The rematch for the world heavyweight boxing championship between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston takes place on May 25, 1965 in Lewiston. Leifer gets a press credential but he is very young and must leave the best seats to his competitors.
The match ends suddenly in the middle of the first round. Liston falls to the canvas as a result of a terrible blow from Ali that no one has actually seen. This situation is not impossible because of the rapidity of the movements in close combat but Ali himself is surprised. Liston is on the ground. Ali yells : "Get up and fight, sucker !".
Liston remains on the ground for two seconds too long. Ali has won. The suspicion of Liston's abandonment by cheating will never be lifted. The pressure from some influence groups related to his bad life was assumed but not demonstrated. Fortunately Ali is a great champion who deserved to retain his title and his reputation is not tarnished.
The photo taken by Leifer at Lewiston is perfect : he captured the moment of most intense tension of Ali's scream when his mouth was wide open. The champion seen full frontal is overpowered in an aerated surrounding that provides a dramatic dimension. Ali turns his back on the other photographers and we see between his legs the face of Leifer's rival, Herb Scharfman.
Leifer follows Ali throughout the champion's career. He makes a dye-transfer print 50 x 60 cm from his Lewiston's photo and frames it in a 64 x 92 cm format with other documents that include a dedication by Ali : "Thank you for such a great picture". Indeed this photo is the best proof of the honesty of Ali in the decisive match. One of the documents is dated 2008 which is probably also the date of the dye-transfer and of the mounting.
This photo is for sale by Guernsey's in New York on December 3, lot 1221 here linked on the bidding platform LiveAuctioneers.