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50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

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  • 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

    He shook up the world. 8-)

  • #2
    Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

    Originally posted by jazzcyclist
    He came in at 210 pounds the heavyest he'd ever been for a fight.

    Liston was just starting to put on weight himself at that stage of his career, he usually fought at around 210-212 he was at 218 and was 32 to Clay's 22. Perfect spot for what we saw and Clay didn't disapoint.

    As we know Clay had been a light heavy and he did fight like one even at 210, too fast of foot/hands for the heavyweight division.

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    • #3
      Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

      Originally posted by Dixon
      Originally posted by jazzcyclist
      He came in at 210 pounds the heavyest he'd ever been for a fight.

      Liston was just starting to put on weight himself at that stage of his career, he usually fought at around 210-212 he was at 218 and was 32 to Clay's 22. Perfect spot for what we saw and Clay didn't disapoint.

      As we know Clay had been a light heavy and he did fight like one even at 210, too fast of foot/hands for the heavyweight division.
      Clay won the fight fair and square. It should be pointed out that Liston probably never trained properly after his first win over Patterson - take a look at his paunch in the second fight. Then there are those who say was much older than he claimed, with one version of Encyclopedia Brittanica claiming he was born in 1919! To see Liston in better shape, take a look at his two fights against Cleveland Williams at his best.

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      • #4
        Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

        I remember having a bet with Charlie Jenkins ( yep, Olympic 400 champ) that Liston would win. He won the bet. I now wonder what I was thinking.

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        • #5
          Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

          Originally posted by jeremyp
          I remember having a bet with Charlie Jenkins ( yep, Olympic 400 champ) that Liston would win. He won the bet. I now wonder what I was thinking.
          You are not alone. I thought Liston would kill him.
          "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
          by Thomas Henry Huxley

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          • #6
            Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

            And about 10 years after that, I remember listening to the Ali-Foreman fight on the radio…and assuming that Foreman would destroy him...

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            • #7
              Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

              As a one time fight fan, I took a lot of flak from my children for "supporting" this brutal sport. This thread prompted me to go back and look at some of the famous fights. I think the most clinical destruction was Joe Louis taking Schmeling apart in the first round in 1938. Scarcely a missed punch, and many devastating ones right on their target.

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              • #8
                Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

                Originally posted by jeremyp
                I remember having a bet with Charlie Jenkins ( yep, Olympic 400 champ) that Liston would win. He won the bet. I now wonder what I was thinking.

                I too lost a bet, for $ 10 ... I had Liston even money with a friend, and thought I had a sure thing !

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                • #9
                  Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

                  Originally posted by Pego
                  Originally posted by jeremyp
                  I remember having a bet with Charlie Jenkins ( yep, Olympic 400 champ) that Liston would win. He won the bet. I now wonder what I was thinking.
                  You are not alone. I thought Liston would kill him.
                  Everybody did. Liston was all that Mike Tyson would later be. And as to Ali-Foreman, everyone thought the same thing. It took us a long time to learn not to underestimate The Greatest.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

                    Originally posted by catson52
                    As a one time fight fan, I took a lot of flak from my children for "supporting" this brutal sport. This thread prompted me to go back and look at some of the famous fights. I think the most clinical destruction was Joe Louis taking Schmeling apart in the first round in 1938. Scarcely a missed punch, and many devastating ones right on their target.
                    My mother was listening to the fight. She went into the kitchen to get a drink and when she came out: "it was over."

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                    • #11
                      Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

                      Originally posted by bambam
                      Originally posted by Pego
                      Originally posted by jeremyp
                      I remember having a bet with Charlie Jenkins ( yep, Olympic 400 champ) that Liston would win. He won the bet. I now wonder what I was thinking.
                      You are not alone. I thought Liston would kill him.
                      Everybody did. Liston was all that Mike Tyson would later be. And as to Ali-Foreman, everyone thought the same thing. It took us a long time to learn not to underestimate The Greatest.
                      After seeing the Ali-Frazier and the Frazier-Foreman fights, how could anyone expect Ali to beat Foreman, much less knock him out? Were there any boxing experts who expected Ali to match up better against Foreman than Frazier? Those three fights are a classic example that prove the boxing axiom "styles make fights".

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                      • #12
                        Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

                        Liston was likely born in 1928 ( he would later in life as he began to fight as an amateur change his recollection regarding his birthdate to 1932) so he was more than 35 years old by the time of the first Clay fight.

                        I doubt I would have given Ali any hope to win that fight but anyone could have looked back to every single historical HW champ to observe/recall every one of them in their mid 30s (starting with John Sullivan) getting their lights punched out by a young up-and-comer.

                        We have discussed the style problem that fighters face. Liston fought like a George Foreman slugger with incredible power at every angle and range and he did it from a standing position. That style demolishes the bob and weave approach of a Patterson or a Frazier but it is lunch meat for a fast moving jabber/boxer.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

                          Originally posted by catson52
                          Originally posted by Dixon
                          Originally posted by jazzcyclist
                          He came in at 210 pounds the heavyest he'd ever been for a fight.

                          Liston was just starting to put on weight himself at that stage of his career, he usually fought at around 210-212 he was at 218 and was 32 to Clay's 22. Perfect spot for what we saw and Clay didn't disapoint.

                          As we know Clay had been a light heavy and he did fight like one even at 210, too fast of foot/hands for the heavyweight division.
                          Clay won the fight fair and square. It should be pointed out that Liston probably never trained properly after his first win over Patterson - take a look at his paunch in the second fight. Then there are those who say was much older than he claimed, with one version of Encyclopedia Brittanica claiming he was born in 1919! To see Liston in better shape, take a look at his two fights against Cleveland Williams at his best.
                          I agree with all that. But....we did see two fighers at different stages of their career.

                          Liston at 210 and lighter (198-200 early on) only lost to Marty Marshall. And rarely fought beyond 8 rounds. I do think as a young fighter in that 205 pound range he's all Clay wants.

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                          • #14
                            Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

                            Speaking of the great one Ali,.. one could ask how could Frazier have been so confident that he could beat Ali ?.. One answer is that Frazier understood that his own technique and skills were tailor made to unwravel the great stick and move jabber. If Frazier had watched the first Ali-Cooper fight he surely was emboldened to know that he would be the hunter and the jabber-boxer would be the prey.

                            What would a Liston at his prime, properly trained from the beginning as a bob-n-weave puncher have done to a Clay/Ali type boxer ... I think he wins... but not at 35 years of age... nope, not a chance.

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                            • #15
                              Re: 50 Years Ago Today: 2/25/64

                              Originally posted by user4
                              Speaking of the great one Ali,.. one could ask how could Frazier have been so confident that he could beat Ali ?.. One answer is that Frazier understood that his own technique and skills were tailor made to unwravel the great stick and move jabber. If Frazier had watched the first Ali-Cooper fight he surely was emboldened to know that he would be the hunter and the jabber-boxer would be the prey.

                              What would a Liston at his prime, properly trained from the beginning as a bob-n-weave puncher have done to a Clay/Ali type boxer ... I think he wins... but not at 35 years of age... nope, not a chance.
                              That's good stuff bro

                              Liston was a devasating puncher in his prime years. I mentioned he rarely fought beyond 8 rounds, that was because he was knocking people out and TKO.

                              By 1964 he no longer had the legs, so he couldn't move which you have to do vs Clay. At 25 he would have been in and out, give Clay angles. We didn't see that out of the old (in boxing) Sonny Liston

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