Ving Rhames to pack a punch in Liston biopic

  • 2 November 2007

Ving Rhames is to take on the role of 1960s heavyweight champ Sonny Liston, in the biopic Phantom Punch.

Directed by Robert Townsend, the film will follow the infamous fighter from his bouts in the ring to mob ties.

‘The thing is that certain people are born to play certain roles and Ving has always gravitated toward Sonny Liston’s story,’ said Townsend.

‘This is his baby and he’s giving birth to it. He’s already playing the character at so many levels.’

The title of the film alludes to a fight with an up and coming Cassius Clay, who floored Liston with a much-debated punch two minutes into the bout.

Liston was immortalised on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1965 after the fight which many believe ended his career.

The Phantom Punch was written by Ryan Combs, with production scheduled to finish in December.

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