Tuesday, 30 October 2007 07:21

Ving Rhames To Throw Punches (and take a Dive?) as Sonny Liston in Biopic

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ImageSource: The Hollywood Reporter

Move over Ali, it's Sonny Liston's turn.  The infamous heavyweight champion will be the subject of a biopic entitled, Phantom Punch, and Ving Rhames is set to star as the heavy-hitting boxer. 

The movie's script was written by Ryan Combs, and Robert Townsend (The Meteor Man, Eddie Murphy Raw) is set to direct. 

It remains to be seen if Rhames' age will be a factor in the production.  While Liston was in his early thirties when he beat Floyd Patterson to win the heavyweight title and later famously lost to Muhammad Ali, Rhames is pushing fifty.  But his age isn't an issue with Townsend who said, "The thing is that certain people are born to play certain roles and Ving has always gravitated toward Sonny Liston's story...He's already playing the character at so many levels"

More about Liston after the jump!

Liston's bout with Ali went down in history, but perhaps not in the best way. 

From wikipedia

Less than two minutes into the fight, it was over. While he was pulling away from Liston, Ali hit Liston with what came to be known as a "phantom punch," and Liston, who had seldom been knocked off his feet, went down.  Many believed the fight was fixed.[4] George Chuvalo, who sat in the fourth row at ringside and later fought Ali twice, said, "It was a phony." Floyd Patterson also said he did not believe the fight was on the level, as did former heavyweight champions Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney and Joe Louis. [2]. Sports Illustrated in 1965 ran a frame-by-frame analysis and concluded that the punch was real. [5]

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