Boxing Legends | The Scoop with Bola Ray | Talkin Fight
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Hello once again, talking fight nation, welcome to another episode of the scoop featuring the champ ray who’s, been discussing all sorts of interesting characters.
This past week, from floyd patterson, archie, moore, ernie, terrell great fighters of a day gone by, but nonetheless those who all are included in the muhammad ali story.
Let’S just say, and tonight uh bola’s got another fantastic story lined up for us and uh hey without further ado he’s gon na.
Let us let us go.
This is a story about a fighter that is that is near and dear to me, because i was actually in his autobiography, not only as the first fight he had in prison, but his first boxing match in prison.
He was the ultimate mystery and in that no one actually knows when he was born, and no one knows when and how he actually died.
What history does tell us is that he is an amazing fighter, um, a fighter that literally got better and more dangerous as his career progressed.
My name is bola raymond oluwali, and this is the scooter today.
I’M talking about a troubled man um that couldn’t shake his demons right till his death coming into the world in a ten minute: shack 17 miles, north east of forest city arkansas, the 24th of 25 kids born to toby liston and the tenth child to helen liston.
His wife um was none other than charles sunny liston.
Now some have sunny’s birthday as may 8th 1932, and that’s because that’s what sunny said, but also keep in mind.
Something was completely illiterate.
Um yeah there was evidence of a sunny, i’m sorry a charles the sailor.
Liston beginning his boxing career 1934, which very well could be that very same person.
If that’s the case when he won the first in the world title now, to put him at 45 years of age.
For the very first time, a reporter did some research into the date of sunday’s birth and concluded that sonny was actually born in accordance to him, um july 22nd, 1930.
And he got his research from census reports and also from interviews done by his mother before her death.
A quote from sunny about his beginnings was: i had nothing when i was a kid, but a lot of brothers and sisters, a helpless mother and her father that didn’t care about us at all grew up with a few clothes, no shoes little to eat.
My dad worked me hard and he woke me hard that is pretty much telling of his life and you see why he has troubles right through um yeah helen left, her husband in 1946, and ran away.
I guess to st louis some months, maybe even a year later, sunny followed suit and ran away to be with her in 1950, sonny and two other friends.
Mates got themselves in a wee bit of trouble and were arrested for two armed robbery: armed robberies of gas stations and one of a diner and received two cons, concurrent sentences of five years apiece now, while at missouri state penitentiary, uh facility in jefferson city.
That’S where sonny started his boxing career um.
I think it’s still to this day, um, where, when you’re in this some state penitentiaries will offer uh an amateur boxing scenario where even athletes from the outside will come in to fight their champions or whomever.
Now, if this, if the movie that i was in, was accurate, the story goes as such, so suddenly got into a little altercation with uh with an inmate and ends up, knocking him out now the chaplain reverend eloise stevens catches, the whole play runs over to sunny And mentors him to, maybe you should consider trying boxing.
He thinks that he has a real gift for it.
Now the choices you can see, the kids troubled and the guards who didn’t see who could have seen didn’t see the fight happen could have led sonny to having some serious complications.
So instead somebody asks well.
Why do you know that i’d be so good? He goes well see you just knocked out the missouri state penitentiary state champion heavyweight champion and he began boxing now.
The reason why i know this story so well is because i was henry luster, the missouri state penitentiary heavyweight champion [ Music ].
He then had a boxing match against henry lester and knocked henry last year on the first round and star was born.
Now was released october 31, 1952 and immediately joined a boxing gym um.
He went off and uh saw a great deal of success in this.
Very short, amateur career in that on on march 3rd, on march 6 1953.
He ended up competing in the chicago golden globe tournament and won the won the heavyweight title.
But the noteworthy component of that story was the fact that his gold medal match was against none.
Other than ed sanders, who is ed sanders? You say that’s what i’m saying ed sanders was part of the american uh 1952 helsinki summer olympic games team, not just the team member, but the olympic gold medalist.
He ended up beating the recently crowned olympic gold medalist in his first tournament out yeah.
He was something special just to say just to say the least um.
He goes on to win the new york state golden glove tournament and then the inner city golden glove tournament.
Um, which was just a comp, my um, a collection of different cities being put together and uh and competing for a golden globe.
He was representing chicago at the time april.
He has his one of the few losses um where in the quarter, finals of the u.
s national, where he lost to one jimmy, mckinnon, um and i’m sorry mccarter, and he ended up recruiting jimmy as a sparring partner, pointless right throughout his uh professional career june.
3Rd of that year, the saint louis golden glove team – okay, the saint louis golden glove team, was invited to represent the united states as a whole in a in a dual meet the us versus west europe in an international golden gloves, tournament of sorts and sunny was One of the heavily heavy favorites to win to come, bring back a gold um now sonny stopped herman schwein bauer, getting better with this whole german name thing um of west germany in the first round.
Now, keeping that in mind for the record, he was the european champion, bronze medalist.
This is the guy who just got out of prison.
Just beat a bronze medalist, so european broadspot, who said that um, the head coach of the saint louis team, said he was quoted as saying he has never seen any fighter pro or amateur, with sonny’s mount power.
It was incredible now once again for the record.
All of sunny’s, amateur accolades and accomplishments was done in six months of competing all those golden championships from the international contemporaries, the beating of uh olympic gold medals, the the beating of uh european um european championship, uh bronze medalist.
All that was done in six months.
I’Ll be in i’m traveling, um february of 53 sunny turns bro.
Now, back in the day, uh there was a huge um or significant financial um component when it comes to turning pro.
So a lot of fighters had to go off and find investors to go off and help them with their with their uh, secure their dream and um.
Some could only find one investor who happened to be within the mob now to supplement sonny’s income.
He would work as a racketeer or um an intimidator, slash, enforcer yeah.
You can see how well that would have gone right, so he was no stranger to the law and would be stopped on site and harassed constantly like on-site and a notification happened where suddenly went and beat up a cop broke his leg and then stole his gun.
He was sentenced in nine months uh for that one and after he was released, um yeah the troubles with the law continued and under the advisement of the police.
He was told to move out of saint louis.
This was a guy who went internationally he’s representing the united states, not just saint louis, but united states came back victorious, you figured he’d be celebrating, so much was your form.
Instead, he was constantly harassed by the law enforcement because well he was just a bad egg.
So sonia moved to sunny philadelphia.
His contract was also sold from one mob family to another, another mob group and um.
He also acquired a new manager in joseph pep barron, who was a frontman for the mob group of frankie capron and frankie blinky palermo.
Now, under this new management group, sonny’s win streak continued and with predominantly all stoppages um until he went up against none other than cleveland williams.
Well, cleveland was told as being the hardest punching heavyweight in the world and with that in their contest, cleveland was able to withstand sonny’s power for three whole rounds, and then he succumbed to sonny’s power right um post this fight.
This was seen as sonny’s best performance ever uh.
He was really.
He made a whole lot of headway.
Let me um this now 96, you saw sonny run through nine components like a hot knife through butter um, one of them being cleveland williams again in a rematch where he, this time lasted two rounds sort of no yeah.
He also went up against a roy harris who roy had fought then championed floyd patterson and put up a decent contest up to the 13th round, where patterson finally finished him.
Yeah um, sonny finished them in one round and yeah.
There you have it now.
Sunny is the top contender for the heavyweight title of the world.
No um sonny’s knockouts were even was was ended even when he wanted not sorry.
His knockout streak ended when he won an uh, a unanimous decision against one eddie, martin um, and this was a nonsensical fight in the sunset eddie just came to run.
He didn’t actually put up a contest.
He didn’t fight the man.
He just was just trash, talking him and running looking just his sole objective.
In that whole contest was to survive, and he did congratulations.
He ran beautifully, had nothing to do with boxing, took a good, sound beaten, but survived.
Congratulations! Now, post this um well actually even during this sonny, was deducted a point for a low blow in the 11th round and he still won the fight because this guy didn’t even show up.
But now history has it that later on, muhammad ali actually spoke with um eddie and asked him link for tips on how to beat sonny and eddie said get into his head.
Make him all crazy, yeah he’ll forget everything about strategy, i’m not sure exactly why anybody was looking at him or maybe just because it was one of the few people that actually saw the final round.
Our final bell, that was some huge success.
So post 1960 sonny was the number one contender for the heavyweight title um, but floyd’s handlers refused to give him a shot, citing that it wasn’t worth it.
It wasn’t worthy.
They decided to continue with his extracurricular activities, which, after being busted for impersonating, a police officer, got his license suspended for nine months now.
This is what sonny saw as justification for him not being worthy of a title shot.
Meanwhile, the irony the irony sonny’s are floyd’s coach customato was suspended by the new york state, athletic commission on grounds racketeering because of sunny’s fight with johansen and had a two months or sorry uh uh a year suspension for it, and yet he has the audacity of Going off and using that as an excuse not to fight sonny, he was scared.
Now, if it was just that, if it was just um floyd, one would say: hmm: okay, but civil rights leaders pled with floyd, not to give sonny, listen a title shot, because he would be a bad role model for young blacks.
In the event, he won being just decorated as a street thug.
It went so far as jfk as in the president of the united states pled with floyd patterson, not to give sonny listen a title shot because of his connections with organized crime like this guy couldn’t catch a break at all.
He was like not liked yeah yeah yeah, the great and former world champion jack dempsey, also chimed in and said he doesn’t deserve a title shot because it was criminal or criminal um, his criminal movement and finally, sonny said something in the sense that with where does Dempsey get off getting the right to say who should fight when he refused to fight for in ww2 world war ii, so 1961 sony changed management and they changed their tactic where they went into the media and demanded a fight, [ Music ].
They put out some nasty campaign in essence, saying that floyd was only willing to fight to defend his title against white combatants and it worked and it worked september, 25th 1962.
The fight was set now, even though there’s a slight edge for liston to win this fight.
Um only with the bookies in the bookies um world, the book populous, if you will um, saw it as favoring sonny a bit everybody else.
Even former champions we’re talking marciano we’re talking, ezer charles um, joe braddock jersey, joel wilcox uh.
They all saw floyd as being the surefire winner of this contest in a 15-round decision except one, newly crowned olympic gold medalist in name cassius, clay sonny would win by a fifth round, knock him.
I said all right: the fight started and two minutes and six seconds later, the fight was over due to a monstrous left hook, post fight.
There was no love for sonny whatsoever and uh, at least in philadelphia, and he was crushed.
You could see it in his eyes: um larry merchant, then a reporter with the philadelphia daily news, wrote um a celebration for philadelphia’s first first heavyweight champion is now in order.
Emily post would probably recommend a ticker tape parade for confetti.
We can use torn up arrest warrants.
Liston win over paterson prove that in a fair fight between good and evil, evil must win.
Listen move to denver colorado, floyd, enacted his rematch clause and had the dance july, 22nd, 1963.
um floyd was knocked down three times and um well stayed down on after the third time um, which ended the fight two minutes and ten seconds of the first round.
He lasted four seconds longer.
This time, sonny was met with the audience booing him like this guy couldn’t catch a break.
Now, let’s move forward february 25th 1964 was the night that boxing world changed forever uh.
It was reported that sonny didn’t even train for this fight.
Like he didn’t train hard, at least for this fight, because he was going up with some against some underestimated – brash big mouth kid now, this brash big mouth kid happens to be muhammad ali.
The fight begins with ollie dancing backwards and staying stinging, sunny with with his jab and in the process of just peppering him like crazy um.
This narrative continues on to the second round, but then in the third round, ollie turns it up a bit and lands.
Some huge combinations where he actually cut listen where he needed eight stitches over his eye.
This is the first time in his whole boxing career, amateur pro that listen has ever been cut at all.
Fourth, one comes out and uncharacteristically listen is trudging forward.
Swinging swinging swing ali is dancing going backwards, taking some punishment but he’s not really launching anything called an offense.
Now, when the fourth round ends all he’s in the corner and goes my face is burning, my face is burning.
There’S something in my eye angel dundee.
His cornman takes a a wet sponge and wipes his eye washes his face um, but before he finishes that he actually touched his face, put it in his own eye and he was able to feel the burn himself.
So he knew that something was up.
It was then later denounced that sonny lesson’s cut man had put an ointment on his gloves, which burnt his eyes.
The fifth round comes out and now all he’s just running backwards, but keeping his long arm out his long reach out – and this is a question like i just don’t understand some things – i don’t remember what ali’s reach was, but something that as interesting stat about sunny Listening was that he had one of the most freakishly long reaches ever in the sport of boxing, in that the average man from fingertip to fingertip.
If you measure that’s your height, i at six foot seven have what people well.
I have a very long reach by comparison to most in that from fingertip to fingertip.
My reach is seven foot, one 85 inches sonny listen was six one and a half his reach was seven foot 11 inches longer.
Now, if you see this fight, ali is just literally keeping him at bay with his left hand and rubbing his face, trying to get whatever’s burning him off him, bert sugar.
There’S the boxing historian wrote it looked like ali was a drunkard and leaning up against a post.
The fifth round finishes and ali survives more importantly, his eyes.
His vision clears up.
Sixth round begins and ali goes to work, throwing huge punch, combinations and just punishing listen for the whole sixth round.
The bell goes, and then it happened at the beginning of the seventh round.
Listen isn’t getting off the stool.
Liston is complaining that he has an injured, shoulder, listen has just lost the heavyweight title or, more importantly, muhammad ali has just been crowned.
The heavyweight champion in the world jubilant is an understatement and all you can hear all he’s saying: well, not all, but he was chanting.
I shook up the world, i shook up the world, i shook up the world and he did now in our rematch november.
1964 sonny trained super hard for this fight.
He won well, he needed justice and yeah.
This is where the whole phantom punch scenario came.
I truly believe that it actually happened.
I think that ali actually did hit him and if he, if listen, took a dive which i i can’t see him doing, um it would have been listen taking the dive.
But i it was a um or sorry took actually took a year off after the second loss, um and then returned to the ring.
After that he actually amassed quite the record um in his comeback trail.
He had 14 win, 14 fight, 14 wins with 13 knockouts um until he went up against one leonis.
Martin um in this fight, martin went down in the in the fourth round and sonny was winning the fight in entirety, but then ended up getting caught in the ninth round okay and got knocked out in face first, but so be it.
So he brushed off whatever got back in the ring and uh.
He had a fight june 29th.
, decent nice ninth round knockout.
Here she would have it.
That would be the last time you ever step.
Foot in the ring.
Sonny was in talks for having a world title shot against the then world champion uh joe frazier, and he was super confident that he was gon na mop the floor, failure um and then to have his wife.
Jaradine come home um january 5th, 1971.
After a next two week, three week, vacation and she found sonny’s body dead and decomposing in their home with a needle in his arm.
Now the police came, did an investigation and concluded that sunny one died january 30th and they were able to determine the date via the milk cartons, uh, the milk bottles and the newspaper left outside, and they deduced that his death was due to heroin overdose.
They claimed that the precinct was well aware of his heroin addiction and usage.
What they failed to tell you is that suddenly listen had a phobia of needles, what a tragic ending to a phenomenal fighter and the mystery still lives on today who killed sunny um.
That’S my show if you like this episode, please hit the like button and subscribe and hit the notification bell.
It’S your boy bala and that’s the scoop thanks very much for another fantastic episode that should be a movie.
Actually, it was a movie and you were in it and uh we’ll see you on monday.