Originally Posted by Seamus
Absolutely agree about Foreman.
The difference between Ali and Dempsey is that Ali actually had a credible reign as heavyweight champion and as a contender after he was stripped and before he regained the championship. He did not avoid his two greatest challengers. He did not sit on the title. With Dempsey you get neither a great ascendancy to the throne nor a great reign. In fact, it is all a game of shadows and some myth making about a single day in Toledo. Where I come from we call that "All hat and no cattle."
Credible? Ali and Dempseys reigns were both
credible?? Ali's initially winning the title is shrouded in confusion and doubt for me - not really convinced about anything about the Liston fights I'm afraid so if anything I'd say for definate that Dempseys win was without any doubt 100 times more emphatic - then I would say that in his prime years Dempsey never embarrassed the title by fighting anyone who was as big a joke as Brian London!! And Ali never met a pure boxer as good as Tommy Gibbons in his entire career that is for sure - and Dempsey decisioned him. Ali in his prime days should've fought Eddie Machen - I don't penalise him to the extent of lowering my ranking of him because my ranking of him is based on how good I think he is head to head and him having missed Machen is just circumstance - then when he came back he LOST to Frazier and then LOST to Norton so no 'credible' contenders hip there - yes then he did well to get back in frame with my 2nd favourite performance of his career beating norton in the rematch and then produced his most impressive win against Foreman - but then he just drifted back into defending against a shoddy bunch o challengers getting gift decisions against norton Shavers and Young and then losing embarrassingly to 7 fight novice Leon Spinks and the rest is history - whereas Dempsey only had the one reign but didn't lose until he was past it unlike Ali - Dempsey while peak every fight was a HUGE event and every opponent knew they were in real danger every second they were in there with Dempsey again unlike Ali's opponents - Dempsey never coasted to the point where he may have been being reliant on judges who were being impressed upon by the flash - Ali lost and lost again and had to rebuild each time to get back to where he wanted to be - Dempsey just exploded on the scene brutalised the reignin champ to take the title in vicious fashion and then reigned through a series of excited explosive contests and then became past it and lost - he then beat a future champ to earn a rematch and then did himself proud when past it already to come this close to stopping his young prime victor knocking him down for the only time in his career - Dempsey didn't embarrass himself and the title by allowing himself to get bet by a 7-fight novice that's for damn sure - there are pros and cons to boths reigns and careers but its all circumstance - fact is both amazed their generation and many generations following to the point where both were popularly considered to be the best heavyweight of all time going away and to be considered far and away the best heavyweight of all time (and by many the best P4P aswell), as Dempsey was, is not something that people just think of anyone without strong reason for doing so