Originally Posted by Homicidal Hank
Because Muhammad Ali is the greatest heavyweight who ever lived. Not only that, apart from Ray Robinson, Ali is arguably the greatest fight pound-for-pound who ever lived. Even with shit in his eyes he could outbox Liston. At that point in Ali's career no heavyweight could have beaten him.
Ali was indeed the greatest HW who ever lived.
Was he arguably the greatest, p4p who ever lived apart from Robinson? That's a stretch. A big one. Unless you want to factor in "celebrity impact" which is outright nonsense.
Could he outbox an in-shape Liston 5 years earlier while blind? Be serious. Liston brought nothing into the ring that night besides a reputation.
Could Cassius Clay have beaten any HW that night in '64? No. He was still green and hadn't even grown up yet ("I just turned 22 years old!"). Ali in 1967 was far more formidable.