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?