Ali had about 4 careers!!! Some say he couldn't do it after the ban! I know that he couldn't move like he used to but that would have happened anyway! The first Spinks fight he didn't train At All!! He did the second fight but it was clear that he had once again had slipped. However he rededicated himself to get in top shape and he did just that!! I'm not sure when the nezt decline began but he hung around way to long like most do! Ali had a pretty full plate long before he fought Frazier in their first bout. Most think of him then, find some film of him boxing Williams or how he handled Liston, he beat the crap out of Liston and made him quit and that was a "straight up fight"!
As a young champ (defeating Liston) no one ever saw a heavyweight do the things he did for that matter he looked like a giant Willie Pep and when he spread his feet out to punch he looked like Sugarman!!
Watch the videos, study him on the move and realize that if he didn't want to take a chance he could have fought 10 rounders and gotten hit maybe 10 times! He could cover a 22' ring in a second it seemed! The Greatest! Ray.
but Joe was the Best!