Originally Posted by Synthetic Decay
Alis' resume is built on him being tested by all manner of styles after he had established himself and fighting a very high level of opposition. Demspey wasn't one of the greatest champs ever, his level of opposition throughout his whole career is terrible, he got completely schooled against the best fighter he fought twice and ducked the two best fighters outside of that for the better part of a decade. Briggs would be a decent comparison, only i think he is more proven.
Yes Ali fought all manner of fighters and that included two highly suspicious fights and unsatisfactory outcomes versus Sonny Liston, defences at his peak versus past it and injured Patterson who still managed to get through 12 rounds, a fairly good British heavyweight in Cooper, Brian London - who his own country wouldn't even sanction to face Ali (!!), an average karl Mildenberger, a veteran Folley, a shot (literally) Cleve, then he LOST to Frazier, then he LOST to Norton too arguably twice to Norton, in my view he was pretty clearly outpointed by Shavers and think Jimmy Young eeked a points win over him too - amongst the fillers were such luminaries as Jurgen blin, Joe Bugner, Rudi Lubbers, Chuck Wepner, Jean Pierre Coopman, Richard Dunn, Alfredo Evangelista, etc etc then he managed to lose to Leon Spinks aswell - this is an awful bunch of opponents - and a lot of those were title challengers aswell so don't give me any bull about Ali has stellar competition - his greatness for me was solidified by only two fights for me and they were his two best performances in the 2nd fight with norton and the fight with Foreman - the Lyle fight was stopped prematurely after Lyle had pretty much dominated the fight aswell?? Do I really need to go on?? There are swings and roundabouts with all fighters but Ali and Dempsey were great fighters both - I'd actually say that Dempsey pre-title run was as demanding as anys - certainly more demanding than Ali's by a long chalk