DAmatoJoey Hadley
Ironically, Patterson's manager, Cus D'Amato, associated with racketeers and had his manager's license revoked by the New York State Athletic Commission for alleged misconduct in connection with the Floyd Patterson–Ingemar Johansson title fight in June 1959.
Patterson and D'Amato split after Patterson's second consecutive 1st-round KO loss to Sonny Liston, although his influence over the former two-time champion had already begun to diminish.

Muhammad Ali

Cassius ClayMuhammed AliAli
Although Liston was widely regarded as unbeatable, he lost the title in 1964 to Muhammad Ali, who entered as a 7–1 underdog.
He won the world heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston in a major upset at age 22 in 1964.

Frankie Carbo

John "Frankie" Carbo
He also went with a new manager in 1958: Joseph "Pep" Barone, who was a front man for mobsters Frankie Carbo and Frank "Blinky" Palermo.
By 1959, Carbo and his partner Blinky Palermo owned a majority interest in the contract of heavyweight boxer Sonny Liston, who went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship in 1962.

Angelo Dundee

"I didn't know what the heck was going on", Angelo Dundee, Ali's trainer, recalled on an NBC special 25 years later.
Dundee trained the young Cassius Clay, as Ali was then known, in most of his early bouts, including those with Archie Moore (who had trained Clay before his partnering with Dundee) and Sonny Liston, where Clay won the Heavyweight title.

Leotis Martin

Liston won fourteen consecutive bouts, thirteen by knockout, before fighting third-ranked Leotis Martin in December 1969.
Leotis Martin (March 10, 1939 – November 20, 1995) was an American boxer, the first ever NABF heavyweight champion and is best known for his victory over former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston.

Ingemar Johansson

Ingemar "Ingo" JohanssonIngmar JohanssonJohansson
Ironically, Patterson's manager, Cus D'Amato, associated with racketeers and had his manager's license revoked by the New York State Athletic Commission for alleged misconduct in connection with the Floyd Patterson–Ingemar Johansson title fight in June 1959. Former champions James J. Braddock, Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles, Rocky Marciano and Ingemar Johansson all picked Patterson to win.
By this time, Sonny Liston had captured the heavyweight crown from Patterson, and efforts were underway to match Johansson with Liston.

Ed Sanders (boxer)

Ed SandersHayes Edward SandersEdward Sanders
Liston captured the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions on March 6, 1953, with a victory over 1952 Olympic Heavyweight Champion Ed Sanders.
Sanders reentered the 1953 Gold Gloves Tournament and fought future World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston in the 1953 Chicago Golden Gloves Championship fight.

Chuck Wepner

Wepner
Liston won his final fight, a tough but one-sided match against future world title challenger Chuck Wepner in June 1970.
He was also the last man to fight controversial heavyweight boxer Sonny Liston.

Jab

jabbinga straight punch
Future world heavyweight champion George Foreman, who sparred with Liston after Foreman's amateur career, assessed Liston's jab as the most formidable he ever faced and Liston as the strongest man he ever encountered in the ring, saying Liston also had the most natural talent and skill.
Historians consider some of the best jabbers in history to be Sonny Liston, Larry Holmes, Muhammad Ali, Hector Camacho, and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Henry Cooper

Sir Henry CooperHenry Cooper (boxer)
One of the victories was over Amos Johnson, who had recently defeated British champion Henry Cooper.
When promoters were trying to match Cooper with Sonny Liston, Wicks said: "I would not allow 'Enery into the same room as him, let alone the same ring."

St. Francis County, Arkansas

St. FrancisSt. Francis CountyForrest City, AR Micropolitan Statistical Area
Charles "Sonny" Liston was born circa 1930 into a sharecropping family who farmed the poor land of Morledge Plantation near Johnson Township, St. Francis County, Arkansas.

Frank Palermo

Frank "Blinky" PalermoBlinky Palermo
He also went with a new manager in 1958: Joseph "Pep" Barone, who was a front man for mobsters Frankie Carbo and Frank "Blinky" Palermo.
By 1959, Blinky and his partner, Mafioso Frankie Carbo, owned a majority interest in the contract of heavyweight boxer Sonny Liston, who went on to win the World Heavyweight Championship in 1962.

Jersey Joe Walcott

Joe WalcottJersey Joe" WalcottJersey" Joe Walcott
Former champions James J. Braddock, Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles, Rocky Marciano and Ingemar Johansson all picked Patterson to win.
In 1965, Walcott refereed the controversial world heavyweight championship rematch between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston.