For what it's worth, I'm one who thinks Louis in his prime was arguably the greatest of all heavyweights. He fought every contender in the golden age of boxing winning 21 on his title matches by knockouts. Unmatched for power, hand speed, ring strategy, heart.
Boxing is sport at its most basic -- two men standing toe-to-toe, fighting for their beliefs, for self-preservation and, most significantly, for honour. The winner is the one who hurts his opponent more -- but survival is a victory in and of itself. In Manila, Frazier survived, even if he didn't win. Joe was always proud of that.