Sonny Liston vs. Zora Folley

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Liston covers up against Folley

Sonny Liston 213 lbs beat Zora Folley 198 lbs by KO at 0:28 in round 3 of 12

  • Date: 1960-07-18
  • Location: Denver Coliseum, Denver, Colorado, USA
  • Referee: Joe Ullmer

Associated Press, July 20, 1960:

Sonny Liston, swinging his sledgehammer fists with devastating fury, knocked out Zora Folley in 28 seconds of the third round after battering him to the canvas twice in the second round of their scheduled 12-round heavyweight fight last night. Liston, 212½-pound slugger from Philadelphia, gave ground in the first round before he unleashed his dynamite-laden 14-inch fists that slammed Folley to the deck early in the second round and again as the round ended. Folley, 198½, of Chandler, Ariz., took nine counts on both knockdowns, the bell ending the second round saving him from the cold, calculating attack that finished him in the third stanza.

Folley, a polished boxer who had won his last 10 fights—three by knockouts—staged a brilliant rally after the first knockdown. Folley staggered to his feet and battered Liston brutally with a two-fisted attack that forced the Philadelphian to give ground before he unleashed another of his bone-crushing left hooks and right-hand smashes that sent Folley crashing to the canvas on his face. Folley was struggling to his feet when the bell saved him. Handlers worked over him frantically in the corner but the effort was futile. The Arizonan danced out as they started the third only to be caught flush on the jaw by another terrific blow. The Philadelphian set up Folley with a right cross and then decked him with a fabulous left hook—a blow that has held his last nine opponents for the 10 count.


  • Liston entered the fight ranked No. 1 in the world. Folley was ranked No. 2 by The Ring magazine and No. 3 by the National Boxing Association.
  • Folley was guaranteed $40,000 and Liston $25,000. Liston accepted the smaller fee in order to make the fight.
  • A crowd of 9,252 produced a gross gate of $77,406.55.