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Old 07-29-2009, 02:34 PM   #16
Addie
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

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Originally Posted by PetethePrince View Post
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Around 4 minutes in...

Muhammad Ali, "Umm Marciano... Marciano, umm, phew, ooh he hit hard. He hit you so hard *unrecognizable* folks in Africa."

Cossel, "But you think you could have beaten him too?"

Ali, "Well it a been rough, look Howard, I don't take nothing from these fellas especially those deceased. Marciano and I were good friends, but I truly think on my best day and his best day I would have beaten him, probably not knocked him out, I been sore, I think he was better than Joe Frazier I'd put it that way. I truly think he was better than Joe Frazier. I think it be even, he may have won - it's just hard, it's just up to the imagination.

Cossel, " You know you started out with so much braggadocio, now you're ending with humility."

Ali, "Yea, you got the last man Marciano. Showing him last, you did the right thing. He wasn't as great as me, wasn't as beautiful everyone knows that. But I don't know if I would have beat him with his style and my style. He could've out-pointed me, could've knocked me down. Did a computer fight with him when he was an old man just pretending and my arms were so sore just for joking with him. In his heyday he may have won, he probably wouldn't... that's up for the imagination. In the end I still think I'm the greatest of all time!"

Later on to that Ali breakdowns the fights. He kind of flips a script saying that the guys he foughting weren't at their best and they might beat him. He then goes on his usually "I'm the greatest" after part 6.

In conclusion he says the guys that give him the most trouble would get low and crouch and could take a lot of punishment. Guys like Dempsey and Marciano. He said a go who lean back like Johnson could too. He also thought Walcott could because he was tricky. Earlier he comments on how he thought that Walcott and Charles were fast when looking at them in their fights. He had high praise for them and Gene Tunney.

But specifically for that one time he had specifically high praise for Marciano and how he would fair stylistically against him. Later though in part 6 he says that a prime Louis, Walcott, Moore, and Charles would've beat Marciano.

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And here he thinks Marciano would've given him the most trouble. I believe this is on TV in 75 after the Frazier fight.


What do you think of Ali's comments toward Marciano as a matchup and the possibility of him actually beating him? His comments saying Marciano was better than Frazier?

On Marciano's thoughts. Marciano thought Ali was underrated and had great speed and complemented him on his stamina. Apparently he told a friend around the time of the Superfight and he said, "Yeah he's great. But you know what, in my prime I would've killed him."
"I dunno, I think if I looked like Joe Frazier then I just wouldn't care, keep walking into punches like he do" - Ali.

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Old 07-29-2009, 04:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

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Originally Posted by fists of fury View Post
I've always maintained that this would be among Ali's toughest ever fights. A lot of people look at the flash things like hand and foot speed, power etc. and come to the conclusion that Ali was too fast, too sharp and far too good for a fighter like Marciano, but I disagree.

The fights with Joe Frazier are a good indication as to how this fight would play out. Like Marciano, Joe was a short pressure fighter who wore his man down. Those three fights with Ali ultimately boiled down to tests of endurance and will, rather than skill.

Now one can point out that strictly speaking, that wasn't the best version of Ali since he had lost something from the layoff. But at the end of the day, he was still about 90% of what he had been, at least for FOTC, and was a good deal more experienced than his earlier self.

What Marciano brings to the table is what gave Ali trouble in the Frazier fights, namely great endurance, great heart and an undentable will. He wasn't the quickest guy, but he'd apply constant pressure all night long. You could outbox him for a while, but he'd slowly be making inroads and closing the distance.
I don't think it's possible to keep a guy like Marciano (or Frazier for that matter) on the end of your punches for an entire fight.
At some point, he's getting inside and that's where those stubby but powerful arms will come into their own.
Whether or not he can keep getting inside or whether Ali can keep him at range and on the receiving end of his jab more often than not is really the question here. It becomes a fight for range basically, and although technique is important, it's the guy who's willing to give everything his got to be where he wants to be that ultimately decides these things. Will over skill.

That's what makes this maybe the ultimate boxer v brawler (swarmer) matchup, at least at heavyweight. Whatever pace Ali sets, Marciano can match, and vice-versa. Ali lacks the power to take Marciano out cleanly, and even a puncher like Marciano is not getting Ali out of there with a few bombs, if at all. They're going to be wearing each other down, trying to break the other guy down, trying to break their spirit.

If there was something Marciano excelled at, it was finding a way to win, to overcome. When he needed a big punch, he found it. When he needed to stop an opponent pronto, he did. When he needed to ramp up the pace and grind down his man, he did. That's a great quality to have, and it all stems from an utter refusal to get beaten, to do whatever it takes to win.
Of course that hardly makes him invincible, but in a distance type fight where both men's resolve will be tested to the limit, it's an indispensable quality.
It's also one I think he'd need more than once in this fight, since I do see him getting outboxed quite easily by Ali early on.

Ali was greased lightning and almost impossible to catch when he danced and circled around the ring. Unlike most slicksters though, he had amazing toughness and recuperative abilities. He wasn't all flash, not by a long shot. It would be a trial by fire for Marciano to close the distance, and to try and avoid those slashing, fast punches of Ali.

So for me it's going to be a question of who wants it more. Who is going to dig deeper, for longer? It's an impossible question to answer, and maybe it's one that's better left unanswered...the mystique is in the never finding out.


Whether Rocky is better than Joe is another question that is very difficult to answer with any certainty. They were both great at what they did. Joe fought bigger guys in general, and met (and beat) the best guy either he or Marciano ever met, namely Ali himself.
On the other hand, the biggest difference between Marciano and Frazier is that Rocky had two-fisted power, whereas Joe relied heavily on his hook.
Excellent post, and in excellent point in the bold.

I posted these videos to see what people thought about what Ali was saying here. I believe a prime Ali beats a prime Marciano, and not trying to imply otherwise (Although I find the fight to be incredibly tough). I do feel Marciano at his best beats a Thrilla or FOTC form of Ali.

The one difference between Marciano and Frazier I've noticed is Frazier has had some opponents on the ropes try fighting him back. That was a no-no against Marciano and mainly opponents would run away to make sure they didn't get cornered. Against that small reach and big firepower that would be bad.

One thing Ali had somewhat of an overtendency to do is lay on the ropes or keep on the ropes. I feel Marciano capitalizes on this much better than Frazier does. Frazier has some better attributes to combat Ali (Footspeed and such) and I do feel Frazier does other things better that are important to do against an Ali. But Marciano does hit a little harder, it's getting the power there. It's still a very interesting matchup and it's nice to see Ali respect and recognize that. I was also interested to hear him say he thought Marciano was truly better than Frazier. Maybe because it's Joe Frazier, his big rivarly... who knows, but he gives him high praise indeed.

Quote:
LMAO at the end of the last vid. Thanks for posting Pete, I enjoyed those
Yep, Ali is always a good laugh. Quite the character. I should post part 6 where he goes in his "I'm the greatest" mode and starts slapping around with Cossel to which Howard yells "Knock it off!"
Here's part 6. It's around 3 minutes in I think.

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Old 07-29-2009, 04:08 PM   #18
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

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H2H, I don't think Marciano would be tougher for Ali than Frazier because Marciano didn't have the same footspeed of Ali. Frazier applied the fastest pressure of any HW that ever lived. Rocky was also easier to hit than Frazier was. Marciano does have a better chin, better two-fisted power and a little more stamina than Frazier. These attributes might make it interesting for a little bit against Ali.

I predict that Ali would win a decision over Marciano by a fairly wide margin. Late TKO is also possible, because Rocky had the tendency to cut and Ali's quick hands could turn his face into marinara.

Nice vids Pete.
I think that's a fair assessment. One thing I think Marciano would do better than Frazier is capitalize when Ali is on the ropes better. Being on the ropes against Rocky was considered suicide. He would pour it on well.

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Great interview.

If you go to the 7 minute mark, you will hear Ali saying that Rocky fought an old Charles, an old Louis and an old Walcott. He also said if they were in their prime, they would have eaten Rocky up.
I commented on that, too.

Quote:
"I dunno, I think if I looked like Joe Frazier then I just wouldn't care, keep walking into punches like he do" - Ali.

Haha yeah, Ali was quite the character. A little harsh but usually hilarious.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:39 PM   #19
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

Is this where he calls Tunney "A White Ali"?
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:43 PM   #20
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

I think Ali was being fair and honest in his opinion. I also think Marciano would lose to Ali but that Ali lacked the power to blow him out like a Tyson or Liston or Foreman or Lewis may have ...
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