Charles L. "Sonny" Liston (May 8, 1932 – December 30, 1970) was an American boxer. He held the world heavyweight championship from 1962 to 1964. He was a boxer who was disliked by much of the public because of his criminal history and rumored association with organized crime characters. Liston served prison sentences for armed robbery and assaulting a police officer. However, he was a skilled boxer and gained a shot at the heavyweight title held by Floyd Patterson. He knocked Patterson out in the first round to gain the title in 1962. He defeated Patterson by another first round knockout in their rematch in 1963.
He lost the championship to Muhammad Ali (then known as Cassius Clay) when he quit in his corner before the start of the seventh round in their 1964 fight. He was then knocked out in the first round during their second fight, which happened in 1965.