View Full Version : Am I crazy? Ali vs Berbick

05-03-2006, 04:02 PM
Question my sanity (After all I did think Tillis edged Tyson) but I just received the commercial master of Ali/Berbick and I'll be honest I have never seen this fight and judging by press accounts at the time I was expecting a Berbick one sided win similar to Ali's fight vs Holmes.Even with Ali suffering with the early effects of Parkinsons,reduced reflexes and shot legs I still think he gave a decent account of himself.The official scorecards I think were 97-94,99-91 and 99-91 for Berbick(please correct me if I'm wrong on the last two scores.Just goping by memory) I thought Ali fought Berbick much closer than the judges scorecards that night.
I'm wondering if the outcry for Ali to retire was so great at the time that it may have clouded the scoring of the judges.Seems like to me that in the 70's Ali got some generous scoring in fights against Young and Norton but didn't get the same courtesy here.
Before I go any further, I have to say I was never a fan of Ali so I'm not wearing rose colored glasses here.I just thought this was a much better fight than given credit for.I guess it's just sad watching greatness so diminished but even a diminished Ali wasn't too bad compared to Berbick.
Regardless,it was time for Ali to go but when you watch the fight it wasn't as bad as some make it out to be.

05-03-2006, 05:44 PM
I'm glad he quit then, but he certainly put up enough of an effort to "deserve" shots at other younger and less experienced opponents. If I remember correctly, the guy calling the bout (was it Dunphy?) seemed to think it was closer than the judges scored, as well. PeteLeo.

05-04-2006, 10:38 PM
I thought that Berbick simply made sure that he did enough to secure an unquestionable decision victory and that if more was necessary for that particular objective or a more definitive win at any rate, he would've been up to the task. Having said that, Ali still had enough left to make Berbick look relatively clumsy at times & it certainly provided for a better finale than the Holmes fight though Ali still could've done without it. The basic form and executions were still there but the speed, reflexes and stamina were markedly diminshed & he showed little strength or power to his punches. While Ali's substantive health may've worsened since the Holmes fight ( he sounded very slow & slurred, almost like he was medically sedated in dressing room i/v) he was actually in better fighting shape at 238, sans quick fix weight loss pills, than he was for Holmes at 217. I think the scores of 99-91 were off the mark but they may've somehow accounted for Berbick's apparent holding back (at least to me) to realistically reflect Ali's future viability in the game.

05-04-2006, 11:55 PM

I completely agree with you. I watched the fight on live TV that night, and I found it impossible to score (which was a rarity for me). I honestly could not get a solid sense of which punches were scoring and which were missing.

The newspapers of course made it sound like Berbick whipped Ali, and I remember being surprised that the media saw the fight the way they did.

05-05-2006, 04:57 AM
I was surprised Ali didn't get the benefit of the doubt on the scorecards==like other bouts of his==and come out of it with a draw or split decision win. If memory serves correct, an Ali victory would've set up a match with Weaver, who was with Bob Arum at the time. Lots of times when there's a big bout looming, that's where you get the questionable decisions.

And wasn't it a week or two later when Frazier looked dreary in his comeback against Jumbo Cummings?

05-05-2006, 09:47 AM
Berbick won all 10 rds & gave Ali a beating. Ali threw a few punches back but they were so slow they were like pushes. Berbick appeared to take it easy on him. And PS i like both these guys so no bias but the correct scoring would have been 100-90.

05-05-2006, 10:19 AM
Ali gave a decent account of himself for a guy with absolutely nothing left. He won three rounds clearly, lost the other seven just as clearly. Berbick laid an ungodly body beating on him for the majority of the fight, and Ali speaks almost complete gibberish in the postfight interview - you can't understand him at all.

This speaks to the competence of Berbick as a fighter, rather than to what Ali offered. Although Ali was not outclassed, this was a young Berbick, who was nothing special at any point.

Roberto Aqui
05-05-2006, 10:52 AM
I'm not much for postmortems. I'd seen way too much of Ali's future by the Spinks series.

Some do enjoy postmortems though.

05-05-2006, 10:59 AM
I agree with TKO11. At best Ali won 3 rounds but the other rounds Berbick gave Ali a terrible body beating.

HE Grant
05-05-2006, 12:38 PM
After the Holmes bout it is amazing that Ali even went the distance. At this point Berbick was extremely tough. He was no novice. He had knocked out John Tate. He had beat on an undefeated Greg Page. He was a fit , tough, extremely strong , unorthodox guy. All and all while it might have been a better fight than expected, it was sad.

05-06-2006, 05:52 PM
Earnie Shavers was on the undercard of that in a real exciting fight.

HE Grant
05-06-2006, 08:25 PM
Didn't he get off the deck to stop Jeff Merrit in 5 ?

05-07-2006, 08:39 AM
Didn't he get off the deck to stop Jeff Merrit in 5 ?

I think you mean Jeff Simms, but yes.