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Old 07-03-2007, 06:17 AM   #47
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Default Re: Lennox Lewis v Muhammad Ali

The Terrell fight was discussed before, I think. Terrell used his jab very little, fighting an unusual fight for himself. They are in different classes with Lewis in most departments, whether it's skills or natural abilities. Lewis won't be walking forward passively behind a high guard and only start fighting in close. Plus, Terrell had a damaged eye early in the fight, so he had to basically fight Ali one-eyed. In all the Terrell fight gives us no hints whatsoever about what Lewis-Ali fight would be like.
Norton exploited a very simple thing in all three fights, with that step forward with a jab and protect against Ali's jab whenever Ali desided to throw it. How a "master" like Ali couldn't find antidote for it, is beyond understanding. Lewis was faster than Norton, and had longer reach, he'd be hitting Ali the same way Norton did all night long, and unlike Norton, he'd follow it up with something else, and uppercut or a cross. Ali never used his back hand to protect his head while throwing a jab, he always kept it low. And while throwing a jab, he stayed upright for a moment, he couldn't step back and lean away from a punch at such moments, or use body movement to avoid getting hit with a cross. Lewis will use his timing to calculate where Ali will be while throwing his jab, and step forward with a cross (one clean right cross to the chin of completely open Ali at such moments, and he's not getting up).
The guys with punching power that Ali fought were mediocre and predictable boxers. Both Foreman and Shavers were poorly skilled, not very clever. Still Foreman's slow heavy punches were enough to get Ali out on his feet, on his own admission. Lewis was a lot more accurate and sharp puncher than either, he didn't throw punches with a hope of them landing, he looked for openings or he worked to create them, with footwork, feints or angles.
It's funny how you bring up "speed of hand and foot" and in the same section mention fights with Lyle, Bonavena, Frazier and Foreman. Ali defeated these fighters not with "speed of hand and foot" (which had considerably diminished by this point), but by toughness. But toughness is good when you get average punishment during long time, not when you get clocked by sharp accurate puncher where you are unprepared for the punch that hit you.
Ali's punching power was mediocre at best. He couldn't get many people to respect it, there's nothing he can hit Lewis with to make Lennox respect it, and he'll have a hard time trying to hit him in the first place at all.
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