Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

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Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

MAGUIRE
Both accomplished a lot. Who should be ranked higher?
Who should rank higher as an all-time great?
You cannot change your vote after voting.
You have to vote before you can see the results.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Duggerman
Administrator
Both fought great competition and beat men of all styles and sizes. Both had long careers and were great head to head. It comes down to the 25 title defenses and 12 year title reign for Louis and the great wins Ali had over other all-time greats.

I say Ali should rank a little higher but not by much. Ali came back after the layoff and got wins over Foreman, Frazier, Norton, Shavers, Lyle and others. Ali adjusted well to his declining skills as he aged. Would 32 year-old Louis beat peak Foreman or win against Frazier in Manilla? I doubt it.

It'd be interesting to see them swap eras. I could see Ali whooping Max Baer easy. But I say Ali should rank a wee bit higher because of his victories during the '70s.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Urban Legend
Muhammad Ali was light years ahead of other athletes and he still is. With his speed, toughness and wits, the guy would dominate any era. All due respect to Joe, I don't think he would dominate other eras the way he did his own. But his records are certainly impressive and won't be broken.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Zombies Ate Me
No love for Louis yet? No votes for the stoic Brown Bomber, though I voted for Ali like everyone else!

Ali beat the better guys even though he fought too long and had more losses. The best guys Ali beat were Liston, Frazier and Foreman. The best guys Louis fought were Marciano, Billy Conn and probably Ezzard Charles. Two of those fights he lost, though he wasn't prime. But still. It hurts his legacy a bit in my opinion. Louis' opponents were called "bum of the month" for a reason. You can't say that about Ali's opposition.

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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Zorro
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Duggerman wrote
Both fought great competition and beat men of all styles and sizes. Both had long careers and were great head to head. It comes down to the 25 title defenses and 12 year title reign for Louis and the great wins Ali had over other all-time greats.

I say Ali should rank a little higher but not by much. Ali came back after the layoff and got wins over Foreman, Frazier, Norton, Shavers, Lyle and others. Ali adjusted well to his declining skills as he aged. Would 32 year-old Louis beat peak Foreman or win against Frazier in Manilla? I doubt it.

It'd be interesting to see them swap eras. I could see Ali whooping Max Baer easy. But I say Ali should rank a wee bit higher because of his victories during the '70s.
32 year-old Louis wasn't bad. In fact Louis didn't start showing signs of decline until after the Walcott fights. He was 34 then.

I have a love-hate relationship with Ali. As a white kid at the time I felt conflicted because while I admired his talent and found him entertaining, all of his "whites are the devil" talk disturbed me. I was a kid...what did I ever do to him? Joe Louis never spoke this way, and my dad was a huge fan of Louis, Liston, LaMotta, Marciano and Robinson. So I grew up watching their fights often.

Ali did really well but when you look at it his greatness is defined by beating the "big three" - Liston, Foreman and Frazier. Other than those three, he conquered competition in the same boat as Louis.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

It's Dale
Muhammad performed miracle after miracle during his career. No one expected him to beat Liston. He won the fights despite being blinded in one of them. Then he had a fantastic second career, beating a much younger Foreman. When you look at his career it shouldn't be a surprise that folks thought he'd beat Larry Holmes. We were so used to Ali pulling off magic tricks. Joe Louis had a phenomenol run as champion. But Ali pulled off more impressive feats.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Shogun of Harlem
It's Dale wrote
 Joe Louis had a phenomenol run as champion. But Ali pulled off more impressive feats.
That's the kicker. I just spoke in another thread about how Ali and Louis both lost some skill after ring absences during WW2 and Vietnam, but they still did very well in their 30s, though Louis did better overall.

Louis was more consistent with wins following his layoff and he beat some decent enough guys, Walcott being the best. Ali had mixed results, struggling with Norton in three fights (he should have lost all three imo) losing to Frazier, struggling with Young, Lyle and Shavers, but he did beat Foreman and win the tough fights. Young, Norton, Shavers, Frazier, Lyle, Patterson, Ellis, Chuvalo, and more. He beat them all, though some decisions are dubious.

Louis beat some great competition over his long career but Ali tops him because he beat Foreman, Liston and some of the others. But Louis was the more consistant fighter. I guess it depends on what you're looking for when you rank somebody. Do you look at the number of wins (Louis wins here) or beating better competion and doing better during the second career? (That's Ali)

I don't see Louis winning in Manilla or beating peak Foreman, so I back Ali here. But it's close. Real close.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

George Jefferson
In reply to this post by MAGUIRE
MAGUIRE wrote
Both accomplished a lot. Who should be ranked higher?
Ali. Most of the guys Louis feasted on his prime were old former heavyweight champions. Schmeling, Baer, Braddock, Carnera, Sharkey, all of them were much older than him. Ali beat guys who were closer in age for the most part.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Friday The 13th...
George Jefferson wrote
Ali. Most of the guys Louis feasted on his prime were old former heavyweight champions. Schmeling, Baer, Braddock, Carnera, Sharkey, all of them were much older than him.
That's not accurate. What about Buddy Baer? Tommy Farr? Tony Galento? Jersey Joe Walcott? Billy Conn? Johnny Paycheck? Louis knocked out a lot of guys close in age. I say he deserves credit for dominating the previous era as well as his own. When you dominate for 11 years as champion you're bound to fight a lot of guys, some older, some your age and some younger. That's what Louis did. Ali did the same.

It's really hard to say who should rank higher but I have to go with Louis because of his numbers. More title defenses, longer reign, less losses (only one loss during his prime). Louis did better overall and he would beat Ali's competiton too.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Urban Legend
Friday The 13th... wrote
It's really hard to say who should rank higher but I have to go with Louis because of his numbers. More title defenses, longer reign, less losses (only one loss during his prime). Louis did better overall and he would beat Ali's competiton too.
But Ali lost three years of his physical prime. There's no telling how long he would have reigned if not for Vietnam. It's likely he would have beaten Frazier in '67 or '68 as Joe was not yet at his peak, and Ali would have eased into his declining skills rather than returning too soon from a three year layoff. He probably wouldn't have lost a fight until the mid-70s. Seriously. There was no one around to beat him and with his speed, sharpness and fighting consistency, Ali would have reigned for quite sometime.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

RICKY TAN
In reply to this post by Zorro
Zorro wrote
Ali did really well but when you look at it his greatness is defined by beating the "big three" - Liston, Foreman and Frazier. Other than those three, he conquered competition in the same boat as Louis.
The "big three" is better than most of the competition Joe fought. Honestly speaking, there are not many guys who could find the magic to beat prime Liston and Foreman. Not many guys would beat a peak Frazier either, and although Ali lost to him, he gave him one hell of a tough fight in 1971.

Muhammad Ali beat better competition than all the other heavyweights. They used to call Joe's opponents the "bum of the month."
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

precious-1
In reply to this post by Urban Legend
I chose Louis but it is close. All your reasons hold water, the 11+ years as champion are the epitome of consistency that wins for me. Too many people jump on the "Bum of the month" quote but even Ali amongst the great opposition did take out a few bums himself plus he did get favorable decisions because he was pure box office, as mentioned Ken Norton in the Yankee stadium was a loss imo. Not Ali's fault & yes the 3 years in exile would have elevated him to the greatest no doubt.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Zorro
In reply to this post by Friday The 13th...
Friday The 13th... wrote

That's not accurate. What about Buddy Baer? Tommy Farr? Tony Galento? Jersey Joe Walcott? Billy Conn? Johnny Paycheck? Louis knocked out a lot of guys close in age. I say he deserves credit for dominating the previous era as well as his own. When you dominate for 11 years as champion you're bound to fight a lot of guys, some older, some your age and some younger. That's what Louis did. Ali did the same.

It's really hard to say who should rank higher but I have to go with Louis because of his numbers. More title defenses, longer reign, less losses (only one loss during his prime). Louis did better overall and he would beat Ali's competiton too.
Well said.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Alucard
In reply to this post by Duggerman
It's difficult in my view... Louis is what a true HW champion should be, powerful, skilled (for his time), dominating, Clay/Ali is the opposite, featherfisted punching bag relying on running around (in the 60s), stamina and durability to survive the opposition, struggling, most of the time, against any kind of opponent...

On this alone i prefer Louis, but there's no comparison in terms of competition, Clay/Ali had it much tougher, even with the fishy and dubious results in his favor... I'd say a tie, Louis as a champion and Clay/Ali for competition...
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Sivul
I say Louis also. His record to me is better. He fought more guys than Ali and only lost three times, only once in his prime. And he could punch. He was a great warrior. He could do it all. Ali's legacy is a close second imo.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Hit Em' Hard
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Evan Fields
I voted Louis. Ali may be the bigger icon. But in the ring, Joe accomplished more.
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Re: Who should rank higher? Louis or Ali

Big Red
In reply to this post by Hit Em' Hard
Hit Em' Hard wrote
There's the man. I also give him credit for his successful ring comeback after the lay-off. He may not have been at his physical best anymore but other than Sonny Liston, he had most of his big wins post-exile.