Androscoggin Bank Colisee
Backstory and Context
During the first fight Ali had not yet changed his name and still went by his birth name of Cassius Clay. Shortly after beating Liston in Miami, Clay had shown his support for the Nation of Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ali. This created more attention and made many of the religious and social groups across the country pay special attention to a prize fight that normally would not have interested many of them. The fight would only last a couple of minutes as Liston was knocked down in the 1st round by what some called a "phantom punch"1. The knockout, the Mafia, the Nation of Islam, and even the referee's flawed attempt to count the 10 second knockdown all made this one of the most controversial boxing matches of all time.
Controversy and speculation grew after the fight, with rumors that Liston "took a dive" gaining circulation. Some speculated that Liston "took a dive" because the Nation of Islam had told Liston that they would kill him if he won the rematch. Some rumored that Liston owed the Mafia money and bet on himself to lose so he could pay off the debt. Some even speculated that Liston was worried he would be killed accidentally by people trying to shoot Ali and just wanted to get out of the ring.
The fight launched Ali's career and practically ruined the once invincible Liston. Liston entered the fight as the heavyweight champion and left with many questioning his will or capacity to compete. Ali became arguably the greatest heavyweight boxer of all time and possibly the most recognized sports figure in American history. The Colisee would be a great place to visit and walk around where this historic and controversial boxing match took place.