Suppose on Sept 14 1968, Sonny Liston gets a shot at WBA Champ Jimmy Ellis.

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Richard M Murrieta, Nov 23, 2022.

  1. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Suppose on Sept 14 1968, Sonny Liston gets a shot at WBA Champ Jimmy Ellis. Liston gets a shot at Ellis because challenger Floyd Patterson suffers an injury, who wins and why? Liston is used to fighting in Sweden where the title bout ends up being.
     
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  2. robert ungurean

    robert ungurean Богдан Philadelphia Full Member

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    Liston may have been ancient but he will still find Jimmy's chin and take him out. Sonny could box as well as punch
     
  3. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    So true about Sonny Liston. But I also agree that Liston could still box, and if he catches Jimmy Ellis, it could spell lights out for Jimmy. Then a title unification fight with 5 State Champion Joe Frazier vs WBA Champion Sonny Liston happens in the Spring of 1969. I wonder what that fight would look like?
     
  4. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Sonny may have enough left to stop Jimmy but he would n't beat Frazier at that point in his career.
     
  5. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Liston would still would have a puncher’s chance but I’d favor Ellis at that stage
     
  6. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    Ellis would do the same thing Martin did. He may have some trouble early but Sonny would wilt pretty fast.
     
  7. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict banned Full Member

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    I think Liston would definitely have a shot here without necessarily making him favourite.

    Ellis had a very good right hand and at that point in Sonny’s career - I think that right hand could shake Liston up quite a bit.

    Just another fight that would’ve been cool to see if it had come off.

    At that stage, Sonny needed to see his opponents off around the mid way mark or not too long after.

    Even in the fights old Sonny dominated and won in the late 60s, you could see (at least imo) his tank starting to deplete quickly in its own right. If Ellis sees it to the mid - 3/4 mark, his chances rise considerably.
     
  8. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Well Pugguy, we should have replaced Liston's gas tank ! Ha Ha.
     
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  9. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict banned Full Member

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    Yeah, Sonny had racked up a few on the odometer for the big engine, replacement of a few parts, (genuine of course) wouldn’t have gone astray - including a new fuel tank. Some major oil leaks were spotted on the canvas after the Martin fight. Sonny needed to go up on the hoist for a complete check up. :)
     
  10. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Interesting point in time for this fantasy fight:

    Liston had won seven in a row, all by KO, since the second Ali fight (although not all were against decent opposition). There was some stop-start in this run of Sonny’s career but in 1968 he was active and had three wins under his best by July … the last being a stoppage of a ranked Henry Clark (who had beaten Leotis Martin and Eddie Machen to earn that rating).

    Clark said afterward that Sonny would stop Jimmy Ellis in three or four rounds (he lasted seven himself and was stopped on his feet after losing every round). Angelo Dundee countered that Ellis would be happy to face Sonny anytime (of course there would have to be a promoter willing to put up purses to make that happen, and Liston wasn’t really going to be accepted in big venues for big fights since he had a cloud over him owing to the two Ali losses).

    (I’m also not sure of the basis for Clark’s claim as he had never fought Ellis.)

    I think Ellis manages to take Sonny out late. He’s more spry and I think Sonny’s lost enough on his fastball that he doesn’t catch Jimmy clean enough early enough to make it happen. I figure Ellis KO 8. He was on quite a run at the time — not quite Ali or Frazier level but above pretty much anyone else, including, I think, this version of Liston.
     
  11. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    A set of rings could do the job.
     
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  12. Roughhouse

    Roughhouse Member Full Member

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    I suspect both guys were better at this point in their careers than they usually get credit for being. I think Ellis was a very crafty and highly skilled fighter with some pop in his punches who was very durable in 1968 and Liston was not nearly as shopworn as some like to make him out to be. I think if Sonny wants to win the title and trains for it, this would be a much higher caliber of fight than would be expected. 50/50 fight. Liston before five rounds or Ellis after 12 when Sonny is out of gas. Flip a coin.
     
  13. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Liston was at the youngest 38 years, and if the latest records are to be believed 46. According to doctor's estimates he was anywhere from 42 to 47, had been fighting for over 15 years, had several injuries, and was a drug addict by this time.
    What else does he need to satisfy your criteria?
     
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  14. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I would also use Ellis' fights against Bonavena and Chuvalo as references.