PDA

View Full Version : George Foreman vs Sonny Liston



olympic auditorium
07-11-2005, 08:06 PM
Liston had a great jab and had knockout power in both hands.Foreman was always coming at you.With his brute strength he would wear his opponents down.Liston was an all around better fighter than George.Liston by KO in the 12th rd.

StingerKarl
07-12-2005, 12:07 AM
Liston KO 6

Ronald Lipton
07-12-2005, 12:25 AM
Liston rolling, slipping, coming in, pressing, snapping that long jab, and pulling him into shootouts up close would stun him and club him down.

He would back George up take whatever he threw and the more George would throw the more vulnerable he would be to be hurt real, real bad, with vicious responses from Liston.

He would get what Cleve Williams got twice. The more aggressive George fought the faster his demise would ensue. He would be hurt at his own game of clubbing a man down with no plan B to revert to.

As long as they turned Liston loose with all he had in this one, George would lose against the Liston who did in Williams and Patterson, Valdez, DeJohn and Folley.

crold1
07-12-2005, 12:52 AM
Some might laugh, but the olkder Foreman, with the cross armed D and the long jab ay have done better with Sonny than the young aggressive one

Roberto Aqui
07-12-2005, 01:43 AM
No matter whether Sonny threw the Clay fights or not, his natural talent and rep greatly exceeded his ring accomplishments. The only near great heavy Sonny ever beat was Patterson which is a far cry from Foreman.

Older Foreman showed what was lost when he first retired. Somehow I just don't envision George with a busted jaw whooped on by Marty Marshall or stretched out cold by Leotis Martin.

Any form of George would leave Sonny comatose or quitting in his corner. Too strong, to resolute. Sonny would look good the first few rounds with his jab, but once George locked in his timing, and Sonny was a mechanical type of fighter, George starts to wade in with the kind of punches Sonny always feared and it's all over. 6 rds at best.

Ronald Lipton
07-12-2005, 02:14 AM
When Liston lost to Leotis Martin who is the guy who really killed Sonny Banks and seriously injured other fighters, Liston was mainlining scag, coke and was a shell.

It is not that he just beat guys he anniliated them. Marshall really did break his jaw while Liston had his mouth open talking to him. He finished the fight.

Cleve Williams laid out Terrell cold in 7 rounds, Zora Folley bounced Bonavena off the canvas like a yo yo, Nino Valdez almost killed Tommy Hurricane Jackson and was a strong dangerous fighter, and MIke DeJohn was one of the most dangerous punchers of the time. All not great, but it is the way Liston did them in.

If people bring up Machen who went the distance you must remember in his time Machen was an extremely tough and skilled warrior, very strong. He was pretty shot when Frazier got him and Boone Kirkman.

Foreman also went the distance with Cookie Wallace and Greg Peralta who had no where near Liston's jab, right hand and hook. George's chin was no where near Liston as Lyle dropped him no problem, imagine what Liston would do.

All points are good brought up by Robert and he could be right who knows. I know I would be ringside with you for that one.

walsh b
07-12-2005, 09:14 AM
I just don't understand all this adulation of Liston. Foreman was a true legend of the division, Liston was a blow in...How could Liston beat Foreman???, George was bigger, stronger, just as fit, and above all...he had heart, guts and courage. Liston was a quitter when the going got tough. A bully who was fine when dishing it out, but wasn't that good at taking it. He was easily hit, had little movement...Foreman would have no trouble landing clean hard punches on him, and Liston proved against Clay that he didn't have true championship heart. What the hell is he 'gonna do when the Massive Foreman nails him.......

rocky111
07-12-2005, 01:12 PM
Sonny was one the great heavies, misused, mismanaged, lacking education and having but one direction to go, and that was down. He had no choice if he wanted to eat. Turn him loose against Foreman and you have a complete 12 or fifteen round fighter, who would outbox George on the best day he ever ever had. Sonny had great legs, great stamina and was a better boxer than Foreman. Sonny had all the guns at his best and knew how to bring them into play. Nobody was gonna shove Sonny back and club at him.

blv30
07-12-2005, 02:48 PM
would stop Liston in the later rounds, though Sonny would definitely let him know he was in a fight.

Hagler04
07-12-2005, 04:43 PM
Many of those claiming a Foreman victory must have not seen the film of Liston vs Machen, Williams (both fights), DeJohn, and Whitehurst (a journeyman but an awkward and crafty fighter to fight).

Liston was not a quitter. The Ali fights will forever be shrouded in controversey but when he was in his prime he slugged with sluggers (DeJohn, Williams) and boxed with the boxers (Machen, Folley) and came out on top everytime. And while those guys are not top 10 all time HWs, there were a VERY good crop of guys . .the post Marciano division was DEEP. Liston showed almost everything you'd want in a HW fighter-chin, stamina, head movement, jab,a two handed body attack etc. Foreman, had a very hard but not nearly as accurate jab, a clubbing puncher with tremondous natural power, very good chin himself, and under-rated speed and athleticism. But Liston just brings more to the table, and was more of a complete fighter.
He had everything Ron Lyle had and a bag of potato chips and look how close the 34 year old Lyle came to stopping Big George . . .it would be an entertaining fight and Liston might get stunned but he'd regroup and bomb Foreman out of there by round 5.

Ronald Lipton
07-12-2005, 09:15 PM
Good points and well said Hagler.

I just think Liston would give him a much harder time and much more damage than Alex Stewart who I refereed up close, much more trouble than Gregorio Peralta, Ron Lyle and exhaust and drop George with more damage than Jimmy Young.

George had the power to hurt, shake and drop anyone.
His kind of punch delivery would be countered well by Liston. I noticed in most all of George's fights he fights so straight up with his chin in the air, I used to wonder if he could bend at all.

Liston would crouch, bend, and explode over the top getting angles on many of the bangers he faced and drop them hard.

I will be the first to admit that Big George could hurt anyone though. He was a bit one dimensional and LIston could fight and box with the power in reserve at all times.

walsh b
07-13-2005, 07:18 AM
Well apart from Liston being a bully and lacking heart, the only way I'd see him beating Foreman is thru cheating. Like he tried with Clay in 1964.....blinding Clay and then going hell for leather looking for the KO...Clay weathered the storm and tamed the beast.....Foreman has too many tools for Liston...

Kid Achilles
07-13-2005, 02:29 PM
Too many tools?

When Liston was coming up the writers of the time were comparing his skills and the way he fought to Joe Louis. That's how awesome he was. The same was never said for Foreman. The concensus with Foreman was always that he was a big guy with a HUGE punch and questionable stamina who would probably get outboxed and stopped in the later rounds eventually. They were right.

If Foreman wins, it's through heart and strength and nothing more. Liston was a much better boxer IMO. He had more skill and athleticism, as well as a better reach to boot. It's one thing to pick Foreman, but to say George had more tools than Liston (which is the same as saying he was more skilled; let's be frank here) is simply not true and a slap in the face of an all time great heavyweight.

GorDoom
07-13-2005, 02:46 PM
If we're talking about the young Foreman there is one basic fact that would have kept him from beating Sonny:

Stamina.

Foreman like Tommy Morrison was wound too tight in the ring & couldn't relax. Think about the truly great fighters like Duran, Robinson, Ali, etc. They were relaxed in the ring & not tensed up.

Tension can sap you as badly as a beating. Morrison-Mercer is a perfect example. So is Ali-Foreman.

What's so ironic is the key to foreman's success in his comeback was how relaxed he was in the ring. If you could somehow combine the young Forman's physical attributes with the savvy of the older Foreman, you would have had a practically unbeatable heavyweight.

GorDoom

Dragnet 69
07-17-2005, 08:10 PM
I like Liston to beat either version of George. A combination of old and young George would be like a Sonny Liston with less boxing ability. Not many heavyweights of Liston's size and strength had the kind of boxing skills both on offense and defense that Sonny had. For as strong as Sonny was and having such big power, he was very relaxed and patient in the ring. Liston was an uneducated person but intelligent in the ring. I agree with part of an above comment that his natural talent and skills greatly exceeded his accomplishments. This was because of mismanagement and Sonny's ignorance. Overall talent, skill and ring smarts Liston matches up with any of the great heavies though. I don't think many could have beaten him except for maybe the slick fast movers and they better be moving all night long and be able to deal with his jab. Due to Sonny's short title reign and the controversy in the Ali bouts, Liston is overlooked and underated IMO when looking at great heavies. TIP

Mr E
08-03-2005, 03:55 PM
Boy, you guys, I am surprised the voting is so lopsided here, but I have to cast my ballot for Big George. In my view, he was bigger, stronger, a harder hitter, and had a better chin. And, his jab was every bit as good as Liston's. Seriously, take another look at the Frazier rematch -- holy cats what straight left hand he had!

Speaking of Frazier, IMO, he would have beaten every fighter Liston ever beat and might very well have beaten Liston himself. But against George he was completely outclassed. Great as he was, in 2 tries Frazier couldn't even make that fight competitive, LET ALONE come close to winning one of them.

I've seen the film of Liston v. Cleveland Williams and all I got out of that was that the Big Cat may be the most over-rated heavyweight in the history of boxing. He was slow, wild, easy to hit and he only beat one good fighter in his entire career. [Terrell-- but then Terrell shut him out in the rematch.] IMO, Williams does not make it out of the first against Foreman.

I don't really see Liston trying to stick-and-move and out-box Foreman over the distance. I guess if he employed that strategy, he would have a chance. But I think these guys would collide at center ring and unload on each other, in which case the guy with the bigger punch and the better chin -- Foreman! -- would win.

Foreman TKO7.

Hagler04
08-03-2005, 10:30 PM
Don't see how you say Williams was slow and unskilled after watching him. Did you see the first Liston-Williams fight? Cleveland comes off looking very good, and he was held correctly in high regard by boxers and trainers.

How do you get Foreman had a better chin? Or that his jab was better . . .Foreman himself said Liston was the only man who ever backed him up with the left in sparring. Yeah George looked good in the Frazier rematch against a Frazier who's body was completly gone and had nothing left . .
The Frazier of 1973 vs Liston . . .same result as Foreman-Frazier 1 but done more efficiently.

Ronald Lipton
08-03-2005, 11:36 PM
Have to go with Hagler on this one, good points.

George was something, saw all his fights, spent time with him while I was preparing for the DeLahoya V Leija fight he called.

We were alone for several hours in the basement of the Garden at a weigh in buffet. We talked about Charlie Shipes and the fights I saw Charlie in. He loved it. I was at ringside for his fights with Peralta, Kirkman, Frazier II, Chuvalo.

Now LIston was tight with Hurricane Carter and I was with Sonny quite a bit in the 60's, watched him spar before the second Ali fight, and saw him as a kid when he was in Philly, in the days he boxed with Carter.

He was a guy who would honestly get to Big George, he had the goods and it would go the way of the Cleve Williams fights.

He was too much of a hard core guy, too determined and down right too much power in a more sophisticated jab, and heavy heavy short shots that would get inside Foreman's wider type punchers. If Liston hurt you, you were toast in those pre title days of taking out Wiliams, Folley, Valdez, DeJohn and the rest.

He knew how to bust up the tall guys, and chop them down.
He had a much better chin than George and it would be a telling factor. A big vicious Man V a big mean fighter but one who would be purified of his anger, determination and will by being numbed, hurt, and punished like he never felt before.
Liston would make the Lyle fight look like kisses from a prom queen.

Mr E
08-04-2005, 03:49 PM
Don't see how you say Williams was slow and unskilled after watching him. Did you see the first Liston-Williams fight? Cleveland comes off looking very good, and he was held correctly in high regard by boxers and trainers.

How do you get Foreman had a better chin? Or that his jab was better . . .Foreman himself said Liston was the only man who ever backed him up with the left in sparring. Yeah George looked good in the Frazier rematch against a Frazier who's body was completly gone and had nothing left . .
The Frazier of 1973 vs Liston . . .same result as Foreman-Frazier 1 but done more efficiently.

I have Liston-Williams I, yes. In fact, I have 3 Williams fights on tape -- during which he lasts a grand total of 8 rounds (not even). I guess I could understand excusing blow-out losses to Liston and Ali, because they were who they were -- but who did he ever actually beat that was any good? Yes, he came from behind and caught Terrell with a big shot in their 1st fight, but, in the rematch, Terrell beat him like a drum -- pitched a 10-0 shut out, right? He got starched by over-the-hill light-heavy Bob Satterfield, and got what I understand was a gift draw against Eddie Machen in a fight Machen clearly deserved to win, and there's the end of the "name" fighters on his resume. I don't see where the Big Cat legend comes from.

I never said Foreman's jab was better than Liston's, but now that you mention it, it may have been. Foreman IGNORED Joe Frazier's power. Twice. Who in the heck could have done that unless his chin was freakin' concrete? Lyle dropped him, but, man alive, that right hand that Foreman walked into was one for the ages, wasn't it? And George got up. And he won. What tough fight did Liston ever win? When did he ever come from behind or come back from being hurt? IMO, he quit cold to avoid getting knocked out by Ali in the first fight. Imagine what he would have done after a couple rounds for George Foreman missles crashing off his skull. Better pack his track shoes. ;)

Mr E
08-04-2005, 03:52 PM
Have to go with Hagler on this one, good points.

George was something, saw all his fights, spent time with him while I was preparing for the DeLahoya V Leija fight he called.

We were alone for several hours in the basement of the Garden at a weigh in buffet. We talked about Charlie Shipes and the fights I saw Charlie in. He loved it. I was at ringside for his fights with Peralta, Kirkman, Frazier II, Chuvalo.

Now LIston was tight with Hurricane Carter and I was with Sonny quite a bit in the 60's, watched him spar before the second Ali fight, and saw him as a kid when he was in Philly, in the days he boxed with Carter.

He was a guy who would honestly get to Big George, he had the goods and it would go the way of the Cleve Williams fights.

He was too much of a hard core guy, too determined and down right too much power in a more sophisticated jab, and heavy heavy short shots that would get inside Foreman's wider type punchers. If Liston hurt you, you were toast in those pre title days of taking out Wiliams, Folley, Valdez, DeJohn and the rest.

He knew how to bust up the tall guys, and chop them down.
He had a much better chin than George and it would be a telling factor. A big vicious Man V a big mean fighter but one who would be purified of his anger, determination and will by being numbed, hurt, and punished like he never felt before.
Liston would make the Lyle fight look like kisses from a prom queen.

I don't know, Ron. You know more about boxing than any 5 guys I know, me included, and that's for sure. But do you really reckon Liston for having more resolve and a better chin that Foreman? If you're right, then your analysis is right, but I have to say I'm skeptical. My gut tells me differently, but, on the other hand, my "gut" has so far failed to make me a millionaire when betting on sporting events....

walsh b
08-04-2005, 03:57 PM
Mr E, you nailed it. What fight did Sonny really have to dig deep to win. George did it many times and had a granite chin. He had championship heart, Sonny hadn't. How can Sonny beat that. Foreman was a monster of a man with skills to back it up. He was 6ft 5 of pure power, with a huge reach and awesome power. Sonny was no ballerina and proved that his heart was not always in for a fight. Foreman was never a quitter and could fight real hard when the going got tough. George walked thru Frazier and Norton. Who else in history could have done that to a prime Frazier???. I am 100% sure that if George connected on Sonny, half as much as he did on Joe...Sonny is going down.....and let's not forget that Liston was there to be hit.....

Ronald Lipton
08-04-2005, 04:46 PM
Gentleman,

Lets not grow George now to 6'5" he was a midget of only 6'3" (Smile)

If this fight went down and it was Liston who lost I would and could expect anything from a powerhouse like Foreman, you guys could be right who knows.

However, Liston's chin was so much better than Foreman's, and like Rocky said, no one was going to push Sonny back and club him. Too much skill with too much of a vicious power response.

I give Foreman credit for coming back from the Alex Stewart massacre of his face, that showed iron balls. Also his guts V Holyfield showed me plenty.

As to Frazier, Joe unfortunately did not land one decent power shot in two fights to test anything of George's chin. Watch both fights and nothing hits George of any consequence in the face or body. He could not get through his big arms, too short.

Liston at his prime was not just a clubber and wild swinger, this guy could get down and box and fight and I feel with his chin would go nowhere against Big George like Peralta went nowhere. In their primes men hurt George and no one hurt Liston.

As to Williams I understand your points to a degree but it is not just who he laid out but how. I saw him hit Tod Herring a right hand that would have felled a steer. Stopping Terrell in those days was no light thing. He was strong enough where Patterson's people wanted no part of the Big Cat on more than one occasion.

He came to fight and swing, just like George and Cleve was 6'3 215 like Foreman, he got pole axed twice, after trying every bomb in the book on Sonny. Liston pursued him, ducked his shots, rolled with them, and blasted the big man out.

walsh b
08-04-2005, 05:04 PM
Ron, where do you get the whole theory of Liston's chin being better than George's. Foreman's chin was legendary. Was he ever KO'd, besides Ali wearing him out over 8rds. I don't think he was. To say that one guys chin is far better than another may hold up when you compare say Marvin Hagler to Terry Norris, but with Foreman, you have an alltime great chin. George didn't take much against Frazier granted. But that just goes to show how devestating he was. I'll give more credit and emphasis to Foreman's heart and guts and desire, than I'd give to Sonny's so called boxing ability and power. Foreman had these traits as well as the huge punch and reach and self belief. Ron, another thing is that George I believe was taller than Ali and Norton by a couple of inches. I know he is listed as 6ft 3, but physically I'd have it darn close to 6ft 5. This is quite noticeable when him and Cooney square up. Gerry was 6'6 or 6'7 and Foreman looked bout an inch shorter. Also we all remember the bombs Cooney landed on Foreman, and by god Gerry could throw a shot...if that doesn't compliment Foreman's chin, what does???

Ronald Lipton
08-04-2005, 07:48 PM
All good points as usual, and I always respect your opinion and enjoy your posts Walsh.

George did indeed prove to me many times as a big fan of his, and I would add I am much more a fan of George than Liston, so you are singing to the choir here as far as who I would be rooting for.

Even guys with great guts, good chins, can be dropped.

Hell, Bonavena survived Frazier in 25 rounds but Folley and Ellis bounced him around like a yo yo. Lyle's shots were indeed helacious and your point is well taken.

Young dropped George more from exhaustion than anything and Lyle would have dropped about anyone, granted.

I believe that George was much more courageous than Liston but this thug had power and was such a force on the way up that I see things as a fighter when I watch them both that makes me pick the winner in this bout with my head rather than my heart.

Before Liston destroyed himself and was at his potent best, I believe he would topple George who would come to him. If anyone did that with the prime Liston it was like Molly Hatchet says, "Flirting with Disaster."

I guess Walsh, my pick also comes from the way they both throw punches, their delivery and that no one downed Liston at all, until he was riddled with Heroin, coke, age and Leotis Martin's ass whippin.

The Ali II fight was a farce.

As I said, if Big George laid him out, I would be the first one at the bar buying you a drink and trying to close my jaw which would be dropped to my knee is disbelief.

We both know Foreman had the juice to put away anyone if he kept landing cleanly. Liston knew his way around in there and had to box some of the more talented guys around in wars.

George kind of lost interest and intensity after guys like Cookie Wallace and Peralta would not fall. Cookie admittedly fell for no one else either. Liston's skull, jaw, neck were made of iron in his prime. He was mean to the bone, George was more cranky (smile)

Best,

Ron

Ronald Lipton
08-04-2005, 07:50 PM
PS

George is no more than 6'3 6'3 1/2
Cooney 6'5

Ali was 6'2 1/2" despite inaccurate tales of the tape

JLP 6
08-10-2005, 10:23 AM
All I'll say is that straight punches beat wide ones. Liston by KO.

Mr E
08-10-2005, 03:57 PM
I'm tellin' ya guys, take another look at Foreman-Frazier II and tell me where you see the wild punches. Until he lowered the boom in the 5th, Foreman controlled that fight by consistently beating Frazier to the punch with straight jabs and right hands. IMO, THAT Foreman -- 6'3", 224 1/2 lbs., focussed and in shape -- was a flat-out monster.

I concede that Liston MIGHT have beaten him for the reasons Ron Lipton has set forth, but no way is that a cakewalk and no way is it as simple and Sonny just stepping inside a bunch of looping shots and teeing off. [I've seen Liston throw plenty of wild swings himself.]

JLP 6
08-10-2005, 05:35 PM
I've never seen Liston throw a wild punch but if I remember that Ali fight Foreman was throwing roundhouse punches that even Fraizer said "he needs to shortin' up."

Mr E
08-10-2005, 07:14 PM
Yeah, Foreman got a little wild in there Zaire, no question.

As for Liston, though, don't you think he started to come unglued -- and started winging wild shots -- against Ali the first time? And how about as he started running out of gas against Leotis Martin?

JLP 6
08-10-2005, 09:17 PM
Never saw the Martin bout. But your right on the Liston-Ali bout.

Tough fight to call, but from the other fights I've seen of both guys I'd say Liston was the better fighter.

Mr E
08-10-2005, 10:50 PM
IMO, this is a bout on which reasonable minds can differ. I have a hunch that Big George would win, but I sure wouldn't put my mortgage on it.

mike21
08-15-2005, 10:40 PM
to late for this post, but liston was well schooled and foreman not. foreman was 6 3 in a half tops- seen him train. foremans chin now overrrated, his stanima and chin questionable in first carreer. did help that he kept his chin up. and as stated previous, he was not about to shove liston , or many others around. liston probable winner.

Steve McV
09-21-2005, 08:14 AM
Agreed. Foreman was an awesome puncher but guys, Liston's shots weren't exactly kisses from a prom queen! More, Foreman (for whatever reason) just didn't have the stamina. Besides, Liston had more sheer boxing skill, a greatert variety of punches and better defense. Neither man was fast moving around the ring; Liston had faster hands.

Foreman is one of the most powerful punchers in boxing history, but Liston packed quite a wallop himself and was just the better fighter all around.

Liston by knockout in the 8th, although Sonny might hit the canvas in the early rounds himself!

PeteLeo
09-21-2005, 12:08 PM
If Liston went down, I tend to think he'd stay down. Between diving twice to Ali and cheating in several other matches, I'm not at all convinced that Sonny was the type to get up from a shot hard enough to drop him and continue in the face of such power.
This isn't a popular stance and may seem a bit cold-hearted when dealing with a deceased former champ, but you can't just throw out the performances that you don't like when assessing the man's career. Sonny kissed off the most prized title in sports and then embarrassed himself and the sport in the alleged "rematch." Add in his penchant for employing blinding ointments against troublesome opponents, and in my opinion you have a guy who would just stay down for the count if Big George managed to floor him. Too many of us allow Liston's fearsome visage and admittedly impressive skills and power to color our ranking of him. The physical side is only a part of the overall fighter. PeteLeo.

wildhawke11
09-21-2005, 09:15 PM
Reading through the posts it seem most favour Liston to win.
My opinion is for the first 3 or 4 rounds its anybody's fight. Then the odds shift in favour of i feel the more complete all round fighter Liston. Someone on here said at one time Liston was seen as the new Joe Louis thats how in the early days the experts of the fight game saw the fearsome Liston.

I have a video somewhere in the house where the young Mike Tyson at his peak was comparing the various other champions from the past. Lets not forget like him or hate him the young Tyson was a formidable force.

Anyway Tyson was asked which champion he would least have wanted to face. Mike smiled and said "Has to be Sonny Liston" He went on to add "How i was going to get past the great jab would be a big problem for me" also again smiling he added "Then even if i do manage to get inside i am now face to face with the rest of the big guns that Sonny has"

In 10 fights i give 6 wins to the Big Bad Liston. Foreman might just have the edge in one shot power. But overall i feel Liston was the more complete package and was still going to be as dangerous as ever in the later rounds as Big George lack of staying power was now starting to come into play.

The old man who fought Clay is not the same fighter we are talking about now stepping into the ring with Big George. This is the Liston told by the mob " Go For It Sonny Our Money's on You Tonight"
My opinion Anyway Gentlemen

Kid Achilles
09-21-2005, 09:46 PM
I would love to hear Tyson talk about the old timers. Perhaps to a greater degree any other heavyweight champion, he was a student of the sport's history. Does anyone know if his commentary is available anywhere, perhaps compiled on VHS or DVD by a fan who trade fights?