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Louis Looks at Liston and Likes What He Sees

Sept. 21, 1962 - Joe Louis (right), Sonny Liston’s idol, visited the challenger’s training camp in Aurora Downs, Illinois, today in the role of part-time journalist. Louis said the talk of champion Floyd Patterson’s speed was overblown. “I don’t think speed’s very important for a heavyweight,” said Louis. “I’d say that Sonny’s got the best left jab in the business. Power? Well, I’d say he was as strong and powerful as Marciano.” Joe was referring to Rocky Marciano, who once knocked him out and later vacated the heavyweight crown after compiling an undefeated record. Louis said Liston undoubtedly would rely “on brute strength, nothing fancy” and that his chances for success would diminish with each passing round. What surprised Louis most about Liston was the amount of hard work he was doing in the gym every day. “I never did that much work,” Joe explained. “Things like punching the bag and shadow-boxing — where I did only one round, Liston does three or four.”

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