The Re-Match

Geoff Goodfellow
2016 Offset  
When We clocked on that morning we had asked Mike if we could stop for our lunch break at 1PM on Wednesday, rather than midday, as was the general custom and practice. We let him know we were all keen to sit around and listen to the radio broadcast of the fight live from Lewiston, Maine in the USA. Mike didn't have a problem with that. He said he and Frankie would try to sneak in from the shop and hear it too. We'd been talking amongst ourselves about their first fight back in February 1964
more » ... n February 1964 when Cassius Clay surprised the world. That fight famously ended with Sonny sitting on his stool and failing to come out for the seventh round. As we ran our blades over the stones we tossed around the various theories that had been put forward: that the fight was fixed; that the Mob were in on it. We all knew Liston had learned to box when he did a stretch in the Missouri State Penitentiary for armed robbery. And we'd heard that his contract had been owned for much of his career by a one-time Mob hitman who ran boxing interests for the Mafia. This re-match, set for Wednesday 26 May 1965, was being talked up as a walk-over for Liston. The bookies had Ali as a seven to one underdog and most of the leading sportswriters picked Liston to knock him out within two rounds. We were all discussing who'd be prepared to put money on the fight when we heard the knocking of the diesel engine of the abattoir truck reversing up to the back door.
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