Paul Gallender digs into the ring life and psyche of Sonny Liston, one of the most misunderstood athletes of his or any generation.  He attempts to portray the real personality of one of boxing’s greatest champions who had to fend off Gestapo-like tactics during his career, not only from the police forces of several major American cities, but also by bigoted sportswriters of his time. In all respects, Paul succeeds.
Russell Peltz, boxing promoter, International Boxing Hall of Fame Class of 2004


INTRODUCING:

CHARLES  “SONNY”  LISTON


 Sonny Liston is a friend of mine and I wrote this book for him. The former heavyweight champion was the most disliked, feared and misunderstood athlete of the 20th century.     But almost everyone who knew him liked him.

Half a century ago Sonny was the best there ever was. Joe Louis called him the greatest heavyweight champion in history.  Archie Moore described him as “something extraordinary with a pair of Everlast gloves.” Muhammad Ali told Matt Lauer his greatest accomplishment in or out of the ring was beating Sonny Liston.

Though no boxer was ever more highly respected by his peers than Sonny,  no athlete   in any sport was treated worse  by the press.        A lightning rod for racism, Sonny was called    an inferior Negro, less than human, a latter-  day caveman and  a savage, glaring-eyed gorilla.  Unfortunately, I could  go on.

Sonny was never given the second  chance that athletes with less than stellar backgrounds have been given. When he was forced to throw his second fight with Ali – and I found out why he  did it –  any chance of redemption went  down with him.

Well, enough is enough!  Sonny Liston  is about to get that second chance. I got your back, Sonny,  and so does  Josie Roase.

Paul Gallender