Muhammad Ali is undoubtedly one of the greatest athletes in the history of mankind. The American was a dominating world heavyweight champion and outside the ring had an amazing character. Ali was a showman and knew how to make his fights more interesting for the fight fans. His trash-talking was unparalleled and he used that skill of his to move fans and get into the head of his opponents.
Ahead of his fight against Sonny Liston in 1965, Ali used his famous trash-talking ability to get the attention of the fans. Muhammad Ali recited a verse that summarized how he thought the fight would go. The fighter listed down all the ways he has planned to beat Liston in that fight.
He said: “Sonny might be great but he will leave in eight. If he wanna go to heaven, I will get him in seven. He’ll be in a worse to fix if I cut it to six. If he keeps talking jive, he’ll go in five. If he makes me sore, he’ll go like Moore. If he keeps talking about me, I will get him in three. If that won’t do, he’ll fall in two and if he runs, he’ll go in one.”
As amazing as the verse was, it received a lot of attention from the fans who worshiped Ali and his personality. Moreover, Ali was always confident about himself and this made him different from anybody else. Ali used to defeat his opponents the way the fight was started then he ridiculed and dominated them inside the ring.
Joe Rogan talks about how Muhammad Ali played with Sonny Liston’s mind during the build-up of the fight
Muhammad Ali’s trash talk paved way for many modern fighters to use this technique to get into the head of their opponents. Even today fighters try to match his level of charisma in and outside the ring. During one of his podcasts, UFC commentator Joe Rogan talked about how Ali deliberately tried to act crazy to scare off Sonny Liston.
“He acted like a crazy person ’cause he’s like that Sonny Liston was a bully and Sonny Liston was a big scary man,” said Rogan. “He felt like Sonny Liston would be afraid of a crazy person. In all the press conferences leading up to the fight, he would scream at him. He would show up at Sonny Liston’s house and honk the horn in the middle of the night. He did a lot of s** to f*** with Sonny Liston psychologically.” Added Joe.
That particular technique worked for Ali on various different occasions and this also added to his charisma as a superstar. Consequently against Liston, Ali proved his point and beat him twice in a row.
Soumya Ranjan Rout embarked on his sports writing journey in 2020, and since then, he has penned over 2100 articles. With a keen focus on boxing, UFC, One Championship, Bellator, and various other MMA promotions, Soumya brings a pragmatic approach to his coverage. His introduction to the world of MMA and boxing was sparked by the compelling rivalry between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, serving as the catalyst for his deep dive into combat sports.
Currently holding the position of writer and subgroup head in the MMA and boxing section, Soumya Ranjan Rout's dedication lies in delivering straightforward and insightful coverage. His commitment to providing a unique perspective is fueled by both his love for the sport and the desire to keep fans well-informed about the happenings in the world of boxing and MMA.
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