Vintage Boxing: Thousand Yard Stare

Sonny Liston seems as if he’s in a trancelike state after knocking out Albert Westphal at 1:58 of the first round.

Liston vs. Westphal was the opening match of boxing’s first-ever closed circuit doubleheader. In the other fight, World Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson knocked out Tom McNeeley in Toronto.

The fight was delayed because the gloves provided for Liston were too small for his hands.

Liston put Westphal down for the count with a right to the jaw. It was the first time Westphal had ever been floored.

“Do you think your performance tonight scared Patterson?” a reporter asked Liston. “How long have I been the No. 1 challenger?” Liston asked. “About a year and a half,” someone volunteered. “That’s how long he’s been scared of me,” Liston said.

– 4th December, 1961

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