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Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) vs Sonny Liston Press Letter 1964


Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) vs Sonny Liston
Rare Press Letter, 1964

The first time we have seen one of these. A very rare 1964 Press Letter for the boxing championship fight between Champion Sonny Liston and Cassius Clay.  Great piece of boxing and sports history.

At the time of the first Liston-Ali fight on February 25, 1964, Sonny Liston was the world heavyweight champion, having beaten Floyd Patterson by a first round knockout in September 1962. With an impressive knockout record to that point, Liston was a fighter many other heavyweights were reluctant to meet in the ring. Henry Cooper said that if Cassius Clay (Ali's name at the time) won, he was interested in a title fight, but if Liston won, he was not going to get in the ring with him. Cooper's manager Jim Wicks said, "We don't even want to meet Liston walking down the same street." Liston was an ex-con with ties to organized crime whose ominous, glowering demeanor was so central to his image that Esquire Magazine caused a controversy by posing him in a Santa Claus hat for its December 1963 cover.