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View Poll Results: Ali's most difficult opponent?
Joe Frazier 30 61.22%
Ken Norton 19 38.78%
Voters: 49. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 10-29-2008, 07:40 AM   #31
Bill Butcher
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

I voted Frazier because both gave him trouble but IMO Joe made Ali hurt more.

Ali treated Frazier as a more dangerous threat & tried very hard & dug deep in every Frazier fight, Joe fought a very good Ali 3 times, Norton fought a very good Ali once & in that fight he lost, it was the 2nd Ali/Norton fight & I gave Ali 7 rds.
The 1st Norton fight, Ali was in terrible shape & the 3rd fight he was way past prime approaching shot as Joe took everything away from him in their 3rd fight in Manila.

I always imagine a prime Ali vs these 2 at their peaks & even tho I see a UD for Ali vs both, I get the feeling that Frazier gives him the much tougher fight.

Norton was more`complicated` but Frazier was`tougher` if that makes sense.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:55 AM   #32
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Frazier he had Alihurt badly in the 11th rd of the 1st fight and down hard in the 15th and the 2nd and 3 rd fights were hell in the ring for most of the fight, I think the difference in the 2nd two was that Frazier slipped but he was still alive enough to make it life or death...Norton's style and pressuer made it hard for Ali but Fraziers power inflicted more pain and the body shots landed by Frazier hurt more than a broken jaw which occured when Ali got hit with his mouth open.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:55 AM   #33
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Norton could never of pushed Ali like Frazier did in their first bout, but he certainly posed some stylistic dilemmas that the 'slowing Ali' had much trouble in negating.

Of the two, it should go to Frazier because he gave Ali his greatest beating at a time when Ali was in better shape than he ever was again, which means for any of the Norton fights.

When Norton beat Ali, preparation played a big part, not so much though when Joe initially sank Ali's ship.

To split honours, Norton was probably the most difficult to figure out whereas Frazier was most difficult to overcome.
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:22 PM   #34
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Very hard to call. Ali was a better fighter in the 2nd Norton fight that he was in FOTC - Ali got in very good shape for that rematch. He won the first 6 rounds easy by constantly moving. When he tired Norton took over. Similar story re Frazier. Peak Ali v peak Frazier would be a close fight. Peak Ali could move even more than in Norton 2 so i think peak Ali would win easier - maybe 9 rounds to 6. Still a close call whichever way you see it.
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:30 PM   #35
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcvey
The assertion by another poster that Norton was stronger than Frazier ,I find debatable,and the fact that he said Norton's height bothered Ali,Norton did not" fight tall" ,he came forward in a half crouch,tall men didnt trouble Ali as much as the shorter guys.
I said that Frazier's height was better suited when going to Ali's body and his 'bob and weave' style in general. I never said that Norton's height bothered Ali.
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:35 PM   #36
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbi
I said that Frazier's height was better suited when going to Ali's body and his 'bob and weave' style in general. I never said that Norton's height bothered Ali.
You are entirely correct ,sorry ,my sloppy reading ,apolgies!
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:16 PM   #37
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

I'd have to concur with Marciano-Frazier and Ted Spoon, et al. Ali trained harder, was closer to his prime, and had to go to hell for Frazier whereas Norton's stylistic difficulties posed problems.

However --Ali's most difficult opponent was that nappy head watching the fight from under the bottom rope in the opposite corner. The man who an ailing Ali met again years later, who he walked up to and mumbled "you always gave me problems." Eddie Futch.
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:28 AM   #38
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

I think that Fraizer was the hardest of them two.
In the first Norton fight Ali had is jaw broken, that must have done it very difficult for Ali to fight at his best even if he wasn´t in the best shape at that time. The second fight was Ali the winner, the third one is close, so close that even I who has Ali as a housegod, wonder if he really won that one.
Ali -Frazier 1. I think that fight came little to early for Ali after his comeback and, yes Frazier won that one. A big difference in the first and the second fight was that in the first fight Ali just stod there and fought with Frazier and that is not very wise. In the second one Ali was dancing and moving for all 12 rounds that made it much harder for Frazier.
The third one was a total war but Ali won that one even if they would have went for all 15 rounds.
So how would Norton and Frazier do against Ali from the 60´s?
Well during this period Ali was to fast, to sharp and had superb reflexes, neither one of them would have been close to win a fight against him. I think Frazier would have been the one who had put up the best struggle but he would have taken a hell of a beating cause Ali was lethal at that time.
When you write about these guys it makes me wonder what happened to the heavyweight´s, it´s to boring today.
All the best my friends
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:41 PM   #39
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Maricano-Frazier, I think you had the post manilla fights pegged right. I had Young outscore Ali, Ali win by a point in the third Norton fight, by Kenny's fault, he gave Ali that last round and with it the decision, and the Shaver's bout was close. I didn't see the second Ali-Frazier bout that close, and neither the second Ali-Norton bout. Both I had clear cut for Ali.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:53 PM   #40
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Quote:
Originally Posted by timmers612
Maricano-Frazier, I think you had the post manilla fights pegged right. I had Young outscore Ali, Ali win by a point in the third Norton fight, by Kenny's fault, he gave Ali that last round and with it the decision, and the Shaver's bout was close. I didn't see the second Ali-Frazier bout that close, and neither the second Ali-Norton bout. Both I had clear cut for Ali.
It's really astonishing how fast he declined after Manilla. Suppose there are other examples, but I can't come to think of any right now.
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:07 PM   #41
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Have to agree with the thread starter... Norton was stylistically all wrong for Ali. Frazier is the better boxer of the two but Ali just couldnt seem to figure Norton out to dominate him. The fights with Frazier were more punishing for Ali (despite the broken jaw Norton gave him in I) but in terms of a more difficult opponent I'd have to go with Norton.
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Old 10-30-2008, 04:43 PM   #42
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Hard to say who was the more difficult opponent because both gave Ali big problems in both trilogies.

I'd lean slightly towards Norton based on the medical factors surrounding both fighters' careers. It is arguable that Frazier was at his physical peak from 1967-1970 and declining slightly just prior to the FOTC. His body was at his best for the FOTC, but his vision problems, notably the cataract surgery he was putting off was becoming a serious issue. Norton on the other hand didn't have any documented medical problems although he stated that he showed up lighter and weaker for the rematch against Ali.

Both men would have given Ali problems at any time in his career, even during his first title reign before his exile. Norton however, was the fighter with the awkward style for Ali that he never really figured out.
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Old 11-23-2008, 08:02 AM   #43
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Norton by far!
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:04 PM   #44
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Norton, because he nullified Ali's prime weapon, the jab.Frazier is a close second, but he could never take away the jab, but his constant pressure got to Ali.
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Old 10-19-2012, 09:56 PM   #45
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Norton was a nightmare stylistically, Frazier was life and death
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