Ingemar Johansson 'Asks, Sonny Liston or Cassius Clay'
Ingemar 'INGO' Johannson, the 31 year-old former Heavyweight Champion
was just offered lucrative fight purse's to face either Heavyweight
Champion - Sonny Liston or #1 Heavyweight - Cassius Clay.
Both the Sonny Liston Camp and Cassius Clay Camp were trying to
'lock up' the Swede for a 'big pay day'.
INGO was the only real 'big money fight' out there, besides Sonny Liston
vs. Cassius Clay.
Ingemar, had at one time, agreed to fight Sonny Liston back in December 1961,
when Sonny was the #1 Heavyweight, and INGO had just come off
back-to-back 'knockout losses' to Floyd Patterson.
INGO was supposed to get $250,000 for the fight with Sonny, but INGO
backed off, and sent in Albert Westphal (INGO's sparring partner) as his
replacement for that bout in Philadelphia on December 4, 1961.
Boxing Illustrated (April 1963)
Discussed Sonny vs INGO, if 'Sonny Boy' disposed of Floyd Patterson
in the rematch.
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Re: Ingemar Johansson 'Asks, Sonny Liston or Cassius Clay'
Both camps were trying to 'coddle' Ingemar into fighting them.
Jack Nilon offered INGO $2,000,000 to fight Sonny Liston in Baltimore.
But 'tax issues' would prevent this bout from taking place. The boys
at I-C-P tried to devise a payment structure of paying INGO a 'tax-free'
fight purse, where I-C-P would make some modifications to the fight contracts.
But soon 1963 looked to be impossible, but a bout for February 1964 looked to like
it might have a chance in several U.S. cities.
I-C-P calculated that a Sonny Liston vs. INGO bout would actually gross more than
a Liston vs. Clay bout.
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Boxing News 24 Forum 2013