Sonny Liston: The Ring, April 1962, page 9

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by SirBronzeFalcon, Apr 3, 2023.

  1. SirBronzeFalcon

    SirBronzeFalcon New Member Full Member

    Apr 3, 2023
    Hello everyone.

    A few days ago I was researching about the wingspan of Sonny Liston and in a post several years ago Willie Reddish, one of Liston's trainers in the 1960s, was quoted as saying that Sonny had a reach of 82 inches.

    I was wondering if anyone who has the magazine would be so kind as to take a picture of page 9 and upload it.
  2. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 22, 2021
    Sorry, can’t help but will keep an eye out so that you know your enquiry hasn’t been ignored.

    There are a few articles/listings that had Liston at about 82 1/2”. The lowest I’ve personally seen is a one off 80”, as shown during the Liston vs Martin broadcast.

    One other article I read was an interview with Louis, Liston and Ezz Charles re the upcoming first fight with Ali. Curiously, Louis tells Sonny that Ali has the longer reach.

    Ali was an actual 78/79” in reach but was listed as 82” at the longest, including for the Liston fight - so I can only guess that was the max. figure Louis could possibly have been using when comparing Sonny’s reach to Ali’s - which would mean, deductively, that Louis was perhaps under the impression that Liston’s reach was < 82”.
  3. Guerra

    Guerra Active Member Full Member

    May 23, 2020
    I believe his reach vs Martin. It makes more sense than 82/84 given his height. He has long arms but it doesnt look that freakish for his size. Its more noticable with guys like Hagler, cunningham, lewis or Rahman.
    cross_trainer likes this.
  4. SirBronzeFalcon

    SirBronzeFalcon New Member Full Member

    Apr 3, 2023
    Thanks, Pugguy.

    I knew about Liston-Martin's Tale of the Tape. But not about that interview between Louis, Liston and Ezzard; nor about the articles.

    Very interesting. Thanks.
    Pedro_El_Chef and Pugguy like this.
  5. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 22, 2021
    No problem at all. If I can find the article I will link it. It might’ve been supplied by another member here - but I read it with my own eyes so I can vouch for it. I recall that it included Ezz making reference to having sparred Liston some years prior.
    Pedro_El_Chef likes this.
  6. Pedro_El_Chef

    Pedro_El_Chef New Member Full Member

    Mar 29, 2023
    Could you provide a link to that article? Sounds interesting.
  7. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Liston was good, but no "Tire Iron" Jones Full Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    They were only about 80" when not in use, but stretched to 97" like Dhalsim when jabbing or reaching for a can of tomatoes on the upper shelf.
  8. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    Actual footage …

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  9. Entaowed

    Entaowed Boxing Addict Full Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    I would not be so sure that 80" is more reasonable.
    For a couple of reasons.
    One is that there are a few guys in that + 9.5-11.5" "ape factor" range, but admittedly the latter would be highly unusual.
    Although ~82" would be more likely.

    Another is that the term for "wingspan" has been often used erroneously, even in this thread, as reach. The first is holding out both arms, reach is just one, & does not include the torso width.
    It is instructive to consider what goes into what you asked about, wingspan.
    Part of it is just breath of chest.
    This is not even muscle, but how broad across one is, directly effect by bone structure.
    Liston was unusually wide, certainly for someone just a bit over 6'.

    Also someone whose limbs are thicker does not look as long, just like all other things being equal leaner people look taller than heavier folks their height.

    Also while both reach & wingspan take into account hand length, you do not see them when boxers are wearing gloves-which is mostly how you see them.
    So Liston could certainly have been ~ 82", although 84" may well be a bit of a s-t-r-e-t-c-h.
    Liston had both massive hands & very long fingers, having this on both sides/X2 can contribute significantly to wingspan.
    Although of course you cannot punch at the end of your fingers, so this unavoidably slightly overstates how far someone with really long fingers can punch...
    Last edited: May 24, 2023
  10. lone star

    lone star Active Member Full Member

    Mar 10, 2018
    Fantastic complete explanation. Either way Liston certainly knew how to use his Reach advantage.
  11. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    I don't know how it became common to say Ali's reach was 78-79 when his entire career it was listed at 80" .. it's like the new stat ...
    cross_trainer likes this.
  12. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Liston was good, but no "Tire Iron" Jones Full Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    Probably the relic of a recent "Ali versus" thread where both sides were min-maxing, and somebody decided Ali's reach needed to be 79" instead of 80" to give him an oh-so-essential tiny disadvantage against somebody.

    That's how most of these stats appear.
    he grant likes this.
  13. Pat M

    Pat M Active Member Full Member

    Jun 20, 2017
    There is no question about Ali's reach, it was 78", it was measured on ABC's Wide World of Sports by Dundee, and Bundini Brown, with Cosell, and Chamberlain present. Ali might be the only fighter who has had his reach measured in public.
    Last edited: May 25, 2023
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  14. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Liston was good, but no "Tire Iron" Jones Full Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    Oh, I like this. I take back my initial assumption.

    Since he's the only one with a public measurement, I wonder whether we can use him as a model, and adjust everybody else's measurements by subtracting 2 inches to get the real value...
    Pat M likes this.
  15. Greg Price99

    Greg Price99 Well-Known Member Full Member

    Dec 17, 2018
    If you listen carefully from 1:18 to 1:21 you'll hear Dundee says "78 inches" and then more quietly "78 and a half, 79".
    Pugguy likes this.