What fight was Ali closest to his peak years after the layoff?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Hi-Tech, Nov 18, 2022.

  1. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    If I was under oath, I would have to say that Muhammad Ali on Jan 28 1974 when he battled Joe Frazier for the second time in Madison Square Garden, Ali looked very 1967 esq, he staggered Frazier in round 2 with a hard right hand but referee Tony Perez separated them claiming that he heard the bell ending round two. Ali weighed 212 lbs as he did the night of Feb 25 1964, the night he dethroned Sonny Liston for the title. The footwork was there, the speed was there but the reflexes and stamina were there in spurts.
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2022
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  2. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    I would say that basing the Ali of 1967 as scoring 10/10 the incarnation of the second Quarry,second Norton,second Frazier and Foreman fights scored 8/10. And,yes,it would have been interesting had Tony Perez not have developed that random bout of Tinnitus in round 2.
  3. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    You're spot on regardless ..
  4. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    A brave and not crazy statement .. by his own admissions after two rounds Ali was already tired ... the cut was a huge break for him ...
  5. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    We don't have Dempsey's prime because of his post Willard inactivity. We don't hav e Johnson's prime because his late 20's against his best opposition do not exist on film. We don't have Louis' because he was in the service and we don't have Ali's ... go figure
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  6. Skins

    Skins Boxing Addict Full Member

    Oct 20, 2011
    I thought Quarry II was his prettiest. May not have been his best but he was sure pretty in that fight.
  7. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 17, 2009
    Certainly his best post exile performance until the second Norton bout. He was simply one step ahead of Quarry all the way.
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  8. Skins

    Skins Boxing Addict Full Member

    Oct 20, 2011
    He toyed with Quarry to put it mildly. A lot of people thought Norton beat him
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  9. Tin_Ribs

    Tin_Ribs Me Full Member

    Jun 28, 2009
    Welcome fella
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  10. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

    Mar 19, 2012
    Ali got pretty close to his peak in the early 70s. If I was to nail down a specific fight I would say the 2nd Quarry fight. It was all there, the speed and timing, he respected Quarry so Ali was in outstanding condition. He toyed with Jerry.
    The early 70s Ali was probably the best we saw because he was a bit stronger and had more experience. He had a cause to fight for perhaps mental toughness as well.
    From a purely physical standpoint 66-67 may be his peak but as Ali put it those opponents he was facing then were " lightwork". I don't think the gap is as big as some make it. What clouds it a bit is that 70s Ali didn't always train hard and come in peak condition. When he did though he still had the total package.
    I would 1972 Jerry Quarry.
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  11. BoB Box

    BoB Box Member Full Member

    Jun 13, 2022
    It wasn't his fight against Jimmy Young that's for sure. Absolute Robbery!
  12. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict banned Full Member

    Aug 22, 2021
    Weight wise Ali was more or less 212 lb for both Norton and Frazier - and to me at least, he looked the same physically in both those fights.

    For Foreman I recall Ali was about 216 1/2 lb? To me Ali appeared ever so slightly thicker but he looked even stronger in the arms and shoulders - perhaps purposed trained (intensive wood chopping etc.) to match up to Foreman’s physicality.

    For those 3 fights, Ali was very much in the zone of being at his second career best, dealing with and overcoming top tier opposition who possessed notably different styles to each other - Ali’s ability to adapt himself over three major fights held in its very best light.
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  13. ikrasevic

    ikrasevic Икрашевић Full Member

    Nov 3, 2021
    Unfortunately, we did not watch Muhammad Ali's peak.
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  14. Mendoza

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

    Jun 29, 2007
    Ali was at his best when? When he was very young and beat sonny Liston. Or when he was older and is far less good shape but learned how to clinch vs Frazier 3 ?

    You can’t mix the two. They were different fighters.

    Ali wasn’t always in shape. Why. Um he was something of a ***** monger. Read the book facing Ali. Larry holmes who knew ali and sparred with him a number of time says it.
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  15. Entaowed

    Entaowed Boxing Addict banned Full Member

    Dec 16, 2012
    You mean against Frazier the second time, when Futch claimed he held & his man 133 times?
    Frazier's camp strongly complained, & 2 early warnings in Manilla enabled one of the greatest fights ever.
    They were indeed different Ali's.
    The first at his peak after the Liston fights.
    But the question in this thread is posed as which Ali was closest to his '60's peak.
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