Dear Mr. Christopher A. Wray:
My name is Lynel Gardner, I’m in charge to the Estate of Sonny Liston. I wrote the D.O.J. a few years back and also went through their “Whistleblower” program, to get the release of the FBI Fight File, for the 1964/65 Sonny Liston and Muhammad Ali Fights. The fight file was released through the program, proving that both fights were not fixed. My family along with the Ali Family, has had to endure decades of shame and ridicule from the public, editorial copy, films, books, and documentaries, about how Ali and Sonny conspired to throw those two fights, along with the mafia. But my grandmother, Geraldine Liston, always stated that Sonny hurt his shoulder before the first fight in 1964. And that was why he could not use his legendary left jab. And did not come out for the seven round. The1965 fight with Ali, was also overshadowed by Ali’s famous, “Phantom Punch”. My grandmother also stated, “if Sonny conspired to take a dive in those two fights, she never saw any money from it”. The FBI Fight file was the first time that anyone, had asked for the fight file in history. The reason being, that everyone had already made up there minds about the fights, without proof. Both our families have had to live with, the shame and humiliation, of these fights for decades. I knew that Mr. Ali was close to death, before the general public did. Because Mr. Ali and Sonny Liston, were best friends. I wanted to redeem Mr. Ali’s name before he died. Through my research, I know that J. Edgar Hoover knew, that the fights were not fixed, because he had undercover surveillance of the Boxing Commissions, including informants, and boxing experts within the Boxing commission nationwide. He also knew that “newsmen and newspapers, followed rumors and not leads”. Hoover’s investigation of the boxing commission, continued even after the Ali/ Liston Fights were over. That is why he could not tell the truth about the fights, to the American people. Because the investigation was ongoing. But the Ali and the Liston Families, have had to live with this lie since the fights, and now the grandchildren have to live with the lie. J. Edgar Hoovers reluctance to reveal his investigation to the public, helped to create an atmosphere of distrust, of boxing and also of the fighters. And helped to give fuel to the myth, that surrounds the two fights to this very day. I feel it is the obligation of your agency, to tell the world the truth about those two fights, and to make a public apology to the Ali/ Liston Families about causing harm to the Liston and Ali Estates. And reveal the findings from J.Edgar Hoovers, investigation. Because the FBI is partially responsible for keeping the myth of the “Phantom Punch” alive. I would also like to ask that I, Lynel Gardner, in charge of all business for the Estate of Sonny Liston, along with the Ali family, receive a letter of apology and a public apology. This would be the least the FBI could do, to try to heal the pain that has been caused by this injustice, lasting now, 57 years .
Sincerely,Lynel GardnerEstate of Sonny Liston(650)515-9603
Dear Mr. Christopher A. Wray: