The Most Famous Fight In Maine
Even if you're not a boxing fan, no doubt, you've heard the name, Mohammad Ali. For boxing fans, you know that what Ali said, put Maine on the map.
He was born Cassius Clay and later changed his name to Mohammad Ali, after converting to Islam. He once said that he wanted people to remember him as "a black man who won the heavyweight title and who was humorous and who treated everyone right."
Neil Leifer, a photographer with Sports Illustrated, captured a photo that put Maine on the map. The year was 1965 and Leifer was ringside when he took a photo that would put the Pine Tree State on the map for decades.
The fight was between Mohammad Ali and Sonny Liston, right in the middle of the Civil Rights movement and the famous marches. Although it was billed as the "Clay-Liston" fight, fans knew who would be stepping into the ring.
The fight was supposed to take place in Boston, Mass, but ended up happening at the St. Dominic's Arena, also called the Central Maine Youth Center. Today, it's known as Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston, Maine.
One minute and 44 seconds into the first round, Ali gave Liston what is known as his Fantom Punch, as Liston hit the squared canvas. In the famous photo, Ali was shouting, "Get Up and Fight, Sucker!"
At the time, Leifer's photo wasn't a really big deal. But because of the fame that would come to Ali throughout his career, the photo is a classic capture of a very important moment in time for boxing fans and the boxing world alike.
This is why we call the Ali vs Liston fight, the most famous fight in Maine.