< photo courtesy Eva Futch >
By Jim Amato / Senior Boxing Writer
What happens when the unstoppable force meets the unmovable object? Let me rephrase that. What would have happened if Joe Frazier and Ron Lyle would have hooked up in the mid-1970’s?
It is too bad this fight was never made. It was discussed on occasion, but to the best of my knowledge no serious talks ever took place. What a shame. This would have been a thrill-a-minute battle for the fans. Each boxer had the tools and the style to offset the other’s skills.
Let’s start with Ron Lyle. George Foreman showed everyone that a big, strong heavyweight with a decent jab and a solid uppercut could keep Joe from getting inside, while also punishing him at long range. Frazier was game to the core, but Big George showed that Joe could be hurt. Lyle was no Willie Pep on his feet, but he had decent mobility for a man his size. He had a fairly quick jab with some pop to it. He threw a strong right hand but he needed room for it to gather steam. His best weapons on the inside if Frazier did get past his jab were a short left hook and a scorching uppercut. Also Ron was more then willing to stand in the trenches and swap body shots. He would have been quite a handful for Joe.
What would Frazier have to do to counter Ron’s strategy? First and foremost he would just have to be Joe Frazier at his bobbing and weaving best. At times Lyle had a tendency to paw with his jab. This would have been a crucial mistake against the relentless Frazier. Joe was very adept at timing a jab and then either slipping under it or slipping to the side of it. The end result would be the same. Joe would now have his head on the opponent’s chest and he would pummel the stomach, ribs and kidneys with savage purpose.
Continue reading What if Joe Frazier had Fought Ron Lyle?