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Old 12-21-2010, 05:49 PM   #1
Il Duce
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Default Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

From the moment that Sonny Liston said 'I just can't go back' in his
corner after the 6th round in Miami Beach, the wheels started turning for a re-match.

Inter-Continental Promotions had the promotional rights for the rematch,
and had a tentative date set for Novermber 16, 1964.

They were attempting to get a fight set in New York City, at
Madison Square Garden, but the State Boxing Commissioner would not
grant a license to Sonny Liston. He made it clear that Liston would never
be granted a license to fight in his state, while the commission was under his supervision.

Forced to go to the northeast, the State of Massachussets would grant
Sonny Liston a license. A fight date was set, and the beginnings of the
fight preperation started.

Contracts were prepared in July, and on July 24, 1964 Charles 'Sonny' Liston signed his contract.
Muhammad Ali (a.k.a Cassius Clay) did not sign his contract immediately, as he had second thoughts about going forward with Sonny Liston, who was considered poison due to his association with unsavory individuals.

Jack Nilon, Sonny Liston's manager was at wits end with Sonny, due to his his deploreable lifestyle and constant badgering for more money.
On August 30, 1964, Jack Nilon could take it no longer and would resign as Sonny Liston's manager.

When Listons management team contacted Bill Faversham, Ali's manager
for follow-up on the rematch, there was some hesitance. Muhammad Ali did not want to sign and fight Liston, but Bill Faversham told Ali that if he did not fight Sonny Liston, there would be big problems legally, as they would likely be sued, and other pressures may follow.

Bill Faversham was able to deliver a signed contract by Muhammad Ali on 9/14/64.
The fight purses and ancillary rights were to be filled in later, as
Inter-Continental Promotions were working on the details of the live gate,
closed circuit broadcast, and other radio, TV and overseas contracts.

Last edited by Il Duce; 12-21-2010 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

The 11/16/64 bout was set for the Boston Garden, Boston, Massachussets.
Monday Evening.

Though Iinter-Continental Promotions, Inc. was the main promoter,
Fred Brooks, President of Sports Vision, Inc. would be the closed circuit TV
broadcaster, meaning he would have to put up the initial monies.

A $3,500,000 guarantee was negotiated by I-C-P. Though that amount was
less than the first fight, I-C-P hedged their bet, with the possibility that the
Ali-Liston II fight might tank, due to the bad publicity surrounding both fighters.

Things on the outside appeared to be going smoothly, but inside things were a
mess. Even 2 weeks before the fight, no one was quite sure this fight would come off.
Live gate pre-fight ticket sales were dismal, and the theatre operators who were
contracted to broadcast the fight were skeptical, as there was virtually no
pre-fight promotion.
The promotional team failed to stir up interest in the fight, and the boxing scribes
who were hood-winked the first time in Miami Beach, were not about to have the
wool pulled over their eyes again.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

I think I remember seeing that 2nd fight live on ABC WW of Sports and it was really a "minor" league promotion from that Lewiston. ME high school facility.
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Old 12-21-2010, 07:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhhorn71 View Post
I think I remember seeing that 2nd fight live on ABC WW of Sports and it was really a "minor" league promotion from that Lewiston. ME high school facility.
Longhorn,

Liston-Clay I
The first fight in Miami Beach, Florida , on February 25, 1964.
It was re-broadcast by ABC Wide World of Sports several weeks later, on April 11, 1964.

Ali-Liston II
The fight was held on Tuesday Night, May 25, 1965 in Lewiston, Maine.
The fight was re-broadcast 4-days later, Saturday, May 29 on ABC Wide World of Sports.

The facility was actually; The Central Maine Youth Center (CMYC)

It was at one time, the St. Dominics High School Hockey Rink.
It was converted into an arena.

The facility was located on the plateau area of a hill;
The access to the arena, was a long dirt road, heading uphill.

Parking was on the side of the dirt road, or scattered in an open field.

Logistics were a nightmare.

Sports Vision, Inc, closed circuit broadcast only, available in theatres.
Average ticket price; $7.00

Fighters entered the ring 9:59 PM

Last edited by Il Duce; 12-22-2010 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

Ali - Liston II

Fight Scheduled for Monday 11/16/64 Boston Garden

Friday night, November 13, Muhammad Ali has a hernia, and is rushed to
Boston Hospital, from his hotel room at The Sherry-Biltmore Hotel.

Fight cancelled indefintely.

Geraldine Liston got the bad news at the motel in Plymouth, Mass., where her and Sonny were staying.
It also was the location, where Sonny was in the final stages of his training camp.
Geraldine Liston broke down and cried.

Sonny Liston was also in the best shape of his boxing career,
at a trim and perfect 208 lbs.

Both were visibly upset, as over $35,000 was spent on training camp costs, along with other expenses.
That money was lost, and would not be reimbursed.
Sonny had been in training since late-July thru late-October in Denver, and for several weeks at
The White Cliffs Country Club in Plymouth, Mass.

3-days later, the Listons packed up and headed back to Denver, Colorado.

Last edited by Il Duce; 12-22-2010 at 12:18 AM.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:28 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Il Duce View Post
Ali - Liston II

Fight Scheduled for Monday 11/16/64 Boston Garden

Friday night, November 13, Muhammad Ali has a hernia, and is rushed to
Boston Hospital, from his hotel room at The Sherry-Biltmore Hotel.

Fight cancelled indefintely.

Geraldine Liston got the bad news at the motel in Plymouth, Mass., where her and Sonny were staying.
It also was the location, where Sonny was in the final stages of his training camp.
Geraldine Liston broke down and cried.

Sonny Liston was also in the best shape of his boxing career,
at a trim and perfect 208 lbs.

Both were visibly upset, as over $35,000 was spent on training camp costs, along with other expenses.
That money was lost, and would not be reimbursed.
Sonny had been in training since late-July thru late-October in Denver, and for several weeks at
The White Cliffs Country Club in Plymouth, Mass.

3-days later, the Listons packed up and headed back to Denver, Colorado.
Liston at a weight of 208 would have been about the same size as Ali who was reaching his perfect physical size.

Ali was very strong as Foreman stated years later.
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Old 12-22-2010, 01:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhhorn71 View Post
Liston at a weight of 208 would have been about the same size as Ali who was reaching his perfect physical size.

Ali was very strong as Foreman stated years later.
Muhammad Ali had gone to Africa, on a long vacation, after winning the title in Miami.
When he came back, he was 240 lbs.
Angelo Dundee got him back in shape in Miami Beach.
Before the hernia on 11/13, he was 215 lbs.
After 7-days in Boston Hospital, he dropped down below 210.

If that fight went through on Monday the 16th, Ali would have been
heavier, and also much bigger physically then in Miami.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Il Duce View Post
Muhammad Ali had gone to Africa, on a long vacation, after winning the title in Miami.
When he came back, he was 240 lbs.
Angelo Dundee got him back in shape in Miami Beach.
Before the hernia on 11/13, he was 215 lbs.
After 7-days in Boston Hospital, he dropped down below 210.

If that fight went through on Monday the 16th, Ali would have been
heavier, and also much bigger physically then in Miami.
Yeah I remember him up around 215 at that time.
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Old 12-22-2010, 02:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longhhorn71 View Post
Yeah I remember him up around 215 at that time.
After the cancellation of the fight, Sonny Liston told reporters in
Boston at a small press conference, on Sunday November 15th, that he would come back in the Spring of 1965 at 200 lbs.

They might not even recognize him, and that they would be in for a
'big surprise'.
Over a month later, on December 24th, Christmas Eve in Denver, Colorado,
Sonny Liston was arrested for drunk driving, and spent the night in jail.
He was haggard and disheveled, a drunk mean old man, who looked like he was closer to 50 years of age, and 25 lbs. heavier.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

D,

Johnny Tocco worked with Sonny Liston in Las Vegas for awhile, in helping Liston for
pre-fight training for the re-scheduled fight for May 25 in Boston.
Things were not going well.
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Old 12-27-2010, 06:10 AM   #11
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

Dico solamente "viva il Duce".
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Old 12-27-2010, 11:08 AM   #12
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

'Il Comando Supremo'

When Sonny Liston went back to Massachussetts for the re-scheduled bout, to be held in the Boston Garden for May 25, 1965.

He set up in Dedham, Mass, about a half-hour southwest of Boston.
His chief trainer was still Willie Reddish.

His chief sparring partners;
Amos "Big Train" Lincoln
29 year-old, 6' 2", 209 lb. #10 Ranked Heavyweight. 30-5-1 (19 KO's)
and
Willie Ray Richardson
25 year-old, 6' 0", 190 lb. Heavyweight. 15-3-0 (11 KO's)

These fighters were far-superior to the non-descript group in Miami Beach, in February 1964.

Liston was working on the short left hook, and looping overhand rights.
He was also attempting to improve on the big right hand to the body.

But Amos Lincoln was nailing him constantly with counter-rights over the top, and
short rights to the head.

While Tex Maule was watching several workouts in Dedham, Liston looked flat-footed.
And he was ponderous when throwing the right hand to the body.
His foot-work was poor, and he was straddle-legged when attempting to shift his weight.
Listons clumsy approach, left him with way too much weight on his left (front) foot when
shooting out a long low left jab.

For '3' rounds in a row, 'Big Train' Lincoln caught him with counter-rights over the top.
Though he was in-shape physically, in boxing technique, he had gone backwards.

Willie Reddish, his chief trainer, had given up all hope on teaching Sonny an all important overhand looping right, which would be perfect for Cassius Clays low hand defense.

Amos 'Big Train' Lincoln kept telling Sonny, that Cassius Clay could be hit with over-hand looping rights, the same punch that Billy Daniels was rocking him with, back in 1962.
Lincoln, kept showing Liston the punch over and over, but the ex-champ just couldn't get it together.

Lincoln told assistant trainer Milt Bailey, that Sonny was not only 'slow afoot', but 'slow in the head'.

Last edited by Il Duce; 12-27-2010 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

After one sparring session, in which Amos Lincoln made Liston look particularly bad,
Milt Bailey and Foneda Cox took Lincoln, into downtown Dedham for lunch, at
"Casey's" Luncheonette/Soda Fountain.

Amos, was easily avoiding Sonny's right hands to the body.
As Liston moved in to throw the right, Lincoln would just side-step to his left by twisting his upper-body to the
left, almost into the punch.
The punch would go behind Lincoln's back.

Bailey wanted to know if Liston was really trying or was he just going through the motions.
Amos Lincoln told Milt Bailey that Liston was just 'too damn slow'.
He also said, Liston would 'freeze-up' for a second, when you fired punches back at him.

Milt Bailey asked Lincoln, to not move so much, to allow Sonny to build up some confidence, as
Liston was now doubting his ability in the ring, as his skills were diminishing.

Later, Foneda Cox, got some broadcast tape of the Clay-Daniels fight, and showed it over and over to Liston at the Hotel the next night.
They wanted to watch Daniels land and hurt Clay with that looping right over and over.
Amos Lincoln was there, and told Liston to try that right hand in sparring,
as he pleaded with the ex-champ 'use that, because that baby is your meal ticket'.

Last edited by Il Duce; 12-27-2010 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:50 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

In mid-Apri 1965, things were getting a little convoluted with the May 25 bout.

Garrett Byrne, a District Attorney for the County of Suffolk, City of Boston,
was having a few of his assistants dig into the deep matters of this fight.

Things were not looking good.

The District Attorneys office was looking for a possible out, and the Boston Garden
Management was not keen anymore, in having a fight their, at least not this one.

More holes were developing, each time they received information.

Information from the New York State Boxing Commissioner, Edward Dooley was provided, and more doubts about Liston's management arose.

Garrett Byrne, a key political figure in the Boston area, did not want his reputation
tarnished with a 'fixed' fight.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:26 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ali - Liston II "Pre-Fight Info'

Meetings between Inter-Continental Promotions, Inc. President Bob Nilon, and
the Louisville Groups, Attorney Arthur Grafton.

Things were not going well.
The Massachussetts Boxing Commission could not come up with a distinctive
contract, concerning Sonny Listons management.

Who was in control, and who was getting the fight purse.

Jack Nilon, Listons earlier manager had resigned, but was still around in an
'advisory role'.

Samuel Margolis was listed as manager, and had a 22 1/2% share of Liston, but he had made no managerial decisions for Liston.

Willie Crawford, was listed as co-manager, and was to receive 22 1/2%, but he too had no managerial position.

Rumors were flying around, that this fight was a 'sham'. Just get it over, reap the profits and move on.
The 'old mob controlling guys' were out of it now. This was their last pay-off, 'legitimate' money on the closed circuit broadcast end.

The big money to be made now was not on 'betting', but on the 'closed circuit revenue'.
In their hearts, they knew that Sonny was 'on the fringe of being done'.
He had become too much a problem, both in the ring and outside the ring.
And his 'cost of operation' was eating into somebody's percentages.
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