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Old 07-16-2007, 09:41 AM   #31
McGrain
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manassa
Jesus. Not only was Ali the best boxer-mover in heavyweight history, according to some he was also the strongest because he was good at clinching illegally,



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had the best chin even though others have shown to be sturdier
I have to confess to having him #1 for chin. Where would you put him?

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had 'very good' power despite almost never knocking a man out,
Yes, he could sit down on his punches but he was average at best. An unamed gentleman descibed him as being a more powerful puncher than Dempsey in a thread a few days ago. People do get carried away with him a bit.

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and was now aggressive, even though he almost never took the front foot.
Yes, that was me. I stand by it. I don't think you need to be on the front foot to be an aggressive fighter, speaker, negotiator or anything else. Especially not when you are a master of judging the range/platform of the battle. Do you think he was a reticent fighter?


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The man must be magic.
Yes; I think magic is the right word. Maybe "magical" has a better ring though?


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One poster in this very thread described Ali's offense as 'wonderful'
Again, probably the right word.

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- his uppercut was a slap,
It is a comedy shot.


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the left hook a swat
A stinging one though.

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and the body punching was nearly non-existant,


I always remember the commentary team for the Terrel fight agreeing that he didn't want to punch to the body because he was worried it might mean his face would get messed up, leave him more exposed.


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and even his better punches only occasionally carried sufficient force to stun a man. Still, it's Ali. His offense must have been wonderful, and it's probably blasphemous to disagree.
Not blasphemous; but with his astonishing track record of winning fights with strong opposition and totally outclassing many good fighters whilst in his prime, I think it does need a little explaining. Boxing is a fighting business. You don't fight with good movement and rings smarts alone. Or even primarily.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:03 AM   #32
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

Here's the deal:

Muhammad Ali was a magnificent fighter. He had a natural boxing talent, you can see it in his movement; smooth, fluid, deluxe. However - he is subject to a vast amount of overrating.

Ali was a pretty good puncher in his prime; his speed, fluidity and combination punching meant he could bewilder an opponent and hit him at will, but he did not have 'good' or 'very good' power. He had average power. He never really took a fighter out with one punch - none of us count the Liston fight, and Foreman was exhausted. Ali was capable of delivering a stunning punch on occasion, but so can any fighter. All world class fighters can punch to an extent if they plant their feet, and it doesn't mean they have above average power when they demonstrate this.

Ali had a great chin, probably one of the best. But it wasn't the best. Ali was stunned on many occasions and sometimes dropped - it was his heart, determination, survival skills and recuperative powers that allowed him to take these punches and recover from them. Someone like Oliver McCall or George Chuvalo most likely had better chins than Ali - I would even say Mike Tyson did as well. Those fighters just lacked the aforementioned attributes to match. Tyson, for instance (at least in his declining years), would get hit by a shot and stay exactly where he was, only to be hit by another one, and then another.

I think it is wrong to assume Ali was the strongest heavyweight of all time just because he hung on the heads of fighters like Foreman and Frazier. Ali used leverage and weight to pull these men down - it's not like he was powering forward and shoving them back, he was just hanging on strategically. In all seriousness, you can't tell me Ali was stronger than someone like Nicolay Valuev or Tye Fields, even though he might have been light years ahead as a boxer.

Ali was not aggressive. Yes, he often dictated the pace, yes, he took opportunities and yes, he hit fighters a lot - but that doesn't mean he was aggressive. Pernell Whitaker did the same things, so did Willie Pep. Were they aggressive? Ali could be sadistic, but he wasn't aggressive.
Some definitions for 'aggressive':
- Militantly forward or menacing
- Making an all-out effort to win or succeed
- Vigorously energetic, especially regarding initiative and forcefulness
- Boldy assertive and forward; pushy

Doesn't sound like Ali to me.

Ali - great fighter, not quite Superman. If I listened to the people round 'ere, I'd think Ali was the most complete fighter of all time.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:14 AM   #33
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manassa
Muhammad Ali was a magnificent fighter. He had a natural boxing talent, you can see it in his movement; smooth, fluid, deluxe. However - he is subject to a vast amount of overrating.
All of this is true. I like this word "deluxe", it fits snugly.

The other thing: just be careful not to underate him as some form of compensation. You see that a lot.

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Ali was a pretty good puncher in his prime; his speed, fluidity and combination punching meant he could bewilder an opponent and hit him at will, but he did not have 'good' or 'very good' power. He had average power. He never really took a fighter out with one punch - none of us count the Liston fight, and Foreman was exhausted. Ali was capable of delivering a stunning punch on occasion, but so can any fighter. All world class fighters can punch to an extent if they plant their feet, and it doesn't mean they have above average power when they demonstrate this.
Agreed.

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Ali had a great chin, probably one of the best. But it wasn't the best. Ali was stunned on many occasions and sometimes dropped - it was his heart, determination, survival skills and recuperative powers that allowed him to take these punches and recover from them. Someone like Oliver McCall or George Chuvalo most likely had better chins than Ali - I would even say Mike Tyson did as well.
Yes, this is a reasonable surmisation, though I disagree with the Tyson shout. I agree with you about McCall and Chuvalo - I recently had a thread on atg heavyweights organised in order of chin - and I was thinking of that, I had Ali at number one in that.



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Ali was not aggressive. Yes, he often dictated the pace, yes, he took opportunities and yes, he hit fighters a lot
Just what does it mean to set the pace and hit fighters a lot?


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Some definitions for 'aggressive':
- Militantly forward or menacing
- Making an all-out effort to win or succeed
- Vigorously energetic, especially regarding initiative and forcefulness
- Boldy assertive and forward; pushy

Doesn't sound like Ali to me.
I've highlighted the ones I think fit Ali perfectly. What you have to take into account is that there is all kinds of assertivness. Ali asserts himself bodily and willfully. The only man that I've seen him in with at or around peak that wasn't bent almost entirely to his fight plan - which he persued aggressivley - was Frazier, and arguably Norton.

I don't think "making an all-out effort to win or succeed needs explaining - that is patently Ali, perhaps so much so as to preclude it being used "more correctly" about any other fighter.

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Ali - great fighter, not quite Superman. If I listened to the people round 'ere, I'd think Ali was the most complete fighter of all time.
Yeah, I hear you there. This is exactly how nut-huggers/haters are created in the general section.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:22 AM   #34
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

We're going to have to disagree on the aggressiveness shout. At best, I think you could call Ali 'passive aggressive' because of his sadistic streak. But when you say he asserted himself and went all-out to win, that's just what any fighter does. If we saw things like that, we'd be calling every fighter and his uncle aggressive. Mike Tyson was aggressive. Roberto Duran was aggressive. Henry Armstrong was aggressive. There is a striking contrast between those men and Ali.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:25 AM   #35
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manassa
We're going to have to disagree on the aggressiveness shout. At best, I think you could call Ali 'passive aggressive' because of his sadistic streak. But when you say he asserted himself and went all-out to win, that's just what any fighter does. If we saw things like that, we'd be calling every fighter and his uncle aggressive. Mike Tyson was aggressive. Roberto Duran was aggressive. Henry Armstrong was aggressive. There is a striking contrast between those men and Ali.
Sure; but someone like Mayweather may position himself to win the round. Ali will consistantly position himself to inflict as much damage as is possible upon his opponent, whilst remaining within the confines of his style. His style is not arbitrary, it's carved expertley to coincide with his skills/weaknesses. This may be the thing he did better than any other heayweight.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:28 AM   #36
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

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Originally Posted by McGrain
Sure; but someone like Mayweather may position himself to win the round. Ali will consistantly position himself to inflict as much damage as is possible upon his opponent, whilst remaining within the confines of his style. His style is not arbitrary, it's carved expertley to coincide with his skills/weaknesses. This may be the thing he did better than any other heayweight.
That's quite a radical viewpoint. I never once thought, when watching an Ali fight, that he was out to inflict as much damage as possible. A couple of times I saw him punish an opponent for personal reasons, but I never saw him crushing foes in the same fashion as Ike Williams or Marvin Hagler did.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:35 AM   #37
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

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Originally Posted by Manassa
That's quite a radical viewpoint. I never once thought, when watching an Ali fight, that he was out to inflict as much damage as possible. A couple of times I saw him punish an opponent for personal reasons, but I never saw him crushing foes in the same fashion as Ike Williams or Marvin Hagler did.
Do you really think so?

Obviously there are going to be serious differences between Ali and Hagler's versiou of "all out" because of styles. Hagler can afford to stand right in front of a great puncher and out punch him. Obviously Ali can't do that. But he will remain within range long enough to fire in numerous shots before moving on (sticking with 60's Ali for the moment) and when the time came to sit down on his punches that's exactly what he would do. I know you've spoken derisively (perhaps rightly) about Ali taking on Williams - but it is a fine example. He fires in a few, realises what he has on his hands and then stops moving and starts firing in serious punches.

But even when he's moving (post-Liston certainly) he's still aggressive for his style - he's still looking to punch and score and stop his man (apart form weird freakish fights like Terrell) just not with one punch or one volley.

Put it this way; Ali doesn't look to run after he feels he's won the round (post Liston anyway) - he's still in there, fighting.

Last edited by sweet_scientist; 03-10-2006 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:36 AM   #38
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

To be honest I think you're complicating things far too much.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:40 AM   #39
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

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Originally Posted by Manassa
To be honest I think you're complicating things far too much.
Not me!

All i can do is tell it as i see it, and I certainly don't see aggression as an attribute that can be claimed by only natural punchers or not at all.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:44 AM   #40
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

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Originally Posted by McGrain
Not me!

All i can do is tell it as i see it, and I certainly don't see aggression as an attribute that can be claimed by only natural punchers or not at all.
Not by only natural punchers. LaMotta, Greb, Hamsho, these men were aggressive but far from dynamite.
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Old 07-16-2007, 10:45 AM   #41
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

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Originally Posted by Manassa
Not by only natural punchers. LaMotta, Greb, Hamsho, these men were aggressive but far from dynamite.
Sure.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:21 PM   #42
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

Whatīs that for a question? 2 of the greatest ATGīs against another great ATG and you formulate it if they have a chance? Of course they would have a chance, especially Holmes... some of you wrote that it need a fighter with great footwork and speed to beat Ali, Frazier IMO isnīt that fast at this 2 things...
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:24 PM   #43
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

“Hit and not be hit” was prime Ali’s mantra. He didn’t like beating people up and, on the other hand, he once said, “People don’t understand you don’t have to get hit in boxing.”

His intention was to get the W. Using his superior speed, he would hover at outside distance, looking to lead with long jabs or rights and follow up with fast combinations. But he would take the initiative and was accurate and had a high punch output. His focus was on winning rounds, not engaging in a phone-booth slugfest. He was content to use long punches because of his physical attributes of normally being the taller man; he didn’t need to fight in the trenches with hooks and uppercuts. Thus, he was not aggressive in a bloodthirsty way, just a gifted technician whose great shape and speed allowed him to throw a lot of punches and have the edge, second to second.

As far as hooks and uppercuts, Ali stunned Big Cat with several great hooks and landed some jolting uppers on Frazier in FOTC. He also showed a varied repertoire in Norton II.

How else did Ali beat such greats as Liston, Frazier and Foreman, total 56 wins and come to be considered the GOAT without a great offense? But he did it his way, not as Manassa would have liked.
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:28 AM   #44
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

Louis' sloppy guard would have been taken advantage of safely from outside. Holmes....Holmes has a good chance to get the decision.

I've never seen Holmes in with a dancer. Any such match-up in history?
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Old 07-18-2007, 02:17 PM   #45
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Default Re: Holmes or Louis against prime Ali.

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Originally Posted by I Am Legend
They both win, Louis by TKO. Holmes by decision.
I agree with you. However, if forced to pick between the two to take on a peak Ali, I would pick Holmes. Larry sparred with Ali for many years before they actually fought.

It was unfortunate for any HW contender coming through at the same time Larry was, because you were in Ali's shadow and the public, boxing world, to a ceetain degree, wouldn't let people forget that.

I firmly beleive Larry would have been HW champion long before he did if he were only given the opportunity. Holmes' biography is a very, very good read. Larry is as bluntly honest as they come. Holmes was not an attraction, box-office by any means & that's why he wasn't given a title shot until 1978.

It's unbelieveable to think how a lot of the public & some of the boxing people, thought Holmes was not a great champion, didn't have the tools to excel in the sport etc.
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