The Michigan Daily-Thursday, October 2, 1980-Page 11
The big fight:
Daiily Executive Sports Editor
Wark Mihanovic and sports writer'
Ton,4Shaheen have been sparring all
week about the outcome of
toreight's heavyweight champion-
shikbout between Muhammad Ali
arid Larry Holmes. Here are some
of the jabs and hooks they -have
been landing on one
another-Mihanovic likes Holmes,
.while Shaheen is in Ali's corner.
SVAHEEN: Muhammad Ali is not
anyordinary man. He is Superman. At
38,-Ali has already written much of
boxing's history books. He will win the
world heavyweight boxing title for an
unprecedented fourth time tonight...
MIHANOVIC: I agree, Tom. Ali is an
exceptional athlete, an exceptional
man. But, as you say, he is 38 years old,
and this time is the last time for him.
Larry Holmes will win tonight. And it
ouldn't be oe.. .
SHAHEEN: There's that broken
record again-"Ali is too old, Ali is too
old." Nonsense. He's lost more than 30
pounds in the past few months and has
been described as being in excellent
shape. Did you read that, Mark? Ex-
cellent shape. I'd be a fool to ignore the
fact that Ali is a bit slower than he was
five years ago. But that's still faster
than Larry Holmes. Ali still "floats like
a butterfly and stings like a bee" .. -
MIHANOVIC: You've got to be kid-
ding. Only "a bit slower?" "Faster
than Holmes?" There is no way that Ali
will be able to stay with Holmes for a
significant portion of the bout if speed is
the determining factor. As for all the
weight loss, that doesn't necessarily
mean that he is back in top shape. Any
athlete will tell you that it is next-to-
impossible to return to top condition af-
ter one lets himself go to the extent that
Ali did, ballooning to 255 pounds. All
probably lost a lot of strength along
with those 35 pounds.
SHAHEEN: Wrong again, Mark.
You deal in too many probably's and
not necessarily's. But let's get back to
the real issue. Ali will defeat Holmes
primarily because of his mental
toughness. He'll psyche out Holmes just
like he psyched out Sonny Liston, Floyd
Patterson, Joe Frazier and George
Foreman before. In fact, Patterson
stated a few days ago that Ali would win
the fight before the two heavyweights
enter the ring, and that he would win it
with his mouth. By the way,
Mark-Could you please name some of
the great heavyweights Larry Holmes
has crushed in his brief stint as champ?
MIHANOVIC: Again, you've made
an irrelevant point. You're right,
Holmes hasn't beaten any great heavy-
weights, but he did whip Ernie Shavers
(who gave a younger Ali quite a scare),
and he took the title from Ken Norton
(who broke a younger Ali's jaw)
fighting with one bum arm. And Larry
Holmes is more experienced than Liston
or Foreman were when they were
defeated. Holmes laughs off Ali's ver-
bal abuse, something which Patterson
and Frazier couldn't do. In other wor-
ds, Holmes isn't going to be psyched.
out. He's stronger and faster than Ali,
and he knows that these attributes will
carry him to victory.
SHAHEEN: Thank you for respon-
ding to my irrelevant points. And I'm
glad that you got out that press release
to check out your facts. I guess that
press release didn't cover much of
Liston's career. Holmes more ex-
perienced than Liston? You're ob-
viously intimidated-just like Holmes
will be tonight. This intimidation is
most important. Itrelatesto other spor-
ts as well as boxing. In tennis, Bobby
Riggs defeated Margaret Court before
he even hit a ball in their celebrated
match. In hockey, Gordie Howe-called
over-the-hill by most-still plays the
game with the authority he did twenty
years ago. And so on.
MIHANOVIC: I'm so intimidated,
Tom, that I'm about to fall asleep. You
don't need any press releases because
you don't use any facts. Look through
your argument. "Ali is superman," you
say. You sound like a groupie. C'mon,
give me some reasoning. I say that
Holmes will win-easily-because he is
faster and stronger. And because he is
smart enough not to be intimidated by
SHAHEEN: Nobody is smart enough.
to withstand the Ali psyche tactic. And
with that, I leave you with a little poem
in the Ali tradition:
He beat Liston and Frazier,
And Holmes is the latest,
'Cause when it comes to boxing,
Ali is the greatest.
Prediction: Ali, by unanimous decision.
MIHANOVIC: If nothing else you've
said demonstrates the fact that you've
gone over the edge, the quality of that
poem sure does. Holmes, by a technical
knockout in the seventh.
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