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Liston Terrifies Reporters in Post-Fight Press Conference

July 23, 1963 - At his post-fight press conference last night (pictured), Sonny Liston was unmarked and there was no sweat on his face. He looked as if he might have come from a quiet business conference. “That doesn’t mean I wasn’t eager,” asserted the champion. “I went into the ring giving everything I had. I wanted to prove that my first victory over Patterson was no fluke. I think I did it — even though it took me four seconds longer to get rid of him this time. Believe me, this guy Clay isn’t going to last much longer.” “Did Patterson fight better this time?” Liston was asked. “Did you see the fight?” Liston shot back. Then he reconsidered. “I really wasn’t noticing whether he was fighting better. That eight-count system had me handcuffed. It gave him time to clear his head.” The inevitable question came. “When are you going to fight Clay?” Liston said he would meet Clay in Philadelphia in late September. “How long would it take you to beat Clay?” he was asked. “It would take me about a round and a half to catch him and then a half round to knock him out. I am not worried.” “Could you have taken Patterson with one hand?” the champion was asked. “Yes, I think I could.” He said this in a matter-of-fact way, with no trace of boasting. In the silence that followed, he stared at the mass of reporters. “Do you always stare at people like that?” one newsman finally ventured. “Yes, I do,” came the reply. It is a terrifying stare, backed by two of the biggest and hardest fists in the history of the fight game.


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