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Old 06-11-2014, 10:39 AM   #1
SuzieQ49
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Default Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

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United Press International, February 19, 1959:


Heavyweight contender Sonny Liston, with 16 straight victories under his belt, apologized today for uppercutting Big Mike DeJohn while he was "down," and yelled for a fight with a higher ranking contender. "I want Eddie Machen, Zora Folley or Nino Valdes for my next fight," declared Liston of Philadelphia, who floored DeJohn of Syracuse, N.Y., twice Wednesday night with solar-plexus punches for a technical knockout in the sixth round of their TV fight. After referee Jimmy Peerless had stopped the bout at 2:43 of the sixth round before 3,858 at the Miami Beach Exhibition Hall, the fight was almost resumed in DeJohn's corner. When the victorious Philadelphian danced across the ring to shake hands with vanquished Mike, DeJohn refused to shake and angrily accused Sonny of uppercutting him when down on one knee the second time. Mike called Sonny a name. Liston swung at him and missed. Then their handlers separated them. Liston, weighing 209 pounds and standing 6-feet-1, admitted later, "Yes, I uppercutted him all right, but I didn't know he had a knee on the floor. I thought he was just squattin' like he did a couple of times earlier. I'm sorry about it but he's so tall, I didn't realize he had a knee down." Sonny was favorite at 12-5.
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Old 06-26-2014, 12:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

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Old 06-27-2014, 01:52 PM   #3
edward morbius
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

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bump
Just a comment Suzie.

I have never seen the Liston-DeJohn fight, but I notice DeJohn lasted longer in this one fight with Liston than Williams (or Patterson) did in two.

DeJohn was certainly no more than a second-tier contender, but I think he showed more power than Cleveland Williams ever did with his one round blow-outs of Miteff and Powell.
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Old 06-27-2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

Here's DeJohn a few fights later against hard punching, hard-punch-eating Charlie Powell...

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Old 06-27-2014, 03:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

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Here's DeJohn a few fights later against hard punching, hard-punch-eating Charlie Powell...

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Hard eating? Just a naturally big guy. Tremendous athlete.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:46 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

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Hard eating? Just a naturally big guy. Tremendous athlete.
He ate some hard shots against DeJohn... and others he fought.
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Old 06-27-2014, 07:52 PM   #7
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Red face Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

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He ate some hard shots against DeJohn... and others he fought.
My mind totally blocked that out. Bet he wishes he was sacking Bobby Lane again...
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

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My mind totally blocked that out. Bet he wishes he was sacking Bobby Lane again...
Athletes are better off sticking to their games.

Boxing ain't a game.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:27 PM   #9
edward morbius
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

Powell did give athleticism a bad name in boxing, didn't he.

I actually read an article which claimed him as one of the greatest athletes ever.

Seems to be a bit overstated. In just his own day Otto Graham was not only quite a bit better at football, but had been a two time all-American at basketball. Hardly ever hear anyone call Graham a great athlete despite his achievements.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

Was the 'name'...you know?



DeJohn was a white guy and it was the 50's, so it warrants being asked.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:09 PM   #11
edward morbius
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

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Was the 'name'...you know?



DeJohn was a white guy and it was the 50's, so it warrants being asked.


I don't know what you are trying to say, but my point is that Powell really didn't look that athletic in a boxing ring, and his performances were generally pretty ordinary.

Lumping him with great athletes like Thorpe, Jimmy Brown, Sanders, etc., not to mention contemporaries like Graham or Jackie Jenson (all-American in football and MVP in baseball) seems to me a bit of a stretch.

By the way, I also saw him play football for San Francisco and Oakland, and I don't remember him being all that outstanding at all.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

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Originally Posted by edward morbius View Post
I don't know what you are trying to say, but my point is that Powell really didn't look that athletic in a boxing ring, and his performances were generally pretty ordinary.

Lumping him with great athletes like Thorpe, Jimmy Brown, Sanders, etc., not to mention contemporaries like Graham or Jackie Jenson (all-American in football and MVP in baseball) seems to me a bit of a stretch.

By the way, I also saw him play football for San Francisco and Oakland, and I don't remember him being all that outstanding at all.
But he passes the eye test which is much more important than actual performance.
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

He was a fine athlete. Not top tier: Milt Campbell was the same age won a silver in the decathlon at 18, gold four years later and shared the world record in the 110 hurdles, was an All American swimmer, played a little football, and he wouldn't crack the top 10 in North America all time. Or how about Lionel Conacher who played professional hockey, Canadian football, pro lacrosse, the equivalent of AAA baseball, and won amateur titles in wrestling and boxing. There's a guy that gets left out. Jaroslav Drobney was an Olympic hockey player and won a Wimbledon title. So if we're holding him up to that standard than no.

But amongst boxers? Powell lettered 12 times in high school, and probably would have made it 16 if they allowed freshman to play. He put the shot 57' (that's the 12 pounder; he got up to 47'with the Big Boy) and placed at the California State meet. He's listed at running a 9.6 hundred but I think the 9.9 his Los Angeles obit gives him is more realistic as that time would have put him near the top of the state; as it was he was quick enough to run in relays which is iimpressive of you're 6'3" and 220 now let alone in the '50's. He played basketball well enough to be offered a tryout with the Harlem Globetrotters when they were a legitimate team and not a sideshow
He was given a $5000 signing bonus to play baseball right out of high school and he did albeit poorly. And while you may remember him as a mediocre player remember that he was doing it all off of athleticism probably as he never played college ball making his nfl debut as a 19 year old. As a boxer he was good enough to knock out Nino Valdez and earn a top 10 ranking which is more than guys like Ed Jones and Mark Gastineau could do. So while I don't rank him with the top tier I think I would feel safe calling him the most athletic (in the broad sense) boxer of the 20th century.
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

Again, just proof that the contemporary definition of athleticism is woefully lacking or that this mystical quality doesn't count for shit in the sport of boxing.
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: Sonny Liston TKO 6 Mike DeJohn 1959

I don't think athleticism counts for much in most sports. Is better to be good player than good athlete.
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