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Thread started 09/30/12 7:34pm

Timmy84

Muhammad Ali overrated?

Again, this is not to knock the great man but I just felt I had to do this topic...

It's been burning in my head for a while.

Like a kid I was always told about how Ali was "the greatest" without really explaining why, mainly just going on his own words and everything.

From the fights I saw, I'll say this: at his heyday he had great stamina, he had a wicked punch and when his blows connected, it was indeed enough to "shake up the world" as he would say as an arrogant 22-year-old who just knocked out Sonny Liston when he still went by Cassius Clay, Jr.

My thing is from even the fights in his heyday, some of the fighters who fought him were either ill (George Foreman had health problems the night of their fight) or affected by present or past injuries (Cleveland Williams' bullet wounds; Joe Frazier being partially blind in one eye; Floyd Patterson breaking his back a few days before the fight) or Ali did something in the ring to mess them up (thumbing Ernie Terrell's eye so he couldn't see; holding on to his opponent's ropes or even the referee being sneaky to help Ali).

It kinda takes away from Ali a little. Also, for as much as he catered to the media to joke and play around, when the cameras weren't around he taunted his opponents with anything (Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier and George Foreman recounted some tactics Ali would throw that wasn't caught on camera).

Plus Ali got knocked down by Chuck Wepner and rumors had it that the referee was more hesitant to call Ali out then when Wepner was knocked out. Plus he almost gave up in his final fight with Joe Frazier telling Angelo Dundee and Freddie Pacheco to cut his gloves before Eddie Futch told Joe not to go on (despite Joe's obviously angry refusal not to).

But in your view, what makes Ali overrated or what makes Ali earn the credentials he get? I'm not saying he's overrated (obviously the media overrates a lot of legends) but I just wanted to see what your opinions are because it seems like people are all unanimous that Ali is "the greatest". But what's it as a fighter or as what he did off the ring? Because to me he seemed more flawed offstage than on but what y'all think?

[Edited 9/30/12 19:40pm]

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Reply #1 posted 09/30/12 7:51pm

Fonkyman

He was pretty damn good, to put it mildly. Pretty feckin mildly.

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Reply #2 posted 09/30/12 7:52pm

RodeoSchro

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Remember - Ali's nickname of "The Greatest" was bestowed upon him by...himself.

Ali was not the greatest boxer of all time, but he's certainly in any conversation. But boxing is only a part of his legacy.

The man went to prison for his beliefs. Prison. You can count the number of people that have gone to prison for their beliefs in America over the last 50 years probably on one hand. Maybe two.

Muhammed Ali created the showman athlete. What he did to promote himself had never been done before. I don't know if Joe Namath would have guaranteed a Jets' victory in the Super Bowl had Ali not conditioned America to athletes that weren't afraid to express their confidence.

For years - nay, DECADES - Muhammed Ali was the most famous person in the world. Some of that was because of his boxing skill but perhaps just as much was due to his unparallelled charisma.

He may have named himself "The Greatest" but if he hadn't, someone else would have.

My two cents.

Second Funkiest White Man in America

Rocket Frog
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Reply #3 posted 09/30/12 8:11pm

TD3

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NO. hmm

Look at the people Mr. Ali fought, no cream-puffs.

As far as Alis mouth, between the jokes, the talking of trash, and boasting... he said a lot of profound things. It was the things Ali said inbetween that got him trouble. I'm going to leave it at that.

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Reply #4 posted 09/30/12 8:16pm

NDRU

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^^^All of that, plus he was champion three different times, and had a winning career that went from the 1960 olympics to beating Leon Spinks in 1978.

From the mid-70's on, he was the underdog, and yet he still won some crucial fights against younger men.

I don't know if he was the "best" but I would definitely call him the greatest.

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Reply #5 posted 09/30/12 8:19pm

NDRU

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I just watched a documentary on his fight with Larry Holmes in '79. It's very interesting, but absolutely tragic. I remember this period in his career from when I was a kid, and how sad it was to see him want to continue when it was clear that he could not still do it.

But When We Were Kings is one of my favorite sports documents

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Reply #6 posted 09/30/12 8:20pm

Timmy84

I hope some of y'all didn't take the original post to think I was thinking Ali was a punk or something, did ya? lol

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Reply #7 posted 09/30/12 8:35pm

TD3

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Timmy84 said:

I hope some of y'all didn't take the original post to think I was thinking Ali was a punk or something, did ya? lol

you put it out there, can't reel it back it in. SORRY. razz

Seriously, didn't take like that at all. cool

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Reply #8 posted 09/30/12 8:36pm

Fonkyman

You only have to see the classics to know what he was all about. When we were Kings will do for a start.

Dig right into his career though and you'll see a kid mastering the art while nurturing what he had from the day he was born. He was quick. Feckin quick and they weren't just slappy jabs flyin about. He had a jab that'd drop em, combos that'd shock em and a knockout that'd make em, well, go a lil bit sleepy... Stamina of a bull too which helps when you're gettin on a bit and should be sitting by a pool 'stead of messin bout in the ring.

Yeah he had more front than Harrods and made it work for him like never before but watch his fights. How'd he box? Ignore the bullshit, if you can. Know who was around him every time, who he was fighting and when. He wasn't silly. Watch his fights.

Overrated? Maybe, depending on who's doing the rating. One of the greatest in the ring? None too shabby was he. Gotta be right up there.

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Reply #9 posted 09/30/12 8:43pm

StonedImmacula
te

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I feel ya, Timmy, but heres the thing:

Any boxer of any era...Ali could have and would have beaten them. If they fought two or three times, Ali may have lost once, but he would have knocked their ass out in at least one of the meetings, and probably would have won two of the three.

He was the "Ric Flair" of boxing...intelligence and stamina over power.

blunt music She has robes and she has monkeys, lazy diamond studded flunkies.... music blunt
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Reply #10 posted 09/30/12 8:45pm

Fonkyman

Gotta add, Enrys' Hammer had him over. lol

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Reply #11 posted 09/30/12 8:50pm

butterfli25

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NO. Watch the fights. Read up on the Man. He was superman. He was the baddest, before Michael (Jordan or Jackson) was potty trained good. Read the history.

I know I was sad to see him at the opening ceremony for the Olympics, he was not able to do what he was supposed to do and it seems like his wife lost her patience with him. My father died of parkinson's and it looks like The Greatest is nearing the end of his life sad

butterfly
We all should know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry, and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their color.
Maya Angelou
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Reply #12 posted 09/30/12 8:55pm

nursev

My fav boxer has always been Sugar Ray Leonard-he just had "it." But considering the things Ali went through and the many men he fought and beat-yes he was and still is the greatest boxer to ever do it.
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Reply #13 posted 09/30/12 9:01pm

Timmy84

TD3 said:

Timmy84 said:

I hope some of y'all didn't take the original post to think I was thinking Ali was a punk or something, did ya? lol

you put it out there, can't reel it back it in. SORRY. razz

Seriously, didn't take like that at all. cool

biggrin Yeah I just wanted to have a discussion about Ali a bit. I know almost everybody and their mama "reveres" him and all. I just wanted to hear from those who didn't think so but those who think so are free to explain like I said earlier. smile

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Reply #14 posted 09/30/12 9:01pm

Timmy84

StonedImmaculate said:

I feel ya, Timmy, but heres the thing:

Any boxer of any era...Ali could have and would have beaten them. If they fought two or three times, Ali may have lost once, but he would have knocked their ass out in at least one of the meetings, and probably would have won two of the three.

He was the "Ric Flair" of boxing...intelligence and stamina over power.

Both of them stole from wrestler Gorgeous George...

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Reply #15 posted 09/30/12 9:03pm

Timmy84

Fonkyman said:

You only have to see the classics to know what he was all about. When we were Kings will do for a start.

Dig right into his career though and you'll see a kid mastering the art while nurturing what he had from the day he was born. He was quick. Feckin quick and they weren't just slappy jabs flyin about. He had a jab that'd drop em, combos that'd shock em and a knockout that'd make em, well, go a lil bit sleepy... Stamina of a bull too which helps when you're gettin on a bit and should be sitting by a pool 'stead of messin bout in the ring.

Yeah he had more front than Harrods and made it work for him like never before but watch his fights. How'd he box? Ignore the bullshit, if you can. Know who was around him every time, who he was fighting and when. He wasn't silly. Watch his fights.

Overrated? Maybe, depending on who's doing the rating. One of the greatest in the ring? None too shabby was he. Gotta be right up there.

I saw the "classics" lol like I said Ali had great stamina and could take a good punch or two or three or four... you have to admit though his style was very unlike many boxers from then that just danced flat footed. I think a problem with post-Ali boxing is you had folks who thought they could move like him. Only Leonard matched Ali in that department. Tyson was flat footed like the older fighters for example.

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Reply #16 posted 09/30/12 9:23pm

BobGeorge909

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What he did to change the perception AND self perception ofo African Americans. Either through his "arrogance" or political views. He sacrificed a good majority of his professional career because of what he knew to be true, that were somehow finding ways not to apply.
[Insert witticism or shameless plug here]
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Reply #17 posted 09/30/12 9:27pm

Timmy84

^ What did he really do that Joe Louis and, to a lesser extent, Sugar Ray Robinson hadn't done before him? I guess Ali just knocked the hinges off the doors that Joe and SRR banged and tried to knock down but couldn't for some reason due to their time periods. Also, Ali wasn't fully embraced until the Rumble in the Jungle even if he fully embraced the role of the media's villain after the '60 Olympics.

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Reply #18 posted 09/30/12 9:34pm

Tittypants

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I think Ali is overrated. cool

الحيوان النادلة ((((|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|)))) ...AND THAT'S THE WAY THE "TITTY" MILKS IT!
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Reply #19 posted 09/30/12 9:41pm

Timmy84

I can kinda see why people say Ali "risked" a lot but I think Ali was caught between a rock and a hard place when it came to Vietnam. In the Thrilla in Manilla documentary, the NOI member who was mentoring Ali at the time and actually gave Ali his name from Cassius Clay (who was actually an abolitionist and not a "slave master" since Ali allegedly changed it because his name came from a "slave master" when it didn't) coached him to say the things he said. There was no way that Ali could've gotten drafted anyway if the rules hadn't changed in 1967, when he took his Select Service exam he bombed so badly he was deemed unqualified to enter but in 1967, they changed it on purpose. Why? I don't know but probably to see how Ali would react.

In his converted religion, he was taught that unless you were attacked, you had no reason to fight so he refused based on that purpose and also because Elijah Muhammad kept warning him not to do it because of "the blue eyed devils" and all that bullshit that was whispered in Ali's ear. You have to remember during that time Ali was naive about a lot of things. He surely knew about racism though. The only reason he even joined was because he was still emotionally scarred by being turned away from eating a burger in a Louisville restaurant because of his color despite his gold medal (there's still a question as to whether he really threw it or not or sold it) and also because he felt the Muslims talked a good game. I think he really joined because he dug Malcolm X. The NOI controlled him just as much as the people who helped Ali's initial boxing career.

I don't think he went in to avoid the draft to be a conscientious objector but because he was now a follower of "Allah", don't get into a "Christian's war" unless you were provoked. Ali took the role of conscientious objector after finding out a lot of folks, black and white, were avoiding the draft. Ali was said to have been petrified of disobeying Elijah Muhammad. Sugar Ray Robinson, or another boxer, once came to his hotel room and tried to get Ali to change his mind and encountered a scared out of his wits Ali. Nevertheless the religion thing saved his hide in the end with the Supreme Court but it was almost a split decision. Thurgood Marshall recused himself from being part of the decision.

The truth is not as perfect as a myth.

[Edited 9/30/12 21:42pm]

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Reply #20 posted 09/30/12 9:42pm

Timmy84

Tittypants said:

I think Ali is overrated. cool

smile You're free to give your reasons. If folks here try to bite you, I'll defend ya. lol

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Reply #21 posted 09/30/12 10:04pm

Tittypants

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Timmy84 said:

Tittypants said:

I think Ali is overrated. cool

smile You're free to give your reasons. If folks here try to bite you, I'll defend ya. lol

lol Okay.

Well, while I understand [a little] of what he did during his era [pretty much for himself lol], it doesn't really merit his status to the degree that it is imo. I've seen quite a few of his fights just to see the "glory" that everyone refers too & He was a great fighter [one of the greatest of all time], but I think he may be remembered for running his mouth more than his actual fights. I agree with all of your points as well.nod I think he was helped out by those who invested in him during that era too during some fights.

I'm in the minority when I say this, but I think if he & Tyson would have fought while both were in their prime, Tyson would have won the fight in a KO. I also don't think it would gone A full 10 or 12 rounds either boxed

الحيوان النادلة ((((|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|̲̅̅=̲̅̅|̲̅̅●̲̅̅|)))) ...AND THAT'S THE WAY THE "TITTY" MILKS IT!
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Reply #22 posted 09/30/12 10:11pm

NDRU

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I think it's easy to argue that another boxer is better than him, but it's impossible to know if he could beat Tyson or Louis or whoever.

And it's impossible to separate the athlete from the man at this point. Even Larry Holmes cried after beating him.

So what you're left with is one of the greatest athletes of all time, and one of the most interesting public figures of all time. Possibly overrated when your nickname is "The Greatest" but still one of the few who can make a case for such a title. That is good enough for me.

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Reply #23 posted 09/30/12 10:13pm

HuMpThAnG

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Timmy84 said:

^ What did he really do that Joe Louis and, to a lesser extent, Sugar Ray Robinson hadn't done before him? I guess Ali just knocked the hinges off the doors that Joe and SRR banged and tried to knock down but couldn't for some reason due to their time periods. Also, Ali wasn't fully embraced until the Rumble in the Jungle even if he fully embraced the role of the media's villain after the '60 Olympics.

Ali was just a heavyweight version if Ray Robinson.

He even stated that himself.

2 of my favorite quotes from him:

It's not bragging if you can back it up.

And my ultimate fave:


“I am America. I am the part you won't recognize.

But get used to me.

Black, confident, cocky; my name, not yours;

my religion, not yours; my goals, my own; get used to me.”

Like Jack Johnson, Ali was bold.

But I think Jack was much bolder to be doing what he did in his time lol

Now that I think about it, both were bold in their own way hmmm




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Reply #24 posted 09/30/12 11:11pm

ludwig

I think boxing is overrated. I have a lot respect for the training because you have to be very disciplined, but punching people in the face is just wrong. Plain and simple.

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Reply #25 posted 09/30/12 11:20pm

pennylover

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RodeoSchro said:

Remember - Ali's nickname of "The Greatest" was bestowed upon him by...himself.

Ali was not the greatest boxer of all time, but he's certainly in any conversation. But boxing is only a part of his legacy.

The man went to prison for his beliefs. Prison. You can count the number of people that have gone to prison for their beliefs in America over the last 50 years probably on one hand. Maybe two.

Muhammed Ali created the showman athlete. What he did to promote himself had never been done before. I don't know if Joe Namath would have guaranteed a Jets' victory in the Super Bowl had Ali not conditioned America to athletes that weren't afraid to express their confidence.

For years - nay, DECADES - Muhammed Ali was the most famous person in the world. Some of that was because of his boxing skill but perhaps just as much was due to his unparallelled charisma.

He may have named himself "The Greatest" but if he hadn't, someone else would have.

My two cents.

There it is... thumbs up! I could not have said it better. Excellent RodeoSchro wink

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Reply #26 posted 10/01/12 1:33am

Timmy84

Tittypants said:

Timmy84 said:

smile You're free to give your reasons. If folks here try to bite you, I'll defend ya. lol

lol Okay.

Well, while I understand [a little] of what he did during his era [pretty much for himself lol], it doesn't really merit his status to the degree that it is imo. I've seen quite a few of his fights just to see the "glory" that everyone refers too & He was a great fighter [one of the greatest of all time], but I think he may be remembered for running his mouth more than his actual fights. I agree with all of your points as well.nod I think he was helped out by those who invested in him during that era too during some fights.

I'm in the minority when I say this, but I think if he & Tyson would have fought while both were in their prime, Tyson would have won the fight in a KO. I also don't think it would gone A full 10 or 12 rounds either boxed

'60s-early '70s era Ali could thank his lucky stars for his good chin but if he let it open too many times, '80s era Tyson would've popped that chin open... but yeah, Ali in general was used as a puppet IMHO. The Muslims definitely made him a puppet and the media made him a puppet.

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Reply #27 posted 10/01/12 4:41am

KingBAD

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sugar ray lenard was over rated

ali was the greatest at the time (before prison)

he continued to be great for awhile and then

it was over.

he was never 'over rated' just not the greatest of all time.

when you look at todays fighters you'd be hard pressed to find

any in comparison. if i remember right, they were fighting

15 rounds at times back then.

tyson was a great fighter, for a time.

no-one has gotten close to whut he had done.

so really, the caliber of fighters now and to come

will never match whut we have already seen.

KALI my child will wreak havoc on all you love at my command... i am KING BAD!!!
evilking
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Reply #28 posted 10/01/12 5:28am

Fonkyman

It's easy to say so and so woulda beaten so and so but it's impossible to prove. Ali was a far better boxer than Tyson ever was but they were completely different types of fighter. When Cus D'amato was looking after Tyson he was unbeatable. He was a disciplined monster. He had a right hook that coulda knocked down walls just for laughs. For all we know, Ali coulda danced for 2 rounds with Tyson and pulled a bunch of roses from his ass early in the 3rd? Tyson might have spent 2 minutes playing with a Tonka toy on the canvas? They might have just gone for a chinese together, had a farting competition and one of em might even have shat themselves. We'll just never know. Would've been some fight but I don't know if I'd like to have seen Tyson battering Ali on the ropes for any money. Alright, maybe I would have. Yeah, where can I get some tickets.

So much of it changed over time, like a lot of sports. It was a different game back then. Fifteen rounders just being a part of it. As difficult as it is to prove, I'm sure that most of the old gaurd woulda knocked the granny out of anything we have today, with very few exceptions. Right across the board, middleweights, heavyweights, the lot. Like I said, we'll never know. Good bit of sport trying to guess though eh.

Audrey Harrison woulda beaten em all anyway. Least I think I mean him? I could be getting him mixed up with Emo Phillips which is easily done, I'm not sure.

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Reply #29 posted 10/01/12 5:47am

ColAngus

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I think the way that Ali approached his "craft" HAS TO BE admired .

He was an original .

He sold tickets - by predicting he would win , etc .

And he backed it up .

Was he human ? sure. He had his faults - and his bad boxing matches . wink

BUT I still say those were the glory days of boxing . Ali, Foreman, Frazier, Norton ... Liston ... the list goes on ... those were the matches you wanted to see ... and would even listen to the radio to hear them ... punch for punch ...

Colonel Angus may be smelly. colonel angus may be a little rough . but deep down ... Colonel angus is very sweet.
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