If Frazier never fought Ali....

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
12 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

If Frazier never fought Ali....

Duggerman
Administrator


What would his legacy and ranking be? No doubt Frazier officially made the ATG list by giving Ali three tough wars and even won one.

But let’s say Frazier retired or something after unifying the belts in 1970, or that his last defense was his two-round murder of Bob Foster. With no Ali fights, would he rank as high?

If he retired in ‘70, that means no Ali fights but also no Foreman losses. In fact Joe would actually be undefeated if he hung up the gloves at this time.

What do you think?
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: If Frazier never fought Ali....

Evan Fields
Duggerman wrote


What would his legacy and ranking be? No doubt Frazier officially made the ATG list by giving Ali three tough wars and even won one.

But let’s say Frazier retired or something after unifying the belts in 1970, or that his last defense was his two-round murder of Bob Foster. With no Ali fights, would he rank as high?

If he retired in ‘70, that means no Ali fights but also no Foreman losses. In fact Joe would actually be undefeated if he hung up the gloves at this time.

What do you think?
I think he'd be viewed as "the black Rocky Marciano." People already called him that because of their similar styles and power, but if the smoke retired undefeated he'd definitely be even more compared to the rock.

Besides, if Ali wasn't around for Joe to fight, it isn't Joe's fault. But he would be considered a bad champion if he only had the title defense against Foster.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: If Frazier never fought Ali....

Zorro
It would be really sad if the smoke never fought Ali. It was Joe who exposed many of Ali's flaws. That beautiful knockdown in the FOTC was a telling moment for both guys. It showed Ali could certainly be hurt, but it also showed that Ali could take it, as he rose right up from the canvas.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: If Frazier never fought Ali....

Evolution
The battles with Ali were his legacy. He'd still go down as a great fighter but there'd always be that question mark if he never clashed with Ali.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: If Frazier never fought Ali....

49-0
If they never fought no one would pick Joe to win. Even though Joe won in '71 there are still folks who swear he would lose to '60s Ali.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: If Frazier never fought Ali....

Sivul
49-0 wrote
If they never fought no one would pick Joe to win. Even though Joe won in '71 there are still folks who swear he would lose to '60s Ali.
Unfortunately I have to agree. Frazier BARELY gets his just due today and he actually beat Ali once and pushed him to the brink in Manila. If he never fought Ali folks would overlook Joe even more, as he wouldn’t have any fights with any ATGs
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: If Frazier never fought Ali....

Duggerman
Administrator
In reply to this post by Evan Fields
Evan Fields wrote
I think he'd be viewed as "the black Rocky Marciano." People already called him that because of their similar styles and power, but if the smoke retired undefeated he'd definitely be even more compared to the rock.
I disagree with some of that. Now I agree that their styles are similar. In fact I read an interview where Rocky said that when Joe fights, “I make every move right along with him.” Joe said in his book that he based his style on Marciano and Henry Armstrong, so you have a point there.

BUT if Frazier retired after the Foster demolition, his record would be 25-0 with 22 knockouts. Compare this to Rocky’s 49-0 with 43 knockouts. Rocky would still have the stronger legacy.

All I can say in Frazier’s defense is that overall  he conquered bigger bangers than Marciano, but Marciano would still have had plenty more fights and knockouts, PLUS knockout victories over Hall of Famers like Louis, Charles, Walcott and Moore.

With the exception of Jerry Quarry, I don’t think anyone Frazier fought pre-Ali was a hall of famer, and the one guy who was (Quarry) never won the title!
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: If Frazier never fought Ali....

Bert Sugar
^^This.

Joe was a good PROSPECT. We didn’t really know HOW good he was. He’d fought Bonavena and went down twice. He won the NYS heavyweight title from a fat out of breath Buster Mathis and then picked up the vacated WBA heavyweight championship from a terrified Jimmy Ellis and had one defense against a scrawny light heavyweight named Bob Foster.

Even as the unified heavyweight champion, he was viewed as simply a placeholder for the real heavyweight champion, the exiled Muhammad Ali. He needed that victory over Muhammad Ali to confirm his greatness.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: If Frazier never fought Ali....

Evan Fields
Ok AJ and Bert...your points are valid. But I think it also matters WHY Joe would stop fighting. If he died prematurely as champion or suffered a permanent injury and was forced into retirement I think he’d still have a better degree of respect as opposed to him just hanging up the gloves and walking away during his peak years.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: If Frazier never fought Ali....

Joe Kingman
Administrator
In reply to this post by Duggerman
To cut it short, I’d say we’d look at Joe the same way we look at Ibeabuchi. We’d just never know how good he really was without a championship level opponent to test him.

-Joe Kingman
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: If Frazier never fought Ali....

Duggerman
Administrator
Joe Kingman wrote
To cut it short, I’d say we’d look at Joe the same way we look at Ibeabuchi. We’d just never know how good he really was without a championship level opponent to test him.

-Joe Kingman
Agreed. And you know what else is sad? Ali was the single most important victory in Joe’s career. The FOTC is his legacy. But Ali didn’t need the victories over Joe to complete his legacy. He already sealed it with the Liston and Foreman wins. The Frazier wars didn’t hurt, though. Although physically I know they did.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: If Frazier never fought Ali....

It's Dale
In reply to this post by Zorro
Zorro wrote
It would be really sad if the smoke never fought Ali. It was Joe who exposed many of Ali's flaws. That beautiful knockdown in the FOTC was a telling moment for both guys. It showed Ali could certainly be hurt, but it also showed that Ali could take it, as he rose right up from the canvas.
Joe did the work and exposed those flaws publicly, but to be honest with you EDDIE FUTCH was Ali's real nightmare. It was he who developed the game plans to beat Ali for Frazier and Norton.

Ali dropping his right for the uppercut, not being able to parry a jab, etc, etc. Eddie Futch observed this and had Norton and Frazier capitalize.