Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by ThatOne, Jul 19, 2022.
How does the Muhammad Ali of 1967 fare against Ken Norton, Jimmy Young, and Earnie Shavers?
Norton- Ali would have done far better, he would have just finessed the hell out of him. UD 15
Jimmy Young- Wouldn't have made it 10.
Shavers- He might make 3.
I'm biased. That being said a peak Joe Frazier gives any version of Ali fits. He's all wrong for him. That's different than saying Joe consistently beats him. Ditto for Norton but Ali looks much better against him. I don't believe Young or Shavers last long.
Ali beats every HW ever at his peak. Some bouts may be conpetitive, but no one defeats him.
Frazier comes closest as his style was poison to Ali but remember Frazier didn't beat a peak
Norton can still edge a win, Young gets stopped or decisioned, Shavers unless he gets a Cooper type of shot gets stopped as well.
To be fair Ali never a peak Frazier either (who deteriorated worse after their first fight) so the question of FOTC Frazier vs pre-exile Ali will always be up in the air.
Kenny and Joe are always going to be bad news for Ali, peak or not peak
You could also say Muhammad Ali never beat a prime Joe Frazier.
Joe was at his peak at the FOTC on March 8, 1971....you would have to kill Frazier on that night to beat him...
Frazier still beats Ali, based on beating him close to their respective bests, and on stylistic grounds.
Norton loses. Ellis loses. Shavers loses, unless he gets lucky, in which case he lands a massive punch, floors Ali, and still loses after Ali gets up.
The way I see it Ali didn’t have to necessarily lose a lot in speed/reflex to lose that much more in manifest effect in the ring.
Conversely, a truly peak Ali would be fare so much better against his second career competition - including Frazier who would still be a tough fight but who I believe peak Ali would decision clearly.
The 2nd Chuvalo fight is always a good ref. point as to how much effectiveness Ali lost without his peak speed, reflex and movement. Essentially Chuvalo didn’t improve but he did so much better than their first fight.
Though I will say George did think to jab a bit more in the rematch which gave him a bit more advantage than their first fight.
How would Norton edge a win? He couldn’t do that against a past prime Ali in ‘74 and couldn’t even beat ‘76 Ali decisively.
Ali would get up like it was time to boil the kettle, leisurely and with no sense of urgency. Shavers would gas in the subsequent seconds desperately trying to finish Ali only to realise Muhammad ate his punch like a footlong and then seconds later his soul with a right hand.
Muhammad was a comic book character it was toon like how sturdy he was. I say that so often, but damn.
His endurance, durability and will to win gifted to any boxer makes them an ATG.
Problem with this is Ali was not close to his best against Frazier. And that's coming from someone who's favorite fighter is Smokin Joe.
FOTC Ali was like 96 Tyson or 65 Patterson (assuming you discount the back issue.) Close enough that he's a good indication of how a fight would have gone in his prime, even if he was diminished somewhat.
Nice to see someone who thinks Ali- Norton lll wasn't a robbery. I see it as a Spinks-Holmes type of decision, except the champ got the benefit of the doubt. I started this thread because a poster used the Young fight as emblematic of Ali's career and another poster said Ali was overrated and RJJ could conceivably beat him.