What were Sonny Listons weaknesses?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Scott Cork, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. RockyJim

    RockyJim Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    How'd he do as champ? You can cherry pick any part his career to make your point...but overall...how did he do as champ from 1962 to 1964?
    Richard M Murrieta likes this.
  2. escudo

    escudo Boxing Addict Full Member

    May 13, 2014
    Aside from Ali, Liston won any war he went to.
  3. The Fighting Yoda

    The Fighting Yoda Member Full Member

    Jan 5, 2021
    Like the great wars against Cleveland Williams. ;)
    Richard M Murrieta likes this.
  4. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Apr 27, 2005
    You simply can't be the full quid.
  5. DanDaly

    DanDaly Active Member Full Member

    Apr 28, 2020
    His hand speed was a bit on the slow side and his footwork was slow too. He couldn't cut off the ring effectively. I think he was good at beating up guys that were smaller and/or less skilled than him in a weak era of the heavyweight division prior of its explosion into the greatest era. Top 20 heavyweight but he was never considered the best heavyweight ever. Against any heavyweight except for the outside boxer type at the highest level he gives them big problems.
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  6. BlackCloud

    BlackCloud I detest the daily heavyweight threads Full Member

    Nov 22, 2012
    The disciples fear him John.

    The sad thing is, a few on here will go their graves believing that Marciano could never lose.
    They aren't level headed when it comes to rational thought.
    swagdelfadeel likes this.
  7. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    How old was he when he got his championship shot after being ducked for years? 32 at the youngest. What was Marciano doing at that age? Oh yeah he was retired. Then in his mid 30s, he had to defend against the GOAT. How do you think an (at least) 34-36 year old Marciano does against Muhammad Ali?

    Next time, you want to waste my time with stupid questions, don't.
  8. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    Agreed, unfortunately the few rabid fanboys who refuse to listen to reason (especially RockyJim) have turned me against a fighter I used to love.
  9. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    Sonny, on his night, was really some proposition. Great fighter.

    And like all fighters on his best night, against the right opponent, there were no real obvious flaws. No more so than any other great fighter who was also having his best night.

    And on the winning fight, of the best night, everything he does is working really well. Everything he tries lands. He second guesses the other man. Gets there first.

    it’s like trying to find a flaw in Joe Louis and Mike Tyson on film before they got beat.

    Listons range was excellent. His stamina was excellent. His over all variety was excellent. His physical attributes of size and power were out of this world.

    He could box really nicely. And that long reach really caught people out.

    We can all be wise after the event. We can say oh he couldn’t deal with a mover, he could get flustered, he could get hit though. And he marked up a bit.

    But try and find these flaws in a winning fight on film before he lost to Ali?

    A winning fighter compensates for his flaws by being so proficient at overwhelming most of his opposition. It really is a shot in the dark until you have seen him against every type of opponent.

    All you can really do is surmise the attributes of an opposing foe and decide what he has to do, what he has that might work against Sonny Liston.

    And it’s only a “might”.

    Just as it is for unbeaten Joe Louis. Unbeaten Mike Tyson.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  10. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    Sonny Liston had good stamina as we saw against Eddie Machen in 1960 but he was not the quickest. I think that his weakness was against a fighter with non stop mobility, as he usually ended many of his bouts early, much like George Foreman did in his first career. Another weakness that Sonny possessed was a fighter who showed a lack of awe and someone that he could not intimidate. It is a psychological issue as many bullies fear a fighter or individual that is different, or appears mentally challenged. This is so because a bully does not know how or when they are going to react, the element of surprise is there. An example being the morning weigh in for the first bout against Muhammad Ali on Feb 25 1964. Ali behaved in a violent bizarre manner, Liston did not how to react to his behavior. Sonny's other weakness were women and the nightlife behind Geraldine's back, a lack of focus and desire in the ring.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
  11. red cobra

    red cobra Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Whiskey and potato chips.
  12. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    To be fair, you could say that about all of us. :lol:
    Richard M Murrieta likes this.
  13. Rico Spadafora

    Rico Spadafora Best Chin On ESB Full Member

    Feb 20, 2008
    I don’t so as much think it was heart I think it was mental as both of them were mental midgets. They were worthless if they couldn’t intimidate you. Which is why Jose Torres has the quote about Tyson when you intimidate the intimidator they become the intimidated. He was right. We saw both Liston and Tyson crumble in the face of adversity not because of their heart but because of them both being mentally weak.
  14. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    I agree, like I wrote in another post, Sonny Liston could not intimidate Muhammad Ali at the Frb 25 1964 weigh in, he could not use the evil eye on Ali either, in ring center during the referee's instructions. Jimmy Young was the same way against George Foreman in 1977, Foreman realized this during their bout, and became the victim, especially in round 12, when Jimmy went after him, decked him. Besides what many say, the temperature and humidity had to affect Jimmy Young too that night. Same thing for James Buster Douglas on Feb 11 1990, he was not intimidated by Mike Tyson, he had far more on his plate and outscored Mike before the knockout win, plain and simple.
  15. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

    Dec 31, 2009
    It’s easier to beat an intimidated fighter than it is to beat one who isn’t. It’s a great weapon to have. To project that and weaken the opposition. Tyson once said an intimidated opponent cannot perform. So he knew what he was doing.

    The trouble of course is coming to rely on it. Subconsciously getting used only to that resistance. It must be so much harder to adapt to the opponent who won’t crumble, who stays defiant. Fires back. Keeps coming.

    Even for a fighter who paid his dues before establishing that reputation in give and take fights must suffer eventually if he becomes too accustomed to too much intimidated opposition.

    But I guess you have to credit the guy who can break the majority mentally in the first place.

    with guys like Tyson and Liston you just couldn’t predict who was going to stand up mentally against them. Some did and still were not good enough to beat them.
    Richard M Murrieta likes this.