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Ali v Shavers

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Ali v Shavers Empty Ali v Shavers

Post by rapidringsroad Thu 05 May 2022, 4:44 am

Due to a spell of bad weather that kept me out of the garden I decided to watch an old Ali fight on Youtube. I picked Ali v Shavers mostly because I'd forgotten much about the fight and as Ali only had four more fights left in his career, three of which he lost. I was surprised how slow he looked, and how many hard shots he took to the head. I'm sure that fight must have contributed to his health issues that troubled him later. But what surprised me most was the result, a unanimous decision of nine rounds to Ali and six to Ernie Shavers. To me Ali seemed to be going backwards or trying to lie on the ropes all the time with the occasional flurry of punches which Shavers for the most part took on his gloves. I know Ali was coming to the end of a hard career but that decision must surely have been a gift.

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Ali v Shavers Empty Re: Ali v Shavers

Post by TRUSSMAN66 Thu 05 May 2022, 11:05 am

Nice article..Yes it was the era when Ali was getting the benefit of home judging.. Though I think Shavers was contentious rather than dubious..Norton 3 and Young for me were worse..

Ernie is regarded as one of the best fighters never to win the title...Had Holmes in all sorts of trouble in the 7th round and missed his moment..Think Holmes would have been stopped with many refs especially the Tyson v Williams one..

Perhaps he should have beaten Ali wouldn't have been any moans if he did.. Top class Heavy though and he cleans out everyone bar Fury today and maybe even him....Fought the great Heavies of his era...Finishing Norton's career after his great fight with Larry.. Beating Lyle...Draw with Young...Ali..

Great power.  Beast of a Man.

Think Ali's war with Foreman was the start of his problems...Legs were gone..But big punching Shavers certainly attributed to his demise.

Top 50 Alltime Heavy for sure..

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Ali v Shavers Empty Re: Ali v Shavers

Post by 88Chris05 Thu 05 May 2022, 12:06 pm

I remember reading an interview with Ferdie Pacheco saying it was the Shavers fight (just the prospect of it - pretty sure he left the camp before the actual fight itself) which made him walk away from the Ali circus.

Said he'd been seeing ominous signs of deterioration in Ali both inside and outside the ring for a while beforehand, and while he understood that a lot of people depended on Ali financially and that the gravy train would be rolling on for a little while yet, he'd implored Ali's handlers to feed him nothing but hand-picked safe bets from now on. They apparently gave him assurances that this would be the case....And then they go and sign to fight Shavers of all people. At that point apparently Pachecho just couldn't stomach it anymore and didn't want any part.

I have heard one or two whispers of people scoring this narrowly for Shavers before. Strangely enough it's one of the very few championship fights of Ali I've never watched in full - but obviously have seen enough of it to know what he got clobbered around a few times and stood up to some thunderous punches from Shavers. Seems that those who score it to Shavers are in a minority, and it's not as controversial as the third Norton fight for instance (I've never been able to score that one for Ali no matter how many times I watch)...But as I say, there are some who think it was a lucky verdict for Ali which has gone largely unnoticed.

Will have to take a look when I can and see what I think.
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Post by rapidringsroad Fri 06 May 2022, 4:10 am

I agree with you both about Ali v Norton 3. The next time Ali deprived Norton of a chance at becoming champion was after the Ali v Spinks first fight as Ken Norton was promised a fight with the winner, but we know what happened there. Norton had a good chance of beating either of those two to become a deserved Champion.

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Post by Soul Requiem Fri 06 May 2022, 6:49 am

Norton was awarded the WBC title when Spinks rematched Ali.

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Ali v Shavers Empty Re: Ali v Shavers

Post by rapidringsroad Fri 06 May 2022, 10:08 pm

I didn't know that Soul. Thanks.

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Ali v Shavers Empty Re: Ali v Shavers

Post by 88Chris05 Thu 16 Jun 2022, 12:53 am

As suggested above, took some time out to watch this fight in full for the first time.

You can put me in the sizeable minority which had Shavers winning this, although I had it close (two rounds or so) and there were a couple of debatable rounds. But based on the accepted scoring criteria - especially clean punching and effective aggression - I'd probably struggle to give Ali any better than a draw here.

He just didn't do enough fighting, especially in the middle stretch of the fight where his performance was pretty awful for long spells. He was very open for Shavers' overhand right throughout the fight and seemed to get the benefit of the doubt in a lot of the dreary rounds based on his reputation and the picture he painted with his body language; occasionally getting up on his toes, clowning around, feigning being hurt and playing to the crowd. All well and good, but that shouldn't win rounds.

Shavers definitely showed Ali a bit too much respect, though. He was clearly very conscious of falling prey to the Rope-a-Dope, so often refused to engage when Ali retreated there, and was also strangely reluctant to follow up whenever he landed that big right on Ali, despite the fact you can hear his corner imploring him to put a combination together and remember that he's got two hands to use. But whenever he landed it he seemed to accept the clinch or back away to let Ali get set again. I can only assume he was also being mindful of his occasionally dodgy stamina and was a little too worried about emptying the tank.

One or two factors which might partly explain Ali's lacklustre performance (apart from him being way past his prime by then, of course): until watching it in full, I wasn't aware that this had been an open scoring fight, but for television broadcasts only. The judges were extraordinarily kind to Ali in the early goings of this fight (as was Gutteridge with his fanboy commentary), and Dundee had predictably employed a runner to go back and forth between the ring and a TV behind the scenes so Ali's and his corner could be kept in the loop about how the scoring was going. Ali therefore almost definitely knew he was being rewarded by the judges for doing very little, which might explain why he only really came to life in round ten onwards, once he got wind of the fact that some rounds were starting to be scored in Shavers' favour.

Also, having done a bit of reading on Shavers' reflections of this fight, he says he didn't really kick up a fuss about the verdict because he never saw himself as a decision guy anyway, and hadn't really pondered beforehand about the possibility of winning on points. He said his objective had simply been to knock Ali out, and once he didn't manage this he felt he'd failed regardless of the verdict.

Just as a pointer, here's a link to some fan scores (admittedly watching the fight in retrospect) on a site I'm sure some of you will have seen before. 19 had it to Ali, 15 to Shavers with one a draw. More going for Shavers than I thought there would be, but again look at the margins - tends to be pretty tight whichever way they had it.

http://eyeonthering.com/boxing/muhammad-ali-vs-earnie-shavers


Last edited by 88Chris05 on Thu 16 Jun 2022, 11:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by TRUSSMAN66 Thu 16 Jun 2022, 9:57 am

Norton 3 and Young got the shaft around that time...The bodies were protecting Ali to a certain extent for his moneymaking ability..

Perhaps the fact Neon Leon was a Young Olympian with great potential made it easier giving him his just due..

Probably hasn't been a top 10 p4p who hasn't had a robbery in their favour

Louis v Walcott...Leonard v Hearns 2...Mayweather v Castillo..

I had Barkley 3 rounds up on Duran..

Money brings out crap scorecards.

As for Ernie what a good Heavy...Glad to see him on a thread

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