The fascinating life story of Sonny Liston, the controversial heavyweight boxing champion of the world.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Geraldine Liston
Ceasar Novak
Father Alios
Nico Orso
Bobby Zazo
Andrew Hinkson ...
Troy Amos-Ross ...
Police Chief Greensburg
Bill Macky
Phillip Jarrett ...
Bishop Knight
Brian Frank ...
Officer Mellow
Philip Williams ...
St. Louis Cop


The story of World heavyweight champion boxer Charles L. "Sonny" Liston, who was knocked down 2 minutes into a championship fight by a seemingly harmless right hook from Muhammad Ali. It would forever be known as the "Phantom Punch". Liston later died under mysterious circumstances. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"Before Tyson, there was Liston".


Biography | Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, sexual content and some violence involving a sexual assault | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El gancho fantasma  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Originally, the theme song to the film was titled 'No Love in the Game' and was produced, wrote and performed by Cleveland rapper turned director Boogieman (Kenny Latimer). See more »


The Man That I Love
Music by Stacey Hersh
Lyrics by Robert Townsend
See more »

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User Reviews

Phantom Punch
12 March 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Phantom Punch is directed by Robert Townsend and written by Ryan Combs. It traces the life and times of Sonny Liston, the World heavyweight boxing champion who over his career fought the likes of Muhammad Ali and Floyd Patterson. Townsend biopic traces Liston's career from 1950 to his death in 1971.

Ving Rhames, is perfectly cast as Charles L 'Sonny' Liston. Rhames gives a stellar performance depicting the boxer's tumultuous life, where dealing with the rampant racism of the day, the heavy hand of the mob, and the heavier hand of the law was part and parcel of the job. And touches on the controversy surrounding his mysterious death.

5 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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