View Full Version : Is there any case for Foreman>Ali?


bojangles1987
07-08-2009, 01:10 PM
Hello, new to the boards. Been a boxing fan for most my life but in the last couple years have started to really get into it after some time away. I'll start off by saying I go out of my way to not be a moron or insult people, or be an internet tough guy. I like actually debating, not dismissing people who don't agree with me. Just thought I'd say that because I know there are people on forums only to be jerks.

I thought for my first post I'd get an opinion on an argument I'm having right now. Someone is trying to convince me George Foreman is better than Muhammad Ali, and Ali is the most overrated heavyweight ever. The only argument he has used to support this is that he says the rope-a-dope was a cheap gimmick strategy and Ali never gave Foreman a rematch. He has made outlandish claims like Ali has no punching power or defense, and just ran from opponents until they got tired. He also said Ali has everyone "mentally" convinced that he is great but he has never proven he actually is.

I've pretty much dismantled all his arguments, but he is sticking to his guns. If there is a case to be made for Foreman being a better fighter than Ali, what is it?

THE REED™
07-08-2009, 01:11 PM
Does this person go by the alias "knn"?

bojangles1987
07-08-2009, 01:15 PM
Does this person go by the alias "knn"?

No, why? Someone on here thinks Foreman is better than Ali? It might be the same person...

TheGreatA
07-08-2009, 01:41 PM
Not in my view.

Many felt Foreman had the chance to become the greatest heavyweight ever but he dropped the ball in the Ali fight, and later struggled with the likes of Lyle and Young, eventually retiring. His vulnerabilities were exposed.

His comeback cemented him as a heavyweight all-time great but not as the greatest. As Foreman himself likes to say:

"The first time around, George Foreman was too mean and too crude.

The second time around, too sophisticated and too publicity conscious to exploit his power..."

Young Foreman's physical ability combined with old George's smarts and patience would have made him perhaps the greatest puncher of all time.

MANGLER
07-08-2009, 01:50 PM
No, and I'm a big fan of Foreman. But Ali beat him at his peak and accomplished more overall.

TheGreatA
07-08-2009, 02:04 PM
The only case that can be made is that Foreman dispatched Frazier and Norton much easier than Ali but that has more to do with style differences.

Head-to-head, a 32 year old Ali knocked out a prime George Foreman.

mickey malone
07-08-2009, 02:36 PM
No, why? Someone on here thinks Foreman is better than Ali? It might be the same person...
Firstly.. Welcome to BS & secondly.. Good thread for starters..

Tell your friend that Big George didn't want the return, he'd had quite enough of that, thank you very much! He then took 15 months out to consider his options & came back to defeat Ron Lyle in what many purists believe, to be 1 of the most exciting fights of all time.. George was very very good, but he wern't great like Ali..
On many occasions, George himself, has openly confessed that Ali had his number.. During there fight, Ali used the ropes to negate the snap from Foremans punches & while doing so, showed exceptional lateral movement.. Very little dancing in this one.. Foreman couldn't cope with it, he couldn't connect cleanly.. He grew frustrated, got too hot, gassed & got tagged.. Ali knew exactly when to pounce..

Don't worry.. We've all got a mate like that.. Like my mate who swears Hagler bt Leonard.. Never!

Jim Jeffries
07-08-2009, 02:48 PM
As it stands, no. Perhaps if he hadn't lost that decade containing most of his prime. But I think he would've always had trouble with slick, fast boxers, whereas Ali was able to adjust.

Kinetic Linking
07-08-2009, 04:36 PM
There is a very easy case for Foreman > Ali.

Obviously Ali won the fight. No one would deny that. But just as obviously, rope-a-dope was the deciding factor in the fight. Without rope-a-dope, Ali is toast. You can say Ali outboxed Foreman, took the snap out of his punches, but Foreman's punches didn't need snap. Without rope-a-dope ali was going to get overpowered and run over.

Now you can say come on, Ali won rope-a-dope or not, and he deserves credit for outsmarting foreman anyway. And that's fair. But is there ANY case for Foreman > Ali? Duh. Of course there is.

That'd be the first and most important argument in my opinion.

Second would be time, which has a habit of revealing quality to some extent. Time seemed to improve George Foreman, and turned him into the oldest heavyweight champ ever, while it turned Ali into a complete wreck.

Third would be statistics. George Foreman's record at retirement - 76-5 with 68 KOs. One of if not the best record in heavyweight history. Muhammad Ali's record at retirement - 56-5 with 37 KOs. Certainly less impressive superficially.

Last I guess would be finances. Certainly not a deciding factor, but Foreman deserves some credit for earning massive sums of money after retirement. It doesn't necessarily say much about him as a fighter, but he gets descreditted for being dumb which seems less likely in light of his hundreds of millions of dollars earned out of the ring. You don't get paid like that for being dumb. If you do, I want to be dumb.

fight_professor
07-08-2009, 04:48 PM
How is rope-a-dope a negative?

it was strategic genius. he didnt just stand there, he was winning rounds countering. r-o-d was a legal strategy, how can one discount it?

Ziggy Stardust
07-08-2009, 04:54 PM
Prime Foreman fought a past-prime Ali and lost. The rope-a-dope is over-blown as an excuse for George losing as one could just have well make the case that the ring was essentially a phone-booth without the room needed for a boxing strategy and that the matting underneath the canvas was waterlogged which will automatically slow down the faster-footed fighter. Against a prime Ali in a regulation sized ring that hasn't been rained on Foreman doesn't come close to winning.

Poet

LondonRingRules
07-08-2009, 05:55 PM
Tell your friend that Big George didn't want the return, he'd had quite enough of that, thank you very much! He then took 15 months out to consider his options & came back to defeat Ron Lyle in what many purists believe, to be 1 of the most exciting fights of all time.. George was very very good, but he wern't great like Ali..


** Now, why would anyone come on making up nonsense unless there is some other agenda? Last I checked, George is in the IBHOF just like Ali, and an highly rated IBRO all time heavy, just like Ali.

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc70/LondonPrizeRingRules/1215_mid.jpg

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc70/LondonPrizeRingRules/1215_mid.jpg

Ring also did a 30th anniversary edition for this fight including post fight interviews. Foreman is ready for the immediate rematch. Ali won't commit and threatens retirement. Every interview of every fight after the Rumble George is front and center for the rematch. Every interview with Ali shows him non committal, except for an outburst when for strange reasons only known to him, he attends George's 5 man exhibition in Canada and can be seen throwing a tantrum and screaming George is never gonna get a rematch. Very unseemly moment.

I could go on, but hopefully you will get the point and drop this rematch nonsense, but of course tomorrow a new suspect will be spouting off, so it's endless.

As far as ratings, much easier for me to make the case Joe Louis being #1. I find Ali difficult to rate because of all his controversial decisions and gifts without ever on the wrong side of any gift or controversy in the official results. He became as stale of week old toast near the end of his championship run and his loss to Leon may be the single most shameful moment in heavy title history.

Ali does hold the win over George, but keep in mind that few were bigging Ali up as a top ten heavy until then. Ali was only 32 and still fresh by heavy standards by career standards albeit past tradition peak physical years. Tremendous accomplishment, but everyone chooses to forget George was not at his best training for that fight through no fault of his own, so while few picked the upset, there have been much greater upsets. The fight ferociously contested by George enough that maybe one more punch at key moments might have put Ali out, so is it fair to put so much legacy and ranking on a single fight with no rematch to sort them out truly?

If I were to make the case for George over Ali, what did he do that Ali didn't?

Many more wins, tied in losses, many more KOs than Ali has wins, fought in more decades and was a ranked contender if not champ during most that period, set a record not likely to be broken by legit means as the oldest heavy champ, the longest retirement between belts, and had better overall performances against common opponents with no controversial wins.

Of course Ali has his own list of achievements better than George, but Ibro has them very close in rankings, an indication that who's really better is definitely debatable in something so subjective.

Kinetic Linking
07-08-2009, 06:28 PM
"Of course Ali has his own list of achievements better than George, but Ibro has them very close in rankings, an indication that who's really better is definitely debatable in something so subjective."

That sums it up pretty well. Until you start to compare the best fighters with the worst fighters, there's always room for debate. And George and Ali are both legends.

billionaire
07-08-2009, 06:37 PM
no i just watched the ron lyle fight yesterday, foreman lost his aura of invincibility and his belief in himself after the ali fight......he also got dropped by jimmy young which wouldve never happened to the foreman that beat frazier.....

Miburo
07-08-2009, 07:18 PM
No, although Foreman might have been able to take a rematch with Ali as I doubt the same strategy would have worked twice.

0Rooster4Life0
07-08-2009, 11:04 PM
This is a closer call then some people beleave.

Yes Ali Beat Foreman
Yes Ali deserves credit


No the Rope-a-dope is Not overated for the way it beat George, it did beat George and it was obvious. The Problem with Prime Foreman is that he didnt have a Plan B, and his Corner was USELESS, all they said during the break was "Kill him George!!". If you Matched up Foreman (With decent trainers) vs Ali ( Prime or No Prime either one) I think George may Beat Ali.



But Moving on People bring up the Lyle fight etc.... But we need to remember George was Not the same after lossing, and its clear when you watch the first round of Foreman vs Lyle that Foreman was trying to Box on his toes......Enough said.


Then Foreman makes a Comeback and at 40yrs old + He is going 12 rounds with a Prime Evander Holyfield and Giving Evander all he could handle ( somthing Tyson couldnt do when Evander was older) Going 12 rounds with a running Prime Morrison, Taking masive left hooks and then winning the title back by Knocking out Moorer....

Does Foreman have a case with Ali ... Hell yes he does Ali beat a clumsy Foreman that had crap trainers. Whether George is Better or not Its close but George Beat Men Ali beat then came back and done somthing no other HW has done before.


On a side note your friend said Ali had bad defense, Well that is true, Ali never had great defense, He was great at rolling with punches, But still he took FAR to many shots, He admitted himself he didnt have good defense.


ROOSTER

RightCross94
07-08-2009, 11:12 PM
There is a very easy case for Foreman > Ali.

Obviously Ali won the fight. No one would deny that. But just as obviously, rope-a-dope was the deciding factor in the fight. Without rope-a-dope, Ali is toast. You can say Ali outboxed Foreman, took the snap out of his punches, but Foreman's punches didn't need snap. Without rope-a-dope ali was going to get overpowered and run over.

Now you can say come on, Ali won rope-a-dope or not, and he deserves credit for outsmarting foreman anyway. And that's fair. But is there ANY case for Foreman > Ali? Duh. Of course there is.

That'd be the first and most important argument in my opinion.

Second would be time, which has a habit of revealing quality to some extent. Time seemed to improve George Foreman, and turned him into the oldest heavyweight champ ever, while it turned Ali into a complete wreck.

Third would be statistics. George Foreman's record at retirement - 76-5 with 68 KOs. One of if not the best record in heavyweight history. Muhammad Ali's record at retirement - 56-5 with 37 KOs. Certainly less impressive superficially.

Last I guess would be finances. Certainly not a deciding factor, but Foreman deserves some credit for earning massive sums of money after retirement. It doesn't necessarily say much about him as a fighter, but he gets descreditted for being dumb which seems less likely in light of his hundreds of millions of dollars earned out of the ring. You don't get paid like that for being dumb. If you do, I want to be dumb.

what...so rope a dope was the deciding factor was it? really i never would have thought

how is there a case for foreman>ali because rope a dope was the deciding tactic in that fight?? thats idiotic, thats like saying because mayweathers speed and accurate punching was the deciding factor vs hatton there is a case for hatton>mayweather...

what an idiotic argument

Southpaw16BF
07-08-2009, 11:15 PM
what...so rope a dope was the deciding factor was it? really i never would have thought

how is there a case for foreman>ali because rope a dope was the deciding tactic in that fight?? thats idiotic, thats like saying because mayweathers speed and accurate punching was the deciding factor vs hatton there is a case for hatton>mayweather...

what an idiotic argument

This coming from a poster that think due to a fighter winning in a dominating fashion that it isnt real boxing. You are a troll. You no virtually nothing about past boxing.

You are just a stupid immature fool..........

RightCross94
07-08-2009, 11:16 PM
god damn, what kind of ****ing logic are you people using?? a past prime ali beat prime george, ali has a better list of wins....its obvious ali is the better fighter

but LRR lists reasons such as "george has more wins than ali, more knockouts" what kind of an argument is that? ali beat him when all the odds were against him, ali has a better list of wins...its a question with a clear cut ****ing answer

RightCross94
07-08-2009, 11:21 PM
This coming from a poster that think due to a fighter winning in a dominating fashion that it isnt real boxing. You are a troll. You no virtually nothing about past boxing.

And is just a stupid immature fool..........

when did i say that? about klitschko? i said because it was boring and chagaev was crap it wasnt real boxing, and that germans should see a real fight with two willing opponents

i know plenty about past boxing, just because im not an idiot who thinks people like John L Sullivan would be great fighters in the 70's doesnt mean i know nothing about past boxing, many of my favourite fighters are from the 30's through to the 50's, i know much about that era and even previous eras, im just smart enough to realise that pre 20's guys like battling nelson and others who used primitive training methods and techniques would get smoked by guys like floyd

i dont even think boxing gets better with time, it just has good eras and bad eras for various weight divs

Ziggy Stardust
07-08-2009, 11:22 PM
god damn, what kind of ****ing logic are you people using?? a past prime ali beat prime george, ali has a better list of wins....its obvious ali is the better fighter

but LRR lists reasons such as "george has more wins than ali, more knockouts" what kind of an argument is that? ali beat him when all the odds were against him, ali has a better list of wins...its a question with a clear cut ****ing answer

LRR is the village idiot.....what do expect? He's lost the thread and his train of thought is wrecked. His pots are all cracked and his belfry has bats. Senility has set in: "Depends" and all that.

Poet

RightCross94
07-08-2009, 11:24 PM
LRR is the village idiot.....what do expect? He's lost the thread and his train of thought is wrecked. His pots are all cracked and his belfry has bats. Senility has set in: "Depends" and all that.

Poet

he is indeed an idiot, but an incredibly frustrating one

Southpaw16BF
07-08-2009, 11:31 PM
when did i say that? about klitschko? i said because it was boring and chagaev was crap it wasnt real boxing, and that germans should see a real fight with two willing opponents

i know plenty about past boxing, just because im not an idiot who thinks people like John L Sullivan would be great fighters in the 70's doesnt mean i know nothing about past boxing, many of my favourite fighters are from the 30's through to the 50's, i know much about that era and even previous eras, im just smart enough to realise that pre 20's guys like battling nelson and others who used primitive training methods and techniques would get smoked by guys like floyd

i dont even think boxing gets better with time, it just has good eras and bad eras for various weight divs

Well I remember you saying on your past account a few months ago that you had only just started watching Jersey Joe Walcott.

There you go again why wasnt it really boxing? Due to Wlad being dominating. Not every fight is going to be excting or a slugfest. You need to learn this fool. Or are you one of them fans who just want to see blood.

Both were willing opponets but Chagev was just outclassed, that dosent mean he wasnt willing and due to Wlad using his boxing brain that dosent mean he wasnt willing either.

And once again you carry on to disrepect past fighters. Troll, you probaly dont even know nothing about Nelson.

And how do you know the great Battling Nelson would be smoked by Maywether? Nelson was a rough-and-tumble fighter who lacked science but hit hard; He was rugged, durable and aggressive - and won many bouts due to his remarkable stamina; Batt was a true "Iron Man" who could endure unbelievable punishment and come back for more. Mayweather may have broke his extremely fragile hands on the skull of Nelson.

During his career, Nelson defeated such men as Joe Gans, Jimmy Britt, Young Corbett II, Aurelio Herrera, Eddie Hanlon, Artie Simms, Willie Beecher, Jack Redmond and Jack O'Neil.

TheGreatA
07-09-2009, 01:24 AM
I still don't get what people are seeing in the Ali-Foreman fight. I see Ali quite easily outboxing Foreman and then knocking him out once he gets tired. Sure Ali used the "rope-a-dope", but he was also countering Foreman with right hands at every possible opportunity (and there were many of them).

I think if there had been a rematch, Ali would have won again had he been in the same condition that he was for the Rumble in the Jungle. He was starting to age though and Foreman could have caught him at the right time had the rematch happened.

It's not like Foreman suddenly improved after losing to Ali, I'd say he actually declined. His myth of invincibility was shattered and he changed pretty much nothing in his ring tactics. Jimmy Young did the same thing that Ali did to him in Zaire.

Kinetic Linking
07-09-2009, 01:52 AM
Okay, I think I see what's going on. GreatA, you're mostly paying attention to skill. You watch the fight, and you see Ali demonstrating vastly superior skill to Foreman.

I watch the fight, and I see Ali demonstrate vastly superior skill to the vastly more powerful foreman, who doesn't take too long to run Ali over and force him to the ropes, once knocking him out on his feet according to Ali himself.

Basically, Ali is a way more skilled fighter, but Foreman was much bigger and stronger, mainly stronger. I hope this is obvious to you, as it was to everyone before during and after the fight. Just as you can't blame ali for being smarter in the ring, you can't blame George for being stronger. He was certainly gifted genetically, but he also had a superior diet to Ali's. And I'm going to make a big point about this. When Ali fought Holmes, he showed up having drained himself with laxatives to "look" fit. That's something big George would never do. Ali was a more skilled fighter and demonstrated more greatness during his career, but George lasted longer because when it came to REAL fundamentals, meaning nutrition, he had a big edge.

I'll concede that Ali was vastly more skilled, but George ate better and you can't hold that against him. It almost won him the fight in Zaire and he may very well have won if it had been fought in a cage or something.

TheGreatA
07-09-2009, 02:12 AM
Okay, I think I see what's going on. GreatA, you're mostly paying attention to skill. You watch the fight, and you see Ali demonstrating vastly superior skill to Foreman.

I watch the fight, and I see Ali demonstrate vastly superior skill to the vastly more powerful foreman, who doesn't take too long to run Ali over and force him to the ropes, once knocking him out on his feet according to Ali himself.

Basically, Ali is a way more skilled fighter, but Foreman was much bigger and stronger, mainly stronger. I hope this is obvious to you, as it was to everyone before during and after the fight. Just as you can't blame ali for being smarter in the ring, you can't blame George for being stronger. He was certainly gifted genetically, but he also had a superior diet to Ali's. And I'm going to make a big point about this. When Ali fought Holmes, he showed up having drained himself with laxatives to "look" fit. That's something big George would never do. Ali was a more skilled fighter and demonstrated more greatness during his career, but George lasted longer because when it came to REAL fundamentals, meaning nutrition, he had a big edge.

I'll concede that Ali was vastly more skilled, but George ate better and you can't hold that against him. It almost won him the fight in Zaire and he may very well have won if it had been fought in a cage or something.

He didn't seem to have any trouble handling Foreman in the clinches. I agree that Foreman was more powerful though, of course.

I don't think Ali's decline had as much to do with what he ate as it did with all the damage he had absorbed in the ring. Foreman was out of the ring for a decade and never took much punishment throughout his career, thus he was able to fight longer.

Foreman ate pretty much whatever he wanted especially during his second career. He was simply a very physically gifted fighter, a force of nature according to himself.

mickey malone
07-09-2009, 02:29 AM
** Now, why would anyone come on making up nonsense unless there is some other agenda? Last I checked, George is in the IBHOF just like Ali, and an highly rated IBRO all time heavy, just like Ali.

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc70/LondonPrizeRingRules/1215_mid.jpg

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc70/LondonPrizeRingRules/1215_mid.jpg

Ring also did a 30th anniversary edition for this fight including post fight interviews. Foreman is ready for the immediate rematch. Ali won't commit and threatens retirement. Every interview of every fight after the Rumble George is front and center for the rematch. Every interview with Ali shows him non committal, except for an outburst when for strange reasons only known to him, he attends George's 5 man exhibition in Canada and can be seen throwing a tantrum and screaming George is never gonna get a rematch. Very unseemly moment.

I could go on, but hopefully you will get the point and drop this rematch nonsense, but of course tomorrow a new suspect will be spouting off, so it's endless.

As far as ratings, much easier for me to make the case Joe Louis being #1. I find Ali difficult to rate because of all his controversial decisions and gifts without ever on the wrong side of any gift or controversy in the official results. He became as stale of week old toast near the end of his championship run and his loss to Leon may be the single most shameful moment in heavy title history.

Ali does hold the win over George, but keep in mind that few were bigging Ali up as a top ten heavy until then. Ali was only 32 and still fresh by heavy standards by career standards albeit past tradition peak physical years. Tremendous accomplishment, but everyone chooses to forget George was not at his best training for that fight through no fault of his own, so while few picked the upset, there have been much greater upsets. The fight ferociously contested by George enough that maybe one more punch at key moments might have put Ali out, so is it fair to put so much legacy and ranking on a single fight with no rematch to sort them out truly?

If I were to make the case for George over Ali, what did he do that Ali didn't?

Many more wins, tied in losses, many more KOs than Ali has wins, fought in more decades and was a ranked contender if not champ during most that period, set a record not likely to be broken by legit means as the oldest heavy champ, the longest retirement between belts, and had better overall performances against common opponents with no controversial wins.

Of course Ali has his own list of achievements better than George, but Ibro has them very close in rankings, an indication that who's really better is definitely debatable in something so subjective.
Interesting... So Foreman spent 15 months calling for a rematch, to no avail.. He then spent the next 30 years explaining how he would never have beaten him.. Credit to George, he knew the score.. If Ali had been the responsible party for scuppering a rematch, people would still be calling him yellow today.. It was George himself, who wanted to take a break..
For the record, I rate Louis no1 with Ali at no2.. Foreman is an ATG, & maybe 'very very good' were the wrong words.. I was just trying to make a basic comparison between the two, which is answering the thread posters question..
Agreed, Ali had controversial fights: Liston 2, Cooper 1, as well as the first 2 of his fights with Norton, but eventually proved himself superior to all of them.. So as you can see Ali wasn't in the game of ducking rematches.. An older Foreman was beaten by Axel Schultz & Alex Stewert (in my opinion) & neither were given rematches.. This is also rather controversial don't you think? Overall, Ali was the more complete boxer.. He had far too many moves for the awe inspiring, but one dimensional Foreman.. The bottom line is, that he got KO'd, only the once, but that was enough..

Kinetic Linking
07-09-2009, 02:53 AM
Ali was very talented at wrestling in clinches, so you're right that he had no trouble. Of course George was more powerful, though. As for George simply being a "force of nature" I'm going to have to disagree and stick with my point about nutrition. Sure, George didn't take too much punishment. Sure, he was gifted genetically. But he was heavyweight champ at 45. You don't do that by being a force of nature. Once you get that old, you need to do everything right. Ali got by on skill for a long time, but Foreman overtook him by doing everything right.

Ironically, Ali was known to have a burger from time to time as well, so I was reluctant to make that point at first. I do give him credit for being a better fighter, however, and the Holmes incident tipped the scale. Eating made a big difference between the fates of Ali and Foreman.

As a Foreman fan, I'm also feeling a little bit like I should backtread. I'll repeat this and see what you have to say. If Foreman and Ali fight in a cage, Foreman wins by KO every time.

Kid McCoy
07-09-2009, 07:24 AM
Interesting... So Foreman spent 15 months calling for a rematch, to no avail.. He then spent the next 30 years explaining how he would never have beaten him.. Credit to George, he knew the score.. If Ali had been the responsible party for scuppering a rematch, people would still be calling him yellow today.. It was George himself, who wanted to take a break..

Whatever Foreman says today, he and Ali didn't care for each other back then and he always made it abundantly clear he wanted a second go with Ali, mentioning it after all his comeback fights and at one point even gatecrashing an Ali press conference and calling him out to his face. Ali on the other hand would never commit to fighting Foreman again. I think he was worthy of a second shot at Ali, certainly more so than the Dunns, Coopmans and Evangelistas of this world.

As to who would have won a rematch, I don't know. Before Manila it's hard to pick, after Manila Ali seemed to diminish fairly quickly and I'd have to favour Foreman. Maybe Ali really did have his number. But I'd rather see fighters in the ring several times before drawing that conclusion. Had Frazier retired after the Fight of the Century would we all be claiming now that he always had Ali's number?


Agreed, Ali had controversial fights: Liston 2, Cooper 1, as well as the first 2 of his fights with Norton, but eventually proved himself superior to all of them.. So as you can see Ali wasn't in the game of ducking rematches.. An older Foreman was beaten by Axel Schultz & Alex Stewert (in my opinion) & neither were given rematches.. This is also rather controversial don't you think? Overall, Ali was the more complete boxer.. He had far too many moves for the awe inspiring, but one dimensional Foreman.. The bottom line is, that he got KO'd, only the once, but that was enough..

That's not strictly true...

Judging by his actions and his refusal to commit, I don't think Ali was ever that keen to get back in the ring with Norton after their third fight. He seemed to prefer talking about retirement or potential fights with the likes of Alfio Righetti. Given the controversy of the result, Norton's #1 contender status and the demand for the fight after Foreman's retirement, I'd say Norton deserved a fairly rapid rematch, not to be told to go and earn his shot again. Remember Norton also won a "title eliminator" against Jimmy Young, but Ali instead signed to fight the unranked Spinks. Compare with Louis giving Walcott and Godoy immediate rematches after contentious results.

As for the original question, the only real case I see for ranking Foreman over Ali would be results against common opponents. Foreman well dominated Frazier and Norton, the two fighters who caused Ali the most problems. Foreman also dispatched Wepner, Chuvalo and Lyle quicker and in more devastating fashion than Ali. Neither man covered himself in glory against Young though (I thought both lost). But that being said, Ali's overall career puts him ahead of George. The IBRO rankings of Ali #2 and Foreman #8 seem reasonable to me.

mickey malone
07-09-2009, 08:25 AM
Whatever Foreman says today, he and Ali didn't care for each other back then and he always made it abundantly clear he wanted a second go with Ali, mentioning it after all his comeback fights and at one point even gatecrashing an Ali press conference and calling him out to his face. Ali on the other hand would never commit to fighting Foreman again. I think he was worthy of a second shot at Ali, certainly more so than the Dunns, Coopmans and Evangelistas of this world.

As to who would have won a rematch, I don't know. Before Manila it's hard to pick, after Manila Ali seemed to diminish fairly quickly and I'd have to favour Foreman. Maybe Ali really did have his number. But I'd rather see fighters in the ring several times before drawing that conclusion. Had Frazier retired after the Fight of the Century would we all be claiming now that he always had Ali's number?



That's not strictly true...

Judging by his actions and his refusal to commit, I don't think Ali was ever that keen to get back in the ring with Norton after their third fight. He seemed to prefer talking about retirement or potential fights with the likes of Alfio Righetti. Given the controversy of the result, Norton's #1 contender status and the demand for the fight after Foreman's retirement, I'd say Norton deserved a fairly rapid rematch, not to be told to go and earn his shot again. Remember Norton also won a "title eliminator" against Jimmy Young, but Ali instead signed to fight the unranked Spinks. Compare with Louis giving Walcott and Godoy immediate rematches after contentious results.

As for the original question, the only real case I see for ranking Foreman over Ali would be results against common opponents. Foreman well dominated Frazier and Norton, the two fighters who caused Ali the most problems. Foreman also dispatched Wepner, Chuvalo and Lyle quicker and in more devastating fashion than Ali. Neither man covered himself in glory against Young though (I thought both lost). But that being said, Ali's overall career puts him ahead of George. The IBRO rankings of Ali #2 and Foreman #8 seem reasonable to me.
1 Louis
2 Ali
3 Holmes
4 Lewis
5 Tyson
6 Holyfield
7 Foreman
8 Frazier
9 Marciano
10 Tunney

That's how I have it.. Well coming from you Kid, I'd have to take notice..
The thought of Ali being the cause of this is quite upsetting.. I for 1 would loved to have seen a rematch between the 2, & I find it unacceptable, unbelievable almost, that he had rematches with Frazier, Norton, Cooper, Liston, Bugner & Spinks, but NOT Foreman.. It's too astounding to comprehend when you consider the fights with Bugner. (both snore bores)... Well, thanks for confirming my worst fears, maybe I've looked too much into what Foreman (the latter) has said, as opposed to the Foreman of 30 years previous.. To be honest, I'm really dissapointed & if Don King couldn't use his influence, I'm completely dumbfounded!

NB: Apologies to LRR... It appears you're right with regard to the rematch.. MM

kayjay
07-09-2009, 08:34 AM
Ali is the most overrated heavyweight ever.

This part I agree with. Ali had a nice reign in the 60's, but he didn't face great competition at that time. Moreover, he struggled with some fairly pedestrian opponents by HW champ standards. The Chuvalo, Cooper, and Mildenberger fights, for instance, were much more difficult than they would be for other HW champs.

In that time he defeated guys (Moore, Patterson) who were WAY past their time.

In the 70's he lost a wide decision to Frazier and a close one to Norton, while getting undeserved decisions in rematches. Both fighters had his number and arguably got the better of him over the course of their rivalries.

Many of his big wins (Liston 2 and Foreman) are clouded in controversy.

In his later defenses he struggled with very weak opposition such as Wepner, Bugner and Young.


Put this all together and you have a long, successful career that is far from "the greatest." His reputation is based on his celebrity more than the realities of his abilities and achievements.

bojangles1987
07-09-2009, 08:36 AM
I think we all can agree that Foreman would have a good chance in a rematch with Ali, but the argument my friend was making was for Foreman>Ali all time. He thinks Foreman should be considered a better fighter than Ali was.

In a rematch, with Ali getting even older and Foreman maybe being a little smarter about the fight, there's no way I could say Ali would definitely have won. I think he would have, but I can't say he without question would have.

Abstraction
07-09-2009, 09:44 AM
Alot of the guys have never seen the Foreman-Ali bout.

It's not as Foreman was winning and gassed himself out, and Ali took it at the end.

Ali was schooling him silly throughout and was ahead on all the scorecards

-Antonio-
07-09-2009, 12:06 PM
Alot of the guys have never seen the Foreman-Ali bout.

It's not as Foreman was winning and gassed himself out, and Ali took it at the end.

Ali was schooling him silly throughout and was ahead on all the scorecards

Schooling, no.

He did land a lot more punches than is lead to believe. Hard counters off of the ropes. He was not winning the fight to me though. Foreman was outworking him.

Sugarj
07-09-2009, 12:51 PM
Both fighters make my all time greatest heavyweight top ten. Two legends.

I suppose its arguable that Foreman could have done much better against Ali in Zaire should he have stood off or threw fewer, more accurate shots at Ali when the latter was lying on the ropes. It surely would have gone more than eight rounds if Foreman had paced himself better.

That said fifteen rounds is a long time and I think Ali probably would have shaded a close decision anyway, Foreman was not a fifteen round fighter, look how he faded against Jimmy Young. But we'll never know! His pacing was far better in his second incarnation though.

I think talk of how Foreman would have faired in a rematch strays a bit from the original thread question. I personally think that if the Ali of 67 was matched with the Foreman of 74 Ali's win would be more emphatic. Ali was so fast, lively on his feet and difficult to hit at this point, Foreman would have been his best challenger by far to date but I think we'd see a clear decision for Ali.

I think that Foreman's longevity can partly be attributed to his ten years out of the ring. If he hadn't left in 77 he would have surely ended up fighting Shavers, Holmes, a peak Cooney and Tyson. He may well have beaten all of these guys but he'd have shipped some serious leather enroute, I doubt we'd have seen him as late as 1998 if he had fought 77-87.

I dont agree with the assertion that Ali's poor preparation for the Holmes fight, diet and thyroid pills was responsible for his comparative lack of longevity compared to Foreman (who balooned to over 300Lbs in first retirement!). Ali's motor skills went into fairly quick decline after shipping all the punishment in Frazier 3. I'm convinced his Parkinsons can primarily be attributed to this fight.

joseph5620
07-10-2009, 12:31 PM
This part I agree with. Ali had a nice reign in the 60's, but he didn't face great competition at that time. Moreover, he struggled with some fairly pedestrian opponents by HW champ standards. The Chuvalo, Cooper, and Mildenberger fights, for instance, were much more difficult than they would be for other HW champs.

In that time he defeated guys (Moore, Patterson) who were WAY past their time.

In the 70's he lost a wide decision to Frazier and a close one to Norton, while getting undeserved decisions in rematches. Both fighters had his number and arguably got the better of him over the course of their rivalries.

Many of his big wins (Liston 2 and Foreman) are clouded in controversy.

In his later defenses he struggled with very weak opposition such as Wepner, Bugner and Young.


Put this all together and you have a long, successful career that is far from "the greatest." His reputation is based on his celebrity more than the realities of his abilities and achievements.

Wow. Rewritten history here.

Sugarj
07-10-2009, 01:29 PM
Yes I was a bit amused by Kayjay's post too.

Chuvalo was no walkover in the 60s, very tough guy, Foreman couldn't knock him out (only stopped on his feet) but honestly Ali toyed with him. Much was made of Ali having taken alot of shots to the body but he did invite George to hit him there. The Cooper defense was a clinical sixth round beating, I didn't give Cooper a round. As for Mildenberger, Ali hadn't faced many southpaws before.

Ali didn't face Moore in his championship reign.

Patterson was only 30 and mixed in world class for a further seven years after facing Ali, many thought him unlucky to have lost the decisions against Quarry and Ellis and he decisioned Bonavena in the early 70s. He had a back injury the night Ali faced him. Even with the Liston losses he wasn't 'way' past his best.

The Frazier decision wasn't that wide, one judge by three rounds, one by two. Take away the knockdown and you have a very close fight. No way was Frazier close in the second fight and Ali was killing Frazier in rounds thirteen and fourteen of their third fight, it was rightly stopped.

The Foreman fight was only controversial because of the result. Foreman was hardly a shell of himself upto round seven, he clearly gassed himself with a workrate that was too high!

Granted I do believe Liston took a dive in the rematch.

Have you seen the Wepner fight? Forget that clumsy so called knockdown from that innocuous body blow, it was a white wash for Ali, Wepner didn't come close to troubling Ali.

Again on the Bugner defense, Joe didn't come close to troubling Ali. This was one of Joe's worst performances.

True Young did do well against a very post prime Ali.

As for his celebrity clouding his true ability, its worth watching the first Liston fight, Terrel, Williams, Folley, the second Quarry fight and Frazier 3. Ali was amazing!!!!!