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Old 03-16-2013, 01:10 PM   #1
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Default Ali without Liston

How would Ali's career have unfolded if Liston had never existed?

My take:

After the Ingo trilogy, Patterson would have fought a series of tomato cans until a contender emerged that the public demanded Patterson fight.

Ali with his penchant for publicity may have been able to force a fight, but I'm not sure of it. If Patterson thought Ali could beat him, he would have dodged him as long as possible.

My guess is that Ali would have had his draft crisis as a contender and would have submitted to it. The Muslims showed little interest in him until he won the title and hid his affiliation with them. I doubt they would have allowed Ali to take a stand against the draft in their name.

Ali would have probably won the title sometime in the early '70s, from Frazier or Foreman. He would have gotten beat a few years later and would not be the name he is now.

This is all speculation and I may well be wrong.

What do you think?
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:07 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ali without Liston

I think this is an interesting concept, i wonder too how Patterson would have done vs the young Clay without 2 embarrassing and bad beatings vs Liston

I assume he would have made Clay wait longer but how long could he hold out before the undefeated Olympic Gold medalist would be put up for public demand

plus Patterson fought Liston a guy everyone told him not to fight and he went ahead and did
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ali without Liston

Being brutally honest I think you can just replace liston with big cat.

Maybe this time though Patterson beats the feared contender. Ali beats him in an elimator, gets his shot and life continues as was.
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Old 03-16-2013, 03:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ali without Liston

I think Ali and Paterson would have meet no latter than Feb 1964. If not a little sooner.
While after Liston Patterson has some good wins. He was on the decline. The question is rather it was Liston that caused his decline, or if it was nature taking its course. If it was nature taking its course than a Clay/Patterson would be a lot like Ali/Patterson I. I think it might have gone a bit longer and be slightly closer. However if his two fights with Liston were the cause of his decline. I see a Ali/Frazier like match that can go either way. I think they would have to rematch at some point. I can see that rematch taking place in Nov, 1965. The Patterson/Tyson Style wasn't made for a long career. I think Ali is more likely to have won, like in real life.
Other than waiting a little longer to win the heavyweight championship, or winning it sooner I don't see any real change in Ali's career. The possible win over Ali in their first match may have bosted Patterson's ranking. Clay would still become Ali, he as champion would still refuse to go to the army, and be banashed for those years. He would have made his comeback, and have the same career including retireing Patterson in Sept. 1972.
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Old 03-16-2013, 04:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ali without Liston

Ali would face who ever was champion in 1964 and without Sonny Liston that would be Floyd Patterson who without a shadow of a doubt was the next best heavyweight at that time after Liston. Ali faces Floyd earlier but beats him the same way.

Ali's resume without Liston is deep enough anyway. Even though he did his best in the first fight, history remembered Liston's performance in both fights as tarnishing his own credibility and worth as an all time great so its not like beating Liston enhanced Ali's stature. It took Ali longer to establish himself as a champion because of the doubts and smell of the Lewiston fight so without Liston Ali is as big as he ever was.

Without Liston, Patterson looks a better champion.
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Old 03-16-2013, 05:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ali without Liston

I honestly think that Ali would have won the title on exactly the same date.

The only difference is that he would have won it from Patterson.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:17 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ali without Liston

Ali would still have won the title around the same time. Probably from Floyd.
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