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Old 02-20-2009, 10:39 PM   #1
Russell
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Default Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

A potentially strange (to some) what if scenario prompted by me being surprised that Ali's last fight against Berbick took place in almost 82'. Even at 236 pounds he looked very respectable after 14 months of inactivity.

Lets say Ali avoids some of his extremely hard late career fights that may have hastened his health issues, like the Shaver's and Holmes fights, maybe even Frazier III.

As far as I know a Ali comebacks were being talked about well into the mid 80's.

I'm not saying Ali would rule the division, but cut out some of his most taxing, damaging fights and how long could he have fought on? How does he fare against embryo versions of many 80's up and coming 80's fighters?

What's the most he could accomplish fighting on until the mid 80's if his health wasn't deteriorating as quickly as it was because of the absence of a few of his most difficult fights?
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:42 PM   #2
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

It really all depends on what sort of shape he was really in and how fast he deteriorated.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

I think the end of his career is somewhat misleading. Thyroid medication making it so he couldn't even sweat against Holmes, a ATG heavyweight in his prime who would have troubled Ali at any stage in his career...

Against simply good fighters like Berbick he looked very good even overweight after 14 months of inactivity.

So I'm wondering how far he could have stretched things out if he hadn't eaten dozens of Shaver's bombs and what not. Basically played it a bit safer and went on for a little longer.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

Tough one... Ali had a great disrespect for most oponents, and remained willing to absorb severe punishment from the vast majority of those he faught in the 70's, purely for the sake of being a stubborn egotist. Take away FOTC, THRILLA for example, a little more of Ali would be left in the early 80's. A decision over Berbick may have opened the door for Holmes II, yet I doubt Ali would have gotten past Holmes at all, especially in the early 80's.
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Old 02-20-2009, 10:59 PM   #5
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

I remember talks of Ali supposedly coming back to fight Tim Witherspoon in the mid 80's.

Still, he would be 38-40 years old? I dont think he could pull it off. Lets say he did avoid alot of the bigger fights, would he still have burnt out and gotten the Parkinson's? Its hard to say...I just cant envision Ali at 38-40 years old beating capable boxers like Dokes, Witherspoon, Holmes, Coetzee, Berbick and the like.

He'd still get his ass handed to him, just not as bad.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:53 PM   #6
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

Ali developed Parkinson's syndrome which according to experts, is not caused by head trauma. I'm not saying that taking all of those punches helped matters, but one has to wonder.

Had he not become ill, I have little or no doubt that the Greatest would have continued his career for as long as his body would permit. He loved boxing along with the fame and fortune that came along with it. Probably the most painful part about leaving the sport was not the illness or the final beatings that he took from Holmes and Berbick, but the dreadful thought that he would no longer be the center of attention. For a man like Muhammad Ali this is worse than death. Had he been healthy enough to continue, I could see him winning fights against men like Scott Ledoux, Tex Cobb, Marty Monroe, James Tillis, and perhaps even capture an alpha title against one of the lesser acheivers. Of course his sites would have always been aimed at the top dog in the division, but even if he couldn't be #1, I'm sure he'd settle for being a close second.
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Old 02-21-2009, 02:00 AM   #7
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. magoo View Post
Ali developed Parkinson's syndrome which according to experts, is not caused by head trauma. I'm not saying that taking all of those punches helped matters, but one has to wonder.

Had he not become ill, I have little or no doubt that the Greatest would have continued his career for as long as his body would permit. He loved boxing along with the fame and fortune that came along with it. Probably the most painful part about leaving the sport was not the illness or the final beatings that he took from Holmes and Berbick, but the dreadful thought that he would no longer be the center of attention. For a man like Muhammad Ali this is worse than death. Had he been healthy enough to continue, I could see him winning fights against men like Scott Ledoux, Tex Cobb, Marty Monroe, James Tillis, and perhaps even capture an alpha title against one of the lesser acheivers. Of course his sites would have always been aimed at the top dog in the division, but even if he couldn't be #1, I'm sure he'd settle for being a close second.
You're confusing Parkinson's disease with Parkinson's syndrome.
IMO the hole in his head was almost certainly due to blows he took in the ring.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arka View Post
You're confusing Parkinson's disease with Parkinson's syndrome.
IMO the hole in his head was almost certainly due to blows he took in the ring.
He has Parkinson's syndrome, not Parkinson's disease.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:38 AM   #9
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. magoo View Post
Ali developed Parkinson's syndrome which according to experts, is not caused by head trauma. I'm not saying that taking all of those punches helped matters, but one has to wonder.

Had he not become ill, I have little or no doubt that the Greatest would have continued his career for as long as his body would permit. He loved boxing along with the fame and fortune that came along with it. Probably the most painful part about leaving the sport was not the illness or the final beatings that he took from Holmes and Berbick, but the dreadful thought that he would no longer be the center of attention. For a man like Muhammad Ali this is worse than death. Had he been healthy enough to continue, I could see him winning fights against men like Scott Ledoux, Tex Cobb, Marty Monroe, James Tillis, and perhaps even capture an alpha title against one of the lesser acheivers. Of course his sites would have always been aimed at the top dog in the division, but even if he couldn't be #1, I'm sure he'd settle for being a close second.
Good post.
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Old 02-21-2009, 04:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

Ali always has a little more wiggle room for getting into a fight than others due to his inhuman durability. His ring guile and while slowed still above-average handspeed could make him competitive in a lot of fights he wouldn't necessarily have a great chance of winning. He'd have a lot of close decision losses, I think.
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:16 AM   #11
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokaj View Post
He has Parkinson's syndrome, not Parkinson's disease.
Exactly.

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

"A 36 year old man, who sustained a skull fracture in 1984, was unconscious for 24 hours,
and developed signs of Parkinson's syndrome 6 weeks after the injury."

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
pg 220
"Head Trauma
Parkison's syndrome as a component of post traumatic ecephalopathy in professional boxers and National Hunt steeplechase jockeys
is well recognized, and a striatal variant of dementia pugilistica is also acknowledged."

Last edited by Arka; 02-21-2009 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 02-21-2009, 05:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arka View Post
You're confusing Parkinson's disease with Parkinson's syndrome.
IMO the hole in his head was almost certainly due to blows he took in the ring.

Ali was starting to sound punchy as early as 1977.
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Old 02-21-2009, 06:08 AM   #13
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

Quote:
Originally Posted by My dinner with Conteh View Post
Ali was starting to sound punchy as early as 1977.
Yeah. I posted a video on here before the Spinks rematch and he looked stoned when being interviewed by Cosell.
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Old 02-21-2009, 07:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

Quote:
Originally Posted by My dinner with Conteh View Post
Ali was starting to sound punchy as early as 1977.
I think even in 1976, during some interview after the Manilla fight, you could see him slow down, and not because of maturing.
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Old 02-21-2009, 09:54 AM   #15
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali - Into The Mid 80's....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arka View Post
Exactly.

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

"A 36 year old man, who sustained a skull fracture in 1984, was unconscious for 24 hours,
and developed signs of Parkinson's syndrome 6 weeks after the injury."

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
pg 220
"Head Trauma
Parkison's syndrome as a component of post traumatic ecephalopathy in professional boxers and National Hunt steeplechase jockeys
is well recognized, and a striatal variant of dementia pugilistica is also acknowledged."

Apparently I stand corrected then.
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