Evander Holyfield would defeat Muhammad Ali if Ali were resurrected and both were at their respective peak. [Both users must agree that over time the average Boxer has improved their strategy]
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With 3 votes and 16 points ahead, the winner is ...
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Con absolutely must back that Ali will win or very exactly tie.
No Kritik of 'time travel is impossible' or 'they can't be compared' is allowed.
- For the purposes of this debate, let's set Holyfield's peak performance at 1990.
- Theoretically, Ali's peak performance should have been around 1968 or 69 but Ali was prevented from boxing for more than 3 years by Federal charges for refusing to be drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. Those charges were overturned by the US Supreme Court in an unanimous decision but those lost years ought to have been his best based on the traditional career arc of heavyweight fighters. For the purposes of this debate, let's set Ali's peak performance at 1967, just before Ali's conviction.
- PROBLEM: Burden of Proof- Pro never established respective burdens for proof. CON will consent to shared burden of proof if PRO acknowledges the weightier onus given instigation and refutation of the conventional wisdom regarding this topic.
- PROBLEM: PEAK ALI - As stated just above, boxing aficionados can't say with confidence that we ever saw Muhammad Ali's true peak potential because of his three year absence at the top of his game due to his religious observance and that observance's political consequence.
- PROBLEM: DOPING- Holyfield has been the subject of persistent rumors of cheating by use of steroids ever since his surprising super bulk up in the late 1980's and the development of heart problems commonly associated with taking human growth hormones. Although Holyfield has always denied cheating, strong evidence that the boxer was supplied illegal steroids arose out of two independent police investigations in 2007, raising the strong likelihood that Holyfield was juicing at his peak in 1990.
"In June 2004 a patient named Evan Fields picked up three vials of testosterone and related injection supplies from a Columbus, Ga., doctor, traced through Applied. Later that month Fields also obtained five vials of Saizen and three months later returned for treatment of hypo-gonadism, a condition whereby sex glands produce little or no hormones. Investigators noted that Fields shares both the birth date and home address of former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield. What's more, when SI called a phone number on a Post-It note attached to the Fields patient file, Holyfield answered."
- The Ring magazine polled 30 electors from the boxing establishment- trainers, matchmakers, historian, reporters, and boxers and asked them to rank the 20 top heavyweights. Of these 30, 22 placed Ali at the number one spot, 8 placed Ali placed second after Joe Louis, making Ali number one in the final rankings. (Holyfield tied with Lennox Lewis for 11th place.)
- ESPN ranks Ali as the all-time greatest heavyweight (Holyfield ranks 40th)
- The Associated Press ranks Ali as the top heavyweight of the 20th century. (Holyfield did not make the list)
- Sports Illustrated went even further by naming Ali the greatest athlete of the 20th Centur
- Phil Barnett gave the match to Ali in a unanimous decision:
"Holyfield’s ring nous and wily intelligence gives him some success against the naturally bigger Ali. However, Ali is a level above and as the fight becomes increasingly one-sided, Holyfield’s face is left a mess from the constant peppering of jabs and right hands."
- Mark Staniforth agreed:
"Arguably the modern fighter against whom Ali would have most trouble. Just as he struggled to figure out Ken Norton, Ali would be discomfited by Holyfield’s head-first persistence, and take some time to figure out his opponent in a fight unlikely to be easy on the eye. Ali, bulked up for extra strength, would likely slug his way to an unconvincing points win."
- Kelsey McCarson, in a similar article for the Bleacher Report, agreed Ali would win but thought a majority decision more likely:
"Evander Holyfield had everything he would need to give Ali fits. He was a sound boxer, a rough brawler and fought with an adaptable style. Ali would not want to be lured into a slugfest with Holyfield. While both men had tremendous heart and iron chins, it’s difficult to envision Ali being able to out-tough Holyfield.Still, Holyfield did have numerous flaws. He was a much better fighter as a heavyweight when his opponent would seek to engage him first. Fighters like Lennox Lewis, who chose to box carefully from a distance over the course of their two fights, posed problems for Holyfield. Moreover, Holyfield would sometimes try to prove his courage over winning a fight.Ali would use his legs versus Holyfield to make it more of a track meet than a street fight. Holyfield would have his moments. The two would stagger each other here and there, and Ali would get the worst of it more often than not. But Ali’s overall punches and sheer theatrics would give him the nod on two of the judges' scorecards. The other would have the bout as a draw."