Would Sonny Liston's record have been better if Floyd ducked him indefinitely?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by cross_trainer, May 29, 2022.

  1. cross_trainer

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

    Jun 30, 2005
    Assume Liston never gets his title shot against Floyd Patterson. Instead, Patterson clings onto the title until he loses it to...whoever. If/when somebody beats Floyd, though, that person will give Sonny his shot. (Like Ali eventually did for Zora.)

    In the meantime, Liston continues fruitlessly cleaning out the division.

    Does Liston lose his hunger? Does he stay active enough that his record actually gets better? Does he face more, and better, opposition during the extra years Floyd holds the title hostage? What does never getting the title from Floyd do for Liston's record, standing, and legacy?
  2. Philly161

    Philly161 "Fundamentals are the crutch of the talentless" Full Member

    Oct 25, 2020
    I mean to me the most likely scenario is that Ali takes the title from Patterson and then Liston may just never be champ
  3. Glass City Cobra

    Glass City Cobra Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jan 6, 2017
    Ah, but the catch is Liston is less likely to become a content alcoholic if people keep moving the goal post making him wait for the championship. Plus the mob had invested in Liston and wouldn't want to let him off the hook until he managed to win the championship.
  4. lone star

    lone star Member Full Member

    Mar 10, 2018
    Sonny probably would have just drifted through some payday but overall meaningless fights. Ali probably would have given him a shot as he’d be champ. Floyd would, I think have fought Ali. Anyway Ali beats Liston and Sonny becomes another Cleveland Williams, Zora Foley type of name in heavyweight history.
  5. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    I really believe that Sonny Liston reruns against previous opposition like Cleveland Big Cat Williams, third match, then Zora Folley, second match. Then possibly a much in demand match against Ingo, who comes out of retirement for a big payday. Possibly a second match with Eddie Machen. The fighter I see that possibly scores an upset over Liston is Ernie Terrell with his clutch and grab style. Liston did not like Terrell's style when discussing him.
  6. djanders

    djanders Boxing Addict Full Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    I agree that Liston probably never becomes Champion. (IMHO, it would be a nearly impossible feat for him to take the title from Ali.) That alone would hurt his legacy and all time rankings. Even if non-Champion Patterson eventually meets up with Sonny in the ring, and is knocked out in the first round, it wouldn't be the same. People would say Patterson was shot, or some such thing.

    One caveat. As an interesting aside: Does Sonny, as a never-been Champion, get into the tournament to replace Ali, after Ali still refuses the Draft? If so, he would a very live underdog to win the whole thing. That might have set up Liston vs. Frazier?
  7. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    Liston lost his hunger very quickly, once the belt closed around his waist.

    For all that, I doubt that he increases his historical standing, by continuing to topple contenders.

    At best he ends up a Harry Wills figure.
  8. ikrasevic

    ikrasevic Икрашевић Full Member

    Nov 3, 2021
    Sonny Liston deserved the fight for the title of world champion in the heavyweight category. As far as I know (correct me if I'm wrong) only once in the history of the heavyweight category did someone (Sonny Liston) knock out the champion in the first round and in a rematch .

    As it happened only once in the history of the heavyweight category, someone lost the fight to defend the title (George Foreman), and after exactly 20 years, he won the title again.

    As it happens only once in the history of the heavyweight category that someone (Mike Tyson) wins the title at the age of 20. He was not of legal age by USA standards; will anyone break that record and win the title at 19?

    P.S. Sonny Liston deserved a fight for the heavyweight world title.
    Last edited: May 29, 2022
  9. Glass City Cobra

    Glass City Cobra Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jan 6, 2017
    Listons resume was already better than those two before he fought for the championship and literally beat both of them.

    A more accurate comparison would be a Tua/Ruddock/Cooney type of resume.
  10. Glass City Cobra

    Glass City Cobra Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jan 6, 2017
    Yes if that happened Liston would be the heavy favorite over everyone in the exile tournament except Frazier, but even that fight would be extremely dangerous for Joe and I'd personally favor Liston there as well. He'd be the unified champ if he won. Let us suppose Louis has a chat with Liston and says "my advice: don't get too comfortable, the 'real' champ will come back from his exile. When I beat Braddock, I didn't want to let it get to my head until I beat Schmeling". To which Liston nods before shuffling his cards.

    If Liston manages to keep that same momentum, peak condition, and motivation going into 1970 waiting for Ali to finish his tune ups we could end up with a sensational match for the lineal and unified belts. A motivated Liston against a slightly past his prime Ali coming off a long layoff is a closer matchup than some will admit.

    If Liston won, he'd have a hell of a resume:

    -near prime Ali
    -+ potential wins over Wepner, Bugner, Lyle, Chuvalo (who he was already supposed to fight), etc.

    Even if Ali beat him in the rematch, that's a crazy record. Funny how if Patterson simply chooses to duck Liston, it could ironically make Liston even better with a top 5 hall of Fame worthy resume. And if he managed to beat a young up and coming Foreman...#1 HW of all time!
    swagdelfadeel likes this.
  11. Journeyman92

    Journeyman92 Resident Gadfly Full Member

    Sep 22, 2021
    You know maybe it might help Floyd’s stock rise. Maybe Liston gets pasted by someone not so glamorous because he loses drive when he realises the situation and folks could say “Do you think Floyd was worse then such and such” refute the chance of getting splattered with “Bonavena couldn’t KO him” etc. Folks bring up that bout to help Floyd save face but really it’s Oscar Bonavena...
    cross_trainer likes this.
  12. djanders

    djanders Boxing Addict Full Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    I agree with much of what you said, and also agree that, if he'd stayed motivated, he'd have a chance against Joe Frazier. I really don't think he would have had much chance against a returning Muhammad Ali, IMHO, of course.
  13. SuzieQ49

    SuzieQ49 Officer Full Member

    Sep 14, 2005
    watch the Williams Terrell fights. No way does Terrell last with Liston. Liston stops him late
    cross_trainer likes this.
  14. cross_trainer

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

    Jun 30, 2005
    Fitzsimmons knocks them both out on the same night. As long as he's 167 pounds, exactly.
    SuzieQ49 likes this.
  15. swagdelfadeel

    swagdelfadeel Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    Williams actually fought the second bout suffering with damaged hands that actually nearly derailed the fight.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2022