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Author Topic: Sonny Liston
Claymation Quartermain
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How would Sonny Liston have done against:

1) Ken Norton
2) Joe Frazier
3) George Foreman
4) Mike Tyson
5) Rocky Marciano
6) Joe Louis

[ 12-17-2018, 11:57 PM: Message edited by: Claymation Quartermain ]

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Crimson Mask from FL
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Understand here we're talking about a younger Liston than the one you've all probably seen.

quote:
Originally posted by Claymation Quartermain:
How would Sonny Liston have done against:

1) Ken Norton


Knocked him out. Liston killed peek-a-boo guys.

2) Joe Frazier

See 'Ken Norton'

3) George Foreman

Liston was a more compact, more efficient Foreman. Would have stopped him.

4) Mike Tyson

See 'Joe Frazier'

5) Rocky Marciano

Marciano was too small and never fought anybody like Liston. Wouldn't have gotten past that huge jab. Liston would have stopped him too.

6) Joe Louis

Louis was too fast handed, hard hitting and technical, and wouldn't stay down. Would have gotten off the floor and slowly taken Liston apart.



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DKM
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quote:
Originally posted by Claymation Quartermain:
How would Sonny Liston have done against:

1) Ken Norton
2) Joe Frazier
3) George Foreman
4) Mike Tyson
5) Rocky Marciano
6) Joe Louis

Who are we dropping into which era?

A prime Liston vs a prime

Norton - Liston wins
Frazier - Liston wins
Foreman - Foreman wins
Tyson - Not sure
Marciano - mostly Liston
Louis - Louis wins

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Curt Injurker
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I think Norton, Frazier, and Tyson are all tailor-made to get dropped by Liston as early as he gets to them.

Marciano is a tough one to discuss while pointing to evidence. Rock walked through a lot of punchers to get home, but none of them were within spitting distance of Liston in terms of power. I think Rock keeps coming and coming, and eventually takes too much punishment - Liston by late stoppage.

The Foreman hypothetical is the most interesting, least clean-cut of all the match-ups. In a weird way, I think a post-prime Foreman (more tactical, more conservative defensively) would be a better matchup than prime Foreman, who would eagerly enter into a firefight he might not able to win. To me (and I realize how weird this looks), it's a coin flip with prime Foreman (whoever lands the biggest shot wins), but I would give the slight nod to post-prime Foreman against Liston.

Joe Louis beats Sonny mentally before he beats him physically, and either stops Sonny late or makes Liston quit on the stool.

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merc
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I’m not a boxing student, but didn’t Marciano beat Lewis? Was it an age thing ?

I ask because you all have Liston > Marciano, but Lewis > Liston.

Thx

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Curt Injurker
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The 37-year old Joe Louis that 27-year old Marciano beat was not the Louis that is considered the best heavyweight ever.

He had retired as champion over two years earlier. And he was back because of the IRS.

In the fight, Marciano got knocked down basically every time he got hit. He was there to pay a tax bill - nothing more, nothing less.

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A Gene Wilder Somersault
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Wouldn't Louis' lack of foot speed really put him at a disadvantage against Liston? Plus it seemed like he didn't throw unless he had both feet planted. Liston had a huge reach and could keep his distance with the jab, I would think. Louis had the faster hands and could throw deadly combinations, though. I'm having a tough time with this one.
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Steve Yohe
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I watched Liston/Clay I again last night. I was surprised how much Sonny hit him. He did land some shots, and I had him leading (4-2) when he stopped fighting. Clay won the 6th easy & was talking to him, so he quit. It was a 15 round fight, he should have stuck around. He was still in the fight. But then again, back then they stopped a lot of fights on cuts.

I think Sonny would have beaten all of those names but Louis & Foreman. George was too big in my mind. Liston really was a mystery, and I've only seen films of his early fights. I started following boxing with the first Patterson fight.---Yohe

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Cincinnati Kid
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By 1964, Liston had been made into what some felt was an unstoppable monster. Then he met a younger, taller and faster opponent. In looking back now, the result is not as impossible as it once seemed.
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Crimson Mask from FL
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quote:
Originally posted by Curt Injurker:
The 37-year old Joe Louis that 27-year old Marciano beat was not the Louis that is considered the best heavyweight ever.

He had retired as champion over two years earlier. And he was back because of the IRS.

In the fight, Marciano


You mean Louis, but you're still wrong.

got knocked down basically every time he got hit. He was there to pay a tax bill - nothing more, nothing less.

There were two knockdowns total, that ended the fight, which was competitive in the early rounds. Louis was favored going in and was 8-1 on his year-long comeback after having retired as champion a couple of years before. It's true that he came back because he needed the money but it's not like it was just for that one fight.

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Crimson Mask from FL
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quote:
Originally posted by merc:
I’m not a boxing student, but didn’t Marciano beat Lewis? Was it an age thing ?

I ask because you all have Liston > Marciano, but Lewis > Liston.

Thx

And even then, this is the fallacy now known as MMAth, which I have called the ABC Fallacy for years before that. It's not math. A having beaten B and B beating C does not mean that A will beat C. STYLES MAKE FIGHTS.

[ 12-18-2018, 03:00 PM: Message edited by: Crimson Mask from FL ]

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Crimson Mask from FL
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quote:
Originally posted by A Gene Wilder Somersault:
Wouldn't Louis' lack of foot speed really put him at a disadvantage against Liston? Plus it seemed like he didn't throw unless he had both feet planted. Liston had a huge reach and could keep his distance with the jab, I would think. Louis had the faster hands and could throw deadly combinations, though. I'm having a tough time with this one.

Louis shuffled to where he needed to be. Guys with long jabs never bothered him. And he's underrated as a technical boxer. Technical boxers were what gave Liston trouble.

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Crimson Mask from FL
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quote:
Originally posted by Cincinnati Kid:
By 1964, Liston had been made into what some felt was an unstoppable monster. Then he met a younger, taller and faster opponent. In looking back now, the result is not as impossible as it once seemed.

Eh. Even if everything was on the level, nobody really got how great Clay was going to be yet, and it would hardly be the first time a guy seemed to get old in one fight. The fact is that Liston WAS an unstoppable monster for some YEARS leading up to 1964. And may have been as much as 10 years older than his listed age. And let's try not to forget that Liston pretty much REMAINED an unstoppable monster AFTER the Ali fights right up until that one punch from Leotis Martin ended his career---and he had beaten the sh*t out of Leotis so bad that the fight ended LEOTIS' career, too.

[ 12-18-2018, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: Crimson Mask from FL ]

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K. Fabian McClinch
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So the next obvious question -- Liston in his prime vs. Ali in his?

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Crimson Mask from FL
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Ali. Just too fast. Styles make fights.

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A Gene Wilder Somersault
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Most people seem to think Ali's prime was the Cleveland Williams fight and the Ali who fought that night is damn near unbeatable.
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T. Joe Kerplunko
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Liston vs Tyson is interesting purely because because they both could be easily compared to each other for things like the intimidation factor. It's probably reasonable to say that neither of them was really ever bullied around by an opponent during their prime?

Liston's first pro fight was at the age of (at least) 21. Tyson won 8 title fights by the time he turned 22. Liston was pretty much froze out of the title picture until he was "30".

Tyson, due to his prison term, also didn't fight between his 25th birthday and his 29th birthday. So his career is pretty much "what he did from 20 to 25" and "what he did mostly in his 30s".

So there'll always be the reality that Tyson fought people between 30-35 that he would have likely fought between 25-29 if not for so many things going on in Tysonworld.

Tyson's chin also seems underrated, or at least the mystique (or matchmaking) made it so that big punchers didn't really get much on him.

So, despite the (official) height gap of 3 inches (Liston 6'1 / Tyson 5'10), the gap in reach (84' vs 71') is probably enough to predict how the fight would go.

Looking at the reaches for Tyson opponents on BoxRec: Douglas 83, Lennox 84, Carl Williams 85, Tony Tucker and Bonecrusher Smith were 82s.

To be more concise, not sure i'd pick Tyson there.

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p-man from MD
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quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Mask from FL:
quote:
Originally posted by merc:
I’m not a boxing student, but didn’t Marciano beat Lewis? Was it an age thing ?

I ask because you all have Liston > Marciano, but Lewis > Liston.

Thx

And even then, this is the fallacy now known as MMAth, which I have called the ABC Fallacy for years before that. It's not math. A having beaten B and B beating C does not mean that A will beat C. STYLES MAKE FIGHTS.
Otherwise Foreman would have beaten Ali handily after what he did to Frazier and Norton.
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Crimson Mask from FL
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Exactly. One of countless examples.

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K. Fabian McClinch
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quote:
Originally posted by A Gene Wilder Somersault:
Most people seem to think Ali's prime was the Cleveland Williams fight and the Ali who fought that night is damn near unbeatable.

The amazing thing is that this wasn't really Ali's "prime" -- it was the beginning of what should have been is prime. He lost his prime years when he was suspended for resisting the draft. Had he been allowed to work during that time, his legacy would be even more monumental than it is.

(And maybe -- just maybe, and mercifully -- he would have allowed himself, or have been allowed, to retire when he should have, before his diminishing capacities left him so vulnerable to the beatings he took that took such a tragic toll on him.)

[ 12-18-2018, 07:11 PM: Message edited by: K. Fabian McClinch ]

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Crimson Mask from FL
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All these guys missed their prime. Louis from WW2. Ali from the draft. Tyson for the rape.

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PVM
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1) Ken Norton - I'd pick Liston.

2) Joe Frazier - I'd pick Liston in a war, but I could see Frazier winning late if he's still in there at that point.

3) George Foreman - I'd pick Foreman.

4) Mike Tyson - Difficult pick...I think this one is more of a mental battle between two guys with somewhat similar mentalities who were extremely intimidating but didn't know what to do faced with someone not afraid of them and who was able to impose their will on them...whichever one cracks mentally first loses.

5) Rocky Marciano - I'd pick Liston, with a very remote possibility of Marciano pulling out a miracle win.

6) Joe Louis - I'd pick Louis, but it wouldn't be easy.

[ 12-19-2018, 08:01 PM: Message edited by: PVM ]

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john8
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Liston would be capable of beating anyone that ever fought at Heavyweight.
The Ali fights were outright bizarre and still I do not know what the deal was. Once you start discussing the upper echelon, it is hard to pick.
But he would have a chance against anyone. Beats most of them.

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A Gene Wilder Somersault
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quote:
Originally posted by john8:
Liston would be capable of beating anyone that ever fought at Heavyweight.
The Ali fights were outright bizarre and still I do not know what the deal was. Once you start discussing the upper echelon, it is hard to pick.
But he would have a chance against anyone. Beats most of them.

Agree 100% with this.
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MrWrestlingIIForever
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1) Ken Norton - Liston, KO.

2) Joe Frazier - He would have done what Foreman did.

3) George Foreman - Liston.

4) Mike Tyson - Liston.

5) Rocky Marciano - Marciano would have worked out how to survive and land the killer uppercut. He couldn't be beaten.

6) Joe Louis - Louis would have taken anyone in his prime.

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Crimson Mask from FL
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Marciano couldn't be beaten as long as he was fighting 40 year old guys and nobodys.

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A Gene Wilder Somersault
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quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Mask from FL:
Marciano couldn't be beaten as long as he was fighting 40 year old guys and nobodys.

This x1000000. Couldn't be beaten? I mean, come on. Marciano retired at the right time because if he had stuck around a few years and fought Liston when he became a contender, Liston would've made the choice to retire for him.
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DKM
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I really don't know a lot about Liston's career prior to his winning the title. Did he fight "quality" fighters prior to winning the title.

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Crimson Mask from FL
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Knocked out Cleveland Williams twice. Knocked out Zora Folley. Beat Eddie Machen. Knocked out Nino Valdez.

[ 12-20-2018, 08:28 AM: Message edited by: Crimson Mask from FL ]

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Steve Berberovic
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If Sonny hadn't have been mobbed up, he wouldn't have had to do the job for Ali.

Strictly my personal belief.

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Bcleah
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quote:
Originally posted by DKM:
I really don't know a lot about Liston's career prior to his winning the title. Did he fight "quality" fighters prior to winning the title.

Liston beat just about anyone that mattered who would fight him. Primed Williams (twice), Folley (again primed), Manchen (Perhaps Eddie's most impressive performance).

He beat an assortment of tough fighters who were second tier at the time: Harris, Bethea and Mike DeJohn all failed to hear the final bell for the first time in their careers, Besmanoff for the first time since his debut.

Liston also beat an ancient Nino Valdez and of course won the best of three series to his then only conqueror Marty Marshall (LS8, WTKO6, WU10).

[ 12-20-2018, 08:42 AM: Message edited by: Bcleah ]

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Crimson Mask from FL
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quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Mask from FL:
quote:
Originally posted by Cincinnati Kid:
By 1964, Liston had been made into what some felt was an unstoppable monster. Then he met a younger, taller and faster opponent. In looking back now, the result is not as impossible as it once seemed.

Eh. Even if everything was on the level, nobody really got how great Clay was going to be yet, and it would hardly be the first time a guy seemed to get old in one fight. The fact is that Liston WAS an unstoppable monster for some YEARS leading up to 1964. And may have been as much as 10 years older than his listed age. And let's try not to forget that Liston pretty much REMAINED an unstoppable monster AFTER the Ali fights right up until that one punch from Leotis Martin ended his career---and he had beaten the sh*t out of Leotis so bad that the fight ended LEOTIS' career, too.
Forgot. Sonny knocked out Chuck Wepner AFTER the Martin fight. His post Ali record was 15-1 with 14 KOs. And he was still fighting good fighters.

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MrWrestlingIIForever
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quote:
Originally posted by Crimson Mask from FL:
Marciano couldn't be beaten as long as he was fighting 40 year old guys and nobodys.

Which one was Ezzard Charles?
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Crimson Mask from FL
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Well over 30 and far past his prime, which was actually at light heavyweight. Only fought another year and went 5-4. Louis was 37. Walcott was 38 (maybe). Moore was 39 (maybe).

[ 12-21-2018, 04:19 AM: Message edited by: Crimson Mask from FL ]

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DKM
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Thanks to those who answered on Liston's background.

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Claymation Quartermain
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Liston vs Max Baer? Did Max have the stuff or would this be a mismatch? How about Sonny vs another Max... Schmeling!

Frag how about Joe Frazier vs Baer or Schmeling?

[ 02-09-2019, 09:36 PM: Message edited by: Claymation Quartermain ]

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Crimson Mask from FL
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Baer when he was serious would have been a fight. But after he got lackadaisical, Liston would have made him quit early.

I think Liston would have just overpowered Schmeling.

I think Frazier would have just been too intense for either Max.

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Claymation Quartermain
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Take Ali out of the equation, who would have eventually defeated Liston?

Would he have imploded even without Ali being picture?

And of course the eternal question, how did Liston die? Drugs? Natural causes? Murdered?

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the bear
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quote:
Originally posted by Claymation Quartermain:
Take Ali out of the equation, who would have eventually defeated Liston?

Would he have imploded even without Ali being picture?

And of course the eternal question, how did Liston die? Drugs? Natural causes? Murdered?

Possibly Foreman who would be facing an old Liston rather than the Prime vs Prime mentioned here?

though of course he died before that fight would've happened

what about young Frazier vs what would be old 1969-70ish Liston? age likely to make any difference?

[ 02-12-2019, 02:14 AM: Message edited by: the bear ]

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The Masked Avenger
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quote:
Originally posted by Steve Berberovic:
If Sonny hadn't have been mobbed up, he wouldn't have had to do the job for Ali.

Strictly my personal belief.

Why on earth would the mob have Liston job to a fighter they didn't control? That makes absolutely no sense. And no, one or two betting opportunities is not enough of a motive. If they could, they would have him job to a fighter they controlled and bet on that fight.
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