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NEWS
March 13, 1989 | BY JACK MCKINNEY
I would be remiss if I didn't record the shocked disbelief among Sonny Liston's many local friends when it was learned the former heavyweight champion had been found dead in Las Vegas. Sonny's body was discovered on Jan. 5, 1971, by his wife, Geraldine, in their luxury home adjoining a country club in Paradise Valley, two miles east of the famed Las Vegas "strip. " Geraldine, just back from an extended tour of holiday visits with relatives and friends, had been away from the house for 10 days.
NEWS
May 24, 1995 | BY JACK McKINNEY
In March 1989, I ended a four-part series on the late Sonny Liston with the hope that a fuller account of the former heavyweight champion's tragically jinxed life might someday be presented to a far wider audience. Since then, there's been significant incremental progress toward eventual realization of that goal. In 1990, I assisted my friend Nigel Collins, the Editor of Ring Magazine, on the chapter he titled, "The Champion Nobody Wanted" in his lively book, "Boxing Babylon" (Citadel Press)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 1989 | By Andy Wickstrom, Special to The Inquirer
It's said that everyone loves a good fight. If so, there's plenty to love in Champions Forever ($19.95, 87 minutes) from J2 Communications, covering more than 20 years of heavyweight boxing through fight footage and the personal reflections of the champs: Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Ken Norton and Larry Holmes. No fight fan should be able to resist this video, which encompasses several of boxing's greatest matches as well as the entire professional career of the controversial and indomitable Ali. But Champions Forever has higher aspirations and deserves a wider audience.
NEWS
March 15, 1989 | BY JACK MCKINNEY
I know I can't change many minds about Sonny Liston in these 15 inches, but I owe it to his memory at least to try. Although my colleagues Jim Nicholson and Larry McMullen did alter their earlier perceptions about the once and near-forgotten heavyweight champ, it was only after hearing me reminisce about him at length on many an afternoon when the three of us rapped into evening before getting down to work. From what they learned in those sessions, both Jim and Larry agree the real Sonny Liston story has never been written.
NEWS
February 22, 1991 | BY JACK MCKINNEY
In Sonny Liston's eighth fight as a professional heavyweight, he found himself matched with a crafty spoiler named Marty Marshall. Marshall was not particularly gifted, but he could baffle a lot of better fighters with his clowning tactics, and Liston proved to be one of them. Early in the fight, a zany pirouette by Marshall caused Liston to laugh. The spoiler copped a sneak punch while Sonny's mouth was still open, thereby fracturing his jaw. That was the last time Sonny Liston ever smiled in public.
SPORTS
June 26, 1997 | by Bernard Fernandez, Daily News Sports Writer
Mike Tyson's mansion is located just a few miles from the grave of former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Tyson often has thought about the short distance, literally and figuratively, that separates him from the final resting place of one of the more tragic figures in a sport that too often has lent itself to tragic endings. "I just think he was one of those fighters who desperately wanted people to love and respect him, but it never happened," Tyson said of Liston, who died under unexplained circumstances in 1970.
SPORTS
June 14, 1990 | By Bernard Fernandez, Daily News Sports Writer
Blame it on the late Sonny Liston. In the first stage of his professional boxing career, George Foreman, the barely reformed street tough from Houston, didn't see any need to communicate with a public that found him difficult to embrace. He seldom spoke, preferring to hide his emotions behind a glare that suggested perpetual rage. Opponents looked into those brooding eyes and, more often than not, were stricken with fear. That George Foreman no longer exists. In one of the more remarkable transformations of any big-name athlete in recent memory, the angry, young man of the '70s has become boxing's best-loved teddy bear of the '90s.
SPORTS
November 12, 2006 | By Don Steinberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
Light Heavyweight Ali In 2004, the boutique book publisher Taschen put out GOAT: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali, an 800-page picture book that weighed 75 pounds and had a list price of $12,500. Now, for the rest of us, Taschen has teamed with ESPN Books to produce Ali Rap, a pudgy, 600-page, $24.95 book celebrating the "greatest of all time. " (That's what GOAT stood for.) The premise is that "before there was rap . . . there was Ali Rap, a topsy-turvy, jivey jargon that only Ali could create.
NEWS
June 28, 1994 | by Renee Lucas Wayne, Daily News Staff Writer
Muhammad Ali will forever remain the People's Champion. As pretty as he was passionate, he was Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., of Louisville, Ky., when he captured the attention of America as a 22-year-old tenderoni. It was 1964 when he laid low the seemingly invincible Sonny Liston with his fists - and a mouth fulla trash-talkin' the likes of which the fight game had never seen. That same year he would announce his conversion to Islam and change his name. The fight game had never seen that, either.
SPORTS
April 2, 1998 | Daily News Wire Services
Floyd Patterson resigned yesterday as New York's athletic commissioner amid reports he was suffering from memory loss so severe he couldn't remember his secretary's name or even the fighter he beat for his first heavyweight title. "After long and careful consideration, my family and I have decided that for personal reasons, I will resign," Patterson wrote in a brief letter to Gov. George Pataki, who appointed him to the post in 1995. The New York Post reported yesterday that a 3 1/2-hour videotape of a deposition Patterson gave two weeks ago shows he could not recall important events in his 64-fight professional career or the names of his closest aides.
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SPORTS
July 13, 2012
WHEN THEY CHOSE Muhammad Ali to receive the 2012 Liberty Medal, who was the runner-up, Mel Gibson? Don't howl. Have you forgotten that Gibson starred in "The Patriot," playing a farmer named Benjamin Martin who wound up leading the Colonial Militia in the American Revolution which was all about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Holy Schwarzenegger, it happens. Decades go by, the folks at the National Constitution Center either forgot, or never heard Ali turn the weeks leading up to his first fight against Joe Frazier into a nasty monologue that reeked of racism.
SPORTS
April 12, 2010
MUHAMMAD ALI was not the greatest of all time! Even if he said he was. Said it often. Shouted it loud enough to rattle windows in the suburbs, where white folks lived. Ali had huge talent and an ego to match. Ali could be kind and he could be cruel. Charm-the-fuzz-off-a-peach kind, slash-the-jugular cruel. Ali dared to be different and he warned us all, "I don't have to be what you want me to be. " "Facing Ali" might not be the best boxing documentary ever made, but if it isn't, it's right there in the top three - powerful, poignant, an earthy tribute to the glory that was Ali and heavyweight boxing in the '70s.
SPORTS
January 26, 2010
REMATCH IN A dinky hockey rink in Lewiston, Maine. Muhammad Ali knocks out Sonny Liston in the first round. Knocks him out with a short, swift punch that is so short, so swift, so lethal that the cynics looked at the slo-mo replay over and over and over, the way they scanned the Zapruder film frame-by-frame. And even then they weren't sure of what they hadn't seen. Ali told them the knockout right hand was an "anchor punch" and that he'd learned it from old-time movie comic Stepin Fetchit, who had learned it from the legendary heavyweight, Jack Johnson.
SPORTS
November 12, 2006 | By Don Steinberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
Light Heavyweight Ali In 2004, the boutique book publisher Taschen put out GOAT: A Tribute to Muhammad Ali, an 800-page picture book that weighed 75 pounds and had a list price of $12,500. Now, for the rest of us, Taschen has teamed with ESPN Books to produce Ali Rap, a pudgy, 600-page, $24.95 book celebrating the "greatest of all time. " (That's what GOAT stood for.) The premise is that "before there was rap . . . there was Ali Rap, a topsy-turvy, jivey jargon that only Ali could create.
NEWS
March 13, 2006 | By CHRISTOPHER GIBBONS
IT WAS NEARLY 35 years ago, and the visiting bishop stood at the front of the church and looked out among the elementary school students of Immaculate Heart of Mary. He had just read a story from the New Testament about a miracle Jesus had performed, and he wanted to engage the students during his homily. "Who was the most powerful man who ever lived?" he asked us. A hand shot up among the first-graders. The bishop pointed to the boy, and I saw that it was my little brother Pat. "Tell us young man," the bishop said.
NEWS
June 3, 2002 | By Sally A. Downey INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
John W. Nilon Sr., 82, of Wallingford, cofounder of a Delaware County concession company and a business adviser to former heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston, died of emphysema Wednesday at his home. In 1945, Mr. Nilon and his brothers Robert and James began selling lunch to workers at Sun Shipyard in Chester. They made the sandwiches and soup in the basement of their family home in Ridley Park. The brothers eventually set up lunch trailers at the shipyard and at the Sun Oil Co. refinery.
SPORTS
October 9, 1999 | by Bernard Fernandez, Daily News Sports Writer
No, Laila Ali was saying, her posturing over the fallen April Fowler, very reminiscent of the way her father, Muhammad Ali, had defiantly stood over Sonny Liston in their May 25, 1961, rematch in Lewiston, Maine, was not orchestrated or rehearsed. "It came naturally," insisted the youngest daughter of the legendary, three-time former heavyweight champion, whose professional debut here last night at the Turning Stone Resort Casino was more notable for her family background than for whatever skills she demonstrated in the ridiculously easy one-round knockout.
SPORTS
April 2, 1998 | Daily News Wire Services
Floyd Patterson resigned yesterday as New York's athletic commissioner amid reports he was suffering from memory loss so severe he couldn't remember his secretary's name or even the fighter he beat for his first heavyweight title. "After long and careful consideration, my family and I have decided that for personal reasons, I will resign," Patterson wrote in a brief letter to Gov. George Pataki, who appointed him to the post in 1995. The New York Post reported yesterday that a 3 1/2-hour videotape of a deposition Patterson gave two weeks ago shows he could not recall important events in his 64-fight professional career or the names of his closest aides.
SPORTS
June 26, 1997 | by Bernard Fernandez, Daily News Sports Writer
Mike Tyson's mansion is located just a few miles from the grave of former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston. Tyson often has thought about the short distance, literally and figuratively, that separates him from the final resting place of one of the more tragic figures in a sport that too often has lent itself to tragic endings. "I just think he was one of those fighters who desperately wanted people to love and respect him, but it never happened," Tyson said of Liston, who died under unexplained circumstances in 1970.
SPORTS
March 10, 1997 | by Bernard Fernandez, Daily News Sports Writer
Muhammad Ali, as usual, got in the last word. Ali did not attend Saturday night's awards banquet that highlighted The Ring's 75th anniversary weekend celebration at Bally's Park Place, but his fingerprints nonetheless were all over the 4 1/2-hour production. "The Greatest" received one of two lifetime achievement awards (the other went to his longtime trainer, Angelo Dundee) and was cited for his participation in the best fight of all time, as selected by editors of The Ring, the Oct. 1, 1975, "Thrilla in Manila" against Philadelphia boxing icon Joe Frazier.
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