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. Mendoza

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

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    His performance vs Terrell was his peak.
     
  2. ikrasevic

    ikrasevic Икрашевић Full Member

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    Thanks; Entaowed already recommended me to read that book.
    What I wanted to say is that we didn't watch Muhammad Ali's peak.
    So what I meant by that is that Muhammad Ali's peak would be while Muhammad Ali was in exile.
     
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  3. Tockah

    Tockah F-GOAT Full Member

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    Quarry would never defeat Ali. The gap in skill, durability, and every other quality a fighter could possess is too great. Quarry lost both times fair, if Quarry had skin invulnerable to cuts, Ali would've still defeated him on points, by KO, by stoppage, no way Quarry ever wins.
     
  4. Tockah

    Tockah F-GOAT Full Member

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    I know he's banned but I still have to reply, how the hell can you say Norton wasn't a good fighter? that is ridiculous
     
  5. Reinhardt

    Reinhardt Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    After the layoff his peak was his loss to Frazier in the greatest fight of all time, He laid a truck load of punishment on Frazier and had he not been in peak condition he'd have never seen the 15th round. Ali never displayed that kind of offense, guts, courage and determination ever again.
     
  6. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    I don't think he was close to his peak as what made him most special, his legs, were not the same .. however to was his best post exile performance I believe ..
     
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  7. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Muhammad Ali did display all of the above that you posted. Ali lacked stamina, timing, reflexes, and his legs were failing him, he was already 29 years old, yes he hit much harder but he was vulnerable without his array of above mentioned gifts that I pointed out. Ali lost his boxing license, and his title on April 28 1967, Ali poked fun at Joe Frazier in an article by our local newspaper on July 10 1967 because Yank Durham did not want Joe Frazier anywhere near Professor Clay (Muhammad Ali), Ali said that Yank and Joe were smart to avoid him at that time, 3 months later Frazier gave George Chuvalo a horrible beating, TKO 4. Sure Ali trained as you pointed out but his gifts were no longer there any more, 1967 seemed like a long while ago. If it was 1967, Ali would have danced circles around Frazier for 15 rounds without missing a beat, he would have not stood still long enough to get staggered in round 11, and would have not been decked in round 15. Sparring is not like actual combat, headgear and larger gloves. I believe Ali did not do any workouts during his 43 month banishment, he was in court half the time, appealing his June 20 1967 Draft Evasion conviction, and lecturing on the college circuit. 43 months is a long time, Ali was 25, approaching his prime when the U.S Government made sure that Ali could not defend his title anymore. As champion from 1964-1967, Ali never touched the canvas, that happened on June 18 1963 against Henry Cooper, the second time around as champion on May 21 1966, Ali sliced up Cooper, gave him 14 sutures and stopped Henry by TKO 6.
     
  8. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict banned Full Member

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    It’s possible that Ali hit his plateau before exile.

    Especially if you consider his absolute prime stamina and mobility to be among his chief assets - attributes that weren’t going to last forever and most likely the first attributes to see any deterioration, exile or not.

    As to hitting power, being more flat footed more often, it stands to reason that post exile Ali’s power was more in evidence. But imo, the 60s version of Ali certainly displayed more than respectable power.

    At a career heigh weight of 214 1/2 lb?, Muhammad thumped the cr*p out of Chuvalo.

    But it was Chuvalo after all - while prime Joe presents other issues, I see those same punches effecting and slowing down prime Frazier that much more.

    And while it’s true that Chuvalo appeared impervious relative to most other fighters, in my eyes Chuvalo definitely felt Ali’s power and was driven back on more than a few occasions - but again, Chuvalo was a different animal to most other fighters in terms of absorbing punishment.

    Vs Chuvalo, I think 60s Ali deliberately married his mobility (not as extravagant as in some other fights) very nicely with his being often set to punch very hard.

    Vs prime Frazier, it’s likely Ali taps his potential mobility more but maybe his approach to Chuvalo wouldn’t be entirely dissimilar to how he might’ve fought prime Frazier.
     
  9. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Peak Muhammad Ali would have beaten peak or prime Joe Frazier. Pugguy, Ali defended his title 5 times in 1966, 4 of those defenses were out of the United States, mainly because of his vocal opposition to the war in Vietnam, it was pure politics, we had a U.S President who had escalated the war in 1964, sending in more troops. Many brave men and women died in that conflict, we were never attacked by the North Vietnamese. None the less, Ali was not treated very fairly here at home, he was expected to behave Subservient to other ethnic backgrounds. But Ali in 1966 was literally chased out of the U.S, he defended his title in Canada, twice in Britain, in Germany and his only U.S appearance was in Nov 1966 against Cleveland Williams. Joe Frazier had one gear, forward. Ali had many weapons, stamina, footwork, timing, speed and cat like reflexes. He would have not stood still for Frazier, he would have danced for the entire 15 rounds as Joe missed constantly, remember this was not 1971, Ali was very sharp and active, shrewd move by Yank Durham to avoid champion Ali in 1967. In 1971, Ali had a total of 18 rounds of actual ring combat in 43 months, how could he fight during that banishment, his boxing license was taken away along with his title. Also Ali was 29 when he and Frazier fought. Sure he could plant himself and punch harder but he was vulnerable due to the layoff. Ali did not use Rope A Dope in 1967. In 1971, Ali's physical gifts were long gone. Nah, Ali would have defeated Frazier on points, Ali was never a devastating puncher in either career.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2022
  10. Entaowed

    Entaowed Boxing Addict banned Full Member

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    Maybe, because I'll bet you will say he offered more resistance than the literally shot fighter Williams, however dazzling her looked there.
    Presumably also that he exerted himself more than against his hopelessly overmatched buddy, Folley.
     
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  11. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Precisely. I rate Ken as the fourth or fifth best heavy of the 1970s and that's some achievement as the division's never had so much depth as it did in that decade.
     
  12. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Their first bout may well indeed have gone to the cards. Muhammad was obviously very ring rusty but still very fast. Ali knew after that how good Quarry really was. That's why Muhammad took their return bout very seriously and turned in one of his best post exile performances.
     
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  13. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict banned Full Member

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    Totally agree Rich - Ali by UD, and I will add by an unquestionable margin - just imo. No, I wouldn’t call Ali a devastating hitter per se but his power might be a bit underrated.

    Muhammad could whip out some single shot stunners as he did against Bonavena and Lyle, though they were in his second, less mobile career.

    Some might not take Liston’s post Miami testimonial as to Ali being able to punch - something which surprised Liston.

    But primarily based on the eye test, I would take Sonny’s impression of Ali’s as being genuine.

    Funny, it reminds me of have read that Jeffries allegedly stated that Jack Johnson’s punch was a lot stiffer than Big Jeff expected. Of course Jeff was older and well past best and his own resilience was likely deteriorated.
     
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  14. Mendoza

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

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    Norton’s resume is near equal to Frazier and he really beat Ali twice. He almost beat Holmes too.
     
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  15. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    True but the peak Muhammad Ali of 1964-1967 was far better than the second career Ali from 1970-1978. If peak Ali were to fight a 1973 Jaw Breaking Ken Norton, I still see a victory for Ali by unanimous unquestionable decision, that peak version weighed 212 lbs, glided around the ring, had great stamina, reflexes , timing, footwork and speed. Ali has never been a devastating puncher, and in his first title reign he did not lay on the ropes, or stand still to get hit. Also in his first reign, he never touched the canvas, Banks and Cooper were pre Sonny Liston.