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Thread: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

  1. #121
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    While I agree

    That saying Young made an ass out of Ali is a bit harsh (He certainly didn't make Ali look good, but Young did that to everyone) and I think the decision was debatable, Jimmy did merit a rematch.

    As did Norton. Having Young and Norton square off in a title eliminator was about the only thing to do as both meritted another shot at the title (Norton more so IMO).

    Ali handpicked Leon, Not because he was considered dangerous, but becuase he should have been an easy defense. He wasn't and Ali lost.

    It's a bit disengenuous to state that Leon was more dangerous to Ali and give Ali credit for facing him twice.

    The first go round NO ONE thought he was dangerous and LEON picked the rematch because lets be honest with our selves, Leon wanted NO PART of Norton who won a squeaker over Young.

    Ali was not even IN a position to "pick" who he wanted next. He didn't GIVE Leon a rematch. Leon, now the champ, gave Ali the rematch.

    Hawk

  2. #122
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    I gotta plead ignorance here. I always thought Leon took on Ali in a rematch because fighting Ali would bring Leon more dough than fighting Norton would... and Ali pretty much could get a rematch if he so desired, and he did.

  3. #123
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Leon took on Ali again because Ali was the most lucrative and the safer option I think.

    Leon knew a fight with Norton would be harder and less rewarding.

    Not much harder, as Ali did a lot of damage to Leon in fight 1

    It makes perfect sense to go with a man you know you have the beatings
    of, for a heap of cash, than risk the title for less money against a man you aren't
    confident of beating, or at least not sure of beating....

    Regarding Young and Ali, a crap fight and I had Ali the winner. Young was simply
    a spoiler and IMO, he didn't take Ali's title....

  4. #124
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    Sharks

    No arguement there.

    The point I was trying to get accross was that it was suggested that we should give Ali credit for facing Leon twice as if to exscuse him from giving Norton and Young rematches of thier title fights.

    The problem I have with that is that first off, going into the first Spinks fight, Leon was NOT considered the more dangerous opponent (or after for that matter, IMO).

    Ok so Leon ended up fighting the fight of his life and took Ali's title. There was now an OBVIOUS reason Ali wanted a rematch with Leon......Leon had the title. So it wasn't as if Ali sat back after the first Spinks fight and contemplated: "Who is the most worthy fighter I should face now?" Leon was the ONLY option, as Leon had the belt.

    Conversely, the only fight that made sense and cents to Leon, would be Ali. It stated in the contract that the winner of Ali Spinks face the winner of Norton Young. Leon, as champion, decided to give Ali a rematch. Now I don't feel this was FAIR to Norton and I felt bad that he was now sut out of a promised and contracted fight with the new Champ. But at the same time, AS champion, if Leon wanted to dictate who he was going to defend agianst, and make the most ang for his buck (Ali), I can't blame him. I don;t AGREE with it, but I certainly understand why he opted for a rematch.

    I just don't agree with the logic of exscusing Ali for not giving Norton and Young title fight rematches BECAUSE he faced Leon twice.

    The ONLY reason Ali fought Leon Twice, was because he officially lost to Leon Once.

    Hawk

  5. #125
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    . . . Leon Spinks was a more dangerous fighter to Ali than Young. . .
    ?

    Taking your 'thought' further,

    Leon Spinks was a more dangerous fighter to Foreman than Young

    Leon Spinks was a more dangerous fighter to Ron Lyle than Young

  6. #126
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    A few thoughts from a guy who followed the sport extremely closely during that period ....

    Ali knew he was on his last legs after the third Norton fight ... if you watch almost every fight in Ali's second reign excluding Manila, they were all boring and showed a man clearly in decline ....

    Ali wanted absolutely no part of Ken Norton again. He knew he lost the fight at Yankee Stadium and that he had even less of a chance if he fought Norton again ... he toyed with the idea of a Foreman rematch but the older he got the less he wanted to take that risk. In addition, George took a year off, had one good comeback year in 75 and then lost to Young in 76 basically taking himself out of the picture. As Norton solidified his spot as number 1 contender, Ali took on Spinks in a fight the world condemmed as a joke. Leon was a seven fight pro and no where near championship caliber at that point ... for Ali it was an oddball, curiorsity bout that he pulled off because he was Ali ...

    The Spinks that fought Ali and beat him would have been destroyed by Ken Norton or George Foreman in one or two rounds, just as Coetzee flattened him post Ali ... to say or even think otherwise is a joke ...the fact that Spinks went 15 twice with Ali shows how shot Ali was ... the joke is that Ali was not better in the second bout he was worse. The difference was that Spinks was so unfocused a slightly better conditioned Ali managed to jab and hold for 15 and win a very boring decision ...

  7. #127
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Reports at the time claimed that Spinks was out drinking every night during his "training" until someone could find him and drag him back to camp. I think he realized the Big Ride wouldn't last very long and decided to have as much fun as possible while it was on. PeteLeo.

  8. #128
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Obama fan
    ?

    Taking your 'thought' further,

    Leon Spinks was a more dangerous fighter to Foreman than Young

    Leon Spinks was a more dangerous fighter to Ron Lyle than Young
    Now, we don't really know.

    If your implication is that Jimmy Young is a harder fight for Ali than is Leon, I would disagree every time. If you're saying he loses to Foreman and Lyle, well, maybe. Maybe not. He'd be the underdog, as was Young.

    Young was not a great fighter . . . and, head to head, I'd take Leon Spinks of 1977-78 over Young in 1977-78 all day long. Leon would be all over Young, and Leon was fast for a heavy . . . 2 qualities that gave Jimmy lots of trouble. He did better with slow, ponderous, and less busy guys.

    What IS your point, anyway?

  9. #129
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by HE Grant
    A few thoughts from a guy who followed the sport extremely closely during that period ....

    Ali knew he was on his last legs after the third Norton fight ... if you watch almost every fight in Ali's second reign excluding Manila, they were all boring and showed a man clearly in decline ....

    Ali wanted absolutely no part of Ken Norton again. He knew he lost the fight at Yankee Stadium and that he had even less of a chance if he fought Norton again ... he toyed with the idea of a Foreman rematch but the older he got the less he wanted to take that risk. In addition, George took a year off, had one good comeback year in 75 and then lost to Young in 76 basically taking himself out of the picture. As Norton solidified his spot as number 1 contender, Ali took on Spinks in a fight the world condemmed as a joke. Leon was a seven fight pro and no where near championship caliber at that point ... for Ali it was an oddball, curiorsity bout that he pulled off because he was Ali ...

    The Spinks that fought Ali and beat him would have been destroyed by Ken Norton or George Foreman in one or two rounds, just as Coetzee flattened him post Ali ... to say or even think otherwise is a joke ...the fact that Spinks went 15 twice with Ali shows how shot Ali was ... the joke is that Ali was not better in the second bout he was worse. The difference was that Spinks was so unfocused a slightly better conditioned Ali managed to jab and hold for 15 and win a very boring decision ...
    No, George's good year at that time was 1976 and he lost to Young in 1977.

    To say Leon would have been destroyed by Norton, while the sentiment of many at the time, is no certainty. Leon was a drug user when he lost to Coetzee and in fact was favored to win that fight. Even in Coetzee's mind. Coetzee many times subsequently noted his surprise at that victory.

  10. #130
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    You think Leon Spinks would have beaten the Ken Norton of 1977 ? If so, I think you are way off on that one ... Leon did not lose to Coetzee because of drugs .. Leon lost to Coetzee because he was a small heavyweight with an average chin and no defense who got blasted with right hands like the near amateur he almost still was ... Leon was a decent but not great puncher with a wild, rush in style and Norton or Foreman would have wrecked him ... Why do you think Ali begged in front of the world for the first shot at Leon, saying how the ex-champ always gets the first shot like he gave Liston (ignoring Foreman) ? The answer is that no one knew better than Ali that Norton would crush Spinks and that he would never regain the title if Ken got to him first .. that is why Spinks was stripped and Norton ended up fighting Holmes who later on did destroy Spinks by for him a rare early round KO ... was Spinks on drugs then too ? If so, was that why he lost to Larry ? Actually, other than the undertrained, old, deteriorated Ali, did Leon ever beat a top three or four fighter ? I actually think the best he ever looked was defeating Bernado Mercado on a undercard of a major Holmes bout (Ali ?)

    I don't know how good Leon might have been ... he showed heart in the Olympics ... he had speed and some power ... however he was rushed into the title fight and they took it , I get it, the money, ect .. however, after the loss they had a choice to start over and rebuild him a bit and instead threw him to the lions ... again it was greed but I also think management knew he was a wild, man child with little common sense and no discipline, almost a 1980 version of Battling Siki, so they decided to grab whatever money they could ... we see how it played out...his career was a disaster, he is now broke, punch drunk and working as a janitor in the sticks somewhere ... talk about sad, the man owned the world at one time ....whatever ...
    Last edited by HE Grant; 04-27-2008 at 02:53 AM.

  11. #131
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    The Norton I am referring to at this point was the Norton who was fighting as Spinks fought Ali not the post Shavers Norton .. Norton's last strong years were 75 - 78, say Quarry to Holmes ... at that point he was not such a young man himself but was in his career prime ... regardless, styles make fights and the iron chinned LeDoux is not the average chinned Spinks ... What are you saying? How do you feel the Spinks that fought Ali in the first fight would have done against the Norton who fought Ali at Yankee Stadium or Holmes?

  12. #132
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by HE Grant
    You think Leon Spinks would have beaten the Ken Norton of 1977 ? If so, I think you are way off on that one ... Leon did not lose to Coetzee because of drugs ..
    . . . like the near amateur he almost still was ... talk about sad, the man owned the world at one time ....whatever ...
    All I said was "To say Leon would have been destroyed by Norton, while the sentiment of many at the time, is no certainty." I didn't say Leon beats Norton, just that the reverse was not a certainty, per your post "The Spinks that fought Ali and beat him would have been destroyed by Ken Norton or George Foreman in one or two rounds. . ." You went off like I pronounced Leon an easy winner over Norton when that's not what I wrote.

    Spinks was unpredictable. Leon also did better against LeDoux than did Norton, judges aside, as Norton was lucky he wasn't kayoed by LeDoux...

    Leon's defeat of the rising Mercado, who had beaten Shavers and was strongly favored over Spinks, is another indicator of how surprising Leon could be. Leon stopped a guy who had stopped Shavers, who had destroyed Norton . . .

    Just saying Norton would have stopped Leon in 1-2 rounds seems awfully definitive, when in fact it took Ali 15 to decision Leon, and Leon wasn't "destroyed" until 1979, when on drugs, by Coetzee.

    It also seems wrong to me that some people seem to call Leon an amateur quite often. The guy wasn't just a former amateur, he was an amateur STAR--an Olympic gold medalist. Most gold medal winners are better fighters than most pros at their weights as soon as they turn pro . . . Ali called Spinks an amateur to be funny during his rants, but for boxing fans to continuously call him an amateur, well, he beat far too many pros from day one for that to seem an intelligent assessment, to me.

    Coetzee did NOT beat Leon because Gerrie had super-honed pro skills whereas Leon was just an amateur with no defense. Gerrie nailed him with a heavy punch, which could happen to any pro, and Leon happened to be high at the time to boot.

    Leon also had better head movement than just about any "pro" heavyweight at the time, but unfortunately chose to slug it out and trade too often.

    As far as Leon "owning the world at one time," well, I strongly disagree. Everybody, but everybody, saw him as an object of ridicule, what with the gapped teeth and his inability to speak very well. He was an uneducated guy going nowhere, but with boxing talent that got him the heavyweight title briefly due to a match with an old champ who didn't take him seriously. Everyone at the time knew he'd lose the rematch with Ali, and anyone with any sense knew in 1976 (before he ever turned pro) that the end for Leon would be as a janitor or something similar.

    I love the guy and want the best for him. And I was a proud viewer when he won Olympic gold in as exciting a fight as I ever saw. But he never "owned the world;" he was, from day one, the poster boy for likeliest fighter to lose all his money, as so many past fighters unfortunately have done.

  13. #133
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Of course the 1978 Norton should be favored over the 1978 Spinks--but the 1976 or 1977 Norton isn't even to be considered, since that was never a possibility.

    However, Spinks did nothing prior to Ali #2 to suggest he'd be an easy KO loser, and Norton did nothing vs. Ali #3 or Holmes to suggest he's an easy KO winner in the 2nd round. He beat the immovable Bobick very quickly in 1977, which doesn't assure me he blows out Leon.

    Maybe he would have, but the idea that it's a certainty is demeaning to Spinks. Ali couldn't KO Leon in 2 fights, Norton couldn't KO Ali in 3 fights, but now Norton blows out a fast, not-ingesting-cocaine Leon in 2 ROUNDS? I just don't think it's so clear-cut.

  14. #134
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    . . . Ali couldn't KO Leon in 2 fights . . .
    So true.

    And Ali couldn't KO or score a knockdown against Norton in three fights--totalling 39 rounds.

    But Ali 'knocked out' Sonny Liston with a single 'punch' in the first round.

    2 and 2 add up to 7 here.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    How about a pick for the record Michael instead of spin? Who wins, straight up and how, between the the Spinks with the fine head movement who beat Ali, won the heavyweight championship of the world but never enjoyed the fruits v.s. the Norton of the exact same time period ? I say Norton crushes him early, Foreman as well....what say you ?

  16. #136
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Foreman KOs him early, which I'd bet on; Norton wins by KO between 6-10, which I wouldn't bet on because I have less confidence in it. Should it go the distance, which most of Norton's fights from that period did, then I like the more active and younger Leon by decision. (Wouldn't give Leon this decision edge vs. the 1973 Norton, by the way.)

    Again, my disagreement is with your contention that Norton KOs Leon in 1 or 2 rounds and that it's just so guaranteed. That Norton should be favored, I agree with.

  17. #137
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Fair enough . I stand by my pick as well.

  18. #138
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    I think the word Crush

    Can be interpreted a couple of ways.

    Foreman Crushing Norton and then Leon. 1, 2 rounds. Out. A CRUSHING performance.

    I think Dwight Qawi Crushed Leon. Abeit Slowly, methodically (and cruelly if you ask me) in 6 rounds.

    This would be how I would see Norton of that time period handling (CRUSHING) Leon.

    Hawk

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