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Liston Postpones Fight Against Clay — Clay Calls Sonny “Scared”

Aug. 6, 1963 - Heavyweight champion Sonny Liston has postponed until “sometime next year” his proposed September Philadelphia title defense against undefeated Cassius Clay because of tax problems, but he said he would consider a December defense against some other challenger. To open discussions about the December defense, possibly against Ernie Terrell, Liston said today he would go to New York to talk with promoter Harry Markson of Madison Square Garden. But Liston, who is constantly belittling Terrell’s ability, is not overly eager to fight the 6-6 beanpole from Philadelphia because of Ernie’s habit of clutching in the clinches. “He’d make a lousy opponent,” Sonny said today. “I can’t stand all that huggin’ and kissin’ when I’m fighting.” In New York, Clay (pictured today) said he was “gravely disappointed that I won’t be the youngest heavyweight champion in history because that big, ugly bear is afraid of me.” “Only a few months stand between me becoming the youngest champion in history,” said Clay in between sessions of cutting an LP record. “He’s scared to death of me,” said the 21-year-old Clay. “I’m no Patterson. Everybody says Liston is so bad and mean. They saw he’ll kill me. Well, if he’s so bad, why doesn’t he fight me? It isn’t because of tax problems. He’s just scared. I got tax problems too.”


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