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View Poll Results: Ali`s Prime?
Late 60-s 24 88.89%
Middle 70-s 3 11.11%
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:56 PM #1
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Default Ali`s Prime!

When one is talking about one`s prime, he is probably talking about the age when the fighter showed his best qualities, and was a "complete" fighter.

As many recognize Ali as the greatest Heavyweight, and sometimes a greatest boxer of all time, i want to know which Ali are we actually talking about?

I think it would be fair to distinguish, so-to-say the "early" Ali - the one who fought in late sixties, and the "late" Ali - middle seventies...

Who was a better fighter, if not taking to consideration the opposition and achievements...

There is hardly a man on the planet who doesn`t know his "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee". This is the "early" Ali. He had, arguably, the best moving speed of all Heavyweights, incredible hand speed, nice reflexes and good defense which was based on those. He had pretty good punching power, though it was a little bit overrated due to his numerous TKO stoppages and "KO" of Liston in the rematch...
He had plenty of those incredible qualities, BUT!!! He was, like, knocked out by Henry Cooper, and, arguably, only his corner helped him to survive that fight... The guy didn`t have a strong chin! What could possibly such fighters like Frazier or Shavers do to him... Shouldn`t even mention Foreman here...
And he didn`t survive the wars during his first championship, his durability could be questioned...

Then, after a three-year layoff another Ali returned... Many of his fans like to generalize and say that he had lost SPEED. Though it is quite wrong in my opinion. He became slower, in the moving aspect, but his hand speed hardly changed. It still was incredibly fast. As his reflexes and movement speed lowered somewhat, i think he gained other qualities which made him one of the best heavyweight boxers ever. Those were:
1 Rock solid chin. He was capable of surviving flurries of the guys like Frazier, Shavers, Foreman and so on... After that crushing knock down in 15th round of first Frazier fight, he was getting up at once, and then survived the whole round... Could young Ali do that? I doubt...
2 Incredible durability end endurance... He could take numerous shots to the body, fight for fifteen hard rounds in incredible heat and then come back... When i was watching the "Thrilla" i was like O_o when i saw him coming back in the later rounds... Could young Ali survive such Wars and come back? ...


So as for me, the "prime" of one of the most recognizable boxers of all time, is pretty hard to be determined. How do you think? /discuss

P.S. I`m sorry for numerous mistakes. It is hard for a Ukrainian guy to write so much...And sorry if i doubled someone`s thread... "Search" didn`t help

Last edited by ~Alar~; 05-09-2009 at 03:23 AM.
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Old 05-08-2009, 08:00 PM #2
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I feel that his prime as a fighter was during the Cleveland Williams, Ernie Terrell and Zora Folley bouts.
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:59 AM #3
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I think Ali's prime would've been 67 to 71 (without the ban,) which is to say that he was robbed of most of his prime.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:44 AM #4
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Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Alar~ View Post
He had plenty of those incredible qualities, BUT!!! He was, like, knocked out by Henry Cooper, and, arguably, only his corner helped him to survive that fight... The guy didn`t have a strong chin! What could possibly such fighters like Frazier or Shavers do to him... Shouldn`t even mention Foreman here...
And he didn`t survive the wars during his first championship, his durability could be questioned...
Ali got nailed by Cooper but was up by 3, I believe. Personaly I can't question his durability. The knockdown was at the end of the round and the extra time was minimal. I use to question that knockdown myself but have since changed my opinion. He came out and took care of buisness in the very next round.
Quote:
Then, after a three-year layoff another Ali returned... Many of his fans like to generalize and say that he had lost SPEED. Though it is quite wrong in my opinion. He became slower, in the moving aspect, but his hand speed hardly changed. It still was incredibly fast. As his reflexes and movement speed lowered somewhat, i think he gained other qualities which made him one of the best heavyweight boxers ever. Those were:
1 Rock solid chin. He was capable of surviving flurries of the guys like Frazier, Shavers, Foreman and so on... After that crushing knock down in 15th round of first Frazier fight, he was getting up at once, and then survived the whole round... Could young Ali do that? I doubt...
2 Incredible durability end endurance... He could take numerous shots to the body, fight for fifteen hard rounds in incredible heat and then come back... When i was watching the "Thrilla" i was like O_o when i saw him coming back in the later rounds... Could young Ali survive such Wars and come back? ...

I think pre ban Ali was physicaly and wouldn't get dragged into the wars he fought post ban because of his remarkable gifts. But the Ali of the 70's was a very smart fighter and much craftier in my opinion. All in all though I would favor the version of Ali right before his ban as the best.

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P.S. I`m sorry for numerous mistakes. It is hard for a Ukrainian guy to write so much...And sorry if i doubled someone`s thread... "Search" didn`t help
You're fine my friend. There are American posters on here with a much, much worse grasp of the english language. Im probably one of them. Keep posting.
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Old 05-09-2009, 04:57 AM #5
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Ali's physical prime was in the 60's no doubt. he was visibly faster and better conditioned early in his career. In the mid 70's he was definitley a smarter fighter but he had to be because he just didn't have the same physical capabilities anymore and he knew it. recognizing the need to make that adjustment in his fighting style is what got Ali those wins in the 70's and that is one of the many reasons Ali is the greatest HW of all-time.

Last edited by -Swizzy-; 05-09-2009 at 05:02 AM.
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:57 AM #6
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I don't think we ever got to see Ali in his prime, I think he would have been in his prime during the 3 year layoff. But the best Ali we ever saw was against Cleveland Williams IMO, he put everything together that night.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:11 AM #7
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His physical prime was doubt doubt during the 60's.

But what's a much more interesting question to me is which version of Ali was the better fighter ; 60's or 70's?

Most people always say the 60's version, but he was a much more intelligent, seasoned fighter during the 70's than he was in the 60's.

He certainly had some career defining moments post-exile against Frazier, Norton, Patterson, and Foreman.

It really makes me wonder what he could've accomplished, had he not been exiled.

He's already widely regarded as the greatest Heavyweight of all time by many, though some people (myself included) put Joe Louis in that spot.

Had it not been for the exile, there really may have been no doubt as to who was #1.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:32 AM #8
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Ali's prime was from the second Liston fight to his exile in the late 60's. He was not in his prime when Cooper nailed him with that hook. From the first Liston fight to the second, there is a big difference in Ali's physique, he filled out dramatically in terms of muscle. I also think that fight is where he truly started with his "dancing" style, in the previous fight with Liston he was more flat-footed by far.

I also think, that while the 70's version of Ali was more intelligent, the 60's Ali's athleticism trumped that advantage by a mile. You couldn't touch that Ali, so you couldn't win rounds/do damage against him unless he let you. While the 70's Ali still had fast hands, but didn't have the elusiveness at all of young Ali so he had to win fights with guile/guts.

Last edited by HitBattousai; 05-09-2009 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 05-09-2009, 09:55 AM #9
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Old 05-09-2009, 11:47 AM #10
GJC GJC is offline
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Sadly Ali's prime was spent doing campus tours during his ban.
Physically his prime for me was around the Terrell fight mentally probably around the Foreman fight. Great thing about Ali was he used his experience and adjusted to the problem he had in front of him, so many fighters are the same fighter in their 40th fight as their 10th.
The top HW for me followed by Louis, though would love to see someone leap above them in the future.
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