Muhammad Ali Versus Sonny Liston Was Fixed Say FBI
Match fixing has been a part of sport, and any attempt to remove the disease from sport has so far been fruitless. Now its been revealed that Muhammad Ali’s heavyweight world title fight against Sonny Liston was investigated by the FBI under allegations of match-fixing.
The fight which took place in 1964 was Muhammad Ali’s first heavyweight world title victory. A fight which Ali was not the favourite to win, but one which forced Liston to retire at the end of the seventh round. Back then the charismatic boxer was known as Cassius Clay, and the win had made Clay a world champion at the young age of 22.
Fixed or not, a legend was born in through the victory
Its been the best part of fifty years since the historic battle took place in Miami Beach, and it has now emerged that the FBI had their suspicions over the victory. Central to the investigation led by director John Edgar Hoover has been Ash Resnick, a gambler who is suspected of match fixing. Despite the suspicions no hard evidence has been found which could incriminate any party.
It is rumoured that both Resnick and Sonny Liston made $1m each from the bout in which it is alleged that Liston took a dive. Fifty years on it is hard for anyone to get the proof they would require to point fingers with certainty. Resnick and Liston have since passed, and Ali has also been battling with his own health problems.
Match fixing in sport will never die, and there will always be proven and unproven rumours of dubious results in sporting encounters. But what cannot be denied is the sporting icon that was born on the 25 February 1964, because the heavyweight boxer that was Muhammad Ali has since then gone on to become one of the greatest professional sportsman in history.