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Old 07-28-2009, 11:10 PM   #1
PetethePrince
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Default Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier."

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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."
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:17 AM   #2
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

Well, he did have one thing right, they where old when they fought Marciano, but still, Marciano was Marciano and in my eyes he was a rough fighter, but probably VERY hard to fight.
but Ali would have beaten him, to fast, to sharp.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

Ali's assessment of Marciano is fair

Sure, Marciano could rock and shake Ali a lot but wouldn't defeat him
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Old 07-29-2009, 02:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

I think Ali is pretty right on. I, too, think Marciano would be the ultimate challenge for Ali. He and Frazier would've been a good match, but I think Rocky would wear him out late. I just can't think of anybody that had quite the unrelenting, nonstop attack Rocky had. Coupled with brutally hard punches known for breaking blood vessels. Ali had speed and adaptability, but Rocky would keep coming and punching...and just may have the kind of all out assault needed to wear the great Ali down.

Like Ali, I also think Ali can pull this one out....provided he's in peak form.

This would've been the greatest bout of all-time, IMO.

Last edited by laxpdx; 07-29-2009 at 07:49 AM.
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Old 07-29-2009, 03:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

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.
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Old 07-29-2009, 04:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

I think very few people doubt that Ali would outbox marciano early in the fight and likely make him miss a lot. Rock would be struggling to find his range for quite a few rds. Rocky in my limited fight experience of him never had to cut down the ring on a guy like Ali. I dont know if he was capable of it.

A young Ali on his toes and moving for 15 would take a decison IMO in prime environmental conditions. Throw in a huge stadium on a hot humid night and you would see Rock wear him down and likely stop him late on accumulation. IMO thats how close this fight would be. This would likely be an outdoor fight over 15 rds, that favors rock.
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Old 07-29-2009, 05:10 AM   #7
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetethePrince View Post
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

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.

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

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."
On Marciano's opinion, i think it is very relevant that nobody really knew just how good ali's chin and heart was. Most assumed he could not take a punch as good as he actually could. It is for this reason that i have doubts that Marciano would beat Ali, certainly in the first fight at least. Sure it would be a great fight, but Marciano would give away rounds in order to land blows (I know Joe Louis said this is how he would beat Ali). I think Rocky at one stage would have Ali rocking, but Ali wouldnt show it, and i think that Rocky would be unable to pull out the KO to save the fight.
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

LMAO at the end of the last vid. Thanks for posting Pete, I enjoyed those
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

Ali, had trouble with smaller guys Watched doug jones vs ali on espn classic I'll tell you if that was the rock in there instead of doug Marciano would of won. DRMULLEN.
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Old 07-29-2009, 07:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

Ali would beat Marciano. Fairly easily IMO.

What was Ali's biggest stylistic problem? Norton wasn't an 'aggressive croucher' was he?
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Old 07-29-2009, 08:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PetethePrince View Post
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

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.

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

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."
Ali wanted Frazier & Foreman on the same night, 10 rds each
Brilliant.

Its hard to pick any HWT, including Marciano, over a prime Ali with much confidence, Ali was a master at figuring out peoples styles & he had the tools to execute.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

Rocky lifted the title from a lively 38 year old Walcott with a single punch, not a process of attrition. A peaking Ali would not have been taken out by one shot. Marciano did not close as quickly as Frazier, and Muhammad had the height and effective reach to keep him further away than Jersey Joe could.

In their first match, Chuvalo subjected Ali to enough body punishment so that Muhammad was urinating blood afterwards, yet Ali pitched a near shutout and never slowed down. (Of course Muhammad would never have allowed Rocky free access to his ribs in a clinch as he did here.)

As an aging Charles did in his first challenge of Marciano, a peak Ali would have kept this one in ring center. Unlike an aging Walcott, his reach and chin would allow him to continue using his legs for all 15 rounds.

This is not a staged performance being discussed, but actual competition. Muhammad's reach and footwork wouldn't allow Rocky to hammer away at his arms much. We all know that Marciano didn't need a punch to score to have it be effective, so long as it hit some part of his opponent's body. But a peak Ali was better equipped to prevent this entirely than most.

Murray Woroner's cinematic release had Muhammad scoring an early knockdown, Rocky winning a knockout, and Ali reported two alternative knockout endings in his favor. I don't believe any of these four scenarios would have developed in real life. Muhammad would either take a one sided 15 round decision, or stop Marciano late on cuts.

Since Foreman upset Moorer, I have reflected occasionally on the fact that Big George was then 45 years old, the same age that Rocky was in real life for Wororner's 1969 production, a time when Ali would otherwise have realized his athletic potential had he never been forced into exile. (Marciano had trained very hard to represent himself well for this demonstration, and some observers noted that he ironically appeared to have less abdominal fat than his youthful counterpart. That Rocky had gotten himself back into shape while an inactive Muhammad had let himself go surely influenced Ali's experiences with Marciano significantly.)

Because these two developed such a good friendship so quickly when some other former champions had soured on Ali and his public deportment, Rocky's untimely passing deprived us of much potentially candid, and thus historic, feedback from him about Muhammad's second career. Having actually shared the ring with Ali, how might he have replied to those unprecedented displays of toughness, endurance and resilience Muhammad later exhibited against Frazier, Norton, Foreman and Shavers? (Among others like Lyle and former Charley Goldman protege Bonavena.)

Rocky was interested in purchasing Jerry Quarry's contract until Machen upset him. How might he have been impressed by the ease of the GOAT's rematch stoppage of Quarry, a presentation of relaxed dominance by Muhammad. Through the first ten years and 59 fights of Jerry's career, only Ali was able to completely overmatch him from beginning to end. (Frazier finally duplicated this level of command in his 1974 rematch with Quarry, something a razor sharp Norton replicated the following year in what may have been Ken's finest career showing. )

Nat Fleischer was correct at the time in stating that Ali had not yet proved he was a truly great fighter, as he wasn't that severely tested until after three years of enforced inactivity had eroded his previous athleticism. Marciano believed at the time that he would have taken Muhammad apart. Might he have openly expressed second thoughts about that ten years later?

Frazier himself has indicated agreement with Ali that Marciano was better, but Joe's speed coming forward and his hook to the body may have made him more suitable for confronting Muhammad H2H.
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Old 07-29-2009, 12:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

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.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

I really think it is a mistake to take what some of these fellows say as their true feelings.

Sometimes they are just being nice.

Such as Frazier when he said Rocky was better. He was being respectful and that is to be admired.

The same Joe Frazier who said that Jerry Quarry would have been the champion had he only not tended to cut. Again, he was being nice to a fellow boxer.
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Old 07-29-2009, 01:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali, "Marciano, ohh he hit hard. I think he was better than Joe Frazier.

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.
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