Did Ali's "Phantom" Punch KO Liston?
After Ali whooped up on Sonny Liston to claim his heavyweight title, they faced off in a rematch months later. Ali knocked him out with the famed "Phantom Punch" early in the first. The controversy surrounding this punch was in regards to Liston's reported gambling problem. He allegedly was so deep in debt, he decided to bet against himself and, in turn, make up some of the money owed by throwing the fight. Many speculated that Ali's initial punch doesn't connect with enough force generally associated with a good knockout. Others have said he was scared of Ali because of their first fight.
Verdict: Going off of how shady boxing is, we wouldn't put this past Liston, but ultimately we just think it was a cold case of "I don't want none of that" from Liston. Ali was getting better with every fight and showed Liston that he could beat him with his rare combo of power and speed. It seemed like Liston figured that out real quick in their rematch. Man down!