Welcome to the history of the heavyweight championship of the world.
Yahoo Sport will release a podcast led by legend Steve Bunce for each year of the golden age of boxing; the 1960s.
This podcast covers 1965. After Muhammad Ali’s shock win in 1964, it was time for the rematch against Sonny Liston, a man many now feared was already in serious decline.
While Liston supposedly paid a sparring partner off to take a dive, there also remained doubts over the quality of Ali as a top class fighter. The Nation of Islam’s presence, too, made some long for the return of the traditional American gangster.
When the rematch was settled, Floyd Patterson returned to challenge for his old title.
For the WBA belt – withdrawn from Ali when he set up his Liston rematch – Ernie Terrell took on Eddie Machen, going 15 rounds before a points decision.
In Philadelphia, Joe Frazier’s first professional fight would set him on his way in a year that ended with two heavyweight world champions.