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Old 06-04-2014, 07:39 PM   #1
SuzieQ49
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Default Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

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Milwaukee Sentinel, August 6, 1959:

"Sonny Liston, his right eye clamped tight after the first round, exploded with a furious punching onslaught to flatten the veteran Cuban Nino Valdes in 47 seconds of the third round of their scheduled 10-rounder here Wednesday night. A tremendous left hook, followed by a whistling right, dumped the trial horse against the ropes shortly after the third opened. Valdes sat there, one arm d****d over the ropes until seven, then rolled to his knees where he took the full ten count. He finally staggered to his feet at 12—too late, of course. It was the third ranking heavyweight's 18th straight victory—he's lost only one in 26—and further embellished his already bright reputation among the big guys. Liston, who claimed Valdes had thumbed him in the late moments of the opening round, was still a tamed tiger in the second round, although he was getting to Valdes with his jarring left jab. But it was a different tale once the third got under way. The 25-year-old Philadelphian marched right out and started banging away. He did get hit with a stunning left hook but bounced right back with a two-fisted attack that backed his huge opponent into the ropes. Then came his dynamiting left-right combination that brought Sonny Boy his knockout. It was an impressive finish by an impressive heavyweight. The usual cry from the winner's camp was heard—a challenge to Ingemar Johansson—but he can forget about it for the time being, although other so-called challengers like Eddie Machen and Zora Folley better beware of this latest threat on the heavyweight horizon."


"Sonny Liston, No. 3 ranked heavyweight, loosed a vicious barrage to score a 3rd round knockout of Nino Valdes in the Chicago Stadium Wednesday night. Liston, winning his 18th fight in a row, stunned Valdes with a left hook to the jaw. While Valdes was staggering, trying to gain his equilibrium, Liston pummeled him with a left-right combination, felling him with a sizzling smash. In the 2nd round, there was a lot of infighting and Liston's right eye seemed almost closed. Liston came peering, one-eyed, to start the 3rd round. But once he got in close, he lashed with the left hook which started Valdes to his downfall. The knockout came in 47 seconds of the 3rd round." -Associated Press
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Old 06-05-2014, 03:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

Sounds like a good fight. Valdes was always competative. He was live against Brian London too, although lucky Brian got cut.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

Choklab...how good was Liston ? Was his peak around 1960?
I know his age was a controversy.....from my understanding when he fought Ali he had aged..plus inactivity..he had only 2 x 1 round Patterson bashings in around 2 and a half years before be fought Ali...plus once champion he hit the high life etc....should he have been champ sooner..say 1959 and maybe had 7 -10 defences before Ali came along...thus Liston would be remembered as a good champ rather than a brief one ?
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Old 06-05-2014, 02:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

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Originally Posted by markclitheroe View Post
Choklab...how good was Liston ? Was his peak around 1960?
I know his age was a controversy.....from my understanding when he fought Ali he had aged..plus inactivity..he had only 2 x 1 round Patterson bashings in around 2 and a half years before be fought Ali...plus once champion he hit the high life etc....should he have been champ sooner..say 1959 and maybe had 7 -10 defences before Ali came along...thus Liston would be remembered as a good champ rather than a brief one ?
I think Sonny Liston is a fascinating character. I think Sonny was at his best in 1960, he was as good as he was going to get.

There was a lot of blow outs ..and like Louis and Tyson something of the intimidation factor could have been responsible for some wins. but there is no getting away from the machen fight showing Sonny was a great fighter at that point. Excellent stamina, a complete fighter.

Potentially I think liston was a top ten ATG but ultimately he could not quite fulfil this because he declined through lack of rounds from 61-64. After that was too late. We were robbed of seeing a great champion developing. We never got to see him defend as regularly as he needed to maintain that 1960 form. We needed more rounds, more competition to gage exactly what he was at championship level. He lost his appetite for boxing as a champion. He is hard to rate.

After the 1960 wins came nothing but undemanding swift blow outs until the first Ali fight. By then the lack of rounds (and disillusionment of championship life being not what he thought it was) had effected Sonnys appetite for the sport he had looked to for stability.

From a dysfunctional background, surrounded by sleaze and hounded by the police the added presure of the public eye (and a bad boy image) was all too much for anyone to cope with. During that period Liston was not mentally prepared for going 6 rounds.

The rematch clause hurt him as a challenger and as a champion. In 1960 Liston had to wait for the Patterson v Johansson rematch clause then 1961 rubber match. The rematch clause also meant Sonny had to go straight back in with Ali without any warm up fights. He knew he needed rounds and this robbed sonny of ever being fully prepared for Ali. He could have went in knowing he was beat. Sonny needed to find his mojo. A comeback against Jones or machen would have shown us if sonny could have rediscovered his appetite for boxing. But that never happened.

Last edited by choklab; 06-05-2014 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

This is a good win by Liston. Valdes was big, powerful, and dangerous. Valdes was past his prime here, but he still had his dangerous punching power.

Valdes was ranked # 2 in the world a year before and was ducked out of a title shot(Patterson's camp wanted no part of Valdes) in favor of the much weaker opponents Roy Harris and Brian London. Valdes would have proven a difficult foe for Floyd Patterson in 1958. The Marciano camp also bypassed Valdes as much as possible, although they were ready to give Valdes a title shot in 1955(Valdes lost title eliminator to Moore).

Last edited by SuzieQ49; 06-10-2014 at 12:54 PM.
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Old 06-10-2014, 12:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

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Originally Posted by SuzieQ49 View Post
This is a good win by Liston. Valdes was big, powerful, and dangerous. Valdes was past his prime here, but he still had his dangerous punching power.

Valdes was ranked # 2 in the world a year before and was ducked out of a title shot(Patterson's camp wanted no part of Valdes) in favor of the much weaker opponents Roy Harris and Brian London. Valdes would have proven a difficult foe for Floyd Patterson in 1958.
Nah, you are using the Year end ratings for 58.

Harris was #3 when Patterson fought him. The #1 Machen and #2 Folley had poor showings in their eliminator which ended in a draw, so Harris coming off an impressive win over Pastrano got the big summer fight against Patterson.


Valdez was no longer #2 when Patterson took on London either. Valdez lost to Charlie Powell in 03/59, two months prior. Valdez really didn't have much of a window to meet Patterson. He was only the #2 contender for a few months after destorying McMurty.

London was just a tune up for #1 Ingo that was set for the following month anyway.

Last edited by The Mongoose; 06-10-2014 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

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Originally Posted by The Mongoose View Post
Nah, you are using the Year end ratings for 58.

Harris was #3 when Patterson fought him. The #1 Machen and #2 Folley had poor showings in their eliminator which ended in a draw, so Harris coming off an impressive win over Pastrano got the big summer fight against Patterson.


Valdez was #2 when Patterson took on London. But London was really tune up for #1 Ingo fight that was scheduled the following month. It would have been foolish to take on Valdez as a tune up with a big fight against Ingo lined up.
Harris was actually rated higher than Valdes in 1958 when he took on Patterson. With wins over Baker, Pastrano, and Besmanoff and undefeated in 23 bouts, he was a decent challenger.

Valdes was not in the ratings by the time Patterson fought London, having lost badly to Powell and also to Alonzo Johnson, but he might well have still been the #2 contender when D'Amato began looking for an opponent. I think Cus really blew it by not picking Valdes as the opponent (Cooper was the original pick but suffered a cut eye which caused the shift to London). Valdes was highly rated but waiting to be picked off, the perfect opponent. It is intriguing to consider how Patterson's career might have gone if he had taken on Valdes in the spring of 1959 and Williams rather than McNeeley in 1961 and learned how to use his speed and mobility against big guys before going against Liston.

Mongoose--I posted this before seeing that you edited your post. Sorry.
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Old 06-10-2014, 01:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

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Originally Posted by edward morbius View Post
Harris was actually rated higher than Valdes in 1958 when he took on Patterson. With wins over Baker, Pastrano, and Besmanoff and undefeated in 23 bouts, he was a decent challenger.

Valdes was not in the ratings by the time Patterson fought London, having lost badly to Powell and also to Alonzo Johnson, but he might well have still been the #2 contender when D'Amato began looking for an opponent. I think Cus really blew it by not picking Valdes as the opponent (Cooper was the original pick but suffered a cut eye which caused the shift to London). Valdes was highly rated but waiting to be picked off, the perfect opponent. It is intriguing to consider how Patterson's career might have gone if he had taken on Valdes in the spring of 1959 and Williams rather than McNeeley in 1961 and learned how to use his speed and mobility against big guys before going against Liston.

Mongoose--I posted this before seeing that you edited your post. Sorry.
Yeah, Harris was #3. Folley and Machen couldn't weed each other out in a sinker so Harris was the logical summer title opponent.

Makes sense since Cooper beat London. Valdez would have been intriguing, but I guess no point in taking such a risk on a tune up with an Ingo fight waiting the following month. And London was likely rated higher, since Valdes slid so badly in 59.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

Charlie powell played football-very well I might add- for the San Francisco 49ers.
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Old 06-10-2014, 02:47 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

Patterson gets a lot of flack for taking on London and mcneely but they were just tune ups for bigger fights against #1contenders ingo and Liston. They were kind of not real deffences. Floyd fought London weeks before ingo just to sharpen up.

Even the rademacher farce was just an extra summer fight only weeks after the Jackson fight. Jackson was a legit contender. Tommy hurricane Jackson was a better challenger than Cleveland Williams ever was.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:28 PM   #11
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

Valdes was ranked # 6 by Ring Magazine in May of 1959


Anyone notice how Valdes tore through Europe throughout the 50s? I mean he absolutely hammered good european Heavyweight. Knocked out Heinz Neuhas, Flattened Joe Erskine in 1 round, beat the **** out of Don cokkell, Stopped Brian London, **** Richardson easy work.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:30 PM   #12
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

Quote:
Valdez was no longer #2 when Patterson took on London either
Valdes was still # 6 by Ring Magazine when Patterson took on London. And in the beginning of 1959, he was # 2 by Ring Magazine.
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Old 06-10-2014, 03:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

Quote:
Originally Posted by markclitheroe View Post
Choklab...how good was Liston ? Was his peak around 1960?
I know his age was a controversy.....from my understanding when he fought Ali he had aged..plus inactivity..he had only 2 x 1 round Patterson bashings in around 2 and a half years before be fought Ali...plus once champion he hit the high life etc....should he have been champ sooner..say 1959 and maybe had 7 -10 defences before Ali came along...thus Liston would be remembered as a good champ rather than a brief one ?

Liston was one of those physical freak types that matured early and also seem to age early. I would say his peak years were 1959-1962.

Sonny had a pretty good defense for a puncher, but I've noticed he marked up easy on film and in print. Perhaps it was due to rac**** like eyes, with those facial lines near his nose?
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Old 06-10-2014, 04:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

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Originally Posted by SuzieQ49 View Post
Valdes was still # 6 by Ring Magazine when Patterson took on London. And in the beginning of 1959, he was # 2 by Ring Magazine.
That makes sense, The Powell loss knocked him down to #6 then.

Was London #5? He had just beat #5 Pastrano and lost to #4 Cooper (Patterson's first choice for the tune up).
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:19 PM   #15
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Default Re: Sonny Liston KO 3 Nino Valdes 1959

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Originally Posted by SuzieQ49 View Post
Valdes was ranked # 6 by Ring Magazine in May of 1959


Anyone notice how Valdes tore through Europe throughout the 50s? I mean he absolutely hammered good european Heavyweight. Knocked out Heinz Neuhas, Flattened Joe Erskine in 1 round, beat the **** out of Don cokkell, Stopped Brian London, **** Richardson easy work.
Ok neuhas was 1953, Cokkell was after Bob satterfeild annihilated valdes (who put him down and made a fool of him) but just beffore Nino hit a disastrous losing streak taking poundings from both machen and folly in his next two fights!

Between May 1955 and September 1956 valdes was beaten five out of seven times! 2-5.

When was Floyd suposed to take on valdes? Nino only kept a clean sheet for one year on Floyd's watch. He kept getting beat!

1956 Nino was 3-1 and was not beating contenders .

1957 Nino went 3-0 and was not beating anyone who meant anything in America

1958 the quality of opposition increases and Nino went 6-1 but three of those wins were split decisions with fringe guys.

1959 Nino went 2-3 and one of the wins was over a pro wrestler and the other was an extremely fortunate cut eye stoppage win over recent title chalenger Brian London who looked to be grinding valdes down for a loss in his last fight.
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