December 2003 > Sports > Boxing
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Lot 444: 1962 Sonny Liston World’s Heavyweight Championship Ring Magazine Belt
The highest echelon of sports awards is the Ring belt. These are rarely offered from anyone, let alone from as an important and controversial champion such as Sonny Liston. Sonny Liston was the Mike Tyson of his day with the same brutality and public image. With devastating punching power it is said that the shockwave from one of his left hands to the jaw broke the ankle of the unfortunate victim. Whether this last story is the stuff of folklore does not really matter. An awesome and intimidating presence he was linked to the mafia, served two prison sentences, and his mysterious death in 1971 may have been murder. Despite it all he rose to become a heavyweight champion of the world and was widely held to be unbeatable. That is until a young Cassius Clay came along and “shocked the world.” The belt is the height of sports award craftsmanship. The 40” long cloth belt is ruffled red, white and blue silk and satin. On it stands the three brass plates that make this a dynamo. The two end plates carry small eagles at top and read, “Knocked Out Floyd Patterson in 1st Round...At Comiskey Park Chicago, Illinois September 25, 1962. The centerpiece (8” tall) sports a huge eagle and trumpets, “The Ring Magazine Award World Heavyweight Championship Won By Charles ‘Sonny’ Liston.” The Ring is in its familiar logo with figural boxers and two enamel American flags. All three sections are encrusted with jewels that are pure show, this last touch added by the Liston family after the fight to add more allure. One of the finest boxing pieces you will ever see offered for sale. EX-MT.
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