Originally Posted by Senya13
People tend to mis-read (and thus mis-quote) what I say.
His way to the top was a disgrace, not him capturing the title against Frazier. According to Boxing Register, from 1969 to 1972 he only faced 2 ranked opponents, George Chuvalo and Gregorio Peralta. Same as in his second career, he only faced two ranked opponents to get a title shot against Moorer, and he lost both fights (Holyfield and Morrison).
While what Senya is saying is true, the bald truth is most fighters don't clean out the division like Sonny Liston did to earn a title shot. Frazier gave title shots to lesser men as champion. Ali fought some real 2nd raters for title shots too. The champion picked his opponents in those days for the most part.
I think what matters most is what a champion does after he wins the title. Does he sit on it? Does he fight often? Does he fight the best? Foreman fought Norton and Ali when he was champion. Then after that he meet, Lyle, Young, and gave a re-match to Frazier. These guys were the cream of the crop in the 1970's. Only one of Foreman’s title opponents was an easy mark. Foreman was never a protected fighter once be became champion in the 1970's.
His comeback version was rather protected though.