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Old 11-08-2007, 01:21 PM   #16
Mendoza
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

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Duodenum With his mobility and head movement, yes. Bugner and Terrell weren't slow, yet were decisoned pretty handily by Ali. He never had any particular trouble dealing with taller opponents than himself.
I think Bugner and Terrell had average hand speed. Not nearly as fast as Wlad, Lewis, Bowe, or Holmes. Besides, both Bunger and Terrell were defensive minded fighters, not aggressive jabbers or power punchers like the men I mentioned.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:29 PM   #17
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

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Originally Posted by Quick Cash
Ali did not use the low guard because of a flaw in his style. When Ali used the low guard it was not some irrational miscalculation or a particular defficiency in fundamental skills, but a form of strategy. In fact it can be argued that he would not have won the fights he won, or any imaginary match-up you or I can think of, if not for the employment of his famous dance routine.
A large part of Muhammad's mastery was in getting his opponents to exert themselves more than he did, both in training and competition.

The low guard was certainly an enticing lure to get his adversaries to expend their energy in trying to exploit this illusion of vulnerability. Ali rarely had to work harder than his foes, mentally as well as physically.

He psyched out some with head games (like Jerry Quarry). Others were intimidated into exhaustion by his speed or ability to take a punch.

He fooled Foreman, Shavers (and possibly Bob Foster) into thinking he wasn't stunned when he actually was. Cosell noted with 1:15 left to go in round eight that Muhammad had Lyle perspiring heavily when Ali himself wasn't, even though Ron hadn't been exerting himself particularly much through the first several rounds. Ali thusly displayed that he was literally a cool customer, as well as figuratively so.

Naturally, it's also extremely wearing to miss a target repeatedly, as it is to have one's hardest punch seemingly do no damage when it finally does land. Later, SRL would always keep himself in nothing less than top condition with just two miles of daily roadwork, while victims like Bruce Finch would be doing ten miles, to little avail once the bell rang, worn themselves down in training, rather than building themselves up.
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Old 11-08-2007, 01:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

One thing the big heavies of today are deficient in is speed compared to the heavies of the sixties, seventies and eighties. I think they have traded speed for extra strength and power by coming in at a much heavier bodyweight.

I recently watched the second Ali-Frazier fight after quite sometime and I was really struck by the speed and intensity at which they fought. Leave alone today's crop of staid champions, even Lewis, Holyfield and Bowe did not fight at that speed and intensity.

I think speed as a prime quality for a heavyweight ended around the Holmes' era. Of course, prime Tyson could explode with the sudden burst of speed and power and Buster Douglas mimicked a close enough version of Ali to put away Tyson.

So i believe that the lumbering heavies of the present and the recent past would have an even lesser chance of catching Ali at his best than his contemporaries.

Norton's example does not really apply here because he never fought the 60's Ali. A prepared and not yet shot Ali who boxed and moved blanked Norton for the first five rounds during their second fight. A peak, sixties Ali would have blanked Norton throughout the fight losing only those rounds when he decided to rest or gave away by clowning.

Also don't forget his footwork, terrific head and even body movements, his sense of timing and ability to make an over reaching opponent pay by his exceedingly quick and sharp counters. And finally, so what if an opponent occasionally managed to catch him with a punch. He had the best chin of all heavyweight champions.
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Old 11-08-2007, 03:46 PM   #19
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

Ali would have an easier time with these lumbering oafs today than in his own era. His split-second timing and fast body and head-movement would give these slow-pokes fits today.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

No;Ali couldn't even get away with it when he came back.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:55 PM   #21
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

He would be able to get away with it with most heavy's in history. But its not like he did it all the time.

If he was fighting someone who he felt he had to keep his hands higher up -just now Wlad and thats it- he would.
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:57 PM   #22
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

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Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
Indeed. I have seen an article from Monte Cox that provided evidence that Willard's damage wasn't as bad as it is known to be. He was still beaten up badly of course, which is viewable on film.
Right, and it was specifically Cox's intriguing article I had in mind when making my comments. Ferdie Pacheco bought into the allegations of the more extreme injuries Jess was claimed to have sustained however. The fact that Pacheco's a physician has lent credence to the notion Dempsey inflicted the greater extent of damage reported, and furthered the belief that Willard could have continued with such exaggerated impairment.
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I think we'll never know whether or not Liston had truely dislocated his shoulder. To me it sounds like a smarter choice than "stomach cramps", but nothing more than just that: a "smarter choice".
True enough. Again, the "smoking gun" which would definitively settle matters in favor of Liston's claim would be the release of such an X-ray of Sonny's shoulder. Otherwise, the footage does not indicate he was restricted by such a dislocation.

Last edited by Duodenum; 11-08-2007 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 11-08-2007, 05:43 PM   #23
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

Yessir.
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Old 11-08-2007, 10:39 PM   #24
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

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Originally Posted by TBooze
Yes he could 95% of the time. But I supect if he began his career in 1988, by now he would of had at least one defeat due to the tactic.

Lewis, Bowe and Holyfield in the time period all had enough speed and power to potentially make Ali pay at least once in any potential match-ups
One of Ali's strengths was his ability to adjust to his opponent's style and find a way to win.

If he fought Lewis or Bowe, he would probably have made the necessary adjustments to meet their styles. Patterson was a sfast or faster than the guys from the 80/s and could hit..

H to H Joe Lewis is the guy I'd give the best chance.

He would have to be very careful with Mike Tyson for the first few rounds.
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Old 11-09-2007, 06:46 AM   #25
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

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Originally Posted by Thad Spencer
I actually agree with CMCII for once. Ali would easily beat all of these fat, slow guys. He beat guys like Foreman with ease.
Exactly who are these fat / slow big guys? Klitschko, Ibragimov, and Povetkin all have very good to excellent speed. Other guys like Chambers, Gomez and Chagaev have good hand speed too.

Just because Ali's rope-a- dope worked on a dim witted, sloppy and slow George Foreman, does not mean it would work on a modern day slugger like Sam Peter.

Sometimes historians kill me. They say modern heavies are over weight, but in truth so were Ali and Frazier for much of the 70s.

Back to my point, Ali would need to re-tool his defense vs the better bigger and skilled heavies like Bowe, Lewis and Klitschko. Each man had good hand speed, excellent power and superior height / range to Ali. The shorter man who employs the style of a boxer can not afford to keep his guard low. It is an invitation to jabs, which bothered Ali at all stages of his career, and straight ring hands. Ask any trainer. Bowe, Lewis and Klitschko all had very good jabs and straight right hands.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:26 PM   #26
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

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Originally Posted by I Am Legend
the 60's Ali has the textbook example of the style to not use against a peak mike tyson.
THANK YOU, I'm tired of people making Ali out to be some GOD...Tyson was one of the few fighters whose speed would rival Ali, and if Cooper and Frazier could take advantage of "Ali
's defensive flaws, Tyson certainly could, he was better in all if not most categories compared to Cooper and Frazier. Tyson didn't just have fast hands, but his feet were much faster than given credit for.He cutt off the ring VERY WELL.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:45 PM   #27
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

The 60s- Ali could do everything, even flying or things like that, Marciano on the other side would lose so SMWs like Calzaghe or Mundine, I know...
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:12 PM   #28
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

If Lucian Bute can do a low guard today...please
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:18 PM   #29
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

Foreman, while slow, has always had decent timing and accuracy despite poor technique -- note how in his comeback he was often able to land. Also note that in his younger days he was dead-on once he had anybody stunned.

Also note that when Ali fought him, his reflexes, speed and legs had diminished greatly.

The point I'm trying to make is that Ali did not get hit with many significant punches while laying stationary on the ropes. He was there, deflecting, blocking, reducing shots to glancing blows, pretty much doing a thorough job of protecting himself in a situation most heavyweights would have crapped their pants in mortal fear.

He had remarkable boxing sense. Great awareness of distance, the velocity and trajectory of a punch -- I don't believe it's conscious, but subconscious. His world seemed to move just a notch faster than it did for everybody else. RJJ would evoke some nostalgia in me years later regarding that.

Inlcluding Lennox Lewis, I believe a young Ali hands out a boxing lesson to whoever wants to study in these modern times. People envision Ali dancing on the outside -- something he wouldn't do against a Klitschko or anyone with a significant reach advantage against him. He would dart in and out, punching coming in with a straight one-two, and would use his superior sense of distance and speed of hand and foot to reveal the weakness of a size advantage -- against a fleet-footed opponent, they look awkward and sluggish, dragging one foot behind the other within the same timespan it costs the dancer to take five small steps.
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Old 11-09-2007, 08:49 PM   #30
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Default Re: The 60's Ali. Could he get away with a low guard today?

Exactly. The low Ali guard was a tactic not a weakness - it drew his opponents into exchanges which was particularly important for Ali as he was a headhunter.

As Ali was a force-of-nature fighter with reflexes eons ahead of all his opponents, he would then be able to dodge and counter. (FTR, I believe that Terrell was both taller and quicker than Lennox Lewis although he was not so stylish).

As you say, if he felt this tactic was not working, he would have used another mid-fight. He showed time and again he was extremely adaptable.

On a related matter, I think most of the evidence that Ali was prone to good jabbers is built on post-exile observations. I believe the mid 60s incarnation could deal with any style, although 1977-78 Holmes would be a handful for anyone.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchamp
You forgot to include Tyson. But I otherwise agree with your post.

I think Ali kept his hand low because it catered to his style so perfectly that fighting out of a more conventional stance would have compromised his reflexes slightly. Ali did a fine job of measuring distance and his opponents and I'm under the impression that if he were in with a guy who he felt could exploit it I'm certain he would have adjusted accordingly.
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