The v2 Forum
Would you like to react to this message? Create an account in a few clicks or log in to continue.

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

+2
Soul Requiem
Derek Smalls
6 posters

Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Derek Smalls Tue 20 Jul - 4:10

I was doing a spot of interweb mooching on the subject of Sonny Liston-and I was getting an itch about how he deserved to be ranked higher in the general populas than he is.
I'm sure you know the drill-most feared, most intimidating ever,etc, but is his overall skillset still under-acknowledged ?
I'd say it was,he was no mere slugger, his jab alone was a lethal weapon and  he boxed for a good ten years before winning the championship,  Golden Gloves included. Its a shame that he went out to Ali so bathetically and his meteoric rise and fall surely dents his standing as one of the very best.
Of course its often said that he just 'grew old' against Ali, and what with the question of his age, it's pretty much goodnight Vienna for Liston from 1964.

But  I think that he deserves to be somewhere round about 6 in my "All Time Heavies" list. Sure, his career pales against a Tunney or Jeffries.But, could he have actually beaten most of the all time greats if they were actually in front of him? I believe that the answer to that is a big Yes.

Whenever I think about a match-up with Joe Louis ,for example ,who is.most people's nailed on Number 2,I think its fair to say, I see it going Sonny's way.All due respect to The Brown Bomber, but   I am not so sure if he would have figured a way past Liston's jab for a good few rounds, all the while Sonny would be eating jabs himself and strong right leads, but in a contest of strength and endurance? That's why I would lean towards Liston.

Anyway, I'm sure that this 'take' will be greeted with circumspection by most pundits, but this is the fun of it all.
It's a subject that's been done to death here..
But not for a good while! So...Are there any other Heavyweights that you think are way way out in their standing in the All Time Great stakes?

Also. I came across an article from Ring Magazine (It's the bible of boxing,dontcha know) from 2017 which seems to have a pretty decent set of metrics for ranking their Top 20.


Here's the link to the whole article

https://www.ringtv.com/488242-ring-greatest-heavyweight-time/

Derek Smalls

Posts : 68
Join date : 2020-08-20

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Soul Requiem Tue 20 Jul - 4:20

1. Ali
2. Louis
3. Holmes
4. Johnson
5. Foreman
6. Lewis
7. Dempsey
8. Frazier
9. Tyson
10. Liston

Would be my rough list based on longevity, historical significance, opposition, ability and head to head. Liston's world level career was quite short so gets marked down for that and the manner of the Ali defeats. His best wins of Patterson, Williams, Folley and Valdes don't quite compare to the others. He would however beat Louis, Johnson and Dempsey quite easily with that sledgehammer jab; Frazier and Tyson would be toss ups, if he can handle the early heat he pulls away late.

Soul Requiem

Posts : 4492
Join date : 2019-07-16

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Derek Smalls Tue 20 Jul - 4:54

Thanks Soul Requiem. The linked article actually says that if Liston was allowed to fight the other guys who were around at the time , he would surely have eaten them up, but....Ifs and Buts.
I with you 100% with your Holmes ranking. God knows what Big Pants would have done to Marciano, for example. It would ,I suspect,shortly resemble a crime scene.
In fact ,Rocky is the one HW that I can never quite  make my mind up on, possibly because his key strengths were endurance  and brute force which I can't see travelling well beyond his era.Nevetheless, you have to rate him as top ten "in the round".
It has to be difficult for anyone to put  more than a ciggie paper between Frazier, Tyson and Dempsey, IMO  each could beat any of the others quite believebly.
The top twenty Ring has a few of the old timers and
I  was piqued to see it be said that Sullivan losing to Corbett has to be taken with a pinch of salt-this is at odds with the narrative that Jim was the start of a new era of "scientific" boxing, a view that I thought was baloney.Sullivan did leap in ,yes, and did engage in grappling and other dark arts.He also had a fine boxing brain and he knew when openings were to be exploited and when to execute his own  "Suzie Q",to borrow Marciano's nickname for his big shot).
A female boxing expert who knew John L and lived through more than half of the twentieth century, Hessie Donaghue, stated that Louis would have pulverised Sullivan, but also that Sullivan would have brushed The Rock aside.

Edit.My mistake. She actually said that Sullivan would takeout Lois,as well.Seems a tad unbelievable to me but she was at least a first hand witness to both fighters.


Last edited by Derek Smalls on Wed 21 Jul - 1:06; edited 1 time in total

Derek Smalls

Posts : 68
Join date : 2020-08-20

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Soul Requiem Tue 20 Jul - 5:12

I do struggle with Marciano; he has the unbeaten record but beyond that he's a fair way behind the greats of the division and I do think he's elevated for other reasons. He beat some ok heavyweights but no one I can imagine going more than a few rounds with Tyson or Frazier for instance. He almost has to rate higher than Wlad and Vitali but see both beating him comfortably if I'm honest.

Dempsey were he bulked up a bit in more modern eras could trouble Tyson or Frazier but at his actual size a tad small in the mythical H2H. Rightfully stands alongside them in a historical sense, his ferocity was second to none.

Any fight between Liston, Lewis and Holmes would be intriguing, all very different but all dependent on their jab, whoever wins that little battle wins the fight. Foreman is an enigma, what performance was his true level, Ali or Frazier? Somewhere in between I guess, would struggle with the jabbers but most likely blitz the pressure fighters, moving forward onto that right hand is only finishing one way.

Soul Requiem

Posts : 4492
Join date : 2019-07-16

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by superflyweight Tue 20 Jul - 23:14

Haven't done a top 10 for a while, but have generally had  Liston at 6, 7 or 8.  

My top 5 is the same as SR's and would generally then have Lewis, Marciano, Liston and Tyson in the next tier and Frazier, Dempsey and Jeffries behind them.  

I've probably now come to the conclusion that Rocky's '0' matters less and that Liston should rank ahead of him at either 6 or 7.  As tough as he clearly was, I think a head to head between them doesn't work out at all well for Marciano.  Not quick enough, not elusive and probably too brave.        

Not sure I agree that a fight between Liston and Frazier would be a toss up.  Frazier wasn't that difficult to hit and he came forward in fairly straight lines and definitely had to fight on the front foot.  Once Liston has measured him up, I think he finishes the fight pretty early after a couple of knockdowns.   Tyson is more of a toss-up because of the greater variety in his attack and his ability to hurt with every punch.  Still fancy Liston to stop Tyson in around 9 or 10.

superflyweight
Superfly
Superfly

Posts : 7508
Join date : 2011-01-27

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by TRUSSMAN66 Wed 21 Jul - 1:12

Frazier wasn't that easy to hit with his side to side head movement...He had quicker hands.  A murderous left hook and he never quit unlike Sonny..

Frazier all day and every day.

Liston not anywhere near my top 10...Maybe 16-20..

Ali..Louis...Johnson..Foreman...Dempsey...Holmes...Jeffries...Marciano...Tyson...Lewis...

TRUSSMAN66

Posts : 39477
Join date : 2011-02-02

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Derek Smalls Wed 21 Jul - 1:17

Well, as the Ring says ,Rocky really had no right getting one W decision so his record really should be accepted with this big caveat.
Re Frazier v Liston , I guess the question is, does Liston manage to carry the fight even with the relentless pressure coming at him? Does he pick Joe off ? It's a hard one. Looking at the Patterson fights, you would have to say that he has a good chance of doing just this. It's not quite fair to say that Floyd was scared stiff.He just wasn't capable as Ali (then Clay) and D'Amato asserted, albeit in private in his managers  case.
Also factor in Liston pounding Joe's arms, which would be a fairly likely tactic and it looks to me as if Liston had the weapons to cope with him and win a latter round stoppage as Superflyweight says above.

Derek Smalls

Posts : 68
Join date : 2020-08-20

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Derek Smalls Wed 21 Jul - 1:20

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Frazier wasn't that easy to hit with his side to side head movement...He had quicker hands.  A murderous left hook and he never quit unlike Sonny..

Frazier all day and every day.

Liston not anywhere near my top 10...Maybe 16-20..

Ali..Louis...Johnson..Foreman...Dempsey...Holmes...Jeffries...Marciano...Tyson...Lewis...

And what about numbers 11 to 20 ? That's when it gets a bit more interesting!

Derek Smalls

Posts : 68
Join date : 2020-08-20

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by superflyweight Wed 21 Jul - 1:26

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Frazier wasn't that easy to hit with his side to side head movement...He had quicker hands.  A murderous left hook and he never quit unlike Sonny..

Frazier all day and every day.

Liston not anywhere near my top 10...Maybe 16-20..

Ali..Louis...Johnson..Foreman...Dempsey...Holmes...Jeffries...Marciano...Tyson...Lewis...

I don't think he was all that hard to hit with a jab and Sonny's jab was concussive enough to slow him down. Jab and move left to take away Frazier's danger punch. Also don't like Joe's chances when he gets in close.

superflyweight
Superfly
Superfly

Posts : 7508
Join date : 2011-01-27

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by TRUSSMAN66 Wed 21 Jul - 22:33

superflyweight wrote:
TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Frazier wasn't that easy to hit with his side to side head movement...He had quicker hands.  A murderous left hook and he never quit unlike Sonny..

Frazier all day and every day.

Liston not anywhere near my top 10...Maybe 16-20..

Ali..Louis...Johnson..Foreman...Dempsey...Holmes...Jeffries...Marciano...Tyson...Lewis...

I don't think he was all that hard to hit with a jab and Sonny's jab was concussive enough to slow him down.  Jab and move left to take away Frazier's danger punch.  Also don't like Joe's chances when he gets in close.

Three wars with the Heavyweight that had the greatest jab of alltime and two defeats to a guy that had the bollox to push him back who didn't have a jab...Both top 5 Heavies...Both with great hearts..

Not a Heavy Sonny fought that Frazier couldn't beat...We know its not the case the other way around..

Frazier wasn't easy to hit with the jab just like Tyson wasn't...Ask Larry.

Ali was exceptional..Foreman was a beast....Liston didn't swarm like George.

TRUSSMAN66

Posts : 39477
Join date : 2011-02-02

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by superflyweight Wed 21 Jul - 23:09

TRUSSMAN66 wrote:
superflyweight wrote:
TRUSSMAN66 wrote:Frazier wasn't that easy to hit with his side to side head movement...He had quicker hands.  A murderous left hook and he never quit unlike Sonny..

Frazier all day and every day.

Liston not anywhere near my top 10...Maybe 16-20..

Ali..Louis...Johnson..Foreman...Dempsey...Holmes...Jeffries...Marciano...Tyson...Lewis...

I don't think he was all that hard to hit with a jab and Sonny's jab was concussive enough to slow him down.  Jab and move left to take away Frazier's danger punch.  Also don't like Joe's chances when he gets in close.

Three wars with the Heavyweight that had the greatest jab of alltime and two defeats to a guy that had the bollox to push him back who didn't have a jab...Both top 5 Heavies...Both with great hearts..

Not a Heavy Sonny fought that Frazier couldn't beat...We know its not the case the other way around..

Frazier wasn't easy to hit with the jab just like Tyson wasn't...Ask Larry.

Ali was exceptional..Foreman was a beast....Liston didn't swarm like George.

All fair enough points, T-Bone.  

I think Liston was capable of doing to Frazier what Foreman did to him.  Also think that Frazier knew he could walk through Ali's jab and sustain only a certain amount of damage and knew that Ali had next to no inside game (certainly at the point of the first fight) once he got there.  Think he'd have to be more cautious against Liston and could conceivably end up on the backfoot.  Eye-test suggests that Liston was stronger than Frazier.  Foreman himself said (after sparring with Liston) that Sonny was the strongest and had the best all round skills of any heavyweight he'd been in the ring with and that he could fight in a number of different ways.  

Obviously an unreliable opinion, but Liston himself was keen on a fight with Frazier when he was on the comeback trail and thought that it would be like shooting fish in a barrel.

superflyweight
Superfly
Superfly

Posts : 7508
Join date : 2011-01-27

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Derek Smalls Thu 22 Jul - 21:06

I wonder why Liston thought that, and I wonder what year it was when he said it? Ali was out between 67 and 70 wasn't he, which means that Liston either fancied the gig  after he himself had lost to a few low status fighters in the mid 60s, or he fancied a Frazier when he was world champ.
With all the will in the world, you can't see Sonny getting a look in really in the autumn of his career against Frazier who whatever question marks there are about him subsequently was a handful for any HW in his prime.
I find it fascinating to think of Liston passing on knowledge to the young Foreman. The destruction of Frazier by Foreman, it doesn't take much imagination to see the blueprint laid out by Liston.Jump on him, and keep it up until the other guy hasn't any belief in himself.
If Liston ever advised Foreman on how to fight Ali, (in the 60s,naturally)its safe to say that went either "out ofthe window" in Foremans mind,or it simply was not good enough advise. Personally I think that Liston was a better all rounder than the young Foreman.
Just one more thought-if Foreman had won against Ali, would he have a fair shout at superseding Louis as Number 2 ?

Derek Smalls

Posts : 68
Join date : 2020-08-20

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by TRUSSMAN66 Fri 23 Jul - 1:24

Foreman and Liston were two different animals....Liston more pensive and used the jab more...Foreman a huge rhino...marauding bundle of energy full of uppercuts and hooks...

Think Frazier's side to side peek a boo gives Liston nightmares...

Styles make fights....

But that's not to say anybody is wrong...Just think Liston is a tad overrated..

Frazier wouldn't be intimidated...Liston would have to risk multiple left hooks and he wasn't as powerful as George...Took a lot of heart beating Frazier like George did...Not sure Liston had enough of it.

We see what we see.

TRUSSMAN66

Posts : 39477
Join date : 2011-02-02

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Soul Requiem Fri 23 Jul - 1:40

Derek Smalls wrote:
Just one more thought-if Foreman had won against Ali, would he have a fair shout at superseding Louis as Number 2 ?

Had Foreman won I think the win gets dismissed to a degree, he was expected to win and win handily at that. He would have needed to hang around, not lose to Jimmy Young and beat Larry Holmes. That said without the Foreman win i'm not certain that Ali is the consensus number one so Big George in that scenario would probably be number one.

Soul Requiem

Posts : 4492
Join date : 2019-07-16

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by TRUSSMAN66 Fri 23 Jul - 6:51

Agree that it would have been a 'shot' Ali that Foreman beat... The thriller in Manila doesn't happen either which also cemented Ali's number 1 status..

Still think he probably gets top spot...As he was unbeatable in his prime and exile is factored in too...as it is to a lesser extent with Tyson..

Liston v Frazier is a fascinating matchup and some interesting opinions.

Nobody is right...Nobody is wrong.

TRUSSMAN66

Posts : 39477
Join date : 2011-02-02

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Soul Requiem Fri 23 Jul - 18:53

Foreman against Holmes, who you got?

It's one of the less discussed fantasy match ups which is odd considering their proximity to each other. I can't picture the fight in my mind, the marauding Foreman or the more methodical Holmes, style wise I could see it being a bit of a stinker.

Soul Requiem

Posts : 4492
Join date : 2019-07-16

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by superflyweight Fri 23 Jul - 20:16

Soul Requiem wrote:Foreman against Holmes, who you got?

It's one of the less discussed fantasy match ups which is odd considering their proximity to each other. I can't picture the fight in my mind, the marauding Foreman or the more methodical Holmes, style wise I could see it being a bit of a stinker.

I'm not sure I've ever seen that match-up discussed on here before. First instinct is to pick Foreman but I think it needs a bit of thought.

superflyweight
Superfly
Superfly

Posts : 7508
Join date : 2011-01-27

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by TRUSSMAN66 Sat 24 Jul - 0:00

Holmes v Foreman now that is a fight and hard to call it..

Every chance that Larry extends George past 7...and then feasts on the empty tank..

Every chance that Holmes walks into a bomb that saw lesser fighters like Snipes and Weaver leave him on Queer street. . Witherspoon and Shavers two world class fighters also nearly stopped him..

On the plus side for Holmes he had one of the greatest survival instincts of alltime...On the negative side should Foreman get him hurt he was a brutal finisher..On the positive side Holmes ususlly got careless later on and Foreman would be less dangerous.. On the negative side Shavers and Tyson the two fighters nearest to George both found him....Shavers in all fairness would have seen the referee stop Larry after that knockdown these days...He didn't and to be fair Larry beat him twice and deserved too.

So I guess it is Foreman early or Holmes late..

55/45 George.

TRUSSMAN66

Posts : 39477
Join date : 2011-02-02

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Soul Requiem Sat 24 Jul - 1:41

That sums it up quite well Truss, they on the face of things are a nightmare for each other.

In a tight fight I usually edge towards the bigger puncher which is quite clearly Foreman, he was also every bit as tough as Holmes and a fight between the pair would not be happening in the sweltering heat of Zaire. Holmes is a very live underdog but there is potential for him to be blown away regardless of his powers of recovery, Shavers ultimately landed one right hand in a fight he was otherwise losing handily, have to assume Foreman connects more regularly and earlier.

Soul Requiem

Posts : 4492
Join date : 2019-07-16

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Derek Smalls Sat 24 Jul - 2:11

Would say the 70s Foreman loses this match up, but wins against mid 80s /90s Holmes


Last edited by Derek Smalls on Sat 24 Jul - 5:19; edited 1 time in total

Derek Smalls

Posts : 68
Join date : 2020-08-20

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Atila Sat 24 Jul - 4:47

Foreman vs Holmes? I've always leaned towards Holmes if they could have met in their primes. I just think that Holmes was the better boxer and had more hand speed that would have given him the edge. If Jimmy Young could outbox a 28 year old Foreman, then I can see Holmes doing it too.

Now, if Foreman and Holmes had met when Foreman came back, that would have been harder for me to pick. Holmes would have been slower, but Foreman would still have been just as powerful as he was in the 70's.

Atila

Posts : 1666
Join date : 2011-06-03

Derek Smalls likes this post

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Derek Smalls Sat 24 Jul - 6:17

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ywliJqlaXTA

More on the subject right here!

Derek Smalls

Posts : 68
Join date : 2020-08-20

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by 88Chris05 Wed 28 Jul - 11:00

Liston is a fighter I've found myself rating a bit lower as the years have gone on - I wouldn't have him in my top ten anymore, whereas I had him just nicking a place there once upon a time. But as we've said countless times, the Heavyweights are a bit flaky once you get past the top half-dozen or so.

Liston was obviously very dangerous and effective against a certain style, but his humiliation at Ali's hands in their first fight, plus his pretty average showing against a cagey Machen in what was a bit of a stinker, make me doubt that he had the skills to unlock any of the really technically proficient all-rounders such as Holmes, Lewis and, dare I say it, perhaps even Wladimir in his Manny Steward years. Goes without saying he has a puncher's chance against them, mind you.

As for the potential Frazier match up, based on styles I can see why Liston is most people's pick. He's probably mine too, but not with a great deal of conviction. Frazier was quicker and, on his greatest night in 1971, had Ali missing a lot in the Fight of the Century which to this day might just be the greatest performance any Heavyweight champion has ever mustered. But he also did that while making Ali back up, which he probably can't replicate against Liston, at least not with any regularity.

Obviously the drubbings at Foreman's hands are hard to get out of your mind when you think about this one, because there are some similarities between Sonny and George, especially in the way they swung to the body, enjoyed the fights being open exchanges at close or mid-range and also the way in which they were allowed to get away with a lot of pushing and measuring with the open glove to set up their power shots, which Frazier is very susceptible too if he's coming in low, particularly in the early rounds.

Liston didn't utilise the uppercut the way Foreman did, though, so that's one less thing for Frazier to worry about. But I guess it's just hard to visualise Liston ceding the ground the way Ali did. I'd take Liston to stop Frazier in the middle rounds as a percentage call but it would be interesting to see what happened if Frazier made it past those stages.

Either way, Frazier definitely rates higher in the pantheon of greats for me. He's still top ten in my opinion, whereas Liston would probably sit at something like #12 on my list now.
88Chris05
88Chris05
Moderator
Moderator

Posts : 9210
Join date : 2011-02-17
Age : 33
Location : Nottingham

Back to top Go down

Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?  Empty Re: Sonny Liston -High in the ATG Ranking?

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum