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#1
Old 03-11-2012, 10:56 AM
Toney616
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Arrow The man called Sonny Liston


Patterson's dressing room after the Patterson-Liston I fight


In the dressing room, a reporter asked what had happened. What did they think had happened?

'I got caught with a good punch,'Patterson said.

'A right hand, wasn't it?'

'I think it was.'

'Did you hear the referee counting over you?'

'Not clearly at first. When I did begin to hear, I thought I heard him say 'eight' and I jumped up.'

At one point, Patterson said, yes, he wanted to fight Liston again.

'Fight him again?' one reporter said.





'Why didn't you fight him tonight?'







Many reporters thought Liston was stupid. Baldwin did not. 'He is far from stupid; he is not, in fact, stupid at all,' he wrote. 'And while there is a great deal of violence in him, I sense no cruelty in him at all. On the contrary, he reminded me of big, black men I have known who acquired the reputation of being tough in order to conceal the fact that they weren't hard. Anyone who cared to could turn them into taffy. Anyway, I liked him, liked him very much. He sat opposite me at the table, sideways, head down, waiting for the blow: for Liston knows, as only the inarticulately suffering can, just how inarticulate he is. But let me clarify that: I say suffering because it seems to me that he has suffered a great deal. It is in his face, in the silence of that face, and the curiously distant light in his eyes - a light which rarely signals because there have been so few answering signals. And when I say inarticulate, I really do not mean to suggest that he does not know how to talk. He is inarticulate in the way we all are when more has happened to us than we know how to express; and inarticulate in a particulary Negro way-he has a long tale to tell











...........which no one wants to hear.'




The man called Sonny Liston



'Anybody who pays to see this fight is stupid. This fight will be worse than the first.'

-Sonny Liston





Liston didn't mind talking to Baldwin. The son of a Harlem preacher, Baldwin, with his bulging sad eyes, was unlike any other writer who had visited him. Baldwin's soft manner was far different from the wised-up style of most of the journalists Liston had known, and so he spoke to Baldwin in a different tone, with his defenses down. 'Colored people say they don't want their children to look up to me,' Liston told Baldwin with great sorrow. 'Well, they ain't teaching their children to look up to Martin Luther King , either.' Liston seemed to be issuing a plea through Baldwin. 'I wouldn't be no bad example if I was up there. I could tell a lot of those children what they need to know because I passed that way. I could make them listen.'



Liston flew out to the desert to train for the second Patterson fight. The bout had origianlly been scheduled for Florida but was moved to Las Vegas when Liston needed time to recover from a twisted knee he suffered while playing golf.Liston's latest manager, Jack Nilon (late of a Philadelphia food concessions business), wanted his fighter to train in isolation, perhaps at some quiet desert camp far from the city. Liston would have none of it. If there had been a time when he wanted to be a model champion, a well behaved and well-trained gentleman like Joe Louis or Floyd Patterson, he had gotten over it.



It would not be easy to arouse interest in the rematch. Jerry Izenberg, a thoughful columnist for the Newark Star-Ledger, developed an unusually trusting relationship with Liston and dared to ask him the question that was on every reporter's mind.

'The guy didn't hit you in the first fight,' Izenberg said. 'Can this fight be any better?'

Liston paused a long time, a conversational tic, and then said, very distinctly, 'Anybody who pays to see this fight is stupid. This fight will be worse than the first.'



Liston spent the first half minute or so of the fight waiting to see if Patterson had anything new to offer. Considerng his training, his long vacances au soleil, he did not care to wait longer and so, thus convinced of the challenger's lack of inspiration, he battered him to the ground with a terrific uppercut to the jaw and a straight right.

In a calmer moment, Liston would wax theoretical on the power of his punch and the damage it could do. He kept in his mind an image of tender human physiognomy, its equilibrium, and the way in which it can be forever altered by the power of the fist:'See' the different parts of the brain set in little cups like this. When you get hit a terrible shot-pop!-the brain flops out of them cups and you're knocked out. But after this happens enough times, or sometimes even once if the shot's hard enough, the brain don't settle back right in them cups, and that's when you start needin' other people to help you around.'



To judge by the blankness of Patterson's eyes, his brain had flopped out of its cups, and only at the count of nine did it settle back in. He got to his feet, barely esacaping the fastest exit in the history of heavyweight championship fights.

Little more than a minute later, Liston began a barrage that left Patterson a heap on the ground. Liston had calculated just right. He didn't need to train much at all. The fight lasted four seconds longer than the first, though, to be fair, this time it included two counts of eight after the knockdowns. Patterson had gone into the ring determined this time to listen to his trainers, to box, to get warm, to test Liston's endurance-and once more he forgot everything.



'It was the same as last time,' said Cus D'Amato. 'We would have said something to correct him in the corner between rounds but the guy knocked him out before he we had a chance.'
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#2
Old 03-11-2012, 11:46 AM
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listen aint nothing but a big ugly bear. Hes too ugly to be champion.
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#3
Old 03-11-2012, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by el*** View Post
listen aint nothing but a big ugly bear. Hes too ugly to be champion.
So what? Valuev was too ugly to be in a zoo.
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#4
Old 03-11-2012, 11:07 PM
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I love reading about Liston. Has there ever been a decent biopic made of him?
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:28 PM
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#6
Old 03-12-2012, 02:49 PM
Toney616
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Originally Posted by nomadman View Post
I love reading about Liston. Has there ever been a decent biopic made of him?
Not that I know of. King of the world by David Remnick has a lot of good info about him
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#7
Old 03-12-2012, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by nomadman View Post
I love reading about Liston. Has there ever been a decent biopic made of him?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyOW8...eature=related

Do not know how to embed the video, but it is a link to a song about Liston
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#8
Old 03-12-2012, 07:56 PM
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I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I think Liston and Patterson are both grossly overrated
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Old 03-13-2012, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Boxing Bob View Post
I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I think Liston and Patterson are both grossly overrated

Check out some highlight reels on Patterson. Easily one of the best and fastest combination punchers ever. Superb fundamentals, a textbook style.

Only his chin and size let him down.

As for Liston. Take away the Ali fights and the KO loss to Leotis Martin (when well past prime) and I fail to see whats not to be impressed with!
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Old 03-13-2012, 08:05 AM
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I love reading about Liston. Has there ever been a decent biopic made of him?
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