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Sonny Liston Does Scotland

Sept. 12, 1963 - Sonny Liston became a firm favorite with Scottish boxing fans today after wearing a kilt, playing bagpipes, and kissing a pretty lassie. The heavyweight champion was on a flying visit to Glasgow for a three-round exhibition. The Braemar Gil pipers’ band met him at the airport. He borrowed a set of bagpipes and struggled for a long time to get a sound out of it. Finally, it gave out a long, low wail, but it took Liston longer to achieve this than it took him to knock out Floyd Patterson in their last fight. “It’s harder than fighting,” Liston remarked. Then he stepped forward and planted a discreet kiss on the cheek of Mrs. Vera Marshall, the band’s pretty drum major. “Oh dear, what will my husband say?” she said. In the lunch hour, hundreds of office workers cheered Liston as he swaggered through the center of Glasgow win highland dress. Promoter Peter Keenan took Liston to six stores before they could find a kilt to fit him. Finally, he was fitted out at a store which supplies outsize kilts to the police pipe band. The kilted world champ stole the show at the weigh-in of Scotland’s Walter McGowan and Jamaican Kid Solomon. The two flyweights provided Liston with his best trick since he came to Scotland. He picked up one man in each hand and held them shoulder-high.

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