The Devil and Sonny Liston
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Now in paperback: Nick Tosches's brutal, stunning, and widely praised biography of Sonny Liston -- the world heavyweight champion who hit harder than any man alive, and who embodied everything that is compelling and terrifying about boxing.
white was driven underground, or ended. The punishment for consorting with the enemy was to be beaten, damned, persecuted, and ostracized, not only by one's own kind but by the enemy's kind as well. To black and white alike, such behavior was contra naturam, an assault and a crime against all that was as it should be. At this same time. LeRoi Jones was writing a novel about the evil spirit of those days. In The System of Dante's Hell, published in 1965, it was as if Jones, setting out to
and various other related companies. Norris and Wirtz gained control of the Madison Square Garden Corporation; Norris became its president, Wirtz its vice president and treasurer. Exclusive television contracts were negotiated with NBC for the weekly Friday night fights, with CBS for the Wednesday night fights. Gibson, who became, with Norris and Wirtz, one of the triumvirate that was the IBC's board of directors, would later flatly tell the Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopoly: "During
free ones and the store bought, too. That old sign casting hoodoo Jesus lady, midwifed him way back when: he knew, all right, he knew where that "L" came from. Yeah, that's what he told those chicks, but, no, he didn't know. He wondered on it, but he didn't know. Charles Lost Liston. Yeah, that would've been a good one: "and in this corner ... Lost Charles Liston." Charles Loverboy Liston. Knock the men out with one hand, squeeze the women with other, drink whiskey and shoot dice all at the same
afraid of him, were the lashes that provoked his prey and commanded the attention, excitement, and expectations of the masses. "Patterson says it's the Mob that keeps him from fighting me," Sonny said: "but I'm the only Mob he's worried about." Patterson, beloved and beset, was nearing his judgment day. It was inevitable. That other, greater mob, those roused masses, the vast and thirsty populace of bread and circuses, demanded it. Blinky was back in Philly, out on bail appealing his case,
close to Jimmy. So, he came in and said there was trouble in Detroit. I said, yeah, we had trouble in Detroit, but, I said, we're not going to have any more trouble because we're not going to Detroit. He said, "No, no, let's take a hop over to Detroit tomorrow." So we went over, and Paul had the two guys in the office and said, "You know, Jimmy don't want this shit that you're pulling, and if you continue, you'll be in the bottom of the Detroit River with chains, you understand?" Understood. Had