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Liston on Clay: “He’ll Get It”

June 21, 1963 - Sonny Liston says he has unfinished business with Floyd Patterson and then he will take care of Cassius Clay “and his big mouth.” “That boy is for me all right,” said the heavyweight champion today. “But I got an agreement to fight Patterson again, and that comes before anything else. Patterson was man enough to give me a chance for the title, and he’s got a return coming, which he’ll get even though it’s been held up a couple of times.” The Liston-Patterson fight is scheduled for Las Vegas July 22. The blunt-speaking champion resumed talking about Clay. “Maybe he has to have some respect knocked into him. The heavyweight championship and the guy who holds it is a little different from picking on a beat-up old English bleeder like Henry Cooper. He better get some respect in him, I say.” Liston was then told how Clay had said he planned to beat the champion. “For the first six rounds,” Clay had said, “I’ll go pop, pop, pop and dance away so fast Liston won’t know what’s popping at him. By the end of six, Liston will be gasping for breath.” “Hold it,” said Liston. “I’ll be gasping for breath? By then I ought to be just stepping out of the shower to talk to reporters while Clay is waiting for a surgical doctor to put the pieces together and announce he is retiring. Just let that boy be patient. He wants it bad? He’ll get it. I’ll see to that.”


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