After sending Floyd Patterson to a crushing defeat in 1962, Liston ascended to the throne of the “Heavyweight Championship of the World”. Sonny had a burning desire to be accepted and liked by the public and to present a “championship” image. To accomplish this, he enlisted the aid of a near-do-well, Denver photographer named Paul Abdoo. It was Abdoo’s job to help create that image through the official championship photos. One of these was a magnificent colorized photograph of Sonny wearing his RING championship belt and a lengthy royalty-oozing robe. The original of which was last seen in the Liston home in Las Vegas in the possession of his wife, Geraldine. Abdoo also made this photo into prints, so Sonny could distribute it to his special friends. These color prints are actually quite rare but still show up from time to time in collectors’ circles.
Abdoo also created photo reproductions of one of Sonny’s favorite fight poses wearing his RING championship belt. He did these in a memo pad style format, with a facsimile message from the champ (actually this message was done in Geraldine’s handwriting. These photos were handed out by Sonny at various social gatherings to satisfy the autograph requests of fans. However, on very rare occasions, and with advance preparation, Sonny would actually sign some of these photo reproductions, below the facsimile signature in order to honor a fan’s special request for a genuine Sonny Liston ink pen autograph.
It is interesting to note that Sonny cut a deal with the Denver photographer, which allowed Abdoo to keep all of the profits emanating from his photographs of the champion.
…”autographed items sold for $1 apiece, pose-with-Sonny pics for $5″… …[Paul Abdoo] “Sonnys been real good to me…I’ll stay with him because I don’t know good it might get”
…Sonny Boy “The Life and Strife of Sonny Liston” by Rob Steen 1993, UK.
Very few of these were hand signed by Sonny and of those that were, very few have survived intact over the years. Below, you will find one of them that did survive. This one even has a tiny remnant of the red memo pad “tear off” edge at the top right (it is unseen in the photo).
Sonny Liston Autographed Photo
Measures a large 6 inches x 3.5 inches. In excellent condition, no tears or creases. Boldly hand-signed by SONNY LISTON in blue ballpoint pen ink. Authenticity is unconditionally guaranteed for life. Would make a magnificent display piece when properly framed with an additional Liston photograph.
No longer Available