The Early Death of Sonny Liston

By Boxing News on January 10, 2013
The Early Death of Sonny Liston
Before he became a boxer, he was an armed robber known as the "Yellow Shirt Bandit."

It’s been said that only the good die young, which doesn’t do much to explain Sonny Liston. He was born dirt poor, could neither read nor write, but he was able to do things with his fists that proved useful. Before he became a boxer, he was an armed robber known as the “Yellow Shirt Bandit,” but that was the only thing yellow about him. No stranger to jail, no stranger to the mob, Liston was eased into the pro game and won the heavyweight title from Floyd Patterson in 1962. But whether it was in or out of the ring, Liston was one mean SOB, and made the bad old George Foreman and the bad old Mike Tyson look like pikers by comparison. After losing his title to Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) in 1964, Liston was no longer the malevolent force of nature everyone assumed. And when he was found dead in his bedroom in 1971, in the midst of negotiations for a fight with George Chuvalo, Liston’s story required a rewrite…

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  1. Eric 03:53pm, 01/14/2013

    With the possible exception of Rocky Marciano, Sonny Liston could very well be the most overrated & underrated heavyweight champion ever at the same time.

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