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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 10-20-2012, 05:44 AM   #46
Stevie G
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

I'll breakdown Ali's form in each of the six fights he had,in total,with both men -


1/ Norton II/Frazier II
2/ Frazier I
3/ Frazier III
4/ Norton I
5/ Norton III


Ali was on his best form for the second fights with both men. Overall in the series,he was better for Frazier,but Norton gave the BEST seventies Ali the toughest fight.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:36 AM   #47
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Frazier was Ali's toughest opponent in a physical,swapping pain kind of sense,but Norton was harder stylistically,if you like.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:07 PM   #48
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Norton was the more frustrating opponent whose style was something Ali couldn't circumvent

Frazier was Ali's rival and his greatest opponent. Someone who he had to put blood, sweat, and tears to overcome.

Two very different opponents but overall I'd say Norton was actually tougher ... Ali could physically give Frazier a beat down but Norton was never really someone who he could beat like that
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:07 PM   #49
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Frazier of course was Ali's toughest opponent. He nearly stopped Ali in round 11 in 1971 and dropped him in round 15. In fight 3 Ali stated himself it was the closest thing to death. His fights with Norton were chess matches and neither fighter came close to stopping the other.
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Old 10-22-2012, 07:48 AM   #50
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

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Originally Posted by HOUDINI View Post
Frazier of course was Ali's toughest opponent. He nearly stopped Ali in round 11 in 1971 and dropped him in round 15. In fight 3 Ali stated himself it was the closest thing to death. His fights with Norton were chess matches and neither fighter came close to stopping the other.

The Ali-Norton rivalry was only intense in an athletic competitive way. There was no personal rancour between the two. I always got the feeling that Muhammad and Ken were quite fond of each other.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:37 PM   #51
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Frazier, he put constant pressure on Ali, and was pretty fast himself.Norton's defense took away Ali's jab,but he faced a lesser version of Ali than Frazier did when he beat him.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:55 AM   #52
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Frazier was his greatest rival, but if you mean "his most difficult opponent", realistically speaking it was prime Holmes.
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Old 09-10-2013, 05:00 PM   #53
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie G View Post
Frazier was Ali's toughest opponent in a physical,swapping pain kind of sense,but Norton was harder stylistically,if you like.
Sums it up.
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Old 09-10-2013, 10:51 PM   #54
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

I agree with those who say Norton was tougher from a stylistic standpoint but Frazier was physically tougher and more painful to fight. Norton posed more of a tactical problem for Ali to solve. Norton would lean away from Ali's jab and right hand and utilise his own jab in return while parrying Ali's jab. Frazier on the other hand never leaned away at all. Being short with a shorter reach meant he had to get close and stay close while throwing a high number of punches in bunches. No thinking things over from outside while matching Ali jab for jab. Frazier had to engage Ali in trench warfare all night long. He wasn't difficult to figure out for Ali but he was difficult to keep off of him...and he was there to be hit. Norton's assaults were more sporadic tho no less painful, just not as constant as Fraziers.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:14 AM   #55
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevie G View Post
Frazier was Ali's toughest opponent in a physical,swapping pain kind of sense,but Norton was harder stylistically,if you like.
Good assessment.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:13 PM   #56
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Default Re: Muhammad Ali's most difficult opponent, Frazier or Norton?

Ali and Frazier nearly killed each other. But they took pride in that trilogy. It made their legacy. I don't think that none of them would've missed it for anything, despite the pain. But I am pretty sure that Ali could've done without those three miserable outings against Norton.
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