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Sonny Liston

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Charles "Sonny" Liston's life and death began and ended in the same manner: as a mystery. Liston, one of 25 children by his father, is reputed to have been born in May 1932, yet prison records show various birthdates, among them 1928. After a rough upbringing, with little formal education, Liston found himself in trouble with the law. He served brief prison terms and on one occasion was introduced to boxing by a prison chaplain. Liston excelled in his newfound love, boxing, and, after a short amateur career, turned professional. At 6 feet 1 inch and 217 pounds, Liston had devastating punching power, an iron chin, and lightning reflexes, along with a powerful jab. He quickly destroyed all the leading heavyweight contenders--Roy Harris, Zora Folley, Cleveland Williams--to earn a title shot against Floyd Patterson. Liston destroyed the champion in one round and destroyed him again in the rematch. Liston was the most feared man in the world, until Muhammad Ali arrived on the scene and knocked him out twice, ending his championship days and his reputation as the "World's Baddest Man." Liston continued to box until the time of his death. His 17-year ring log was an impressive 50-4 with 39 knockouts. Outside of the ring, Liston had a charming personality. He was friendly with his fans and had a soft spot for children. He acted in a number of films, the most famous being Harlow with Carroll Baker. He died under mysterious conditions on December 30, 1970.  See full bio on IMDb »

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