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🚨Liston K.O.’s Patterson in First Round Again

July 22, 1963 - Charles (Sonny) Liston blasted Floyd Patterson into oblivion after 2 minutes 10 seconds of fighting tonight at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The champion floored the challenger 3 times in the first round of the scheduled 15-round fight, which lasted 4 seconds longer than the first meeting between the pair. In the brief time the action lasted, Patterson showed he had nothing but courage to offer in his attempt to regain the title he had held on two previous occasions. A crushing left hook ended the bout, as Liston battered Patterson viciously from one side of the ring to the other. Patterson got up to one knee, seemingly listening to referee Harry Krause count to eight. Then came “nine” and, finally and inevitably, “ten.” It is a good thing Patterson didn’t beat the count the third time. The 28-year-old New Yorker was in a dream world, wide open to Liston’s murderous fists, and Liston did not appear to have any mercy in his makeup as he stood poised to complete the kill. The champion’s overwhelming victory was loudly booed. “The public is not with me. I know it,” he said afterward. “But they’ll have to swing along until somebody comes to beat me.” If Liston had any intention of parading in his moment of triumph, it was denied him by the irrepressible Cassius Marcellus Clay. The 21-year-old undefeated heavyweight jumped into the ring after the fight and succeeded in capturing the attention of the crowd. “Was that a fight?” screamed Cassius. “It was a disgrace to the fight game! I want the Big Bear as soon as I can get him. He’s just a bum. He can’t fight. He’s too big. He’s flat-footed. I’ll knock the big bum out in eight rounds. If he don’t cut out this jive, I’ll cut him down in five.” Clay’s sideshow seemed to affect Liston not at all. The champion has acquired a sense of patience after a life of violence and unpleasantness that has included severe whippings at the hands of his father — his body still bears the scars — dire poverty, and detention behind walls. As he listened to his next opponent prattle on tonight, Liston probably enjoyed to himself the prospect that lies before him: to do to Clay what he had just done to Patterson.


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