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#1
Old 02-29-2012, 01:25 AM
Capaedia
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Default The greatest figure in the history of the sport?

Johnson's fights could tear a a country apart, Dempsey bought boxing back into the mainstream, people would go out in the streets and celebrate a Louis victory or cry over a loss, Tyson had everyone interested in boxing again.

I was watching the last part of Reznick's Top 20 Heavyweights (hell of a video, even if I have a few issues with his rankings, give the Ali part a look at the very least) and I got to thinking.

Ali's story in boxing has become a fairytale, seriously, think about it. A brash loud-mouthed young challenger who to plenty of people's despair, proves himself time and time again by clearing out the division in impressive style, outside powers put a stop to his run. Later he comes back to fight everyone who was anyone again (beating everyone of note up until Holmes) with some of the most memorable fights of all time (Frazier I and III, Foreman) and sadly sticking around far too long.

Is there any boxing footage more memorable than the combination that finishes off Foreman?

This isn't a thread about whether Ali was a good person, or whether he was overrated, whether he got gift decisions, or whether Joe Louis deserves the #1 spot on the video *cough* There are other threads for that

What I'm wonder is does anyone think anyone transcends boxing like Ali did? Does anyone come close?

(I'm going to physically shoot the first person to say Pacquiao, I swear, I'll do it)
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#2
Old 02-29-2012, 01:28 AM
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For a second I was horrified because I thought I put this in NSB.

What a nightmare that would be.
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#3
Old 02-29-2012, 01:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Capaedia View Post
For a second I was horrified because I thought I put this in NSB.

What a nightmare that would be.
Oh Sweet Jesus with people spamming the thread with Floyd, Manny, and the Klits :hypnotised9:
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#4
Old 02-29-2012, 01:36 AM
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Apart from Ali, mabye big John L Sullivan?

He was kind of larger than life American fokelore than transcended boxing.
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#5
Old 02-29-2012, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by poet682006 View Post
Oh Sweet Jesus with people spamming the thread with Floyd, Manny, and the Klits :hypnotised9:
I'm more worried about how it would quickly become Klitschko > Ali than anything else.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Young Money View Post
Apart from Ali, mabye big John L Sullivan?

He was kind of larger than life American fokelore than transcended boxing.
Interesting suggestion, do you have any anecdotes?
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#6
Old 02-29-2012, 04:29 AM
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Joe Louis vs Max Schmeling II was one of the first instances in history where black and white Americans alike both rooted for the black man over a white man.
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#7
Old 02-29-2012, 05:22 AM
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well, the openning comments were very much focused on the west...

tyson this, louis that...

but i mean, for example you go to thailand and you see the degree of popularity, influence and perceived greatness of say.... khaosai galaxy? or in panama on how they perceive roberto duran? man... do you have any idea how big pacquiao is in his homeland? all such examples will dwarf what ali or louis was / is to america...

but yes, yes... i know that it is in the west where the action was / is and most of the influential media (websites, print and broadcast) in the world are west-centric...

ultimately, yes the obvious choices would be the alis, louis', and tysons of the world, ( and i agree ) but i reckon an added perception and viewpoint wouldn't hurt...
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#8
Old 02-29-2012, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talip bin osman View Post
well, the openning comments were very much focused on the west...

tyson this, louis that...

but i mean, for example you go to thailand and you see the degree of popularity, influence and perceived greatness of say.... khaosai galaxy? or in panama on how they perceive roberto duran? man... do you have any idea how big pacquiao is in his homeland? all such examples will dwarf what ali or louis was / is to america...

but yes, yes... i know that it is in the west where the action was / is and most of the influential media (websites, print and broadcast) in the world are west-centric...

ultimately, yes the obvious choices would be the alis, louis', and tysons of the world, ( and i agree ) but i reckon an added perception and viewpoint wouldn't hurt...
Heavyweight champion has always been the most prestigious of the champions historically. For whatever reason, America has up until recently been THE nation of heavyweight champions.

That's just the way it is. For the record this isn't a relative to their country thing. Ali and the heavyweights of the '70s were particularly huge internationally and domestically, as were Tyson and Holyfield, to a much lesser extent Louis and Dempsey.

Those examples don't really transcend the sport either. What did Roberto Duran or Galaxy do in that regard? Pacquiao transcends the sport, sure. But do you think he compares to Ali?

EDIT: For the record, the opening comments were probably in favour of the West because I am from the 'West', the media focuses on things important and relevant, to the West. Collect different perspectives, perhaps because they have been exposed to different media.
The idea of this thread is to discuss whether anyone has a shot. Not declare Ali the greatest, if you have a case, make it.

Last edited by Capaedia; 02-29-2012 at 06:51 AM.
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#9
Old 02-29-2012, 08:34 AM
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It probably is Ali.

Taken as a full package............easily one of the best pound for pound boxers ever to lace them up. An easy top 3 (arguably number 1) greatest heavyweight ever. An iconic political/religious/controversial figure. One of the most famous faces worldwide for over 5 decades. An interviewers/talkshow hosts dream. A poet/university speaker. Even a movie star.

45 years after his prime and 31 years since his retirement most schoolchildren recognise his face and know who he is! Could that be said for any other boxer in history?

Nobody tops all this!
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Old 02-29-2012, 12:17 PM
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It probably is Ali.

Taken as a full package............easily one of the best pound for pound boxers ever to lace them up. An easy top 3 (arguably number 1) greatest heavyweight ever. An iconic political/religious/controversial figure. One of the most famous faces worldwide for over 5 decades. An interviewers/talkshow hosts dream. A poet/university speaker. Even a movie star.

45 years after his prime and 31 years since his retirement most schoolchildren recognise his face and know who he is! Could that be said for any other boxer in history?

Nobody tops all this!
As for that last point though it's only due to these times. Louis would have been like that 50 years ago. When Ali dies people will recognize him less I'm certain.
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