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Old 08-09-2007, 09:09 PM   #1
Russell
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Default The truth about Liston?

I've heard it said that the notion of him being anything approaching a good at heart person is bullshit. Revisionist history, and a romantic spin on
a fighter that was hated during his time as HW champ for legitimate reasons.

But I've also heard it said that he had a capacity for being a good guy and he did more than one nice thing for no other reason than he could. Like buying all the pencils that a woman on a street corner was doing.

Thoughts? Stories?
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Old 08-09-2007, 09:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

For what it's worth, I think that Liston was a bad guy in his younger days but he had some good in him and was willing to do his best to become a better person. Unfortunately the media and the public were always there to remind him of his past and they were not willing to give the guy a break. Unfortunately for him he didn't have the charm that Foreman 2 had to make them forget about Foreman 1.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:51 AM   #3
McGrain
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

He was a bad bastard and I don't agree that he was willing to become a better guy at all. As Champion there was more than one occasion where he stood accused of ***ual assault and he was a mean, mean, mean drunk whatever period of his life he was in.

But these things are rarely so clear cut. Liston was always good to his wife. He never hurt her and appeared to sheild her completely from the darker side of himself. Both old people and children loved him - they responded to something in him that most other people didn't see. He was generous (to a fault) with his friends.

And he was indeed hounded to death by the police, even as Champ (no parade for Liston) he was picked up for all sorts of nonsene all the time.

You're not going to get a clear cut answer to this question Russell because it's just to complex. Same as the man himself.
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell
I've heard it said that the notion of him being anything approaching a good at heart person is bullshit. Revisionist history, and a romantic spin on
a fighter that was hated during his time as HW champ for legitimate reasons.

But I've also heard it said that he had a capacity for being a good guy and he did more than one nice thing for no other reason than he could. Like buying all the pencils that a woman on a street corner was doing.

Thoughts? Stories?
Apparently he loved kids, ate one a week.
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcvey
Apparently he loved kids, ate one a week.
He loved kids because kids loved him. He used to say that kids brough his good side out so he had some teens as friends.
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:35 AM   #6
fists of fury
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

I conversed with a poster at the old boxing.com website who apparently knew Liston because they went to the same gym. He said that Liston was actually quite a decent guy around the gym and that Liston loved kids.

Why I tend to believe that this guy knew Liston was that he came up with a whole bunch of trivia on Liston that seemed very much first-hand knowledge.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jyuza
He loved kids because kids loved him. He used to say that kids brough his good side out so he had some teens as friends.
Yes there are many photos of him with kids ,he seemed to have a great affection for them ,I dont think Sonny was half as bad as we are told,he got a raw deal from the press and civic leaders when he came home with the title,imo.I also think that though he was illiterate he was a smart guy,and some of his asides show he had a dry ,if somewhat bleak sense of humour.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

From all accounts ive read, it seemed like when he became champion of the world he genuinely wanted to be a good champion and role model but society never gave him a single break. That story about him expecting a reception at his home town and planning what he would say on the aeroplane then to get off to nothing is tragic.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

yup..liston is probably the most unpopular cahmp ever, and the most feared...forget tyson etc....liston didnt have to pretend to be a bad man, he was a bad man....
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:19 AM   #10
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

I doubt Liston was anywhere near Rubin Carter's lowlife level as an evil, lying, murdering, backstabbing bastard.

So, relatively speaking, Liston wasn't any worse than a lotta guys. No angel, not a demon either.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:40 AM   #11
jyuza
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcvey
Yes there are many photos of him with kids ,he seemed to have a great affection for them ,I dont think Sonny was half as bad as we are told,he got a raw deal from the press and civic leaders when he came home with the title,imo.I also think that though he was illiterate he was a smart guy,and some of his asides show he had a dry ,if somewhat bleak sense of humour.
Well, he was like he was because of people around him. Even after his destruction of Patterson for the title, he was still considered as a thug, an ex con who had nothing to do with the very highly regarded heavyweight belt at the time. Even though Joe Louis became a good friend to him, nothing changed for Sonny back then.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

Like everyone a mix of good and bad, but his bad side was real bad.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:17 AM   #13
jyuza
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewbear
Like everyone a mix of good and bad, but his bad side was real bad.
How was it ? his bad side.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:31 AM   #14
Joe E
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Default Re: The truth about Liston?

Read "The Devil and Sonny Liston"by Nick Toches.Good book.
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