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Old 05-23-2008, 04:19 PM   #1
Bokaj
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Default Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

Both have been compared to RJJ p4p in recent threads, so I thought it was time to put them against each other. This is not really a h2h scenario, but if you want to give your thoughts of the two going h2h p4p, feel free to do so.


Record:

You can divide Ali's career into two parts, before and after his exile. In his first career he did everything almost perfectly. He was undefeated, rarely had any real trouble with his opponents and never after reaching his prime. His most impressive victories during these years were against Liston, who was considered invincible at the time, and his most impressive perfomance was against C. Williams.

After the 3,5 years exile he came back and dominated an era which many believe was the most competitive in the division's history. His greatest win during these years was against Foreman, and his greatest perfomance was one of the rematches against Quarry, Frazier or Norton IMO (take your pick). He declined badly after Manilla, though, and is considered by many to have gotten at least one gift decision during the late 70's. After taking the title for the third time in a valiant effort against Spinks, he was retired by humiliating losses against Holmes and Berbick. He has 7-3 against his 5 best opponents during his second career (Frazier, Norton, Foreman, Quarry, Holmes) and had the same stats against his 5 best opponents over all (swap Quarry for Liston).


For the sake of argument I divide Duran's career into two parts as well: the first when he was a featherweight and lightweight, and the second when he was above those weights. In his first career he was very dominant, only had one loss at the age of 21. During these years he established himself as probably the greatest lightweights ever and the best p4p of the late 70's.

It's above those weights (in his 'second career') that he has his greatest wins, over Leonard and Barkley, but he also suffered quite a few losses during this time (15). He has 2-5 against his five greatest opponents during these years (Leonard, Hagler, Hearns, Barkley and Benitez), who arguably also are the best opponents he faced over his entire career. The loss to Hearns was very one-sided, and the first loss to Leonard was particulary bad. The level of his opposition is incredibly impressive, though, even more so than Ali's. Especially since he faced several ATG's at weight classes above his natural weight. The wins over Leonard and Barkley is IMO better than any of Ali's wins. He also had great, great longevity, with a career that stretched for more than 30 years and fighting until the age of 50. This is really something. But it would probably be impossible for a heavyweight to have such a longevity.


Skills/assets:

Ali arguably had the greatest physical and mental assets in the history of boxing. He had close to supernatural speed for his 212 lbs, and also great stamina, durability and chin. The only thing he lacked was really great power. He also had supreme tactical nous and unsurpassed courage and will power.

Many point to the fact that his style lacked in fundamentals, but I personally don't really see this as a drawback. He made his unorthodox style work very well for him, and showed great adaptability when he no longer had the tools to pull it off.


Duran had one of the best defenses an offensive fighter's ever had. He was also fast and had hands of, you guessed it, stone. He was a relentless machine of destruction in his prime, and unquestionably one of the most vicious fighters there's ever been. There are no question marks over his chin and durability either, both of which was excellent, but the "no mas"-incident has left a black mark on his mental fortitude that cannot be erased.


Ps. Some argue that heavyweights should be given shorter shrift in a p4p sense, since there aren't that many that are 180+ lbs, which make the competition less fierce. I agree with that, but since most people probably are somewhere around 150-170 lbs, the same thing can be said of featherweights and lightweights as well.


So, what do you think? Ali or Duran?
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

You know who my favourite fighter is! But imo, this is edged ever so slightly by Ali, not an Ali fan at all, just my opinion
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Old 05-23-2008, 04:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

Ali is greater and deserves to rank higher, beating ray leonard once is a great thing, but that doesnt make you top 5 p4p of all times. Ali conquered the best era ever of heavyweights, Duran's lightweight era was far from the best.
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

I think HWs are underrated in P4P ATG rankings, always have, there is most competition at HW, you have to beat the best from 175lbs-300lbs, your punnished more for errors

No in terms of the real meaning of P4P, if everyone was the same size argument, HWs arent as good, but in terms of accomplishment, which is what most recognise P4P talent as, they are at the top.
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

I dont have to think 2 times...Duran was the greater of the 2...if you enlarged Duran to 6"2 220 lbs, he may be the greatest of all time..he could box, had great defence,great reflexes,great power,great speed., good chin...Ali had EXcellent speed,Excellent legs...good chin but Duran was more relentless than Frazier but had better skills
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bummy Davis
I dont have to think 2 times...Duran was the greater of the 2...if you enlarged Duran to 6"2 220 lbs, he may be the greatest of all time..he could box, had great defence,great reflexes,great power,great speed., good chin...Ali had EXcellent speed,Excellent legs...good chin but Duran was more relentless than Frazier but had better skills
But Duran had trouble putting pressure on Leonard in their second fight, and Leonard didn't have as fast feet as Ali even in real terms, in a p4p sense Ali was a level above in that department. Duran was 29 at the time, fighting at the weightclass just above his best weight (going by the original divisions).
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

I'd have them both in my top 5 ATG. Along with SRR, SRL and Armstrong. Both Ali and Duran have amazing records. Both dominant at their natural weights, but Duran edges it for me with his victories at Welter, Junior middle and middle.
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:15 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerPuncher
I think HWs are underrated in P4P ATG rankings, always have, there is most competition at HW, you have to beat the best from 175lbs-300lbs, your punnished more for errors

No in terms of the real meaning of P4P, if everyone was the same size argument, HWs arent as good, but in terms of accomplishment, which is what most recognise P4P talent as, they are at the top.
Yes, heavyweights will rarely rank high p4p because there's no higher weight class to challenge and heavyweights are just not as coordinated, fast or fluent as the smaller guys. That's why it was so special that Tyson ranked #1 in the ring p4p rankings for a couple of years.
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokaj
But Duran had trouble putting pressure on Leonard in their second fight, and Leonard didn't have as fast feet as Ali even in real terms, in a p4p sense Ali was a level above in that department. Duran was 29 at the time, fighting at the weightclass just above his best weight (going by the original divisions).

the 2nd fight was not Duran at his best...He was on a drink and coke bing..hanging out at Victor's Spanish Cafe in N.Y....Dundee insisited on an imediate rematch and Duran had to shed pounds and could not get into shape in time, he could not muscle up and lose weight at the same time, quick weight loss....Tkae Duran in the 1st fight or the last Dejesus fight and enlarge him...he would stop Ali
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bummy Davis
the 2nd fight was not Duran at his best...He was on a drink and coke bing..hanging out at Victor's Spanish Cafe in N.Y....Dundee insisited on an imediate rematch and Duran had to shed pounds and could not get into shape in time, he could not muscle up and lose weight at the same time, quick weight loss....Tkae Duran in the 1st fight or the last Dejesus fight and enlarge him...he would stop Ali
Sorry, I don't put much stock in such reasoning. It's usually just a way to excuse that your favourite fighter got his ass kicked. Duran didn't in any way look slow or out of shape to me in that fight. He wasn't winded at all when he quit. And if he's anything of a pro he gets in shape for such a fight.
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Old 05-23-2008, 08:26 PM   #11
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

I was a huge Duran fan but still I have to pick Ali on this one.
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Old 05-23-2008, 09:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

I hate it when people keep calling Duran top 5 p4p, no he's not. Greb, Langford, Ezzard, Robinson all have him clearly beat. Ali and Henry Armstrong should rank higher too, Duran should rank between 8-12, ranking him top 5 is ridiculous if the 2nd best fighter you beat was someone not even in the top 100.
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:18 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

Duran
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Old 05-24-2008, 01:11 AM   #14
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

I have to with Ali. He easily has the better resume with his wins over

Fraizer,Foreman,Liston,Norton,Bonavena,Young,Shavers,Lyle,quarry,and Patterson

What about the losses before their skills diminished? Ali only lost the FOTC and when he broke his jaw

against Norton. Duran got smoked by Hearns,quit against Leonard, and lost to Dejesus,Laing,and

Benitez. Duran seems to get a free pass for his bad performances
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Old 05-24-2008, 05:18 AM   #15
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Default Re: Ali or Duran: who was the best of the two p4p?

TBH i think they should be very very close together on a greatness list. I don't think i'd have more than two spots between them personally.
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