Larry Holmes vs Sonny Liston

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Big Ukrainian, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    You can't say Holmes had his number if they never fought!
  2. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    There were a lot of psychological factors that enabled a young Cassius Clay to dethrone The Big Ugly Bear Sonny Liston, in 1964. Clay's gift for gab, and psychological warfare. Plus many physical attributes that Clay had in his arsenal as well, footwork, reflexes, stamina, and speed.Larry Holmes has similar skills, except for the footwork and speed. Sonny Liston was a good boxer with his 14 inch fist and pole like left jab, and powerful left hook used to dispatch Floyd Patterson in two fights. Liston did have stamina, it was used against Eddie Machen, on Sept 7 1960, in going the 12 round distance and winning the verdict. This fight would mirror the Machen bout, with Larry boxing Sonny at a distance. Larry out boxes Sonny to a very close verdict, as the older Liston tires late in the fight.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2020
  3. Gazelle Punch

    Gazelle Punch Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 15, 2018
    Look at Liston to score a Mid/late round stoppage. He’s gonna catch Larry eventually and he’s a lot better finisher then Shavers.
  4. Claw4075

    Claw4075 Ezzard Charles GOAT Full Member

    Aug 27, 2021
    Sonny Quitston couldn't carry Holmes' jockstrap.
  5. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 23, 2019
    This, but Larry would have his hands full. Liston was far from a puncher-only, he had actual skills.

    Sonny's left jab would definitely irritate the hell out of fact, I don't see Larry figuring out Liston until around the 6th round. I imagine Liston would buckle his knees on a few occasions, but I can see Larry getting to him, especially toward the end.

    Holmes UD whether 12 rounds or 15. I see the 12 rounds as being fairly close. Liston had the power to have Larry out on his feet, and you can be sure Larry would get caught at least a couple of times. I see Holmes getting out-jabbed a bit and rocked a couple of times in the early rounds, losing them all, then outslicking Sonny for the majority of the rounds after, really landing some sweet right hands toward the end, spray flying off Liston with each connection.

    Though Liston definitely had the power to knock him dow,n for some reason I don't see that happening. I think Liston would start looking worse if the fight went fifteen, and be kind of just barely making it around the 14th on.
    swagdelfadeel likes this.
  6. Pugguy

    Pugguy Active Member Full Member

    Aug 22, 2021
    After facing Machen, which was a good workout over 12ds, in the preceding 3 1/2 years before facing Ali, Liston’s results were TKO 3 and 3 x 1st round KOs. Even rounded up that’s a mere 5 rounds in the ring. A byproduct of being a big puncher but not ideal when you’re going in to face a guy that’s going to take you further than 3 rds tops.

    Notably, a number of Foreman’s fights before facing Ali were of similar brevity. George had also become a 1-2 rd destroyer. He might’ve been better served with an extended bout prior to Zaire, similar to those provided by Peralta.

    Though he probably didn’t desire it since Bonavena gave Ali hell I’ve always felt that Ali absolutely needed such a fight over the best part of 15 long rds before facing Frazier. If Ali’s second fight was another < 3 rds as was the case with Quarry, he would’ve been that much less prepared for the onslaught Frazier brought to the ring.

    I agree Liston’s best weight was probably 212 lbs, which he weighed exactly or 1/2 lb more for Besmanoff. He put on a clinic, very active with the hands, great punch variety. Didn’t cut loose ala v Williams. Didn’t need to. Power well harnessed but each and every punch a thudding shot all the same. A real pleasure to watch.
    swagdelfadeel and Tonto62 like this.
  7. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    Consistent quality from you Sir!
    I give Holmes a close dec win here.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
  8. Pugguy

    Pugguy Active Member Full Member

    Aug 22, 2021
    Again, I appreciate the kind words though I did cop out on making a selection.

    Skill set v skill set, without either being significantly hurt or jolted off their game, I think a close UD is a very fair call. I would just reserve for Liston to perhaps close the distance with some very unsettling power connections here and there, head and body, which will score in their own right but also perhaps serve to put Larry in a temporary safety shell. Though when hurt, Larry could ramp up his own aggression and power of punch to great advantage but I don’t know if that’s ever a good idea with Sonny. Perhaps your conclusion already includes Sonny having his power moments during the fight?

    Liston should realistically understand that this is basically a distance fight or the
    better part of same but with possible as and when opportunities arising to step it up when the timing was right for an earlier night. So discipline, patience and methodical application is key and we got some insight on Sonny’s capabilities in that regard v Machen.

    Very interesting to see how Holmes would cope with Liston’s jab which I think would be quite bothersome and hurtful and disrupt Larry from settling down to any protraction of dominance during the fight. I think At least IMO, Liston’s legacy is safe from anyone being assumed to be as uniquely evasive and causing the same frustration as Ali did in their Miami and Lewiston fights.

    Win or lose for Liston notwithstanding, it would be nice takeaway, for those who didn’t realise beforehand, to appreciate just how well skilled and rounded Liston was.
    Tonto62 and Balder like this.
  9. Balder

    Balder Well-Known Member Full Member

    Nov 10, 2012
    Liston would eventually batter a backwards moving Holmes.

    Holmes may survive several knockdowns to lose a UD.

    Holmes was not fast enough to elude , nor strong enough to stand toe to toe. I see Holmes winning the first 4 rounds with his jab but Liston landing the big punches.

    Rounds 5 - 8 Holmes slows so he has to trade more, and Liston gets a knockdown. After this Holmes only boxes and jabs in spurts and then will try to tie Liston up inside.

    From round 9 on Liston's starts to out muscle Larry, landing big power punches inside . Resulting in at least 2 more knockdowns. Larry is smart enough and good enough to survive hurt. He also has incredible recuperative abilities.

    He may make it through the later rounds and get to the end, but he loses badly on points or gets koed.
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2021
    Pugguy likes this.
  10. richdanahuff

    richdanahuff Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Oct 12, 2013
    Right to the liver?
  11. Pugguy

    Pugguy Active Member Full Member

    Aug 22, 2021
    Nothing against Larry but as a Liston fan I’d love to see it go down as per your scenario. : )
    Balder likes this.
  12. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    That's the very definition of a switch hitter! lol
    richdanahuff likes this.
  13. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 26, 2011
    Two greats in a fight that could easily go either way.I prefer Larry against Big George though Sonny didn't have Foreman's lateral movement, he was a better boxer and not ashamed to go into reverse when necessary.