Defending Vitali's resume is a lost fight at the beginning. To call it better than Liston's, you'd have to prove that 2000s is significantly better era than Sonny's (to the point that journeymen were better than top 5 fighters) and that's simply not possible. Even if you believe that Vitali fought better fighters, it's impossible to say that he faced higher ranked fighters who did better relative to their competition. We should always look at how you do against your competition. I like Vitali, but he didn't face good competition overall and he lost to two best boxers he ever faced.