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#11
Old 08-22-2007, 03:39 PM
kayjay
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Brassanger, Ali didn't "easily handle" many fighters. Even very mediocre guys gave him hard times. He sure as hell wouldn't "handle" anyone on THAT list.
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#12
Old 08-22-2007, 06:02 PM
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A well passed his prime Ali defeated the seemingly invincible Foreman via KO, with little in the way of stopping his game plan. Sure, he took a lot of shots to the midsection, but that was what he expected to do, and he executed it perfectly. Liston never laid a glove on Ali until he blinded him first. Frazier gave Ali extreme difficulty, so I believe that Tyson would as well, but Marciano and Louis would not do so well against him. Joe Louis simply does not match up well to Ali at all. He started fights slow, he plodded around the ring slowly, while Ali would slash him apart and put him down. I love Joe Louis, obviously, as I have him at #1, but I can't watch footage of either fighter and realistically give Louis a chance against Ali; especially if we're talking about the same Ali who fought Cleveland Williams. Even so, Louis was the best "champion" on my list for the reasons presented; all head-to-heads aside. Rocky Marciano was prone to bleed and cut, something Ali was a master at taking advantage of. I think the Rock would do well if the fight made it into the late rounds, but Ali would have all day to cut him up and force a stoppage.

Furthermore, I think that Ali would win a best of three against every single fighter on that list. That's what made him great; he rarely had a truly bad matchup (at least not during his short-lived prime), and that window of "beatability" shrinks before the layoff. While he had some awkward performances against some mediocre opponents, he knew when it was time to take over the fight. Also, much like Mike Tyson, Ali's prime was actually witnessed for a very short period of time, prior to being laid off; the difference being that Ali made something worthwhile of his return. During that short period of time, he was almost perfect. Beatable, but nearly flawless. I don't like him as a man, mind you, and I detest complimenting him so much, but it is difficult to say that anyone on that top ten list would perform better against the other nine than would Ali.

Also, by using the word "handle," I simply meant that he could get business done and probably take at least a decision against most of them. He would have some difficult matchups, though again, I think he wins a best of three against all of them.

Last edited by Brassangel; 08-22-2007 at 06:15 PM.
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#13
Old 08-22-2007, 06:16 PM
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Otherwise...what did you think of the list? I'd be interested to hear critique on the list as a whole instead of sentence specific notes.
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#14
Old 08-23-2007, 07:04 AM
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brassangel - Thanks for your responses, not a bad list. Obviously I disagree with the order of the top 10 as mine was different. But we all have our own reason's, I'll explain mine if you want me to. In regards to the later posting, I'd say I agree with your assesment that in a best of 3 Ali probably would come out on top against all other fighters at least 2-1, with the next best probably Lewis and Holmes. Tyson probably was the most dominent in his prime, but as you may have seen my other articles, I don't think he fulfilled his potential also who did he really beat in his prime. In many boxing magazines, KO and Ring etc, the heavyweight division was regarded as being in one of it's worst states ever during the 80's, which is why Tyson looked so good. I think even considering Lewis getting knocked out by McCall and Rahman, 2 defeats which he avenged that he was in the top 3 greatest of all-time. Consider tactically brilliant,very fast for a big guy,great jab,fantastic power in both hands,could throw combinations,had every punch in the book,great chin despite what people say,look on youtube entitled Lennox had a great chin and see how many punches he took full on against some of the biggest punchers around, the 2 defeats he switched off and was overconfident, and they were great punches that put him down. Remember anyone can get knocked out in the heavyweights, McCall and Rahman despite their weaknesses as boxers could both bang. Lewis was always better against better opposition. He had more title fights than everyone else with the exception of Ali,Holmes and Holyfield. He beat everyone he ever faced and also beat the 2 other greats of his era, a lot of people say they were over the hill, but so was Lewis, he was just as old when he fought them. And apart from the 70's the heavyweight division was never stronger, so the quality of his opponents were better than in other eras, for example Joe Louis and his bum of the month(I'm not dissing Louis in any way, it wasn't his fault, he reigned for so long and had record number of defenses, so hat off to him, he's a legend. His quality of opposition though wasn't great) Also Lewis fought everyone there was to fight in his era and beat them all, with the exception of Bowe and Moorer. Bowe didn't want a piece of Lewis, and Lewis would have got rid of him in 6 rounds, and Moorer well, if a 45 yr old Foreman could knock him out, i'm sure Lewis would have done as well. Another thing Lewis was it seemed to me at some points being frozen out of the heavyweight picture, America wanted and american champion, despite this he still persisted with his dream and won the title 3 times, from 1992 until 2003 and became undisputed champ as well. Apart from 2 blips he reigned for 11 yrs. Taking all that into account not many can match or better achievments, which is why he deserves to be in the top 3.
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#15
Old 08-23-2007, 11:38 AM
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  1. Louis
  2. Dempsey
  3. Ali
  4. Johnson
  5. Tyson
  6. Marciano
  7. Holmes
  8. Liston
  9. Foreman
  10. Frazier
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#16
Old 08-23-2007, 01:56 PM
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@hurricane:

Lewis was the same "age" as Tyson and Holyfield when he fought them, but Lewis had hit the zenith of his career, while the other two were on the way down. Some guys hit their stride later than others.

Tyson's style and build, for example, probably would have meant that even if he hadn't gone to prison, he would have started to slide downwards by the time he was 28-30 years old. While the skill and speed were still visible in training sessions, continuous fighting of that style would have taken a toll on his body, much as it had Frazier, Patterson, and Marciano. Tyson had a second layoff prior to his fight with Lewis, giving him a total of 5 1/2 years of on-and-off inactivity during Lewis' uprising.

Holyfield was completely drained after fighting a rediculous series of wars. The man simply needed a break and just got overmatched by Lewis (though the judges "gifted" him differently.) Lennox Lewis had not gone through this kind of strain.

Lewis' body was large, and fairly mobile, giving him the kind of longevity that the infighters just couldn't possess. Remember the early stages of Lewis' career, however, where he was a lanky, awkward guy with a wide stance and terrible defense. He won against a lot of nobodies before his skills developed, and he really didn't prime until he was almost 30 years old. Because of this, I have trouble believing that he was truly the victor over Holyfield and Tyson. Nonetheless, he was definitely a great champion, and I am one of the few who even place him in the top ten. Much of the 90's hinges on the fact that Tyson was absent for so much of it. Had Tyson never gone to prison, the 90's would have perhaps been the strongest decade for heavyweights. Lewis, Holyfield, and Tyson, among many others (ie: Bowe, Foreman, Morrison, Mercer, Moorer, Rahman later on, etc.), battling back and forth for titles. This is one of the reasons why I rate him above Lewis; his absence almost single handedly brought down the division.

As a side note: I never thought that Rahman was terrible. When he was in shape coming up, he was really a solid boxer. I remember his first fight with Tua, when both of them were in good shape. Even though Tua scored an extremely late (and dramatic) stoppage, Rahman was punishing him all around the ring for 10 1/2 rounds. He was cut, with solid defense, and had a good jab.

In a randomized bracket:

2. Muhammad Ali vs. 10. Lennox Lewis
5. George Foreman vs. 8. Sonny Liston
3. Rocky Marciano vs. 7. Mike Tyson
6. Joe Frazier vs. 9. Jack Dempsey
4. Larry Holmes vs. 1. Joe Louis

Who wins? Who faces off afterwards? What's the final outcome?
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#17
Old 08-23-2007, 04:31 PM
kayjay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brassangel View Post
Otherwise...what did you think of the list? I'd be interested to hear critique on the list as a whole instead of sentence specific notes.
I'm ok with your list, and your qualification of 'handle'.

He didn't have the dominance of the second-tier fighters that the other guys have, which is all I was getting at.
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#18
Old 08-23-2007, 05:27 PM
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Brassangel - It's nice to hear a sensible explanation, from someone intelligent and obviously knows there boxing, still disagreeing with you over Lewis, but that's what its all about, having your own opinion and debating it sensibly. I completly agree with you regarding Tyson and Holyfield not being at the peak of their powers, but slightly disagree about Lewis, he was definately at his peak tactically, but I don't think physically he was. Lewis IMO had 2 peaks, his physical peak when although amateurish in his style, was fast of hand and foot, and still very powerful, and had better stamina, could fight at a faster pace for longer and this was when he destroyed Ruddock. And his technical peak came after working with steward for a while, like when he fought Holyfield and Tyson. He was a far superior boxer then and a hell of a lot bigger and planted his feet properly when throwing punches, he perfected his uppercuts and hooks as well, and because of this probably hit harder than when he was younger, but had lost a lot of his speed and couldn't fight as hard or for as long. Maybe steward wanted him to bulk up a bit or maybe it just came with age. Had steward been with him from the start he would have been a lot better earlier on. Hope you get the jist of what I'm trying to say, which is we never really saw a peak Lewis. So I would say the victories over Holyfield and Tyson were legitimate.

Regarding your little tournament, it's a shame Ali is up against Lewis as I think this could be the final, but I'll do it your way and then you can try it my way. Personally I think 1. should fight 10. and 2. against 9. carrying on like that, but I'll try it your way. Here goes.

2. Muhammad Ali vs. 10. Lennox Lewis
5. George Foreman vs. 8. Sonny Liston
3. Rocky Marciano vs. 7. Mike Tyson
6. Joe Frazier vs. 9. Jack Dempsey
4. Larry Holmes vs. 1. Joe Louis

Brass mate I started but it doesn't quite work out someone will have to have a bye, needs to be done with 8 or 16 fighters, I'll wait for you to get back.
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#19
Old 08-24-2007, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brassangel View Post
In a randomized bracket:

2. Muhammad Ali vs. 10. Lennox Lewis
5. George Foreman vs. 8. Sonny Liston
3. Rocky Marciano vs. 7. Mike Tyson
6. Joe Frazier vs. 9. Jack Dempsey
4. Larry Holmes vs. 1. Joe Louis

Who wins? Who faces off afterwards? What's the final outcome?
I disagree about Ali always winning of 2 of 3 against elite heavies. He simply never had to face that caliber of prime great heavy, Sonny be damned. The toughest fighter he faced in his prime was Terrell who gave him hell in spite of what you read about that fight. Had Terrell be a big puncher, the outcome might have been different.

A good victory for Ali, but if he looked smallish against Terrell, imagine Terrell on steroids and you have Lewis. Since Ali doesn't have one punch power, any time he does manage to hurt Lewis, Lewis will likely recover before Ali can put him away. In the meantime Lewis would offset Ali's jab with his longer, harder jab, and will be a major offensive threat when Ali has to stop dancing and start fighting.

In his fashion, Ali does have one of the best combinations of natural talent and mental makeups of any fighter in history, but he clowned a bit too much that he got away with against inferior opponents. I don't think we ever saw the best of Ali because of inferior opposition and his forced retirement. Joe Frazier was coming along nicely and likely would have been matched up against Ali in 69/70. Ali would not have been as hungry as he was in 71, but he would've been truer and sharper to his natural style which would alter the nature of the fight somewhat, probably making it even better.

Lewis, close UD.

Foreman, KO 6

Tyson, KO2

Dempsey/Frazier is the hardest pick. Each is a bad match up for the other. Tough, brutal, well schooled fighters. Frazier was a bit of a machine that had to warm up for maximum efficiency though, so I go with Dempsey by early KO, say by 3. Jack is gonna hate it if Joe survives those early rounds though!

Louis, KO 8.
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#20
Old 08-24-2007, 10:48 AM
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Butterbean knocked Holmes down in the last round and should've gotten a 2nd KD when Larry clearly rode the ropes with an iron grip to keep up after the count ended. Lucky for Larry it was only a 10 rounder.

Butterbean better than Larry and maybe Moe and Curly too!
larry was 52, moved like he ws 72 and still came away with the win thanks to his intelligence and guile
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