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Tunney Calls Liston-Patterson Fight “Terrible Hoax”

Sept. 26, 1962 - Former world heavyweight champion Gene Tunney (pictured left fighting Jack Dempsey in 1927) today called the Sonny Liston-Floyd Patterson fight last night “a terrible hoax.” He viewed the title fight last night on closed-circuit television. “The people who paid were burglarized,” Tunney asserted. “When you put on a fight and ask people to pay for it, you must have some sort of guarantee they will see a show. It is ‘shows’ like this that are rapidly killing boxing.” Tunney said he believed Patterson went into the ring a frightened man. “He was so frightened he didn’t even box,” said the man who retired an undefeated champion in the late 1920s. “Can anyone imagine the champion holding on in the first clinch?” he asked. “And I tell you this — if they ever meet again, the same thing will happen.”


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