Los Angeles, CA
Sonny Liston took a dive in his rematch against Muhammad Ali. Some boxing historians say Liston owed money to mobsters. Others suggest that he was afraid of the Black Muslims. Still others say... both Mobsters and Black Muslims were two powerful reasons on why he went down (and stayed down) after a phantom punch from Muhammad Ali.
The first time that Ali and Liston squared off in the ring, Ali was known as Cassius Clay, the challenger seeking a title shot at Liston, who held the world championship. The match was not without controversy: 1) A chemical substance got into Clay's eyes causing him to go blind during a middle round but instead of attacking, Liston eased off on him, and then 2) Liston never answered the bell at the start of the 7th round. Shortly after their controversial first meeting, Clay announced his support for the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali.
Thanks to YouTube, the public can view the disputed evidence and weigh in on the Phantom Punch for themselves. I'm waiting for the Zapruder film to be released so we can tell if there really was a shooter from the grassy knoll. Anyway, watch the video (again). The clip (in the video player above) isn't very long because the fight lasted less than two minutes.
What did you see? Did Ali connect or not? If he did connect, was the punch powerful enough to put Liston down? And how about the shenanigans with the knockdown count?
Even with the visual evidence, it's difficult to to determine the ultimate truth -- which went to the grave with Liston.
Liston died 40 years ago at his home in Las Vegas in 1971. Even his death was surrounded with controversy -- overdose, suicide, or foul play?
Which brings us to 2011.
The locales have shifted away from boxing and into the internet poker realm, but there's still something not right about what we're seeing.
Although some secrets about the UB cheating scandal will go to the grave with some of the participants, a couple of folks have been trying to unearth the real story. Enter Bryan Micon and Haley Hintze. Special kudos for Haley for sticking with the story since Day 1.
Check out Haley's recent post from her Just Conjecturin' series: Volume 28: The Brainwashdodo Correspondence.
Addressing a Few Rumors is an official response from COO Paul Leggett, who denied any role in a cover up. Take it for what it's worth.
Micon recorded another episode of DonkDown Radio last night. He had Russ Hamilton's former IT guy, Travis Makar, on the show again, along with Brad Booth (one of the players pilfered by a Superuser).
I doubt that we'll ever get all the details behind the UB (and Absolute Poker) cheating scandals. And if we get close, that's when bodies start piling up and more people go mysteriously missing.