Sonny Liston vs. Floyd Patterson 1

September 25, 1962 (Comiskey Park, Chicago)

The hard luck ex-con from Sand Slough, Arkansas, was no less fascinating than Patterson.

On September 25, 1962, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois, heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson defended his title against number one contender, fearsome Sonny Liston. Patterson was an admirable boxing ambassador. He was also, with his psychological quirks and appealing manner, a fascinating character. Liston’s ambassadorship was a tad less admirable, and whatever quirks he had he kept to himself. But the hard luck ex-con from Sand Slough, Arkansas, was no less fascinating than his opponent. Patterson, a small heavyweight, was 38-2 coming into the bout. Liston was considered a big heavyweight. He was 33-1. The fight was scheduled for 15 rounds and Patterson never knew what hit him.  "I should have started faster than I did. Liston's a fast starter. But it's usually the procedure to feel out an opponent in the first round. He surprised me." Liston also surprised Patterson in the rematch.