Originally Posted by PetethePrince
I am not sure if anyone could fairly make Marciano the favorite. Truthfully, it's a fight that's tough to call. It's a puzzle with a few missing pieces. The idea that Liston is a significant favorite, or a heavy favorite should be the bigger argument being made by ardent Marciano fans. I'll pick Rocky but I'm not going to tell you he should be favored. Besides, why wouldn't Liston be favored on paper? He's always going to be that type of fighter who's better in estimation on paper than anywhere else. Fortunately, the fight gets fought in the squared circle.
The argument goes that if Marciano can take some of the necessary licks, without taking anything too much heavy or clean (Latter is most key), then he can make it an inside affair where Liston's longer arms and speed reveal Liston to be clunky and at a disadvantage. Then it becomes a question if Marciano can get himself in position without taking just a disastrous beating on the outside or getting knocked out (Hardly implausible), Liston's mental fragility will begin to surface. Liston may have dealt with the least amount of adversity or sustained resistance before the Ali fights than any other HW champion barring Foreman. He had the 2 round thriller against Cleveland Williams. Hardly an obstacle, more like a speed bump. The last time he had adversity when his jaw was broke and he lost that fight. Only Foreman faced less adversity, but he showed his grit against Lyle and his comeback.
Don't think to mention Tyson. His style forced him to take adversity as much literally as anyone could. His fights where Ruddock were displays of heart and grit tenfold to Liston. It's not just Liston being a bully that people might want to question but it's actually his stamina... his physiologically built in a way that's oxygen taxing (Big boned, dense muscles, long arms, etc). He paced himself. If Marciano can elude and take when he has to, it's going to be the first time someone forced to push Liston at a pace he didn't set and at a range he doesn't prefer since the Ali fights. I think Liston was a splendid fighter at what he did. Top-notch power and great boxing skills. He was so great that he could control the range and pace easily. I wonder if he could against Marciano. I don't just question his heart & toughness. I question his endurance. Luckily, Liston is somewhat ponderous. These weakness don't really complement themselves well together. If it's a sprint, Liston is guaranteed to win. But if it's a marathon... who knows.
The close I look at Sonnys record the less I am impressed with the quality...Patterson was his best win and Machen and Foley next in line but Machen was KO'd in 1 round by ingo and Foley ko'd by 12-1 Alejandro Lavorante less than a year later then Ko;d by Doug Jones within the next 2 years.
Liston had a good run leading up to Patterson but IMO his best wins of his career were over a faded Nino Valdes, Foley and Machen after Floyd Patterson who was his best and most impressive win as well as Big Cat but Williams is not even in the class of a Ron Lyle or a Tony Thompson or Mac Foster IMO
So while Liston should get credit for beating the best of his time, he fought a weak bunch minus Patterson, Machen and Foley who were good contenders but not outstanding in any other era IMO
By the way good post