In my opinion (Jack Johnson) was the greatest fighter of all time.
John Arthur ("Jack") Johnson (March 31, 1878 – June 10, 1946), nicknamed the "Galveston Giant," was an American boxer. At the height of the Jim Crow era, Johnson became the first African American world heavyweight boxing champion (1908–1915).
Mine too Funk. Long before we had big screen tv's or PPV you had to buy a ticket and go to the civic center in Savannah to see fights. Saw many a rumble there. We would all go to the Crystal Beer Parlor across from the Civic Center, quaf down a few beers, eat a cheese burger then go watch a fight.
I will forever treasure the time we were lucky enough to get front row seats on the floor of the civic center and watch Ali Rope a Dope George Foreman. It was unbelievable! Also got to see the Thrilla in Manila with Smokin Joe Frasier against Ali. Ali of course called it the thrilla in Manila against the Gorilla! To me it was one of the greatest fights of all time. My Gawd what a slug fest.
Ali is still a hero of mine. He stood up for his beliefs and won even tho the US government robbed him during his prime time for refusing to take that step forward.
He was THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME!
Funk: you recall Ali's complete dismantling of Cleveland Williams? It probably was one of the greatest displays of dominance by Ali of another fighter that I have ever seen. Watching that fight made me realize why pugilism became known as the Sweet Science. Ali was magnificent.
Also: The "What's My Name" fight when Ali punished Ernie Terrell round after round and every time he hit Terrell Ali who had just changed his name from Cassius Clay to Muhammed Ali, Ali would say to Terrell: "What's My Name" before eventually knocking him out.
Yes JimmyMack, A.K.A. Jimmy Darsey, Ali finally won the title back that was taken from him by the US Government on October 30, 1974 at 32 years old. Here’s a peek at the KO of George Foreman in round 8:
It will be a Killer and a Chiller when I get the Gorilla in Manila. Ali vs. Frazier III:
And the dismantling of Cleveland Williams the “Big Cat”
Note the disrespect of the announcer by calling Ali, Clay the whole fight!
Another note, I remember my mom shouting out Cassy Clay, Cassy Clay, Cassy Clay for Pete’s sake!
What’s my name, Ernie Terrell Round 1 & 15?
It’s hard to imagine anyone beating this man in his prime with all of his grace, speed, agility, heart and stamina.
JimmyMack, here’s a post we can agree on :D
The Frazier III rhyme was like this.
"It will be a Killer and a Chiller and a Thriller when I get the Gorilla in Manilla"
My favorite is:
"Ali bomaye!" "Ali bomaye!"
I remember reading a great story about it years ago. As you probably know, this phrase means "Ali, kill him" in "Congolese," and was chanted by the local people in the streets of Zaire and at that famous "Rumble in the Jungle" on October 30, 1974 referenced by Funky above.
The most interesting part of the tale to me was George Foreman's "exposure" to this chant. The story goes that Foreman was walking the streets in Zaire and apparently the people recognized him and began chanting "Ali, bomaye!" Everywhere he went, he heard this chant. Finally he asked one of his posse what the chant meant. I would imagine that the meaning stuck in George's mind and may have had some psychological effect on the fight.
I have to agree with the majority on this one. It's really tough to compare different generations of boxers. The "experts" point out that Rocky Marciano retired undefeated. But I've seen the films of all the greats and watched Ali live in his prime. I can't imagine that anybody could have beaten Ali in his prime. His loss to Frazier in 1971 was a result of the erosion of some skills and years of "ring rust." I suspect that Ali in his prime would have handled Frazier much as he handled Liston, Williams, and the host of other fighters that he whupped.
He was correct: He was the prettiest, the fastest, the slickest, and the Greatest of All Times.
(And his schtick wasn't bad, either...)
After finding the original footage of the classic listen poem, I felt compelled to update it in my blog post. And for my fellow fans of Muhammad Ali, here it is below. I’m sure you would like the whole 10 minute clip; however if you want to go directly to the poem by Cassius, just forward to the 7:00 minute mark and enjoy!
And here’s a montage of poems from the Greatest and the first one is an alternate Sonny poem followed by a Foreman poem, enjoy!
Yo Funk. I know we go back and forth on occasion regarding issues, but you being a military man and all, I was a wonderin' what you think about the Greatest's refusal to be drafted?
BTW...thank you for those clips. That rope a dope worked to perfection. AS I recall he would say to George after being pummelled by him: "is that all you got?"
George never was the same man...til he took his religious sabatical and came back at age 37, I believe, to win the Title of Heavy Weight Champion of the world against Moore.
I think he was a patriot for standing up for his beliefs. He could have went to prison. However he beat the charges and I believe most of it stemmed from the racial divide in tumultous time of our history, and being a close friend to Malcolm X didn't help his cause either. Did you like the Liston poem coming directly from "The Greatest"
Mountain, thanks for you comment and opinion about Jack Johnson who is a legitimate alltime Great and has a compelling story to boot!
Yea, Jack kinda set the mold for an Ali to come into existence. I believe Jack knocked out everybody and resultingly generated the phrase: Great White Hope.
The Eastern Assasin, Larry Holmes, put to rest that paricular phraseology by knocking out Cooney, the big white guy known for his punishing body shots.
Yes - Funky knows how to float and sting, too. I was also glad to see that the recent press reports of Ali's imminent demise were premature.