Today, Feb. 25, is the 50th anniversary of the world heavyweight title fight between Sonny Liston and Cassius Clay at Convention Center in Miami.
Liston, the champion at the time, quit before the seventh round of a close fight, citing a shoulder injury. Clay was credited with a sixth-round TKO. At the time, Liston was ahead by two points on one scorecard, Clay was ahead by two on another and the third scorecard was even.
There is speculation that fight might have been rigged, according to files released by the FBI, though Clay – who afterward changed his name to Muhammad Ali – was not suspected of being part of the fix. Check out this story in today’s Washington Times detailing the events surrounding what then was considered quite an upset.
Note the story in this link mentions Liston quit before the eighth round. It was actually the seventh.
The two fought a rematch on May 25, 1965, Ali knocking out Liston in the first round with what was described as the “phantom punch.” Rumors began immediately, suggesting Liston took a dive.