The Rigged Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston Rematch
Almost any sports historian is very familiar with the iconic picture of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali standing over a felled Sonny Liston, after knocking him out in the first round of their 1965 rematch. But there is a large swath of people who believe that Liston “took a dive” in the fight as a result of the fight being fixed, with Liston falling as a result of a “phantom punch” (ie, one that never happened).
The prevailing explanation as to why such circumstance would’ve occurred involved Liston being tied up with the mafia; specifically, people believe that the mafia not only forced Liston to lose the fight, because they had wagered money on Ali, but that Liston was under further pressure from the mafia because of his own debts he had with them. To make matters even more intriguing, Liston died five years after the fight, with his death being ruled as an overdose. You can connect the dots from there.