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.