Did Spinks hurt or help Ali's legacy?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by MoneyMay1, Jul 19, 2021.

  1. MoneyMay1

    MoneyMay1 New Member Full Member

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    Muhammad Ali was retired with an impeccable 55-2 record and a Heavyweight belt he defended against all of the best contenders. He decided to give a young gold medalist an opportunity at his belt. Ali lost in a close decision to the young upstart. That loss does hurt Ali's record. At the same time, he came back the second fight and put in one more great performance to win the title again. That match gave him the record for 3 heavyweight title reigns.

    Do you think it hurt Ali to add that loss to record or did he make for it by adding another record to his legacy?

    Obviously the Holmes and Berbick fights didn't help. Let's just assume Ali stays retired after Spinks.
     
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  2. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I really believed that it hurt Muhammad Ali's legacy. There was really no need to defend his title against unheralded Leon Spinks. Ali fought him to avoid a mandatory title defense mandated by the WBC that he defend against no. 1 WBC challenger Ken Norton, who solidified his ranking by virtue of his victory over Jimmy Young on Nov 5 1977. Ali stated that he was getting tired of fighting Norton. There was no need to fight Spinks, Ali should have retired with his title intact, second time that he did not lose his title in the ring. The first time was 1967, when he was stripped of his title and license for rejecting the military draft.
     
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  3. William Walker

    William Walker Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I think the answer is both, although probably more of the latter. Spinks had a worse effect on Ali's Parkinson's than he did on his career.
     
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  4. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    It hurt his legacy slightly. A. He should never have lost to a guy with so few fights.
    B. He did lose but regained his title, but should never have lost it in the first place anyway.!
    But it just showed how far Gone he was. Maybe if he hadn't met Spinks he'd have faced a more dangerous oppenent.
    Even a fourth fight with Norton would have been dangerous.
     
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  5. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I have to agree my friend, Ken Norton had too much momentum at that time, no wonder that Leon Spinks did not opt to defend against him either. As much as I admired Muhammad Ali, Ken would have won.
     
  6. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Think he would have, Richard.
    Kenny was on a roll in his Indian summer wasn't he?
    The way he forced Holmes to fight every minute, no way could Ali have survived that.
     
  7. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Ali had nothing left in his gas tank, he was on empty. I was surprised at the way he took Earnie Shavers right hands on Sept 29 1977.
     
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  8. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    He was bloody lucky he wasn't laid out by some of those shots.
    Only that remarkable chin kept him up. 15 Rounds with Shavers bombs exploding around your head!
     
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  9. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    It was like a moving ship with all those shells and torpedoes exploding. I saw that fight live on NBC primetime. I stated to pace when I saw Ali's head jerk back after taking those bombs, his movement stopped.
     
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  10. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I can just imagine that Richard!
    I've seen the fight several times, obviously knowing who wins, but still, when you see Ali getting hit by Shavers, and as you say, Muhammed slowing down, it's pretty bad to watch.
     
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  11. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    It was sad for me to watch as well, I had been following Ali since 1965, he did not look the same anymore, very sad to watch.
     
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  12. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I think most of his fights post 1975
    were in some way, sad to see. The slowing down, getting hit more. Amazing he didn't actually lose untill he faced Spink s.
     
  13. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Truthfully, The Thrilla In Manila against Joe Frazier finished Muhammad Ali. He looked worse and appeared very chubby in his fights,, he had to struggle, something I do not recall in his first title reign fights, except he struggled a bit against Karl Mildenberger in 1966.
     
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  14. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    He did, it s very sad to see.
    Yes Richard, spot on about Mildenberger. Think it may have been a clash of styles, that took young Ali some time to figure it out.
     
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  15. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I remember Howard Cosell saying that Muhammad Ali wanted to end it but that he could not. It did not happen until round 12. In 1970, against Oscar Bonavena, Cosell compared the Mildenberger fight to the Ali vs Bonavena.
     
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