"A boxing match is like a cowboy movie. There's got to be good guys and there's got to be bad guys. And that's what people pay for - to see the bad guys get beat."-Sonny Liston

Although there had been "bad guys" in boxing before Heavyweight great Sonny Liston (50-4, 39) few really summed up their role in the sport as well as Liston did. The former Heavyweight champion was of course seen as little more than a moody street thug though in all honesty he was one of the greats of the ring despite his infamous losses to Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali.

Born in to a huge family Liston was a hard hitting and poker faced fighter who would run through the top Heavyweights of the late 1950's before finally getting his world title shot against Floyd Patterson in 1962. Sadly for Liston his destruction's of Patterson in 1962 and 1963 are often forgotten as Liston lost his title in 1964 to the charismatic Ali (then called Cassius Clay) as he quit on his stool before losing a rematch in the infamous "Phantom Punch" fight.

His quote above seems to have set the mindset of Floyd Mayweather Jr who has been very happy in recent years to play "the bad guy" and has made a sizable fortune from making fans want to see him getting beat. Maybe, despite Liston's poor education, he was a man who knew what fans actually did want...or maybe not.

Leave a Reply.