What would a modern Muhammad Ali look like?

Discussion in 'Boxing Discussion' started by Dr. Will, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Dr. Will

    Dr. Will Yellow Belt

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    Muhammad Ali was a game-changing phenom and would become a game-changing phenom yet again in the new era. He would modify his style accordingly. Yet this era would still affect the way he looks somewhat as he adapts to the environment he's in.

    This is the era of the huge heavyweights. 2010's+ are around 6'4-6'5' weighing 240lbs. Their approach to boxing:
    - outboxing more dominant
    - Infighting in bursts only
    - combinations in short bursts
    - Strong reliance on the jab
    - Steeper fight against their stamina in latter part of the fight

    The average height in America increased in the last 50 years, it's possible that Muhammad Ali would've been 6'4 in this era (1 inch taller).

    12 round fights = less stamina required, less marathon-esque stamina training. They prefer carrying extra muscle mass than having the greatest stamina & being like modern day Cruiserweights on fight night (around 220lbs) with more stamina.

    In the heavyweight modern era, they are simply poorly trained to go 12 rounds. The Anthony Joshua-Wladimir Klitschko Hufflepuff show is great evidence of this. It's you vs your gas tank.

    I believe he will remain lighter than the big Heavyweights. His speed, stamina and reflexes were a part of what made him so great. If you're fighting men as big as Izu Ugonnoh, Joshua, Klitschko, Parker, Wilder, you will aim to reduce attrition by being bigger to absorb punches better, too in order to have longevity at Heavyweight.
    Yet, I think he will train himself to have a higher frequency of powerful, mass exerting, explosive spurts in his style (kind of like David Haye at Cruiserweight EDIT: I'm not saying he's going to have a similar style to Haye lol, it's just powerful explosiveness). This being the case, he will have notable muscle more than he did in his career. Yet, it won't be too much so that it would hinder his movement too much.

    His stamina will remain significantly better than the bigger opponents. Against the same size opponents who have similar speed, he will simply be better at outboxing them, and they won't have the size to trouble him. Someone like an old time Joe Frazier will simply be swallowed up by a modern day Ali.

    Thus, Ali would look bigger than this in his prime:
    https://cdn-s3.si.com/s3fs-public/s...y-sonny-liston-001314315-single-image-cut.jpg

    https://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/f4...Y/USATODAY/2013/04/22/xxx-ap621115078-4_3.jpg

    I therefore contend that a modern Muhammad Ali would be 6'4, 230-235lbs, ripped. He was 224lbs when he beat Frazier, Lyle and Foreman. He would have more muscle on his frame and would safely accommodate it.

    He is a superior mover, simply better at outpointing and would set up more active explosive combinations (thus making him more aggressive, particularly against outboxers) - he would have to make this a bigger part of his game, will have the strength to handle himself on the inside and not be walked through.

    This thread comes as a backdrop of comments from people saying 'Joshua beats Ali' before the Takam fight. Takam is a big dude, but he was 6'1, 235lbs against Joshua. He gave Joshua problems. People woke up from their dream and realized a prime Ali from the 70's would've kicked his ass.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  2. Marc A

    Marc A Being broke is being dishonest

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    put him in any era the guy is a winner . not sure how big he would be but he would dominate
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  3. basedgodfedor

    basedgodfedor Black Belt

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    he would look like Cassius clay
     
  4. spacetime

    spacetime Black Belt

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    He was way ahead of his time. But how he would fare today is difficult to predict. The superior athlete syndrome would probably prevail.
     
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  5. wilddeuces

    wilddeuces Brown Belt

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    Actually, I'd like to see him against some of the massive heavyweights today. That's not to say that I think he would lose, but some of these guys that are very large heavyweights might be bigger targets, but they might be bigger problems.

    This consideration doesn't change my overall opinion about Ali. He was a heavyweight that fought like a welterweight. It was just impressive.
     
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  6. spacetime

    spacetime Black Belt

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    George Foreman was not exactly small. And a past his prime Ali toyed with him..
     
  7. wilddeuces

    wilddeuces Brown Belt

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    That's one that stands out and is part of my consideration, yes. But Lennox Lewis. Riddick Bowe. Either Klitschko. These are all big guys that can box well, so I think it would be interesting to see Ali against big fellas like them that - in my mind - move way better than Foreman did, that's all.
     
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  8. JayE

    JayE Black Belt

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    David Haye had plenty of success in this era, and Ali was a naturally bigger man than him. He was naturally bigger than Holyfield, as well, and there can be no doubt that Holyfield would easily be elite in this era (I'd clearly favour Holy over any active fighter). I actually think Usyk could have real success in this current HW division, and Ali was a bit naturally bigger than he is, as well as just simply being Usyk's superior in every other regard.
     
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  9. Dr. Will

    Dr. Will Yellow Belt

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    I just wanted to say that I pick the real Ali of old, i.e the 6'3 220lb version over all of the modern greats. Ali-Lewis would be a tougher one.
    Povetkin, Haye, Mercer, Peter, Byrd were all successful and they're smaller guys.
     
  10. Strange King

    Strange King Strange Music

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    I think in the lennox era ali would not have been as dominate...right now i think he would be near the top
     
  11. mozfonky

    mozfonky We oughta be fightin' a bottle of Geritol.

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    would not even speculate on that, the ali of the mid 60's was the perfect size for a heavyweight, there is not reason to think 30 pounds of muscle and 2 inches of height would have made him better.
     
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  12. aries

    aries Red Belt

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    I think he'd still do great because he had so much skill and speed. As someone mentioned Haye did alright at HW and he was smaller than Ali. The big HW's now hit hard but Ali had a great chin plus with his movement he wasn't that easy to pin down. Or he'd rope a dope you and let you punch yourself out.

    Ali was hard to hurt but he had decent power to go with the speed and skill he had. Tyson Fury made Klitschko look silly by outboxing him, Ali was more than capable of doing the same but better. I think he'd top the division not before too long.
     
  13. mozfonky

    mozfonky We oughta be fightin' a bottle of Geritol.

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    also, i've said it before but no one listens, ali didn't have problems with the big guys, never, he had problems with small, quick guys who could hook. the big guys, even the big quick guys like terrel and bugner he never had a problem with.
     
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  14. Prefect

    Prefect Brown Belt

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    Who did Ali outbox so easily? Norton gave him fits. Cooper dropped him. Took a beating in every frasier fight. He knew he got lucky against Foreman and never gave him a rematch. He won a lot of battles, barely. Klitschko and Lennox made fights look like huge mismatches.

    Also, the comment about having problems with fast guys, the big guys now are fast. People forget how nimble the klits are for being as big as they are. They aren't in the same mold as Valuev.
     
  15. Dr. Will

    Dr. Will Yellow Belt

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    I think you have a serious point there.
    It just alarms me how the modern Greats are far more one-dimensional, Wladimir being the archetypical example of this.
    People say someone like Oleksandr Usyk, the cruiserweight who weighs 220lbs on fight night and has a smaller sized frame for a HW would struggle against the biggest HW's around. I dispute this because what he loses in terms of size, he gains in terms of skills and footwork he is able to express in the ring over the course of 12 rounds - thus a stamina advantage, too. Less need to fight in spurts, thus a higher chance of stealing rounds.

    Ernie Terrell, though 215lbs, was 6'6 and had an 82 inch reach.
     
  16. JayE

    JayE Black Belt

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    Well, there's Sonny Liston (x2), who, in context, is likely a better win than any of Lewis or Klitschko's (far better than anything of Wlad's resume). I'm not even going to address the stupidity of discounting the Foreman win, which, again, is better than any single win of Wlad or Lennox's career (again, far better than anything of Wlad's resume).

    Lennox Lewis had many competitive fights and was stopped twice in his prime. Wladimir Klitschko was stopped by multiple journeymen and even on the rebound of his career had some serious scares from the likes of Sam Peter. Let's not pretend that either of these fighters were never challenged, or that either achieved as much as Ali.
     
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  17. Prefect

    Prefect Brown Belt

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    I would rate both Klitschko's better than Sonny Liston. Both use their height similar to Ali in evading punches but do it more economically.

    Lennox in my opinion only loses when he doesn't prepare well. Lennox destroyed everyone who beat him in rematches. The Klits had losses earlier in their career but I would put that more on them not making full use of their strengths, namely their height, which some would argue what made them boring.
     
  18. slimpickenz84

    slimpickenz84 Red Belt

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    In the Lewis era, Ali beats Holyfield, Ruiz, Rahman, Tua, both Klits IMO, and Tyson (the Tyson from the 80s is a different discussion). Now, Ali vs Lewis...... ehh I dunno. You can't discount Lewis against anyone. When Lewis was motivated and taking the fight seriously, he was ATG good in the ring. His size and jab would give Ali hell. That'd be the early 2000s superfight. Probably a trilogy of 12 round decisions.
     
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  19. JayE

    JayE Black Belt

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    They might be better themselves (Liston has a better resume than Vitali does), but neither Klitschko ever beat anyone better than Liston (or even particularly close, really). Holyfield and Vitali are the only wins which are really comparable to Liston on Lennox's resume (I think oldish Holyfield isn't as good a win as a prime Liston).
     
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  20. aries

    aries Red Belt

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    This has already been answered but Liston was a good win for Ali. Ali beat guys after fighting through adversity, that's because he fought a higher quality of opposition. Its not like Lennox and Klistchkos don't have losses on their record and stoppage ones at that. The big guys now are fast for big guys but who in the HW division now is as fast as Ali? Maybe David Haye and he outboxed everyone at HW apart from Klitschko. Not comparable imho.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018

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