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
Don't get me wrong, ali made up for this in the 70's. his resume in the later years was better than any hw in history.
But people talk about ALI THIS, ALI THAT IN HIS PRIME. JOE FRAZIER AND THE REST WOULD NEVER STAND A CHANCE
Solid points. But in the end, Ali beat the best competition, which makes him #1. The man had TKO wins over Liston, Frazier, and Foreman. These three are almost always viewed as top 15 heavies. They are often viewed as top ten. In some cases Foreman, Liston and Frazier are seen as the top 5 ( 4 or 5 ) heavies.
I beleive three key fights, one
gift decision, and two fights that did not happen make Ali #1.
The 3rd Frazier fight, the Foreman fight, and a gift decision in the 3rd Norton fight. I will elaborate a bit.
1 ) The rubber match between Ali and Frazier gave the winner an edge over the other. It was a great fight!
2 ) Ali's key win is over Foreman. Foreman blew out Frazier and Norton, and was a feared man in his prime. Ali took the title from him.
3 ) The third factor is Norton. If Norton had an official 2-1 edge over Ali, Ali could not be viewed as the greatest. Sorry, it’s true.
Now for the two fights that did not happen. Ali is lucky Foreman did not lose to Lyle via TKO/KO ( and it was close to happening ), or fight Holmes and lose, because if he did, Foreman's value isn't the same. However Holmes value goes through the roof.
Ali is also lucky Holmes did not fight a post Manila Frazier, because Holmes would have knocked a past his prime Frazier out.
If you give Holmes a win over Foreman or
Frazier, and give Norton the 3rd fight vs Ali ( 2-1 in the series ) plus Holmes pasting of Ali, I honestly believe we have a new #1 heavyweight.
-Summary Holmes beat Norton. Ali loses the series to Norton 1-2.
-Holmes beats Foreman by doing a Jimmy Young take two, or beats a past his prime Frazier. Same as Ali. Pick one.
-Holmes pounds a past his prime Ali in 1980...just like it happened.
- Holmes makes it to 48-0 with a loaded “ name resume “ only losing to age to Spinks, then gets robbed in the re-match.
Of course this is a what if speculation, but after studying the time lines and style match ups things could have broke Holmes way.