Liston, Sonny (Charles Liston), 1932–71, American boxer, b. Little Rock, Ark. While serving a sentence for robbery at the Missouri State Penitentiary, Liston became interested in boxing. In 1953 he began his professional fighting career. A hard-hitting heavyweight, he became (Sept., 1962) the world's heavyweight champion after a crushing first-round knockout of Floyd Patterson . He defended his championship in 1963, knocking out Patterson once again, before losing his title to Muhammad Ali in 1964. After losing his return match with Ali in 1965, Liston began a comeback in 1966. His lifetime record was 50 victories (39 knockouts) and 4 losses.
See biography by N. Tosches (2000).
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