Shavers, whose stamina had been questioned, and Ali rewarded the 14,600 spectators at the Garden and the TV viewers with a memorable final round. At the bell both fighters were wobbling and staggering from the assaults upon each other.
But by then, Ali had assured himself the victory unless Shavers could have registered a knockout. Shaver’s corner said the decision was another “Norton deal,” alluding to Ali’s controversial decision over Ken Norton last year.
Ali, of course, as never been knocked out in his 55-2 won-loss record.
Ali did not appear in the Felt Forum interview area until about an hour after the fight ended, explaining, “I’m tired, almost as tired as I was in Manila,” an allusion to his 14-round epic knockout of Joe Frazier two years ago.
ex NYT Anderson 9/30/77