Fighting is the ultimate sport. No other competition more accurately demonstrates who would be the alpha or leader-of-the-pack in society if we were still governed only under the laws of nature.
Being good at baseball doesn’t mean you can beat up those who you are better than. Same goes with any other sport. Only MMA, boxing and other combat sports come close to determining who is the greater athlete between two people.
With more on the line than in other sports, controversy becomes magnified. Here are the 5 most controversial moments in all of combat sports history.
5. Ali knocks out Liston
Leading up to their first bout, Cassius Clay was brash, cocky and talked a lot. Much like Chael Sonnen before his first Anderson Silva bout however, nobody believed he was going to do the things he was saying. Few believed that Clay himself believed what he was saying.
Liston is said to have not trained very hard for the first bout, and overlooked his young opponent. He would regret that when Clay dominated him in the 6th round so badly that Liston couldn’t answer the bell for the 7th. Fans chalked up the loss to Liston not taking Clay seriously.
By the 2nd fight Cassius Clay had become Muhammad Ali, and the public hated him. Even Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against Ali’s relationship with the Black Muslims in the mid-60s.
Ali’s haters refused to believe something wasn’t amiss when Liston appeared to be knocked out in the 1st round of the rematch by a “phantom punch”. In reality, Ali countered a jab by Liston with a right and knocked him out. At a time before slo-motion and high-tech cameras however, rumours that Liston had taken a dive were difficult to prove wrong.