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Thread: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

  1. #91
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

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    Re: Dan

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan1213
    How many fighters today can claim a resume (for their entire career) that comes close to what Ray accomplished in just under a year and a half.
    Yes and how many fighters can claim to have held the heavyweight championship of the world on three separate occasions in arguably the toughest era ever. It's all a matter of personal preference and choice. Robbie achieved a hell of a lot and so did a lot of other fighters. Ali achieved a hell of a lot. I think Ali's achievements are that bit better than any other fighter. Again that's my choice and I'm sure a lot of others too. Robbie will also get many votes here as will Louis, Marciano, Hagler, Duan, Monzone etc etc

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    MIke

    Amen Mike.

    Amen.

    Hawk

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    Re: Dan

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan1213
    How many fighters today can claim a resume (for their entire career) that comes close to what Ray accomplished in just under a year and a half.
    Today?? This is a rhetorical question, right Dan?

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    Re: Dan

    Quote Originally Posted by raylawpc
    Today?? This is a rhetorical question, right Dan?
    Yes!

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Good rhetorical question. But I bet somebody tries to come up with a modern fighter whose first year and one-half equaled Ray's. Just watch.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Reviving an old thread here, I have to disagree with Mr. Walsh, as has already been done here by others, that the notion of greatest fighter means that must be a heavyweight, simply because heavyweights will generally beat everyone else. The concept of P4P is a good one for so many of us, as we use it to recognize far superior skills in guys whose only liability compared with a heavyweight may be size.

    But I'll offer up something else: I know a couple of boxing experts who rate Ali as the best--P4P. Even if he (Ali) called Robbie the best P4P at one time.

    The idea told me was that Ali knew how to beat everyone, did beat everyone (until Holmes and Berbick at the end), and was never outclassed or even dominated on a scoring basis in a fight. And, as mentioned elsewhere, Ali used his size and strength to advantage, whereas Robbie (due to his moving up in weight) didn't have the opportunity to do that very often; and maybe his strength wasn't the best on a P4P basis, either.

    Ali also, as told to me (and IMO), took less punishment than Robbie, and moved a lot better. Brains? Hard to say anyone fought smarter than did Ali.

    Power? Robinson had fantastic power, but against his toughest opponents in his biggest fights, Ali won most by stoppage--Liston both times, Foreman, Frazier III, Bonavena, Quarry, Cooper, Patterson, Ellis, et. al. The clear exception being the durable Norton.

    Anyway, like all here, I am a big Robbie fan and personally feel he's tops P4P; but I feel a case could be made for Ali as P4P best, without having to go to the extreme angle that, of course, head to head Ali would beat Robinson. Trevor Berbick probably beats Robinson, too, which offers little.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    I'll take Greb over Robinson. His quality of opposition is incredible and seems to far outstrip Robby's when you compare records. More Hall of Famers on Greb's ledger. He beat everyone, from top welterweights to top heavyweights. And has any fighter in history beaten more champions, title claimants and top contenders(MULTIPLE times)?- Gene Tunney, Mickey Walker, Tommy Loughran, Maxie Rosenbloom, Jack Dillon, Mike McTigue, Battling Levinsky, Tommy Gibbons, Jimmy Slattery, Billy Miske, Frank Klaus, Johnny Wilson, Mike O'Dowd, Eddie McGoorty, George Chip, Mike Gibbons, Jeff Smith, Augie Ratner, Lou Bogash, Leo Houck, Al McCoy, Soldier Bartfield, Chuck Wiggins, Bartley Madden, Gunboat Smith, Bill Brennan, Charlie Weinert, Clay Turner, Bob Moha, Young Ahearn, Buck Crouse, Gus Christie, Willie Meehan, Jack Renault, Kid Norfolk(though some dispute this claim), Jimmy Delaney, Allentown Joe Gans.....

    Man, it makes the head spin.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    Reviving an old thread here, I have to disagree with Mr. Walsh, as has already been done here by others, that the notion of greatest fighter means that must be a heavyweight, simply because heavyweights will generally beat everyone else. The concept of P4P is a good one for so many of us, as we use it to recognize far superior skills in guys whose only liability compared with a heavyweight may be size.

    But I'll offer up something else: I know a couple of boxing experts who rate Ali as the best--P4P. Even if he (Ali) called Robbie the best P4P at one time.

    The idea told me was that Ali knew how to beat everyone, did beat everyone (until Holmes and Berbick at the end), and was never outclassed or even dominated on a scoring basis in a fight. And, as mentioned elsewhere, Ali used his size and strength to advantage, whereas Robbie (due to his moving up in weight) didn't have the opportunity to do that very often; and maybe his strength wasn't the best on a P4P basis, either.

    Ali also, as told to me (and IMO), took less punishment than Robbie, and moved a lot better. Brains? Hard to say anyone fought smarter than did Ali.

    Power? Robinson had fantastic power, but against his toughest opponents in his biggest fights, Ali won most by stoppage--Liston both times, Foreman, Frazier III, Bonavena, Quarry, Cooper, Patterson, Ellis, et. al. The clear exception being the durable Norton.

    Anyway, like all here, I am a big Robbie fan and personally feel he's tops P4P; but I feel a case could be made for Ali as P4P best, without having to go to the extreme angle that, of course, head to head Ali would beat Robinson. Trevor Berbick probably beats Robinson, too, which offers little.
    I do not. Ali took a helluva lot of punishment in his career, was dominated by Norton (twice IMO) and in Frazier I, and his lack of an orthodox defense/inside fighting ability ensured the amount of punishment he received to have unfortunate long-term effects. A great boxer . . .PFP best, not in the running.

  10. #100
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Surf-Bat
    I'll take Greb over Robinson. His quality of opposition is incredible and seems to far outstrip Robby's when you compare records. More Hall of Famers on Greb's ledger. He beat everyone, from top welterweights to top heavyweights. And has any fighter in history beaten more champions, title claimants and top contenders(MULTIPLE times)?- Gene Tunney, Mickey Walker, Tommy Loughran, Maxie Rosenbloom, Jack Dillon, Mike McTigue, Battling Levinsky, Tommy Gibbons, Jimmy Slattery, Billy Miske, Frank Klaus, Johnny Wilson, Mike O'Dowd, Eddie McGoorty, George Chip, Mike Gibbons, Jeff Smith, Augie Ratner, Lou Bogash, Leo Houck, Al McCoy, Soldier Bartfield, Chuck Wiggins, Bartley Madden, Gunboat Smith, Bill Brennan, Charlie Weinert, Clay Turner, Bob Moha, Young Ahearn, Buck Crouse, Gus Christie, Willie Meehan, Jack Renault, Kid Norfolk(though some dispute this claim), Jimmy Delaney, Allentown Joe Gans.....

    Man, it makes the head spin.
    Amazing.

  11. #101
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    . . . the durable Norton.
    Glass chinned and vulnerable midsection would be more like it.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Obama fan
    Glass chinned and vulnerable midsection would be more like it.
    So Norton is glass-chinned? Were Bonavena, Foreman, or Frazier glass-chinned-- fighters all whom Ali kayoed-- whereas he couldn't stop Norton? Was Quarry glass-chinned, whom Kenny stopped rather than the other way around?

    Ken was stopped by the awesome Foreman in their primes, otherwise by Shavers and Cooney, two huge punchers, at the end of his career... and you have a "glass chin" if stopped by them? Ridiculous IMO. The LeDoux fight was also at the end.

    "Vulnerable midsection" on Norton, too? What does that even MEAN? Most fighters get hit to the body, esp. if well-schooled and thus protecting their heads. It's not like he was regularly kayoed or stopped with body shots.

    Your post makes no sense to me.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Here's something to think about:

    If it was 1920-25 and you asked most boxing historians, writers, fans, trainers, etc. who were the greatest fighters ever in each division from Lightweight on up, the answers would most likely have been:

    Lightweight- Joe Gans
    Welterweight- Joe Walcott
    Middleweight- Stanley Ketchel
    Light Heavyweight- Philadelphia Jack O'Brien
    Heavyweight- Jack Johnson

    Sam Langford fought every one of these men.
    Last edited by Surf-Bat; 04-21-2008 at 07:27 AM.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by hagler04
    I do not. Ali took a helluva lot of punishment in his career, was dominated by Norton (twice IMO) and in Frazier I, and his lack of an orthodox defense/inside fighting ability ensured the amount of punishment he received to have unfortunate long-term effects. A great boxer . . .PFP best, not in the running.
    That's your opinion. Ali certainly took less punishment than Robinson did. And took almost NO punishment in his prime in the 1960s. Was dominated by Norton twice and Frazier once? Well, how about Robinson being dominated several more times than that?

    A little analysis reveals that to the judges, at least, Ali was "dominated" by Norton but once. And in that fight, his jaw was broken in the first or second round, meaning he was "dominated" when most fighters would have simply quit.

    Some further reflection says that many experts don't say Frazier "dominated" Ali in Fight #1. Frazier won, IMO and via the judges, but Ali gave him a helluva beating, disputed by no one. Frazier was never close to the same again, whereas Ali went on to win titles. Frazier was in the hospital for weeks.

    And an "orthodox defense" somehow ensures better long-term health after boxing?? Surely you jest. Tell that to Robinson and the thousands of conventional boxers who suffered "unfortunate long-term effects." Ali was barely hit in the 1960s except for the 2 knockdowns, and chose to fight it out in the trenches in the 1970s when he'd slowed down, and esp. after successfully working that as a strategy vs. Foreman. You think he didn't know how to defend himself?

    Roberto Duran wasn't very orthodox, but is usually top 5 in all-time P4P lists.

    Would you choose a guy like Duran over Ali, Duran being a fighter who could be stone-cold starched (as by Hearns) or lose EASILY to nobodies like Kirkland Laing. Or be dropped by the same punch from the same fighter in the same round of 2 different fights (DeJesus), while in his prime. Or whose entire lightweight reign was over not very great competition, Buchanan and DeJesus aside. Hey, I'm not even saying Ali ranks P4P over Duran, just that one should consider these things.

    Ali is not even "in the running P4P" in your view?? ... yet was best heavy ever in the minds of many experts. With more skills and accomplishments than loads of top fighters up and down the weight classes. Certainly if one is best in his division all-time in many educated minds, he is at least in the running for best P4P . . .

    Bottom line, Ali KNEW HOW TO WIN against any style, and did so, against the best group of fighters in his weight class over two decades. Ducking none, beating all (a couple after a first loss). These criteria alone make him an easy pick to be among the top P4P guys, IMO.

    You can disagree, but I certainly disagree with you.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Bill Clayton is one guy I know rated Ali tops P4P. And his reasoning is pretty difficult to argue with. He believed that no matter what tools a fighter has/had, the bottom line is who did he fight and did he win. With Ali, he fought everyone and beat everyone (last two fights excepted). Pretty logical reasoning.....

    The reason I rate a few guys higher than Ali (including Robbie and Greb) P4P is that if they were Ali's size, I believe they would beat him....

    Regarding Norton, I don't think he was glass chinned, but I wouldn't call him durable either. The guys that planted Kenny all had cannons - that's what you needed to knock Norton out (and if you had them, he wasvery vulnerable to you). He chased Ali without fear for each of their fights because Ali didn't have the firepower to make him back off.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    That's your opinion. Ali certainly took less punishment than Robinson did. And took almost NO punishment in his prime in the 1960s. Was dominated by Norton twice and Frazier once? Well, how about Robinson being dominated several more times than that?

    A little analysis reveals that to the judges, at least, Ali was "dominated" by Norton but once. And in that fight, his jaw was broken in the first or second round, meaning he was "dominated" when most fighters would have simply quit.

    Some further reflection says that many experts don't say Frazier "dominated" Ali in Fight #1. Frazier won, IMO and via the judges, but Ali gave him a helluva beating, disputed by no one. Frazier was never close to the same again, whereas Ali went on to win titles. Frazier was in the hospital for weeks.

    And an "orthodox defense" somehow ensures better long-term health after boxing?? Surely you jest. Tell that to Robinson and the thousands of conventional boxers who suffered "unfortunate long-term effects." Ali was barely hit in the 1960s except for the 2 knockdowns, and chose to fight it out in the trenches in the 1970s when he'd slowed down, and esp. after successfully working that as a strategy vs. Foreman. You think he didn't know how to defend himself?

    Roberto Duran wasn't very orthodox, but is usually top 5 in all-time P4P lists.

    Would you choose a guy like Duran over Ali, Duran being a fighter who could be stone-cold starched (as by Hearns) or lose EASILY to nobodies like Kirkland Laing. Or be dropped by the same punch from the same fighter in the same round of 2 different fights (DeJesus), while in his prime. Or whose entire lightweight reign was over not very great competition, Buchanan and DeJesus aside. Hey, I'm not even saying Ali ranks P4P over Duran, just that one should consider these things.

    Ali is not even "in the running P4P" in your view?? ... yet was best heavy ever in the minds of many experts. With more skills and accomplishments than loads of top fighters up and down the weight classes. Certainly if one is best in his division all-time in many educated minds, he is at least in the running for best P4P . . .

    Bottom line, Ali KNEW HOW TO WIN against any style, and did so, against the best group of fighters in his weight class over two decades. Ducking none, beating all (a couple after a first loss). These criteria alone make him an easy pick to be among the top P4P guys, IMO.

    You can disagree, but I certainly disagree with you.
    Robinson had more knockouts than Ali had professional fights. The likes of Robinson and Greb beat a much larger number of elite fighters, across a wider spectrum of size and stature, than Ali. Ali's success came from his God-given ability to take punishment and his unusually fast feet and hands for a man of his size. Make Ali a 5'10 175 lber and he's never regarded as one of the greatest at all. How can you be lb for lb the best when your success depended on being so fast for being so big????

    "as to the judges" . . when has that ever been a fair barometer in boxing?? For crying out loud, the first Norton loss was a SPLIT DECISION, and there's no way in hell Ali won more than 4 rounds. Ali actually NEVER solved the puzzle of Norton (I scored the rematch with Ali a draw and can see those who scored it to Norton close), he didn't clearly beat Young, he only (barely) cleanly beat Frazier when Frazier was one fight away from retirement. I'm not an Ali hater and view him as the 2nd or 3rd greatest HW ever, but the claim that "Ali solved every style put in front of him" is not true, and yes, his lack of a sound defensive foundation ensured him many notable body beatings (vs Frazier, Norton, Bonavena, Spinks)

    Compare his resume to the likes of Harry Greb, Ezzard Charles etc. . . on a pound for pound basis, Ali just does not measure up.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Personally, I rate Robinson as the greatest fighter of all time...PFP...whatever you want to call it. His absolute prime was as a welterweight....nobody beat him at 147....it took a middleweight (La Motta) to hand him his first defeat.
    If we are going to consider someone other than Sugar Ray Robinson as the greatest fighter of all time, there are several more deserving than Ali (as great as Ali was). I have always rated Willie Pep right behind Robinson as the top 2 fighters ever....one could make a case for Willie being #1.

    Other fighters, such as Harry Greb, Henry Armstrong, Sandy Saddler, Ezzard Charles, Benny Leonard, Roberto Duran, etc would all rate as greater fighters than Ali.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Cant see ranking Robinson over a guy like Henry Armstrong or Barney Ross imo. Even Bob Fitz. I mean how can Robinson be "pound for Pound" the best when these guys won more titles?? And I talking about 1 title per weight class of couse.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    So Norton is glass-chinned? Were Bonavena, Foreman, or Frazier glass-chinned-- fighters all whom Ali kayoed-- whereas he couldn't stop Norton? Was Quarry glass-chinned, whom Kenny stopped rather than the other way around?

    Ken was stopped by the awesome Foreman in their primes, otherwise by Shavers and Cooney, two huge punchers, at the end of his career... and you have a "glass chin" if stopped by them? Ridiculous IMO. The LeDoux fight was also at the end.
    Jose Luis Garcia (something like 12-2 at the time of their first match, in which he KO'd Norton in eight). Interestingly, Kenny also waited years for his revenge on Garcia, well after Jose had already been blitzed by Bugner, Lyle, Terrel, and Joe Alexander.

    I always thought that Kenny was very shaky in the chin department, but with his long arms and hideaway defense, he was able to protect that jaw against most of his opponents. He consistently outjabbed Ali in their bouts and thus kept Muhammad from being able to snap off an effective series of hooks and crosses. Had Norton not elected to swap shots with Shavers (for whom he displayed near-contempt pre-fight), I believe he would have shut down Earnie for the needed four or five rounds and then stopped him, rather than vice-versa. Quarry was a good notch on Kenny's gun, but even in this case Jerry was close to retirement and a last minute replacement opponent. I don't know this personally, but several members of this board say they saw Quarry roughly handle Norton in sparring when Jerry was closer to his own peak; I believe Quarry even coldcocked Kenny at least once. Frazier likewise owned Norton during sparring sessions. I kind of think that Cooney's left would have found Ken's "off-button" had they met at each other's best.

    I'd like to see Greb in action before weighing his abilities against Robbie, but that ain't going to happen. Benny Leonard and other oldtimer icons like Gans and Armstrong deserve their places in this discussion, as well. PeteLeo.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteLeo

    I'd like to see Greb in action before weighing his abilities against Robbie, but that ain't going to happen. Benny Leonard and other oldtimer icons like Gans and Armstrong deserve their places in this discussion, as well. PeteLeo.
    I understand, but we have footage of many people he beat(Tunney, Walker, Loughran, Rosenbloom, McTigue, Slattery, Norfolk, M. Gibbons, T. Gibbons, O'Dowd, etc), so I think we can make an assessment based on that.

    After all, at the end of the day it's all about who got the job done!
    Last edited by Surf-Bat; 04-21-2008 at 10:15 AM.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by hagler04
    How can you be lb for lb the best when your success depended on being so fast for being so big????

    . . . "as to the judges" . . when has that ever been a fair barometer in boxing?? . . .

    . . . Ali actually NEVER solved the puzzle of Norton (I scored the rematch with Ali a draw and can see those who scored it to Norton close), he didn't clearly beat Young, he only (barely) cleanly beat Frazier when Frazier was one fight away from retirement . . . but the claim that "Ali solved every style put in front of him" is not true . . .

    . . . Compare his resume to the likes of Harry Greb, Ezzard Charles etc. . . on a pound for pound basis, Ali just does not measure up.
    I think Ali's success was based on not only being "fast for a big guy." There was much more. Brains, durable chin, endurance, determination, speed (i.e., speed period, not just fast for a big guy), excellent if unorthodox defense (that kept him from being hit much at all in the 1960s, and unmarked today but for the Bob Foster-induced cut eyelid), great jab that kept most opponents where he wanted them, accomplished also by having more than sufficient power (majority of wins by KO). I could go on.

    I agree with you if you feel Norton won Ali-Norton III; I thought Ken won, also. But I have to temper any agreement with your remark:

    "as to the judges" . . when has that ever been a fair barometer in boxing??"

    My friend, between the actual winner and the fan-polled winner, "actual" is the only barometer used for the won-lost records, and the only barometer in determining rankings and who fights for titles. Occasionally that is skirted after a terrible decision, but in that case, often there is a rematch.

    Ali beat everyone he ever fought, excepting the Holmes and Berbick debacles coming out of retirement. So, yes, to me he solved every style. Norton will always be a tough fight for him . . . yet he never fought Ken when Ali was in his own prime. Maybe Norton is an easy fight for him then, who knows.

    Ali didn't have to solve Young's style, Jimmy didn't fight. I love him, but his performance was marked by ducking his head out of the ropes as a defense and throwing pitty-pat--literally--blows at Ali much of the time--zero "bad intentions". Jimmy fought using Ali's style, but a motivated Ali truly does everything better than Young. Young gets destroyed by a younger Ali every time, IMO.

    Not saying Ali is above Robinson or Greb or whoever P4P, just that IMO and that of the experts I know, and apparently also Bill Cayton, he is certainly in the running. Ali may "not measure up" to the three you mentioned at the end, but that's not the same as not even in the running.

    You are being a little inconsistent in making your point. You say Ali beat Frazier who was one fight away from retirement--but Ali was the older man, AND the one who had many more fights.
    Last edited by Michael Frank; 04-21-2008 at 04:15 PM.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteLeo
    Jose Luis Garcia (something like 12-2 at the time of their first match, in which he KO'd Norton in eight). Interestingly, Kenny also waited years for his revenge on Garcia, well after Jose had already been blitzed by Bugner, Lyle, Terrel, and Joe Alexander.
    As a side note, someone recently posted Norton-Garcia II on youtube and I just watched it yesterday. In the post-fight interview, Tom Brookshire implied that Garcia's victory in their first fight was tainted because the KO punch landed by Garcia came after the bell. Norton didn't come right out and confirm this, but he did make a comment as to the effect that he failed to "protect himself at all times", but wasn't making excuses. I have seen this debated on various boards for years. Some claim the late blow is a fact, while others claim to have been at the Olympic that night and claim the KO punch landed well before the bell sounded. The other thing I found somewhat interesting was that Norton claimed (naturally) that he had won both fights with Ali in 1973. It sounded like he then cited a poll of sportswriters at ringside that had him winning the fight. It was impossible to ascertain exactly what he was saying as the crowd noise picked up and made what he was saying partially inaudible at that moment. I've never seen any poll of sportswriters on that bout, but it's likely one was probably published somewhere. Anybody have any input on all of this?

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Jeff I caught that as well when I watched it a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure about the second fight but in the third fight the AP press were split 11 Ali 11 Norton.

    I can't see the AP press unanimously thinking Norton won the second fight. Norton was quoted a day after the fight and said regarding the decision: " I thought it was a very good fight, a very close fight, but I thought I got a bad decision. I thought my blows had more force. He hit harder than I thought he would, and he hurt me sometimes, but I think I won."
    Last edited by 10-8; 04-21-2008 at 05:09 PM.

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    Going to take this in another direction if I can

    Re Greek's post: "Cant see ranking Robinson over a guy like Henry Armstrong or Barney Ross imo. Even Bob Fitz. I mean how can Robinson be "pound for Pound" the best when these guys won more titles?? And I talking about 1 title per weight class of couse."

    Couple of points and questions:

    1-Ross did win one more belt than Robby did, but it was a Jr. weight division title that didn't hold much prestige at the time. So much so that the division didn't hail a Champ for the next 13 years. Then they had one and then it went another dozen years before the title actually took hold agian.

    Granted the title was won agianst Tony Canzoneri, but lets also remember that Ross was awared two titles with one fight. Should this be held agianst Robby becuase he was not in a similar situation?

    2-The term pound for pound means the best fighter regardless of weight. In essence, taking a fighter at his absolute best and measuring him agianst other fighters in thier weight division. Ray at his absolute peak prime weight was at 147. Now if one wants to make an argument that Say Greb at his best at his best weight or Pep at his best at his best weight or even Ali at his best was better, I wouldn't necessarily agree with them, but one could present an argument. The number of titles won by a fighter, does not mean that that fighter at his best weight was better than a fighter who only won one belt.

    Was Wilfredo Gomez better than Robinson and Greb given Bazooka won 3 titles and Robby only two and Greb only one?

    3-Henry Armstrongs feat of winning the Feather, Welter and Lightweight titles and holding all three at the same time maybe the single most Impressive achievement the sport has ever seen (although not unprecedented as Ross simoultaneously held three titles at once as well with almost ZERO publicity surrounding his doing so). But was Armstrong AT HIS BEST, Better than Robby at HIS BEST? And does anyone besides me hold his relatively brief prime against him? 37-40.

    Now DURING this time period, he was INDEED an ALL TIME GREAT and worthy of consideration of being mentioned with the best of all. I myself have Hank in the top 10. But pre 1937 and post 1940, he was a rather ordinary fighter. The quintessential "Streaking Comet".

    4-In MY top 10, I factor Head to Head matchups, very heavily. SRR at his best vs. Hank at his best or Greb or Pep or Ali or Duran or Charles, with weights being relatively even, On that best night, I would be inclined to select Robinson.

    The term Pound for Pound for me brings into play Head to Head. Becuase if we are saying the very best regardless of weight, we are then matching and comparing that fighter agiasnt OTHER fighters at thier very best regardless of weight.

    Historical significance, legth of reign, number of title defenses, number of title fights, number of titles won, TO ME, don't come into play when determining pound for pound. I look at best night/best performance at Best weight class in thier absolute peak prime and compare them to others under the same criteria. Regardless of weight class.

    Hawk

  25. #115
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    I think Ali's success was based on not only being "fast for a big guy." There was much more. Brains, durable chin, endurance, determination, speed (i.e., speed period, not just fast for a big guy), excellent if unorthodox defense (that kept him from being hit much at all in the 1960s, and unmarked today but for the Bob Foster-induced cut eyelid), great jab that kept most opponents where he wanted them, accomplished also by having more than sufficient power (majority of wins by KO). I could go on.

    I agree with you if you feel Norton won Ali-Norton III; I thought Ken won, also. But I have to temper any agreement with your remark:

    "as to the judges" . . when has that ever been a fair barometer in boxing??"

    My friend, between the actual winner and the fan-polled winner, "actual" is the only barometer used for the won-lost records, and the only barometer in determining rankings and who fights for titles. Occasionally that is skirted after a terrible decision, but in that case, often there is a rematch.

    Ali beat everyone he ever fought, excepting the Holmes and Berbick debacles coming out of retirement. So, yes, to me he solved every style. Norton will always be a tough fight for him . . . yet he never fought Ken when Ali was in his own prime. Maybe Norton is an easy fight for him then, who knows.

    Ali didn't have to solve Young's style, Jimmy didn't fight. I love him, but his performance was marked by ducking his head out of the ropes as a defense and throwing pitty-pat--literally--blows at Ali much of the time--zero "bad intentions". Jimmy fought using Ali's style, but a motivated Ali truly does everything better than Young. Young gets destroyed by a younger Ali every time, IMO.

    Not saying Ali is above Robinson or Greb or whoever P4P, just that IMO and that of the experts I know, and apparently also Bill Cayton, he is certainly in the running. Ali may "not measure up" to the three you mentioned at the end, but that's not the same as not even in the running.

    You are being a little inconsistent in making your point. You say Ali beat Frazier who was one fight away from retirement--but Ali was the older man, AND the one who had many more fights.
    The slugger/pressure fighter will always burn out before the boxer-puncher.

    Young's "pitty pats" were more effective then Ali's incredibly weak shots he labored through. I don't think a peak Ali loses either to Young but Ali did not 'solve' Young's style that night, and ducking under the rope or not, Ali was outboxed.

    I don't get your statement regarding the judge's decisions . . sure it's the official barometer. But if a decision is bad, it needs to be qualified when talking about history. End of story.

    For me lb for lb means that the guys skills/talents equate to you could put him in any body type/size, and he'd be a great fighter. Put Greb, Charles, Langford at featherweight to light HW, and they'll have great success. Make Ali a 5'9 135 lber, and he does well, but not nearly as well as he did. Facing lots of fighters as big as him, nearing his speed, with great overall skills, his constant leaning back, laying on the ropes, low left jab etc gets him into a lot of trouble vs the very best. The lighter weights historically have almost always been deeper than the Heavyweights, so the big guys have a disadvanatge out the gate IMO when speaking of the best fighters EVER.

  26. #116
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    I think Ali's success was based on not only being "fast for a big guy." There was much more. Brains, durable chin, endurance, determination, speed (i.e., speed period, not just fast for a big guy), excellent if unorthodox defense (that kept him from being hit much at all in the 1960s, and unmarked today but for the Bob Foster-induced cut eyelid), great jab that kept most opponents where he wanted them, accomplished also by having more than sufficient power (majority of wins by KO). I could go on.

    I agree with you if you feel Norton won Ali-Norton III; I thought Ken won, also. But I have to temper any agreement with your remark:

    "as to the judges" . . when has that ever been a fair barometer in boxing??"

    My friend, between the actual winner and the fan-polled winner, "actual" is the only barometer used for the won-lost records, and the only barometer in determining rankings and who fights for titles. Occasionally that is skirted after a terrible decision, but in that case, often there is a rematch.

    Ali beat everyone he ever fought, excepting the Holmes and Berbick debacles coming out of retirement. So, yes, to me he solved every style. Norton will always be a tough fight for him . . . yet he never fought Ken when Ali was in his own prime. Maybe Norton is an easy fight for him then, who knows.

    Ali didn't have to solve Young's style, Jimmy didn't fight. I love him, but his performance was marked by ducking his head out of the ropes as a defense and throwing pitty-pat--literally--blows at Ali much of the time--zero "bad intentions". Jimmy fought using Ali's style, but a motivated Ali truly does everything better than Young. Young gets destroyed by a younger Ali every time, IMO.

    Not saying Ali is above Robinson or Greb or whoever P4P, just that IMO and that of the experts I know, and apparently also Bill Cayton, he is certainly in the running. Ali may "not measure up" to the three you mentioned at the end, but that's not the same as not even in the running.

    You are being a little inconsistent in making your point. You say Ali beat Frazier who was one fight away from retirement--but Ali was the older man, AND the one who had many more fights.
    The slugger/pressure fighter will always burn out before the boxer-puncher.

    Young's "pitty pats" were more effective then Ali's incredibly weak shots he labored through. I don't think a peak Ali loses either to Young but Ali did not 'solve' Young's style that night, and ducking under the rope or not, Ali was outboxed.

    I don't get your statement regarding the judge's decisions . . sure it's the official barometer. But if a decision is bad, it needs to be qualified when talking about history. End of story.

    For me lb for lb means that the guys skills/talents equate to you could put him in any body type/size, and he'd be a great fighter. Put Greb, Charles, Langford at featherweight to light HW, and they'll have great success. Make Ali a 5'9 135 lber, and he does well, but not nearly as well as he did. Facing lots of fighters as big as him, nearing his speed, with great overall skills, his constant leaning back, laying on the ropes, low left jab etc gets him into a lot of trouble vs the very best. The lighter weights historically have almost always been deeper than the Heavyweights, so the big guys have a disadvanatge out the gate IMO when speaking of the best fighters EVER.

  27. #117
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    It seems to me that the big men always get handicapped when discussing this mythical 'p4p' debate. Why are they?

    I always will believe that a peak Clay/Ali was the finest fighter ever, because he was doing things at 15 stone that was close to impossibe. He moved better than any man in history and was as fast a puncher as any man in history. And he was 15 stone remember....This is not meant to be....

    It's all speculation about the lighter men. All great fine fighters, but still none of them, until Michael Spinks, ever beat a legitimate heavy, and Holmes was over the hill when Spinks got him.....

    To the point that the lighter men have almost always been deeper than the heavies?

    Well the heavies have to face all men. The others don't...
    Last edited by walshb; 04-22-2008 at 11:11 AM.

  28. #118
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by hagler04
    . . . but Ali did not 'solve' Young's style that night, and ducking under the rope or not, Ali was outboxed.

    . . . For me lb for lb means that the guys skills/talents equate to you could put him in any body type/size, and he'd be a great fighter. Put Greb, Charles, Langford at featherweight to light HW, and they'll have great success. Make Ali a 5'9 135 lber, and he does well, but not nearly as well as he did. Facing lots of fighters as big as him, nearing his speed, with great overall skills, his constant leaning back, laying on the ropes, low left jab etc gets him into a lot of trouble vs the very best. The lighter weights historically have almost always been deeper than the Heavyweights, so the big guys have a disadvanatge out the gate IMO when speaking of the best fighters EVER.
    But Ali's winning because he was "bigger" or "fast for a big guy" was just one part of the equation. Many of his other attributes I've already mentioned but you have not addressed.

    You say "Ali did not 'solve' Young's style that night, and ducking under the rope or not, Ali was outboxed." Tell it to Alex Walleau, who is infuriated even at that notion. For all the people who felt Jimmy beat Ali, there are at least as many who felt Ali won. Jimmy never outboxes Ali if Ali halfway shows up, so I don't know why you feel Ali doesn't solve Jimmy's style. Jimmy was a boxer in the Ali mold, but inferior. Smaller, weaker, slower, less power, less of a chin, no more "clever" than Ali . . . A good fighter, but no Ali.

    As to the part about "The lighter weights historically have almost always been deeper than the Heavyweights, so the big guys have a disadvanatge out the gate IMO when speaking of the best fighters EVER." -- True usually, but not in this case-- not compared to the heavies Ali fought. No need to list them here, we all know them. Do you think the opponents of Salvador Sanchez, Carlos Monzon, Alexis Arguello (yes, even with all the champions Arguello fought), Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran (at lightweight, since his lightweight reign is what got him to the P4P lists initially) . . . do you think the opponents of any one of these guys were better than Ali's competition, P4P? Not to me they weren't.

    Once you start talking Robinson, Greb, Langford, et. al, then you're talking guys whose opposition was deep. But others of their likes don't comprise a long list ahead of Ali, IMO, when you base it on opponents. Which I don't, by the way.

    Plus, Ali was better at some things than lighter guys, period--no need for allowance due to size. Ali was a faster puncher than just about any fighter at ANY weight who ever lived. Among some of the best movers in a ring, including Pep, Robinson, Ray Leonard, and Wilfredo Gomez, I'd say Ali had better, more effective movement than either Robbie or Leonard (and looked better doing it, irrespective of size). Not just pound for pound, but in absolute terms he was better. Chin? The best in heavyweight history, one of the very best at any weight in history. Does he somehow now LOSE this attribute under your scenario of placing him in a smaller body?

    Like some others, however, I DON'T base a P4P list on someone's opponents. And I cannot fathom your notion of putting a guy like Ali into a "5'9 135 lber" body. That is not how I or apparently others look at this list. Doesn't make sense to me, frankly. I look at how a guy did against his own opposition. Why should Ali all of a sudden NOT be a strong guy vs. Robinson when, say, an Armstrong WON'T be penalized his strength under your system for being weaker if he moved down to fight Pep. It makes no sense. As you say, "For crying out loud" and "End of story."

  29. #119
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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Young made an ass out of Ali.

    Ali never gave him a return fight, even after Young beat Foreman.

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    Re: The Greatest Fighter of All-Time

    Quote Originally Posted by Obama fan
    Young made an ass out of Ali.

    Ali never gave him a return fight, even after Young beat Foreman.
    "Young made an ass out of Ali." - Whatever does that even mean in boxing terms?? That he beat Ali badly???? As I said, tell it to Alex Walleau.

    Ali gave Norton a third fight later that year, 1976, and Norton was a far more dangerous fighter to Ali than Young was. Frazier, Ali's toughest foe, got a third fight the previous year. Leon Spinks was a more dangerous fighter to Ali than Young, and Ali fought him twice.

    Yet now Ali ducks people, Obama Fan? And the least dangerous of the lot, Young? To me, as a guy who likes Young, Jimmy peaked in 1976 and yet was all done as a top-flight fighter in 1977.

    If Ali ducked any one man, IMO, it was Foreman in a rematch. If that.

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