First Minute, First Round

This poster is an art print of the second famous bout between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston. The match took place on May 25, 1965, over one year after the first fight. In the first match, Mhammad Ali (still named Cassius Clay at the time) had won the fight over Liston. Ali took the heavyweight championship title from Liston. The first fight ended controversially, because Liston did not answer the bell on the seventh round, hence Clay won the fight by technical knockout. Such a controversial ending prompted boxing authorities to order a rematch between the two heavyweights. One day after the first match, Clay changed his name to Muhammad Ali.

Muhammad “Louisville Lip” Ali vs. Sonny “The Big Bear” Liston part two

The rematch now had Liston challenging Ali for the title. In the first minute of the first round, Liston fell onto the canvas. As Liston lay on the canvas, Ali went over and stood over his opponent. Ali yells and gestures at Liston to get up and fight. Neil Leifer, one of the ringside photographers, captured the moment. In the confusion of the moment, the referee tried to sort things out. After approximately 20 seconds, Liston had already stood up and resumed boxing. The referee later stopped the fight declaring Ali the winner by knockout, because Liston had been on the canvas for more than 10 seconds. It was another controversial match, which earned the name “the phantom punch,” because even ringside spectators did not see it. Later, claims were made that Liston intentionally lost the fight. Some believed that Liston bet against himself and lost the fight in order to repay the Mafia. Others believed that Liston was afraid of retaliation from the Nation of Islam, which Ali was a part of.

To reminisce such an adrenaline-filled moment, a copy of this boxing poster is a must-have for fans of Ali and Liston.

Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston

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