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Old 09-28-2011, 07:10 AM   #16
Duodenum
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Default Re: Ali-Frazier III. What if ...?

Ali was very competition sharpened going into this one. Frazier's only wins since the FOTC were Daniels, Stander, Bugner, Quarry II and Ellis II. Get this. Joe Frazier in Manila was the only opponent of the GOAT's after Doug Jones in March 1963, who had more than one defeat in his previous five bouts.

Muhammad got off to a fast start in Manila, just as he'd done in 1974. When Smoke rallied in the middle rounds to turn the tide, Ali settled in to tough it out for the long haul. Joe hadn't gone the championship distance since that FOTC in MSG. Both his previous bouts with Muhammad were held indoors during the winter. Bonavena II was during 1968 at the Spectrum in November. Ali was coming off Bugner II in the outdoor midday heat of Kuala Lumpur.

In Manila had been scheduled for 12 rounds, Muhammad probably would have trained as he did for Norton II and Frazier II, gotten himself back down to around 212, and be prepared to maintain a faster pace. Make him over a dozen pounds lighter than he was for Manila, and you have the most lopsided decision win of their trilogy. He'd again jackrabbit out to an early lead, and Joe simply wouldn't have a chance to catch up on the cards.

Frazier only scored two knockdowns in his last nine fights, one apiece on Bugner and in the JQ rematch. He wasn't able to drop an aging Ellis in the prelude to Manila. His best shot in the Philippines was the one he actually got, with an overconfident and undertrained Ali, and it wasn't enough. There's no way Joe wins a 12 round Fight III in October 1975, with the way Wepner, Lyle and Bugner had extended Muhammad all year long. Ali was simply too battle ready, even without first rate training and a minimal weight.
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:58 AM   #17
Stevie G
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Default Re: Ali-Frazier III. What if ...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Duodenum View Post
Ali was very competition sharpened going into this one. Frazier's only wins since the FOTC were Daniels, Stander, Bugner, Quarry II and Ellis II. Get this. Joe Frazier in Manila was the only opponent of the GOAT's after Doug Jones in March 1963, who had more than one defeat in his previous five bouts.

Muhammad got off to a fast start in Manila, just as he'd done in 1974. When Smoke rallied in the middle rounds to turn the tide, Ali settled in to tough it out for the long haul. Joe hadn't gone the championship distance since that FOTC in MSG. Both his previous bouts with Muhammad were held indoors during the winter. Bonavena II was during 1968 at the Spectrum in November. Ali was coming off Bugner II in the outdoor midday heat of Kuala Lumpur.

In Manila had been scheduled for 12 rounds, Muhammad probably would have trained as he did for Norton II and Frazier II, gotten himself back down to around 212, and be prepared to maintain a faster pace. Make him over a dozen pounds lighter than he was for Manila, and you have the most lopsided decision win of their trilogy. He'd again jackrabbit out to an early lead, and Joe simply wouldn't have a chance to catch up on the cards.

Frazier only scored two knockdowns in his last nine fights, one apiece on Bugner and in the JQ rematch. He wasn't able to drop an aging Ellis in the prelude to Manila. His best shot in the Philippines was the one he actually got, with an overconfident and undertrained Ali, and it wasn't enough. There's no way Joe wins a 12 round Fight III in October 1975, with the way Wepner, Lyle and Bugner had extended Muhammad all year long. Ali was simply too battle ready, even without first rate training and a minimal weight.
Good post. I agree entirely.
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