Was Muhammad Ali in good fighting shape in the Fight of the Century 1971?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mark ant, Nov 26, 2021.

  1. Journeyman92

    Journeyman92 52-0 banned Full Member

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    Look in shape or not that’s not what went wrong in that fight it was the three year lay off that did the damage. You don’t do what he did that night in bad shape he was conditioned but you do get hit with as many hooks as he did by not learning to keep your ****ing right hand up. :lol: Whatever you choose to believe Ali was hardly a defensive genius his will and chin carried him big when it mattered.
     
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  2. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Yeah Frazier had the type of style that would always give Ali a tough fight. I agree with that.
     
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  3. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I don't know if Ali's schedule impacted anything, but it was pretty hectic. He signed to fight Quarry on September 10 and then faced him seven weeks later, on October 26. That's not much time at all for someone who had probably upwards of 30 lbs to work off, but probably he had already been doing some training.

    Then only six weeks before facing Bonavena in a tough 15 rounder. After that he had three months until Frazier and maybe that was just enough time, with room for a few weeks of rest, but he sure was cutting it tight.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  4. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    Ali was in good condition. He simply underestimated Joe Frazer. He sold Joe short. Joe may not pass the eye test from outside the ring. In the ring Ali paid to learn.
     
  5. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    There was uncertainty regarding Ali's future. He may have been going to jail very soon. They had to have fight come off. Frazier had some leverage, I'm sure he wanted that payday. With that said it was gracious of him to allow Ali to have those 2 tuneup fights.
     
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  6. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    For the fight against Quarry he was only licensed to fight in Georgia, so it wouldn't make sense financially for them to face off without access to any of the bigger venues. With that said, Ali knew he wasn't ready for Frazier at that point as well.

    Ali would have been better served if the fight was at least in the latter half of 1971 and I would guess they were aware of that, but they didn't have the time with the risk that he would have to go to jail.

    Can't say it was gracious by Joe. He couldn't mandate when Ali would face him more than, say, Joshua could mandate that Fury would face him when he he made his comeback in 2018 and become lineal by beating up on a Fury that was far from ready at that time.
     
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  7. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Boxing Addict Full Member

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    He needed more ring rounds after his long layoff,he trusted neither his legs or his stamina and so resorted to backing into corners and hoping Frazier would use himself up .Trouble was Joe was like the energizer Bunny that night and just did not stop coming.Frazier raised contusions on Ali's hips from his constant pounding,just as he had against Bonavena,he fought the fight of his life that night.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
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  8. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Prime Frazier would always be tough for Ali though I think he loses, it would be a titanic struggle.
     
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  9. Journeyman92

    Journeyman92 52-0 banned Full Member

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    That fight must’ve been a blur for Joe it was his moment he must’ve prayed it’d never end- he was a roaring blaze for 15 rounds.
     
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  10. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Yes: Muhammad was in good fighting shape in FOTC but he was in better condition for a few bouts that followed - Jerry Quarry II, Ken Norton II,Joe Frazier II and the George Foreman fight.
     
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  11. mark ant

    mark ant Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Ali looked bad v Chuvola and was caught often, he was more stationary than normal, he weighed 212 in his rematch v Cooper and was far more mobile.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2021
  12. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I feel we've had this discussion before. Anyway, I disagree. He stayed on the ropes in some of the early rds and let Chuvalo let loose, but wasn't hit with anything really serious. He won just about every round except those and took few clean shots.

    With that said, had he had a proper camp he would have come in lighter (as would probably Chuvalo). Not 201, like against Cooper, but probably around 210, maybe a bit below.

    Worth noting, though, is that Ali looked trim at 215 at that time.
     
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  13. Skins

    Skins Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Archie Moore said right before the fight that Ali was in shape but not "fighting trim"
     
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  14. Pugguy

    Pugguy Active Member Full Member

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    The Ol’ Mongoose putting it in a nut shell. Sometimes less is so much more.
     
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  15. Flash24

    Flash24 Boxing Addict Full Member

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    No fighter especially heavyweights can fight 15rds at a pace usually reserved for Middleweights and below , get put on their ass in The 15th rd and bounce up like it was nothing, and not be in EXCELLENT shape.
    The stories of him not being in great shape is nonsense in my opinion.
    Now was he as sharp or athletic as he was prior to the forced lay-off ? Probably not.
    Ali's greatest ( one of his greatest) assets was his athleticism. Especially in his prime yrs.
    That forced hiatus gave father time 3yrs to erode that unique ability he possessed.
    More than likely even if he were fighting during those yrs we would've seen a decline in his ability.
    So yes at the time it was fought, the FOTC would've has a similar result even if Ali was allowed to fight those 3yrs.
    Now if the fight took place in 67" or 68" . Ali would have some rough moments, but he'd still win a ud if not a late stoppage. Even against the version of Frazier in the FOTC.
     
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