55 Years Ago This Week; Lewiston Hosts the Famous Ali-Liston Fight
55 years ago today, May 26, 1965, the world was waking up to huge news out of Lewiston. Muhammed Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) knocked out Sonny Liston in one of the craziest and most controversial boxing matches in history. And it all happened at the Central Maine Civic Center in Lewiston, now the Androscoggin Bank Colisee. This was a rematch from their first fight in Miami, and because of Clay's new affiliation with the Black Muslims, no other boxing commission in the country would take the fight. It was a crazy night in Lewiston. The place was only half-full because of the perceived threat of violence. Legend says an allegedly intoxicated Robert Goulet sang the National Anthem that night. And of course, there was much controversy on whether Liston was even hit at all on that knock out blow. They call it the Phantom Punch. I think Ali landed one but YOU be the judge. Don't blink- tt all happens in the first minute of the first round!
The Colisee posted this on their Facebook page today.
The fight created one of the most iconic photos in all of Sports. Some have painted it too like this man, from Ali's funeral:
This was one of a few historic events at what is now the Colisee. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band did a show at the Youth Center in the 1970s and Bob Dylan has played there three times. Over at the Lewiston Armory, Jimi Hendrix once played a concert. Way to go Lewiston Rock City!