Re: Sonny Liston 'I Will Manage Floyd Patterson as Light-Heavyweight'
Too funny. I could care less what Jose Torres had to say. If you spend enough time with a dog you will see he has intelligence. That doesnt mean he is intelligent enough to be a businessman.
You mention self made men like Rickard and Kearns but they made their fortunes in business. Liston didnt. They gave an indication that they had business acumen by actually succeeding in business. In addition to that they were from a completely different era when the majority of people, including those involved in business had little formal education.
Don King is the exception to the rule in the current era and has ben called almost universally by those he deals with, including Ivy League grads the smartest man they ever met. Even before he got into boxing he was a numbers runner with his own business and had already fostered connections with powerful underworld figures that would help him for the next 20 years.
On the other hand Liston was a petty thug. Never used for anything more than his muscle. He was taken advantage of and used because of his brawn. How many of those mobsters he came in contact with like Vitale, and Carbo do you think said to themselves: "This guys talents are wasted in the ring, hes really smart, we need to set him up running these fighters for us." Im laughing as I write that.
What did Liston ever do to give any indication he had any acumen at all in business, promotion, matchmaking, training, or any other aspect of handling boxers?
You talk of him being intelligent but inarticulate. You state he was brilliant and yet couldnt read or articulate an idea. Thats a pretty damning compliment. Would you want him drawing up your will, even if he could write? No? I didnt think so. So why would you allow him to plot your career course or negotiate contracts totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars? How would he even know what he was agreeing to? "Oh hold on, let me have my lawyer read this and then tell me what it says in third grade language..." Any bets on how long it takes Patterson to realize Liston is in so far over his head its comical?
Patterson was ten times sharper than Liston why wouldnt he just manage himself?
I sat through too many television interviews, five o'clock news press conferences, and the like while Liston sat there with a blank, stupified look on his face letting more intelligent men speak for him and fumbling for what to say when he actually decided to answer a question. I remember more than once he got so frustrated with his inability to answer a question he verbally attacked the reporter. Was he dumb as a mule? Probably not. But he wasnt what any one of us would call smart either.
He would have been a disaster on the business end of any fighter.