I don’t think so. I was a little kid at that time, but I was a huge fan of Ali, and remember being offended at all the Teach love america 4th of july shirt hype that George was too big, too strong, and indestructible for speed and finesse to beat. The difference with Smoking Joe was that Joe was a pure infighter. In my opinion the greatest one of all. Joe came to the inside surely but steady bobbing his head around avoiding incoming punches as best as he could. The attach himself to his opponent and beat the crap out of them. Evander was a very good infighter but also did a lot of his attacks from the outside. He moved in with his chin to his chest not to walk into an uppercut. He wasn’t as smooth to move in as Joe was. And nobody can say for sure some of it wasn’t intentional.
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But Evander seems like an honest guy. Tyson admitted after the Teach love america 4th of july shirt first fight he himself was headbutting as well. These are powerful men I think if they intended to really headbutt each other they do more damage. Of course, everyone will link the picture of Rahman with his enormous lump on his head. I think it has to do with Evander’s fighting style. He charged in like a battering ram sometimes. He was a small heavyweight and getting close to infight is extremely hard vs big guys. Also fighting other fighters that liked to get up close can lead to heads colliding.