Charles "Sonny" Liston was considered one of the greatest and hardest hitting punchers ever to enter the ring. His date of birth was listed as May 8th, 1932 and death was December 30th,1970. In both cases the date Sonny was born and how he died in his Las Vegas home that he shared with his wife Geraldine are mysteries.
Sonny Liston with his long reach and massive fists 15′ and a crushing left jab won the heavyweight title in 1962 from Floyd Patterson in style with a first round knockout. In 1963 he gave Patterson a rematch and once again the results were the same, a first round KO.
The year of 1964 Sonny signed to defend his title against a 8-1 underdog Cassius Clay. The fight was held feb 25,1964 in Miami, Florida. Sonny lost his belt when he was unable to answer the bell for the seventh round. Clays speed and slick movement were to much for Sonny who also was hurting from a bad shoulder. The rematch was held May 25,1965 in Lewiston, Maine. Less than two minutes into the fight Sonny was hit by shot from Clay that sent him down and out. The photo of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny was chosen as the photo to grace the cover of SI Edition of "the century’s greatest sports photos." The photo was taken by Neil Leifer.
For many too young to understand Sonny Liston was far more than the fighter laying on the ground with Muhammad Ali standing over him. Sonny Liston was called one of the greatest heavyweights by ring magazine. He is a member of the boxing hall of fame. His record a very impressive one; 54 fights, 50 wins and 39 coming by way of knockout.
The life and death of Sonny Liston has been covered in books and movies. Sonny appeared as himself in commercials, movies and his name has been mentioned into numerous songs from artists ranging from Billy Joel to Tom Petty from Wu Tang Clan to Morrissey.
We are very proud to represent the estate of Sonny Liston. We had the honor to work with Mrs. Geraldine Liston for several years before she passed. It was her wish that we represent Sonny to the people as a man who had a heart and was a great boxer.