View Full Version : question about Ali


RockyMarcianofan00
05-08-2006, 12:44 AM
Well i've heard guys like Butterfly1964 talk about how Ali was prime in 1967, or atleast it was the beginning of his prime. Then he got laid off for 3 years. When he came back he had physically matured, but in return (supposedly) he had lost alot of his skills, speed wise. Now I'm talking right when he came back now.

I watched the Jerry Quarry fight today and something occured to me, Ali really didn't look to different, Alittle bigger (alittle more fat and more muscle) but overall he only looked alittle slower. His handspeed i suppose was brought down alittle to about alittle over an average fighters,but he was still fast. His footwork wasn't as on key as he was orginally but it was still good. It actually reminded me of Holmes. on his toes moving, but stopping and going flat foot to get the punch power in. The only thing noticabley less was his head movement, but even still it was there.

After the fight he said he was a better fighter, granted figthers tend to say there alwasy in the best shape of their life. So what i'm really asking is, Was Ali really that different after his layoff. Because up until alittle later after his comeback he seemed normal. It was only later with the Rope-a-dope that its clear Ali is different (to me anyhow).

So was Ali really that different after his layoff?


(if i'm misquoting anybody then pls ignore the thread. I'm just wondering)

M26
05-08-2006, 05:00 AM
Well i've heard guys like Butterfly1964 talk about how Ali was prime in 1967, or atleast it was the beginning of his prime. Then he got laid off for 3 years. When he came back he had physically matured, but in return (supposedly) he had lost alot of his skills, speed wise. Now I'm talking right when he came back now.

I watched the Jerry Quarry fight today and something occured to me, Ali really didn't look to different, Alittle bigger (alittle more fat and more muscle) but overall he only looked alittle slower. His handspeed i suppose was brought down alittle to about alittle over an average fighters,but he was still fast. His footwork wasn't as on key as he was orginally but it was still good. It actually reminded me of Holmes. on his toes moving, but stopping and going flat foot to get the punch power in. The only thing noticabley less was his head movement, but even still it was there.

After the fight he said he was a better fighter, granted figthers tend to say there alwasy in the best shape of their life. So what i'm really asking is, Was Ali really that different after his layoff. Because up until alittle later after his comeback he seemed normal. It was only later with the Rope-a-dope that its clear Ali is different (to me anyhow).

So was Ali really that different after his layoff?


(if i'm misquoting anybody then pls ignore the thread. I'm just wondering)

I see your point. At first sight, he looked alot like the same fighter in his comeback fight against Jerry Quarry. His timing was off, but that was due to him not fighting in a long time.

How ever, if you compare the older version to the Clay/Ali of the 1960s, you will find that he was alot faster on his feet back then. Against Liston for instance, who was a better boxer than Quarry and also possessed a longer reach, he had no problems. Liston could barely lay a glove on Clay, who came in with lightening strikes, and then ran straight back out again.

Fighting Quarry, Ali still had those fast hands, but his legs would not carry him to safety like they once did. So already you can see that he is being hit more often. This got worse as the 1970s drew to a close, and only Alis chin and ring generalship helped him stay on top for as long as he did.

In closing, yes, Ali was really that different after his layoff.

Heckler
05-08-2006, 05:36 AM
Well i've heard guys like Butterfly1964 talk about how Ali was prime in 1967, or atleast it was the beginning of his prime. Then he got laid off for 3 years. When he came back he had physically matured, but in return (supposedly) he had lost alot of his skills, speed wise. Now I'm talking right when he came back now.

I watched the Jerry Quarry fight today and something occured to me, Ali really didn't look to different, Alittle bigger (alittle more fat and more muscle) but overall he only looked alittle slower. His handspeed i suppose was brought down alittle to about alittle over an average fighters,but he was still fast. His footwork wasn't as on key as he was orginally but it was still good. It actually reminded me of Holmes. on his toes moving, but stopping and going flat foot to get the punch power in. The only thing noticabley less was his head movement, but even still it was there.

After the fight he said he was a better fighter, granted figthers tend to say there alwasy in the best shape of their life. So what i'm really asking is, Was Ali really that different after his layoff. Because up until alittle later after his comeback he seemed normal. It was only later with the Rope-a-dope that its clear Ali is different (to me anyhow).

So was Ali really that different after his layoff?


(if i'm misquoting anybody then pls ignore the thread. I'm just wondering)


Ali saying hes a better fighter is meaningless as he said it at every point throughout his career.. was he different? yeah he was different and essentially everyone observing him at the time noted this. He wasn't quite as fluid, a little less coordinated and not quite as fast. Never would Ali display the kind of speed he displayed against.. say Brian London. He was 25 when he left the game and 28 when he returned, generally at the age of 25 a male is at their physical peak and decline sets in around 28-29. Theoretically atleast, according to the Human biology Ali missed 3 of his best years. When you are inactive for a 3 year period you definately decline, he returned after such inactivity and had to shake the rust... following this he was still never quite the same due to physical decline. Good information regarding this can be found in a book on Ali written by Jose Torres in the early seventies.. alot of the content is his observations regarding Ali's change. He probably had a positive change in mentality following his lay-off and became a better 'ring general', he refined his skills somewhat. Sometimes the development and refinement of ones arsenal that often occurs after ones physical prime offsets the fact that they are no longer in their physical prime... probably applies to Lennox Lewis, Jersey Joe walcott, and Archie moore. I personally don't think whatever positive development Ali underwent following his layoff was enough to make him a better fighter then he was in the late sixties. However, Ali's decline is blown way out of proportion.. we hear ridiculous **** like Ali would destroy Frazier and Norton if only he was in his prime. Sure id favour Ali in a trilogy over those men in the late sixties but they exposed flaws that always existed in Ali as a fighter and such fighters would always give Ali a life and death struggle. The decline in Ali during his layoff wasn't huge, but often its the slightest of margins that seperates two great fighters in the ring.

SABBATH
05-08-2006, 08:43 AM
Ali definitely looked slower in the first Quarry fight but he still looked good. But keep this in mind. Quarry was about as tailor made for Ali as anyone he ever fought. Ali-Quarry II for example is one of Ali's best post-exile performances. Ali said that he was already tired after 3 rounds of Quarry I and was glad the fight was stopped when it was. Had Quarry not suffered the gash early, we may have seen a sloppier Ali as the fight went into the later rounds.

Now, a better fight to judge Ali's immediate post-exile abilities would be Ali-Bonevena. Ali looked dreadful in that fight save for a couple of the early rounds. Ali's reduced timing, punching accuracy, stamina, hand and foot speed as well as his vulnerability to being hit are clearly in evidence. It was the worst performance of Ali's career up to that point (IMO).

Ali's bad showing was quickly over-looked and swept under the carpet because he was able to floor and stop Bonevena, something Frazier was unable to do in 25 rounds. It gave Ali a false sense of his "improved" punching power and likely had an effect on how he fought Frazier 3 months later. Remember, Ali predicted a 6th round KO over Frazier and early in that fight Ali is clearly going for the early stoppage and punching with 'bad intentions.' I also believe Ali did not want the fight to go late as he knew how tired he got in the Bonevana fight. Traditionally Ali did not atack early like he did in the Frazier fight.

Ali rushed himself back in order to fight Frazier. Remember Ali had been convicted of draft evasion and was facing an impending prison sentance. Ali didn't know if he would be sitting in a jail cell in the next few months and needed the Frazier fight ASAP. Ali probably shouldn't have fought contender #1, #2 and Heavyweight Champion within 6 a month period, much less after a 3 1/2 year layoff. The Bonevena fight was a gruelling 15 round fight and ideally Ali should have either rested more than 3 months to fight Frazier or fought a lesser opponent as a tune-up before facing a prime Frazier later in 1971.

The big difference in Ali in the Frazier fight was that his ability to time and pull back from punches was not there. Ali was caught too often in that fight by left hooks. Ali didn't move much in that fight either. Ali also tired in the middle rounds and for the first time we saw him give rounds away by lying on the ropes taking punches trying to conserve his energy a bad habit that would rear it's ugly head too often in Ali's second title reign. Ali's hand speed was reduced, but his power was still there. Ali's punching accuracy was still good against Frazier, better than the Bonevena fight but not prime.

Had Ali never exiled he likely would have fought Frazier sometime between 1968-70 when Ali would have been in his prime and Frazier would have been about to enter it. Ali would not have 'killed' Frazier. It still would have been a very tough fight for Ali, sort of hybrid between Ali-Chuvalo I and Frazier-Ali. I would pick Ali to win a 9-6 decision or at best 10-5.

Yaman
05-08-2006, 09:29 AM
I'll say Ali was around 80% of his former self after the layoff.

K-DOGG
05-08-2006, 10:08 AM
Well i've heard guys like Butterfly1964 talk about how Ali was prime in 1967, or atleast it was the beginning of his prime. Then he got laid off for 3 years. When he came back he had physically matured, but in return (supposedly) he had lost alot of his skills, speed wise. Now I'm talking right when he came back now.

I watched the Jerry Quarry fight today and something occured to me, Ali really didn't look to different, Alittle bigger (alittle more fat and more muscle) but overall he only looked alittle slower. His handspeed i suppose was brought down alittle to about alittle over an average fighters,but he was still fast. His footwork wasn't as on key as he was orginally but it was still good. It actually reminded me of Holmes. on his toes moving, but stopping and going flat foot to get the punch power in. The only thing noticabley less was his head movement, but even still it was there.

After the fight he said he was a better fighter, granted figthers tend to say there alwasy in the best shape of their life. So what i'm really asking is, Was Ali really that different after his layoff. Because up until alittle later after his comeback he seemed normal. It was only later with the Rope-a-dope that its clear Ali is different (to me anyhow).

So was Ali really that different after his layoff?


(if i'm misquoting anybody then pls ignore the thread. I'm just wondering)

The difference in footwork is from perspective. Against Quarry, he danced and moved; but it wasn't quite the same. In his prime, Ali was able to start to throw a punch while out of range and his feet would actually move him into range so the punch would land...and then move him out before the counter. His movement after the come back was not quite that insync.

Also, after Ali's layoff, he began having trouble with his hands. Dr. Pachecho has said that after the comeback, he would shoot up Ali's knucles with novicane before each fight so that he could punch with impunity. Ali's accuracy was also off for a few fights after his comeback began.

Another thing to consider with the Quarry fight was it only lasted three rounds, so Ali's movement wasn't as prolonged as it had been in his last fight against Folley.

I think the key difference between the 1960's version and the 1970's version of Ali was mentality, though. Ali loved boxing, he loved putting on a show; and after nearly having it all taken away from him, you can really see his determination in his more trying fights in his second career. That's not to say he wasn't determined in his first career; but I believe he was doubly appreciative of his unique posistion on the world stage after he got his liscence back and had his verdict overturned by the supreme court. Just my thoughts, though.

K-DOGG
05-08-2006, 10:10 AM
Ali definitely looked slower in the first Quarry fight but he still looked good. But keep this in mind. Quarry was about as tailor made for Ali as anyone he ever fought. Ali-Quarry II for example is one of Ali's best post-exile performances. Ali said that he was already tired after 3 rounds of Quarry I and was glad the fight was stopped when it was. Had Quarry not suffered the gash early, we may have seen a sloppier Ali as the fight went into the later rounds.

Now, a better fight to judge Ali's immediate post-exile abilities would be Ali-Bonevena. Ali looked dreadful in that fight save for a couple of the early rounds. Ali's reduced timing, punching accuracy, stamina, hand and foot speed as well as his vulnerability to being hit are clearly in evidence. It was the worst performance of Ali's career up to that point (IMO).

Ali's bad showing was quickly over-looked and swept under the carpet because he was able to floor and stop Bonevena, something Frazier was unable to do in 25 rounds. It gave Ali a false sense of his "improved" punching power and likely had an effect on how he fought Frazier 3 months later. Remember, Ali predicted a 6th round KO over Frazier and early in that fight Ali is clearly going for the early stoppage and punching with 'bad intentions.' I also believe Ali did not want the fight to go late as he knew how tired he got in the Bonevana fight. Traditionally Ali did not atack early like he did in the Frazier fight.

Ali rushed himself back in order to fight Frazier. Remember Ali had been convicted of draft evasion and was facing an impending prison sentance. Ali didn't know if he would be sitting in a jail cell in the next few months and needed the Frazier fight ASAP. Ali probably shouldn't have fought contender #1, #2 and Heavyweight Champion within 6 a month period, much less after a 3 1/2 year layoff. The Bonevena fight was a gruelling 15 round fight and ideally Ali should have either rested more than 3 months to fight Frazier or fought a lesser opponent as a tune-up before facing a prime Frazier later in 1971.

The big difference in Ali in the Frazier fight was that his ability to time and pull back from punches was not there. Ali was caught too often in that fight by left hooks. Ali didn't move much in that fight either. Ali also tired in the middle rounds and for the first time we saw him give rounds away by lying on the ropes taking punches trying to conserve his energy a bad habit that would rear it's ugly head too often in Ali's second title reign. Ali's hand speed was reduced, but his power was still there. Ali's punching accuracy was still good against Frazier, better than the Bonevena fight but not prime.

Had Ali never exiled he likely would have fought Frazier sometime between 1968-70 when Ali would have been in his prime and Frazier would have been about to enter it. Ali would not have 'killed' Frazier. It still would have been a very tough fight for Ali, sort of hybrid between Ali-Chuvalo I and Frazier-Ali. I would pick Ali to win a 9-6 decision or at best 10-5.

Great Post!

SABBATH
05-08-2006, 10:41 AM
I think the key difference between the 1960's version and the 1970's version of Ali was mentality, though. Ali loved boxing, he loved putting on a show; and after nearly having it all taken away from him, you can really see his determination in his more trying fights in his second career. That's not to say he wasn't determined in his first career; but I believe he was doubly appreciative of his unique posistion on the world stage after he got his liscence back and had his verdict overturned by the supreme court. Just my thoughts, though.Good thoughts indeed K-Dogg. In the 60's Ali was definitely more serious and sometimes bitter in the ring. Liston, Williams, Chuvalo, Terrell, Patterson...Ali was all business and determined with a taste for either wanting the other guy out of there or wanting to punish his opponent (Patterson, Terrell). What a contrast to Ali waving in the referee to stop a fight (Quarry II, Lyle) letting up when he had a guy hurt (Ellis) or carrying a guy like Coopman. Ali didn't have a real killer side to him in his post-exile career unless his opponent presented a danger. Like you said, Ali went through a lot to regain that title and what it represented. He may have been lackadasical in his training but he always dug deep in the fights when he had to.

Take a look at the seriousness of Ali in the ring during introductions in his 60's title fights and then compare it to Ali in the ring prior to Frazier III hamming it up and your point of Ali loving the stage post-exile is well illustrated.

Yaman
05-08-2006, 10:52 AM
Ali was never the same puncher again. Sure he didn't have POWER but he was a very accurate puncher and because of the layoff, he lost a lot of it. Same as Tyson who was miles off target after his layoff.

SABBATH
05-08-2006, 12:29 PM
Ali was never the same puncher again. Sure he didn't have POWER but he was a very accurate puncher and because of the layoff, he lost a lot of it. Same as Tyson who was miles off target after his layoff.
Ali's KO's in the 60's depended alot on his speed as well as timing, two things that were diminished post-exile, so his KO ability wasn't what it was. Ali also had bad hands in the 70's and didn't load as much on his punches as he could have unless the opponent was dangerous in which case he didn't have a choice.

In Ali's 12 round decision win over Rudi Lubbers Ali was saving his hands for the upcoming rematch with Frazier and clearly didn't load his punches. I read that Ali considered Lubbers his worst opponent saying , "the man didn't show me nuthin' "

Dempsey 1919
05-08-2006, 01:26 PM
Well i've heard guys like Butterfly1964 talk about how Ali was prime in 1967, or atleast it was the beginning of his prime. Then he got laid off for 3 years. When he came back he had physically matured, but in return (supposedly) he had lost alot of his skills, speed wise. Now I'm talking right when he came back now.

I watched the Jerry Quarry fight today and something occured to me, Ali really didn't look to different, Alittle bigger (alittle more fat and more muscle) but overall he only looked alittle slower. His handspeed i suppose was brought down alittle to about alittle over an average fighters,but he was still fast. His footwork wasn't as on key as he was orginally but it was still good. It actually reminded me of Holmes. on his toes moving, but stopping and going flat foot to get the punch power in. The only thing noticabley less was his head movement, but even still it was there.

After the fight he said he was a better fighter, granted figthers tend to say there alwasy in the best shape of their life. So what i'm really asking is, Was Ali really that different after his layoff. Because up until alittle later after his comeback he seemed normal. It was only later with the Rope-a-dope that its clear Ali is different (to me anyhow).

So was Ali really that different after his layoff?


(if i'm misquoting anybody then pls ignore the thread. I'm just wondering)

i think in '70 his handspeed was about the same as in the 60s, but the footspeed and the headmovement decreased quite a bit. george chuvalo and i belive floyd patterson was asked on how good ali was in the 60s and in the 70s, and if he was a different fighter in the 70s. both of these men are the only ones who fought ali in the 60s and the 70s, so they would know if ali was a lesser fighter or not, and they both said he was not same fighter he was in '65-66. chuvalo in particular said that in their second fight in '72, ali would go flatfooted more often, and the intervals between dancing was greater than when they fought in '66. he would rest more and then dance in short spurts, unlike in 1966, where he would dance many times for a whole round. so he was somewhat slower in the 70s, but if you don't take my word for it, then just ask floyd patterosn and george chuvalo. :)

Brassangel
05-08-2006, 01:51 PM
His hand speed was still quick, but a little less accurate due to off time; his footspeed was quick, but he couldn't keep it up quite as long; his head movement reduced since he actually started holding his hands up a little more often. I think that saying he was about 80%-90% of his formal self is pretty accurate. But then again, he was still an incredible fighter, just a little different.

RockyMarcianofan00
05-08-2006, 04:02 PM
i think in '70 his handspeed was about the same as in the 60s, but the footspeed and the headmovement decreased quite a bit. george chuvalo and i belive floyd patterson was asked on how good ali was in the 60s and in the 70s, and if he was a different fighter in the 70s. both of these men are the only ones who fought ali in the 60s and the 70s, so they would know if ali was a lesser fighter or not, and they both said he was not same fighter he was in '65-66. chuvalo in particular said that in their second fight in '72, ali would go flatfooted more often, and the intervals between dancing was greater than when they fought in '66. he would rest more and then dance in short spurts, unlike in 1966, where he would dance many times for a whole round. so he was somewhat slower in the 70s, but if you don't take my word for it, then just ask floyd patterosn and george chuvalo. :)

yea thats why i said it reminded me of Larry Holmes because Holmes used to dance alot but as i recall he'd also go flat footed quite a bit

sookyjumps
05-08-2006, 10:55 PM
you also have to consider mental factors too. theres no way that stress, media pressure, anticipation, and ali's own pride didnt factor in to how he came back.

Heckler
05-08-2006, 11:35 PM
Him fighting Norton is a good example of how his layoff exposed his flaws. Norton didn't win because he was tremendously powerful or skilled, but because he was an arkward fighter that parried the jab and was able to throw his own straight down the pipe. Pre Lay-off Ali if someone threw a jab at him he was able to make slight headmovements and with his brilliant judgement of range was able to make a man miss. When he come back his judgement of range was just as good he just couldn't get out of the way of those jabs, his body wouldn't respond like it use to... no longer could he merely move his head a few inches or glide out of harms way. Once he lost that ability to move fluidly and use such headmovement it became apparent he had no conventional defense.

Monsi
05-09-2006, 01:32 PM
Angelo Dundee said that the pre-layoff Ali was a better fighter than the Ali who fought after the ban.

Dempsey 1919
05-09-2006, 01:34 PM
Angelo Dundee said that the pre-layoff Ali was a better fighter than the Ali who fought after the ban.

well, that's obvious.

Dempsey 1919
05-09-2006, 01:42 PM
Not that Ali was ever any real good.

he'd still beat your boy marciano. :rolleyes: