Originally Posted by TIGEREDGE
PEOPLE TALK about mike tysons oppostion in the 80's being poor, what about Ali's:
Liston: Two fights with Ali were a fixed. He was on the take no doubt about. probably very old is well
Cleveland Williams: Well past it
Ernie Terrel: Berbick, thomas, old holmes and co were as good as him
Cooper: same as terrel
Patterson: Good fighter who had saw better days
george chuvalo: very tough but a decent fighter at best
zora folley: well past it
brian london: never was. same with Karl Mildenberger
Let's take this one opponent at a time.
* Personally, I don't think the first fight was fixed; Liston took quite a beating during those six rounds, and wasn't going to win that fight that evening. There's been a lot of speculation about the rematch being a dive, but I, personally, thought that Ali looked pretty good that evening, and that the punch he landed was good enough to drop (though certainly not stop Liston). Liston was considered all but unbeatable going into the first fight, so that makes Ali's victory pretty impressive.
*Patterson may have been past his peak, but he was hardly shot. He was coming off of good wins over Chuvalo, Machen, and Tod Herring. He would, of course, go on to give Quarry two extremely tough fights (draw in the first), and to lose a very disputed decision to Jimmy Ellis. He was still legit, and this makes the win a good result for Ali.
* Folley may have been past his best, but, he was on a pretty good run, and was still considered a credible contender going into the fight.
*Williams may have been shot, but he was still considered a legitimate puncher, and was still rated in the Top 10 at the time.
*Terrell may not have been special, but he was still, again, a credible contender, who happened to be at his peak going into the fight with Ali.
*Chuvalo: Credible contender.
*Mildenberger: Credible contender, who was on a very good run, against some good fighters.
*Cooper: Tough fringe contender, who happened to knock Ali down in a previous fight- making the rematch a natural.
So, really, you only have one defence that could be considered truly "soft" (two if you count Williams), but the rest were against fighters who were pretty solid, for the most part. That's not a bad ratio, at all.