Greatest Boxers – New Kids Vs the Old Guard

by Fran on November 26, 2013

How exactly should we compare modern fighters with those warriors of yesteryear in terms of their 'greatness?'

I've previously written an article in which I tried to define 6 ingredients that were consistent across the greatest boxers and I'll provide that link at the end of this article.

What I didn't do in that article was to go into some of the complexities of actually making the comparison of fighters across the generations. Step in a friend of mine, Denis Brown.

Denis is a Scotsman who is a former member of the Royal Navy. Even though he hails from Scotland, he's a top man  🙂 He has a real passion for music, boxing and basketball, although I'm not sure in which order preference.

Recently, Denis sent an email to a bunch of us. When I got around to having a proper look at it I found it a really thought-provoking and well worth putting out to the passionate fight-fans who are involved with MyBoxingCoach.

I've copied Denis's email in below. If we're really lucky, Denis might be able to get involved in the flurry of contributions that this hot topic is likely to generate 🙂 Feel free to enter your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the article.

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How can you objectively rate old time fighters against the modern champs? Longevity, multi-weight championships & standard of opposition are just some of the criteria we read about in the boxing press.

On the face of it an old time fighter like Henry Armstrong, who held three belts at featherweight, lightweight & welterweight might not compare favourably with a modern champion like 5-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather Jnr. Floyd has never lost a fight and hardly lost a round in his whole career, Armstrong lost 21 times. So, is that it decided then? Well let’s look a little closer.....

The main difference between old time champs and modern champs is that old time champs were undisputed and modern champs are only partial champs. When Armstrong was champ, he was the only champ at that weight whereas Mayweather Jnr has never been an undisputed champ at any weight. In fact, in Armstrong’s range, between featherweight and welterweight, since 2000 there have only been 3 undisputed champions (Corey Spinks & Zab Judah at welterweight and Kostya Tszyu at light welterweight). Indeed, considering there are 56 recognised ‘world’ titles, since 2000 there have only been 9 undisputed champs (Lennox Lewis, O’Neill Bell, Roy Jone Jnr, Bernard Hopkins, Jermain Taylor, Winky Wright, Cory Spinks, Zab Judah & Kostya Tszyu). So is Mayweather really a world champ like Armstrong was? The answer is, no.

And if we fans are entitled to ask ‘why are these champs not seeking to be undisputed champs’? the answer might be ‘because there is plenty of money to go around and no need to take risks with your title by fighting another championship level opponent. In fact, today’s fighters will pay millions to avoid fighting rival titles just so they can hold onto their belts or give up the high risk belt completely and keep the other belts. Three notable recent example of this:

  • Tyson pays Lewis £4m to step aside so Tyson could fight an ‘easier’ opponent in Holyfield
  • Riddock Bowe threw his coveted WBC belt in a bin rather than fight Lewis
  • Naseem Hamed spending 2 years simply avoiding Juan Manuel Marquez, despite Marquez being the No. 1 contender for the crown that Hamed held.

But Mayweather fought everyone, and beat all the top guys, right? Well, no, not really. Some fighters were refused fights with Mayweather Jnr unless they agreed to fight above or below their natural weight, others were avoided until they were past their peak and others were just avoided at all costs – most notably, Manny Pacquiao who Mayweather refused to fight on a 50/50 purse split (Manny was the biggest draw in the world at the time) and then, when Manny agreed to take a 40% split, Mayweather refused to fight unless Pacquiao agreed to Olympic-style blood testing up to 2 weeks before the fight and ceded to Mayweather the home location, choice of referee & judges (I won’t even mention the Mayweather camps fear of Antonio Marguerito).

Yes, but fighting through partial champs at 5 weight divisions must be pretty impossible anyways, right? Well not as hard as winning undisputed titles at three weights (which would count as 5 weights these days) and holding them all at the same time, defending his crowns each month against the #1 contender.

OK, but at least Floyd is undefeated. Well, yes, I will concede that Floyd is undefeated in 45 fights with 26 KOs. Poor Henry Armstrong lost 21 times by comparison. However let’s look a little closer: Armstrong fought anywhere, anytime against anyone. Floyd has never fought outside of the USA. Armstrong won 150 fights and 101 of those wins were by KO. Armstrong also drew with the undisputed middleweight champ at the time, Ceferino Garcia, over 15 rounds. Interestingly, Armstrong still holds the record for the most welterweight defences when he managed 18 defences of the undisputed welterweight title in a little over two years (this at a time when light-welters, welters and super-welters all fought for one title as there were only 8 championship weights) and it is strange that in all the time since his reign, no welterweight has gotten close to this figure..... not even Mayweather Jnr.

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Just a great definition of the complexities of making the comparison. Hats off to Denis.

Don't forget, comments below.

Cheers

Fran

PS -After leaving your thoughts below why not check out the other article on 6 Ingredients for the Greatest Boxers.

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

leon Vandyke December 28, 2013 at 2:03 am

There is a reason why the Las Vegas odds makers will favor Floyd in any fight between him and Pac man.
They know that Maywheather is a superior boxer-very difficult to hit and Pac Man has great heart-and far more easier to hit.
everything else is just hype-not worthy of discussion

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Fran December 28, 2013 at 5:55 pm

Your logic may be uncomfortable to some Leon, but it is nonetheless persuasive in it’s simplicity. Thanks.

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matt December 11, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Hi Fran

What do you think is the most important aspect of a boxer’s skill set which really defines a ‘great’, or at least successful boxer? I often hear (and I agree) that the greatest boxers are the ones who really master the fundamentals. To that end you often hear of the ‘three pillars’ of boxing being footwork, head movement and the jab. But which is the most significant? Personally I think it is footwork, because footwork controls everything including range, offence and defence. If you consider that boxing is a game of balance and that the boxer who wins ia the one who is more successful at maintaining their balance and unbalancing their opponent, then surely footwork must be the most important aspect.

What do you think?

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Fran December 15, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Hey Matt

Sorry for the delay. I tend to believe that excellent footwork is the vital ingredient for a fighter to become really elite. I often say that 95% of what the best fighters do are the fundamentals, they just do them very well. Sound footwork = sound balance = sound power = sound combinations. Get the first building block wrong and the rest will simply not follow. Neat question. Thanks Matt.

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Ivan December 1, 2013 at 9:38 am

12 rounds vs 15 rounds, modern chemistry vs spring water and grapes for dinner (mutton stake and ale for heavyweights), pay-per–view royalties vs tonight’s wagers and telegraphic gambling.
Any comparison b/n old and young is unfair to both, a dream match is just a fantasy and emotions and nostalgia take the upper hand. I am sure Sugar Ray Leonard would have made Floyd look ordinary, Duran would have paid to fight a guy like Floyd for a title, Hagler and Hearns would constitute a health hazard to Mayweather. A lot of careers have been undone in the 13th, 14th and the 15th round. Actual fights are usually mundane in comparison to dream matches but at least there is a result. Even an unfair decision is preferable to a hypothesis, so writing off Floyd against people he could never fight is a biased choice. I enjoyed mine.
We have to define old school first, how far back does it go and where is the deadline. If Leonard was old school, he makes modern fighters look like journey men. Duran makes them look like pussy-cats, even his ‘No mas” was more macho than hold-tie-wrestle-single scoring shot-hold the head-run survival tactics.
There was only one champion back in the day and there were very few sanctioning bodies too. The ones that existed were no models of moral excellence although they were controlled by “goodfellas”. They could get you a 49-0 record or they could deny you a title fight forever. Getting a high profile fight was perhaps as hard back then as it is for Pacquiao to get Floyd. I think Floyd could win this one though. And I think Farnky Carbo and “The Combination” would have won against Don King. Arum and GBP. Old timers were mentally tougher and more honest as crooks than corporate heads are as businessmen.
To finish on a good note, here is an old time article/coach’s guide lines from the 18-19 century:
“The skilled trainer attends to the state of the bowels, of the lungs, and the skin; and uses such means as will reduce the fat, at the same time, invigorate the muscular fibres (sic)…he is sweated by walking under a load of clothes, and by lying between feather-beds. His limbs are roughly rubbed. his diet is beef or mutton: his drink strong ale…(He) enters upon his training with a regular course of physic, which consists of three doses…he must rise at five in the morning, run half a mile at top speed uphill and walk six miles at a moderate pace, coming in about seven to breakfast, which should be beef-steaks or mutton chops with stale bread and old beer. After breakfast he must again walk six miles at a moderate pace, at at twelve lie down in bed without his close half an hour…on getting up, he must walk four miles and return by four to dinner…Immediately after dinner he must resume his exercise by running half a mile at top speed , and walking six miles at moderate pace.”

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wee den December 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm

Duran made everyone look like pussy cats Ivan, even the best ones of his day!

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Paul Smith December 4, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Excellent post Ivan….thanks!

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David November 30, 2013 at 9:17 am

Roberto Duran stated that Floyd Mayweather Jr would be an average fighter if he fought in his boxing era, on the other hand Mike Tyson stated that is quite impossible to fight Mayweather Jr because his style is perfect and it is almost impossible to hit him, sincerely my personal opinion is that mayweather jr can defend himself against every type of punch, no matter power no matter accuracy or anything else, i believe that the only way to stand a chance against him is developing a KILLER COUNTERPUNCHING SKILL and OUTSTANDING FOOTWORK because when he is shoulder rolling or dodging punches there is no way to hit him!!!! P.S= My favourite boxers are Sugar Ray Robinson and Jersey Joe Walcott and you can understand why they are my favourite ones!

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David November 30, 2013 at 9:21 am

I said this after watching so many Floyd’s prizefights

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wee den December 7, 2013 at 9:08 am

Roberto Duran may have been thinking of fighters he fought, like Estaban De Jesus or maybe even our own Kirkland Laing, who were, in their day regarded as contenders but never ‘great’ champions? A fighter like De Jesus is now largely forgotten but in today’s fight game, he would undoubtedly be a superstar and would have given Mayweather Jnr fits with his slick skills. Mayweather has fantastic skills himself but could he have mastered prime versions of Duran, Hearns, Leonard, Benitez, Pryor, Arguello, Chavez, Taylor & Whittaker and taken their place in history or would he have been just another fighter? Tyson has a renowned knowledge of old fighters but I think he’d agree that Mayweather’s style would not work well against old timers. Here is why: Mayweather does not push the pace in his fights. Mayweather fights at roughly the same pace as fighters did 50 years ago, unlike, say, Manny Pacquiao or Joe Calzaghe whose pace actually wears opponents down because they try to engage in punch exchanges every second of the fight. Because Mayweather does not force a high pace old timers would cope with his high fitness level easily and though they might not have better reflexes than Floyd (who does?) they would certainly have greater endurance, experience & be more battle-hardened. Besides that, if people today think that Pacquiao fights at a tremendous pace and throws a lot of punches, they might be amazed to see how much quicker Armstrong fought. Muhammad Ali said something along the lines of’ there was no golden age of boxing, some of the best ones then would beat some of the best ones now and some of the best ones now would beat some of the best ones then. nutrition and eating right, jumping rope and chopping logs is the same today as it was then’. I agree with Ali’s sentiments, both old and modern fighters have different advantages over each other that would be even enough to see each era competitive with any other era. All we can do is enjoy these great champions and wonder how they would match up across different eras.

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Rick I November 28, 2013 at 9:45 pm

Even though it is impossible to definatively state who is better between fighters who have never met in the ring, my opinion is that fighters of years past were better. I cannot possibly match the eloquence of Mr. Brown, but, I feel that what I have is pursuasive.
To pick up on what Karl said (amateur fights), fighters years ago had to face much more difficult competition during their amateur career, which is the stepping stone to a professional career. This has much to do with the breakdown of the Soviet system, and Eastern block countries.
I would like to use the 1976 US Olympic boxing team to buttress this point. I believe that this group of fighters is the best that the US ever produced. The 1984 team won more gold medals, but faced competition that is much like today’s: watered down.
All of the gold medal winners faced some of the toughest fighters of the day, be it amateur or pro.
Howard Davis faced the Romanian, Simion Cutov, who was by any measure a professional.
Mike Spinks faced the World Champion from Russia, Rufat Riskiev.
Leo Randolph faced the great Cuban Ramon Duvalon.
Leon Spinks faced another great Cuban, Sixto Soria.
Sugar Ray Leonard faced still another Cuban, Andres Aldama, who might have been the most feared fighter having won all of his previous bouts by knockouts.
The point here is that all of the fighters faced by the US amateurs were really professionals.
It is not a coincedence that all of them went on to very successful professional careers, and, most were world champions of their weight classes at one time or another.
This is why I think that every one of these fighters would beat every fighter today in their respective weight classes. And, I believe that fighters who came up through the ranks during that time when the Communist block countries were at their peak (Russians, Cubans, etc…) and became World Champions would beat any champion of today.
I mean, what heayweight today faced a Teofilo Stevenson during their amatuer days? Does anyone think that had Stevenson been allowed to fight professionally that he would not have been a world champion?

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wee den December 3, 2013 at 6:38 pm

brilliant comment…..really got me thinking.

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wee den December 3, 2013 at 8:57 pm

Well Rick I, that is a whole new article…. would Stevenson have been heavyweight champion of the world? Stevenson was at his best 1972-86, a remarkable time for a boxer of any code. But the undisputed world heavyweight champs of the prize ring during that period were Frazier, Foreman, Ali & Spinks. Ali only regained the WBA title, if I remember correctly. Then you have the beginning of the era of champs who only hold one belt out of three; Spinks, Norton, Holmes & Ali. The third of those champs, Larry Holmes, was undisputably the best heavyweight in the world between 1983-86 and would have easily dealt with Stevenson. However, around Holmes reign the world went mad and we always had 3 world champs at every weight (until we decided we should have 4, 5, then as many as 6 world champs at every weight) and we got Tate, Weaver, Dokes, Witherspoon, Tubbs and Coetzee as heavyweight world champs became 10-a-penny. I don’t think it is a stretch of the imagination to think that Stevenson could easily have overcame some of the latter named champs. But whilst I agree that Stevenson could have held one of the belts, he would never have been recognised as ‘the best of the heavyweight champs’ because I feel Frazier, Foreman, Ali, Norton & Holmes, the so-called ‘Golden Age of Heavyweights’ would have beaten him. What do you think?

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Rick I November 28, 2013 at 9:25 pm

When it comes to comparing fighters from different generations it is clear that there is no true objective method by which this can be done. All fighters know that regardless of records, and, historical perspectives, there is only one way to ascertain who is better: getting in the ring and having at it!
Ironcially, this doesn’t just apply to fighers over generations! Isn’t it a shame that fighters of the same generation who have a chance to settle things in the ring still chose to avoid each other? Or, one fighter choses to avoid another? (Floyd’s aversion to meeting Pacquiao…) We can’t even seem to settle the issue as to who is the best among peers…we have to argue over who is the best even when it can be settled in the ring? How can we possibly do this over generations?

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wee den December 3, 2013 at 10:22 pm

Good points made there, Rick. And how would Jimmy Wilde fight Ricardo Lopez? Over 20 rounds or over 12 rounds? Modern fighters may be faster but modern fights are like sprints compared to old timers fights. Those of us who can remember 15 round title fights must agree that rounds 13-15 were known as ‘the championship rounds’ for reasons modern champs will never really know. I think the best way to answer who was best is to say ‘modern fighters would prevail against old time fighters under current rules but modern fighters would prevail over the old rules’? One final point: old rules means weighing in on the day, sometimes ringside just before the fight. Not sure if any current champ could do that and survive against an old champ…….

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MickeyG November 28, 2013 at 7:08 pm

great article and all of my thoughts have already been expressed by others who have commented. Glove changes, number of rounds, ridiculous alphabet belts given out, ‘fighters’ that actually fight only once or twice a year at most. All these and more have diluted the sport to the point that it is nearly impossible to compare to the fighters from an earlier age. Until they get to some kind of real tournament bracket style events under one governing body we will never see a true undisputed boxer. I am not saying there are not great fighters out there now – but there is little incentive to fight once you can command big money for one fight a year. Imagine football, baseball, soccer teams or individual tennis players or golfers making deals about who they will play next game. Thats why the argument can be made that amateur boxing is a much purer sport than pro boxing as regards the fighting part – obviously 3 rounds cant compare to 12, but there is no ducking of opponents.
We should have seen a trilogy of Pacman/Mayweather fights by now. Sugar Ray Robinson fought Jake Lamotta 3 times with each fight within in a few months of each other if memory serves.
I guess i would take Robinson over any fighter out there now pound for pound if i had to make a choice and I am sure I am not alone in this choice. There are too many other fighters between at least 1900-1960 to mention that make todays fighters look like nothing more than sparring partner material.
thanks again for great article and great site – mickey

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Fran December 2, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Cheers Mickey, great comment. I am definitely seeing a theme here. Like me, you see the purity of amateur boxing as something of a real distinction between the codes. Of course we see dubious decisions and some might feel the bouts are stopped too early in relation to head shots. It riles me when ‘aficionados’ talk disparagingly about the amateurs when the pro game could learn a thing or two from it.

Thanks for the comment Mickey, hope things are going well with the gym.

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John M November 28, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Good thought provoking piece and comments from other readers. I’ve long thought that the great boxers of the past were superior because of the frequency in which they fought, fewer weight divisions and you couldn’t duck anyone.
My top fighter of all time Sugar Ray Robinson, hands down. Look at the body of work amature thru pro ranks.

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Fran December 7, 2013 at 8:29 pm

Not going to argue on the Sugar Ray point John, he was an incredible and awe-inspiring fighter. The quality of the comments on this article has really impressed me. Some very smart boxing people taking the time to put stuff down. Brilliant.

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Karl November 28, 2013 at 5:28 am

Great letter. I like all his points Fran.

The thing about Mayweather is he’s NOT undefeated. In the amateurs he had a record of 84 and 6.

The admirable thing about olympic style boxing (the “amateurs”) is that you do not get to pick and choose your opponents during tournaments. In fact you often don’t know who you’ll be fighting until the day of. In this environment Floyd lost 6 times. Compare that to someone like Ray Robinson with a perfect amateur record of 85 wins.

In fact you can extend the comparison to the pro game and see that Robinson went another 127 fights with only 1 loss and 2 draws. So after 212 fights the great Sugar Ray Robinson lost once. Meanwhile, after 135 fights Mayweather has already lost 6 times and at his current age he has no chance of approaching the records of many ‘all time greats’ like Robinson.

Of course there are those who discount amateur records and only want to talk about professional contests. Well, all you have to say is Julio Cesar Chavez – who won 87 professional bouts before suffering a draw, and then another two before his first loss. Again, Mayweather is too old to approach this record. He would have to fight and win another 42 times before he could even match it. Floyd is 36 and in no hurry when it comes to fights.

Now, as far as championships go? They’re almost meaningless in the business world of modern boxing. Did you notice that a completely new belt was created just for the Pacquiao vs Rios fight? If the various power brokers need a “championship” fight to add extra rounds or generate hype they’ll just create one out of thin air. Boxing has always been a business but never more so then now. Mayweather is an excellent boxer, probably in the top ten of his weight class over the last hundred years, but he’s a much better business man and self-manager. For example, if he fights Pacquiao he will probably win. Why? Because he won’t agree to the fight until he knows he can win. Manny has a style that will start to decay with age at a much faster rate then Floyd’s. He’ll also take more punishment over the next few fights which will also slow him down. When Floyd feels that Manny has been dulled enough by the years he will try to make the fight happen and then win on points. Remember Sugar Ray Leonard vs Hagler? “NOW I can beat him” Ray says in his biography. This implies that he didn’t believe he could before, so he waited, patiently. To only fight when you feel you can win is not stupid. Guys like Leonard and Mayweather are generals. Guys like Pacquiao and Robinson are warriors.

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Fran December 2, 2013 at 9:10 pm

Beautiful comment. There speaks a true stalwart of the boxing game. The insights into Robinson’s amateur career against those of Mayweather really add a great angle to the discussion. The same can be said of the Chavez observation. I do think that on the whole you are correct in relation specifically to Mayweather, but I probably console myself with the fact that others in the modern game do fly the ‘warrior’ flag. However, it is seen as something a bit special as opposed to the norm. The analogy of the generals as opposed to warriors is right on the money (forgive the pun). The idea of Ray Leonard being able to even last the distance with Marvin a few years prior to their bout is no more than a pipe dream. As you say, the time, ring size, glove size and fight duration will all well negotiated by the Leonard team.

Thanks Karl, excellent contribution

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wee den December 3, 2013 at 6:36 pm

spot on comments Karl…. the thing is, though my article favours old timers, we should not lose sight that Mayweather is a remarkable boxer and certainly belongs in the BHOF. But as Pug said in this thread, hungrier times, hungrier fighters.

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Ivan December 6, 2013 at 7:23 am

Mayweather does not belong in the same sentence with Leonard, he couldn’t carry Leonard’s jock strap. Floyd is a brilliant technician and tactician but he lacks the fighting spirit and tramples the warrior code. In spite of the ring generalship, you can’t be a “general” without being a warrior first. Fictional epithets do not apply very well to the unhygienic real world of prize fighting.
Amateur boxing may not be the perfect world but at least it does not tolerate cheaters, pretenders and “generals” for very long before it puts them to the test.

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lexancer November 27, 2013 at 10:52 pm

the thing that bugs me the most nowadays about boxing is the money factor. champions are only as sustainable as the next pay cheque they are going to draw for their promoter. a champion who is technically sound but fights in a manner judged as boring will not get the mainstream credit he deserves – although his respect amongst afficionados of the sport is assured. which to me is big thing that distinguishes current fighters from former ones.

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Stan November 27, 2013 at 9:17 pm

Very sightly off topic but one of the things I dislike about the professional game is how much negative emphasis is placed on a boxer getting beaten. Perhaps this is why so many champions don’t like taking the risk?

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Fran November 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm

Absolutely agree Stan. While you are champ there is good money to be made by promoters, managers, trainers etc. So, avoiding that banana skin that can result in a loss seems to be a main driver. The alphabet soup of ‘titles’ simply add to that, with organisations having a similar attitude. Unbeaten boxers tend to generate more lucrative fights, and more lucrative fights result in bigger sanctioning fees. Or maybe you and are just cynical 🙂

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pug November 27, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Very informative editorial. Harder times, hungrier men. Even from a couple generations ago. As much as I admire Floyd Mayweather I don’t believe he could have withstood a young Duran or Leonard. Still, in relative terms, I believe the skill level of top flight boxers has improved. Starting with the 70’s generation of pro fighters mentioned above. Perhaps I should qualify that. While the U.S. has flagged in developing basic skills the eastern block countries have excelled. Vasyl Lomachenko comes to mind. No question that the shortening of bouts has made a difference but has to be accepted for safety reasons. Too many boxers were getting killed or permanently injured in those last three rounds. Ali being a primary example. This is all part of the evolution of the sweet science. 2000 years ago boxing looked like UFC. The bare knuckle boxers in John L. Sullivan’s era and earlier fought for what, a hundred rounds!?

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Fran November 28, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Excellent comment. I think the comment you make regarding relative skills levels is an accurate one, but also that those exceptional fighters from the previous eras could have made short work of some of the top guys.

Great stuff Rick. Thanks.

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Paul November 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Every time something changes in boxing, whether it be weight classes, length of bouts, or the size of the gloves it becomes harder to compare the current greats with all time greats. If Marciano versus Walcott had been a 12 round fight, Marciano would have lost on points, assuming every thing else stayed the same. Getting rid pf 15 round championship fights, going to smaller gloves, and increasing the number of weight classes has hurt the aggressive pressure fighter much more than the slick defensive fighter which is why guys like Pernell Whitaker and Floyd Mayweather often dominate the top of the pound for pound lists for years.

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Dries Morris November 27, 2013 at 6:00 am

Thx great read. I would argue that being a true world champion goes beyond the stats on wins, losses and KO’s. The modern game have changed with ‘world champions’ parading new Bentley’s on social media and launching clothing brands. If ever asked what is wrong with the sport, that would be a good place to start. I do not think you can compare the World Champions of yesteryear with what we have today, sure the guys are skilled and well prepared, but fights are hand picked. In the old days anytime – anywhere with a 67% KO’s in 150 fights, that is exceptional, how does that compare to the likes of Ali and Fraser?

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Muharrem November 27, 2013 at 7:42 am

All of these are for Money so who is the champion….

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Fran November 28, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Excellent comment Dries. Attitudes are a massive part of it. Hagler used to turn up to his world title fights with 2 trainers and his own bag slung over his shoulder. He was a throwback to the Armstrong days and that was 30 years ago!

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fity November 27, 2013 at 5:25 am

Could it be Mayweather has the same lack of honor as Ali without his talent?

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Fran November 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm

Controversial Fity 🙂 I like it!

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Paul Smith November 30, 2013 at 12:48 am

To say Ali lacked honor is ludicrous. He fought ranked contenders and his choosing to not go to Vietnam was also a courageous stance that established him as an icon. Few men in the history of mankind have had more impact on a nation and inspired the world.

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matt March 3, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Frazier’s kids would have loved to see him fight Ali but unfortunately they were under police guard with their mother as a result of the racial hatred Ali stirred up against Frazier. This was after Frazier campaigned tirelessly to get Ali his license to box reinstated and lent him money for years when he couldn’t earn himself.

He doesn’t like to shout about it too much these days but Ali was also made an honorary member of the KKK a result of his (The Nation of Islam’s) philiosophy on keeping people with different skin colours apart – “….dog with dog, pig with pig, black with black, white with white.”.

Ali wasn’t opposed to the war in Vietnam. He was opposed to Ali being drafted. Initially he failed the draft criteria due to his limited intelligence. He never spoke out against the war. Then the selection criteria was relaxed as more bodies were desperately needed. Still Ali was considered too have too little intelligence. Ali had no problems with tens of thousands of poor black and white working class kids being drafted to fight. Only when the campaign continued to go terribly for the US military was the selection criteria relaxed further and Ali drafted. His response? “why me? why me?”. Very honorable.

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Paul Smith March 29, 2014 at 12:40 pm

LOL…smh….It’s is hilarious and also ludicrous that you would try to blame the victim and find fault with the one world figure, who although he was not the leader of any nation, took a stand against the inherent injustices of the oppressive society that made all those terrible things a painful reality for far too many people of colour all over the world.
I would say that despite your lack of appreciation or understanding of the reality of what had transpired and the reasons why, The Greatest – Muhammad Ali, still has the distinction of being regarded as one of the most high ranking, distinguished, illustrious, upright, highly respected and noble men in the history of sport and the world, all for his being very honorable in words and deeds!

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Paul Smith November 27, 2013 at 2:17 am

Wow, I am once again humbled by the knowledge that is found on this site. One can’t dispute the facts and Denis has presented some very strong ones here…..Thanks.

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Brian November 27, 2013 at 12:47 am

18 defenses in 24 months….WOW. I like Manny, but he last fought 11 months ago. Floyd?…he’s run from Pacquiao for at least 5 years. Great talent, big ‘roll, no comparison to old school.

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Roshan November 27, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Manny fought Rios LAST SUNDAY and WON

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Sean ONeill November 26, 2013 at 11:22 pm

Great article!  

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