Charles "Sonny" Liston
(the "Black Bear")

BORN   May 8 1932; St. Francis County, Arkansas (Some sources report Sand Slough, Arkansas)
DIED December 30 1970; Las Vegas, Nevada
HEIGHT 6-0 1/2
WEIGHT 198-226 lbs
MANAGERS Jack Nilon, Joe "Pep" Barone, Eddie Polino, George Katz, Frank Mitchell, Dick Sadler
TRAINERS Willie Reddish, Dick Sadler, Johnny Tocco

Liston was an unbelievably strong man who could take very powerful blows without blinking; His reach was long and his jab was strong; His left hook was awesome; It was a mistake to meet him head-on and trade punches with him early in a fight; The best chance against Liston was to stay away, box him and wait until the later rounds to confront him, when he was tired and somewhat ponderous

Herb Goldman ranked Liston as the #2 All-Time Heavyweight; Sonny was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991

1953
Sep  2 Don Smith                  St. Louis, Mo                    TK  1
Sep 17 Ponce DeLeon               St. Louis, Mo                     W  4
Nov 21 Ben Thomas                 St. Louis, Mo                     W  6

1954
Jan 25 Martin Lee                 St. Louis, Mo                    TK  6
Mar 31 Stan Howlett               St. Louis, Mo                     W  6
Jun 29 John Summerlin             Detroit, Mi                       W  8
Aug 10 John Summerlin             Detroit, Mi                       W  8
Sep  7 Marty Marshall             Detroit, Mi                       L  8

1955
Mar  1 Neil Welch                 St. Louis, Mo                     W  8
Apr 21 Marty Marshall             St. Louis, Mo                    TK  6
May  5 Emil Brtko                 Pittsburgh, Pa                   TK  5
May 25 Calvin Butler              St. Louis, Mo                    TK  2
Sep 13 Johnny Gray                Indianapolis, In                 TK  6
Dec 13 Larry Watson               East St. Louis, Mo               TK  4

1956
Mar  6 Marty Marshall             Pittsburgh, Pa                    W 10

1957
Jan    -Liston began a 9-month sentence for beating up
           a police officer in May 1956
Aug 24 -Liston was paroled from jail

1958
Jan 29 Billy Hunter               Chicago, Il                      TK  2
Mar 11 Ben Wise                   Chicago, Il                      TK  4
Apr  3 Bert Whitehurst            St. Louis, Mo                     W 10
May 14 Julio Mederos              Chicago, Il                      TK  3
Aug  6 Wayne Bethea               Chicago, Il                      TK  1
Oct  7 Frankie Daniels            Miami Beach, Fl                  KO  1
Oct 24 Bert Whitehurst            St. Louis, Mo                     W 10
Nov 18 Ernie Cab                  Miami Beach, Fl                  TK  8

1959
Feb 18 Mike DeJohn                Miami Beach, Fl                  TK  6
Apr 15 Cleveland Williams         Miami Beach, Fl                  TK  3
Aug  5 Nino Valdes                Chicago, Il                      KO  3
Dec  9 Willi Besmanoff            Cleveland, Oh                    TK  7

1960
Feb 23 Howard King                Miami Beach, Fl                  TK  8
Mar 21 Cleveland Williams         Houston, Tx                      TK  2
Apr 25 Roy Harris                 Houston, Tx                      TK  1
Jul 18 Zora Folley                Denver, Co                       KO  3
Sep  7 Eddie Machen               Seattle, Wa                       W 12

1961
Mar  8 Howard King                Miami Beach, Fl                  TK  3
Jul 14 -Liston was suspended by the Pennsylvania Athletic
           Commission after being arrested
Nov  6 Ernie Terrell              Chicago, Il                      EX  4
Dec  4 Albert Westphal            Philadelphia, Pa                 KO  1

1962
Sep 25 Floyd Patterson            Chicago, Il                      KO  1
          -Heavyweight Championship of the World

1963
Jul 22 Floyd Patterson            Las Vegas, Nv                    KO  1
          -Heavyweight Championship of the World
Aug    -Liston went on an exhibition tour in Europe
Sep 10 an unnamed opponent        Wembley, Eng                    SCH   
Sep 12 an unnamed opponent        Paisley, Scotland               SCH   
Sep 14 an unnamed opponent        Belfast, Ireland                SCH   
          -The previous 3 bouts were scheduled;
          The outcomes are not known

1964
Feb 25 Muhammad Ali               Miami Beach, Fl                  LT  7
          -Heavyweight Championship of the World

1965
May 25 Muhammad Ali               Lewiston, Me                     LK  1
          -Heavyweight Championship of the World

1966
Apr  2 Brady Jackson              Anchorage, Ak                    EX  2
Apr  2 George Gaston              Anchorage, Ak                    EX  2
          -Gaston substituted for "Herb Johnnie"
Apr  2 Fred Waldron               Anchorage, Ak                    EX  2
          -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
Jun 29 Gerhard Zech               Stockholm, Sweden                KO  7
Aug 19 Amos Johnson               Goteborg, Sweden                 KO  3

1967
Mar 30 Dave Bailey                Goteborg, Sweden                 KO  1
Apr 28 Elmer Rush                 Stockholm, Sweden                TK  6

1968
Mar 16 Bill McMurray              Reno, Nv                         KO  4
May 23 Billy Joiner               Los Angeles, Ca                  TK  7
Jul  6 Henry Clark                San Francisco, Ca                TK  7
Jul    George Foreman             Oakland, Ca                      EX  5
Jul    George Foreman             Oakland, Ca                      EX  5
Oct 14 Sonny Moore                Phoenix, Az                      TK  3
Nov  3 Willis Earls               Juarez, Mex                      KO  2
Nov 12 Roger Rischer              Pittsburgh, Pa                   KO  3
Dec 10 Amos Lincoln               Baltimore, Md                    KO  2

1969
Mar 28 Billy Joiner               St. Louis, Mo                     W 10
May 19 George "Scrap Iron" Johnson Las Vegas, Nv                   TK  7
May    George Foreman             San Francisco, Ca                EX   
May    George Foreman             Las Vegas, Nv                    EX   
Sep 23 Sonny Moore                Houston, Tx                      KO  3
Dec  6 Leotis Martin              Las Vegas, Nv                    LK  9
          -NABF Heavyweight Championship

1970
Jun 29 Chuck Wepner               Jersey City, NJ                  TK 10

Record courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization
 
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