Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by NewChallenger, Jan 24, 2023.
That is something I always wondered.
Would they just be like Lyle ,Bonevana , Young and the bunch?
Norton probably would, but Frazier was already a pretty successful champion before Ali. He probably wouldn't be as famous as he is now, but he'd be remembered as an ATG. Norton would just have been known as a fringe contender.
I think people would pay more attention to the fact that the only two good punchers Frazier fought dropped him a combined 10 times.
Joe was a champion anyhow so he would still be rated highly,just not AS high.
Ken would be rated a lot lower as he was n't world champ and,as has been said,be ranked alongside Quarry,Bonavena et al.
I wouldn't say fringe contender. Norton made his way to nr 1 contender in 1975 and again in 1977 on strength of his other wins.
Aside from his greater success against Frazier, what makes you say that Bonavena was a bigger puncher than Quarry?
I almost feel like Frazier would be in the Sonny Liston camp, but Liston would probably be ranked over him,because Liston had the power,the reach,the intimidation and the chin aswell as having wins over an ATG
Norton has resume beside Ali, but it's the win that really makes people mention him alongside the other great four of the 70's— Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Holmes.
I've always thought that win was overrated. Ali came in that fight in terrible shape, and despite getting his jaw broken still made it a very close fight that Norton himself concedes could've gone the other way.
I think Foreman and Frazier would've beaten him comfortably that night, particularly if they broke his jaw, and they wouldn't need to go the distance to get the win.
Personally, I've scored all three fights for Norton. The fist one comfortably, the second admittedly in a coin toss. Great scrap with many close rounds.
With the shape Ali was in during the 2nd fight, only Foreman, Frazier, Norton, and Holmes could threaten him. Kenny gave up first 3-4 rounds by refusing to listen to Futch and still managed to make it an extremely close SD that is scored as a win for him by many. I always believed the entire trilogy was a testament to Norton's well deserved reputation, win or loss.
Frazier at least had an Olympic gold medal and the heavyweight title which he won in the wake of Ali’s absence. My guess is he’d still make the hall of fame but without the Ali win wouldn’t be as highly rated today. Ken Norton’s resume relies more heavily on beating Muhammad. Without that win he’d probably be comparable to guys like Ron Lyle and Zora Folley
As others have said, if Joe Frazier lost to Ali in their first meeting, Frazier would still go down as an Olympic gold medalist and a world heavyweight champion who made a half-dozen successful title defenses. He wouldn't be rated as high as he is now, but he'd still be in the discussion when people talk about the best heavyweights.
If Ken Norton never broke Ali's jaw and beat him, Ken Norton may never have fought for the title at all.
Norton only got a shot at Foreman in 74 because he beat Ali. He was a fringe contender when the first Ali fight occurred.
Ken probably would've had to defeat a Frazier or Lyle to get a title shot, like Young did. (Young had to beat Lyle twice to get a title shot.) Or Norton would've had to face off and beat some older contenders like Ellis or Bonavena, like Lyle did to get a title shot.
I don't think the one win over Quarry would've been enough to propel Norton to a title shot in the mid 70s. It may have.
Norton's win over Ali in their first fight "made" Ken Norton. He was pretty unknown by most before that.
Frazier had a hall of fame career even without Ali. Gold medal, cleaned out his division beating quality guys like Quarry, Bonavena, Mathis, Ellis, Bugner, etc. Became champion, lots of entertaining knockouts, one of the best pressure fighters of all time. Ali was the icing on the cake, although it was a hell of an icing. It would reduce him to fringe top 20-25 status, but the Ali trilogy puts him no lower than top 10-15.
Norton had an above average career, but not really phenomenal outside of the amazing Holmes and Young fights. His ranking would go down quite a bit without the Ali win, he'd be about on the same level as his peers such as Lyle or Bugner.
Yeah but he mainly got to that level after beating Ali, that's how he got his title shot against Foreman and was even known in general. Without fighting Ali I doubt he makes it as big at all.
All due respect I didn't see him making any adjustments whatsoever during the second Ali-Norton fight. He only started really getting rounds when Ali was tired. I made a poll of this fight to see who people thought was the winner and Ali got almost triple the number of votes as Norton (and would've actually had more than triple the votes had people understood which fight I was referring to because at least two of the ten people who voted for Norton thought I was referring to the third fight)
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I honestly don't think it was a very close fight at all and this is coming from someone who prefers Norton as a human being.