The Journal announced that the Ali-Liston fight was to take place in Lewiston


Two fighters in a preliminary match before the 1965 Muhammad Ali-Sonny List fight at Central Maine Youth Center, now known as The Colisee, in Lewiston in 1965. Associated Press file photo

Lewiston is set to be the fight capital for the Clay-Liston heavyweight championship bout on May 25, according to all reports received by the Journal, as of press time.

The actual announcement of the world championship fight was to be released at a special press conference by Maine Governor John H. Reed from the State Capitol at 4 a.m. this afternoon.

Saul Feldman, president of Poland Spring Hotels, told the Journal, following meetings with officials from Inter-Continental Promotions, Inc. and Tele-Cast, “everything is ready for Lewiston.”

Feldman said the fight will take place at the Central Maine Youth Center. The Birch Street arena has a capacity of 2,800 during hockey games, but this can apparently be increased to 5,000 using the ground floor.

The Dominican Fathers, owners of the Central Maine Youth Center, apparently weren’t notified of a Clay-Liston fight at their arena.

Louisville Times sportswriter Dean Egles called the Journal this afternoon to inquire about hotel reservations.

“I know Lewiston is a great fight town,” he said, adding that he thought Lewiston would be a great place to fight.


Feldman has indicated that he will set up a training camp for one of the main boxers, “and it could be Cassius Clay”, who is the defending champion.

The hotel manager revealed that he was up late last night with Inter-Continental Promotions and Tele-Cast, and meetings were held this morning. The group consisted of five people.

Tele-Cast is the group responsible for promoting the event on closed-circuit television, Feldman said. He said TV officials spoke with staff at WMTW-TV, a Maine station owned by TV personality Jack Parr, which is located near the Poland Spring network.

Although conventions are planned, Feldman said he will be able to accommodate those who come to Maine to see the fight. He predicts that the largest group heading east will be press personnel.

Feldman reported that promoters he’s met with over the past few hours have left Poland Spring for Augusta, where they plan to attend Governor Reed’s press conference.


The governor contacted by a Journal reporter earlier in the day announced that “Maine would welcome the Clay-Liston fight if its promoters and the Maine Boxing Commission could work out the mechanisms to bring the fight to Maine.” .

A Boston newspaper announced last night that the boxing event, which would attract worldwide attention, would be held in Maine. The publication predicted the fight would take place at Lewiston Arena or Bangor or Portland.

Governor Reed informed the Journal earlier that he had little information on which to base a statement, but apparently last-minute developments have changed that.

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared in the Lewiston Evening Journal on May 7, 1965.

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