|Someone finally has Sonny Liston’s back. Paul Gallender’s revealing biography, Sonny Liston The Real Story Behind the Ali-Liston Fights, sheds new light on Liston’s tragic life and extraordinary talent.
In meticulous detail the author shows why the outcome of Sonny’s two bouts with Muhammad Ali had far more to do with what took place outside of the ring than in it. The truth about their one-round fight in Lewiston, Maine, will shock you.
When Sonny was forced to lie down against Ali in that fight, his reputation, career and legacy went down with him. He was barred from fighting anywhere in the United States. Just five-and-a-half years later, his wife, Geraldine, returned home to Las Vegas and found his body; he had been dead a week.
Most of the sporting press despised and feared
|Liston and was quick to demean and forget him after the Ali bouts. Because of the media’s unrelenting attacks most of what the world knows about Sonny has no basis in fact.
Sonny’s immense talent has been largely ignored but it has never been equaled. Half a century ago, he was to boxing what Babe Ruth was to baseball, what Tiger Woods became to golf, and what Usain Bolt is to track. The legendary Joe Louis called Liston the greatest heavyweight champion in history.
Gallender introduces you to a man you would have been proud to know - a man whose integrity, sense of fairness and depth of character was acknowledged for the most part only by his family, friends and children of every race. Once you start reading this book you won’t want to put it down.
|Boxing's All Time Greats Remember Sonny|
“Nobody’s gonna beat
Boxing’s three best big men of all time were in awe of Sonny, as was the entire sports world. Gilbert Rogin’s characterization of Liston as the nearest piece of talent to Godzilla, was an accurate description both of his ability and the public’s perception of him when he was champ. Veteran trainer Angelo Dundee said Liston stood over the division like a colossus. When Louis said, “Nobody’s gonna beat Liston ’cept old age,” there was no reason or indication to think otherwise.
|No great athlete was ever more highly regarded by his peers than Charles “Sonny” Liston.
Archie Moore was voted the best Light Heavyweight of the 20th Century and he described Sonny as “something extraordinary with a pair of Everlast gloves.” Moore told that to Sport Magazine a few months after Liston lost his title to Muhammad Ali.
Most all-time rankings list the great Joe Louis either first or second best in his division. Moments after Sonny lost his title, Louis matter-of-factly said Cassius Clay had “just beaten the greatest heavyweight champion in history.”
The Triple Crown of Compliments was completed when Today’s Matt Lauer twice asked Muhammad Ali to name his most significant accomplishment in or out of the ring. Both times, the man known as the Greatest responded by saying, “beating Sonny Liston,” and did so with no hesitation whatsoever.
|Liston and his manager, Jack Nilon, have a laugh at Cassius Clay’s expense.
The fighters had just signed the contracts for their first fight. (Denver Post)