Sonny Liston’s tale should be a compelling, ultimately uplifting, rags-to-riches one; the story of a man who rose from the depths of Depression America to become heavyweight champion of the world. All of the necessary ingredients are all there.
He was one of 25 (no, that’s not an error) children born around 1931 to an Arkansas nut farmer who left to seek a life of crime in St Louis at the age of 14. Charles ‘Sonny’ Liston was illiterate but developed into a powerfulman with huge hands; he would spend time in prison before taking up boxing, turning pro in 1953.
By 1962, Liston was world heavyweight champion, though he was dogged by his apparent association with organised crime and accusations that several of his fights were fixed.
The Murder of Sonny Liston is as far from a rags-to-riches tale as you could get, but it is absolutely compelling…
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