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Legendary Photos: The Stories Behind 8 of Harry Benson’s Iconic Portraits

How a master celebrity photographer captures the world's most famous people

Muhammad Ali defeats Sonny Liston in their second World Title Fight, Lewiston, Maine (May 25, 1965)

Photo of Muhammed Ali

Everyone there and around the world was shocked when Ali knocked Liston down and out in the first round of their second world title fight. Ali remained World Heavyweight Champion, the title which he won the year before when he defeated Liston in their first fight in Miami in 1964.

The knockout punch has come to be known as “the phantom punch” as some think Ali’s punch didn’t connect while others feel it was a clean hit. Most likely we will never know. But I like this photograph because it is full of tension as Ali, being held up by his friend, Bundini Brown, looks warily at Liston in the far-right corner of the photograph. Former World Heavyweight Champion, Jersey Joe Walcott, who was the referee, looks toward me while Ali’s trainer, Angelo Dundee, on the far left, has his back to the camera.

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