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 slated to be the fight capitol for the Clay-Liston heavyweight championship bout on May 25, from all reports received at the Journal, up to press time.

The actual announcement of the world Championship fight was expected to be released at a special news conference by Maine Governor John H. Reed, from the State Capitol at 4 o’clock this afternoon.

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

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

The Dominican Fathers, the owners of the Central Maine Youth Center, have not apparently been notified of any Clay-Liston Bout at their arena.

Substantiating the current reports of the Lewiston based bout was the sports editor of the Louisville Times, Dean Egles, who called the Journal this afternoon to inquire about hotel reservations.


“I know Lewiston is a great fight town,” he said, adding that he felt Lewiston would be a great spot for the fight.


Feldman reported that he will set up a training camp for one of the principal boxers, “and it may be Cassius Clay,” who is the defending champion.

The hotel official disclosed that he was up late last night with Inter-Continental Promotions and Tele-Cast, and meetings took place this morning. The group was made up of five persons.

Tele-Cast is the group in charge of promoting the event on closed-circuit television, Feldman said. He indicated that the television officials conferred with personnel from WMTW-TV, a Maine station owned by TV personality Jack Parr, which is situated nearby the Poland Spring layout.

Although conventions are scheduled, Feldman said that he will be able to accommodate those who will come to Maine to see the fight. He anticipates the largest group to head East will be press personnel.


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


The governor contacted by a Journal reporter earlier today announced that “Maine would welcome the Clay-Liston fight if its promoters and the Maine Boxing Commission could work out the mechanics for holding the fight in Maine.”

A Boston newspaper last night announced that the boxing event, which would attract world-wide attention, would be staged in Maine. The publication predicted the fight would take place at the arena in Lewiston or at Bangor or Portland.

Gov. Reed informed the Journal earlier that he has little information to base any statement, but apparently last-minute developments have changed this.


Editor’s note: This story was originally published in the Lewiston Evening Journal on May 7, 1965.

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