Mofo2

Who Killed Former Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston?

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Mofo2

In a bygone era of great fighters when heavyweights like Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, and George Foreman were king, Sonny Liston was viewed as the ultimate WWE-type heel, a villainous character of epic proportions who people considered the biggest thug on boxing's biggest stage. Liston was like Mike Tyson before there was a Mike Tyson—a scowling, menacing fighter with lights-out power, an intimidating ring presence, and a lengthy criminal background. Big, bold, and brash, he gravitated toward the sport of boxing in a Missouri penitentiary while serving time for a first degree robbery charge. After his release from prison, Liston turned pro in 1953 and won the heavyweight championship in 1962 by knocking out pugilist legend Floyd Patterson.

Amassing a career record of 50 wins and 4 losses with 39 knockouts, Liston was the quintessential anti-hero America loved to hate. The fighter, who some called the "Bad Negro," was also a barroom brawler with ties to the Lucchese crime family and over 20 arrests. After consecutive losses to Muhammad Ali in the mid-60s, his reign as a top heavyweight was effectively over. But Liston subsequently capitalized on his notoriety in Las Vegas, spending his days at the casinosarrow-10x10.png shaking hands and doing public appearances. At night, however, Liston reverted to form. The one-time boxing talent would drive around the strip in his pink Cadillac, dealing drugs, womanizing, and working for the crime syndicates he'd known since his youth as a leg breaker. In 1971, he was found dead from an apparent heroin overdose, but no one believed his death was accidental.

In his new book, The Murder of Sonny Liston: Las Vegas, Heroin, and Heavyweights, out October 18, ESPN journalist Shaun Assael treats the boxer's death as a cold case and investigates the circumstances that led to Liston's early exit from life. As the story unfolds, readers get a light into not just the seedy underworld of professional boxing, but also 1970s Las Vegas—a world of glitz and glamour, grit and crime. Assael found that Liston straddled the line between two worlds, walking in the limelight with celebrities like Elvis, but at the same time consorting with criminals, big players in the mob, and dirty cops. VICE chatted with Assael to find out what happened to Sonny Liston, a man who many wanted to silence.

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/who-killed-former-heavyweight-champion-sonny-liston

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GRIM

What I have read was Liston was afraid of needles really bad. So the possibility of him injecting himself was pretty much 0.

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Mofo2

I thought it was an interesting idea, probably all speculation and conspiracy theory but interesting all the same!

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