Monday, February 24, 2014

50 years ago this week...Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Liston at Miami Beach


A Lot More Than Lip Service | Feb. 25, 1964: Cassius Clay Beats Sonny Liston - via Sports Illustrated
He'd have better fights, create greater spectacle, make more history, practice another religion, have another name, become a so-called traitor to his country, transform himself into its conscience and light an Olympic torch. So there was a lot more news in him man this. But in February 1964, when he was 22, Cassius Clay helped set the tone for a decade (at least) when he toppled Sonny Liston in one of sport's most important upsets.

Maybe the '60s would have been tumultuous without Clay's wild personality. Probably the times, they were a-changin' anyway. But give Clay—later Muhammad Ali, of course—credit for being a magical character who in the course of a spectacular boxing career somehow made us reconsider politics, war, race and religion. Poetry, too.



New heavyweight boxing champion Cassius Clay is hugged 
on the ring floor in Miami Beach by one of his handlers 
when Sonny Liston was unable the answer the bell for the 
seventh round of their title fight on Feb. 25, 1964. Clay 
was only 22 years old and was an 8-1 underdog in the 
fight against the reigning champion Liston. (AP Photo)
(Click here to enlarge.)

Cassius Clay, left, connects on a punch to the face of Sonny 
Liston in the third round before a TKO in the seventh round 
of their heavyweight championship fight in Miami 
Beach, Fla., on Feb. 25, 1964. (AP Photo)
(Click image to enlarge.)

Miami News, Feb. 26, 1964.

Miami News cartoon by Don Wright. (Feb. 26, 1964)

FOX Sports: Fifty years ago, Clay stopped Liston

1 comment:

  1. I watched this fight last night for the umpteenth time. I am not a conspiracy type but I cannot help but think there was a very strong likelihood that this fight was fixed. More so than the second one. Ali never hurt Liston or even came close. Liston was not on his game. On points I had Ali ahead but Liston had not gone into full throttle. You got the sense he was doing to Ali what Ali did to Foreman. When he walked back to his corner, he seemed fine. It was all bizarre. Given his connection to gamblers and mobsters, the motive and opportunity were all there.


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