Sonny Liston: The Ring, April 1962, page 9

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

  1. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 22, 2021
    Exactly Greg. As I read through the thread I was thinking to post what you just said. Ali might’ve even have been shorted on the informal measurement anyway because his arms may not have been perfectly straight IIRC.

    Prior to fighting Liston, I think Ali’s reach was perhaps most commonly listed as 80”. However it was jumped up to 82” on some tales of the tape for the Liston fight - obviously to minimise Liston’s apparent margin of advantage in reach.

    For the upcoming Terrell fight, on the question of Ernie’s height advantage, Dundee spun it and said Ali was still “growing” and getting on for 6’4” himself. Lol. Of course in later years, Dundee also said that Ali was 6’2” but gave the impression of greater height because he “fought tall”.

    There are def. a lot of porky pies told when it comes to fighter physical stats. Just depends on what people are angling for - as @cross_trainer basically stated.

    Personally, based on the eye test, I’m comfortable with 82”-84” for Liston’s reach.

    His arms did appear exceptionally long and his fists still appeared that much bigger than a fighter like Rahman’s.

    Older stars for Sonny indicate a fist size of 14”-14 1/2” - which maybe more realistic. I think the Patterson fights represent the line in the sand when Liston’s first was upgraded to 15 1/2”. Ali commented that Liston’s one hand was as big as his (Ali’s) two put together. Foreman who had large hands also (imo, the listing of 12 1/2” is way off) also commented on the massive size of Liston’s hands/fists.

    Save for height, it was almost as of Liston was genetically bred in a laboratory to produce the ideal physical specimen for the specific purpose of boxing.
  2. GoldenHulk

    GoldenHulk Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jan 7, 2007
    The wingspan measurements are a bit deceiving, I always liked how when HBO had boxing, they started using arm length instead.
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  3. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 22, 2021
    I guess they can be.

    Clearly, it’s simply boxing parlance and universally understood that the term reach = wingspan. If you’re quoting a TOTT, it is certainly correct to repeat/quote the term “reach” if that it is the original term employed.

    Reach “advantage” can be maximised or minimised depending on a fighter’s style, stance etc. And, while reach is comprised by shoulder width, depending on style, stance etc. (as referenced above) that shoulder width can perhaps represent a functional value in reach.

    I know they were often inaccurate but I still liked the physical stats covered by the old TOTTs -
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