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Old 01-12-2008, 06:24 AM   #31
NickHudson
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

Relative to weight, Yes. I was trying to make the point that relative to his size his athleticism was extraordinary.

In pure terms No. But the triple jump record holder weighed a small fraction of Ali.

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Originally Posted by Sweet Pea
Yet you do think Ali is more athletic than all of them?
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:00 AM   #32
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

It's pretty easy to make a case for Ali being the #1 heavyweight; but I think it's much harder to make the case for top 5 or #1 P4P given the freakish cases that can be made for guys like SRR, Pep, Greb, Armstrong, Sugar Ray Leonard, and others of that ilk. I honestly don't think any Heavyweight could produce a resume to combat, say, an original 3 division champion like Ross or Armstrong. The system itself, with how it rewards the lighter weight classes moreso than Heavyweights, makes that basically impossible.

Had Ali ever been small enough to compete at Light Heavyweight or Cruiserweight (preferably light heavy if it's purely legacy we're talking) and succeeded there prior to moving up and conquering heavyweight, it'd be much easier to make that case IMO. As it stands, I'm not so sure he'd rank higher than Tunney P4P because of that same reasoning.
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:10 AM   #33
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

George Foreman in his forties scared Mike Tyson half to death. You can beat George if you're great, but it's gonna hurt, and it's never easy.

The younger version of Foreman would not have lost to Tommy Morrison, and would steamroll the currrent HW division. Wladimir Klitschko is a much better boxer, with power and good fundamentals, but George could rock him with a jab.
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:07 AM   #34
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickHudson
Well, I guess I think 20 years at HW is better than 25 years at the niche weight classes given the extra punishment that gets shipped at HW.

So 60 fights at heavyweight is superior to 200 fights at welter and middle, yes? If so. It'd be interesting to see any other heavyweights on your pfp list. Surely there must be loads of 'em.


Resourceful: Robinson was taking on a guy that was one of the best middlweights in the world, in approximately his 200th fight, in his 45th year.

Last edited by El Rey; 12-18-2006 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 01-12-2008, 11:11 AM   #35
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickHudson
I think a very strong case can be made for Ali as #1 P4P, although I suspect the ESB board will not support me here!

My reasons:

1) Talent pool. The Open Mens division in any sport is rightfully the most prestigious. In boxing, this is the HWs - it pits the best boxers in the world against each other, irrespective of size and see who comes out on top. For me, and for this reason, the HW champ has achieved more than the champs in the 'niche' divisions.

2) Prime performances. I think Ali's performance against Williams in '66 was a sublime, balletic work of art. So beautifully crafted it almost looks choreographed. Other posters have argued Williams was so terrible any ATG HW could have done a similar job.

I strongly disagree, Lennox Lewis (not a big favorite of mine!) could not look anything like that (moving so gracefully and swiftly, engaging when necessary, avoiding punches, landing blistering combinations) even with an inanimate punching bag in front of him! More telling, neither could a boxer from a smaller division, where strength to weight ratios are more favorable.

3) Force-of-nature athleticism. Ali's athleticism relative to his size is unique. I have never seen even a close second (from any sport) in tems of overall athleticism although others approach for specific comparisons (e.g. Tysons hand speed was tremendous).

An aside, Jona Lomu, the NZ rugby player might possibly be argued to be a reasonable equivalent to Ali, as at 110 kg he was able to side step and outsprint much smaller men (as well as trample over the top of them) but I digress...If anyone know of another 'athlete' like Ali with such athleticism relative to large size, I would love to hear more.

4) Longevity. Relative to other HWs (which is the division where the most brutal punishment is dished out), 70 fights over 20 years is astounding.

5) Quality of opposition. Ali fought and relished fighting the very best his division had to offer, in an exceptionally tough competitive era, and anyone who gave him problems were given multiple rematches. This does not apply to SRR for example.

6) Mental fortitude and will-to-win. Ali never gave up, and rose to the challenge time and again under the most harrowing conditions. The 3rd Frazier fight the most obvious example, but there are others. The Holmes fight was horrific and for him to not throw the towel in in those circumstances beggars belief.

7) Resourcefulness. Ali was brilliant at finding new ways to win when he athleticism began to decline. The Foreman fight being the best known example, as well as a masterclass in psychological warfare.

So, for my money Ali is P4P1. If other posters can find those 7 qualities in SRR (or whoever there #1 happens to be) to the same extent as Ali, I would be interested to know more.

Likewise, any other criteria of interest that you view to be important...
Great comments. Athletisism displays itself in so many ways, and Ali's boxing athletisism was unique and unsurpassed. Add his heart and mind to the equation and you have "The Greatest".

RE, Michael Jordan, he flamed out of baseball so I guess he was overrated athletically too.

Last edited by StuBoxing; 12-19-2006 at 04:02 AM.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:41 PM   #36
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickHudson
Relative to weight, Yes. I was trying to make the point that relative to his size his athleticism was extraordinary.

In pure terms No. But the triple jump record holder weighed a small fraction of Ali.
MichaelJordan was 6'6, so he was even bigger than Ali. Why do you compare them relative to weight with Ali but not Jordan? Sounds like someone's trying to distort things.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:41 PM   #37
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

Quote:
Originally Posted by sthomas
Great comments. Athletisism displays itself in so many ways, and Ali's boxing athletisism was unique and unsurpassed. Add his heart and mind to the equation and you have "The Greatest".

RE, Michael Jordan, he flamed out of baseball so I guess he was overrated athletically too.
What did Ali do besides boxing then? We're talking pure athletic ability.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:43 PM   #38
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

Post-exile Ali looked extremely poor athletically.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:54 PM   #39
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

MJ should be considered relative to weight, but here he runs into a problem. As he is not one of the bigger basketballers the 'weight' qualifier does not flatter him like it does Ali, which is kind of one of the points I was trying to make.

I am not trying to distort anything - merely giving my opinion based on observations of the various athletes under consideration. Of course, none of these comparisons (such as basketballers versus boxers) are standardised so it is all perception, and clearly our perceptions differ. Fair enough.

As it happens, I once looked up MJs standing verticle jump measurements (tested by University researchers) as a proxy for his power / explosiveness. Its on the internet, you can find it if you are interested.

His best result was only a couple of inches better than Steve Ovett who was an endurance athlete (not power or explosiveness) who once ran a half marathon in 65 minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Pea
MichaelJordan was 6'6, so he was even bigger than Ali. Why do you compare them relative to weight with Ali but not Jordan? Sounds like someone's trying to distort things.
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Old 01-12-2008, 03:57 PM   #40
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

Agreed. His results were then reliant on other metrics.

When you add all the metrics together (Pre and Post Exile in one package) maybe you have a product that is comparable / marginally superior to SRR at his best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senya13
Post-exile Ali looked extremely poor athletically.
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:07 PM   #41
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

It doesn't work that way. You can't have just strong points of two different versions of Ali together. You either have an athletic fighter who is somewhat fragile and not very strong physically, or you have a very tough fighter, but who is poor at athletism. Prime SRR was more complete without necessity to add to him qualities from his middleweight version.
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:08 PM   #42
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

Quote:
Originally Posted by bill poster
Before Ali fought Frazier he fought bums, grade 2 fighters or hasbeens, the best at the time but they were just not up to the stand of fighters in, say, Lennox's era. Plus he got beat by Jones IMO and was lucky to get away with a win over Cooper.

Then in the 70s he got owned by Frazier and had a lot of dubious decisions go his way. His lack of power caused him to have to go the distance too many times. His best performance were his third fight with a dininished Frazier and Foreman of course. But I believe recent HW champs would have also beat Foreman quite easily.
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Old 01-12-2008, 04:10 PM   #43
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickHudson
As it happens, I once looked up MJs standing verticle jump measurements (tested by University researchers) as a proxy for his power / explosiveness. Its on the internet, you can find it if you are interested.
Jordan's vertical leap is 44 inches, that is a commonly known fact among basketball fans.

Quote:
His best result was only a couple of inches better than Steve Ovett who was an endurance athlete (not power or explosiveness) who once ran a half marathon in 65 minutes.
And what was Ali's result?
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:44 PM   #44
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

I suspect this is the main divergence in our viewpoints.

I am comfortable adding the post exile qualities to the '66-'67 athletic version of Ali. IMO those qualities were there, he just didnt need to use them.

If you are not happy doing that, fair enough. That would certainly undermine his P4P placing greatly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senya13
It doesn't work that way. You can't have just strong points of two different versions of Ali together. You either have an athletic fighter who is somewhat fragile and not very strong physically, or you have a very tough fighter, but who is poor at athletism. Prime SRR was more complete without necessity to add to him qualities from his middleweight version.
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Old 01-12-2008, 06:49 PM   #45
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Default Re: Ali was overrated

If you had bothered to read my previous post, I conceded that there were no comparable metrics measured between Ali and Jordon.

As such, we are both relying on perception. I have watched them both, and I believe Ali's athleticism to be superior. If you disagree, it is a disagreement in perception, not of a fact - fair enough.

PS I would be careful taking at face value aything that is 'known' by US basketball fans to be a 'fact' unless you have double checked it. As you are no doubt aware the US is a culture of hyperbole, and basketball is a sport replete with style-over-substance, superficial showmanship and trash talking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sweet Pea
Jordan's vertical leap is 44 inches, that is a commonly known fact among basketball fans.

And what was Ali's result?
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