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Thread: May 25. This Date in Boxing History: An Infamous Fight Begets a Famous Photograph

  1. #1
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    May 25. This Date in Boxing History: An Infamous Fight Begets a Famous Photograph

    Owing to advances in satellite communications, the second Ali-Liston fight was beamed to a larger audience than any sporting event before it. The telecast originated at a schoolboy hockey rink in Lewiston, Maine, one of many oddments that barnacled this famously odd fight.

    The bout, which came to fruition on May 25, 1965, was originally headed to Boston. The district attorney objected, raising questions about the suitability of the promoters and the moral fitness of the contestants, and he got his wish. Eighteen days before the appointed date, the rematch was uprooted to Lewiston.

    That a blue-collar city of 45,000 came to host an event of international importance spoke to the importance of closed circuit television. Ninety percent of the revenue was expected to come off-site, regardless of where the event was held.

    The fight itself, a huge disappointment, lasted a mere 132 seconds, or thereabouts. Suffice it to say that referee Jersey Joe Walcott and the timekeeper, a local man in his late 60's, were not in sync.

    Few fights have been as hashed over. The undying questions are whether the knockout punch was legitimate and, if not, what motivated Sonny Liston to go in the tank.

    The consensus among boxing experts is that Liston was discomposed by an honest punch. As Jose Torres noted, a punch delivered without great force can still be devastating if the recipient doesn't see it coming. However, there are plenty of folks who will always believe that the outcome was predetermined and that Sonny seized the moment when biffed with the first blow that stung, folding his tent without further delay. (Check out the "phantom punch" on YouTube and draw your own conclusion.)

    Paul Gallender, the author of "Sonny Liston: The Real Story Behind the Ali-Liston Fights," offers up more fodder for those inclined toward the conspiracy angle. In his book, released last year, Gallender says that Liston was ordered to throw the fight by members of the Black Muslim community who held his wife and adopted son hostage to ensure his compliance.

    Be that as it may, the fight was an odious affair that ignited another fruitless crusade for a federal boxing commission. An Illinois congressman called for a federal investigation of the fight and asked for a moratorium on heavyweight title fights until the panel had completed the study.

    How odd, in retrospect, that such a messed-up promotion could yield such a perfectly executed photograph. The indelible image of Ali standing over Liston captured Muhammad Ali the way that many people want to remember him -- "strength, confidence, and braggadocio," in the words of renowned photojournalist Neil Leifer, the man behind the camera.

  2. #2
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    Re: May 25. This Date in Boxing History: An Infamous Fight Begets a Famous Photograph

    Nice work, ArneK! You beat me to it. I was going to holla about that shot heard around the world back there in da day in 1964. Hulkquez hit Da Manny with a similar shot in 2012. And everybodee and dey momma believed it.

    But there is doubt and super-weak acception about GOAT Ali's KAYO of "Night Train" Liston because of HATE! And there is strong acception and gladness of Hulkquez KAYO of "PacMan" because of HATE!

    Dat bytch HATE never quit dancing. And won't call a spade a spade. I guess stupidity and hatred are so nutcase made. Holla!

  3. #3
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    Re: May 25. This Date in Boxing History: An Infamous Fight Begets a Famous Photograph

    Yo Radam- off topic- what's happening with Tommy Morrison? I keep hearing the dude is near death's door but there's no news source confirming this. Do you have a clue?

  4. #4
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    Re: May 25. This Date in Boxing History: An Infamous Fight Begets a Famous Photograph

    I often see the nephew of the late, great actor Marian Morrison/John Wayne at casinos in California and Arizona. He is always talking about making a boxing comeback, and says he's defeated HIV/AIDS. If the grim reaper snacks him up any time soon, I'd be shock. T -- as I call him -- would tell you that reports of him being near death's door are greatly exaggerated. Holla!

  5. #5
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    Re: May 25. This Date in Boxing History: An Infamous Fight Begets a Famous Photograph

    Woah, that's nice (and a little surprising) to hear. The last couple of years all manner of rumours have been making the rounds- in fact on some other boxing board where people claim to be in contact with his wife he is in an ICU somewhere. I know the guy is headstrong and for years has not only denied being HIV positive but even disputed the existence of the virus. I hope he is doing well as you say; he doesn't do himself any favours with his attitude to life however.

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