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v2 G.O.A.T The Last 16 Group 3

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Taylorman
McLaren
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laverfan
Stella
VTR
super_realist
mystiroakey
milkyboy
ChequeredJersey
Duty281
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Diggers
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Dolphin Ziggler
hjumpshoe
Rowley
88Chris05
MIG
MtotheC
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Please vote for the participant you believe has achieved the most in sport

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Total Votes : 67
 
 
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Post by MtotheC Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:29 am

The first half of the v2 GOAT last 16 kicked off with a bang yesterday with two blockbuster superstar laden groups. The first of which pitted Roger Federer, Sugar Ray Robinson, Usain Bolt and Don Bradman to battle it out for just two spots in the final 8. Those two spots were eventually taken by Federer with 33 votes and Bradman ten behind with 23, despite strong support from the boxing board SRR exits the tournament along with Bolt.

The second of yesterday’s groups was a tight affair with Pele the outright winner with 33 votes, the battle in this group though was for second place with Gretzky, Johnson and Nicklaus all winning an equal share of votes throughout the day. It was eventually too tight to call between Nicklaus and Johnson who tied on 14 votes each and both progress into the next round, Gretzky however finished on 11, three votes short and exits the competition at this stage.

The second half of the last 16 kicks off today with another two blockbuster groups, the first of which see’s stars from basketball, rowing, swimming and boxing.

Please vote for the participant you believe has achieved the most in sport

Please leave a comment as to why you voted..

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Post by MtotheC Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:30 am

Steve Redgrave- Rowing- Championed by ChequeredJersey

"One of the key features, in my opinion, for the GOAT in all sports is that a candidate must transcend his sport and attain significance and influence in the lives of people beyond the hard-core sporting fan-base. They should also attain dominance within their own sport. Many sportsmen (this term includes women too) are talented, some enough that they stand out above their peers. Far fewer stand out across the eras of a sport. Of these, even fewer are household names, celebrities or national icons especially in the ‘less popular sports’. Other sportsmen garner fame and celebrity status, but few of these can say they achieved unique accomplishments for sporting reasons. Those that fit into both categories and also manage to be uniquely great across a type of sport, not merely their own specialty, are incredibly rare. Sir Steven Geoffrey Redgrave, CBE, deputy lieutenant, is one of these. I will endeavour to show how in this article. Sorry that it’s a bit long, I got carried away…

If you ask a member of the British public to name an Olympian, chances are Redgrave will be near the top of the list. If you ask them to name a rower, I’d be amazed if he weren’t. He remains the only person to win 5 Gold Olympic Medals in 5 consecutive games in an endurance sport (as well as a solitary Bronze) and he adds 9 Gold, 2 Silver and 1 Bronze World Championship Medals from 1986-99 to that tally. He won his first Gold at age 22 and his last at 38, 16 years of Olympic domination in a sport that is based on physical strength and fitness, attributes that for a man peak in one’s mid-twenties. During the majority of that time, Redgrave’s crews were expected to win every race they entered and in a sport that has a number of strong competitive nations and is subject to conditions and how the crew clicks and other variables they nearly did win every race for nearly 20 years.

Non-internationally, he won different categories at Henley Royal Regatta, the premier sprint racing rowing race in the world, 21 times, the last one at age 39. These events ranged from sweep (one bladed) to scull (two oars) and from singles on his own to coxed 4s with a number of partners, as were his Olympic medals. The only constant was Redgrave. He also represented England in the 1986 Commonwealth games where he won 3 Golds in different races. I don’t know how many times he won the premier Head (long distance) racing event in the world, the Head of the River Race on the Thames, but he certainly did win it with Leander VIII and IV several times as well as his sprint victories listed here.

Most rowers specialise at rowing on one side of the boat – Bowside (starboard, or the right side of the boat from the cox’ point of view) or Strokeside (port). As well as sculling with 2 oars, Redgrave rowed both Bow and Strokeside and won Olympic Gold on both sides, testament to his technical proficiency (something very underappreciated by lay people regarding rowing) not just his strength. He was also renowned as a tactician and made the calls in his coxless crews and knew exactly when to wait and when to push another crew.
The only thing missing from his portfolio is a Boat Race victory, due to ineligibility.

He was also World indoor rowing champion (on a ergometric rowing machine) in 1990 and was British bobsleighing Champion and has run several London Marathons for charity. He did all of this with Ulcerative Colitis and Diabetes Mellitus Type 1, both chronic and debilitating diseases with severe health effects, both worse under the stress of severe physical exertion which rowing training entails more than most existent activities.

These are his considerable achievements within sport. Related to these, he has been BBC Sports Personality of the Year, won a Knighthood and a CBE from the Queen, a special pin from the Olympic Committee for winning 5 Golds in consecutive Games, a Thomas Keller Medal from the International Rowing Federation for his Outstanding International Career, has Carried the Olympic Torch in the Olympic Stadium at 2012 London, been the UK’s Olympic Flag bearer in 1992 and ’96, won Celebrity Gladiators, a BBC Sports Lifetime Achievement Award. He has set up rowing academies in India, raised millions of pounds for Charity, is an ambassador for Fairtrade and Founder and President of the Steve Redgrave Trust, and the vice-president of Diabetes UK and involved in many other charities. He is now Sports Legacy Champion and a Member of Sports Relief’s Steering Committee. The President of British Rowing, a Steward of Henley Royal Regatta and Vice President of the British Olympic Association and now a decade after his retirement is still the face of Rowing.

Since his retirement he has done so much for Sport and charity. He is a British legend who represents his country now as an ambassador. He epitomises determination, pushing oneself beyond the limit and the honour of representing one’s country. Inside his sport he has been a master and a mentor and outside of it a Champion for all the qualities we get from playing sport and all the emotion we suffer through spectating it. He is surely the inspiration for so many rowers, so many British sportspeople across every sport. He has touched many lives through the greatest of his achievements, people crying with him and for him. For all this, I propose Sir Steve Redgrave as the GOAT.
"

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Post by MtotheC Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:30 am

Michael Phelps- Swimming- Championed by 88chris05

"There probably aren't enough superlatives in a dictionary to fully explain the greatness of Michael Phelps, or just how much he's achieved in his professional swimming career. I'll make my agenda clear early on - if Phelps doesn't make it to the advanced stages (let's just say, last eight or better) of this process, then I honestly would consider it a v2 travesty. If anyone reading this isn't a great fan of swimming, then don't fret - you don't need to be in order to gain an understanding of some sort of Phelps' accomplishments, as they're so glaring and awe-inspiring. So I'll do my best to give a reasonable explanation of them here.

Unless you paid absolutely no attention to the London 2012 Olympic Games, you'll know that, during the Games, Phelps became the most decorated Olympian of all time, with his London haul of four gold and two silver medals bringing his overall tally to twenty-two (a staggering eighteen gold, two silver and two bronze, spanning the Athens Games of 2004, the Beijing Games of 2008 and last year's London edition). This would be a damn good time for me to dispel and irksome myth, namely this idea I've seen thrown about that Phelps only became the most decorated Olympian of them all because there are ""loads of medals in swimming"" and / or because ""it's easy to win them in that sport."" First off, as I'll explain a little further down, there's nothing remotely easy about swimming and secondly, you'll find that, of the top ten most prolific Olympic medal winners in history, Phelps is the only swimmer amongst them. It should also be noted that Phelps is the owner of eleven individual golds in the Olympics (thirteen individual medals of all colours), more than any other man or woman in history - once again, this serves to dim the off-base talk suggesting that relay medals have given an over-inflated view of Phelps' achievements.

On top of that, there's thirty-four World Championship medals (a record), twenty-six of them being gold (a record), seven 'World Swimmer of the Year' titles (a record), a world record set at the tender age of fifteen years and nine months (a record), thirty-nine world records in all (a record), as well as becoming, in 2008, the only swimmer ever to win the coveted 'Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year' award.

Some CV: some athlete.

However, those numbers alone still can't fully convey how utterly dominant Phelps has been within his field, and nor can they give full context to his brilliance.

To me, even more than his medal collection, what sets Phelps apart is his unbelievable desire to test himself and take on new challengers, no matter how daunting they may be. By 2004, Phelps had already established himself as the most complete and best all-round swimmer on the planet at that time, with four gold medals and two silvers at the previous year's World Championships. By now, Phelps had established himself as being completely dominant in the 200m individual medley, 400m individual medley and also the 200m backstroke, and held the world record in all of these events. He was also the silver medal winner in the 100m butterfly. Let's remember here, before we get too far in, that all but a very select few swimmers spend their whole career concentrating and excelling in just one specialist event.

These were the events he'd been training for and participating in all of his career thus far, and it would have been easy for him to have stayed within these confines (although it was already one hell of a hectic schedule!) and remain undefeated throughout the 2004 Olympics. However, Phelps wanted to try and do the impossible; eclipse Mark Spitz's feat of seven golds in one Games in the 1972 Munich Olympics, and to do that meant adding the 200m freestyle to his schedule.

In that event, Phelps had to settle for a bronze medal, trailing in behind Australian legend Ian Thorpe and also Holland's Pieter Van Den Hoogenband. But the point is, a bronze in the 200m freestyle was still a remarkable feat - Thorpe and Van Den Hoogenband were the two preeminent freestylers of that era, and also the two fastest ever over that distance. Phelps, in comparison, had never even taken a stab at that discipline before Athens. It's worth noting that, after Phelps had dominated him at the 200m individual medley event at the 2003 World Championships, Thorpe never ventured in to one of Phelps' signature events again. However, the nineteen year old Phelps vowed to carry on until he became the world's best freestyler, to go along with being the world's best in the butterfly and medleys. Keep in mind that, at the time, most observers felt that this was a truly unreachable goal. Nevertheless, Phelps was the most successful athlete of the Games, narrowly falling short of Spitz's seven golds but still scooping up six golds (four of which came in individual events, equalling Spitz in that regard) and two bronzes.

His dominance in the butterly and medleys assured (he completed the 100m-200m double and the 200m-400m double in those events respectively in Athens), Phelps, good to his word, then set his sights on Thorpe's 200m freestyle world record (thought to be the best record in men's swimming at the time) of 1 minute 44.06 seconds, edging it out at the 2007 World Championships with a 1 minute 43.86 and then totally dismantling it with a 1 minute 42.96 clocking in winning the 200m freestyle gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.

I mean seriously, come on - he's not even meant to be a freestyler!

Almost as a bit of fun, Phelps even tried his hand at the backstroke in 2006, an event in which he was even less experienced and trained in than the freestyle. At the Pan Pacific championships that year, he won the silver medal in the 200m backstroke event. It was the only time he ever competed in backstroke at a major championship but, a year later, he showed his hand when he gave the discipline another whirl at the US Nationals; incredibly, he clocked the third fastest time ever recorded in the 200m backstroke, and went one better in the 100m, coming up with the second best time ever, just 0.03 seconds off the world record for the event. That a part-time (at best) backstroker could, almost at the drop of a hat, produce such performances in his weakest event, all while dominating the butterfly, medleys and freestyle (2007 had been the year in which Phelps scooped seven golds in seven events at the World Championships, lest we forget) is way beyond remarkable. I don't think there are sufficient words for it, in fact.

And then, of course, came the most successful Olympic campaign ever in Beijing in 2008, as Phelps took eight gold medals in eight events (seven of them in world record time, the other 'only' an Olympic record), eclipsing Spitz's aforementioned seven. His five individual golds at the meet (400m individual medley, 200m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 200m individual medley and 100m butterfly) also equaled the record for the most individual golds won in a single Olympics.

After the Games, a debate raged on about who was the stand out performer and / or biggest star of the Beijing Olympics - Phelps, or the incredible Jamaican track star Usain Bolt, who set world records in winning gold in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m sprints. Well, due to track and field's popularity and his telegenic personality (a contrast to the quiet, reserved Phelps), Bolt was the star of Beijing. But was he the greatest performer of the Games, as many claimed? Absolutely not. Phelps was. The variety of his schedule is scary. Ian Thorpe won nine Olympic medals, which is fantastic, of course. But all of them were in freestyle. Phelps' medals came in freestyle, butterfly and medley - to even compare, I honestly think that Bolt would have needed to add long jump to his arsenal and won the gold in that event, and / or perhaps a longer sprint such as the 400m.

After the eight golds of Beijing it was, naturally, impossible for Phelps to go beyond what he'd already done, however the medals continued to flow right up until his retirement after London 2012; five golds and one silver at the 2009 World Championships, four golds, two silvers and one bronze at the 2011 World Championships and then, to put the seal on his career, those four golds and two silvers in London.

Not only does Phelps boast unrivalled diversity and variety in the pool, then, but he also has insane fitness and unbelievable longevity to bolster his claim of being the greatest sportsperson of them all.

Take his Beijing feats, for example; to collect his eight gold medals, Phelps had to complete seventeen races in one week, what with the qualification rounds before the finals. While he was doing this across the past three Olympics, he often had rivals awaiting him near the end of the week - rivals who competed in just one specialty event and, having nothing like the work load of Phelps, would have been rubbing their hands together watching him fatigue himself. Milorad Cavic, a world champion over the 50m butterfly (and a former world record holder over the 100m distance) was awaiting Phelps in the 100m butterfy final in Beijing. How much fresher and less fatigued he must have been than Phelps at that stage was staggering - he'd dropped the 200m butterfly in order to maximise his chances of upsetting Phelps over the shorter course, and Phelps had already collected six gold medals that week. And yet, Phelps was still able to claim the gold in what was, without doubt, the greatest race I've ever seen in the pool.

Once more, to consistently be able to race across so many different disciplines for a week and then, at the end of it, be able to beat world-class specialists at their best event and after they've basically spent a week resting in comparison is a true mark of Phelps' ridiculous talent, and also his wonderful winning mentality.

What's more, swimming is a hard sport to stay at the top of, and seldom do its top practicioners produce anything like their best after their mid twenties. Before Phelps came along, no man in history had ever managed to win the same event at three successive Olympics in the pool, and many observers were wondering if the 'threepeat' was indeed possible at all, given how short a swimmer's peak is. Step forward Mr. Phelps, who made history at London 2012 by becoming the first man ever to do this, taking gold in the 200m individual medley (ahead of his great rival Ryan Lochte) to go along with the golds he took in that same event in 2004 and 2008. Not content with making history once, less than twenty-four hours later he was at it again, winning the final of the 100m butterfly (the last individual race of his career), turning a never done before threepeat in to a double threepeat.

Typical Phelps, really - nobody ever did it, and then he goes and does it twice at the same Olympics! It's just an outrageously fabulous achievement. And, for the third successive Olympics, Phelps took home more medals than any other athlete of the Games, regardless of discipline.

There have been some great all-rounders in sport; Gary Sobers in cricket, Frank Riijkaard in football - but none of them have been as complete across so many areas as Michael Phelps has been. If you wanted to be pedantic, then you could argue that Phelps lacks Usain Bolt's irrepressible star quality, or that he's not at the centre of the dreams of the world's youngsters the way that Lionel Messi is. But swimming is a sport which has grown immensely in participation levels, both amatuer and professional, in the past two decades, as well as being a truly demanding and punishing one in which incredible focus, dedication and a great deal of God-given talent are all neccessities. And Michael Phelps has been, to put it mildly, the Don Bradman of swimming. In many ways, in fact, you could argue that the 'Baltimore Bullett' has dominated his own field to an even greater extent than Bradman dominated his.

Not the greatest sporting personality, but as a sportsman in the purest form, and a true freak of nature, Phelps simply must be amongst the very, very elite of all time. Despite the length of this article, I still don't think I've done him full justice - that's how highly I think of Michael Phelps, unquestionably the greatest swimmer and most successful Olympian to ever walk the planet. "

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Post by MtotheC Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:31 am

Mohammed 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 MIG Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:46 am

Wow. I'm totally stumped on this one. No idea who to vote for.

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Post by 88Chris05 Fri Mar 08, 2013 9:52 am

Will stick to my guns and go with Phelps, purely on sporting achievement (so leaving aside Ali's pop culture appeal). Utterly dominant in every sense across his sport to a scary degree. Redgrave's five successive Olympic victories, niche sport or not, is fantastic, but by that same token Pinsent managed four on the spin, so he's not separated from his fellow greats by anywhere near as large a margin as Phelps is from his. My knowledge of basketball isn't great as I said, but I get the impression that Jordan isn't quite as universally accepted as the greatest basketball player as Phelps is the greatest swimmer (although he's still the overwhelming choice), and also factor in that he did have some pretty fine players around him.

I tend to think that individual sportsmen / events give us more certainty about who the pick of the bunch is; Phelps has eleven individual gold medals from the Olympics to his name as well as twenty-nine individual world records. Still my pick from this group if we take it purely from a physical sporting perspective.
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Post by Rowley Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:00 am

A tough group but it has to be Ali for me. Is slightly incongruous a vote for me as I don’t consider him the best boxer ever. To be honest I don’t even have him in my top three. However that is not to say his achievements are not inconsiderable, Foreman, Patterson, Frazier, Liston and Norton are all fine fighters in their own respect and Ali boasted winning records over every last one of them. When one considers many of these were achieved after a three year hiatus when many of his finest assets had deserted him you simply cannot understate the mans genius.

Also think there are a small but select band of sportsmen whose achievements and reputation outside the ring add greatly to their legacy. As I have said on countless occasions the deification and airbrushing of Ali’s history and character makes me puke but is no exaggeration to say at his peak the man was the most recognizable and famous man on the planet. To find him not in the last four of this process would not sit at all well with me.

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Post by hjumpshoe Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:00 am

Mohammed Ali. Much as i admire the other 3 and believe all 3 to be the GOAT's of their respective sports its Ali for me.

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Post by Dolphin Ziggler Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:28 am

Jordan or Phelps for me, probably gonna take me a long time with this one.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Fri Mar 08, 2013 10:43 am

Gone for Redgrave

I feel he's achieved more than Phelps in an olympic and world sense
Basketball well I just don't like the sport
Whereas Ali isn't the greatest in his sport

So by default i'm left voting for Redgrave, a fairly weak group though as there isn't anyone I would consider a strong contender to win the whole thing.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:02 am

Jordan

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Post by Hoggy_Bear Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:24 am

Has to be Ali.
Whether or not he is the greatest boxer ever, he is the most famous, most iconic sportsman in history.
He may not be the overall G.O.A.T., but I reckon he should be in the mix at the very least.

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Post by MIG Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:27 am

Ali is the GOAT in terms of sporting celebrity but how can someone thats not considered the GOAT of boxing based on ability/results etc beat 3 other men that are clearly GOATS in their fields? I still don't know who to vote for but it won't be Ali I don't think.

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Post by Diggers Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:33 am

Phelps for me, a phenomenon.

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Post by Poorfour Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:36 am

88Chris05 wrote:Will stick to my guns and go with Phelps, purely on sporting achievement (so leaving aside Ali's pop culture appeal). Utterly dominant in every sense across his sport to a scary degree. Redgrave's five successive Olympic victories, niche sport or not, is fantastic, but by that same token Pinsent managed four on the spin, so he's not separated from his fellow greats by anywhere near as large a margin as Phelps is from his.

Not sure that's quite fair. The difference between four golds in successive Olympics and five in successive Olympics is only one medal, but in a sport where winning multiple medals in a single Olympics is all but unheard of, it's also another four years of competition, the difference between twelve years at the top (remarkable by any standards) and sixteen. Sixteen years at the top of one of the most physiologically demanding sports is a huge achievement.

By contrast, Phelps' Olympic career was 8 years, Chris Hoy's 12 (though he only won silver in his first games in 2000).
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Post by Duty281 Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:44 am

Voted for Redgrave.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:47 am

So Chris you would mark Redgrave down because his nearest rival is greater than Phelps nearest rival, I could never vote for an american swimmer anyway too many question marks for me.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:49 am

Had to go for Ali, despite championing Sir Steve. Pretty sure he's my overall winner
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Post by milkyboy Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:52 am


3 special athletes and true transcenders of their sports, and one gym monkey who wouldn't have made the last 64 thousand were this site based in any other country

Phelps is a product of being a physical freak, and a sport where multiple medals exaggerate his clearly fantastic achievements.

Jordan or Ali, then. A sportsman who made me watch a sport I don't like, due to his athleticism and ability.. Or my childhood hero.

I'll go with Ali, to avoid suspicion spaghetti hans has hacked my username

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Post by 88Chris05 Fri Mar 08, 2013 11:54 am

True, Poorfour, but I'd still maintain that Phelps' achievements are definitely further separated from his nearest rivals than Redgrave's are (Phelps actually had a 12 year Olympic career by the way, as he made the USA team as a 15 year old at Sydney 2000 but didn't quite manage to medal, finishing fifth in the 200m butterfly, but that's besides the point).

The career at the top of swimming is almost always shorter than that of a rower, as history ably shows. I forget his name, but who was the rower who took a bronze at last year's Olympics a full twenty years after his first Olympic medal at Barcelona 1992?

You can pretty much guarantee that none of the swimmers who dominated at London 2012 (so Phelps, Missy Franklin, Rebecca Soni etc) will be getting medals in 20 years time. Phelps' career is shorter than Redgrave's but that's because of his sport, not a shortcoming of the man himself. By swimming standards, Phelps' longevity is actually unbelievable; first world record as a fifteen year old and still winning Olympic gold aged 27 (again, relatively long in the tooth for a swimmer) as well as being the only man in history to win an Olympic title in the same event three times in a row.....Which he did twice!

I respect Redgrave's achievements massively, but his sport is a little too niche in direct comparison to Phelps' to put him ahead, and that's not to mention that all of Phelps' greatest moments have been achieved on his own. That doesn't mean that winning twos / fours gold medals in rowing as part of a team doesn't still require incredible fitness, good technical mastery and the like, but as I said above I think it's always a little easier to determine just who is better / greater than who when it's an individual sport (barring relays) rather than a team one.

The way you're wording it is just twisting needlessly, Ghosty. Phelps dominated swimming and separated himself from the rest of the pack more than Redgrave did in his own field in my opinion, doesn't need to be said any more bluntly than that. Also, what are these 'question marks' over Phelps due to him being American?
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Post by Imperial Ghosty Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:02 pm

Chris I think you're overlooking that 8 of his golds were achieved in relays.

I don't care much for winning multiple golds in a single olympics when there are so many readily available you even highlighted it yourself with the mention of Franklin and Soni, there were a few more multiple gold medalists at london too.

Redgrave did as much as physically possible in his sport, Phelps has been a product of the swimming program and yes those questions marks are the dreaded D word, as far swimming goes it's riddled with it.

Phelps like Bradman is another statistical anomaly.

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Post by Guest Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:13 pm

For me the main consideration in all of this is sporting achievement. Key elements of this are global nature of the sport and the level of competition. I also feel there needs to be a real physical/athletic element to the sport. Thus Phil Taylor's sporting achievements objectively may be greater than say Maradona's but the level of competition was much lower and the physical exertion required almost non-existent, hence Maradona would rate higher.

With that in mind, in this group, the two main protagonists for me are Phelps and Jordan.

If this competition was called greatest sporting icon/most charismatic/famous sportsperson of all time then Ali would win hands down. However based mainly on sporting achievement Ali is not even a top three GOAT of boxing. However his iconic status alone warrants him a reasonably high place in the pecking order, but not above, imo, Phelps and Jordan.

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Post by 88Chris05 Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:21 pm

Imperial Ghosty wrote:Redgrave did as much as physically possible in his sport, Phelps has been a product of the swimming program and yes those questions marks are the dreaded D word, as far swimming goes it's riddled with it.

Let me get this straight. You've talked up Merckx, put the title of 'Greatest cylist ever' upon his head and said he should be a contender here despite him failing three separate tests in a sport where the 'D' word hangs over it much more than swimming. When Marquez, again in a sport where the 'D' word is much more prominent than in swimming today and also a sport where the testing is lax at best, hired a conditioning coach with a history of supplying PEDS to athletes as well as masking agents for his recent fight against Pacquiao and then turned up with a new-found physique which made his former self look like a stick insect, you never cast any doubts over the legitimacy of his win, even in light of this additional punching power out of nowhere.

But Phelps, in a sport which has a much more stringent testing programme, in which he's by far the most tested athlete, who spent his career signed up to 'Project Believe' in order to be tested in excess of all WADA guidlines, who has never been associated with anyone liked to PEDS and who has never returned a single positive sample his whole life should, according to you, have question marks over him and have his claims to be the sporting GOAT reduced on that basis.

Unbelievable.

Take out Phelps' 7 relay golds if you wish. That still leaves him with 11 gold medals from individual events, more golds than any other man or woman in history regardless if those other sportspeople won them in individual or team events. I agree with you that Regrave did just about everything he could in his sport. Phelps did the same, but in a sport where he was often thrown back on his own rescources, in a sport more international and with a deeper talent pool than rowing and in a sport where he set world records across a number of different disciplines.

Phelps 8 golds in Beijing was a historical sporting feat celebrated and covered heavily all over the world. No doubt you'll tell us all that it's only because he's American, but the fact that it sent the sort of shockwaves around the world that only a few sportsmen have managed (Redgrave not being one of them, in my eyes) says a lot, I think.
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Post by milkyboy Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:23 pm

Emancipator, don't let the fact that the boxing board members who post on these threads, are lovers of history's unsung heroes. Ali makes 9 out of 10 boxing fans top 3 goats. True that Robinson tops most

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Post by ChequeredJersey Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:24 pm

milkyboy wrote:
3 special athletes and true transcenders of their sports, and one gym monkey who wouldn't have made the last 64 thousand were this site based in any other country

Phelps is a product of being a physical freak, and a sport where multiple medals exaggerate his clearly fantastic achievements.

Jordan or Ali, then. A sportsman who made me watch a sport I don't like, due to his athleticism and ability.. Or my childhood hero.

I'll go with Ali, to avoid suspicion spaghetti hans has hacked my username

Bit harsh and rather lacking in knowledge or insight into his sport. Also this site isn't based in any other country
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Post by Imperial Ghosty Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:34 pm

I don't care much for swimming or Phelps Chris, Merckx paid his dues for failing the tests which aren't all that cut and dried anyway, the testing program was a mess back then with substances being added and removed on an almost weekly basis. Nor have I at any point been overly complimentary of Marquez's win over Pacquiao, which boxers are clean and which are not is anyones guess but I am very vocal in my praise for Donaire and Mayweather for undergoing more stringent testing.

Redgraves 5 in a row outdoes all other olympic achievements as far as i'm concerned, he isn't afforded the leisure of having 9 or 10 medals to go for at each time.

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Post by Guest Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:43 pm

milkyboy wrote:Emancipator, don't let the fact that the boxing board members who post on these threads, are lovers of history's unsung heroes. Ali makes 9 out of 10 boxing fans top 3 goats. True that Robinson tops most

Most boxing experts or aficionados if you like would not have Ali in a top three.

I agree that casual boxing or sports fans would probably have him in the top three but I think this is more down to the legend of Ali rather than Ali the boxer.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:48 pm

From my experience Ali tends to be around the 4/5 mark Milky, most scribes have the top 3 as Robinson, Armstrong and Greb, he's not a million miles away from that but enough to stop him being considered the greatest.

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Post by 88Chris05 Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:51 pm

Phelps has never gone for 9 or 10 medals in a single Games either, Ghosty. If anyone would actually read the article I wrote then they'd realise that Phelps has a hell of a lot more going for him than just his medal count.

Try and justify Merckx all you like, that's not the point. Not downgrading him but then downgrading Phelps is plainly ridiculous. If Phelps has some doubts over him, then Merckx has a plethora of them. Merckx paid his dues, fine. Phelps never had to because he never failed a single test, let alone three of them.

Mayweather and Donaire sign up for excessive / additional and more stringent testing and you give them praise. Phelps does exactly the same and you maintain he has question marks over him. What's the difference? One sport you like and the other you don't basically.

If you put Redgrave over Phelps then fine, but at least do it for proper reasons rather than what seems to be jingoism or a simple dislike of a the latter's sport. Double standards all over the shop today.
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Post by Poorfour Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:52 pm

88Chris05 wrote:
Imperial Ghosty wrote:Redgrave did as much as physically possible in his sport, Phelps has been a product of the swimming program and yes those questions marks are the dreaded D word, as far swimming goes it's riddled with it.

Let me get this straight. You've talked up Merckx, put the title of 'Greatest cylist ever' upon his head and said he should be a contender here despite him failing three separate tests in a sport where the 'D' word hangs over it much more than swimming. When Marquez, again in a sport where the 'D' word is much more prominent than in swimming today and also a sport where the testing is lax at best, hired a conditioning coach with a history of supplying PEDS to athletes as well as masking agents for his recent fight against Pacquiao and then turned up with a new-found physique which made his former self look like a stick insect, you never cast any doubts over the legitimacy of his win, even in light of this additional punching power out of nowhere.

But Phelps, in a sport which has a much more stringent testing programme, in which he's by far the most tested athlete, who spent his career signed up to 'Project Believe' in order to be tested in excess of all WADA guidlines, who has never been associated with anyone liked to PEDS and who has never returned a single positive sample his whole life should, according to you, have question marks over him and have his claims to be the sporting GOAT reduced on that basis.

Unbelievable.

Take out Phelps' 7 relay golds if you wish. That still leaves him with 11 gold medals from individual events, more golds than any other man or woman in history regardless if those other sportspeople won them in individual or team events. I agree with you that Regrave did just about everything he could in his sport. Phelps did the same, but in a sport where he was often thrown back on his own rescources, in a sport more international and with a deeper talent pool than rowing and in a sport where he set world records across a number of different disciplines.

Phelps 8 golds in Beijing was a historical sporting feat celebrated and covered heavily all over the world. No doubt you'll tell us all that it's only because he's American, but the fact that it sent the sort of shockwaves around the world that only a few sportsmen have managed (Redgrave not being one of them, in my eyes) says a lot, I think.

Is swimming really more international and with a deeper talent pool than rowing? In terms of international competitiveness, 19 different nations won medals in 42 different rowing events at the 2012 Olympics; in swimming it was 18 different nations in 101 events. At the elite level I calculated in the previous version of the debate that there are around 7000 Olympic level rowers; the world championship pool is probably close to twice that (there are more events). I don't know how best to estimate the pool in swimming, but I would doubt it's more than a couple of times the size; allowing for the different numbers of events that's not a decisive difference.

A typical Olympic grade rowing race over 2,000m takes about 7 minutes. An event would normally involve heats, semis and final. That's a much bigger physical commitment than a swimming race of around 2 minutes, and a much greater burden on recovery.

By the way, the guy who won bronze after 20 years in 2012 was one of the Searle brothers. But he was competing in the eight (which is a bit different to the other boats and where you're more reliant on your team-mates), and he'd had a long break from top level rowing. It's a big achievement, but I'd say it's one thing to get back to competitive fitness after a break, and quite another to maintain it at gold medal level year after year after year.
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Post by milkyboy Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:54 pm

ChequeredJersey wrote:
milkyboy wrote:
3 special athletes and true transcenders of their sports, and one gym monkey who wouldn't have made the last 64 thousand were this site based in any other country

Phelps is a product of being a physical freak, and a sport where multiple medals exaggerate his clearly fantastic achievements.

Jordan or Ali, then. A sportsman who made me watch a sport I don't like, due to his athleticism and ability.. Or my childhood hero.

I'll go with Ali, to avoid suspicion spaghetti hans has hacked my username

Bit harsh and rather lacking in knowledge or insight into his sport. Also this site isn't based in any other country

Gym monkey is harsh, funnily enough i am aware that it requires technique, but fundamentally its a power endurance sport that requires athleticism lungs and mental fortitude. But when we're down to the last 16 of a world goat across all sports, i personally think it's harsh that more deserving participants are being overlooked in his favour. Clearly a bunch of people on here disagree which is what forums are about. As for it being a board in this country, maybe you're right, lets support the Brits... Gavin Hastings still in?

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:57 pm

I heavily favour endurance sports Chris and I have every right to question the legitimacy of the US swimming program, unknowns coming out of nowhere to smash world records doesn't sit easy with me and Phelps as part of that system comes under the same scrutiny.

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Post by Diggers Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:01 pm

Imperial Ghosty wrote:I heavily favour endurance sports Chris and I have every right to question the legitimacy of the US swimming program, unknowns coming out of nowhere to smash world records doesn't sit easy with me and Phelps as part of that system comes under the same scrutiny.

So you question any body that is consistently successful ? So that would include the British rowing and especially track cycling programs who seem to have a production line of talent ?

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:02 pm

Where did I say anything about prolonged levels of success?

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Post by Diggers Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:06 pm

Ultimately it comes down to this for me. If Matthew Pinsent never became a rower would Redgrave have 5 golds ? If the British rowing team werent so strong and always put together what they deemed the crew most likely to win an event would Redgrave have 5 golds.
The answer is no for me on both counts. It cannot categorically be said he won any of his golds purely on his own merits, that to me puts him a long way down the list of great Olympians.

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Post by Diggers Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:07 pm

What are you saying then becasue it doesnt make any sense to me. I dont see why Phelps success should come under anymore scrutiny than Redgraves.
Whats the difference ?

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Post by mystiroakey Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:07 pm

Same with all team players though diggs.

If pele and maradona were Welshmen like bale or giggs would they be touted as goaties!

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Post by 88Chris05 Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:09 pm

Imperial Ghosty wrote:I heavily favour endurance sports Chris and I have every right to question the legitimacy of the US swimming program, unknowns coming out of nowhere to smash world records doesn't sit easy with me and Phelps as part of that system comes under the same scrutiny.

You're right, you have every right to question it if you like, as long as you cast the same eye over the sports you like and apply the same level of scrutiny. But so far you haven't, as my points regarding Merckx and Phelps show.

Is swimming the only sport to have people come from 'nowhere' to break world records? Nope. Usain Bolt was easily beaten by Tyson Gay over 200m at the 2007 World Championships, fast forward a single year and he's blowing them all away over that distance and also breaking Johnson's thought to be unbeatable 19.32 world record after never getting within even half a second of it before. Likewise, he'd never even ran the 100m before late 2007. Within nine months of taking that event up he was clocking an easy-looking 9.69 world record to win gold there, too.

Do you cast suspicion over him?

Anyway, Phelps didn't come out of nowhere at all. He was a tremendously consistent junior swimmer who was breaking age records for fun in his youth. His first world record came at 15, his first world championship gold at 16. None of his world records came out of the blue and each of them was improved upon steadily as he reached the age of 22-24 ish, just about a swimmer's peak. Please don't paint him as some strange phenomenon who went from being an also ran to top dog in the space of months, ala Flo-Jo.
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Post by Diggers Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:12 pm

mystiroakey wrote:Same with all team players though diggs.

If pele and maradona were Welshmen like bale or giggs would they be touted as goaties!

Probably not and the team element needs to be considered as part of this process, but Im trying to place this into an Olympic context and where Redgrave stands in the Olympic pantheon of greats, which for me is high but not at the top level.

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Post by super_realist Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:12 pm

mystiroakey wrote:Same with all team players though diggs.

If pele and maradona were Welshmen like bale or giggs would they be touted as goaties!

Can you imagine if Bale was English? Jesus, he'd be touted as a £1bn player.

Thank goodness he's a leek muncher.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:13 pm

I'll paint him as I so wish Chris, I don't like either him or the sport he competes in simple as that really.

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Post by mystiroakey Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:14 pm

Redgrave is here on longlevity i suppose.

One of the true greats in that respect.

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Post by Diggers Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:18 pm

mystiroakey wrote:Redgrave is here on longlevity i suppose.

One of the true greats in that respect.

A bit like the Queen, or Bruce Forsyth.

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Post by milkyboy Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:21 pm

emancipator wrote:
milkyboy wrote:Emancipator, don't let the fact that the boxing board members who post on these threads, are lovers of history's unsung heroes. Ali makes 9 out of 10 boxing fans top 3 goats. True that Robinson tops most

Most boxing experts or aficionados if you like would not have Ali in a top three.

I agree that casual boxing or sports fans would probably have him in the top three but I think this is more down to the legend of Ali rather than Ali the boxer.

Can't agree emancipator. True that with ali, its tricky to separate legend from fact, its also less about career stats than who when and how he did what he did. frankly boxing all time great lists are totally subjective as the weights and Competition vary so greatly its an impossible task. Doesnt stop people trying and Ghosty is more a stats buff than me, so he can quote scribes and aficionados who dont have ali in. In my experience, Most genuine boxing fans have armstrong Ali and Robinson as a top 3. Those that want to demonstrate their vast knowledge of boxing have Harry greb in, then get upset when no-one votes for him in poles like this;)

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Post by mystiroakey Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:25 pm

Diggers wrote:
mystiroakey wrote:Redgrave is here on longlevity i suppose.

One of the true greats in that respect.

A bit like the Queen, or Bruce Forsyth.


Well if we awarded medals for hosting(which I suppose we do) Brucey wouldn't/doesn't get near.. Redgrave won a gold on every outing!

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:25 pm

The IBRO have the top 3 as I do while from my experience of this site then Ali often comes 4th behind the three too, having Greb above Ali isn't about trying to act clever otherwise you'd end up with Langford and Fitzsimmons above him too.

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Post by milkyboy Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:29 pm

Imperial Ghosty wrote:The IBRO have the top 3 as I do while from my experience of this site then Ali often comes 4th behind the three too, having Greb above Ali isn't about trying to act clever otherwise you'd end up with Langford and Fitzsimmons above him too.

No need to bring rowley's list into this ghosty

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:34 pm

No mention of Burley though Milky.

It is largely subjective you're right and it depends by what criteria you use as to what makes the greatest, you could argue that Ali is in fact the greatest boxer of all time if we ignore weight classes because simply put he beats Robinsons every time. In a pound for pound sense then it's Robinson but in a definitive sense it's Ali.

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Post by mystiroakey Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:36 pm

I think only heavy weight boxers should be GOATS of boxing.

The sport is handicapped, therefore only 'scratch' boxers should be considered.

You can be pretty much any weight you want in the heavyweight arena(no maximum limit!)

Yes this system may suck to hardcore boxing fans. But it is the only way of judging them based on logic

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Post by VTR Fri Mar 08, 2013 1:38 pm

Isn't that the point with Ali? Most people wont be boxing aficianados and will view the Heavyweight title as the most prestigious. So Greatest Heavyweight = Greatest Boxer for many.

Similar to me that Rudisha's performance last year was the standout track performance of the Olympics, but most people won't have been aware of it but would certainly know all about Bolt in the 100m.

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