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It is not easy to compare historical legends with present champions. After all, they cannot face each other head-on, with both of them in their prime. But we cannot help but wonder: Is the current heavyweight champion, Tyson Fury, better than Muhammad Ali?
While we cannot do a direct comparison, we can make some logical deductions based on their specific records. This is the type of skill you need to make any boxing bet. That is why we have created this infographic. It helps us trace, one-by-one the six fights that separate our two champs.
The timeline starts in 1980, in one of the last fights for “The Greatest.” In this fight, Ali did not fare as well as we might expect. In the match against Holmes, Ali was able to do little more than wait it out. He lasted until the tenth round when Holmes won.
This would suggest that Fury in 2015 was indeed more skilled than Ali in 1980. Fury easily won his match against Klitschko. The Ukranian hero never stood much of a chance, as Fury landed 65% more punches and finished him off by the 12th round.
These two endpoints are connected by four fights in between. By following them, we can make an indirect comparison between these two legends at different points in their careers.
This timeline is helpful for making comparisons between specific points in their careers. This is a useful method of analysis that allows us to see things we would otherwise be blind to. However, it does have an important limitation.
The main limitation is that we can only compare the two at this one point. 1980 was not the height of Ali’s career. His stings were sharper in the decades before. However, there aren’t chains of fights connecting the two that would allow us to compare them both at the height of their career.