Always display infographic in interactive mode
What is interactive mode infographic?

The infographic you see by default is an image. On the interactive infographic, you can mouseover, click, tap etc. on the chart to see more details about the fights. The browser's localStorage will be used to store your preference.

Sonny Liston Record

Total Fights54
Title Wins4
Title Defenses1
Title-Fight KOs2
KO Wins39
KO Losses3
Sonny Liston Record & Stats
Sonny Liston's Record
Sonny Liston's boxing record and career infographic

      Featured Opponents

      What is Sonny Liston's boxing record?

      In a professional boxing career spanning 16 years and nine months, Sonny Liston fought 54 times with 50 wins and 4 losses.

      Liston's boxing record after his last fight was 50-4, which included four heavyweight world-title wins and one successful title defense fight. He had a 72.2% knockouts-to-fights ratio with 39 of his total 54 fights being knockout wins, two of which were in title fights. Liston suffered three knockout losses in his career, two of which were in title fights.

      His last fight was a 9th round RTD victory over Chuck Wepner on June 29, 1970.

      Some of Liston's best fights and notable victories include wins over Hall-of-Famer Floyd Patterson, Cleveland Williams, Roy Harris, Zora Folley, Willi Besmanoff, Niño Valdés, and Amos Lincoln.

      54Jun 29, 197038Chuck WepnerWinRTD9
      53Dec 6, 196937Leotis MartinLossKO9
      52Sep 23, 196937Sonny MooreWinKO3
      51May 19, 196937George JohnsonWinTKO7
      50Mar 28, 196936Billy JoinerWinUD
      49Dec 10, 196836Amos LincolnWinKO2
      48Nov 12, 196836Roger RischerWinKO3
      47Nov 3, 196836Willis EarlsWinKO2
      46Oct 14, 196836Sonny MooreWinTKO3
      45Jul 6, 196836Henry ClarkWinTKO7
      44May 23, 196836Billy JoinerWinRTD7
      43Mar 16, 196835Bill McMurrayWinTKO4
      42Apr 28, 196734Elmer RushWinTKO6
      41Mar 30, 196734Dave BaileyWinKO1
      40Aug 19, 196634Amos JohnsonWinKO3
      39Jul 1, 196634Gerhard ZechWinKO7
      38May 25, 196533Muhammad AliLoss *KO1
      37Feb 25, 196431Cassius ClayLoss *RTD6
      36Jul 22, 196331Floyd PattersonWin *KO1
      35Sep 25, 196230Floyd PattersonWin *KO1
      34Dec 4, 196129Albert WestphalWinKO1
      33Mar 8, 196128Howard KingWinTKO3
      32Sep 7, 196028Eddie MachenWinUD
      31Jul 18, 196028Zora FolleyWinKO3
      30Apr 25, 196027Roy HarrisWinTKO1
      29Mar 21, 196027Cleveland WilliamsWinTKO2
      28Feb 23, 196027Howard KingWinRTD7
      27Dec 9, 195927Willi BesmanoffWinRTD6
      26Aug 5, 195927Niño ValdésWinKO3
      25Apr 15, 195926Cleveland WilliamsWinTKO3
      24Feb 18, 195926Mike DeJohnWinTKO6
      23Nov 18, 195826Ernie CabWinRTD7
      22Oct 24, 195826Bert WhitehurstWinUD
      21Oct 7, 195826Frankie DanielsWinKO1
      20Aug 6, 195826Wayne BetheaWinTKO1
      19May 14, 195826Julio MederosWinRTD2
      18Apr 3, 195825Bert WhitehurstWinPTS
      17Mar 11, 195825Ben WiseWinTKO4
      16Jan 29, 195825Billy HunterWinTKO2
      15Mar 6, 195623Marty MarshallWinUD
      14Dec 13, 195523Larry WatsonWinTKO4
      13Sep 13, 195523Johnny GrayWinTKO6
      12May 25, 195523Calvin ButlerWinTKO2
      11May 5, 195522Emil BrtkoWinTKO5
      10Apr 21, 195522Marty MarshallWinTKO6
      9Mar 1, 195522Neal WelchWinPTS
      8Sep 7, 195422Marty MarshallLossSD
      7Aug 10, 195422Johnny SummerlinWinSD
      6Jun 29, 195422Johnny SummerlinWinUD
      5Mar 31, 195421Stanley HowlettWinPTS
      4Jan 25, 195421Martin LeeWinTKO6
      3Nov 21, 195321Bennie ThomasWinSD
      2Sep 17, 195321Ponce de LeonWinPTS
      1Sep 2, 195321Don SmithWinTKO1

      * World-title fight

      Boxing career

      Sonny Liston (The Big Bear) was an American professional boxer. He was born in Sand Slough, Arkansas, U.S. on May 8, 1932. He was a heavyweight world champion. He died on December 30, 1970 at the age of 38 years. Liston was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame (IBHOF) in 1991. His professional boxing career spanned more than 16 years — from 1953 to 1970.

      Liston made his professional boxing debut against Don Smith at the age of 21 on September 2, 1953, defeating Smith via 1st round TKO. He went on to win 6 more consecutive fights after the debut, which included 1 wins via stoppage.

      He had his first world title fight at the age of 30 on September 25, 1962 after 34 professional fights, against Floyd Patterson for the heavyweight NYSAC, WBA, and The Ring titles. He defeated Patterson via 1st round KO to become the heavyweight champion of the world.

      Sonny Liston was a one-time undisputed heavyweight world champion, and won three world titles at heavyweight. For all the details about Liston's world title wins and defenses refer to the "Championships" section below.

      Liston had a total of four losses in his professional boxing career.

      His last professional fight was a non-title bout against fellow American boxer Chuck Wepner at 38 years of age, on June 29, 1970. Liston won the fight via 9th round RTD.


      Liston had a total of four world-title fights, which includes winning four world titles and one successful title defense. He won two of these fights and lost two.

      Title Wins

      Sonny Liston fought for heavyweight world titles in three fights and won two of these fights, both of them via stoppage. In total, he won three heavyweight belts.

      DateOpponentDivisionTitles WonMethod
      Jul 22, 1963+Floyd PattersonHeavyweightWBCKO
      Sep 25, 1962Floyd PattersonHeavyweightNYSAC, WBA, The RingKO
      + Became undisputed world champion

      Title Defenses

      Sonny Liston had two heavyweight world-title defense fights. He won once and lost once.

      Following is the table of his successful title defense fights, the next section has the fights where he lost his titles.

      DateOpponentDivisionTitles DefendedMethod
      Jul 22, 1963+Floyd PattersonHeavyweightWBA, The RingKO
      + Became undisputed world champion

      Title Losses

      Sonny Liston lost one world-title defense fight, and lost three titles in the fight.

      DateOpponentDivisionTitles LostMethod
      Feb 25, 1964Cassius ClayHeavyweightWBA, WBC, The RingRTD


      Liston fought a total of 54 times during his professional career, which includes 4 world-title fights at the heavyweight division. He was among the very best of his generation and was known for his great performances in his fights. These four fights are the highlight of his career.

      • April 15, 1959: Sonny Liston puts on the first remarkable performance of his career, defeating Cleveland Williams via 3rd round TKO.

      • March 21, 1960: Sonny Liston beats Cleveland Williams via 2nd round TKO.

      • September 25, 1962: Liston wins his first world titles by defeating Floyd Patterson via 1st round KO. He is now the NYSAC, WBA, and The Ring heavyweight world champion.

      • July 22, 1963: Liston becomes the undisputed heavyweight world champion by defeating Floyd Patterson via 1st round KO. He now holds the WBA, The Ring, and WBC heavyweight world-champion belts.


      Highlight video

      Ape Index
      Win Streak
      Career Score