Is Sonny Liston A Top Ten HW ATG?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by ThatOne, Aug 30, 2023.



Is he?

  1. Yes

    66.7%
  2. No

    33.3%
  1. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Yes. Sonny is definitely Top 10 ATG Heavyweight.
     
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  2. Philly161

    Philly161 "Fundamentals are the crutch of the talentless" banned Full Member

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    H2H possibly though I don't know if he would be as fearsome today as he was in his era.

    In terms of resume, I don't think so. But he certainly was great.
     
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  3. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

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    He doesn’t deserve to be top 10.
     
  4. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Thanks for confirming Liston is a top ten HW!
     
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  5. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

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    He's among the ten best heavyweight champions to have two of fewer successful title defenses, next to your boy George.
     
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  6. viperzero

    viperzero Member Full Member

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    Doesn’t Foreman have three, two from his first reign and one from his second (IBF)?
     
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  7. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Don't confuse him with facts.
     
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  8. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    You mean "two OR fewer successful title defenses" Mr. Spelling?

    Also, George is not my "boy". If anything, he's your boy, considering you have a quite frankly creepy obsession with him, and bring him up in threads that have nothing to do with him such as this one.
     
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  9. NoNeck

    NoNeck Pugilist Specialist Full Member

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    The question becomes, do you feel ethically sound counting a robbery over Axel Schultz when he openly ducked his mandatory in Tony Tucker?

    My mind automatically erased that, but you could say three with an asterisk.
     
  10. Fogger

    Fogger Father, grandfather and big sports fan. Full Member

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    If how one does as a champion plays into being a top ten heavyweight then Liston falls into the same category as George Foreman and Gene Tunney. Combined, the three of them had a total of six successful title defenses. They were all great fighters but run of the mill heavyweight champions. So from that point of view the answer is a definitive no.

    However, from November 1958 to December 1968 Liston was 25-2 with 24 knockouts.. His only losses were to Ali and the decision was a 12 round unanimous decision win over Eddie Machen. 15 of the kayos were inside of three rounds. Before Ali, Liston was fighting the top guys of his era while after his two losses the quality dropped quite a bit. He was the George Foreman or Mike Tyson of his era. They were men expected to beat other top heavyweights into submission and look fearsome doing it. I don't believe we have had one of those since Tyson.

    My take is that Liston was a top ten heavyweight into the mid to late 90s but with Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko arriving on the scene Liston just falls outside of the top ten.
     
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  11. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    This sums it up. I have him hovering around 11 … I could see him in the second half of the top 10 or near the top of the next 10.
     
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  12. newurban99

    newurban99 Member Full Member

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    I like especially your comment about the Ellis fight. Floyd was unlucky they had only Harold Valan voting. He voted wrong; Floyd beat Ellis but good.
     
  13. newurban99

    newurban99 Member Full Member

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    If you put him 11th, would you agree nevertheless that he'd be a threat to beat anyone in the top 10 in his prime?
     
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  14. Glass City Cobra

    Glass City Cobra H2H Burger King Full Member

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    Some people have pointed out that Liston's short number of title defenses would look quite different if he got his title shot sooner. The years when he was tearing through the division and beating contenders could have been title defenses. He was also very rusty and inactive heading to the Ali fight with an injury. It's also interesting he had gone to prison losing precious time in his prime. Tyson, Ali, Vitali, etc all get passes for their inactivity due to legal issues/injuries/etc but I almost never see anyone talking about that.

    Given that sort of context, I think Liston can definitely have an argument for top 10. Even if you just take his career as is, it's a bit underrated. He didn't have the most amazing era, but he was completely dominant for years. Patterson is also underrated and was a splendid champion. H2H, I have Liston top 5 in his prime. He had almost everything: Power, durability, technique, superb jab, body shots, underrated defense, combinations, the only thing he lacked was speed. Joe Louis is the only other boxer-puncher you can rate higher than him for overall ability.
     
  15. Clinton

    Clinton Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Post of the thread