Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

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Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Rosco
What if Joe Louis turned pro in 1960 and fought Muhammad Ali's opposition? How does he do against Liston in 1964? Ernie Terrell? Joe Frazier in 1971, George Foreman in 1974, etc?
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Duggerman
Administrator
Now that is a good question. We'd also have to consider if Louis would lose a couple of his prime years as Ali did, going on an exile in 1967 and returning in 1970. I dunno. Joe Louis was great but there wouldn't be a bum of the month tour this time.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Urban Legend
In reply to this post by Rosco
Things would play out much differently than they did for Clay/Ali. For starters, by 1964, he would not be ready for Sonny Liston. When Joe Louis was coming up the champion was Max Baer and then Jim Braddock. He handled them both but he wouldn't be ready for a title shot against the big bear Sonny Liston only 4 years into his career.

He beats Cooper, Moore, Terrell, Patterson, Quarry and those guys. In 1971 against peak Frazier? 29 year-old Joe Louis would lose. And at 32 he loses to young George Foreman. I just don't see him having the success Muhammad Ali did despite his talent. The timing of him fighting Liston, Frazier and Foreman work against him.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Friday The 13th...
Liston would be aging so Louis would be able to take him out, although Liston may train better and not underestimate him the way he did Ali. Prime Louis would always beat prime Liston anyway so the younger Louis would definitely take apart the much older Liston of 1964.

I know prime Frazier was a beast, but if Louis doesn't vacate the crown as Ali did he would defend the crown against Frazier in the late 60s when Joe was prime but not yet peak. If he fought Joe in 1971 he still wins possibly because A) Louis had the firepower to get Frazier outta there quick and B) Frazier wouldn't go into the ring with the same hatred and determinaiton against Louis as he did agaisnt Ali.

Louis was still good at 32 so he'd be the favorite against young Foreman too. He might start losing fights around the time he's 36 though. His age would give him away against guys like Jimmy Young and Ron Lyle maybe. Larry Holmes too. He'd be too old by then.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Urban Legend
Friday The 13th... wrote
Liston would be aging so Louis would be able to take him out, although Liston may train better and not underestimate him the way he did Ali. Prime Louis would always beat prime Liston anyway so the younger Louis would definitely take apart the much older Liston of 1964.

I know prime Frazier was a beast, but if Louis doesn't vacate the crown as Ali did he would defend the crown against Frazier in the late 60s when Joe was prime but not yet peak. If he fought Joe in 1971 he still wins possibly because A) Louis had the firepower to get Frazier outta there quick and B) Frazier wouldn't go into the ring with the same hatred and determinaiton against Louis as he did agaisnt Ali.

Louis was still good at 32 so he'd be the favorite against young Foreman too. He might start losing fights around the time he's 36 though. His age would give him away against guys like Jimmy Young and Ron Lyle maybe. Larry Holmes too. He'd be too old by then.
That is a fantasy. You're telling me that with less than four years ring experience Louis would be able to beat Sonny Liston? I know Ali did it but it was due to Liston's lazy training and the fact that he couldn't find and hit Ali. Joe Louis would get hit by Liston. Louis' inexperience cost him against Schmeling AND he was almost KO'd by Jim Braddock when he got the title shot. The inexperienced Louis would not beat Liston. Muhammad Ali's success comes from the fact that he beat the big three (Liston, Frazier and Foreman) Louis would likely lose to them. Peak versus peak he might win but like I said, the timing would be wrong for Louis to come out victorious against all three.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Entaowed
It is a GREAT question!

Realize that Louis, Ali & Tyson both lost 3 + prime years, & at around the same age.

This profile is pretty good. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Louis  Youcan see under "Bum of the Month Club", that he was the busiest champion in modern boxing, but still less than a fight every 2 months (13 defenses in 29 months).  Then he fought Conn afterward.  However, the term is unfair.  Most were top 10 HWs.  You can argue how good they were, but were they really much different than the decent opposition both peak Ali & Tyson faced, & w/great frequency?  Difference is Ali's quality of opposition post exile.

The timing would be tough for Louis.  I do favor him against prime Liston, he did very well against sluggers, & one would need to consider how seriously Louis & Liston would take the fight.  Louis would be physically peak, but would he treat it like Schmelling?  You have to assume the same # of training lapses for each fighter, when they would come is the question.

Frazier?  The peak/prime distinction is very fine.  '67-'71 he was great indeed, & while most motivated against Ali always was very attuned then, & I would pick the middle of it as his physical prime.  Swarmers could give Louis trouble, who would not pick himself over prime Marciano.  Virtues exist for boths warmers, but I have Frazier a little better, certainly quicker & more accurate.  I would give Frazier slightly better odds.

Foreman.  Now a lot turns on whether you enforce a break like they had in real life.  However WOULD Louis detiorate less with no WW 2?  He still had numerous exhibitions then.  Like with Ali it would be very impressive if he could win post-prime, & against a slugger...He might.

Yes it would be very hard to beat all 3.  He would do about as well as Ali against the others, though good fighter like Quarry or swarmer Bonavena or another might take him out after his prime.





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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Duggerman
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Entaowed wrote
 I do favor him against prime Liston, he did very well against sluggers, & one would need to consider how seriously Louis & Liston would take the fight.  Louis would be physically peak
Sonny wasn't prime in 1964..he was almost 40. Sonny's peak years were 1958-60. He was a better fighter then than he was versus Clay. Cassius Clay beat up an aging, overconfident and undertrained Sonny Liston.

Looking at it now though, it would make sense for a peaking Louis to beat the fading Sonny. If he turns pro in 1960 and fights Liston for the belt in 1964, he would be the same Louis who fought Schmeling in 1938. Louis KO'd Schmeling four years into his pro career so it makes sense.

1945 Joe Louis would have to fight Joe Frazier if they fought in 1971. This would be 11 years into his career. I think Frazier should be the favorite here, as Louis would be on the decline and Frazier at his absolute peak.

1948 Joe Louis would have to fight (1974) Foreman and he most likely loses. This is the Louis that fought Walcott. Honestly he lost the first fight and was losing the rematch until he scored. But, Walcott is no Foreman. Not sure if Louis still had the skills to beat a peaking monster like Foreman this late in his career. Maybe. Maybe not. Joe's longevity should come into consideration though, considering how long he reigned at the top.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Apollo
Banned User
In reply to this post by Rosco
Interesting. It would tougher for Joe Louis, but it would be tougher for everybody else also.

He wouldn't be as dominant as he was in his era, but the dominance of others can take a shortcut due to the presence of Joe Louis.

Who knows if all fights would get materialized and who would duck who, but there's one man who wouldn't hesitate for a second if a fight versus Joe Louis was offered to him: Ali.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

It's Dale
In reply to this post by Duggerman
Duggerman wrote
Sonny wasn't prime in 1964..he was almost 40. Sonny's peak years were 1958-60. He was a better fighter then than he was versus Clay. Cassius Clay beat up an aging, overconfident and undertrained Sonny Liston.

Looking at it now though, it would make sense for a peaking Louis to beat the fading Sonny. If he turns pro in 1960 and fights Liston for the belt in 1964, he would be the same Louis who fought Schmeling in 1938. Louis KO'd Schmeling four years into his pro career so it makes sense.

1945 Joe Louis would have to fight Joe Frazier if they fought in 1971. This would be 11 years into his career. I think Frazier should be the favorite here, as Louis would be on the decline and Frazier at his absolute peak.

1948 Joe Louis would have to fight (1974) Foreman and he most likely loses. This is the Louis that fought Walcott. Honestly he lost the first fight and was losing the rematch until he scored. But, Walcott is no Foreman. Not sure if Louis still had the skills to beat a peaking monster like Foreman this late in his career. Maybe. Maybe not. Joe's longevity should come into consideration though, considering how long he reigned at the top.
Very sound accessment, A.J.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Entaowed
Yes the years & his actual career equivalency was the math I used.  

TRhe only quiblle I have AJ is Liston's age gets exaggerated, like he was 137 years olf vs. Ali!  Yes he was past peak, & part of it was due to taking Ali lightly.  He apparently trained to a relative razor's age before the 2nd fight, but then Ali was injured & this took the air out of Liston, he stpped training seriously & hit the bottle.

But Liston was likely not more than turning 34 years old in '64, though listed as hitting 32 this year.  This has been discussed as naseum on forums like 24 Hour Boxing, but I believe the wikepedia entry here is as plausible as any summation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonny_Liston
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Apollo
Banned User
Personally I don't buy into anything regarding Sonny's age, training and fight strategy. Ali was so damn slick and quick that Liston just couldn't catch up to him and get the upper hand at any moment.

Sonny Liston vs. Ali from the 1970s would be a different story though. Maybe it would be fair since they'd be closer in age.

Number two reason was that styles make fights. I believe that if George Foreman at his best would've fought that version of Ali, it would totally resemble Liston vs. Ali ...Ali wouldnt get up on the ropes with his speed and stamina. And Foreman might tire himself out quicker by following Ali around, missing with punches and getting hit by jabs instead of punching himself out.

That version of Ali walks through Ken Norton and possibly wins the first fight versus Frazier.

Maybe with Joe Louis it would be the other way around. Joe Louis knocks out prime Ali in the late rounds, but gets stopped himself in the rematch by an older and more experienced Ali.

Just a possibility though. Always remember prime Ali's speed ;) His lighting would overcome plenty of stronger guys along with their thunder.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

precious
In reply to this post by Friday The 13th...
Liston would be aging so Louis would be able to take him out, although Liston may train better and not underestimate him the way he did Ali. Prime Louis would always beat prime Liston anyway so the younger Louis would definitely take apart the much older Liston of 1964.

I know prime Frazier was a beast, but if Louis doesn't vacate the crown as Ali did he would defend the crown against Frazier in the late 60s when Joe was prime but not yet peak. If he fought Joe in 1971 he still wins possibly because A) Louis had the firepower to get Frazier outta there quick and B) Frazier wouldn't go into the ring with the same hatred and determinaiton against Louis as he did agaisnt Ali.

Louis was still good at 32 so he'd be the favorite against young Foreman too. He might start losing fights around the time he's 36 though. His age would give him away against guys like Jimmy Young and Ron Lyle maybe. Larry Holmes too. He'd be too old by then.

Great post, agree with all of your conclusions
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Entaowed
I do not know if Frazier was ever better than~ '69, despite his specific burning motivation against Ali.  Frazier was extremely motivated in the late '60's, & did not tend to start slow then as vs. Foster, & Louis would be challenged by a great swarmer.  It has been argued that rage led him to be less measured & waste energy too, + he bought Ali's conn about not being hurt in the '11th round in the FOTC.

"Still being good" at 32 does not mean he was as good, & being able to beat a prime Foreman would be hard.  I agree with Apollo about Ali's likely success when he was faster in the '60's.


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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Apollo
Banned User
In reply to this post by Rosco
I mean it's possible that Joe Louis would've become Joe Frazier. But there's no way he would've become Muhammad Ali.

Or is it? Maybe Joe Louis known as the best heavyweight of that era and Ali known as the biggest personality in boxing of that era.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

precious
Apollo said "Or is it? Maybe Joe Louis known as the best heavyweight of that era and Ali known as the biggest personality in boxing of that era."

Great point Apollo. I love Ali he was the boxer who got me interested in the sport, I used to think he was invincible but I truly now believe Louis to be the greater HW at their respective peaks but I could never definitively spout he would have beat Ali. It would have been some hell of a fight with Ali using his guile & foot speed peppering Joe with that great jab whilst Joe would patiently wait for that mistake to catch Ali with a left hook followed by his incredible finishing power. The question is whether he would have ever got this opportunity. We will never know
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Zorro
He would still have 25 title defenses and have a long reign. Doug Jones and Jimmy Young would give him trouble for the same reasons Walcott, Conn and Pastor did but he would knock them out also.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Apollo
Banned User
I highly doubt he'd have 25 title defences.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Zorro
Apollo Creed wrote
I highly doubt he'd have 25 title defences.
Elaborate please.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Apollo
Banned User
Zorro wrote
Apollo Creed wrote
I highly doubt he'd have 25 title defences.
Elaborate please.
You didn't elaborate either...

Nobody in that era came close to 25 title defences because the competition was too strong.
Ali had 19, Frazier had 4, George Foreman had 2, Sonny Liston had 1.

I don't see how Joe Louis gets remotely close to 25.
You had swarmers, jabbers and movers, punchers. Joe Louis loses sooner or later.
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Re: Joe Louis in Muhammad Ali's era

Zorro
Apollo Creed wrote

You didn't elaborate either...

Nobody in that era came close to 25 title defences because the competition was too strong.
Ali had 19, Frazier had 4, George Foreman had 2, Sonny Liston had 1.

I don't see how Joe Louis gets remotely close to 25.
You had swarmers, jabbers and movers, punchers. Joe Louis loses sooner or later.
No I didn't elaborate, but I do see your opinion. Joe Louis conquered fighters of every style and had tremendous hand speed and punching power with both hands. I see prime Joe Louis beating each of the four men you just mentioned (Ali, Frazier, Foreman and Liston). I don't see Joe losing to anyone if he keeps his head on straight which he would. Ernie Terrell, Henry Cooper, Floyd Patterson, Oscar Bonavena, Buster Mathis, Ken Norton, Jimmy Young, etc. Do you really see Joe Louis losing to any of them? If he does it'd be because of age, as was the case against Ezzard Charles and Rocky Marciano.
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