What would have happened if Sonny Liston had been invited to the WBA Tournament in 1967?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Richard M Murrieta, Jun 17, 2021.

  1. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    What would have happened if Sonny Liston had been invited to the WBA Tournament in 1967? Would Sonny have met Karl Mildenberger, who was favored to win the tournament or perhaps Jerry Quarry? Your thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2021
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  2. White Bomber

    White Bomber Active Member Full Member

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    Although a beast in his prime, Sonny was old in 1967.
    Hard to say how he would have fared.
     
  3. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    So true, he was a beast. Can you imagine Liston fighting Mildenberger, Bonavena,Quarry, or Terrell? Who do you think he would have fought? Yank Durham kept Joe Frazier out of the tournament.
     
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  4. White Bomber

    White Bomber Active Member Full Member

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    Prime vs prime, he clearly beats all of them.
    In 1967, who knows, maybe he beats them or maybe he gets tired like he did against Martin.
    Personally, I'd favor him even in 67, but I'm not confident enough to bet on that.
     
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  5. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Good Post.
     
  6. AwardedSteak863

    AwardedSteak863 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    He was pretty old and more importantly unfocused at that point which would spell trouble for him. If he was in shape and focused he would beat everyone but anything less would look like his fight with Leotis Martin.
     
  7. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    At that point I see Quarry outboxing Sonny. Prime for prime would have been very different,though. Same applies to Jimmy Ellis but Sonny would beat the rest.
     
  8. Fergy

    Fergy Walking Dead Full Member

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    I see him beating Mildenberger, behind on the cards but catching up around the 10 th.

    He gets a surprise win over Quarry, when Jerry gets cut over the eye. The fight is stopped in 7.

    Oscar could pull off a win here perhaps. He's tough, durable, awkward and also good enough to put Frazier down twice. After an hard fought fight, Oscar gets a points win.

    Terrell also gets the win. Ernie another one akward and a decent chin, manages to survive Liston s hardest shots, ties him up and get s the decision.
     
  9. Reinhardt

    Reinhardt Boxing Addict Full Member

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    That's it, he still had some abilities but without the conditioning he would need to end fights early.
     
  10. djanders

    djanders Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I think Sonny gets deep into the tournament, assuming he draws the right opponents. I do think Ellis had a good shot to beat him, at that point, but it's certainly not guaranteed. Liston could have caught him with a good one at some point in the fight.
     
  11. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Think it would have depended on who he faced early but he probably still could have beaten some of those guys in 1967
     
  12. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    That tournament was a little odd in that the #1 seed didn't face the #8 seed, or #2 didn't fight #7. Usually, in tournaments today in sports, the top seed faces the lowest seed first so, if all goes according to plan, the final comes out to #1 vs. #2.

    In the WBA tournament, #1 fought #2 first. #3 fought #4 ... and on down. Ellis and Martin were the lowest seeds and faced each other in the first fight.

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    Frazier bailed, so Martin moved up to fill the gap.

    If Sonny was the lowest seed and Martin wasn't invited, Liston would've faced Ellis first, followed by Bonavena, and then Quarry.

    How Liston performs against those three would've been interesting to see.
     
  13. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I think that those three in particular would have stood the chance to beat a 1967 Sonny Liston.
     
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  14. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I think so, too.

    Ellis moreso than the other two. Quarry maybe the least. I could see Liston's jab carving Quarry up. And I could see his jab bothering the brawling Bonavena.

    Ellis would be the problem. Jimmy was on a roll at that time. (He'd also beat Quarry and Oscar.)

    If Sonny snuck in the ratings near the bottom, he'd have had to fight Ellis first.
     
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  15. Dubblechin

    Dubblechin Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Actually, a win over Sonny Liston in the WBA tournament may have lifted Jimmy Ellis to Hall of Fame status.

    He's currently not in the Hall of Fame in Canastota.

    But a winning streak of Liston, Bonavena, Quarry and Patterson over a 13-month span in 1967 and 1968 may have lifted him up there.
     
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