Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?
The rematch could well be in 1971. In my scenario Frazier's gets beaten by Foreman on his comeback and therefore doesn't get another shot until 1972. But in either case I believe Ali would have won. He would still be under 30 and probably even better than he was in 1967. I don't see Frazier beating that version of Ali if he's properly prepared.
Norton would always be trouble for Ali, but seeing how close it was in real life (at least on the judges score cards) I feel Ali would have nicked if it hadn't been for the lay-off.