Only Boxing Title Fight In Maine: Clay vs Liston 2
Muhammad Ali died at age 74 from respiratory issues. In 1964, Ali, then Cassius Clay, upset Sonny Liston to win the World Heavy Championship, and the rematch was on for Lewiston, Maine.
The second fight was originally set for Boston, Massachusetts on May 25th, 1965. As the fight got closer Massachusetts officials were worried that the promoters were tied to organized crime. An injunction was brought up to block the fight in Boston, so they needed another venue.
Then Maine Governor John H. Reed stepped in and proposed Lewiston as the new site. The venue selected was St. Dominic’s Hall, a junior hockey rink. Lewiston was the smallest city to host a heavyweight title fight since 1923 and remains the only title fight to be fought in Maine. The arena’s seating capacity was 4,900 but only 2,434 fans attended.
The fight in Lewiston was one of the most controversial in boxing history as Liston went down in the first round on what many said was ‘phantom’ punch. Many in attendance did not see Ali deliver the punch. The fight lasted 2 minutes and 12 seconds.