Earlier than George Foreman after which Mike Tyson got here alongside terrifying the heavyweight division, in his prime, Sonny Liston was thought of the scariest fighter ever within the heavyweight division. Main as much as his first championship bout with Muhammad Ali, Sonny Liston had knocked out 24 of his first 35 opponents and was coming off two successive first-round knockout victories over Floyd Patterson, the primary to win the belt and the second to defend. Many thought given these outcomes, Liston was going to kill Ali within the ring who was then recognized by his delivery identify, Cassius Clay. However the then Clay feared none and was a younger and brash 22-year-old coming off a gold medal within the 1960 Rome Olympic video games simply 4 years earlier. Ali took Liston to high school and compelled him to retire in his nook after the sixth spherical. In a rematch just a little over a yr later, the “phantom punch” occurred when Ali knocked out Liston within the first spherical to defend his belt a battle wherein some imagine Liston took a dive. Regardless of successful the rest of his fights the remainder of his profession minus his next-to-last bout towards Leotis Martin when Liston acquired knocked out, he by no means acquired one other title shot retiring with a report of 50-4. The draw back to Sonny Liston’s life was that he was concerned with many shady characters and he developed a nasty drug abuse downside. When he died in 1971, his spouse discovered him within the bed room slumped over and by police estimation, he had been deceased for almost every week. Heroin overdose was listed as the reason for dying however rumors of foul play shortly adopted.
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