Just How Great a Heavyweight Was Ken Norton?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by RulesMakeItInteresting, May 12, 2019.


  1. Cojimar 1946

    Cojimar 1946 Active Member Full Member

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    I can't see any case for Frazier being top 10. Frazier didn't come close to dominating his own era and lacks resume depth and longevity. He is 1-4 against the best of his own day despite a brief prime and careful matchmaking that kept him away from the punchers of his era bar Foreman.
     
  2. Golden_Feather99

    Golden_Feather99 Member Full Member

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    Frazier can easily be ranked top 10. He did dominate his era (1967-73). That's 6 years where Frazier was considered the best heavyweight on the planet. He beat an undefeated Muhammad Ali. He also beat Ellis (#2), 2x Quarry (#6 & #4) , 2x Bonavena (#7 & #3), Chuvalo (#8), Ramos (#4), and Bugner (#8). It's not just who he beat, it's how he beat them. Frazier dominated Ellis, Bonavena/Quarry II, Ramos, Bugner, Chuvalo, Jones, Machen and Bob Foster. Even though he's 1-2 against Ali, all those fights were competitive. Foreman was simply a bad matchup for Frazier.

    Foreman had a much shorter prime, didn't dominate any era, and his resume lacks depth. Also, Frazier fought Foreman twice. I wouldn't call that careful matchmaking. If anything, that's careless matchmaking considering their styles. Frazier fought Doug Jones who could punch. Jones had 15 wins at heavyweight (13 by KO). Buster Mathis was 23-0 (17 KOs) when he fought Frazier. Chuvalo had 47 wins (40 KOs). Bonevana could punch. The first time he fought Frazier, he was 21-2 (17 KOs). The second time, he was 38-4 (29 KOs). Jimmy Ellis and Jerry Quarry could punch as well. Frazier fought almost every top heavyweight of his era, puncher or not.
     
  3. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I think calling Joe not ATG is trying too hard to be different. Foreman had his number. Ali most certainly had Foreman's....und so weider.
     
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  4. Cojimar 1946

    Cojimar 1946 Active Member Full Member

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    But realistically he wasn't the best, Foreman would have easily beaten him in 1970 or 1971 like he did in 1973. Foreman would be favored to beat anyone but Ali from 1970 to 1974.

    Frazier missed out on Earnie Shavers, Mac Foster, Sonny Liston, Leotis Martin, and Ron Lyle. I don't think its a coincidence that a lot of the guys he missed out on were big hitters and no Jones, Foster, Ellis etc are not especially big punchers.
     
  5. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    If Frazier faced the punchers norton did
    In his later years he would have been ko’d More often too.

    Odd Ali’s punches didn’t bother Norton but they did bother and hurt Frazier.
     
  6. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    Is a guy who's 1-4 vs Ali and Foreman ( Stopped 3 times ) and likely draws on 10 point must system in the first fight to Bonevenna an all-time top ten great.

    I don't recall seeing Frazier this high when he was active and some very good heavyweights came since.

    Supposedly Fraizer had a tough night and might have lost to Scrap Iron Johnson.

    "Scrap Iron took Frazier apart that night. Frazier could not figure him out. When the decision was announced that Frazier won there was a riot. Chairs were thrown, bottles tossed, people hurt, ambulances arrived.

    Years later, shortly after Frazier retired, he was asked at a news conference who his toughest opponent was. Every media guy in attendance knew he would say Ali but Frazier said "my toughest opponent was Scrap Iron Johnson years ago in LA".

    A few years later Scrap Iron Johnson died and many former local boxers attended his funeral. And guess who showed up after all those years. Yep, Joe Frazier. After the funeral Scrap Iron Johnsons wife told Joe "the highlight of my husband's career was the day you told the media that he was your toughest opponent. He could not believe that after all those years had past that you would remember him Joe."
    Scrap Iron Johnson, big, rolls of fat hanging over his trunks that night, a club fighter against a powerful young up-and-comer.

    But that night was his night. He took Frazier apart. And Joe never forgot it. "
     
  7. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    Holmes was in his prime, and among the toughest champions ever. While one arm wasn't100 %, he certainly had no problems using it.

    If anything it was Norton who was slightly past his prime, not Holmes. I think Holmes edged it in a great fight.
     
  8. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    What fighters did Joe Frazier avoid on the way to winning the Gold Metal in Toyko? 1964. He didn't taste defeat till 1973.
    Frazier was able to beat Jerry Quarry who beat Ron Lyle with relative ease. Quarry also beat Shavers by 1st round KO. Quarry KOd Mac Foster as well, brutally.
    So Quarry could handle all those guys punching power but he failed handle Joe's. 2x.
    Frazier had a top flight chin. Ali was in awe of the punches Frazier could take. He would shake his head and say ''that man ain't got no sense"!
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  9. rodney

    rodney Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Ya. Right. He got knocked down by Vic Brown.
     
  10. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    You want to knock Frazier bad enough that you take the first Bonevena fight as your example...'A night when a 12 fight novice takes on a established contender and climbs off the canvas to ralley back and win the fight.'
    That is a mark of a great warrior to get up and comeback when down.
    Thanks for providing that example.
     
  11. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    Good reply. The decision to fight Foreman less than a year after Manila is a clue as to why Frazier has so much respect and so many fans. Not even a tune up. Just old school mentality.
     
  12. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    By his own words, Fraizer was close to being stopped. Frazier wasn't that green, he was the Olympic gold medal champion. Oscar was just one year older, and I doubt his amateur experienced reached the same level as Frazier's.

    IMO Oscar was the 2nd best puncher Frazier faced. And Fraizer's resume outside of Foreman who had him down numerous times lacks the best punchers of the time in Mac Foster, Shaver's, Lyle, those types.

    If you really want to knock Frazier it's for declining the WBA tournament. He opted for the NY State title instead. And when he became champion he picked terrible title opponents. Neither of who were top 20 guys at the time.

    But I'll ask was Frazier ever viewed as a top ten area tin his time by a historian? If so, by who? And like I said many years have passed, IMO Holmes and Lewis are greater, and others have an argument like Klitschko, Holyfield, Bowe, Tyson soon AJ.
     
  13. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    Do you a source that says Brown floored Norton? Its' news to me.

    I'll raise you. Frazier got knocked down by Mike Bruce? Who? That's my point.

    Norton to me is a top 30 ATG. You could argue top 25.
     
  14. Golden_Feather99

    Golden_Feather99 Member Full Member

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    That's not how it works though. Do we Evander Holyfield wasn't the best heavyweight despite being the undisputed champion because Bowe was going around beating tomato can? Can we say Ali wasn't the best heavyweight from 1975-78 because Norton arguably beat him? That fight actually happened. Foreman-Frazier happened in 1973. Before Foreman beat Frazier, his best win was George Chuvalo. Is that the best heavyweight on the planet? Or the guy that beat Ali, Quarry, Ellis, Bonavena AND Chuvalo?

    It actually is a coincidence.

    Leotis Martin lol? Whattt? He beat a 137 year old Liston. And Martin retired after beating Liston due to a detached retina. Before Liston, Martin's biggest win was Mildenberger or Spencer. Martin lost a decision to Bonavena and was knocked out by Jimmy Ellis. Frazier dominated both.

    Sonny Liston was washed up when Frazier was coming up. That fight makes no sense. Frazier beat the man who beat Liston twice while he was still breathing.

    Ron Lyle, Mac Foster and Earnie Shavers. As ETM mentioned, Jerry Quarry dominated all three. Funny thing is, Quarry was actually coming off wins over Shavers and Lyle when he fought Frazier (beat both in the previous year). Frazier dominated the man who dominated Lyle and Shavers. Simple.

    You mentioned Mac Foster. Foster made it to the top by knocking out old fighters- Zora Folley and Cleveland WIlliams. Neither were known for their punch resistance. Quarry, Ali, Bugner (lol) beat Foster. Frazier beat all 3.

    Can't hate on Frazier man. That's a fighter you can't accuse of ducking someone. Frazier was a gangsta.
     
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  15. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    'Joe was close to defeat and then and then he rose to his feet.'
    Thats Dr.Dre song.

    Who did Tyson ever climb off the canvas to beat? God knows he spent enough time there. They started charging him rent.
     


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