Boxer Sonny Liston kisses a fan

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/09/26/boxer-sonny-liston-kisses-a-fa.html

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if I may suggest

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I must say after seeing this picture and watching this interview my thoughts about the kind of man Sonny Liston was have changed. I was too young to remember his fight with Clay, but I had always heard that he was somewhat of a thug in real life. After watching this, I no longer believe this to be true.

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You have to be carefully taught…
What a lovely little child. What a shame we don’t all stay that way.

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And here’s a different Mark K. singing the song that calls out Sonny Liston in the first line (from an album that has several references to famous boxers):

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This is such a beautiful GIF.

This constitutes a TKO in my rule book. :hugs:

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"Song For Sonny Liston"

So many mouths to feed on the farm
Sonny was the second to the last one born
His mamma ran away and his daddy beat him bad
And he grew up wild good love he never had

He had a left like Henry’s hammer
A right like betty bamalam
Rode with the muggers in the dark and dread
And all them sluggers went down like lead

Well he hung with the hoods he wouldn’t stroke the fans
But he had dynamite in both his hands
Boom bam like the slammer door
The bell and the can and the bodies on the floor

Beware the bear’s in town
Somebody’s money says the bear’s going down
Yeah, the bear never smiles
Sonny’s going down for miles and miles
Sonny’s going down for miles and miles

The writers didn’t like him the fight game jocks
With his lowlife backers and his hands like rocks
They didn’t want to have a bogey man
They didn’t like him and he didn’t like them

Black cadillac, alligator boots
Money in the pockets of his sharkskin suits
Some say the bear took a flop
They couldn’t believe it when they saw him drop

He had a left like Henry’s hammer
A right like betty bamalam
Rode with the muggers in the dark and dread
And all them sluggers went down like lead

Joe Louis was his hero he tried to be the same
But a criminal child wears a ball and chain
So the civil rights people didn’t want him on the throne
And the hacks and the cops wouldn’t leave him alone

Beware the bear’s in town
Somebody’s money says the bear’s going down
Yeah, the bear never smiles
Sonny’s going down for miles and miles
Sonny’s going down for miles and miles

At the foot of his bed with his feet on the floor
There was dope in his veins and a pistol on the drawer
There was no investigation as such
He hated needles but he knew too much

Criss-crossed on his back
Scars from his daddy like slavery tracks
The second-last child was the second-last king
Never again was it the same in the ring

He had a left like Henry’s hammer
A right like betty bamalam
Rode with the muggers in the dark and dread
And all them sluggers went down like lead

They never could be sure about the day he was born
A motherless child set to working on the farm
And they never could be sure about the day he died
The bear was the king they cast aside

Beware the bear’s in town
Somebody’s money says the bear’s going down
Yeah, the bear never smiles
Sonny’s going down for miles and miles
Sonny’s going down for miles and miles

https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/markknopfler/songforsonnyliston.html

It [Song for Sonny Liston] really has made an impact, actually from the very first time I performed it on ‘A Prairie Home Companion,"’ Knopfler said in a telephone interview. "Some songs just seem to reverberate with people.

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Yet another misleading BoingBoing headline. He did no such thing!

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I’m so kissappointed in BB.

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@frauenfelder: We’re gonna need a new list.

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Although boxing during this period wasn’t as theatrical as wrestling, there was still a great deal of staged hype, including promoting bigger boxers as “heels”. Liston, given his size and strength, was billed as a bad guy and when he fought Clay/Ali, that was emphasized given Ali’s own shownmanship, bravado, but also Ali’s smaller size. It’s also why people thought Ali didn’t stand a chance. The fight wasn’t fixed but pushing Liston as a sure thing worked out quite well for bookies.

Not directly related except by title, but this seems like a good place to plug one of my favorite short-story writers:

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