Lewiston, Maine: The city the place Muhammad Ali’s iconic knockout made historical past

The city the place Wednesday’s tragic mass shootings occurred holds a particular place in boxing historical past.

Let’s take a second away from the horrifying headlines to dive into what occurred on Might 25, 1965.

Within the coronary heart of Maine, nestled alongside the Androscoggin River, lies the city of Lewiston.

Whereas it may not be a family title for a lot of, Lewiston, Maine, has a exceptional declare to fame that transcends its tranquil ambiance.

This small city etched its title into historical past when the boxing world descended upon its unassuming streets in Might 1965, for what would change into one of the controversial and memorable matches of the game.

Cassius Clay grew to become Muhammad Ali in Lewiston

That fateful day marked the rematch between the brash, 23-year-old boxing champion generally known as Cassius Clay, who was making his debut as Muhammad Ali, and the previous heavyweight champ, Sonny “the Bear” Liston.

The stakes could not have been greater; it was a battle for the heavyweight championship of the world, and all eyes have been on Lewiston.

The boxing ring, a no-frills area, was arrange within the center of a hockey rink inside a modest residential neighborhood.

Initially constructed by a parish in 1958 for highschool hockey video games, this unassuming venue would quickly change into the epicenter of the boxing world.

The rematch was anticipated to carry glory and fame to Lewiston, however as a substitute, it grew to become identified regionally as “the fiasco” or “the debacle.”

The struggle’s official ticketed attendance was a mere 2,434, the bottom for a heavyweight title struggle in trendy historical past.

Nevertheless, the overall crowd was estimated to be over 4,000, together with followers who scored free tickets, media and reporters, and people who managed to slide in due to the lax safety in place.

Ali’s iconic knockout

Based on data, the struggle started round 10:40 p.m.

Close to the 1-minute-40-second mark, Sonny Liston threw a gradual left jab, and that is when Muhammad Ali, who seemed to be in retreat, countered Liston’s jab with a brief, chopping proper hook.

Within the blink of a watch, Liston was on the canvas and Ali stood over his fallen opponent, taunting him with the notorious phrases, “Stand up and struggle, sucker!”

A legend was born.

This struggle was greater than only a spectacular knockout.

It grew to become marred in confusion and controversy because the referee, Jersey Joe Walcott, the knockdown timekeeper, Francis McDonough, and Nat Fleischer, the editor of Ring Journal, struggled to find out the precise time of Liston’s fall and the conclusion of the match.

Walcott initially introduced one minute because the official time, however a evaluate of the tape revealed Liston falling at 1:44, rising at 1:56, and the struggle being formally stopped at 2:12.

Lewiston, Maine, had witnessed a historic occasion that will without end be etched into the boxing historical past books.

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