Saturday, February 01, 2020


I watch old boxing matches on YouTube once in a while, and usually watch a few in succession when I get started.  I watched the highlights of the three Ali-Frazier fights tonight, and was reminded why people still call them the greatest ever.  I've been watching excellent boxers.  They were better.


Aggie said...

Ali was the complete package, and I still enjoy seeing glimpses of his almost incredible abilities. He was blindingly fast, even his jabs had real force behind them, and his ability to bob & weave is still hard to match. It would have been very interesting to see him take on Iron Mike Tyson. Although Tyson would leap off his stool and race across the ring at the bell, I have a feeling that Ali would have prevailed and let him just wear himself out.

I wonder if anyone has ever simulated that bout to see what a computer predicts.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Ali was so fast and powerful over the first few rounds that he sometimes essentially won then, even if the fight went to five or eight rounds. It is remarkable when an opponent lands even a few real punches in the opening rounds. The fighters who did well against him were those who could absorb a lot of damage and still remain standing up. Then, they needed to do damage themselves, because Ali was only good, not great, at taking punches.

The same applies for Tyson, for somewhat different reasons. Buster Douglas won by remaining on his feet despite getting walloped, doing some damage himself round by round.

Grim said...

What Tyson was great at was aggression. He went at you 100% from the first bell, with the intent of ending the fight by knockout. He didn't come to box you for many rounds, but to put you down. It was when he started to lose and tried to shift to a partly-defensive posture that he could be beaten, because he was giving away that 100% come-at-you that was his best card.

In MMA, Ronda Rousey was the same sort of fighter. She was great until she learned that she could lose and that she didn't like it, and thus backed off her aggressiveness and started thinking about defense. But without that 100% aggression, she wasn't a great fighter but only a good one.