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Old 05-16-2008, 12:28 PM   #31
Bokaj
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

The rematch could well be in 1971. In my scenario Frazier's gets beaten by Foreman on his comeback and therefore doesn't get another shot until 1972. But in either case I believe Ali would have won. He would still be under 30 and probably even better than he was in 1967. I don't see Frazier beating that version of Ali if he's properly prepared.

Norton would always be trouble for Ali, but seeing how close it was in real life (at least on the judges score cards) I feel Ali would have nicked if it hadn't been for the lay-off.
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:47 PM   #32
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

Foreman didnt get into the title pic until 73 though, Fraizer still gets a other shot vs Ali in 71 imo.
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Old 05-16-2008, 12:56 PM   #33
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

Foreman was ranked nr. 2 by the Ring Magazine for 1970, so considering that Ali would have beaten just about every other challenger I think it's reasonable to guess that he would have gotten his title shot in 1971. But of course it could have been later.

The reason why he didn't get a shot at the title until 1973 was that Frazier took it very, very easy after FOTC, only taking on two unranked challengers during the following two years. At the beginning of 1973 Foreman had been ranked second, third and second for the three previous years, so it was either him or Ali (who had been ranked as number one for the whole of that period). Foreman was probably thought to be the easier of the two, but...
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:20 PM   #34
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

In the long run, probably helped it, though it hurt Ali personally.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:32 PM   #35
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

It added to Muhammad's legacy. Coming back like that. Superb.
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Old 11-29-2012, 12:33 PM   #36
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

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Originally Posted by Bokaj View Post
This is how a see Ali's career unfolding if not for the exile:

1967-1969: He cleans out the division, breezes through guys like Spencer, Quarry, Bonavena, Ellis, Ramos and Mac Foster. His most noteworthy defense during this time is against the impressive contender Joe Frazier, that some feel beforehand can really trouble Ali. Knowing Frazier is a slow starter Ali goes out quick and start throwing combinations behind the jab earlier than usual. After losing almost all of the first 5 rounds Frazier comes out in the sixth like he's just getting started and starts to get to Ali with the left hook more. Ali takes some of the best punches he's ever taken and loses most of the middle rounds. But this is Ali at his absolute peak, and in the tenth and eleventh rounds he comes back strong and rocks Joe. He takes enough of the remaining rounds to win a fairly comfortable decision. Frazier has the puffy, marked face of the two, but Ali walks gingerly out of the ring and the effect of Frazier's hooks are highly visible on the right side of his jaw.

1970-1975: At the beginning of the decade there doesn't seem to be anyone who can really challenge Ali. He wins rematches against Chuvalo and Bonavena and easily dispatches of a couple of other challengers before all of a sudden George Foreman comes along as the next big thing after destroying a comebacking Joe Frazier. He is touted as being a young version of Liston and is fancied by some to actually beat Ali since Ali's chin hasn't really been that tested yet. But Ali silences the doubters by giving Foreman a thorough boxing lesson and knocking him out late. Foreman lands a couple of good punches, but all that does is to prove once and for all Ali can take a good punch.

After that Ali rematches Quarry and Patterson and beats Bob Foster and Bugner before he takes on Frazier again, in the end of 1972. This time Ali fights more cautiously during the first 10 rounds - dancing behind the jab and clinching when Fraziers gets close - but turns it on for the last five. He has Frazier in some trouble in these rounds, but Frazier responds in turn and rocks him. In the last round Frazier, desperately behind on points, chases and Ali plays it safe. He wins a clear UD.

By now Ali's supremacy is total and his only real opponent seems to be advancing age. But in the very next fight Ken Norton comes out of nowhere and gives Ali his toughest fight ever. Ali doesn't suffer a broken jaw in this one, though, and manages to grind out a close and somewhat controversial decision. After dispatching of Lyle and Shavers he gives Norton a rematch in 1974. Also this one is very tough, but Ali's better prepared and wins an un-controversial but still pretty close decision. After that he claims a couple of easy victories - rematches Bugner and defeats Wepner among others. Then in 1975 he encounters surprisingly tough resistance from Jimmy Young, but takes home the UD.

1976-1979: Ali's age is really beginning to make itself known during these years, but he still has enough to beat his challengers. He defeats a Coopman and wins a rematch over Young before taking on former sparring partner Larry Holmes in late 1976. Ali takes home a close and somewhat controversial decision. He makes two more easy defenses (Evangelista being one of them) and then retires, beating both Marciano's and Louis's records with some margin and is considered by most to be the greatest heavyweight ever. Some even wants to compare him to the great Sugar Ray.

After a year in retirement he gets restless, though, and challenges Holmes for the title. Holmes has improved since their first meeting while Ali has visibly faded. Larry wins clearly, but Ali manages to go the distance. He retires for a final time.

Excellent post,Bokaj. Very probable
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:43 PM   #37
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

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But let's say that he never went into exile and ruled supreme for 14 years until he lost to Holmes in 1978 with 30+ defenses under his belt (I'm not saying he necessarily would reign that long, but if he did), could anyone dispute his standing as the nr. 1 HW? Wouldn't he have a good claim to be seen as one of the very best p4p, even?
The exile hurt his legacy plain and simple.
His spring 67-fall 70 reign would have laid to waste a ton of solid fighters, including Frazier. Granted, he wasn't by any means battle worn by the Foreman fight given his layoff but Foreman 73 might have been his Waterloo even tho I consider Ali to be superior to George. A 64-73 Ali reign would have even more cemented him as the ATG HW. At age 60, I now see Ali's second reign in perspective. Inside George's head in Zaire, ruined him, never a rematch. Norton gave the comeback Ali hell, lost the third fight. Bums of the month. Controlled the sport for three solid years after regaining the title. It hurts to say it but he controlled every bout after Foreman with everyone slobbering over his greatness. He still fought like a champion but what we really would have seen wasn't there.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:14 PM   #38
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

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It helped it, it allowed a new generation of heavys to establish a reputation. The wins against Foreman and Frazier look (are!) more impressive than if Ali had of met them as an established champ defending against undefeated Olympians.
hard to say. It helped establish guys who would have been rushed to fight him, but it hurt him because he had some tough fight then. Something can be said for a champion who fights often and having fights quickly before fighters develop, not saying that with Ali, but in general.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:53 PM   #39
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

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I think a case can be made for both alternatives actually (even if most probably know what I personally think), so I would like to hear your opinions on this.
There can be arguments made either way. But it cost Ali what would have been his prime years according to Angelo Dundee.

Take the prime years away from other legends who actually got to fight in theirs and see what you have left in some cases - no legacy.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:45 PM   #40
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

I could be wrong, but I don't believe Ali would have made as much in some of the bigger bouts if not for the exile. For instance, had he fought Frazier in 1968 or 69, I do not believe each would have been paid two and a half million. His absence from the ring added to the anticipation of the FOTC. That bout was a quantum leap at the time for fighters' purses. Ring Magazine wrote ".... never again will fighters be paid purses of that magnitude." Of course, three years later, Ali and Foreman got 5 million apiece, which is still small alongside some purses of more recent years. The big money certainly would have come along as it did, but I believe Ali's comeback from exile made it happen sooner.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:57 AM   #41
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

Wasn't frazier also out of his prime already by the time of his first Ali fight?
Something with his leg...
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Old 12-12-2012, 07:14 AM   #42
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

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Wasn't frazier also out of his prime already by the time of his first Ali fight?
Something with his leg...

A pure case of latter day revisionism,in my opinion. Frazier was never better,before or since,than he was on March 8 1971.
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:14 PM   #43
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

ali would've had 20 defences by 1970 without exile so it definitely hurt his legacy. we missed ali's peak years - frazier beat a very good ali but he wasn't peak. he would have beaten louis record of 25 defences and maybe called it a day a lot earlier with less losses on his record.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:14 AM   #44
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

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ali would've had 20 defences by 1970 without exile so it definitely hurt his legacy. we missed ali's peak years - frazier beat a very good ali but he wasn't peak. he would have beaten louis record of 25 defences and maybe called it a day a lot earlier with less losses on his record.



Another way of looking at it,is that ego may have tempted Muhammad back when he was already in his thirties,and his comeback would probably not have been so successful as it was in real time.
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Old 12-18-2012, 08:54 AM   #45
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Default Re: Did the exile hurt Ali's legacy or did it help it?

Sooner or later the superstardom that Muhammad Ali enjoyed so much would have led to more slacking off training, the groupies, the over-confidence, loss of focus .... and he would have lost to a hungry fighter, perhaps Frazier or Norton or someone else.

The idea that he would have reigned until 1978 and made 30 defences or more is hard to justify.
Actually the injustice of having his title taken away gave him a ton of motivation in the 1970s, as did his loss to Frazier in '71, and even then he wasn't 100% for every fight like he should have been.
If he had stayed active and dominant in 1967 he would almost certainly have slacked off and lost his title within a few years.
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