Boxing History: September 25, 1962 Sonny Liston KO 1 Floyd Patterson, Chicago. Liston wins World Heavyweight Title.
With an arrest record as long as his list of knockout victims, Sonny Liston was fearsome both out of the ring and in. The surly challenger had boasted that he would blast Floyd Patterson from his heavyweight throne in five rounds. It didn’t take nearly that long.
With a 25-pound weight advantage (214 to 189), Liston took control from the start, pounding away at the champion’s ribs with a two-fisted attack in their bout at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Then he dropped Patterson with a powerful left hook to the jaw. Patterson was counted out at 2:06 of the first round and it was several minutes before he could be helped to his corner.
“I felt enough of him under my glove on that last hook to know it was a good enough punch to put any man down hard,” Liston said.
Former heavyweight champ Rocky Marciano, who attended the fight, said, “I never realized Liston had so much power.”
Liston’s Record: 54 Fights: 50-4-0 with 39 KOs
Charles L. “Sonny” Liston (May 8, 1932 – December 30, 1970) was an American professional boxer known for his toughness, punching power and intimidating appearance, who became World Heavyweight Champion in 1962 by knocking out Floyd Patterson in the first round. Liston is ranked number 15 in Ring Magazine’s 100 Greatest Punchers of All Time.
Sonny Liston is interred in Paradise Memorial Gardens in Las Vegas, NV. His headstone bears the simple epitaph: “A Man.”
Sonny Liston KO 1 Floyd Patterson, Chicago. Liston wins World Heavyweight Title.