Scandals: Muhammad Ali controvertial fixed match

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One of the best heavyweight boxers Muhammad Ali was suspected to be involved in a match scandal following his knockout on Liston, here things you need to know about the match.

Former professional  Heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali is arguably one of the best fighters in the history of boxing and has won several boxing matches.

Ali was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, he began training as an amateur boxer at age 12. At 18, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics and turned professional later that year.

He won the world heavyweight championship, defeating Sonny Liston in a major upset on February 25, 1964, at age 22.

Who would have thought one of the greatest boxer in the history of the game would been involved in a contrversial match.

The ending of the second Ali-Liston fight remains one of the most controversial in boxing history. Midway through the first round, Liston threw a left jab and Ali supposedly went over it with a fast right, knocking the former champion down. Liston went down on his back. He rolled over, got to his right knee and then fell on his back again.

Many in attendance did not see Ali deliver the punch. The fight quickly descended into disarray. Referee Jersey Joe Walcott, a former World Heavyweight Champion himself, had a hard time getting Ali to go to a neutral corner. Ali initially stood over his fallen opponent, gesturing and yelling at him, “Get up and fight, sucker!” and “Nobody will believe this!”

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According to an article written on Medium stated that large swath of people  believe that Liston “took a dive” in the fight as a result of the fight being fixed, with Liston falling as a result of a “phantom punch” (ie, one that never happened).

When some 2,400 spectators entered the small arena in the town of Lewiston, Maine, they expected a hard-fought rematch between boxing’s youngest star, Ali, and Liston, who was the formidable favorite. However, what they got instead was confusion and outrage when Ali knocked Liston to the ground just a minute and 44 seconds into the first round with a punch that no one appeared to have seen.

Fans and boxing experts immediately questioned the validity of the punch — arguing that Liston was no easy target. Additionally, quick counterpunches such as the one that took Liston down were not a major part of Ali’s repertoire. “This was a hugely controversial bout because Ali was not known as a power puncher,” Guzman explained, “It’s not even completely clear that he landed anything when he dropped Liston in the first round.” Sportswriter Jimmy Cannon, who was ringside at the match, stated, “I saw that punch and it couldn’t have crushed a grape.”

Amidst the hype and controversy, there are others who believe Ali simply landed a perfect blow and knocked Liston out, fair and square. But even after several decades of back and forth, no one can say for sure what truly happened.

Sportscliffs

 

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