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Old 11-23-2012, 11:20 AM   #1
Senor Pepe'
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Default The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

Francis Lee Williams,

If Sonny can hit Cassius, he will win. We've been working on the right
hand to the body, which will break Cassius in half, if Sonny can land it.

The power is there in his fists, but if he can't hit Clay, it will be for naught.
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

This is worth a thread... How?
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

Francis 'Lee' Williams,

A 29 year-old, 6' 1 1/2" 220 lb. Boston Heavyweight, a 1957 National A.A.U. Heavyweight
Champion.

By April 1965 -

With a record of 15-1-1 (14 KO's), 'Lee' could punch, and had a very good defense.

'Lee' had sparred many rounds with Sonny before the first scheduled bout in November
1964, and was again around in April/May 1965.

One of those $40 / Day 'sparring partners'.

Lee Williams, had stated that in the early sessions with Sonny back in 1964 before
the 'first scheduled rematch', Sonny was 'lost in the ring'.

'Sonny seemed to forget how to fight. Fighting a 'Frozen Floyd' was one thing, but
fighting guys who were not afraid of him and hit back, knocked all the confidence
out of Sonny. He now, doubted his abilities.'

'After '3' 3-Round sparring sessions with him, I was getting the best of him. He had a
sullen look in his eyes, one of realizing he was no longer invincible.'

'I never asked Sonny about the first fight with Clay in February 1964. I personally thought,
that Sonny 'threw the fight', so that they could 'scoop up the money' on the long odds.
It only made practical sense. But that was just my opinion.'

Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 11-23-2012 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

The Miami bout was fully investigated by the Florida boxing commission. No evidence of a fix was found.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

Again Pepe, how is this worth a thread?
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOUDINI View Post
The Miami bout was fully investigated by the Florida boxing commission. No evidence of a fix was found.
That would make the 'Mobster Guys' in Youngstown and Cleveland, Ohio
feel very comfortable and very happy.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

Francis 'Lee' Williams

'By mid-November 1964, Sonny was a 'rib-crushing machine', and if he had
fought Cassius at the Boston Garden, with everything on the
'up-and-up' he would have destroyed him, probably in 8 or 9 Rounds.'

'But something changed in the days leading up to the fight in May 1965.
The ferocity in Sonny was no longer there. He had this look of, 'lets
just get this thing over, and go home'.

People forget, I was supposed to fight Sonny (if he had wanted to) in
December 1964 or January 1965, as a 'tune-up bout' before the rematch.

Francis 'Lee' Williams (December 1959 photo)

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Old 11-23-2012, 01:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

Francis 'Lee' Williams,

Sonny put in 3-months of intense training and about 175 Rounds of sparring
before the schedeuled November 16, 1964 bout.

When I had 'first' sparred with him, I was having no difficulty hitting him and
avoiding him. But, after 8-weeks, he was really smashing me up, and his right
hand was really working good.

He was probably in the 'best shape of his career', or at least since the Summer of 1962.

He was 'primed' for that fight. But, after it was cancelled, the new date was an on-again
off-again fight, and the 'lustre' of the Heavyweight Championship was no longer
an interest to Sonny.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

Amos 'Big Train' Lincoln,

The 28 year-old, 6' 2" 210 lb. 'Big Bomber from California'

In October 1964, 'Big Train' with a record of 28-6-1 (17 KO's),
was the 'man' who pushed Sonny the most.

3-Round 'slug-fests' were the normal routine in Denver. In the early weeks
of training, Amos was able to out slug the 230+ lb. bloated Sonny. But,
by late-October, the trimmer and quicker Liston was the 'boss in the ring'.

But Amos had stated, 'If and only if Sonny can hit Clay, he will cause him trouble.
But, if he can't catch him, he will be outboxed, as Clay has a great left hand.
It is possible, that Clay will outbox him for 12 of the 15 Rounds. But, Sonny only
needs 'one' opening to end it.'
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

Quote:
Originally Posted by SJS19 View Post
Again Pepe, how is this worth a thread?
Many of the circumstances around both Clay-Liston fights were lost in the Clay hoop-la of that day....or just plain covered-up.

The night before the first fight, on February 24, 1964, the "I've Got a Secret" show featured Clay and Liston's sparring partners as guests.

Harvey Jones brought with him a lengthy rhyming boast from Cassius Clay:

"Clay comes out to meet Liston and Liston starts to retreat, If Liston goes back an inch farther he'll end up in a ringside seat. Clay swings with a left, Clay swings with a right, Just look at young Cassius carry the fight. Liston keeps backing but there's not enough room, It's a matter of time until Clay lowers the boom. Then Clay lands with a right, what a beautiful swing, And the punch raised the bear clear out of the ring. Liston still rising and the ref wears a frown, But he can't start counting until Sonny comes down. Now Liston disappears from view, the crowd is getting frantic But our radar stations have picked him up somewhere over the Atlantic. Who on Earth thought, when they came to the fight, That they would witness the launching of a human satellite. Hence the crowd did not dream, when they laid down their money, That they would see a total eclipse of Sonny.

"
Jesse Bowdry brought a much terser written message from Sonny Liston:

"Cassius, you're my million dollar baby, so please don't let anything happen to you before tomorrow night."


By reading the 2 fighters' above statements, Clay & Liston actually told the public pre-fight that the fix was on.

Just look at where the fights were held....and who gained the most on the results of the fights.

The 2nd Clay-Liston smelled so bad pre-fight it couldn't even be sanctioned in the major fight cities and ended up the Central Maine Youth Center hockey facility in Lewiston, ME.

Senor Pepe does a great job of digging up info from back in those days in the 60's and posting up what was going on in the boxing business so that the ESB readers can draw their own conclusions.

Last edited by Longhhorn71; 11-23-2012 at 03:03 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

Amos 'Big Train' Lincoln,

April/May 1965

May 1965, now with a record of 30-7-1 (19 KO's) after fights with,

December 15, 1964.........KO 9........Thad Spencer
February 2, 1965............KO 5........Jimmy 'The King' Fletcher
April 2, 1965..................L Dec 10...Santo Amonti

'Sonny was really ripping the ribs of all his sparring partners, but though
his right-hand to the body was a 'killer', he failed to try and improve on
his overhand right, which would work 'perfectly' on Clay.'

'In turn, he kept his left hand low, and I could counter over it without
any problem. It was like he was letting me hit him with the right hand.'

'Time and again, I could easily hit him, and he made no effort in trying to
correct his weakness. I always felt that as being odd.'

'If there was any glaring weakness, it was that Sonny was slow'.

But, Sonny was in 'great shape', and would have no problem in going 100 Rounds
if he had to. He was 'mean', and terrible to be with in the sparring ring.'

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Last edited by Senor Pepe'; 11-23-2012 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:14 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

Not one word of truth here. COmelet fabrication. Both the first and second fight were officially investigated and no evidence of a fix was found. Period.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

Quote:
Originally Posted by HOUDINI View Post
Not one word of truth here. COmelet fabrication. Both the first and second fight were officially investigated and no evidence of a fix was found. Period.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

if you believe both fights were fixed then why did sonny get in great shape for the rematch?
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:02 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Sparring Partners - 'Talk About Cassius Clay vs Sonny Liston II'

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if you believe both fights were fixed then why did sonny get in great shape for the rematch?
Ask all those Boxing Commissions why they threw the proposed 2nd fight out of their States...with an in-shape or out-of-shape Liston....the Commissioners could still smell a skunk.
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