Sonny Liston Record & Stats

Sonny Liston Record & Stats

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In a career spanning 16 years and nine months, Sonny Liston fought 54 times with 50 wins and 4 losses. By his last professional fight on June 29, 1970, Liston's boxing record stood at 50-4 (39 KO wins, 3 KO losses).

Sand Slough, Arkansas, U.S.
“The Big Bear”
May 8, 1932
Dec 30, 1970 (38 years)
Sep 2, 1953
39 (72.2%)
185 cm
213 cm
Ape Index
28 cm
Last Fight
d1 v0.1.5-beta 2023-06-09
Sonny Liston's boxing record
Boxing Career of Sonny Liston
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      Sonny Liston (The Big Bear) was an American professional boxer. He was born in Sand Slough, Arkansas, U.S. on May 8, 1932. Liston made his professional boxing debut at the age of 21, on September 2, 1953. He was a heavyweight world champion. He died on December 30, 1970 at the age of 38 years. Liston is a Hall of Famer.

      Fight Record

      Total Fights54
      KO Wins39
      Total Title Wins4
      Title Defenses1
      Title-Fight KO Wins2
      Losses via KO3
      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

      World Titles

      Liston was a heavyweight world champion. He held three world titles at the heavyweight weight division, all three of which were lineal championship wins.

      Weight DivisionWorld Titles Held
      HeavyweightWBA, WBC, The Ring


      Sonny Liston was 185 cm tall (6' 0.83") with a reach of 213 cm (6' 11.86"). He used to fight out of the orthodox stance and presented an ape-index of 28 cm (11.02").

      Liston had a 72.2% KO rate. Of his total 39 KO wins, 25 were in the early rounds, 13 in the mid rounds, and one in the later rounds. He had eight first-round KO wins.

      Career Summary

      Sonny Liston's 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.

      Liston 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.

      He 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 "Sonny Liston World Titles".

      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 Eddie Machen.

      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.

      Career Highlights

      Liston fought a total of 54 times during his professional career, which includes 4 world-title fights at the heavyweight division. He put on some very good performances in these 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 NYSAC, WBA, The Ring, and WBC heavyweight world-champion belts.


      Highlight Video

      Ape Index
      Lay Off
      Win Streak
      Career Score