The public record states that Sonny Liston was a heroin addicted heavyweight contender. The official record is that no boxer has ever been ranked the seventh greatest fighter of all time, while at the same time maintaining a heroin addiction.

We can now do what people could not do in the fifties, sixties, and seventies. We can “look backwards and forwards,” with the “power of contextualizing events and processes.” So, lets understand the history of heroin. In 1889, heroin was invented as medicine. The company was Bayer, yes, Friedrich Bayer sold Heroin over the counter. His company created Synthetic chemical medicines. He applied chemical analysis to plant drugs, by purifying the main active ingredient of opium. “Recalling Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams, Serturner gave his drug the name morphium‟ which later became morphine.” So this was widely used as pain relief in the Civil War, Franco/Prussian War. So Heroin was prescribed in place of morphine or codeine (another constituent of opium, isolated in 1832). If Sonny Liston was a heroin user, then we have to accept that he would have the symptoms that come with the disease, dry mouth, flush skin, constricted pupils, fade in and out of wakefulness, slow breathing, unclear thinking, memory loss, decision making and self control deteriorated, itching, nausea and vomiting, constipation, skin infections, lowered immunity illness, pain suppressed, neglecting their own needs, a days dosage becomes the most important need, look haggard, not eat properly. The Liston family has stated, that Sonny was never acting like a user. We would have noticed withdrawal symptoms. When did Sonny have the time to become a drug user? Are you with me? Sonny boxed from 1953 to 1970, and took only 8 months off after the 1965 fight with Mr. Ali. Sonny then won 15 of his last 16 fights before he died. My question to those who to this day, still want to see Sonny only as a thug, slave to the Mafia, drug using womanizer is… what do you call, a boxer, with a record of 50 wins, 39 KO‟s 72%, 4 loses 3 by KO, with 54 bouts, 267 rounds, becoming the 5th ranked heavyweight in the world before he died?… “A Man.”


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