From 1-10, how high are a prime Louis' chances against a prime Ali?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Melankomas, Jan 24, 2023 at 9:22 PM.

  1. Melankomas

    Melankomas Member Full Member

    Dec 18, 2022
    I've always found Ali vs. Louis to be a very interesting matchup, since while Ali thrived against fighters with similar styles to Louis, Joe Louis is still, well, Joe Louis. He has some of the fastest hands in heavyweight history, with incredible accuracy and technique. If you were hurt, Joe Louis was finishing you. It isn't if, it's when.

    So, with that being said, how much of a chance does the Joe Louis from 1938 have against the Muhammad Ali from 1967?
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  2. Rumsfeld

    Rumsfeld Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 19, 2004
    No lower than 4, no higher than 6.
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  3. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    Hard to say. I like Louis' fast hands and fluid combination punching against the much lighter hitting Ali.

    On the other hand Louis' static feet are not a good look against Ali's speed and mobility.
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  4. Entaowed

    Entaowed Boxing Addict Full Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    I would say no greater than a 3.

    Why? Louis hit harder, but nobody did or is likely to stop especially prime Ali.
    Ali had a significantly higher work rate.
    Most all of us know their virtues-& the much slower feet would mean that Ali would evade a lot of punishment-more so than a relentless swarmer throwing higher volume like Frazier.

    Ali a bit bigger, obviously one is a great conventionally textbook master boxer.
    Ali made a virtue out of throwing away the rule book to match his strengths.
    I do not think Louis has a stylistic advantage, or would have a Norton-esque Kryptonite for Ali.
    Even then, I do not think Norton wins more than 1/4 of the time max against prime Ali.
    Much more foot speed & endurance to dance in the 1960's.

    Louis being great in rematches, maybe he wins that. But I would still make it about 50-50.
    In a rubber match, or any statistically significant # of matches, including fighting at the same ages...
    Ali would win at least 70% of the time.
  5. AwardedSteak863

    AwardedSteak863 Boxing Addict Full Member

    Aug 16, 2018
    As much as I love Louis I think a 3 for him against Ali. Joe did struggle with movers and a guy like Ali who could take a punch and had faster hands is respite for a decision loss for Joe.
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  6. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Apr 27, 2005
  7. White Bomber

    White Bomber Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 31, 2021
    On the scale you gave, I'd say a 4, Ali still has a huge stylistic edge.
  8. The Long Count

    The Long Count Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Oct 8, 2013
    I think Ali actually struggled with classic boxers that were relatively close in size and style to Louis. Doug Jones, Henry Cooper, Zora Folley, just to name 3, all gave pre exile Ali good fights. Louis is better than all 3 faster, more explosive and far more accurate.
    On the other hand Louis didn’t face many guys that moved, so I don’t now how well he would be able to let his hands go. If Louis could get a rhythm a big if, I see no reason why he couldn’t win
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  9. Dynamicpuncher

    Dynamicpuncher Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jan 14, 2022
    The static feet for me are the biggest problem for Louis, I think he'd have a hard time catching the fleet footed Ali. Who arguably has some of the quickest feet ever for a Heavyweight. Obviously Louis being an ATG has a chance to win, but I would heavily favour Ali based on styles.
  10. Fergy

    Fergy Walking Dead Full Member

    Jan 8, 2017
  11. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Louis would have stood a pretty good chance but I would have favoured Muhammad.
  12. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    Ali would have my vote but the margin for me isn’t very wide. I’ll go with 4.5 out of 10. So Louis’ chances are just under 50/50. While Muhammad Ali had faster feet, Joe Louis had comparably fast hands. Combinations that would enable him to reel off and potentially land more than one shot with each opening. Lethal left hooks which were Ali’s weakness. And the ability to go fifteen rounds. Ali would have to keep moving. Sitting on the ropes would have been a fatal mistake against Louis
  13. Entaowed

    Entaowed Boxing Addict Full Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    Against Folley Ali danced the first 2 rounds, so arguably lost both. Then he dominated & ended it in the 7th.
    Jones was a challenge, just before Ali was prime. But you could use Tyson vs. Tillis, or Louis in his prime vs. Conn...
    Ali fooled around & got dropped badly once in 2 fights vs. Cooper, but otherwise dominated.
  14. djanders

    djanders Boxing Addict Full Member

    Feb 21, 2009
    I agree. Prime head to head it's a tough fight for both of them!
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  15. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    I wouldn't put Cooper in the category of classic boxers really, but Jones and Folley are good examples of fighters with a style that was fairly similar to Louis. As is Liston. Those are the three Ali opponents I'd probably say most reminds of Louis.
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