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Sonny Liston Worn Robe Sold At Memorabilia Expert

We sold this amazing Sonny Liston Worn Robe.  It was found in Las Vegas NV.

Just of recent, Sonny Liston’s lost trunks from the 1964 fight were sold from this exact collection.  Collection was obtained by a young football star in the events that transpired the night of Sonny Liston’s “murder”. For those unfamiliar with the story and the cast of characters involved from that night click this link.

Like the shorts weren’t enough now available is the significant Sonny Liston boxing robe worn during both the ’64 & ’65 Heavyweight Championships. Worn during both boisterous weigh-ins with Cassius Clay (aka Muhammad Ali) in which Ali was fined for his behavior catapolts this robe into boxing history. It is obvious that this robe was important to Liston, as he wore it during both proflific matches with the ’65 rematch known as the historic ‘Phantom Punch’ battle. WOW!

As it is one of the most eminent boxing pieces ever to surface and be offered to the public it is suprising, it’s still here – that’s right, it’s still here and available.  It’s such a recognizable impression of Liston in his heyday and not to mention that guy named Cassius Clay who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali. The buzz from both fights was impalpable and the young Clay, in the first bout, taunted Liston during the weigh in from which this robe was worn (as seen in the photo matches and video). It was Clay’s “float like a butterfly sting like a bee” speech that made the public take notice.

The garment itself is a fantastic combination of 1960s flash and bang – it’s milky white with golden accents and the back shows off the warrior’s name – most prominent – SONNY LISTON (felt capital lettering with red/yellow border). The zippered hood also adds to the phenomenon with its characteristics central to photo and footage comparison. Lastly and most obvious to the video and photo matching, is his disposition characterized as a central Sun logo.


The first video footage and two Corbis photos are from that famous weigh in of the first fight on February 25, 1964. During the entire process, Cassius Clay was taunting and yelling at the heavyweight champ. Clay dubbed him “the big ugly bear” and declared he would “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.” Clay also said he would avoid Liston’s assaults by saying, “Your eyes can’t hit what your eyes can’t see.” Clay was later fined $2500 for his conduct on the platform. Most obvious to match in the video is the zippered hood and sun logo with LISTON.

Clay won that first bout making his famous, “I’m the greatest” speech afterwards. Liston was eager for a rematch. The second fight was held in Lewiston, Maine. On May 25th, 1965 Ali continued his brazen outbursts with trainers and officials keeping them apart. Liston can be seen in the ring wearing the robe during that event.

The ending of the second fight remains one of the most controversial in boxing history.Midway through the first round, Liston fell to the canvas, in what many have argued was not a legitimate knockdown. The ref Jersey Joe Walcott appeared confused after Ali refused to retreat to a neutral corner. This is where that iconic, “Get up and fight, sucker!” photo was taken by Neil Leifer in Sports Illustrated.

“The blow that ended the match became known as “the phantom punch,” so named because most people at ringside did not see it. Even Ali was unsure as to whether or not the punch connected, as footage from the event shows Ali asking his entourage “Did I hit him?” after the match. Slow motion replays show Ali connecting with a quick, chopping right to Liston’s head (known as the “Anchor Punch” according to Ali) as Liston was moving toward him, and show that Liston was unsteady when he finally got to his feet. (Ali appeared to connect with four additional unanswered punches before Walcott belatedly declared the knockout, ending the contest.) However, whether the blow was a genuine knockout punch remains inconclusive.

There were claims that Liston had bet against himself and “took a dive” because he owed money to the mafia. Others believe that he feared for his safety from Nation of Islam extremists who supported Ali.  No independent substantiation of this claim has come to light.In any event, in the video footage at the beginning of  ‘phantom punch fight’ during the weigh, Liston can be seen entering the ring crossing through the ropes wearing this robe. It is truly one of the best pieces of boxing memorabilia ever offered – and quite possibly a rival to it’s previous sister piece (those trunks worn in the first Ali battle) we offered in auction. Let’s get ready to rumble!!!

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