Your thoughts on the 1967 WBA heavyweight tournament?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Richard M Murrieta, Feb 21, 2021.

  1. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Your thoughts on the 1967 WBA heavyweight tournament? Did you think that it produced a worthwhile champion? Do you think that Yank Durham should have allowed Joe Frazier to participate? Who would have Joe fought if he had participated?
     
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  2. dmt

    dmt Hardest hitting hw ever Full Member

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    Yank was a smart guy. He didn't want Frazier to fight Ali before Ali was stripped. He also wanted Joe to avoid George.

    As a fan, i love to see the best fighting the best. However, a managers job is to look out for his fighter, and i think Yank did a stellar job.

    I don't see anyone beating Frazier in 1967. If he had entered the tournament, he would have beaten anyone with relative ease, be it Ellis, Quarry or Patterson. Slick boxers and counter punchers were tailor made for Joe. The rough and tumble Bonavena gave Joe a hard time first time around, but Frazier was always going to win the rematch, as he did.

    The only guy (besides Ali) who has a small chance vs Frazier in 1967 is the aging Sonny Liston. Of course Liston wasn't in the tournament. However, Liston allegedly wanted this match up but Yank didn't. It was too high risk/low reward a fight. Liston would have a chance vs Joe even in 1967.

    Frazier was a tiger who never ducked anyone. However, Yank was smart in delaying some match ups and avoiding others (like Liston)
     
  3. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Great Post. The match I wanted to see was Joe Frazier vs Floyd Patterson in the tournament.
     
  4. William Walker

    William Walker Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Me too. It would have been very exciting, but one sided. I think Joe TKO 5.
     
  5. William Walker

    William Walker Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I actually have to take this back. I think a TKO in 5 may have been a conservative number I said in haste. I actually think that Joe wins, and by knockout is quite obvious. However, how long it takes I think is very flexible. Joe is obviously capable of taking Floyd out in the 1st, but could take a long time, and I think it could also take him as long as 7, with a very good fight taking place in that time. Although I cannot figure a single reason how this could go longer than 7.
     
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  6. AwardedSteak863

    AwardedSteak863 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Would have been fun while it lasted. I think Leotis Martin would have given Frazier a good fight. Ultimately Frazier would have won but I was always impressed with the film I have seen of Martin. He was a truth machine.
     
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  7. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I remember when I saw Leotis Martin knock out Sonny Liston in Dec 1969. Sonny's management was trying to get a fight with Joe Frazier, but the truth machine that was Martin, ended that potential fight and made it a lie.
     
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  8. William Walker

    William Walker Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Two Philly fighters, though I do think Martin has been blown up into a myth by historians and fans. Unfortunately, there is not near enough film to back either theory that connotates Martin. Trust me, I would with open arms welcome film of his fights with Spencer, Mildenberger, and Lewis, and given those were his biggest fights aside from the film provided already, it would probably be the determining factor, I would imagine.
     
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  9. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Remember Jerry Quarry could not take out Floyd in two fights.
     
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  10. William Walker

    William Walker Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Yeah. Although dissimilar in a lot of ways, I have always thought of Jerry Quarry as a passive version of Joe Frazier. They were very similar in a lot of ways that I think many would deny.
     
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  11. AwardedSteak863

    AwardedSteak863 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Martin was a solid pro and a top contender. I don't think he would have come close to beating a prime Sonny Liston but he was a very good/tough fighter.
     
  12. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Active Member Full Member

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    The basic premise of the tournament was flawed because the WBA presumed to take the title away from a standing champion, Muhammad Ali. Otherwise, however I think the tournament was beneficial for the sport. They chose eight legitimate contenders, and the fights ended up being competitive and not without some surprises. Overall, it was well run. I think Ellis deserves a lot of credit for developing himself to the maximum of his potential. That Frazier was not in the tournament was not the WBA's or Ellis' fault. Joe decided to duck out and wait for the new Madison Square Garden to be built and avoid having to fight the top contenders. Buster Mathis had never fought a real contender at the time, but he was a New York boy and the fact that he had defeated Frazier in the amateurs made the fight a natural in NY. Joe's path to the NY version of the title was a lot easier than that of Ellis. As it turned out, Ellis was not as good a fighter as Frazier, but I don't begrudge Jimmy his "day in the sun." He had at least as good a claim to the title after winning his tournament as Frazier did after defeating Mathis even taking into account that I think most people even at that time figured Frazier to be the better fighter.
     
  13. Kamikaze

    Kamikaze Be real• Full Member

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    I think Fraizer did as Yank desired a loyal man, and a brave one, kill or be killed from his childhood years to the day he passed.
     
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  14. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Boxing Addict Full Member

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    The WBA had to replace Muhammad Ali as champion, he had been tried and was eventually convicted on June 20 1967 of Draft Evasion, as so many of American men due to a very unpopular war. Without a boxing license, how could Ali as great as he was, defend his title. I respect his decision not to go to Vietnam. The tournament had new and older talent, Floyd Patterson, Ernie Terrell, Karl Mildenberger, Oscar Bonavena, Thad Spencer, Jerry Quarry, Jimmy Ellis, and Leotis Martin. On the night of March 4 1968, outside of Madison Square Garden, many were protesting the Joe Frazier vs Buster Mathis NY title bout, the protesters felt that Ali had never lost his title in the ring, only to the politicians who had escalated the war. Many felt that co champions Jimmy Ellis and Joe Frazier were illegitimate champions, because they never beat Muhammad Ali in the ring, where it counts.
     
  15. William Walker

    William Walker Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I think it's both logical and fair of you to consider Ellis' win as legitimate as Frazier's.