Thought experiment: What if Liston just wasn't that amazing?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by cross_trainer, Mar 17, 2022.

  1. cross_trainer

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

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    I myself don't believe the theory I'm about to suggest in this thread. It's more a speculative what-if kind of question. (Like the "What if the Color Line didn't exist?" or "Argue that Ingo was the GOAT" sorts of hypothetical threads.)

    Here's the scenario:

    Assume for a moment that Liston actually wasn't that much better than the other contenders of his era. About the same level as Cleveland Williams, Machen, Zora Folley, or the others.

    Assume that Liston acquired his ATG resume not because he was a better fighter than his fellow contenders, but because the Mob backed him.

    What else would have to be true for this theory to be true? In other words, what are the most important historical facts that would need to be explained away or heavily reinterpreted for this theory to hold water?
     
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  2. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict banned Full Member

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    Hey CT,

    I’ll have to think about this one.

    BUT my favourite thread of yours was:-
    INGO the GOAT.

    I’m just confused as to why you referred to it as a “hypothetical”. Must’ve been a typo, no biggie.

    Interesting. I wonder if it’s possible to incrementally change one letter at a time to make a next, new actual word to progressively move from INGO and eventually arrive at GOAT?

    Did I just type that out aloud?
     
  3. cross_trainer

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

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    My mistake. I must have been confusing it with the thread where I asked whether Greb belonged to subfamily Caprinae.
     
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  4. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict banned Full Member

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    Why do you make me look things up? I knew I’d heard that before - GOATs, LOL, very good.

    As to INGO, I forgive you, in fact, all of Sweden forgives you. We like to remain neutral - but sometimes we do get our gander up - even if ever so slightly.

    As to Liston. Perhaps a start would be to muse on the engineering of a false image build in order to instal the intimidation factor - a separate feature to actual skills.

    Like Sonny apparently did layer towels under his robe to make himself look even bigger. He also perfected that stoney killer stare as much as Zoolander did Blue Steel (and the rest of Derek’s identical “looks” under other names).

    Since the Mob’s involved - perhaps a doctored police record/arrests put together by a cop(s) on the payroll.

    Like, say, Sonny never did invert a cop and put him in a trash can - but gee, believing that he did, as a prospective opponent you might be thinking, what the hell is he going to do with me?

    Then there’s the old lineament dipped gloves that had everyone blinking……
     
  5. Claw4075

    Claw4075 Ezzard Charles GOAT Full Member

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    The one and only historical fact is that Charles Sonny Liston acquired his so called "ATG" status from his victories over 180lbs Floyd Patterson and one dimensional power puncher Cleveland Williams.

    The stories of him having an 84 inch wingspan, breaking a nightstick on his head, bicep curling mack trucks and whatnot were just Mob disinformation to promote their fighter. His reputation as a fighter was vastly blown out of proportion because of his mob ties.
     
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  6. cross_trainer

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

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    Yeah, you might not need to kick as many of the supports out as I thought. Take the blinding ointment stories seriously, and also assume that an additional one or two of his high level fights were fixed (using the Ali bouts to cast doubt on his career generally.)

    Patterson I and II would still be more likely legit, though. You'd have to massage the historical evidence a bit more to assume D'Amato and Patterson were working with the Mob.
     
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  7. Richmondpete

    Richmondpete Real fighters do road work Full Member

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    Proof please
     
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  8. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Floyd was 189.5 and 194.5 in his bouts against Liston. Oh yeah he was also the first fighter to regain the championship after he lost it, and would've been the first three time champion, had it not been for a blatant robbery against Ellis, and was also in the top 10 ratings from 1956 to 1970, and beat more rated contenders than Foreman.

    One dimensional power puncher Cleveland Williams showed excellent boxing skills against Terrell (another great boxer) when he suffered a SD loss in the latter's hometown that many thought he won.

    He also held the very skilled, highest rated fighter not named Sonny Liston to a majority, decision that one judge, and most in attendance thought he'd won. If he was nearly as one dimensional as you claim, Machen would've wiped the floor with him.

    I honestly don't even know where to start with this.

    The "stories" of his 84 inch wingspan, were based off measurements from prior fights as well as the promoters of the Liston-Ali fights and it's more than evident, he had a very long reach on film. That you actually think these claims were fabricated by the mob, shows you dksab, and is laughable.

    Regarding police officers breaking nightsticks on his head, their are records of him being arrested, " On May 5, 1956, a policeman confronted Liston and a friend about a cab parked near Liston's home. Liston assaulted the officer, breaking his knee and gashing his face. He also took his gun. He claimed the officer used racial slurs."

    Their are also records of him resisting arrest, and police officers have testified they hit him with nightsticks, in an attempt to restrain him.

    All of this is a matter of public record. I'm honestly perplexed you didn't know this, and instead of easily confirming the stories, you dismiss it as "mob disinformation". Are you seriously that clueless, or do you just have an agenda?
     
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  9. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    :lol: Good luck waiting on that. The clown has none, because it doesn't exist.
     
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  10. Pepsi Dioxide

    Pepsi Dioxide Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Didn't Liston at one point beat every top ten fighter in the division in the span of a year or two (except Floyd as he was avoiding him?). I don't think an untalented fighter could do that in any era.
     
  11. Fergy

    Fergy Walking Dead Full Member

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    Yes he did. And with out Ali on the scene he's champion for a few more years, imo.
     
  12. Pepsi Dioxide

    Pepsi Dioxide Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Very possible. I wouodnt be surprised to see him get knocked off before long as it seemed he let his foot off the gas so to say after finally reaching the mountain top. But countering my own point looking at the challengers Ali fought after Liston its hard for me to pick which one does it.
     
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  13. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Until he runs into Frazier circa '68 imo.
     
  14. cross_trainer

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

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    I agree. An untalented fighter couldn't do that.

    The scenario for this thread is asking whether you could make a case that Liston was talented, but only as talented as his top contemporaries: Williams, Machen, Ingo, Terrell, Folley, etc. That's still plenty talented.
     
  15. Fergy

    Fergy Walking Dead Full Member

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    Yep, I'd say.
     
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