Originally Posted by CzarKyle
But don't you think Liston would actually be smart enough to work past his speed disadvantage and still land some possible KD bombs? Or would that turn into frustration like what happened against Ali?
I don't think so. As smart as Sonny was, I think Larry was smarter still. Unlike Frazier, Dempsey and Marciano, Liston was prone to frustration. Athough Sonny was dominant against Machen, he also seemed lost against an opponent who wasn't intimidated by him. (And Eddie got rough and nasty with Sonny at points in their 12 rounder, spinning him twice in one late clinch.)
I understand the reasons behind the Mallard nickname, but Larry also took on Roy Williams with one good hand and won (although candidly admitting that he didn't want to face Tiger anymore than the next chap). Holmes could be as rough and nasty as Liston. (Especially with his thumb. I wouldn't even want to spar
with Larry unless thumbless gloves were used, no matter how old he got.)
Liston's jab could make him far more competitive against Holmes than Shavers, but he also did not cut the ring off as well as Foreman. While Liston had an excellent right, the hook was his real power shot, not particularly helpful against Holmes.
Concerning Liston's power, I think it's somewhat overrated. He was not somebody who could flatten an opponent of Larry's caliber with a single punch, even if he could reach him. For Sonny to win, he would most likely have to go the distance. Against a smart, well skilled, fast and mobile opposition, this could prove troublesome. (Henry Clark was fast, tall, and skilled, but also a bit green, and not particularly smart. Still, he was on his feet at the end, against a still competent veteran.)