Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
No, these are merely opinions and they will always remain opinions.
And so then are most of the following statements in your post :
Fact is that Wlad has superior handspeed to just about every of Ali's opponent with a few exceptions, Frazier, Patterson and a few others. He has power as good any of them with the only exception being Foreman and Shavers. But he has better handspeed and delivery than both of them. He has more size than any of his opponents.
He has a great, fast heavy jab and Ali has been troubled by good jabs.
Wlad's weaknesses are power punchers and pressure fighters. Ali and Holmes are the complete opposite of that. You said Wlad's vurnerable. Well guess what, so is Ken Norton but he gave Ali problems that he never solved in 45 rounds.
Holmes is somewhat susceptible to straight right hands and Wladimir has one of the best of the past thirty years. Only Lewis' straight right hand was better and even that's close. Janitor made the rightful point that Holmes always struggled against the better fighters he faced (Norton, Witherspoon, Weaver, Williams). Are those fighters really that much better than Wlad?
I favor Ali over Wlad and i think Holmes/Wlad is a tossup. Both are lightyears greater than Wlad.
But to say that Wlad has only a slim chance against either is selling Wlad short, i think. Wlad has very good stylistic matchup against either of them.
I'm not saying Ali would make it look easy, but I'd strongly favour him to win.
Wlad is a big target with relatively slow feet and a stand-up style. For all his strengths (the speed, power, arsenal etc.) I dont see him getting the better of Ali.
It's all very well saying Ali "stuggled with X" and "Y gave him trouble" but he never lost to anyone who fought in a stand-up style near his prime. I dont see him losing to someone as orthodox
as Wlad, esp. if I think Ali had more of that intangible greatness quality.
Ali "struggled" with Ron Lyle but I'd make him a favourite over Lyle every day of the week.
If Wlad had a Norton-eque style I'd see an argument, but a stand-up 6'6 fighter is there to be figured out by Ali in a 12 or 15 round fight, and when I factored in their PROVEN abilities and the quality of greatness that Ali possessed then I dont see how my claims that Ali should be a strong favourite are in any way less than objective.
Fights aren't always won it effortless fashion but the great fighters have a knack of always winning
against the slightly less great, unless they happen to meet a fighter who has a esp. awkward style for them. Wlad's style is nothing Ali wouldn't basically figure out in jig-time, IMO, and while I can see Wlad proving himself deserving of sharing the ring and competing with Ali I would give him little chance of producing a "win" result.
We're talking about Ali at his best, no less.