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Old 12-26-2010, 11:50 AM   #1
Il Duce
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Default Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

Only 9 days after disposing one Willis Earls in Bull Ring in Mexico,
Mr. Liston finds himself at the Civic Arena in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

His opponent will be comebacking veteran, Oakland, California based,
Roger Rischer.

Roger Rischer, who at the end of 1964, was Ranked #8, and was a hot commodity, following a
big decision win over Henry Cooper in the United Kingdom.

Sonny Liston at 44-3-0 (34 KO's) was now ranked #5 Ring Magazine.
Sonny and Dick Saddler were looking for potential fights with Zora Folley, George Chuvalo, Buster Mathis or Bob Cleroux.

Roger Rischer, at 29-11-2 (13 KO's) was now ranked #10 Ring Magazine.
He re-entered the Top 10 Heavyweight rankings by upsetting #8 Eduardo Corletti in September 1968.

Rischer, after losing (2) straight fights in 1965, a 12-Round Decision loss to Thad Spencer and a shocking
1st Round Knock-out Loss to Brian London, had retired.
But Roger Rischer came back in August 1968, with renewed desire.
A solid 10-Round Decision win over tough California Heavyweight Fred Lewis, and an exciting Majority Decision Loss to
Henry Clark, both August 1968 bouts.

Rischer was no slouch. Though 35 years of age, the West-coast veteran was in very good shape at 6' 1' 200 lbs.
He style was more of a counter-puncher/boxer. Though not big on the power department, he could get your attention with the straight right.

Last edited by Il Duce; 12-26-2010 at 12:22 PM.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:29 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

The bout was scheduled for November 12, 1968
The Civic Arena, Pittsburg, Pennsyvania.

It was part of a benefit for Benjamnin Anolik, a former Pennsylvania boxing promoter
who happened to be Pennsylvania's first heart transplant patient.

The Pittsburg fight, was to be broadcast through closed circuit viewing, along
with 2 other fights.

One with #4 Heavyweight George Chuvalo vs. # 18 Heavyweight, Italian Dante Cane in Toronto, Canada
And, one with #8 Welterweight Billy Backus vs. Freddie Cobb, in Syracuse, New York.

Several theatres in the Northeast and Canada would participate in this 3-way broadcast.
Ticket prices were set at $5.00, with half the gross profits going to Heart Research and the Anolick Charity.

Participating Theatres were;
Ohio (Cleveland, Toledo, Dayton, Akron, Youngstown and Columbus)
Michigan (Detroit)
West Virginia (Wheeling and Charleston)
Pennsylvania (Pittsburg, Harrisburg, Erie, Scranton and Philadelphia)
New York (Syracuse, Buffalo, Rochester, Binghamton, Monticello and Albany)
Connecticut (Bridgeport and Hartford)
Rhode Island (Providence)
Massachussets (Boston and Springfield)
Maine (Portland)
Canada (Toronto, Monreal and Quebec)

Last edited by Il Duce; 12-26-2010 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

Rischer was a competent journeyman, who didn't fight too many easy opponents. He once climbed up in the rankings with a win over Henry Cooper, but his days as a legitimate contender were short-lived as he ended up being KO'd in one round by Brian London of all people. Surprised to see that he was actually rated after that, but I guess the division was lacking in talent past the top 5 or so.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreatA View Post
Rischer was a competent journeyman, who didn't fight too many easy opponents. He once climbed up in the rankings with a win over Henry Cooper, but his days as a legitimate contender were short-lived as he ended up being KO'd in one round by Brian London of all people. Surprised to see that he was actually rated after that, but I guess the division was lacking in talent past the top 5 or so.
Great 'A'

Rischer snuck in through the side door.
In 1968,
He beat a pretty good Fred 'The Preacher' Lewis in California.
Gave a good account of himself against Henry Cark.
Then beat, maybe over-rated #8 Eduardo Corletti.
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Old 12-26-2010, 02:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

MM,

Sonny Liston was wearing his black trunks with/white stripe that night.

Roger Rischer was wearing Satin trunks, silver-blue color.

Sonny Liston had no problem landing big left hoks that night.
He shook Rischer several times in the 2nd Round, and finally dropped him
late in the 3rd Round.
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Old 12-26-2010, 03:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

Great stuff - keep writing !
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Claus Holmen View Post
Great stuff - keep writing !
Claus,,,,,,,Thanks,,,

This fight was a Tuesday Night Special Benefit Fight.

The Civic Arena offered the facility up for no cost to the local promoters.

Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer @ Civic Arena, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
Their fight was the only one on the card in Pittsburg.

Billy Backus vs Freddie Cobb was broadcast first, from Syracuse, NY
Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer was second.
George Chuvalo vs. Dante Cane was broadcast last, from Toronto, Canada
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Old 12-26-2010, 04:54 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

JT,

There was very big crowd their that night.
Usual capacity at the boxing venue was 11,000.

I have to check attendance figures in my files. But it was a near sell-out.

Fight purses were again difficult to find.
But Sonny Liston had a flat fee of $12,500 + expenses, minimum.
Liston waived any percentage of the 'live gate', as that was a donation.
Roger Rischer may have gotten $10,000.
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Old 12-26-2010, 06:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

This fight was promoted by a Pittsburg area Pizza Restaraunt owner, who owned several
Pizza Parlors.
The name escapes me, but he was friends with Ben Anolik, who died a week later,
after developing an infection.

The 40 or so 'mid-sized' theatres who carried the 3-way closed-circuit broadcast, sold approximately 30,000 tickets.
Gross receipts were $150,000., of which $60,000 went to the charity, after expenses.

The fighters did not receive any revenue from the closed circuit profits.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

West-Coast,

After this triple-fight broadcast,

George Chuvalo got the fight with Buster Mathis, in Madison Square Garden.
Amos Lincoln, who beat Joey Orbillo in California, got Sonny Liston next.

Zora Folley backed out of a fight with Liston.
Tony 'Kid' Longorio was turned down, as not being ready.
Bob Cleroux was clamoring for a title fight with Joe Frazier or Jimmy Ellis.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:33 PM   #11
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

West-Coast,

The boxing scribes didn't write anything, but Liston was boozing it up pretty good at the end of 1968.
For the 10-days or so he was in Pittsburg, he was out at several local bars until the early mornings.
J & B, was the selected choice.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

West-Coast,

This was also, just about the time that Listons left shoulder was starting to
stiffen up on him.

He could only go hard for about 4 Rounds, then it would go dead on him.
Thats why his training regiment was limited.
It was easier to keep him fighting on the road, picking up those
$10,000 to $12,500 pay days.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:48 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

bum
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzieQ49 View Post
bum

Suzie Q,,,,,,I understand,,,,,,,nearly everyone in the Northeast feels that way about Liston.

Even in the 'loggers' up in Presque Isle, Maine hate him.
They say 'he was the only man alive to take a dive, and not get wet'
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:37 PM   #15
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Default Re: Sonny Liston vs. Roger Rischer

Duce, i thought you were reprinting this stuff from other sources but it seems this is all coming from you. What's your association to the activities of Liston at this time or were just a big fan?
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