Originally Posted by mr. magoo
1. Ali defeated Foreman in convincing fashion. Following the Ali loss, Foreman's career went on a downslide. I'm not sure if he was the #1 contender, but his performance in the first fight did not necessarily warrant a rematch in my opinion.
2. How did Ali avoid the rising Holmes, when the two were sparring partners working in the same camp? What's more, Holmes was pretty much a nobody until about 1977. Meanwhile, Ali was busy taking on far more established fighters in Norton, Young, Shavers, and some others.
Foreman was the #1 contender in 1974--He dropped in 1976 because of inactivity, but quickly regained the #1 spot in 1976 and held it through most of 1977. However decisive Ali's win over Foreman, Foreman had more decisively defeated Frazier and Norton, who got the shots. There was plenty of buzz among boxing fans about a rematch after Foreman's wins over Lyle (who had beaten Shavers) and Frazier in 1976, but Ali was busy fighting Dunn, Coopman, Evangelista, etc and somehow never got around to George again.
Johnson also had decisively defeated the black dynamite fighters but you still score him for not defending against them when he held the white title.
I yield the Holmes point to you. Howard Cosell began talking up Holmes in 1976 or so, but Holmes really didn't do enough to get excited about prior to 1978 or so.