Frazier-Ali I Was THE Superfight, Of All Time

BY Frank Lotierzo ON March 08, 2011
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AliFrazAshLgThere Will Be Nothing Like It In The History Of The Planet
--Muhammad Ali on March 5, 1971

After Round 10, It's Just A Matter Of Time Before That Clown Falls.............Forever
--Joe Frazier on March 5, 1971

There hasn't been anything like it or close to it in the history of sports. Never before in boxing history have two undefeated Heavyweight Champions met when both were at or close to their respective prime. And to top it off, both Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali had a legitimate claim to the biggest prize in sports, that being the Heavyweight Championship of the World.

Forty seven month's prior to fighting "Smokin" Joe Frazier, Muhammad Ali was stripped of his undisputed title for refusing induction into the United States Army. Ali's refusal was based on being a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, due to his Religious beliefs. When Ali was taken out of boxing at age 25 on April 27th 1967, he was 29-0 (24).

 This turned out to be the beginning of a forty three month exile from boxing. He had just made the ninth successful defense of the title by stopping Zora Folley in Madison Square Garden on March 22nd 1967. This would end up being the last time Ali would fight during the 1960s.

 In April of 1967, 23 year old Joe Frazier was coming off of his 15th pro fight, and was 15-0 (14). Over the next forty plus months, Ali was in and out of court and becoming public enemy number one, due to his conversion to Islam, and refusing Military Induction.  Frazier on the other hand was totally cleaning out the heavyweight division going 11-0 (9).

On February 16th 1970, Frazier stopped WBA Heavyweight Champ Jimmy Ellis in five rounds. This was the fight that basically gave Frazier universal recognition as World Heavyweight Champion. By this time Frazier had gone through the top heavyweights in the world. The only thing Frazier didn't have was the name Muhammad Ali on his win column. The talk of an Ali comeback was always hovering over Frazier's title claim. Joe knew he would never be accepted as the real champ until he faced Ali in the ring and defeated him. In October of 1970, Ali was finally granted a boxing license by the state of Georgia, which did not have a boxing commission. On October 26th of 1970, Ali fought for the first time in 43 months. In his comeback fight, Ali stopped second ranked Jerry Quarry in three rounds in Atlanta Georgia.

At this time the whole world was watching. The Ballyhoo for an Ali-Frazier fight had been building up since Frazier won the New York Title in March of 1968 when he stopped Buster Mathis in the new Madison Square Garden. What made the fight so intriguing was that Frazier looked every bit as impressive going through the division as Ali had a few years earlier. There was constant chatter from early 1968 on, suggesting that the powers that be were close to putting together an Ali-Frazier fight. However, every time it seemed like it was going to happen, something or someone always pulled the rug out from underneath it. Most of the time it was some high powered politician who succumbed to the political pressure at the last minute, causing the fight not to be realized.

 Once Ali was granted a boxing license in Georgia, all the other states followed suit and it was now accepted that Ali was back. After he beat Quarry in October of 1970, Frazier knocked out undisputed light heavyweight champ Bob Foster in two rounds at the Cobo Arena in Detroit in November of 1970. Three weeks after Frazier's destruction of Foster, Ali stopped third ranked Oscar Bonavena in the 15th round of a gruelling fight at Madison Square Garden. After the Ali-Bonavena bout, the hype and build up for Ali vs. Frazier exploded.  For the next nine plus weeks, the coverage of this fight and its subplots were unprecedented.

On December 30th 1970, Joe Frazier 26-0 (23) and Muhammad Ali 31-0 (25) signed to face each other for the undisputed heavyweight championship of the world. The fight was scheduled for March 8th 1971 at Madison Square Garden, and was billed Frazier vs. Ali, and nicknamed "Fight of The Century."

Frazier's name would be first on the marquee since he was the recognized champ, although Ali hadn't lost the title in the ring. In fact Ring magazine recognized Ali as the champ until the Frazier-Ellis fight. Once Frazier beat Ellis, he was viewed as the established champ.

 Both Frazier and Ali were guaranteed 2.5 million dollars apiece for facing each other. They were actually offered 1.5 million dollars and a percentage of the total gate, but both took the guarantee. Little did they know how big the fight would turn out to be. Although maybe Ali had an idea. After they signed the contracts, Ali stood up and said to Frazier, "Hey Joe, they got us cheap."

He may have never spoken truer words, the fight end up grossing over 30 million dollars. Had Frazier and Ali taken the 1.5 million and the percentage, they would've grossed over 6 million dollars each.

 Sometimes in life, the stars line up perfectly. Which was definitely the case leading up to Frazier vs. Ali. At this time in America, there was a political and culture war going on surrounding the Vietnam War. Ali was the champion of the liberals and the antiwar movement, and painted Frazier as the champion of the establishment, even though Joe never commented on the war or any other political issues publicly.

 Here we had two undefeated heavyweights who both had a claim to the title. On top of that, both fighters were head and shoulders above their peers. Not only were both Frazier and Ali the top heavyweights in the world, they were both great fighters. What made it even better was that they were polar opposites in and out of the ring. Ali was a showman and drew attention to all that he did. Ali was definitely a true superstar. Frazier was the quiet and humble hardworking man respected by all, in much the same manner as Joe Louis was. No controversy flying around Joe Frazier, he wasn't a superstar, he was a fighter in the purest form.

 Not only were they completely different from a personality vantage point, they were totally different as fighters. Other than both being black men who were born under the Zodiac sign of Capricorn, and being fighters, they shared nothing else. One was tall and the other was short. Ali used the whole ring, where Frazier tried to shrink it as much as possible. One wanted to fight at a distance, the other wanted to be in your chest. Frazier tried to do damage with every punch, Ali picked his spots and scored with sharp combinations. Ali liked to move and dictate the pace, Frazier applied constant pressure. One's strength was the other one's weakness, and vice versa. Yes, the stars were in place for this one.

From December 30th 1970 when Frazier and Ali signed the contract, the build up and hype was like nothing seen before or since in sports history regarding the promotion and build up. There were specials on ABC's Wide World of Sports almost weekly. Interviews by celebrities, politicians, and even the average person were constantly being aired. Newspapers and sports sections always had something on the fight from a variety of different angles. And Vitalis shave lotion filmed two television commercials with both fighters taking turns hanging up on each other. Everybody had an opinion on this fight, and you didn't have to be a boxing or sports fan to have one.

 The biggest magnetism about this fight for me was the style and personality contrast of both Frazier and Ali. The fact that both fighters seemed unbeatable by March of 71, I just couldn't picture either one losing. Yet I knew on the morning of March 9th, one of them would have a loss on their record. I knew on the way up Frazier was dropped by Bonavena, and Ali was dropped by Banks and Cooper. However, that was early in their career, by March of 71 both of them had arrived and were legitimate great fighters.

 The style contrast was the ultimate boxer vs swarmer matchup. Frazier had never faced a fighter with the speed and overall ability that Ali possessed. And Ali never faced a fighter who applied the constant pressure like Frazier. Frazier was a fighter who was not about to let Ali dictate the pace of the fight. It was just a question of whether Frazier could get to Ali in order to slow him down. As Larry Merchant once said, Frazier was a truth machine.

On the morning of March 8th 1971, Frazier and Ali weighed in at Madison Square Garden.  Frazier weighed 205.5 pounds and was never in better shape in his life. Ali weighed in at 215 pounds, the heaviest of his career to date. The fighters weighed in separately because Yank Durham, Frazier's manager and trainer didn't want Joe to see or interact with Ali until they were in the ring that night. By midday, Frazier was a 6-5 betting favorite.

 Since Ali weighed in second, he encountered an unforeseen problem. By the time he was through, and ready to go back to his New York Hotel, the crowd outside had grown to almost riotous proportion. Meanwhile Frazier had sneaked out the back before the crowd had gathered to an immense size. When the people outside heard that Ali was inside, they surrounded the building. When the New York cops tried to move the crowd, they were met with serious resistance. When the crowd heard that Ali was still inside, they said they were not leaving until they saw him. Once the cops realized the situation and danger, they went back and told Ali that if he left the Garden, they couldn't guarantee his safety.

 The decision was then made that Ali better spend the day in the basement of Madison Square Garden, or there may not have been a championship fight that night. So Ali and his entourage set up camp in the basement of the Garden. Bedding, TVs and stereos were brought in and they tried to make it as close to a makeshift hotel suite as possible.

I was told by Garden president Harry Markson years later that the Ali entourage ran up a food bill of over four thousand dollars just for that day.

 By 8:00 o'clock on fight night, New York City was literally shut down 10 blocks outside of the Garden. I know this because I was in a car with my father and cousin, and we just beat the crowd on our way to the fight. Needless to say this was like no other night in Garden history. I've read and talked to many writers who were also there that night. They have all said that nothing they have ever been too or experienced comes close to the excitement and anticipation that reached its pinnacle right before the bell rang for the first round. In fact well known and respected Philadelphia sports writer Jack Mckinney once told me that he kept saying to himself right before the fight, "I can't believe it, I can't believe it, Ali and Frazier are actually going to fight, and nothing can stop it now!"

At the bell for round one Ali came out flying, he knew Joe was vulnerable early and was trying to end it quickly. Ali's plan was to go at Frazier with an all out early assault in the hopes of getting him out, or at least slow him down. In the first five rounds Ali did all he could to try and get Frazier out. The thought in his corner was that even if he failed, Frazier would have absorbed so much punishment that he wouldn't have anything left in the last third of the fight. Little did they know.

 During those first five rounds, Ali threw and landed some of the hardest punches and swiftest combinations that he had on any other fighter in his career. The problem turned out that Ali didn't posses the tools needed for the quick execution that he had planned. Frazier on the other hand was doing something to Ali that had never been done before, he was taking away his security blanket, his jab. By Joe bobbing and weaving so continuously, he was making Ali miss more often than he ever had before in his career. This was also accomplishing something else, it was enabling Frazier to get inside and work Ali's body. By the eighth round, Ali was slowed to a walk, and was fighting flat-footed which was exactly what Durham and Frazier had wanted.

 Going into the ninth round, it appeared that Frazier was taking the play away from Ali and the tide was turning in his favor. Midway through the round, it was still up for grabs. Then Ali exploded with a series of stinging right hands and hooks, and actually had Joe backing up. It turned out to be the only time in the fight that Ali had Joe really shook, and would be the last round he would win in the fight other than the fourteenth. Round ten was even and saw sustained action and could've gone either way. After 10 furious rounds of fighting, it was very close and still not yet decided.

 About two minutes into the eleventh round, Frazier corned Ali and caught him with a beautiful double left-hook, one to the body followed by one to the head. Ali was hurt and was in serious trouble, he staggered all over the ring in the last minute, but Joe couldn't finish him. In between the eleventh and twelfth rounds, Dr. Harry Kliemen stepped up on the ring post near Ali's corner and was considering stopping the fight. But to his dismay, Ali and Angelo Dundee were talking and Ali appeared to have all his senses and didn't seem hurt, so he sat back down and let the fight continue.

 In round twelve Frazier took a breather but still managed to win the round. Round thirteen saw them spend the last two minutes of the round trading in one corner without moving. This round had to go to Frazier because he finished strong, and was scoring to the head and body as opposed to Ali just scoring to the head. In round fourteen Ali got a slight second wind and moved and boxed well, doing just enough to stay ahead of Joe and win the round. Twenty four seconds into the fifteenth and final round, Ali was set to throw a right uppercut when Frazier beat him to the punch and connected with one of the most brutal left-hooks ever thrown. The punch dropped Ali like his legs were taken out from under him. However, Ali was up before referee Arthur Mercante could pick up the count at three. For the rest of the round Frazier was all over Ali, and won what was the biggest round of the fight for either fighter.

 Just as the bell ended the fifteenth round, Frazier put his hands up and yelled something at Ali. Exactly what he yelled I don't think anybody knows for sure. But through talking to the people involved with both Ali and Frazier over the years, it was either one of two things. Either Frazier Yelled, "I kicked your ass," or "Who's the champ now?" Both remarks have come up more than once from people close to both fighters.

When the decision was announced, it was unanimous in favor of Frazier.  Judge Bill Recht scored it 11-4 Frazier which was absurd, and drove Ali nuts afterwards. Judge Artie Aidala scored it 9-6 Frazier, which is probably what it really was. And referee Arthur Mercante scored it 8-6-1 Frazier. No doubt it was a clear Frazier victory and he was the better man on the night of March 8th 1971.

Regardless of where you rank Joe Frazier in the all-time heavyweight pantheon, on March 8th of 1971 he was one of the greatest heavyweights of all-time. And in my opinion no fighter in boxing history was ever more prepared and entered a boxing ring as mentally and physically ready as Joe Frazier was for Muhammad Ali in their first fight. It is without a doubt that the biggest and most anticipated fight in boxing history was won by Joe Frazier. And yes, despite the layoff, Ali was a great fighter that night, and was only beaten by the Herculean effort of Frazier. The first Frazier-Ali fight was one of the rare superfights where the realization actually exceeded the expectation. On Monday Night March 8th 1971, Ali was great, but Joe Frazier refused to be denied. It really was the Fight of The Century .

Comment on this article

the Roast says:

Excellent story. Wish I could have been there. How does anyone think the 205 pound Smokin Joe or the 215 pould Ali would do against the Brothers K? Yes, I am trying to start trouble. Mortcola, Radam, Fe'Roz come out swinging please!

FighterforJC says:

Did EA Sports miss a marketing opportunity here? Big name titles traditionally come out on Tuesdays. Fight Night Champion came out a week ago exactly. They could've ridden the Ali-Frazier fight in the weeks leading up to the release of the game. It would've attracted the older boxing fans. Ali is already on the cover of FNC.

ultimoshogun says:

You bring up an interesting topic Roast...way to stir the pot! I just sat back and enjoyed the TSS scholars debate on the Klitschko article...let's see if they take the bait...hell, let's throw the Klitschko's in against the 90's HW's!

Radam G says:

I was not yet born, but I feel af if I were at that fight. Musta' been in spirit or in a former life. But I was at da "Thrilla in Manila[aaaaaa]!" Archmasterscribe weaver F-Lo is da MAN! His copy put my butt in a ringside seat of sweet science historeeee. It gave me a BUZZZZZZZZZZZZ, as if I was still sippin' on good, ole, homemade, Pinoy, coconut WINE! But NOPE! I'm FINE. Whaddup with the Roast? The K-bros/docs would not have had a chance. Da suckas' feet are too BIG, and with legit heavies, they couldn't dance. Let me school ya, I won't try ta fool ya! I'm gonna be fly ta ya! I'm not gonna lie ta ya!

Da bros/docs woulda been chopped up by Smokin' Joe. It woulda been like choppin' wild, overgrown grass with a garden hoe. Besides, da bros/docs wouldn't be able to handle da Smokin.' Their weak, soft-bone arses would be chokin.' Smokin' Joe woulda been Mackin!' [Da Smoke woulda been lippin,' "Ya bytchas are gonna get paid, but right now in diz squared jungle yall gonna be laid.] Those long bones of da bros/docs would have been crackin.' Smokin' Joe woulda been killin' da body, and those BIG, ole heads of Klits woulda been fallin.' In da end, as the tree-tall Klits would have been going down, "TIMBERRRR!" Smokin Joe would been callin.' And in less than five rounds for the both of the bums -- the greatest B+ fighters of all times.

"FLOW LIKE A BUTTERFLY! STING LIKE A BEE! By round three, da bro/Doc WK woulda been put to sleep by the GOAT Muhammad Ali. Da GOAT woulda been strutting like a peacock and chiselling upside Doc WK's noggin as if it were a ROCK! Bro/Doc VK woulda never got started against da GOAT. He would have sunk dat sucka, as if dat sucka was a dead-in-the-sea rickety boat. Doc VK doesn't even know how to correctly move around. To be in the squared jungle with the GOAT, da sucka's game is too unsound. Where as the GOAT floats like a buttetfly and can strut like a peacock, Doc VK is remindful of a turkey of the lowest stock. Forget about flying or soaring, da sucka cannot even flop. In round two, the GOAT would have gotten the KO and the doc's tongue woulda been lickin' the canvas like an out-of-control mop. Da GOAT was a straight-up DIME! Da GREAT FIGHTER OF ANY OF TIME! The K Brothers/Doctors are aight! That is for this era of fatties and tallies. But when it comes to the other eras, da K-bros/docs are slime. Holla!

the Roast says:

So the little tiny 5 foot 10 205 lbs Smokin Joe, however great he was in his era, is gonna chop down the giant K Bros. Giving away 9 inches in height and 40-50 lbs of muscle? You know when a child is trying to swing at you and you put your hand on their forehead and they cant get near you? If you think Foreman put a beating on Joe (what was it, five knockdowns in two rounds?) Bad Wlad would have knocked little Joe into the first row. This is why Pacman doesn't fight a cruiserweight. It's science. Now rhyme an answer to that!

admin says:

Sigh...we shall never know. But Frazier was four times better than anyone either Klitschko has fought, outside of Lewis.

the Roast says:

I hear what you are saying Fe'Roz. That is the kind of story I was hoping to read. From someone who watched from the edge of their seat. For me, the only fight that could come close was the first Bowe-Holyfield fight. Looking back, I dont think anyone could have beaten Bowe on that night. Evander was my guy. I saw his whole career. Still brings tears to my eyes. The screen is split, Buffer is reading the scorecards, right before he says "and the new" Evander points over at Bowe. He knew as we all did that he didn't win. My point is that I was emotionally invested. Like you with Joe. I see it in your words. But do you really think that Smokin Joe could overcome such a massive size advantage?

Condor says:

Remember though, Ali had been out of the ring for more than 3 and a half years, got a little of the rust off against Quarry, then had a very bruising fight against Bonavena, in which he prevailed by 15th round TKO. Pacheco remarked that Ali took severe punishment against Bonavena on 12-7-70, then boom, 3 months later he's in with a prime, undefeated, and ultra motivated Frazier (it takes a run of the mill "superfight" a year plus to get made these days; back then, 3 months for THE superfight). And never mind the healing/recovery from the underrated war with Bonavena.

HBO ought to be running the documentary about this fight, given the anniversary. If they are, and you haven't seen it, check it out.

the Roast says:

Where the hell is Mortcola when I need him?

Condor says:

Another interesting aspect of this is that it took place on a MONDAY. Think about that, a MONDAY.

the Roast says:

That is very interesting Condor, three months after a tough fight, a Superfight. I wonder why they chose Monday. That is weird.

the Roast says:

I would say that Wlad is the better bro. Vitali has the better chin but that's it. Wlad is younger, faster, and moves better. I think that since Manny Steward began training Wlad he is much improved. Manny has saved his career. He has taught Wlad how to keep his damn chin outta harms way. He has been dominant since hiring Manny.

the Roast says:

Fe'Roz, I think you have me and Radam confused. That's OK. We do look alot alike and we have both pissed on alot of people.

Radam G says:

@the Roast, you really need to come from the deep and get a peep at the whole nine of the boxing game -- amateur and professional. Styles make fights. Rev. [Big] George Foreman had the right one for putting a beatdown on da Smoke. The K-bros/docs have the right ones for da Smoke-type to whip the sorry out of them, and put them to sleep. Smokin' Joe Frazier kayoed 6-foot-4 to 6-foot-7, 235lbs to 255lbs Russians, Poles, East German and Czecs in the Olympic Games. In the pros he kayo 6-foot-5 and 3/4, 240lbs Buster Mathis. He was accustomed to tall men arse thrashing. Holla at the job that he did on 6-foot-4 Bob Foster. He even outboxed and outjabbed 6-foot-5 and 1/2 Great Britian Joe Burgner. Only Ron Stander was about his height.

The correct heavyweight size is suppose to start at 175lbs. Height is hype. And can easy be beat. Great fighters beat it 95 percent of the time. In all of the history of the game -- until that pseudo-cruiserweight division was thrown in the mix -- only three heavy champions out of almost 40 were over 6-foot-6 plus, and/or 250lbs starting with Jess Willard, then Primo Carnera and ending with Ernie Terrell, and they got their arses owned by short, lighter whup-arsers. [Terrell's weight was about 218.] Holla at Boxrec and Fightfax and see that about 60 tallies and/or fatties tried to win heavyweight titles from 1892 to 1992, but again, the above that I named was the only successful party. WOW! I guess that it is so hard for so many to accept that the K-bro/docs have benefitted from the removing of fighters around 185lbs to 200lbs from the division. They'd whup those giant tree-tall, boring, no-fighting arses. Even Marvin Frazier, Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena and George Chavalo would have been champs against the fragile-bones B+ fighting bums.

Just go to Boxrec or Daily Motion and holla at the beatdown that the GOAT Ali put on good boxing giants Cleveland "Big Cat" Williams and Ernie Terrell and you can see for yourself what a prime and special dime woulda and coulda done to the K-bros/docs. Wilt "The Stilt" Chamberlin's pops knew what time it was. The big-foot, soft bones, bad balance, B+ fighting bums would not have ever lasted even against the Ohio 3 -- Michael "Dynamite" Dokes, Tommy "Jelly Belly" Tubbs and Tony Tucker. They would have sliced and diced da Klit suckas and throw Buckeyes in their faces. What in the HECK is a Buckeye, anyway, B-Sug? Hehehehehehe! Help a Pinoy out, bro!

Now BACK to the bar-b-cue -- I mean the Roast. Matter of fact, if you think that the proper-sized heavyweights and cousins Lamon Brewster and Chris Byrd lucked up and beat the greatest heavyweight bum brothers champions of all times, will it also be small-man luck when David "Hayemaker" Haye land a whopper on the china chin of Doc WK? From what I'm hearing from the pugilistic grapevine, Doc WK is in for a dire arse-thrashing and crashing. The Hayemaker is on B-side Meth. And on his side, he has Queen Elizabeth. Holla!

Phil W says:

Back in the day, many big fights (Thrilla,Rumble,SR Leonard,etc) occurred during non-weekend evenings. We would talk about the fights at school the next morning.

FighterforJC says:

Radam G needs to start putting some reason behind his rhyme. To deny that the Klitschko brothers are among the best heavyweights of all time and would've beaten most or at least had the talent to beat most of the heavyweights in the past, is purely delusional.

the Roast says:

Well Radam, I dont know it all like you do, (cough Chris Arreola COUGH) But I do know that Wlad had a very extensive amature carrer including Olympic gold in '96.(I think it was '96) Manny Steward has brought out the best in Wlad and he hasnt been beaten since avenging that loss to Brewster. It's not his fault that there arent any good challengers. I dont think David Haye has much of a chance. That size will be too much. Not just the size, but the skill.

FighterforJC says:

I do think that Haye has the best chance of them all to beat Klitschko because of Haye's footwork. Haye has the ability to catch Wlad. A lot of guys Wlad has fought had decent handspeed and power but couldn't outmaneuver him. Haye can. Of course, Haye's just as chinny as Wlad if not more so, but I do think that Haye has more trouble with aggressive fighters who'll take him out of his comfort zone. Wlad will give Haye all the time he needs, if Haye can somehow neutralize that jab.

Radam G says:

YUP! FJC, RIGHT! THEN quite delusional I must be along with Bert Sugar, Larry Merchant, Max Kellerman, Angelo Dundee, Jessie Reid, Ronny Shield, Buddy McGirt, Tommy Brooks, Billy Moore, Teddy Atlas, Kevin Rooney, Larry Holmes, George Foreman, Muhammad Ali, Tony Montoya, Robert Garcia, Freddie Roach, Pops Joy May, Pops Jack Mosley, Genie Naazim Richardson, Ron Lyle, Gerry Cooney, Tim Witherspoon, Kevin Iole, Joe Mesi, Tommy Morrison, Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson and Lennox Lewis, the whole HBO network, the whole Showtime network, the whole Versus Network, the whole ESPN network, the whole FOX network, Bob Arum, Don King, Lou Duva and Lou DiBella to name a few.

YUP, FJC! We are all DELUSIONAL, with Bert Sugar being the emperor. He said that "the jury is not only still out on the [K-bros/docs], it has run away, LAUGHING!" YUP! FJC, I got a lot of know-their-shyts, who are RIGHTEOUSLY "delusional" with me. We know shyt and da K-bros/docs are just the gas from an a$$ that is sneaky quiet, but stinks the most and guarantees to send people running away and not even looking at the perpretrator. Ninety-five of non-boxing fans have heard and/or saw of GOAT Ali's greatness, who has not boxed in over 30 years. Ninety-six percent of non-boxing have heard of "Iron" Mike Tyson who have not boxed in five years. The RING Magazine -- The Bible of Boxing -- doesn't rank the K-bros/docs in top 20 of stiffs. ENOUGH SAID! My last WORD on this subject about IT-FACTORless bums. Holla!

the Roast says:

Lets take it easy boys. We all have our opinions and this is the place to let em fly. If we all agreed all the time that would be boring. I dont quite understand the bias against the K bros. If they werent good somebody would have beaten them by now. It's cool if some of us value the past champs more than the present ones. That is a part of all sports debate. We'll never know if Smokin Joe could handle the Giant K bros. I for one think Joe would need a step ladder or pogo stick or something to get to that 6'6 chin. The K bros fill soccer fields with people to watch fights. If these bros were American they would be huge stars. Thats just my humble opinion, of course.

Radam G says:

Ditto the Roast! There is nobody in that fatty/tally division to challenge them, that is why they have not gotten beat. [Now a real heavyweight David Haye has a shot. But my jury is out on him.] The most pugilists, who have a chance of chasing the K-bros/docs outta of that squared jungle are in the pseudo-weight division better know as cruiserweight. Big, tall men always beating smaller ones is a sale pitch and MYTH -- nothing more. In boxing -- amateur and pro -- until 1981 when cruiserweight come on the scene in pros, and super heavyweight in amateurs, no giant or fattie were dominant, though many were around. The powers that be gave these guys a chance by creating the comfort zone of cruiserweight in the pros and super heavyweight in the amateurs. When tallies and fatties -- amateur and pro -- had to dance with the 180 pounders to 220 pounders, the tallies and fatties LOST 95 percent of the time. This is why you didn't have an Olympic heavyweight gold medalist over 6-foot-6, 240lbs until Doc Wlad. The END for REAL. Holla!

FighterforJC says:

Radam, all those guys you mentioned are old timers living in the past, unwilling to let go of their glory days. Let's not forget Angelo Dundee, who's threatened by Freddie Roach and Pacquiao and has picked De La Hoya, Hatton, Cotto, Clottey and Margarito to beat Pacquiao. lol. I don't care who you quote, reality doesn't matter to any of those guys. They can't deal with reality. It'd be one thing if the Klitschkos kept on winning in competitive fights, but they've hardly lost a single round in several years. They completely dominate the competition the way one would IMAGINE the likes of Ali, Frazier and Holmes would've. As bad as this era of heavyweights is, the Klitschkos tower above it both figuratively and literally. And you keep referring to Ali beating tall guys like terrel and cite that as evidence of how Ali would've fared against the Klitschkos, and how Dempsey beat Willard and Louis beat Carnera. You name a handful of tall guys that got beaten by shorter guys, well both Klitschkos have beaten 5 times as many SHORTER guys and many around the same height as Ali. That must mean the Klitschkos know how to deal with someone shorter, right? lol.

Radam G says:

Picking someone to win a fight, and picking someone from the weakest era ever of heavyweight boxing to BEAT whup-arse GREATS don't compare. You are talking about apples and cherries. The K-bros/docs are no apple of any mainstream boxing experts' eye. And they won't remind you of a good, ole taste of cherry pie. Even the great boxing guru Manny Steward won't give them da luv. When asked where they ranked with former greats, he says, "I think that they could be up there pretty high." I know Manny S. I been knowing him all my complete LIFE. He knows the games. And all about the magic in it. Being a diplomat is a great part keeping your job or making dat MOOLA.

Back in the day, when TV lights would shinned up in the GOAT Ali's face, he would lose his mind and do his thing. But in private, the GOAT was quiet, reserved and kind of shy. [OOPS! And a He-ho. He couldn't say no to a pretty lady in heat for da champ's S-treat. The late, great singer Marvin Gaye called it sexual healing. Hehehehehehe! Da champ got his S healing ON! And ON!] In other words, in this hurt bitnezz game, people are "two-faced," or just use to living double lives and having a public persona and a private one. I know Angelo Dundee. He picked Hatton and Cotto "to have the best chance" to beat da Manny. He didn't pick them to win. He gave Clotty and Margarito what all know the business cats do. "Any person who steps in that ring has a chance to win." The greatest trainer of all times Angie was being Da GBG Manny S. The media report, the fans and fanfaronades misquote. NOW this is really my last, and I'm never stuck in da past. Life doesn't start doing that until you are over 40 years old. And you start to believe da yesteryears are solid gold. And the nowadays situations and people that you like, are not to be compared to yesteryears, and are BIG, SUPERBAD and BOLD. But -- NOT! Other things may have been stirred into your at-the-end-of-the-rainbow pot. Holla!

mortcola says:

OK, I'll try to make this quick. Who knows whether the K's intangibles would hold up if the fight were held on the Olympus of nostalgia. But from a purely technical standpoint: Frazier of 1971 would have made a valiant attempt at reaching either tall chin. I don't know how well either K would have responded to the intensity of the attack. But both of them are better defensively than George Foreman was, both are much taller, and both have good uppercuts and ability to fight off either foot. Wlad's and Vitali's ability to control distance, combined with extremely quick reflexes (W) and iron chin (V), would have made them - just based on the technique and geometry - too much for Joe. If Joe survived the early blitz, he could have worn one down, hurt the other. But odds are, what failed against Foreman would fail worse against either K, with V's chin being the more solid insurance against that magic hook. Against Ali, tough call. Ali was not great coming foreward, and he would have had a b-tch of a time closing the distance against Wlad; it would have been interesting/boring, given that Wlad has about a dozen different jabs, and it could become a miserable game of waiting and jabbing and missed counters. But sheer SIZE was a problem for Ali, who needed a vulnerable target to shine. I'm not gonna say either K is greater than Ali, but, I ask a knowledgeable boxing person, what precise sequence of events and punches would allow Ali to win against either? I see Ali 50/50 taking either fight by decision in stinkers; but the precision punching and SIZE of both K's are simply really, really tough to beat. Joe's intensity and Ali's intelligence would have been their aces in the hole, but that may not have been enough to actually neutralize the particulary advantages of the K's. Joe Frazier looked like a kid next to Foreman, and Foreman was three and four inches shorter and no stronger than either Klitschko. Forget myths: what happens when flesh and blood fighters are in there, doing what they do.

the Roast says:

Well, it was a great debate. We all have our thoughts. Size and reach have always been large factors in boxing, no matter what era. Not the beat all end all. The best thing about boxing, the thing that makes it better than all other sports, is the knockout. That bolt of lightning that can strike at any moment and end the night. Change history. When two men get in there it's always possible. We will never know which of us is right. I'm cool with that.

Radam G says:

@the Roast, you keep gettin' in my grill and knocking me off my hill and I keep getting up and coming back STILL. Once again, "Size and reach have" never "been factors in boxing," no matter what era." The shorter, lighter opponent won 95 percent of the time. [The true heavyweight divisions in the amateurs and pros are littered with 5-foot-8 to 6-foot-3 heavyweight champions dominating tallies and fatties. Holla at the amateur's boxing scoop and the professional's boxrec and fightfax.]

This is why 5-foot-3 and 1/2 Willie Pep, but listed at 5-foot-5 has the best winning percentage for anybody over 200 fights. This is why 5-foot-9 Archie Moore, but listed at 5-foot-10 and 1/2, has the more kayos than any long-tall light-heavy or heavy or any weight. Homicide Hank Armstrong and Sugar Ray Robinson were in the same era. But Robinson at his height could not match Armstrong and hold three titles at the same time. This is why 5-foot-9 Rocky Marciano, but listed at 5-foot-11 and 1/2, is the only undefeated heavy. In the history of all the heavyweight division before that pseudo division of cruiserweight, you only have three champions who were listed and probably were above 6-foot-6 or dang close. Just as K-bros/docs are closer to 6-foot-7 than 6-foot-8. Tommy Burns -- a 5-foot-6 168-pound heavyweight king -- would have kayoed those chumped-up, hyped-up, weak-boned brothers/doctors. Clint Jackson -- a welterweight -- use kayo tallies and fatties all the time in sparring matches. He shoulda fought heavyweight at 155lbs and probably woulda been a champion.

The Roast, you may wanna holla at some of those Chicago ex-world champs, they will tell height is hype. Boxers fight in weight divisions. Lee Roy Murphy didn't let too many tall fighters whup his arse as an amateur or pro. Size and reach can be beat, just like a 4-foot-11 female can whup the size of a 6-foot-11 male in doing the nasty. Holla at some basketballers who dig da shorties. My boy Bill Waltson's 4-foot-11 Asian wife be putting it on him. Tallies and even fatties know what time it is. If height and reach are so powerful name me more than a Tommy Hearns, Oscar Dela Hoya and Tito Trinidad who were tallies and won multi-divisional title belts? And didn't they all get beat by shorter men. That what I thought! But I can name tons of shorter, smaller fighters who went up in divisions and kick the arses of the fighters with the size and reach advantage. The Roast, my P, the game is full of optical illusions and selling shyt. Don't believe it. Look at the records and results for yourself. Holla!

FighterforJC says:

Yeah. You guys make a really compelling argument. Based on the Klitschko Bros' dominance, the logical conclusion would be that they are no match for the greats of yesteryears, who were not nearly as dominant in their days as the Klitchkos are today. Brilliant.

mortcola says:

FighterforJC, you NAILED it, quick, clean, and out.

the Roast says:

OMG Radam!! I was trying to end this segment with my last post! Couldn't you tell? Picture the Roast with a nice sportcoat on sitting in front of the camera, reading my last two lines off the teleprompter, "We will never know which of us is right. I'm cool with that." CUT, fade to black, but you had to keep going. OK, I see how it is. I'm taking the gloves off.

the Roast says:

Height and reach don't matter? Why have a tale of the tape? Why have weight classes? Why didnt Lee Roy Murphy win a heavyweight belt? Tommy Burns? When was that, 1889? The K bros would dribble that shrimp around like a basketball. Clint Jackson "shoulda" been heavyweight champ at '5-6? Clint Eastwood would have a better chance. You should holla at your boy Manny, tell him to take a shot at Wlad, size doesn't matter right? Manny will have you escorted out of the entourage. Damn it Radam, dont live in the past.

the Roast says:

Please tell me you are talking about a different Clint Jackson, not the guy from the '80s who lost to Animal Fletcher and (gulp) Buster Drayton among others. That Clint Jackson had a hell of a time with the jr. middles and middles back in the day. If he was knocking out big guys in sparring he should have upgraded his sparring partners. We were talking about heavyweights anyway. At the lower weight classes the tall guys had to weigh the same as the shorter guys, thus making it a fair fight. Heavyweight is an unlimited class. Wlad by KO over Smokin Joe in 1 brutal round. I saw Joe's last fight in person as a kid. A draw with Jumbo Cummings. Why didnt he win? (Roast raises hands and parades around the living room)

brownsugar says:

Roast you and RG can hit the showers now... you both deserve it,..... post fight conference is 30 minutes lol..... (back to the topic)*****I watched that fight again the other night.... Frazier was in the prime of his life... while Ali had lost 3 of the best years of his prime... it's a miracle Ali finished on his feet. the competitive and rigorously physical nature of sports is such that it requires you to never stop competing if you want to be a top competitor.. all of the shadow boxing,.. heavybag hitting and sparring is worthless without being able to get tested in a real fight... I believe Frazier / Ali #1 is a perfect template of what would happen to Mayweather if he ever got in the ring with the much busier Pacman. Even though I believe Floyd is a better fighter.......a fighters punch resistance..timing and recuperative powers dwindle with inactivity. Still Frazier took a ferocious beating in that fight... It didn't show right away.... but I bet he lost a couple years off his ring career from all the abuse he took from Ali that night. I remember being glued to the radio listening to the round by round broadcast... I was stunned,.. no mortified to hear that Frazier had snatched victory away from Ali that night..It was comforting to hear Ali's post fight interview,.. you could tell that he hadnt lost his dignity or confidence...and he was big enough to give Joe the credit he deserved.. we knew he'd be back....it's been a decade since we've seen anything close to the kind of endurance, determination, preparation, and effort displayed by those old school heavyweights....every 2 or 3 generations the size of heavyweights continues to increase... while the quality if their fights decrease. If you think the K brothers are big... then you should see the next generation(they are out there just beneath the radar)... hopefully they can break the trend. ( and this is off topic... I'm proclaiming the Russian Ismayl Sillakh (175lbs) as the next big think in boxing,.. you heard it hear first). Great story by Flo Lo who seems to have significantly stepped his game up.

ultimoshogun says:

I'll have to agree with you on that one Sug, Sillakh was quite impressive on FNF last friday...he's got skills that kills. If he has a chink in his armor or hole in his game it wasn't exposed in that fight...looking forward to watching him again.

brownsugar says:

haven't seen boxing that smooth in a long time Ultimoshogun,.. they won't be able to use the over-used term "vunerable" as a selling point for this Ukranian fighter. wow... who says boxing is dead??

Radam G says:

I guess that you have to be a part of the game to know the game. Maybe if you are never in the back rooms or gyms or offices -- just being a plain old insider you will not know and will be blinded by mythology. The Roast, everybodeee and dey momma whup Jimmy Ellis's arse at middleweight. But when he went up to heavyweight, things changed. Eddie Mustafa Muhammad was a chump at 147lbs to 160lbs, but when he was brought up to light heavyweight, he became a maximum whuparser and the arch-"Minister of SHOCK!" Clint Jackson shoulda, woulda, coulda done the same thing. Everybody in the know in boxing -- not arm chair-ism -- know this.

The weaver of this copy is just being generous. Clint Jackson was a LEGEND as an amateur. In the amateurs and pros in sparring, he could put it on Michael Dokes, Tony Tubbs, Tony Tucker and the late Greg Page and late Big John Tate on his worst day. Dude walked around at 185lbs and 190lbs. Some fighters don't get it, and just won't take their arses up in weight. This is something that is a mystery of the game. Jackson starving his arse to fight at light middleweight and middleweight was his own down fall. Dude got buckets of moola, but would not listen to the fact that he was a light heavyweight at a minimun in the pros. In the amateurs back then, it was three rounds. You could get away with starvation. But in the pros, you need some fat muscles and meat on your arse to BURN.

Just imagine if Da Manny was still starving himself and fighting at flyweight, his career would be just as Clint Jackson was -- over and a piece of syet that the Roast would be making fun of and getting a BIG LAUGH about. Hehehehehe! But it is PINOY TIME! I am absolutely not living in the past. In the past, Amir Khan would still be trying to make lightweight, so would Tim Bradley and a whole lot of other cats. The culture of the game changes often. Little guys just go straight up, because after Homicide Hank Armstrong proved that a little man could dominate, the power that be put that to an immediate stop, or Da Manny would be a nowadays pugilist holding four-division titles at one time. And these corrupted sanctioning crooks are already mad at Da Manny for not paying sanctioning fees and the cost of making those bumped-up prized title belts.

Apparently, you are not reading what I write. Weight divisions are/were made to make more MOOLA, exclusively. IF they were for the benefit of, or because of, the fighters' sizes and reach, explain why in the amateurs 139lbs, 147lbs and 156lbs are extinct. What's up with 141lbs to 152lbs and 152lbs plus to 165lbs? Because in American Amateur boxing the money and more money and more money got small, smaller and smallest. Heck my family use to donate in the hundreds of thousands -- of course to get a tax break -- but nowadays, we are just doing 10s of thousands. In the pros, traditional weight divisions went from nine to 22 to make more MOOLA and more MOOLA by the sanctioning organizations and promoters. And to give fatties and tallies a chance to do something that they could barely do against a regular or small man, DOMINATE AGAINST OTHER FATTIES AND TALLIES.

It is pure nonsense for anyone to claim that the K-bros/docs largely fight the same size boxers that the Johnsons, Dempseys, Louises, Fraziers, Alis, Holmes and Tysons did, when one can holla at Boxrec or Fightfax and see with his or her own eyeballs da skinny. The true kickp-arse heavies are in the pseudo-division known as cruiserweight. And it is double crazy to think that the brothers/doctors have had a dominance similarly to Jack Johnson for seven years. Larry Holmes for seven years. And Joe Louis for close to 12 years.

If the Roast cannot understand or accept that, it would be because you have a mob or group mentality. And that is aight! I still luv ya! People are blinded by going along to get along. I guarantee you that da 99 percent of TSSU scribes read me loudly and clearly, especially those who have boxed and/or are from boxing families. But a lot of the readers/posters here will never accept clarity or be dear. We all have personas and agendas. My is too school, not to fool. To show you the light, not to incite. If you had what it take to be a good or great fighter or writer -- alone-wolf or lion mentality -- your eyes would pop open to a whole new pugilistic sighting. Holla

Radam G says:

In the meantime, this contest is a double disqualification. The Roast stepped on my sore-arse foot, and I pull a Sweet Pea Whitaker and pulled down his shorts. Ref "I'm firmed, but I'm fair," Cortez had it in for me. I later came to see the rest of the card and slapped that fatties that B-sug has eyeballing me. The dang fat, uggly [sic] ringside security guards tried to go upside my head, but I slipped and slided and adriotly roll out of the casino -- of course with my gambling moola -- and car-jacked Editor Mike's limo driver. Hehehehehe! Holla!

the Roast says:

That is the card you always play Radam. Those is the know know and if you're not on the inside you dont know. I respect your opinion but you dont seem to respect mine. I'm just a fan. Started watching fights with my dad in the late '70s. I've been hooked since Leonard-Hearns. I have read every word you wrote. Funny how you chose to address some things I say and not others. I get it about the weight classes being there to make the cash. Same with all the belts.WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO and on and on. Some of the stuff you say is straight up crazy from my point of view. Clint Jackson was a legend in the amatuers means nothing. This is prizefighting right? Remember your own words. It's all about the moolah!!

the Roast says:

I ain't no Roger Mayweather, and you can't pull my pants down! I'm fine if we disagree but don't dismiss the Roast as some douche bag with mob mentality. The fact is that all athletes are getting bigger as the generations go by. Next thing you will be telling me that Bob Fitzsimmons would KO Wlad with the freakin solar plexus punch.

Radam G says:

I respect your opinion and everybody elses, the Roast. Don't get all touchy with me. CHILLAX! Remember we are talking about the hurt bitnezz. Nothing is personal. You are sounding like my wife. She says that I don't respect her opinion. But when I was drunk, and she put the beatdown on me, where was da luv then? Hehehehehehe! Just JOKING! She has sobered me up and caused me to quit drinking the fermented coconut juice cold turkey.

We are all good at what we know, and not at what we don't know. The amateurs are a BIG foundation and runway to that BIG money in da pros. It means a WHOLE lot to be a legend in the amateur. It gives you a hook-up, a look-up and a book-up in the pro circuit to get paid up. The better one does in the amateurs, the more opportunities and moola he will broken off in the pros. There are a ton of good fighters in the pros who will never be noticed or get paid well. If you don't get lucky or had a good amateur sighting, you will not be hooked up or booked in for the BIG PAY BACK.

Howard Davis made about 15 million dollars from being an amateur legend, but he was just a fairly good pro. Legends in the amateurs made BIG Bucks in the pros, until they are totally exposed. Just think of that heavyweight bum out of New England. "Big Six" Estrada. Just think of Mark Breland. Just think of some of these jokers that I cannot even think of right now like your homeboy Kelcie Banks. They got BIG TV TIME and PAID BIG for a MINUTE! A "Legend in the amateurs" doesn't mean that person will transfer over to being a legend in the pros, but they will get PAID BIG for a BIT until they are exposed. Holla at Texan Rocky Jaurez [name misspelled]. He's gotten five title shots, and has made over $10 mil, and he cannot fight his way out of a paper sack.

The Roast remember that BOXING is the theatre of the expected, unknown and forgotten. I expect for some of the things that I say to sound straight-up crazy to you guys. But those scribes and readers out there who have experience it know that what I'm saying is the straight-up REAL DEAL! And I ain't talkin' about Holyfield. Holla!

Radam G says:

Danggit! The Roast, now you reading my thoughts before I spit. I was going to straight-up tell you that Bob Fitzsimmons and the GOAT Ali would have kayoed Doc Wlad with that solar plexus punch. GOAT Ali didn't get a lot of credit for body snatching, but that was one of his favorite punches. He hurt Ernie Terrell, Big Cleveland Williams, Sonny Liston and Ron Lyle with that shot. The GOAT was superfast and sneaky with his body shots. Sometimes he would pop a sucka in the chin with the jab and go right down to the chest and solar plexus, and eyeballs would miss it because they were busy looking at that bobbling head. Matter of fact, Uncle Roger is always spittin' that the GOAT never body punched. But his bouts on Youtube show that Uncle Roger's arse is still showing from Sweet Pea pulling down those shorts. Talking about the emperor with his arse hanging out! And wondering why cold wind is blowing up the crack of it. Hehehehehehe!

Suckas oughta quit claiming that da GOAT didn't body snatch, and da Smoke just had a hook and did not jab, stab and make suckas so dizzy and drunk that they had to go to rehab. The stories of GOAT Muhammad Ali and Smokin Joe Frazier should be correctly and completely written 40 years after their first bout. Holla!

the Roast says:

I saw that fight live on wide world of sports waaaaay back when. Young Pea yanked down da Black Mamba's trunks on the way to a UD. It's all good RG. I respect tha amatuer game. That's why I always support my Chicago Golden Gloves. I'm going Sat night to catch some preliminary action. You know that the GOAT won the CGG way back when. Of course you did. Peace out my brother, time to hit the Haye.

FighterforJC says:

You ought to know by now that Radam always pulls out his "in the know" card whenever he's checkmated. It's all part of his defense mechanism along with his entertaining rhymes that lack reason.

the Roast says:

Well, it's in the judges hands now. I knew I had him several posts back, when I threw my arms in the air. I was wavin for the ref to save Radam from further punishment, ala Sugar Ray in the first Hearns fight. I know Radam will disagree but the fans know who won it.

Radam G says:

Da luv of mythology is the root all _________. Fill in the blank with your preference of poison. Those who know know. And most of all, how to close the show. Ilusions are like diamonds. They come from a dark source. And a lot of pressure is put on them. And then the glow shines. What is the difference from this glow, and that of a thousand goldmines? There is no need to pull a card or a tooth. Or think about the last time you saw a phone booth. The world reality is 40 percent cake and 60 percent rattlesnake. Enjoy that sweet, listen for the rattle and know that there will be those who continue to tweet. Holla!

the Roast says:

Aww come on Radam. Don't be like that with strange poetic ramblings or whatever that is. There are no winners or losers here. Look at it this way. Roast vs Radam is good for business. Did you see there were 282 views for the slugfest? Maybe if EM is lucky we can do it again sometime. If the price is right. It is the hurt bizness, right? Hug it out?

the Roast says:

Pay per view?

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