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Old 07-14-2014, 11:44 PM   #1
Sardu
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Default Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

Let's say Foreman had not lost to Jimmy Young and then defeated Earnie Shavers in the summer of 1977. That could set up the blockbuster Ali-Foreman rematch for all the marbles.

I agree with most of you from another post that the 1972 razor-sharp Ali who took apart Quarry then Floyd Patterson and Bob Foster defeats the young and still relatively obscure George Foreman in 72.'


1977 sees Ali having been through the wringer with three life and death struggles with Ken Norton, a gruelling 12-round eliminator against Joe Frazier, being closer to death than ever once again against Frazier in Manilla, a physically and emotionally draining 8th round knockout to annex the title vs Foreman.


We will assume the Ali-Shavers fight of September 29, 1977 never took place with Foreman wasting Earnie in three rounds in late summer of that year. This fight takes place in early December in the mecca of boxing: Madison Square Garden in New York City. Best arena in the world in the most famous city in the world. Does Ali have enough tricks and gimmicks to again bamboozle Foreman. Or will big bad George pound out his revenge for Zaire?
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:46 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

I meant 1973-77' sees Ali having all those tough fights against superior opposition which would bring about a lot of wear and tear.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

I think if Ali came in shape he would still win. Foreman had problems dealing with stick and movers.
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Old 07-14-2014, 11:52 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

Ali was decidedly more flat-footed by this time. He stood mostly flat-footed against Shavers only dancing sporadically which was all he was capable of by that point. Ali was aging rapidly and the kicks to the legs against Inoki in Japan the year before (1976) didn't do his mobility any favors. Ali's last kayo was against Richard Dunn in May 1976. He never scored another knockout or early stoppage win after the Antonio Inoki exhibition-fiasco which took place in June 1976.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:52 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

I would bet Foreman. I recently re-watched Ali Norton 3, I was shocked how much decline Ali demonstrated. The Thrilla in Manila would have ideally been his last hurrah.
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Old 07-15-2014, 01:15 AM   #6
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

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Originally Posted by Sardu View Post
Ali was decidedly more flat-footed by this time. He stood mostly flat-footed against Shavers only dancing sporadically which was all he was capable of by that point. Ali was aging rapidly and the kicks to the legs against Inoki in Japan the year before (1976) didn't do his mobility any favors. Ali's last kayo was against Richard Dunn in May 1976. He never scored another knockout or early stoppage win after the Antonio Inoki exhibition-fiasco which took place in June 1976.
As much speed as Ali lost by this time he was still more agile than Foreman. The handspeed was still there too. I believe Ali would win that fight because in the mid 70's Ali was unknockoutable. Strangely as he got older he seemed to be less visibly hurt from hard shots. We know Ali's pride, he would never go down to Foreman, I just don't see it happening. Foreman wouldn't knock him out and I do not believe Foreman would have the gas tank to beat Ali over 15 rounds.

In this time we saw Foreman get undone by Jimmy Young who had a very similar style to Ali. Foreman hadn't improved at all since Zaire, if anything he was regressing.

We also have to take into consideration that it was almost impossible to get a decision over Ali. The judges in these days were seemingly trying their best to perpetuate the Ali legend.
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

By 1977, Ali was using a variety of gimmicks, smoke and mirrors, etc. to pull out fights. He still had tremendous courage, heart, guts, etc. to go along with the gimmicks of course. Wow, Foreman would have been a tough fight for Ali in 77.' I'm glad it never happened (thanks Jimmy Young).
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:12 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

Foreman all day long. Age & too much wear & tear on Ali.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:30 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardu View Post
Let's say Foreman had not lost to Jimmy Young and then defeated Earnie Shavers in the summer of 1977. That could set up the blockbuster Ali-Foreman rematch for all the marbles.

I agree with most of you from another post that the 1972 razor-sharp Ali who took apart Quarry then Floyd Patterson and Bob Foster defeats the young and still relatively obscure George Foreman in 72.'


1977 sees Ali having been through the wringer with three life and death struggles with Ken Norton, a gruelling 12-round eliminator against Joe Frazier, being closer to death than ever once again against Frazier in Manilla, a physically and emotionally draining 8th round knockout to annex the title vs Foreman.


We will assume the Ali-Shavers fight of September 29, 1977 never took place with Foreman wasting Earnie in three rounds in late summer of that year. This fight takes place in early December in the mecca of boxing: Madison Square Garden in New York City. Best arena in the world in the most famous city in the world. Does Ali have enough tricks and gimmicks to again bamboozle Foreman. Or will big bad George pound out his revenge for Zaire?
Foreman wasn't the same guy once Ali KO'd him. He switched trainers, and lost much of what made him so dangerous.

I think Foreman would be in shape for the re-match, and age / wear and tear for Ali would be an issue.

Do you pick the guy on the mental decline, or the guy who had too many tough fights who is older?

I'd go with Foreman via late round TKO, but it would not be a confident pick.
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Old 07-15-2014, 12:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

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Originally Posted by Mendoza View Post
Foreman wasn't the same guy once Ali KO'd him. He switched trainers, and lost much of what made him so dangerous.

I think Foreman would be in shape for the re-match, and age / wear and tear for Ali would be an issue.

Do you pick the guy on the mental decline, or the guy who had too many tough fights who is older?

I'd go with Foreman via late round TKO, but it would not be a confident pick.

It would definitely be a very hard call. If anything,Ali had slipped more in the three years between regaining the title against Foreman in Zaire and when scraping through against Earnie Shavers in Madison Square than he did between 1967 and '74 !

On the other hand,Ali still had the power to bewilder George and cast doubts on his effectiveness no matter what tactics he employed. The supreme irony is that Foreman's best gameplan in 1977 would be what failed him in Zaire.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

Ali was too badly faded at this point, IMO. Still had his toughness, smarts, heart, and his hands were still faster than most HWs, but that can take you only so far.

Ali took some really hellacious shots against Shavers. I think he would likewise take too many against Foreman.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:09 PM   #12
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

I'm not sure Ali in 1977 could any longer beat an elite fighter. He had reached the point where he could bluff his way through the rounds but he could no longer convincingly beat any world class fighters by then. He kept getting the decision if it was close.

Thing is he stood on the ropes for 6 rounds against Foreman covering up. Ali could still do that in 1980. He was always big and strong enough to that. After the seventh round Foreman would be as tired in 1977 as he was in 1974 but in 1977 would Ali find the timing to catch George clean like he did to floor George in 1974?

ALI could always do 15 rounds standing on his head. He could stall and kid his way through against an exhausted Foreman. He could Nick an unpopular decision as he was doing with Norton.

Last edited by choklab; 07-15-2014 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:17 PM   #13
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

Please see foreman's actions post zaire, the guy was mentally ruined, Ali despite his wear and tear would conquer Foreman again in a boring stinky decision. Ali would take advantage of Foremans reluctance. Foreman would be too concerned about gassing and Ali would be too mentally strong to let Foreman beat him
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

In 1977, if Foreman was well prepared, he might could win a decision over Ali... especially if Ali thought it was going to be an easy fight.
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Old 07-15-2014, 05:22 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ali vs Foreman rematch in the fall of 1977: who would have won?

It begs the question, if Foreman had of been made to fight Ali in an eliminator for Fraziers Title would he have ever made it to champion?
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