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Old 07-07-2007, 04:00 PM   #29
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman : 2

Originally Posted by Stonehands89
Clancy may be my favorite expert commentator as well as a favorite trainer. Emile was built on his brain. I still hold a bit of a grudge against him for the advice he gave De La Hoya that prompted the Trinidad loss. And I am not positive that he was the best psychologist for post-Zaire Foreman. Foreman needed that as much as a sensible training regiment... he had to be rebuilt from the inside out!

As it was, it took Jesus and a 10 year lay-off didn't it...

The Ali foil (and for that matter, the Jones and Holyfield foil as well) was Eddie Futch. Futch was in my opinion the single best strategist ever and I go back and forth with him and Arcel as to who is the best corner man of all time.

Eddie Futch.
I have to admit, I liked the distinctive sound of Clancy's voice on those CBS broadcasts, and thought he and Tim Ryan made an enjoyable team. Have you read Corner Men: Great Boxing Trainers, by Ronald K. Fried? For me, that clinched my opinion that Eddie Futch was the sport's foremost strategist. (Larry Holmes has also stated that while Arcel was a superb cut man and corner man, Futch really knew his business.) This shouldn't be tremendously surprising. Although Arcel started much earlier in boxing than Futch, Ray was completely out of the sport for around 20 years, resulting in Futch surpassing him as the most experienced trainer in boxing history.

In Arcel's 1972 comeback with Peppermint Frazer, he brilliantly engineered Frazer's dethroning of Nicolino Locche. However, Ray was never able to produce a challenger to dethrone Joe Louis, going 0-15 against the Brown Bomber before Joe's comeback against Ezzard Charles. On the other hand, Futch is well known as Ali's nemesis (even more so, since Ali sometimes didn't listen to Dundee's advice), and Eddie was the architect of Mike Spinks's brilliant LH career. Nobody was able to beat Larry Holmes with Futch and Arcel in his corner, or even put Larry on the deck (Ritchie Giachetti was still his trainer for Shavers and Snipes). Larry has stated that his physical peak was achieved while working with Futch and Arcel, a key factor in my rating of peak Holmes in the all-time HW top three (along with peak Dempsey and peak Ali).

I think Clancy and Griffith really put each other in the IBHOF. For all the rounds Griffith fought, he didn't appear to sustain any noticable brain damage from boxing. (That came as a result of being mugged and beaten up, long after he retired.) Perhaps it made a difference that Clancy has a Masters in Phys Ed. (A remarkable level of education for a fight trainer.)

Although Foreman shortened up his punches under Clancy's tutelage, he did disregard the recommendation to acclimate to conditions in Puerto Rico. The idea of Futch strategizing for George against Ali is an intriguing thought (and one Muhammad might be very relieved to have never had materialize).
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