George Chuvalo was a major heavyweight contender of the mid-1960s, arguably endowed with the toughest body of any boxer who ever lived. This was so much so that Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay) sought to avoid facing him for a time, and Sonny Liston never elected to accept a challenge from the then-Canadian heavyweight champion. In a scenario typical of boxing, the fight came close to happening in 1971, when both fighters were past their best and Liston needed the money. Liston died on December 30, 1971.
But what if Liston decided he wasn't interested in taking on the Louisville Lip, and wanted the mouthy, insolent brat to stew in his juices for a while. What if he chose to take on Chuvalo instead?
The Fighters 1964
Most boxing history buffs analyze this fight based on Chuvalo vs. Foreman, using Big George as a stand-in. There is a certain logic to that, since Foreman was Liston's protege in some respects, but it undervalues Chuvalo. When the big Cannuck fought Foreman in 19...