Well This Is Certainly Interesting

I know that correlation is not causation, and these rumurs have been around for a while, but still

Fifty years ago today, Muhammad Ali “shocked the world” and beat one of the most fearsome fighters ever to put on a pair of boxing gloves, heavyweight champion Sonny Liston.

…Maybe it wasn’t such a shock, as 4-decade-old documents released to The Washington Times under the Freedom of Information Act show the FBI suspected the fight may have been fixed by a Las Vegas figure tied to organized crime and to Liston. The documents show no evidence that Ali was in on the scheme or even knew about it. And nothing suggests the bureau ever fully corroborated the suspicions it investigated.

An interesting series of “coincidences,” especially to my mind at least the claim that Resnick (who played basketball at NYU) may have been involved in the CCNY point shaving scandal in 1950.

3 Responses to “Well This Is Certainly Interesting”

  1. Syd B. says:

    I remember that fight well. My father took me to a dingy, smoke filled apartment of a friend, who had a very antiquated pay tv gismo. It was a box that sat on the top of his cabinet tv, as I recall. I was only 10 years old at the time, but I recall there was a great deal of swearing going on and although I was no angel, even at that tender age, there were words I had never heard before. In any event, those old guys, my Dad included, hated Ali with a passion. He was a loud mouthed, brash black guy and in the ’60’s, that didn’t go over well. In fact, when he knocked Liston down with that phantom punch, I thought my father was going to have a stroke. Ever since that day, Cassius Clay became my hero and he remains one of my favorite sports personalities of all time today. I saw him fight live once when he went 15 rounds against a Canadian heavyweight by the name of George Chivalo (sp?) I saw every fight he ever had as a pro on the big screen, the best being the “Thrilla in Manila” against Smoke’n Joe.

    If Liston’s camp through that fight, little did they know that they were doing so against the “Greatest of all time”.

  2. Rob says:

    I never bought the conspiracy theory. It just requires too many people to keep their yaps shut. The fight game was dirtier then than now but heavyweights gather too much attention to pull something like that off. Ali beat him a second time. Both were convincing. He was just a better fighter.

    I saw Ali live at the SuperDome in 1978, I think. He beat Leon Spinks. Even had ourselves a streaker (Edy Williams) for that one.

  3. Mr. Bingley says:

    I loved watching every fight of his (and Ken Norton, Frazier, Foreman, all those guys with Howard Cosell doing the broadcasts); I think he truly was one of if not The Greatest.

    But I thought the collection of scum and villainy referenced in the article certainly makes some interesting reading.

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