Sports & Recreation

Cassius Clay vs. Sonny Liston (1964)

Cassius Clay

BBeM member Bob Matthews Contributed this audio file, along with these comments:


Here is the February 25,1964 "ABC Radio Network" broadcast covering the last two rounds the night Clay "shook up the world" to become boxing's new heavyweight champion. I thought I had the whole thing but may have gotten home after it started. It begins with Round 5 and rolls until the start of Round 7 when Liston quit. 

What's missing of the fight is more than made up for by the post-fight bedlam and hilarious dressing room 'interview' with **Classic**Cassius .

Les Keiter and Howard Cosell are the commentators. 

Note: While TV video of the fight has long been up on YouTube, to the best of my knowledge the radio broadcast - what there is of it - was never made commercially available. It has been unheard for 54 years until now.


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There are 5 comments for this item.

Posted by Duff at 2:00 am (PDT) on Sun August 26, 2018   
I've posted the audio file that Bob Matthews provided. Enjoy!
Posted by Duff at 11:31 pm (PDT) on Thu August 23, 2018   
Bob - I still have a reel-to-reel tape deck, and could convert your tape to digital form and post it here if you like. Just let me know.
Posted by Gary Davies at 9:16 pm (PDT) on Thu August 23, 2018   
Bob, I'd love to hear that tape!  I am a huge boxing fan.  I took Joe Frazier and his manager, Les Wollf to dinner in June of '07.  If you send me an email address I will share some cool boxing pics.
Posted by Bob Matthews at 8:17 pm (PDT) on Thu August 23, 2018   
February 25,1964! I was listening on radio that night too. "The ABC Radio Network." In fact I was so hyped for this fight, so sure there would be an upset that I taped the broadcast for posterity on my Revere home tape recorder.

It was so exciting listening... And then it happened. "Wait a minute. Wait a minute!" screamed Howard Cosell. "Sonny Liston's not coming out! Sonny Liston is NOT coming out! He's out! The winner and the new heavyweight champion of the world is Cassius Clay!! Les [Keiter], I'm going up into the ring…" After all these years l still have the tape.

If this was under-attended it was because the boxing press despised Clay. They treated him like an untalented fool, a "disgrace" to boxing (LOL) and there was absolutely NO CHANCE this amateur could last in a ring with the brutal Sonny Liston. Why bother coming out for this clown show when it'll be over for Clay in the first round….
Posted by Gary Davies at 9:59 pm (PDT) on Wed August 22, 2018   
I believe it is the most under-attended heavyweight championship fights in the history of boxing. I listened to it on the radio.

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