1963-07-22 Sonny Liston w co 1 (15) Floyd Patterson, Convention Centre, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WORLD

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1963-07-22 Sonny Liston w co 1 (15) Floyd Patterson, Convention Centre, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA - WORLD. Referee: Harry Krause. Once again Liston (215) wasted little time, walking into the former champion and dropping him with three heavy rights to the head after the pair had clinched. Given the compulsory ‘eight’ count, with Patterson (194½) still befuddled it was not long before Liston had him over again from a long right to the head. Again Patterson failed to take proper advantage of the count, and he was immediately backed up against the ropes and sent to the canvas after taking three clubbing rights to the head followed by a left hook. This time there was no reprieve, Patterson being counted out on the 2.10 mark in a fight that lasted just four seconds longer than their first meeting.

By now the former Olympic champion, Cassius Clay, who would eventually be known as Muhammad Ali (due to him becoming a Muslim in mid-1964), was coming along fast, making predictions on which round he would win and generally causing a stir wherever he went. His brashness also won him the soubriquet of the ‘Louisville Lip’. Following 18 straight, including wins over men such as Argentina’s Alex Miteff, Sonny Banks, who dropped him, the ill-fated Alejandro Lavorante, Archie Moore and Doug Jones, he then defeated Henry Cooper (w rsc 5 at Wembley Stadium, London, England on 18 June 1963) in what was a world title eliminator. This was a fight made famous by Cooper’s left hook that almost destroyed Clay in the fourth round; the American being saved by the alertness of his cornerman, Angelo Dundee, who cut his gloves during the interval and brought valuable time for his charge. Having made the number-one slot the young fighter would be next in line for Liston.