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Liston: Clay Won’t Last Eight Seconds

Nov. 16, 1962 - World heavyweight champion Sonny Liston said today he would defend his title “wherever the price is right.” Both Liston and Jack Nilon (left), his adviser, said they felt they had a moral obligation to Floyd Patterson to give the ex-champion first chance. Sonny, however, termed “ridiculous” Patterson’s proposal to have the fight staged in New York by the same promoter who sponsored their first bout. New York has refused Liston a license to fight in that state. The champion expressed a preference for holding the Patterson rematch in Philadelphia, but he said that Los Angeles might be acceptable. Liston said he was willing to meet either Cassius Clay or Ingemar Johansson after the Patterson rematch. “Maybe we ought to make it a tag-team deal,” joked Liston, implying he could whip both fighters the same night. Reminded that Clay had threatened to knock him out in eight rounds, the champion retorted, “I’m not going to promise him he’ll last eight seconds.”


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