- Associated Press - Monday, May 25, 2015

LEWISTON, Maine (AP) - It was 50 years ago that the world’s attention focused on Lewiston, Maine, for a world heavyweight boxing title fight.

The rematch between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston was moved to Lewiston thanks to local fight promoter Sam Michael after a deal with the Boston Garden fell through.

It was a short bout: Ali knocked out Liston in the first round on May 25, 1965.

Ali’s victory generated controversy over whether he’d truly connected when he sent Liston crashing to the canvas with a right to the head, or whether it was a “phantom punch,” implying the fight was fixed.

Several sports writers insisted it was a clean hit, and Ali went on to become a beloved figure in sports. He returned to Lewiston in 1995 on the 30th anniversary.

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