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Liston Charges Police Harassment in Philadelphia

Oct. 6, 1962 - Sonny Liston (pictured left with his wife Geraldine) was picked up by police in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park last night and later released. A report filed by a park guard, Aaron Smith, said the 28-year-old heavyweight champion was halted while driving his 1962 Cadillac at the unusually slow rate of 15 miles an hour. Smith said he smelled alcohol on Liston’s breath and that the boxer could not produce the owner’s card for the automobile. No charges were placed against Liston, who has a prison record. Smith said he radioed for a patrol wagon to take Liston to the Sedgely Park guard house. The park guard said that Liston, who won the championship by knocking out Floyd Patterson on Sept. 25, became abusive. According to Smith, Liston called him prejudiced. When the patrol wagon arrived, Liston refused to get in because a “white man was the driver,” Smith said. Alfred Klein, a member of the Pennsylvania Athletic Commission, described the incident as “police harassment” of Liston. “Aren’t they going to let that guy alone?” asked Klein. He said that he did not know the champion to drink and “a fighter, as a rule, doesn’t.”

#boxing #1960s #boxingnews #boxinghistory

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