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Either Liston or Joe Louis had the hardest jab ever thrown. If you know any thing about boxing history do not judge Liston by the fights he had on the tail end of his career. He beat most of the top contenders before he got a title fight that he should have had years before. Liston through 1963 was a truly great fighter. He should not be forgotten.
Hard to believe it took six days for anybody to react in a positive way to this article. You’re right, George. No boxer ever had a body like Sonny’s. Look at his back muscles! His Las Vegas sparring partner, Gary Bates, told me that the muscles in Sonny’s hands were as well defined as all of his other muscles. I too have described Liston as a freak of nature but I don’t think he would have taken kindly to that description. Good list, Steve. But like Joe Louis said, he wouldn’t have jabbed with Sonny.
1)-Joe Louis. Watch the Max Baer fight. Louis carved faces with his jab. He also had the most underrated left hook in heavyweight history.
2)-Sonny Liston. The reach, combined with evil intent. The only criticism: It looked to be “flicked” at times. I’m sure, however, that they didn’t FEEL flicked.
3)-Larry Holmes. It was like a piston: Flashing out in force, and snapped back like his fist was on a spring.
4)-George Foreman. Clubbing, brute force. Accuracy and clumsiness were drawbacks at times. But that uppercut…with EITHER hand….THAT’S why Ali beat him: Uppercuts from a distance were next to useless against Ali. And the uppercut was Foreman’s most frightening weapon.
5)-Muhammad Ali. Flicking, persistent, but lacking the brute force of the 1st 4.
6)-Gene Tunney. Watch the way he threw it. It had an almost upward trajectory. It was deadly accurate. He busted up some great fighters with that jab.
George Foreman had a pretty devasting jab himself. Liston’s fists get bigger every time I read about him. Used to be Sonny’s fists were routinely listed at 14” and now they’ve grown to 15 1/2”? That’s larger than a great deal of fighter’s calves and biceps. I don’t even think I recall even Primo Carnera’s fist measurement ever exceeding or even reaching 15”.
If his jab was all that he should have been able to KO Big Cat with it alone because Williams was one of the all time chinny overachievers in boxing history. Which reminds me…Leotis Martin performed a bully beat down on Liston only eclipsed by Buster Douglas’ public service conducted on Tyson some years later in Japan. One more thing….WTF is a six foot tall fighter doing with an 84” reach and a 16” fist any Godammed way?