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Thread: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

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    Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    This fight had been broadcast via closed-circuit television to 125 locations in the U.S.A, from the Houston Astrodome November.14.1966.
    Is the color footage(the only footage Ive seen) from the live cc broadcast or is it the color film (usually from another angle then the closed-circuit broadcasts)that was usually shown in theatres overseas later?

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    I have 2 versions, the color version of couse, and the lived broadcast, black and white footage.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Is it the same fight viewed from two different sides of the ring,like the B/W closed-circuit footage from Liston vrs Patterson II compared to the color film from that fight in Las Vegas?

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    Re: Radio Broadcast

    Also from what I remember whenever ESPN shows the color version(or rather the high-lights of that fight),
    its without sound.
    The Ali vrs Williams fight was broadcast live on radio on the Mutual Network(but blacked out in Texas,except for El Paso for some reason),
    Maybe they can locate the radio broadcast and show it over the fight film,or
    any other commentery it had,just to make it new again in some aspect.
    Last edited by brutu; 03-29-2008 at 07:00 PM.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Espn shows the highlights color I belive.

    There are 2 differnt versions, the color version(Complete 3 rounds) and of couse the lived TV broadcast. I think the camera angels are differnt perhaps. Have not watch them in a while. I may dragged them out and take a look.

    Yeah there is commanty on the color version. The guy refers to Ali as Clay though.
    Last edited by greek1237; 03-29-2008 at 07:12 PM.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)


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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Not aware there was ever a "live" TV broadcast, but of course there was the ABC rebroadcast with Cosell and Ali in the studio, talking over the fight, which was shown complete--in b&w video, not film. I have this. (Others in the hobby have gotten a b&w film copy of this video, obviously not as desirable, but not awful in quality, either.)

    Ali is somewhat serious and sober, because he is recovering from a cold, but, also, he is decent in his comments about Williams. He stated that he agreed this wasn't Williams at his best, of 5-7 years earlier.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Williams sure wasn't at his best, but those Ali reflexes were really something to watch during that timeframe. Or the Foley bout. With that mix of great conditioning/willpower/reflexes and tools, it's always been very difficult for me to picture even the other alltime greats effectively penetrating and nuetralizing that version of the youthful Ali.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    I don't think any kind of Clevelan Williams would have beaten Ali that night in Houston. I was never Muhammad's greatest fan, but that remains the most flawless performance I have seen in my lifetime.

    Williams' manager Hugh Benbow on Ali that night: "Let's not kid ourselves any longer. He's the real McCoy, a thoroughbred champion."

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Well I can see Fraizer or Marciano giving Ali hell in 66 imo. We must rember that both Folly and Williams were past there primes or in the case of Williams, had a bullet in his lung, sure it was a great display by Ali, he look impressive, but I sure Marciano, Louis, Demsey and co would look JUST AS impressive against that version of Williams.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    I was talking solely about Ali and his performance against Williams, but never mind.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    It does show Ali in a contest that allows him to show, in full, all that made up his style in the first half of his career. It's done at the expense of a fighter who offers Ali every opportunity to showcase that style. In that sense it's irrelevant where Williams is career wise, health wise, etc.

    The point I'm making is, this is THE fight to choose to illustrate Ali's abilities in the first half of his career. Everything came together that night in the Astrodome to make that happen.

    Looking at Marvin Hagler's career, the fight that serves a similar purpose is the Tony Sibson fight. It was a fight that captured the essence of Hagler's style in a perfect performance. It was Hagler fighting from the outside in, wearing down and setting up his opponent for the close-in power shots that finished Tony. A masterpiece.

    That's not to say it was Marvin's, or Ali's, greatest fight. Far from it. Like those glass balls you shake to get the snow to fly over a wintry scene in miniature, these bouts are, fortunately for us, at hand to pull down and replay to remind us of these fighters' approach to boxing in their purest form.

    Can the CBZ boyz think of a few others in that light?

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    I think Don1234 nailed how I perceive Ali's performance v Cleveland Williams.

    At that stage of Big Cat's career, he was perhaps the perfect opponent for Ali to showcase his peak skills in virtually uninhibited fashion. No matter how great a fighter is or appears his performance is still relative to that of his opponent. Imo, sub the version of Chuvalo that Ali did fight against the very version of Ali that fought Williams and Ali doesn't appear nearly so perfect.

    Similar examples of which I think Don is calling for (I like to call them poster bouts) might be Dempsey v Willard and Louis v Baer. Difficult to argue against Jack and Joe being at the height of their powers in such bouts but the opposition at hand afforded them a near unbridled performance IMO. I might also add Foreman v Frazier I with the reservation that perhaps Joe was made to order for Foreman every time out. However, had it been a prime and more respectful version of Smok'n Joe, Foreman's destruction might not have appeared as perfectly destructive as it was with Joe lasting that much longer and getting a few of his own licks in.

    Personally, I think one of Ali's greatest performances (based upon pure skill and natural ability) was that which he displayed against Liston in their first bout. Further, though the bout lasted little more than a min., I think Ali was heading for an even greater, more commanding performance (in it's own right) against Liston in the second bout until Sonny chose to stay on the deck. Ali appeared super fast, super strong and ready to go.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Great post, PD99. I agree with every word/every example.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Quote Originally Posted by PD99
    I think Don1234 nailed how I perceive Ali's performance v Cleveland Williams.

    At that stage of Big Cat's career, he was perhaps the perfect opponent for Ali to showcase his peak skills in virtually uninhibited fashion. No matter how great a fighter is or appears his performance is still relative to that of his opponent. Imo, sub the version of Chuvalo that Ali did fight against the very version of Ali that fought Williams and Ali doesn't appear nearly so perfect.

    Similar examples of which I think Don is calling for (I like to call them poster bouts) might be Dempsey v Willard and Louis v Baer. Difficult to argue against Jack and Joe being at the height of their powers in such bouts but the opposition at hand afforded them a near unbridled performance IMO. I might also add Foreman v Frazier I with the reservation that perhaps Joe was made to order for Foreman every time out. However, had it been a prime and more respectful version of Smok'n Joe, Foreman's destruction might not have appeared as perfectly destructive as it was with Joe lasting that much longer and getting a few of his own licks in.

    Personally, I think one of Ali's greatest performances (based upon pure skill and natural ability) was that which he displayed against Liston in their first bout. Further, though the bout lasted little more than a min., I think Ali was heading for an even greater, more commanding performance (in it's own right) against Liston in the second bout until Sonny chose to stay on the deck. Ali appeared super fast, super strong and ready to go.
    Clay against Liston is IMO, one of the finest ring displays in the history of the sport.....He was close to untouchable....

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Williams carried a big slug in his gut, was near death at about 150 lbs, and had a shunken leg (smaller than the other normal one, happens all the time to shooting victims). Im glad he got the payday. He had heart and was some beast in his prime. I dont figure this as any big thing in Alis career. It was like hitting a heavy bag. Thank God Ali put the guy out early saving him punishment. Ali vs Williams in his prime. That would have been a very good fight. Clev had a hell of left hook and with confidence the other guy couldnt hurt him could be very very dangerous.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Great choice, PD99, Poster Bouts. Worthy of its own thread.

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    Poster Bouts

    I'll throw Holmes Shavers I into the ring.

    Holmes might not necessarily have been at his absolute peak (personally I favor Eddie Futch trained Holmes as Larry put more behind his right hand), But Holmes Looked flawless agianst the perfect opponent for him to look flawless against.

    I think it's the whole "he made it look easy" concept here with a "Poster Bout".

    Hawk

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    hawk5ins: It takes some concentration to pull this off, even for me, the guy that started it! I really like the Poster Fights tag, it's on the mark. For me it boils down to a fight that captures the essence of a guy's style, on full display, not knocked off track by his opponent's efforts.

    Larry giving a clinic to Ernie is a good choice. Clinic is also a pretty good word for this endeavor. Maybe the two could be worked into something.

    Would Hearns's demolition of Pipino Cuevas serve as his poster fight? Short and conclusive, without question. Hearns, the coiled cobra, deadly early at welterweight.

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    Don

    I actually had Hearns Cuevas in my post before I edited it down.

    Spot on as I see it.

    BTW, My Holmes under Futch's guidance selection? Leon Spinks.

    He was AWESOME that afternoon and even an early/phantom bell ending the 2nd doesn't take away Larry's complete destructive dominance during that fight. Hell as focused and as pissed as Larry was coming out for the 3rd round, it probably adds to it.

    Other nominees?

    Hawk

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Some picks:

    Leonard-Davey Green or Ranzany
    Hearns-Duran (Cuevas a better pick, though)
    Hagler-Sibson or Hearns
    JC Chavez-Camacho, Rosario
    Sanchez-Lopez I
    Liston-Patterson I or II
    M. Spinks-M. Johnson
    E. Gregory-M. Johnson or J. Martin
    Louis-Schmeling II
    Frazier-Ellis I
    Roy Jones Jr.-Pazienza
    W. Gomez-Zarate
    Duran-Davey Moore, Cuevas, maybe Buchanan for the double-foul ending
    Holmes-Cooney (though Shavers and L. Spinks better choices)

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    For Liston, I might pick the two Williams fights since they emodied all that Sonny was about - more than respectable boxing skills, immense power, granite chin, cool under fire and killer instinct. Unfortunately, imo, Patterson provided so little resistance as to prevent Sonny from even breaking a sweat and having a chance to really show his absolute best stuff off. Imo, the heavier, taller, hard punching Williams, who was willing to punch for all he was worth at every opportunity, particularly from the moment he did manage to score big, proved to be Sonny's perfect dance partner.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Tszyu Mitchell II - All the more so given the stylistic fits Mitchell gave Tszyu in the first one, it almost precludes it being a poster fight for Tszyu, but damn, that was a special performance for a guy coming off 2 years worth of injuries who looked pretty awful against Leija in Melbourne in his fight prior.

    Lewis Grant? Lewis Botha?

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Nothing compares with Dempsey, young, fit and in his active prime taking on a 37 year old, highly inactive Willard ... with one fight in four years under his belt since beating Johnson I am amazed that I never hear this pointed out in any review of their match ups just little Jack fighting the giant ...

    Schmeling was only 32 for the Louis rematch and had been fairly active and extremely well prepared ... Frazier was an undefeated champ who as great as he was would never beat Foreman on his best night ... Williams was a great match up for that Ali but that Ali pretty much beats anyone ...

  25. #25
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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    above- maybe because those big tough guys like fulton and morris got flattened in one round and were never the same after--dont know--also willard showed such heart getting butchered in the last two round it took something away from the inactivety--dont know--but that guy was badly injured and kept going to close to death in that shocking sticky, heat. maybe it was in some sad way willards best day as well as jacks. rember when willams clocked beau jack and got him in the corner and rained ruin in him --even ike for a second-and ike was no choir boy in the ring- hestitated- and then went back to his destruction----when dempsey got willard in the corner before the end of the first-- dempsey would have killed that man without blinking an eye. i dont know what brought willard back for two more rounds against such mercilessness--the ref wasnt much help- but thats the way it was. still i see your point.
    Last edited by mike; 04-01-2008 at 04:44 AM.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Someone mentioned Frazier-Ellis, IMO good choice. I saw it for the first time a couple of years ago and while it lasted was a REAL, smart, good looking fight featuring two polished heavies until Joe started puttin' the smoke to Jimmy.

    Since reading this thread, I watched Ali-Big Cat again for the first time in many many years. I think your sig fight has to be against someone at or near prime AND with a legitimate shot at beating you.
    Williams was a plodding has-been in that fight...jab here, jab there, occasional left hook, no right to speak of, just waiting to crumble. Given my definition of "sig" maybe the 1st Liston is Ali's sig fight considering no one else was ever given a chance of beating him. (I'll leave out his second career for a number of reasons). I guess the first Patterson fight had the potential to be Ali's big poster bout but Floyd's physical problems turned it into an early massacre. A complete embarrassment of a fit and ready 65 Patterson would have been my choice for Ali.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    I think Frazier Ellis may be Joe's Poster Fight as well. I toyed with that one, looking for that Frazier fight where bobbing, weaving and solid body shots set an opponent up for the coup de grace hooks to the head. Ellis fits.

    Michael Frank's list is a good one. He drifts off subject with Hagler Hearns. I'd vote for it in a heartbeat as Marvin's greatest fight but it's not the essence of Hagler's style, as displayed in the Sibson fight. There it was a clinic.

    Roy Jones Jr Pazienza is a great example of a Poster Fight for Jones.

    Here's a stinker of a Poster Fight. Late Ali vs Mathis or Foster. The route-going lackadaisical Ali going through the motions.

    The more input on this thread, the more the Poster Fight idea becomes a tool of analysis of fighters. Great stuff!

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    more:

    Saad Muhammad-Yaqui Lopez II, M. Johnson I, or even II
    Robinson-Turpin II (Ray's middle bouts were usually not easy)
    Bob Foster-M. Quarry, D. Tiger
    Arguello-Escalera I, II, or Ganigan, Mancini,... hell, Alex's fights were quite
    similar except for those in which he'd get dropped!
    Pryor-Arguello #1, signature bout for Pryor that is; or D. Johnson or Cervantes
    Last edited by Michael Frank; 04-02-2008 at 02:07 PM.

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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Robinson vs Stock would be my pick for Ray.He completely destroyed Stock with a barrage of various combos and triple-left hooks.Ridiculous stuff that not many could replicate no matter who was in front of them.

    At least i think it was Stock.Maybe it was Walzack.

    One of the euro tour fights anyway.

  30. #30
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    Re: Ali vrs Cleveland Williams(1966)

    Quote Originally Posted by rocky111
    Williams carried a big slug in his gut, was near death at about 150 lbs, and had a shunken leg (smaller than the other normal one, happens all the time to shooting victims). Im glad he got the payday. He had heart and was some beast in his prime. I dont figure this as any big thing in Alis career. It was like hitting a heavy bag. Thank God Ali put the guy out early saving him punishment. Ali vs Williams in his prime. That would have been a very good fight. Clev had a hell of left hook and with confidence the other guy couldnt hurt him could be very very dangerous.
    The scar from his operations comes well up above William's trunks.

    The shrunken leg (left leg above the knee) is visibly different from the same leg above the knee when Williams fought Liston.

    I have never been able to figure out how anyone could give Ali much credit for beating a fighter in the condition Williams was for that fight.

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