The Murder of Sonny Liston

Shaun Assael

10 August 2017
320 pages


Sonny Liston was a legend, described by Mike Tyson as "the baddest man boxing ever produced". From veteran sports reporter Shaun Assael, The Murder of Sonny Liston is a gripping, intense examination of the former Heavyweight Champion's death in mob-ruled 1970s Las Vegas.

'The Murder of Sonny Liston is a classic of the genre' – Daily Mail

On January 5th 1971, former heavyweight champion Sonny Liston was found dead at his Las Vegas home.

Liston’s death, labelled an overdose, has long hung over Las Vegas and the boxing world, leaving unanswered questions about his ties to mob kingpins, drug lords, billionaire hoteliers and powerful promoters.

Against the backdrop of the pivotal era in the history of Las Vegas when the mob turned a sleep desert oasis into a gambling paradise, Shaun Assael's The Murder of Sonny Liston is both a riveting murder hunt and a stunning portrait of a city that was home to the Rat Pack, race riots and glittering high-rises along the strip.

'Shaun Assael has delved deeper into Liston's mysterious death than anybody and come up with sensational results' – Nigel Collins, former editor-in-chief of The Ring

Readers of James Ellroy's Underworld USA Trilogy will feel very much at home.
The Murder of Sonny Liston is a classic of the genre . . . The cast of characters in these pages is a casino-packed assembly of the showbiz stars of a neon era who performed on that fabled Strip, heroes of the prize-ring, shadowy figures of a Mafia underworld, money-grubbing hangers-on, showgirls, straight and crooked cops.
Writing with the flair of a mystery writer and the attention to detail of an investigative journalist . . . Assael dissects the suspicious death of former heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston . . . The engrossing depiction of Sin City's corrupt cops, malevolent mobsters, and drug dens follows in the footsteps of Nick Tosches's The Devil and Sonny Liston . . . Assael's journey into the seedy underworld of the Las Vegas's past is worth the ride.