Sonny Liston

When Sonny Liston was World heavyweight Boxing Champion the
World was a much different place
Though before he won the title from Floyd Patterson the first man had been to outer space
I recall photos of him after he lost his title to Muhammad Ali the look of disappointment in his face
Long before he knew adulation and glory he only knew of failure and disgrace.

From the night he lost his title to Ali for him 'twas downhill to failure all of the way
No more moments of glory for the ageing Sonny Liston he was then well beyond his prime day
In the rematch with Ali he did not regain his title and he returned to his old ways of crime
Yet memories of the man known as 'The Big Bear' are destined for to live on for some time

That he did take his own life Sonny Liston just to think about to say the least seems sad
He may have had many criminal covictions but there was worse than him since he was not all bad
He was one who knew of shame and glory and he is one well worthy of recall
And though his end one might say was far from glorious death in one way or another will come to us all.

When Sonny Liston lost his title to Ali before the onset of this technological age
I recall a memorable photo of him in a newspaper a headline caption in the sporting page
The poor bloke had such a sad look about him a memory with me that still remain
Of one who knew of disgrace and glory, discrimination, insult and hardship and pain.

by Francis Duggan

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