Originally Posted by groove
ali would've had 20 defences by 1970 without exile so it definitely hurt his legacy. we missed ali's peak years - frazier beat a very good ali but he wasn't peak. he would have beaten louis record of 25 defences and maybe called it a day a lot earlier with less losses on his record.
Another way of looking at it,is that ego may have tempted Muhammad back when he was already in his thirties,and his comeback would probably not have been so successful as it was in real time.