Saturday, June 30, 2007


My blog is obviously sparse. I'm writing this to change that. Unfortunately, I'm watching Ali/Frazier III, so I'm in a bad mood. Angelo Dundee is in the studio talking about the fight with a few other boxing personalities. According to Angelo Dundee, Ali called Joe Frazier an Uncle Tom in jest; while some might think that indifference mitigates Ali's remarks, I think it just makes the venom sting twice as badly. Keep in mind that Frazier helped Ali while Ali was in exile for refusing conscription. If Ali didn't mean it, why did he say it? If the sole motive in saying something so obviously false and demeaning is a few chuckles, why would any civilized person say those horrible things? Dante leaves the ninth circle for betrayers of their benefactors, I think it might be appropriate for "The Greatest." I would probably think nothing of Ali's remarks if the tenor of those remarks aren't completely disregarded, or if Ali's losses stick to him in the public eye. His nickname says it all for me: "The Greatest." He's not the greatest. Jack Johnson--who has always been a personal favorite of mine--fought in more adversity. Rocky Marciano has a better record. Joe Louis and Larry Holmes have more title defenses. Larry Holmes knocked out Ali. Joe Louis also had a longer reign as Heavyweight Champion.

Why is Ali in such high esteem? This observer thinks Ali's most memorable moments were in front of a microphone. The Foreman fight was amazing, in all honesty; it was Ali's best moment in the ring. Ali had a great chin, probably one of the best. I'll admit, I like Floyd Mayweather. I like his style. I like his abilities. I also like his record. Undefeated is undefeated. Floyd seems to win fights despite his talk. It's generally considered to be a flaw in his character, if not a flaw in his boxing prowess. Ali said far more horrible things to Joe Frazier, and people love Ali because of them. Ali's mouth, no matter how false and hurtful the remarks, is still lauded and touted as a wonderful thing. Ali's losses don't stick, especially in the press. The media still plays "Down Goes Frazier!," Howard Cosell's famous remarks from Frazier's two fights against George Foreman at every available opportunity. Those same outlets, including ESPN Classic, almost never replay Cosell's call of Ali's brutal knockout at the hands of Larry Holmes. Ali's no bum, but he's not the best fighter ever, either. He's a media darling. I hate media darlings.

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