50 years ago, one of the most shocking moments in sports' history took place as a young Muhammad Ali, then known as Cassius Clay, defeated Sonny Liston in Miami Beach. The shocking result of that boxing match may be in question as the Washington Times reported on Feb. 25, 2014, that the FBI thoroughly investigated to determine whether the fight was rigged or not.
Under the Freedom of Information Act, there were a whole host of documents released to the Post showing the deep investigation done by the FBI to determine if Ali truly defeated Liston.
Thom Loverro of the Washington Times found that the FBI had launched the investigation into the young Clay (later Ali) actually beat Liston, who seemed virtually unstoppable at the time. It appears as if the FBI discovered a very real possibility of a fix that implicates Las Vegas gambler Ash Resnick and Liston himself.
Let it be known that nothing was ever proven regarding a fix or rigging of the Clay/Liston fight, but the possibility was there. No "conclusive proof" was ever found, but deep looks were given.
Documents regarding the fight actually got as high as FBI head J. Edgar Hoover, but nothing was ever proven to it being fixed.
According to the new findings, Resnick had discussions a couple of days before the fight with Barnett Magids, a man described as a "Houston gambler." Magids spoke with the FBI regarding odd circumstances prior to the fight.
Magids, who died in 2007, apparently debated when Liston would take down the young Clay. It appears as if on the day of the fight, Resnick told Magids to hold his bets and just watch what happened.
“At about noon on the day of the fight, [Magids] reached Resnick again by phone, and at this time, Resnick said for him to not make any bets, but just go watch the fight on pay TV and he would know why and that he could not talk further at that time.
“Magids did go see the fight on TV and immediately realized that Resnick knew that Liston was going to lose,” the document states.
Resnick, who died in 1989, would be revealed to have very strong ties to the mob.
Sonny Liston would be found dead by his wife in their home in Las Vegas on Jan. 5, 1971. While the police report states he died of a heroin overdose, Liston's friends insist that the police covered up his homicide.