Sonny Liston vs. Cleveland Williams

By Boxing News on April 15, 2013
Sonny Liston vs. Cleveland Williams
Liston was 23-1. Cleveland Williams was 43-2. The fight was scheduled for 10 rounds.

On April 15, 1959 at the Auditorium in Miami Beach, Florida, big bad Sonny Liston fought big bad Cleveland Williams. Sonny’s title reign was in the future, but he was destroying everyone who got in his way. Going into the first of their two fights, Liston was 23-1. Williams was 43-2 (his last loss was to Bob Satterfield in 1954). The fight was scheduled for 10 rounds…

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  1. Paul Gallender 09:58am, 04/16/2013

    Johnny - There’s no truth to any of the linament stories about Sonny. Cleve liked and respected Sonny and never even broached the subject. Just another fabricated story which, unfortunately, people still believe to this day. Check out the second round of the second William-Liston fight. It’s downright ferocious and Sonny took a number of shots to the head. His knees never buckled. No heavyweight could take a punch better than Liston, and no one ever hit harder. Because of his advanced age, Sonny never really had a prime - at least not in the conventional sense. But when he was at his best, it’s hard to imagine anyone beating him in a 15-round fight.

  2. johnny yuma 06:31am, 04/16/2013

    Those were 2 slam bang bouts. I heard Sonny had some linamint on his gloves,any truth?

  3. Eric 02:49pm, 04/15/2013

    Both men appear to be in their prime here. Ali beat a washed up version of Cleveland William in 1966, and he beat a past prime Liston in ‘64 & ‘65, that is to say if both Liston fights were on the level. Some highly doubt that Ali’s victories over Liston were legit, especially the rematch. Liston appears unfazed by those bombs being landed by Williams. Williams was a thunderous puncher in his own right but Sonny had a better chin and even more power than Williams. Great fight while it lasted.

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