v2 G.O.A.T The Final

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Post by MtotheC on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:37 am

After two months of competition, over 2500 votes, over 5500 comments, a voting scandal, a restarted format and the Gavin Hastings situation, the v2 GOAT has come to its climax with the final matchup of the tournament today to decide who the v2 posters will crown their greatest of all time.

Yesterday’s two semi-finals were two of the most closely contested matches of the tournament with football, tennis, cricket and boxing represented in the final four, in match 1 Mohammed Ali took on Don Bradman and with the voting neck and neck for the majority of the day it was eventually the self-proclaimed greatest of all time that took the initiative and became the first entrant to secure his spot in the final. In the second match grand slam champion Roger Federer took on two time world cup winner Pele, in another intriguing battle that was extremely close all day neither man could establish a lead of any note, eventually Federer sealed his spot in the final by just two votes finishing on 44 to Pele’s 42.

Bradman exits the competition defeating Zinedine Zidane, and Harry Greb in round 1, Daley Thompson, Brain Lara and Eddy Merckx in round 2, Sugar Ray Robinson and Usain Bolt in the last 16 , Michael Phelps, Tiger Woods and Michael Johnson in the last 8.

Pele’s scalps include Michael Schumacher, Stephen Hendry, Phil Taylor, Martina Navratilova and Wayne Gretzky.

Today’s final sees a clash of styles, generation and sports as boxing takes on tennis to decide the v2 G.O.A.T

Ali vs. Federer and emancipator vs 6oldenbhoy in the battle of the GOAT champions

Please vote for the v2 G.O.A.T

Please leave a comment as to why you voted


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Post by MtotheC on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:39 am

Muhammad Ali- Boxing- Championed by 6oldenbhoy

"When I offered to take part in this exercise I was originally asked to champion another fighter. I had my reservations as, in my opinion, this man’s aura was built more on the reputation he had acquired rather than his in ring achievement (though I must admit he did achieve a heck of a lot). I had no such qualms with the second option, the self proclaimed ‘Greatest’ Muhammad Ali. At this point I must admit that, although I have been a fight fan for many years, some of my earliest memories are of watching Michael Carruth and Wayne McCullough in the Barcelona Olympics and no Saturday night was complete with watching the boxing on ITV, I have never been a massive fan of Ali. I have seen almost all of his fights, viewed all the major documentaries and read various articles on the man but I've always had an almost take it or leave it attitude towards him. However, upon undertaking this activity, I have found an admiration and respect for the man who would be a worthy winner of this accolade. His career encompassed everything, monumental highs, catastrophic lows, triumph in the face of adversity, not to mention controversy all now tinged with tragedy. To fit all of this into an article would be an impossible task, such was the effect he had on Boxing and the World around him.

Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr was born on the 17/1/1942 to a Methodist father and Baptist mother. Few could have predicted what this child would go on and accomplish. The story begins when at the age of twelve young Cassius had his bicycle stolen. A thirst for revenge drove him to his local boxing gym where he should such aptitude for the sport that in a mere six years he was crowned Olympic Light Heavyweight Champion in Rome in 1960. Nino Benvenuti, the darling of his home crowd, won the Val Barker Trophy but many thought this accolade belonged to Clay.

Upon returning home he promptly turned profession under the tutelage of Angelo Dundee. He quickly developed into a boxer fleet of foot with a stinging jab,lightning reflexes and with more than adequate power. Nineteen straight wins led to a title shot against the fearsome Sonny Liston. Going into the contest Clay was a 7/1 underdog, but won the title when Liston retired on his stool at the end of the sixth round. The rematch wouldn’t last as long, Liston going down in the first. Some claimed Liston took a dive, others claim it was a legitimate punch. The fight did create one the most iconic sporting images of the twentieth century, where Ali (shortly after the Liston fight he had changed his name to Cassius X, then to Muhammad Ali) stands over his fallen opponent screaming at him to continue. Ali went on to defend the title a further eight times.

Muhammad was stripped of his title soon after his final defense against Zora Folley. His boxing license was also revoked and was sentenced to five years in jail. He appealed and remained on bail but was unable to box for three and a half years. Eventually given a license to fight in Atlanta, Ali won the first of two comeback fights before challenging Joe Frazier for the undisputed Heavyweight Championship, in a bout now known as “The Fight of the Century”. It was a thriller from start to finish, Ali starting the faster, but Frazier slowly walked him down. Frazier was ahead on all scorecards going into the final round when he unleashed a tremendous left hook that put Ali on the canvas. Ali bravely rose and heard the final bell but lost a unanimous decision. It was noted that Ali did not have the usual bounce in his step and one could argue showed the effects of three and a half years out.

Ali would not challenge for the World title for another three years. He won thirteen of his next fourteen fights, avenging the only loss he suffered in this period. A win over Joe Frazier set up a bout with Big George Foreman. This was to be Ali’s finest hour. Going into the bout, entitled the “Rumble in the Jungle”, nobody was giving Ali a chance. Ali had suffered losses to both Ken Norton and Joe Frazier whereas Foreman had knocked both of the out in them in the second round. Ali started brightly enough, but then adopted a tactic of lying on the ropes and absorbing punishment from Foreman. Foreman punched but Ali blocked them, shooting out counters of his own at every chance. This tactic, which Ali would later describe as “Rope-a-Dope” would have been seen to be suicide to many but becoming increasingly effective as Foreman threw haymaker after haymaker to down Ali, but Ali took them and answered back with his own. Entering the eighth Foreman was visibly exhausted. Ali pounced, trapping him on the ropes pummeling him with a barrage of blow that put Foreman down. He was unable to answer the count and a New Champion was crowned. Ali defended the title a further three times before facing Joe Frazier in the final installment of their classic trilogy.

The “Thrilla in Manila” took place, funnily enough, in the Filipino capital in front of crowd of 28,000. What followed was fourteen rounds of unsheathed brutality before Frazier was retired on his stool. Frazier’s eyes were so badly swollen that he claimed he couldn't see the punches coming, yet still protested when Eddie Futch withdrew him from the contest. Ali led from the front punishing Frazier with hooks, jabs and uppercuts wobbling Frazier frequently. Frazier gamely fought back every time and in the mid rounds unleashed one of his trademark left hooks right to Ali’s jaw. This punch looked like it could have felled a tree, yet Ali took it and stayed on his feet. By the end of the fight Frazier was taking continuous punishment. In the fourteenth, Ali landed punch after punch on a more and a more helpless Frazier. It was a mercy when the fight was stopped. Ali described the contest as the closest thing to dying he had experienced, whilst showing humility, describing Frazier as the toughest man alive. A further six defenses of the title followed before he lost the title to “Neon” Leon Spinks. He won the title back in the return before retiring. A brief comeback last two fights, both defeats, though Ali was a shell of his former self by this stage.

When people talk of athletes transcending sport, Ali is the one who first comes to mind. When you ask the common man or women on the street who they most associate with the sport of Boxing, Ali’s name will be said most frequently. As big a fan as I am of the Klitschkos, the average person on the street would struggle to name either of them as Heavyweight Champion of the world. When Ali was Champion, it was the exact opposite. He was one of the most recognized faces in the world, never mind sportsmen. This was the reason Sports Illustrated named him Sportsman of the Century, as did the BBC. The Heavyweight Championship of the World was once talked of as the greatest prize in sport and it was fighters like Muhammad Ali that made it so. This is a sport that has so little margin for error. Moving your head even fractionally may have devastating results. As former Heavyweight title challenger Tex Cobb once said ""If you screw things up in tennis, it's 15-love. If you screw up in boxing, it's your ass."" Ali excelled at this sport even when he had returned a faded fighter physically from his imposed exile. However like all greats at any sport he found other ways to win. His in ring intelligence set him apart from his contemporaries when he had lost the bounce in his step and his reflexes had dulled. It must not be forgotten that he displayed all these skills and attributes in what was the golden period of Heavyweight boxing. While he is remembered for his talents by some, others will recall him for his mouth. Ali was the ultimate showman. The press loved him and although he could be vulgar and downright disrespectful to his opponents at times, it could be said that this hyped fights and helped him to get that mental edge on his opponent. As I alluded to in my opening paragraph, I had my doubts when I was asked to champion another fighter due to his record, I find Ali to be the complete package. His record stands alone as far as Heavyweights go, while he had the showmanship and charisma that contributed to his everlasting legacy on sport. Long after we are all gone people will still talk of Ali. The Ali of today has been ravaged by Parkinsonism, an unwanted souvenir of a career spanning twenty one years inside the ring. Yet to see him light the Olympic flame at the Atlanta games was a one of the most iconic moments of the 20th Century. To this day he continues to battle his condition with just as much courage as he exhibited throughout his career in the ring. It takes a brave man to step through those ropes and Ali has shown both through his career and the aftermath, that he is right up there with the bravest of them all.
"


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Post by MtotheC on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:40 am

Roger Federer- Tennis- Championed by emancipator

"2001, Wimbledon Centre Court; defending and seven time Wimbledon champion 'Pistol' Pete Sampras, the man who had reigned at the top of men's tennis for close to a decade and considered by many to be unbeatable on this hallowed turf is at crisis point. At two sets all, 5-6 and 15-40 down in the deciding set, the ruthlessly efficient Sampras is facing match point.

It had been five years since anyone had managed to beat him in this tournament. His opponent a relatively unknown challenger in the form of Swiss teenager, 19 year old Roger Federer, is considered to be a prodigious but erratic talent. He seems to have all the shots but doesn't know quite how to put them together. His temperament has also been questionable. Today, however, things appear to be different. For nearly four hours the two protagonists have battled. To the surprise of the enthralled on lookers it was Federer who took the opening set. But Sampras hit back as any great champion is expected to do. The audience fully expected him to motor on and over power the youngster, except, as the match wore on, it appeared as if the Swiss was the one getting stronger, whilst Sampras appeared more and more uneasy. By the time the match score had reached two sets all, the tension had become palpable. The Centre Court crowd knew that there were no longer any favourites in this match; this would be a dog-fight, survival of the fittest - and the bravest; reputations would count for nothing.

On countless occasions throughout his career Sampras had bailed himself out of tight spots with his booming, swerving, pin-point accurate serve; the serve universally acclaimed as the greatest in history. He wipes sweat from his brow, places the ball against the racket, looks up, coils himself into the releasing position, then with a seamlessly fluid motion he serves a missile out wide to Federer's forehand and charges towards the net. Federer takes a step towards the ball and unleashes a forehand that whizzes past Sampras for a clean winner. He crumples to his knees in disbelief and celebration. A split-second of silence is followed by an eruption as the Centre Court crowd rise as one to salute a new King. The BBC commentator proclaims the birth of a new star. It is indeed the dawn of a new era.. The Federer era.

Looking back it was a poignant moment in sporting history. The one occasion on which the two greatest champions of the modern era were to play each other, and as fate would have it, on the court most beloved to either of them. It was a reminder of days gone by and a harbinger of those yet to come.

It would be another couple of years before Federer would really hit the heights, and what heights! 17 grand slams from 24 finals, including 7 Wimbledon titles. Over 300 weeks as the number one player in the world, including 237 consecutive weeks at the top spot. 6 World Tour Final victories from 8 finals. 23 consecutive grand slam semi-finals; 34 consecutive grand slam quarter finals (and counting); a run of 24 consecutive finals victories in all tournaments, 65 consecutive match wins on grass, 56 consecutive match wins on hardcourt, five consecutive Wimbledon and US Open titles, a run of 18 grand slam finals out of 19 grand slam tournaments played, 21 masters titles.. and on and on.. all of them records, many of them by a considerable distance. There are at least half a dozen Wikipedia articles dedicated to the career achievements and compiled statistics/records of Roger Federer. Peruse them at your own leisure - if you've got a few days to spare that is

But what makes Federer really stand out amongst the legends of tennis and indeed any sport is his unique game. Everything about his game is beautiful, everything is seemingly effortless. He glides around the court unhurried, with uncanny footwork and balletic grace. A sixth sense for being at the right place at the right time. He plays with perfect technique. Like an artist, Federer creates masterpieces; the court is his canvas. At heart, he is an attacking player who plays the game the right way; always looking to seize the initiative, to hit outright winners, to win spectacularly and brilliantly. He can hit every shot in the book. But he can also grind and play great defense. If it is so required he can switch to plan b, c, d, whatever it takes. In a sport dominated by super athletes, Federer at his peak was as fast and durable as they come. Modern tennis is played predominantly from the baseline (a stark contrast to the tennis of Sampras's heydey which was mainly serve and volley based, with the majority of points won at the net) and Roger Federer can play the baseline game as well as anyone. But he can do so much more. He can mix spins and slices, lobs and dropshots, powerful winners and delicate touch, from the back of the court or at the net. It is this unique fusion of power, skill and aesthetic grace, that has captured the imagination of millions of fans around the world. Federer doesn't just win, he wins with style.

When Federer established himself as the number one player in the world in late 2003 people were already starting to whisper about this potential phenomenon. He emerged from a group of fantastically talented youngsters: Safin, Hewitt, Ferrero, Nalbandian, Roddick, Haas, to establish himself as THE man to beat. As the years rolled by he gathered steam, and the initial curiosity that follows the emergence of any great talent - the excitement of thinking about all the possibilites - was replaced by amazement then incredulity and finally awe. As Andre Agassi said, 'Federer was the guy who came and took the game light years ahead.' He looked like something from the future. The American media even dubbed him 'Darth Federer' (in reference to his super-natural gifts and black clothing) at the 2007 US Open. More than anything else, the Roger Federer phenomenon turned the sport of tennis, which had been suffering a slump in popularity following the years of serve dominated play, into one of the most popular spectator sports in the world. He was and remains to this day, although not to the same extent, a phenom. Or as David Foster Wallace wrote in the New York Times:

""Roger Federer is one of those rare, preternatural athletes who appear to be exempt, at least in part, from certain physical laws. Good analogues here include Michael Jordan, who could not only jump inhumanly high but actually hang there a beat or two longer than gravity allows, and Muhammad Ali, who really could “float” across the canvas and land two or three jabs in the clock-time required for one. There are probably a half-dozen other examples since 1960. And Federer is of this type — a type that one could call genius, or mutant, or avatar. He is never hurried or off-balance. The approaching ball hangs, for him, a split-second longer than it ought to. His movements are lithe rather than athletic. Like Ali, Jordan, Maradona, and Gretzky, he seems both less and more substantial than the men he faces. Particularly in the all-white that Wimbledon enjoys getting away with still requiring, he looks like what he may well (I think) be: a creature whose body is both flesh and, somehow, light."" http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/20/sports/playmagazine/20federer.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 (By the way - this article by Wallace entitled 'Roger Federer as religious experience' is a great read)

Federer's style and success has allowed him to transcend the sport in a way that few sportsmen in history can match. He is a record four time winner of the prestigious Laureus Sportsman of the Year Award. In a recent poll conducted across 25 countries with 51,000 participants he was voted as the second most trusted person in the world after Nelson Mandela. During the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony, Federer received the loudest cheer of the night when he carried the Swiss flag into the stadium https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddojLWIjKK4 At the London Olympics Federer's pre-Olympic presser had more than 700 journalists, more than any other star at the games. He was mobbed by crowds during his recent tour of South America with political and sporting dignitaries (including Pele and Maradonna) feting him. He has the most impressive endorsement portfolio in all of sports including blue chip companies such as Nike, Mercedes-Benz (global ambassador), Wilson, Rolex, Credite Suisse, Gillette, Moet & Chandon etc.

But despite all the accolades Federer has remained a likeable, down to earth person. His fellow tennis professionals have voted him the winner of the annual Steffan Edberg Sportsmanship award a record eight times. He is the President of the ATP players council and in this capacity has campaigned for the benefit of all the players on the tour, including negotiating a fairer distribution of prize money for players who lose in the earlier rounds of the slams. The Roger Federer foundation is a charitable organisation with the stated mission of empowering children through education; it is involved in numerous projects throughout Africa.

It is incredible that with so many distractions (he's married with two young children to boot) Federer has still managed to stay at the top of such a global and competitive sport. As things stand he is the number 2 ranked player in the world and indeed was, just a few short months ago, the number one player in the world. Tennis has traditionally been a young man's sport but Roger Federer has redefined the parameters. I firmly believe that Federer is one of the outstanding candidates for the greatest sportsman of all time accolade. He fits all of the criteria: a sporting phenomenon, unmatched in his sport, an incredible record in a globally competitive sport which is both physical and skill-based, a global sporting icon who is one of the most popular sportsmen on the planet and a great role model, who plays hard but fair. But of course the Federer story is not over yet. He has declared his intention to play until the 2016 Olympic Games. There may yet be a few more pages to add to Wikipedia


Some quotes:

""[In the modern game], you're either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist or a hard court specialist ... or you're Roger Federer"" - Jimmy Connors

""He is the most naturally talented player I have ever seen in my life"" - John McEnroe

""He moves like a whisper and executes like a wrecking ball"" - Nick Bollettieri (legendary tennis coach)

""He is the most perfect machine I have ever seen playing tennis"" - Diego Maradonna

""Federer is capable of playing shots that other players don't even think of"" - Ivan Lendl

""We are witnessing history. This is the most dominant athlete on planet earth today"" - Jim Courier (4 time grand slam champion)

""Federer is the best player in history - no other player has ever had so much quality"" - Rafael Nadal

""Roger's got too many shots, too much talent in one body. It's hardly fair that one person can do all this—his backhands, his forehands, volleys, serving, his court position. The way he moves around the court, you feel like he's barely touching the ground. That's the sign of a great champion."" - Rod Laver

""He's the best I've ever played against. There's nowhere to go. There's nothing to do except hit fairways, hit greens and make putts. Every shot has that sort of urgency on it. I've played a lot of them [other players], so many years; there's a safety zone, there's a place to get to, there's something to focus on, there's a way. Anything you try to do, he potentially has an answer for and it's just a function of when he starts pulling the triggers necessary to get you to change to that decision."" - Andre Agassi

""He's a real person. He's not an enigma. Off the court he's not trying to be somebody. If you met him at McDonald's and you didn't know who he was, you would have no idea that he's one of the best athletes in the world"" - Andy Roddick

""Today I was playing my best tennis, trying lots of different things, but nothing worked. When you're playing like that and he still comes up with all those great shots you really have to wonder if he's even from the same planet"" - Novak Djokovic


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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:56 am

I can (just about) accept Ali over Bradman, but Federer over Pele? Really?

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Post by MtotheC on Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:58 am

How do you guys see the voting going today, will it be as close as the semis or will one of these two run away with it?

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Post by Guest on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:00 am

clap MtotheC for running this event despite some difficulties along the way.

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Post by ShahenshahG on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:02 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3E9u4-Rvmo

mthec unless Federer wins this in which case f you

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Post by mystiroakey on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:15 am

So here we have it! Islam V Swiss cheese.
Ali as great as he was, was a celebrity more than a sportsman in my eyes. He clearly beat some top heavyweights. But was he the best in his time. He wasn’t unbeatable. I suppose the question isn’t if a sportsman is unbeatable or not . The question is who would win more than not. And its possible that Ali being a Heavyweight within a significantly participated era could be considered the best boxer ever.

I can’t dispute that.

However my concern is with Boxing. Boxing cannot be the ultimate sport for me. Not just due to the fact it is an aggressive sport. But more about the fact it always has been run. The top fighters don’t always get to fight the other top fighters. There have clearly been a lot of drug cheats and many fixed fights. The sport is even corrupt today. Gangsters run the sport
Feds issue is clear. And that is Clay and Nadal.. But what sportsman doesn’t have an Achilles heel. At least fed has won on clay. But could this sportsman be matched up against Jack or tiger due to them almost being perfect golfers (well as perfect as we have seen anyway)- Both can win on links. Basically not only were they the best in there respected global sporting eras they were also the best on all surfaces!

However Is Golf as greater ‘sport’ as tennis. As much as I love golf. I feel that Tennis is the best sport out there. It has the perfect mix of fitness and skill. It is also a sport that has embraced tech. It isn’t a judged sport, a corrupt sport and it is a very fair sport (unlike boxing!!). It also has different surfaces which define different types of players. Yet fed has/had it all (well almost!)

I spent some time trying to work out the top sport and I have to come to the conclusion that it is tennis. Ali as great as he is, is surrounded by a cloud of uncertainty. Due to boxing yes but also due to the love affair many have. It’s easy to promote him as the ultimate. But this is about the Goat sportsman. And I have to respect the sport they play in first and foremost. If this wasn’t the case then P Taylor wins hands down. Fed also has the plus of being in the modern era – An era that is leagues ahead of previous ones due to enhancements in tech and participation and fairness.

I started of wanting woods or Nicklaus to win this and I think Bolt is the ultimate athlete. But when it boils down to it FED and TENNIS win as the GOAT of all time.
PS: I did this in word Smile


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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:17 am

so, the two biggest presences on these boards (rugby excepted, but they don't seem to have participated in the debate much) get their men into the final, coincidence? Wink

TBH I can't complain too much, Bradman, Ali and Federer make up my undisputed top 3, so two of them in the final is fine by me, despite my preference for Bradman.

For me, I have the same problem splitting these two as in the QF stage: namely, a decent part of Ali's case is built on his legacy, the way he transcended the sport (and still does ask someone in the street to name one boxer, and I'm fairly sure the answer would be Ali more often than not). However, the fact remains boxing affictionados don't view him as the best. Now then of course comes the whole p4p argument, etc. Ali was the greatest heavyweight, he dominated in a very strong (the strongest?) era. He's probably the greatest sporting icon of all time.

However, should we take into account some character issues? His treatment of other black boxers wasn't exactly ideal, and his strong (radical?) islam views are there too. I actually find Ali the man a fascinating (though not always particularly pleasant) person: there seems to be a lot of contradiction there, perhaps a product of the times.

Onto Federer. In my view there's no question that he was the greatest tennis player of all time. His shotmaking ability is quite extraordinary, and of course his strength across all surfaces was unheard of then, so in some sense he was the first "modern" tennis player (players since have realised they could be competitve on all surfaces). However, on this point, was he simply in the right place at the right time? Despite what some Federer fans claim, the slowing down of quicker surfaces (mostly Wimbledon but also some hardcourts) began in the early 00s, and this undoubtedly helped Federer produce a gameplan that could be effective on any surface.

Then of course we come to the huge elephant in the room with Federer: Nadal, or more specifically, Nadal on clay. That's a 5-0 on H2H at the French Open, an 8-2 H2H in slams, and 18-10 overall. Now while it's true that Nadal's game is a nightmare for Federer (particularly for his SHBH off the high topspin FH from Nadal) this is a somewhat easy argument too often used to simply brush off the biggest blot on the Federer copybook. Ultimately while it's tricky to hit that BH it's not impossible (Wawrinka hits it pretty well, Berlocq hit some crackers last night), and one does wonder whether part of Federer's failures against Nadal is due to a certain arrogance, an unwillingness to adapt his game when he plays Nadal. It's worth noting that whereas you might expect the H2H to get even worse with time as Federer ages it hasn't really. This is due to Federer (to my eyes) having changed his strategy somewhat when playing Nadal (runs around his BH more now for instance, takes it earlier on his BH and hits it hard cross court - particularly noticeable when he thrashed him in London a couple of years ago).

Finally, another problem with Federer (though this one not his fault) is it's as yet impossible to judge his legacy. Yes, at the moment he's still hugely popular, including in the new tennis markets like China, but in 50 years time will he be remembered as Ali is today? or more like a Rod Laver, a very fine sportsman but no more than that? This is of course impossible to answer, but it doesn't make the choice any easier...

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Post by Stella on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:20 am

No Bradman Crying or Very sad

I'm going for Ali. This is not about being the best but also transcending their sports, and Ali done that, and more.
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Post by Union Cane on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:22 am

Federer's record : W 888, L 201

So, on average, he loses one in every five games he plays.


Ali's record : W 56, L 5

Two of those defeats came when he was clearly past it, but even including them Ali has a win rate of 91% compared to Federer's 81%.

The stats don't lie.

Muhammad Ali by a mile.
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Post by Diggers on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:23 am

I dunno about this whole legacy thing. To be honest boxing is dying on its feet as a mainstream sport, the heavyweight title means jack really in the grand scheme of things, and add to that kids/people are increasingly fickle with shorter memories.
Do you honestly think most 14 year old kids know much about Ali these days, the legend will be failing quickly and in 50 years will be pretty much gone, its just the way of the world. The events of the 1960's just wont be very important in 2060.
Anyway I think Fed should win as Ali would never have done this -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umdb-FOOE60



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Post by mystiroakey on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:24 am

Those stats lie big time. They can not be used for comparison.

You might as well compare the moon to a cat.

And If you want to use stats to define the best then how can Ali beat Rocky

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Post by mystiroakey on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:25 am

Diggers wrote:I dunno about this whole legacy thing. To be honest boxing is dying on its feet as a mainstream sport, the heavyweight title means jack really in the grand scheme of things, and add to that kids/people are increasingly fickle with shorter memories.
Do you honestly think most 14 year old kids know much about Ali these days, the legend will be failing quickly and in 50 years will be pretty much gone, its just the way of the world. The events of the 1960's just wont be very important in 2060.
Anyway I think Fed should win as Ali would never have done this -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umdb-FOOE60



Good point. The sport is dying especially in that divison! What legacy??

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Post by Diggers on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:25 am

Union Cane wrote:Federer's record : W 888, L 201

So, on average, he loses one in every five games he plays.


Ali's record : W 56, L 5

Two of those defeats came when he was clearly past it, but even including them Ali has a win rate of 91% compared to Federer's 81%.

The stats don't lie.

Muhammad Ali by a mile.

Ali W56 L 5
Marciano W49 L 0

Marciano greater than Ali with his 100% record then as the stats dont lie......

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Post by Stella on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:26 am

Union Cane wrote:Federer's record : W 888, L 201

So, on average, he loses one in every five games he plays.


Ali's record : W 56, L 5

Two of those defeats came when he was clearly past it, but even including them Ali has a win rate of 91% compared to Federer's 81%.

The stats don't lie.

Muhammad Ali by a mile.

Not sure you can compare Tennis to Boxing with those stats.
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Post by Guest on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:26 am

Went for Federer in the end.

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Post by Union Cane on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:29 am

Obviously the stats can't be compared in that way, tongue was firmly in cheek there, but the fact is that Federer loses two of every ten games he plays.

Is that a good enough record for the greatest sportsman of all time?

Not in my book.
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Post by Stella on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:30 am

I take it your tongue is still in your cheek?
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Post by Diggers on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:33 am

Union Cane wrote:Obviously the stats can't be compared in that way, tongue was firmly in cheek there, but the fact is that Federer loses two of every ten games he plays.

Is that a good enough record for the greatest sportsman of all time?

Not in my book.
Come on, how often did Ali fight a year, 5 compared to Federers 70-80 matches. Plus Federer is facing top 5 and 10 opposition constanly, he has played Nadal what 20 odd times, how often did Ali have to fight the world number 2 ?
Stats do lie Im afraid.


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Post by super_realist on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:35 am

I imagine Ali was able to hand pick some of his opponents too.
If Ali had had 1000 fights as Federer has had matches I doubt the stats would be the same.

A truly stupid comparison.

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Post by Union Cane on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:41 am

super_realist wrote:If Ali had had 1000 fights as Federer has had matches I doubt the stats would be the same.

A truly stupid comparison.

If Federer only had 61 matches, he'd have lost 12 of them.

The 'he plays more so will lose more' argument doesn't stand up, we are trying to decide the greatest sportsman of all time here, after all. As the whole idea of sport is to win, I'd say the frequency of winning is a fairly important factor.
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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:42 am

Ali was quite clearly the best of his time, nobody else has a claim because he beat them all.

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Post by sodhat on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:44 am

Union Cane wrote:
super_realist wrote:If Ali had had 1000 fights as Federer has had matches I doubt the stats would be the same.

A truly stupid comparison.

If Federer only had 61 matches, he'd have lost 12 of them.

The 'he plays more so will lose more' argument doesn't stand up, we are trying to decide the greatest sportsman of all time here, after all. As the whole idea of sport is to win, I'd say the frequency of winning is a fairly important factor.

You'd probably have to weight it to his "prime" years too though, which adds another layer of subjectivity.

Of course Ali never lost in his supposed prime, but he also missed three years of it so it's a trickier comparison.

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Post by milkyboy on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:46 am

You must remember to put a smiley after your comments union, so the fed man love boys know when you're winding them up.

Ali did of course have a winning record against his closest rival though Whistle

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Post by sachin_federer on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:48 am

The original questions was, "who achieved the most in their sport". I don't see how and why legacy of a sportsperson is considered while voting.

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Post by super_realist on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:49 am

Union Cane wrote:
super_realist wrote:If Ali had had 1000 fights as Federer has had matches I doubt the stats would be the same.

A truly stupid comparison.

If Federer only had 61 matches, he'd have lost 12 of them.

The 'he plays more so will lose more' argument doesn't stand up, we are trying to decide the greatest sportsman of all time here, after all. As the whole idea of sport is to win, I'd say the frequency of winning is a fairly important factor.

That's a completely ridiculous statement and shows a complete misunderstanding of probability and statistics.

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Post by 88Chris05 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:49 am

Tricky one, as you'd expect for the final!

Federer the greater pure sportsman it could be argued, with Ali certainly the greater sporting icon, so to speak. It's a abalancing act when Ali's involved because you have to weight up how much significance should be put on factors outside of their purely sporting achievements.

I understand that Ali's personality does hold sway with some, but I guess my gripe would be that people only highlight the good ends of his personality and then totally airbrush out the bad (and it was very bad, at times). Surely if these more peripheral matters can be used to enhance his legacy we have to accept the other sides can reduce it slightly as well?

For that reason, when it comes to this process I've tended to just concentrate solely on sporting merit and achievements within their own fields. Hence, Federer is getting my vote in this final by the narrowest of margins.

To me, Federer is a more complete tennis player than Ali was a boxer, just about, and it's not so much that he's broken records in his sport, it's that he's demolished them. He's just so brilliantly different to most of the other top players of the past era or two; in a game which is now commonly defined by power over finesse, Federer's effortless brilliance has left me stunned so many times.

There's very little in it but, from a purely sporting point of view, the Swiss Maestro just edges out the Louisville Lip for me.
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Post by ShahenshahG on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:49 am

Every time a great player takes Federer into the trenches he folds, whereas Ali rises to greater heights

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Post by Diggers on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:49 am

Union Cane wrote:
super_realist wrote:If Ali had had 1000 fights as Federer has had matches I doubt the stats would be the same.

A truly stupid comparison.

If Federer only had 61 matches, he'd have lost 12 of them.

The 'he plays more so will lose more' argument doesn't stand up, we are trying to decide the greatest sportsman of all time here, after all. As the whole idea of sport is to win, I'd say the frequency of winning is a fairly important factor.

How many times did he fight top 3 ranked players compared to Federer playing them ?

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Post by mystiroakey on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:50 am

And the fact is probabilty and statistics can not be used to compare the two in regards to win/loss records cross sports..

The best stats we could possibly use between the two is who held the no.1 ranking longest..

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Post by Union Cane on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:52 am

How many "nobodys" does Federer play in the first / second / third rounds of tournaments?
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Post by super_realist on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:52 am

Even that isn't pertinent Oakey.
You can't compare a ball sport which goes through many rounds to a one off pugilist encounter.

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Post by milkyboy on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:53 am

88Chris05 wrote:Tricky one, as you'd expect for the final!

Federer the greater pure sportsman it could be argued, with Ali certainly the greater sporting icon, so to speak. It's a abalancing act when Ali's involved because you have to weight up how much significance should be put on factors outside of their purely sporting achievements.

I understand that Ali's personality does hold sway with some, but I guess my gripe would be that people only highlight the good ends of his personality and then totally airbrush out the bad (and it was very bad, at times). Surely if these more peripheral matters can be used to enhance his legacy we have to accept the other sides can reduce it slightly as well?

For that reason, when it comes to this process I've tended to just concentrate solely on sporting merit and achievements within their own fields. Hence, Federer is getting my vote in this final by the narrowest of margins.

To me, Federer is a more complete tennis player than Ali was a boxer, just about, and it's not so much that he's broken records in his sport, it's that he's demolished them. He's just so brilliantly different to most of the other top players of the past era or two; in a game which is now commonly defined by power over finesse, Federer's effortless brilliance has left me stunned so many times.

There's very little in it but, from a purely sporting point of view, the Swiss Maestro just edges out the Louisville Lip for me.

Judas

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Post by mystiroakey on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:53 am

Well I was trying to work out the best stats we could use. And i think rankings is possibly the only one that could be relevant

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Post by Diggers on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:56 am

Union Cane wrote:How many "nobodys" does Federer play in the first / second / third rounds of tournaments?

Id imagine that a fair few of Ali's first opponents didnt even deserve to be called sportsmen. They just had a pro license to get into a ring to get knocked out. Thats not being a sportsman, thats being a punchbag.
Every person Federer plays at least has a right to be called an athlete.

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Post by JuliusHMarx on Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:57 am

milkyboy wrote:
88Chris05 wrote:Tricky one, as you'd expect for the final!

Federer the greater pure sportsman it could be argued, with Ali certainly the greater sporting icon, so to speak. It's a abalancing act when Ali's involved because you have to weight up how much significance should be put on factors outside of their purely sporting achievements.

I understand that Ali's personality does hold sway with some, but I guess my gripe would be that people only highlight the good ends of his personality and then totally airbrush out the bad (and it was very bad, at times). Surely if these more peripheral matters can be used to enhance his legacy we have to accept the other sides can reduce it slightly as well?

For that reason, when it comes to this process I've tended to just concentrate solely on sporting merit and achievements within their own fields. Hence, Federer is getting my vote in this final by the narrowest of margins.

To me, Federer is a more complete tennis player than Ali was a boxer, just about, and it's not so much that he's broken records in his sport, it's that he's demolished them. He's just so brilliantly different to most of the other top players of the past era or two; in a game which is now commonly defined by power over finesse, Federer's effortless brilliance has left me stunned so many times.

There's very little in it but, from a purely sporting point of view, the Swiss Maestro just edges out the Louisville Lip for me.

Judas

Judas gets my vote in the G.D.A.T award.

Ali for me on this one though.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:00 am

I went for Ali as I cant have the GOAT being someone with a one on one record in the negative vs Andy Murray. I think if he was the greatest of all time he wouldnt have been so consistently bettered on clay either.

Ali did the thing I look for when you can. To be the man you gotta beat the man.

Anyway, Pele wins this competition for me as I think hes done amazing to get this far on a forum not represented well by football.

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Post by super_realist on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:03 am

I think it's unreasonable to have an expectation that is GOAT is faultless. Federers minor weakness is clay record, the least regarded surface in the game, and the least important major. Only a minor blot on his record.



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Post by Union Cane on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:05 am

super_realist wrote:I think it's unreasonable to have an expectation that is GOAT is faultless. Federers minor weakness is clay record, the least regarded surface in the game, and the least important major. Only a minor blot on his record.



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Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:07 am

the French Open is most certainly not "the least important major" I'm afraid, that would be the Australian. Not sure about clay being the "least regarded surface" either. I agree no sportsman is, nor ever will be faultless, but I don't think it's fair to brush Federer's weakness away so quickly. 8 slam defeats to one player for only two wins (those two wins coming on just the one surface by the way, significantly before Nadal reached his prime years)? I think that's more than a "minor blot" (when we're talking GOAT sportsmen anyway).

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Post by milkyboy on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:07 am

It's not a choice on stats. It's a judgement call, on how you perceive greatness. Ali's stats aren't the greatest from a boxing perspective but his highlights are as high as it gets.

For me a great sportsman isn't just about talent, its about competitive spirit, dealing with adversity, finding a way to win. Ali did this in the hardest wAy imaginable. Federer hasn't. When the competition improved he started to struggle, he has a poor record in 5 set matches and a losing record against his biggest rival. Maybe he was slightly past his best when they came along, but Ali was past his best for all his defeats.

Genuinely a big fan of federer, but he shouldn't be anywhere near the final in my book. Truth is, if he never existed, whoever else had the most slams would be here in place of him, on this board. Can't say the same about Ali.

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Post by Glas a du on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:09 am

Got to be Ali, Federer has no personality.
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Post by 88Chris05 on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:10 am

super_realist wrote:I think it's unreasonable to have an expectation that is GOAT is faultless. Federers minor weakness is clay record, the least regarded surface in the game, and the least important major. Only a minor blot on his record.

Perhaps the first time I've ever agreed with you, SR! Take any tennis player, even the elite ones (Federer, Laver, Sampras, Hoad, Gonzalez, Borg etc) and they all had one surface which, while they were still good on, they couldn't quite dominate on like they could others. Federer's won a fairly long list of Masters 1000 titles on clay, won the French Open, been a runner up there four times and this in the era of the greatest clay courter ever.

For everyone getting hung up on stats, I think you're missing the point and it's basically impossible to take any meaning from pure stats in direct comparison to each other across two vastly different sports. I think it's fairer to just judge by your own criteria who of the pair had / has more talent, who dominated their era more, who defied logic the most, who took their sport to a new level etc.

For me, that's Federer. Ali is seldom (though not never) called the greatest boxer of all time by fans and critics whereas Federer's been justifiably put forward as tennis' candidate countless times over. I believe that many of Federer's records will still be standing three or four decades down the line and that his style of play has more or less redefined the paramters of what many tennis fans thought was possible in this day and age. Just my take on it, mind you.
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Post by Jeremy_Kyle on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:11 am

Ali' a grossly overrated fighter, it's not me, the experts says this.

http://boxrec.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=9792

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Frazier

People seem so willing to jump on Tyson for his isolated defeat to Douglas. Why is nobody so much interested in the fight of the century and other many spectacular defeats of Ali'. Furthermore, his unbearably stupid trash talks, gorilla in manilla etc etc.

Federer achievements are neatly superior.
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Post by Diggers on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:17 am

milkyboy wrote:It's not a choice on stats. It's a judgement call, on how you perceive greatness. Ali's stats aren't the greatest from a boxing perspective but his highlights are as high as it gets.

For me a great sportsman isn't just about talent, its about competitive spirit, dealing with adversity, finding a way to win. Ali did this in the hardest wAy imaginable. Federer hasn't. When the competition improved he started to struggle, he has a poor record in 5 set matches and a losing record against his biggest rival. Maybe he was slightly past his best when they came along, but Ali was past his best for all his defeats.

Genuinely a big fan of federer, but he shouldn't be anywhere near the final in my book. Truth is, if he never existed, whoever else had the most slams would be here in place of him, on this board. Can't say the same about Ali.

To be fair, we hear a lot about Ali being past his best. Thats really just a judgement call, we dont know whethere the later vesrion of Ali was beter or worse, his strength may have got him through the Foreman fight whereas the younger Ali may have been too fragile. That has to be shelved as part of the debate.


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Post by mystiroakey on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:21 am

Diggers wrote:
milkyboy wrote:It's not a choice on stats. It's a judgement call, on how you perceive greatness. Ali's stats aren't the greatest from a boxing perspective but his highlights are as high as it gets.

For me a great sportsman isn't just about talent, its about competitive spirit, dealing with adversity, finding a way to win. Ali did this in the hardest wAy imaginable. Federer hasn't. When the competition improved he started to struggle, he has a poor record in 5 set matches and a losing record against his biggest rival. Maybe he was slightly past his best when they came along, but Ali was past his best for all his defeats.

Genuinely a big fan of federer, but he shouldn't be anywhere near the final in my book. Truth is, if he never existed, whoever else had the most slams would be here in place of him, on this board. Can't say the same about Ali.

To be fair, we hear a lot about Ali being past his best. Thats really just a judgement call, we dont know whethere the later vesrion of Ali was beter or worse, his strength may have got him through the Foreman fight whereas the younger Ali may have been too fragile. That has to be shelved as part of the debate.


Spot on - Others are ignoring that fact diggs. Yet bringing up Negative records v murray as a blot on Fed. Which to be fair has been at a point past his peak!

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Post by super_realist on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:25 am

I'm no fan of Ali or Federer, but Federer seems to be the one in which you can place greater emphasis for his pure sporting achievement. Ali's notoriety has a lot to do with his much spoken about personality. Like Bradman, many of the people voting for him will not have seen much footage on him and instead go on popular legend.

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Post by milkyboy on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:27 am

You know enough about boxing, to know that that judgement call is fairly universally held by people who know their boxing digs. But have it your own way,we'll shelve the concept of federer being past his best too, and look at those records against his peers a bit more closely. Looks like a flat track bully to me, who cleaned up in a weak era.





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Post by ShahenshahG on Thu Mar 14, 2013 11:32 am

milkyboy wrote:You know enough about boxing, to know that that judgement call is fairly universally held by people who know their boxing digs. But have it your own way,we'll shelve the concept of federer being past his best too, and look at those records against his peers a bit more closely. Looks like a flat track bully to me, who cleaned up in a weak era.





Harsh but some truth to that Federer doesn't like being made to work hence his record against Nadal, whereas Ali's best work has been when his back was against the wall.

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