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Liston Odds To Beat Patterson Are 4-to-1

July 20, 1963 - Charles (Sonny) Liston (pictured with 11-year-old Mike Zwerner, a family friend), who won the heavyweight championship of the world last September by knocking out Floyd Patterson in 126 seconds, will give his New York rival a chance to win the title back Monday night. The pair will fight in a scheduled 15-round bout to be held indoors in the 8,000-seat Las Vegas Convention Center. The challenger is giving away 20 pounds to the challenger. The quotations today in the legal betting establishments in Vegas favor Liston at odds of 4-1. Regardless of the winner, there is no return-bout contract. If Liston triumphs as expected, he will defend the crown against young Classius Clay at the Philadelphia Municipal Stadium on Sept. 30, say Liston and advisor Jack Nilon. If Patterson scores an upset Monday, as he did in his second fight with Ingemar Johansson in 1960, Floyd probably would wait until next year to defend against Cassius because of income tax pressure. Liston indicated today he will try to knock out Floyd even more quickly than at Comiskey Park last Sept. 25. Sonny said today he hopes to dispose of Floyd in 84 seconds. He did not disclose how he arrived at that number. “I’ll have knockout written on every punch,” said Liston. The sentiment expressed informally among most sportswriters indicates overwhelming support for Liston because of one important factor: the champion apparently is immune to punch-shock in the head, whereas some writers accuse Floyd of having a “china chin” because of his knockouts by Johansson and Liston and his knockdowns by others. Some writers recalled that even when Sonny suffered his lone defeat by Marty Marshall in 1954, Marshall broke Sonny’s jaw but could not put him down and had to be satisfied with a decision. Liston never has been stopped or floored in his 35 fights. In a return bout in 1955, Sonny knocked out Marshall in the sixth round. Today, Liston’s 34-1-0 record includes 23 knockouts.


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