Rank Muhammad Ali's Challengers - 1st Reign

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by sweetsci, Oct 17, 2020.


  1. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Use any criteria you feel is appropriate.

    1. Floyd Patterson
    2. Ernie Terrell
    3. Sonny Liston
    4. Karl Mildenberger
    5. George Chuvalo
    6. Zora Folley
    7. Henry Cooper
    8. Cleveland Williams
    9. Brian London

    I found this to be harder than ranking the challengers from Ali's second reign. Here, Liston is obviously the best of the bunch, but that performance in Lewiston was so awful (even if Sonny was jobbed). Patterson and Terrell kind of threw me, too. In the end I ranked Patterson higher for his overall career. Williams I downgraded due to his being in less than prime condition at the end of 1966.
     
  2. Big Ukrainian

    Big Ukrainian Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I like your ranking, mine would be just slightly different.

    Liston
    Patterson
    Terrell
    Folley
    Mildenberger
    Chuvalo
    Cooper
    Williams
    London

    I rank Liston as #1 based on him being clearly the best of the bunch, but I see your argument, and TBH the fight is so controversial that in could've been a No contest (the knockdown itself, the count and the stoppage). Still a successful defence for Ali.
     
  3. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Nice list. I can totally see ranking Liston first. I think in more recent times the Lewiston fight would have been ruled "no contest," like you say. But then the situation involving the (no) count wouldn't have happened nowadays. I can totally see putting Folley higher than I did, too.
     
  4. Cecil

    Cecil Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I don’t think I’d have Mildenberger above Chuvalo and Cooper.
     
  5. TBooze

    TBooze Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    With hindsight:

    1: Patterson
    2: Liston
    3: Terrell
    4: Chuvalo
    5: Mildenberger
    6: Cooper
    7: Folley
    8: Williams
    9: London
     
  6. Cecil

    Cecil Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Liston
    Patterson
    Terrell
    Folley
    Chuvalo
    Williams
    Cooper
    Mildenberger
    London
     
  7. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I'd place Folley higher despite his age and many fights. He was on a good run and gave a very good account of himself against Ali. Probably ahead of Chuvalo.

    Just what Liston had left for their second meet is hard to know, so his place might be right but it could also be higher.
     
  8. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I certainly don't disagree with either of those points.
    It bothers me how much Liston was jobbed in the rematch. Declare it "no contest", fight again in September.
     
  9. Brockton Rock

    Brockton Rock Member Full Member

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    According to Swag, Cleveland Williams is top 5 all time
     
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  10. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Muhammad Ali destroyed Henry Cooper in their title bout on May 21 1966, TKO 6, no knockdown in this one. Karl Mildenberger gave Ali a difficult time on Sept 10 1966 in Frankfurt, Germany. But it was Mildenberger's southpaw stance that troubled him before stopping Karl, TKO 12. Ali clearly out boxed Ernie Terrell on Feb 6 1967, unanimous 15 round decision.
     
  11. Gazelle Punch

    Gazelle Punch Boxing Addict Full Member

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    1 Liston
    2 Patterson
    3 Terrell
    4 Zora
    5 Chuvalo
    6 Mildenberger
    7 Cooper
    8 Williams
    9 London
    Arguably better then the second go at it.
     
  12. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Mine would look about the same
     
  13. William Walker

    William Walker Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I am making two lists. One based on overall greatness, and the other based on how dangerous a fighter was when he faced Ali. For instance, I would rank Chuvalo over Patterson and Williams in the second list, but not in the first.

    List 1-Overall Greatness:
    1. Sonny Liston
    2. Floyd Patterson
    3. Ernie Terrell
    4. Zora Folley
    5. Cleveland Williams
    6. Henry Cooper
    7. George Chuvalo
    8. Karl Mildenberger
    9. Brian London

    List 2-Situational Greatness:
    1. Ernie Terrell
    2. George Chuvalo
    3. Sonny Liston
    4. Henry Cooper
    5. Karl Mildenberger
    6. Brian London
    7. Zora Folley
    8. Floyd Patterson
    9. Cleveland Williams
     
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  14. Ra's Al-Ghul

    Ra's Al-Ghul The one and only! Full Member

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    1. Sonny Liston
    2. Floyd Patterson
    3. Ernie Terell
    4. Henry Cooper
    5. Karl Mildenberger
    6. George Chuvalo
    7. Zora Folley
    8. Cleveland Williams
    9. Brian London
    What about Eddie Machen?
     
  15. Gazelle Punch

    Gazelle Punch Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Think Machen was the one good fighter he missed his whole career
     
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