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. With the return clause in place, Liston (215) again 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, Patterson (194½) was still befuddled and 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 for Patterson and he was counted out on the 2.10 mark, lasting just four seconds longer than in their first meeting.

By this time 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, Alejandro Lavorante, Archie Moore and Doug Jones, he then defeated Henry Cooper (w rsc 5 on 18 June 1963 at Wembley Stadium, London, England) 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.