Muhammad Ali Reveals Being ‘Scared To Death’ Before Facing Sonny Liston For Te First Time Inside The Ring


Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston was one of the most talked about boxing bouts in the history of the sport. Before fighting Ali, Liston had the reputation of a hard hitter and even knocked out Floyd Patterson twice in a row.

Ali said about Sonny Liston in an interview: “Sonny Liston, before I fought him, was considered one of the greatest fighters in history. Sonny Liston had a punch that knocked out Floyd Patterson in just one round twice. Everybody was scared of him.”


Ali added: “Scared to death. Think it’s the second fight when I knocked him out in one minute of the first round. That was a sharp right hand that nobody could see.” The ‘Greatest’ confirmed that going into the fight with Liston, he was terrified.

However, in the second fight, Ali managed to knock Liston out in the very first round. It was the fight that gave fight fans the iconic picture of Ali standing over Liston and asking him to get up and fight.

Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston 2: The ‘Phantom Punch’ controversy

The rivalry between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston started in 1965 when Ali dethroned the latter as the new heavyweight champion. It was the last fight Ali fought as Cassius Clay before he converted to Islam which pushed the rematch further.

Finally, both met in Lewiston, Maine, for the first time, and fans flooded in to see an amazing showdown between the fighters.

However, When Ali dropped Liston to the canvas barely one minute and 44 seconds into the first round with a punch that nobody seemed to have seen, they received uncertainty and outrage instead.


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