View Full Version : Langford vs Robinson...Pound for Pound...Head to Head...
01-03-2006, 09:41 PM
Today it's almost universially accepted that Ray Robinson was pound for pound the greatest fighter that ever lived. He seems to have the hythical title all wrapped up on a silver platter...I beg to differ. With all respect to Sugar, I don't feel his career accomplishments hold up to Sam Langford. I also feel that Sam would stop him if they ever could have went head to head.
Before I continue to rant on (as you all know I can ) , I'd much rather hear from you guys.
01-04-2006, 11:36 AM
Robinson was a real legend (the term is overused today), and anyone who chooses to rate him at the very top is fully justified, but the consensus of him being #1 as we know today (I feel) is a knock on other fighters just as deserving of the title.
Fitz, Gan's, Langford, Wilde, Greb, and B Leonard created just as good a legend as Robinson, and their achievements are just as unique (personally I have never seen a record as mind boggling as Greb's, and the consistency the likes of Wilde/Leonard had was unreal).
I guess Ali (the face of boxing) claiming that Robinson was the greatest, and all the film we can view does not hurt his reputation.
Robinson has a prettier resume than Langford, but then again he did not throw himself to the wolves like the Boston Tar Baby did. I think the meaning of P4P in its truest sense is beating fighters who are naturally bigger than you and Langford did this at a far greater extent than the Sugar man.
Langford fought from Lightweight to Heavyweight, and avenged the occasional decision he dropped (usually in devastating fashion).
I have him on film against Flynn (their third fight scheduled for 45), and in the 170's Langford really was the Boston terror. He had a stiff jab, forced his way inside and could bomb you out with either hand. He pushed you back, and forced in that uppercut.
He was very strong, had an upper body like a Gorilla, super tough, and fought at a super intense pace. Dempsey like in fact.
In a head to head clash I don't believe Robinson could get him off. Despite being outclassed and out muscled, a smaller Langford was said to have still been fighting like a man possessed when he got whipped by Johnson over 15.
In this case I believe Langford would get close and out hustle his slick, but ultimately out gunned opponent. Robinson would mix it up and lose. In a 15 round bout I envision a late stoppage (possible KO) or ugly points battering in favour of Langford.
01-04-2006, 12:07 PM
Y'all barking up the wrong tree.
Langford was of an older, harder era. He was not a child of privilege and learned the hard way in the backwater trenches of life. Sam was the pauper.
Ray was a prince in comparison, carefully groomed with opportunities for full flowering. Ray took advantage of every opportunity and became an incredible icon. Just think, for the majority of his 25 yrs he was in the top 10 if not number one ranked.
It matters little of who can beat who. Peak Mike Tyson destroys both of them, so what?
No way the lightweight/welter Langford beats Ray. Langford could be outboxed, y'all musta forgot. However, in the timeline of development, once Sam put on some weight and experience, no way is Ray ever gonna stand up to that kind of Firepower, although some judicious boxing might glean him a decision in a series.
If the greatest is based on who made the most & toughest fights, that's Langford in a landslide. That's not usually how p4p lists are made, although I do, based on his incredible record, have long put Langford in my top 10 greatest fighters ever.
01-04-2006, 04:26 PM
Interesting, he can beat Jack Johnson but not Ray Robinson ??????????
Who were the guys decisioning Langford ? Robinson had all he could handle from LaMotta..Langford was much stronger, harder hitting and faster than Jake...
I don't see it...all who think the old guys stood around straight backed with their fists curled , wrists to the sky are nuts...
Men fought like killers back then too and not like they were under water.
01-04-2006, 05:41 PM
[[[[[[[Interesting, he can beat Jack Johnson but not Ray Robinson ??????????]]]]]]]]]]]]]]
Hmmm, looking at the posts so far I don't see a single post that claims Sam could not beat Ray. You're just funnin' around, right?:o
01-04-2006, 09:47 PM
Jimmy seems on board with me...
Could Ray beat Jack Johnson as well ?
01-06-2006, 05:49 PM
I dont think Robbie could have beaten Sam Langford nor Fitz at a even weight. Yet he still rates with the best pound for pound in the modern era although I still wonder why nobody sees Ezzard Charles or Rocky Marciano in the p for p rankings? I mean these guys weighed 180 and change and could fight ANY heavyweight in history and give a good showing if not win on a given nite. Billy Conn too much be given some mention for at 168 lbs he almost beat Louis and beat Bob Paster a quality heavy of the era. Marciano v Langford would be the more interesting matchup then Robbie vs the Boston Tar Baby in my opinion.
01-06-2006, 06:48 PM
Wow, I gotta agree with that last statement. Marciano vs. Langford would be very interesting. I'm sure someone must have suggested that matchup on this board or another at some point, but I haven't seen it if so. A couple of hard punching tanks stuck in forward gear, I bet that would have been one helluva fun fight to watch when both men were in their prime.
01-06-2006, 09:58 PM
Gotta tell you Rocky...that's one dream fight I never thought of that sounds amazing...Marciano/Langford...I favor Langford but would never bet it...
Another guy that deserves to be in there is Floyd Patterson...to me he could have easly stayed at light heavy...other than his losses to Liston and Ali the guy was competitive with everyone he fought and he did defeat many much bigger heavyweights such as Johannsson, Meachan, Bonavena and others.
old school student
01-08-2006, 07:49 AM
Insteresting arguements Gents. I always veiwed the ability to fight men of larger statue as the true meaning of pound per pound. I mean in the 1860's men like Tom Sayers were weighting welterweight range fighting people in lightheavy range like John C Heenan and could win. It was common back then to give huge chunks of weight far before the likes of Bob Fitzsimmons came along. To veiw Fitz and others of the early 1900's as Primitive, is nothing farther from the truth. for it was these men along with langford and others who were the new fresh breed of heavyweights, they weren't the early pioneers. Sayers was. The real true meaning of pound per pound was set back in Sayers day! The ability to beat a man who far outweighted you. Like Dempsey over Willard! Tom sharkey fighting Jeffries! Fitz beating Corbett. More Modern fighters real lost some of the lust to stretch their boundrys, (but not all modern fighters like some previous stated). For pete sake Ketchel was training for a rematch with johnson after nearly getting killed by him, having his teeth embedded in johnsons gloves. I mean thats Moxie! thats streching your limits! The notion that Ray robinson gets this glory of being the undisputed pound per pound. I never understood ever, much like Hegrant stated. This doesn't any way, need to take from his Legacy, he may have been the best at his weight (within arguments), but he never moved up in weight (albeit maxim counts), this certainly doesn't merit him as the greatest pound per pound ever. I truely beleive any one who has Robinson at the top of their P4P rating doesn't fully comprehend its real meaning(see my Sayer's example), in my veiw. Fitzsimmons should be higher than robinson, (in my mind) on everybodys list! Again this isn't stateing the fact Fitzsimmons is far superoir to Robinson, it means Fitzsimmons had a better chance of beating opponents who weight more, dig. Robinson accomplished nothing to prove this, look at guys like cocoa kid who was a welterweight taking on lightheavys, he should surely be higher in a pound per pound than robinson, what about even Henry Armstrong fighting Robinson? Huge difference in size and weight? So unless you think robinson could beat guys like Floyd Patterson and such who were bigger.. why consider him a great pound per pound? I don't see the connection, this in no way needs to take anything from his legacy! He was great.
01-08-2006, 11:59 AM
How about Langford ? The man could have stayed at 165 easily his whole career if not 160. He put on weight, actually even a belly, because the money was limited and best to be made against much bigger men. His weight really did not matter.
This was not Roy Jones juicing up and fighting a rugged but second tier guy like a Ruiz and jabbing his way to a decision through speed. This was a natural middleweight in days without drugs fighting and knocking out the best midleweight, light heabyweight and heavyweight fighters in the world, guys like the 6'3" 215 pound Wills, other white heavyweights of the day when they would fight him like Fulton and Flynn and all the best black heavyweights of the day that no one else wanted to fight. McVey, Jeannette, Godfrey ...he also fought and defeated almost every other great name of his day that would fight him and demolished them, all bigger men ...Flowers and Norfolk immediately come to mind...
There is no question that Ray Robinson was an exceptional fighter but let's try and compare accomplishments. Who was the greatest fighter Ray ever fought ? Who was the toughest challange ? Much is made of his victories over LaMotta as Ray used to give up 12 pounds or so, maybe more. Maybe Fullmer was the toughest middle he ever defeated. Serious accomplishemnts against very tough guys.
However, to compare him with Langford I'd say Robinson would have to have fought and defeated Ezzard Charles at light heavy, Archie Moore and fought Joe Louis in 1943 or so and survived a tough 15 round fight. That would put him up there with what Langford did. Maybe KO Max Baer a few times, Buddie as well, KO a Tony Galento and stop Billy Conn. I honestly do not think what I am writing here is off the mark at all.
My point in the post was never to deny Robinson was superb. I just think it is a given that all today and for the last thirty years simply place the mythical crown of pound for pound greatest on Ray's head and too many of them don't know their boxing history.
Langford, to me, remains unchallanged in the catagory of pound for pond greatest.
01-08-2006, 02:18 PM
There is no set criteria for p4p, but it's my understand it was originally coined by a boxing writer to describe and give due justice to the brilliance of Robinson.
Langford was beat by a variety of large and small fighters all through his career, though there is the stretch just after he loses one of his first fights at heavy against Johnson until Johnson is KOed by Willard where Langford is arguably the best heavy in history by record.
Robinson was not only dominating same sized foe from the gitgo of his career, but also took on larger foe and mostly dominated them, although as he got older he, like Langford and most great fighters, are susceptable to losses.
Just limiting p4p to smaller guys who can beat big guys seems to break with the intention of the original status of overall brilliance. That brilliance is why for a while Ali was considered the number 1 p4p fighter of his era and he was certainly not beating bigger guys, quite the opposite usually.
In the end, the reason Langford is high on most lists but below Robby is the combination of his career. Benny Leonard, Hank Armstrong, Willie Pep are all usually on these lists and weren't really taking on huge guys. In the end it's very subjective, but you gotta at least be able to handle your own weight class to be considered.
01-08-2006, 05:43 PM
How many men actually defeated Langford at his weight in his prime years vs how many were set ups/agreed to losses to set up rematches where Langford destroyed them like Gunboat Smith ? How many loses could be attributed to late in his long career when he was fighting with seriously impared vision against much larger men? How many could be discounted due to items such as incredibly busy schedule, poor and rushed travel, ect...
My point is that Langford fought under much harder conditions than Robinson. I also do not simply wave off the significant differences between the volume and quality of "larger" men both fought. Robinson flat out did not fight larger men any where near the quality let alone quantity that Langford. This is not knocking Ray, it is simply an undisputed fact.
While pound for pound is subjective, it basically means to most who was the best, regardless of weight division. I feel Langford was number 1 while Robinson was right up there. However, face to face, head to head, at a catch weight of 160 to 165, I say Langford beats him. His combination of speed, power, stamina, toughness and skill dwarfs anyone Robinson ever fought by far. However, Langford fought and defeated much bigger, stronger, tougher, harder hitting guys that could really fight.
01-08-2006, 09:54 PM
Sam could never beat the welter and lightweight versions of Robby no matter how many times they fought. Moreover, Robby would always outbox Sam regardless of weight. He would just be unable to deal with Sam's power from middleweight up.
01-08-2006, 11:42 PM
So your saying what ? Ray outboxes him at middle (since he always outboxes him) or could not (can not deal with middleweight power) beat him at middle.
Just making sure I understand... ;)
01-09-2006, 01:35 AM
I've made it clear that Robby is the vastly superior boxer who would win most rounds in any fight with Sam. What I said is by the time Sam reached the middle limit Robby would have difficulty in dealing with Sams power and experience and would start losing by KO in fights he was leading and would win easily at lighter weights.
01-10-2006, 02:07 AM
Wait a minute...a definative statement..almost....
Langford starts to beat him because he was too strong at middleweight or as a middleweight Sam was a more experienced fighter than Sam at welter..."
....now would Robinson beat Jack Johnson at welter or at middle ?
01-10-2006, 03:12 PM
If this dream fight was made in a hypothetical situation in time, and I was attending with ringside tickets after waiting for it to happen from the second they signed the contracts,
and after attending their training sessions and reading all the newspaper talk, I would feel the following in my gut on this one.
Sam Langford is in a niche by himself as to power and uncanny giant killing skill. Ray is a great puncher with snap, speed, combos and torque and takes a tremendous punch as to never being counted out, dropped yes but not counted out.
Langford however is Gene Fullmer, Tommy Bell, Artie Levine, Castellani and Ralph Tiger Jones combined and then some.
There is a factor of toughness and power here and uncanny cagey moxie that is gleaned from a lifetime of fistic ordeal one today cannot easily imagine.
I would feel that Langford would stop Ray and hurt him badly to boot. It would be modern dazzle for awhile and lightning fast retaliations by Sugar, but that body, jaw, and look Langford had back in the day, sends shivers down my spine when I see him in that Ring on film.
It is like an animal without education in the jungle or the ability to read or speak, knowing instinctively to stay away from the patterns on a Coral snake or Viper. That is the vibe I get from seeing Langford's powerful, relaxed deadly manner brimming with confidence exuding off of him.
A sledgehammer Giant Killer. I know the breed and they beat
the best of the best when they land.
01-10-2006, 05:40 PM
Great comments by all, but I gotta lean towards H.E. in this one and my buddy Mr. Lipton as usual breaks it down in warrior terms. Its Langford all the way. But what about Sam vs Marciano?
01-10-2006, 06:39 PM
I like Langford. Two incredibly tough guys, murderous punchers, great chins, very strong.
I simply think Langford had better speed and overall skill. However, what a nasty, brutal fight.
01-10-2006, 08:24 PM
I would go with Marciano in top condition on this one vs 5'7" Sam.
Ezzard Charles and Walcott were so dangerous and powerful even at the age they went to war with Rock.
His determination, conditioning, ability to take a shot, and heart and size in this particular fight would lean me toward the Rock. With Langford anything is possible but he would have to have his midsection in tip top form for this tear up.
Sam will always be a legend and a Giant Killer and it is hard to bet against him with the chips on the line.
01-10-2006, 08:31 PM
I see it differently...it's more like if Rocky fought a younger Walcott...Joe teeded off on Rocky in the early rounds and was clearly beating him until he slowed down...yes Rocky contributed but his age , 38, was a larger factor to me...in addition, Langford was a much bigger puncher. At 5'7" or so he managed to clock out the 6'3" or so Wills. I see not reason he could not hit Rocky hard and often.
01-10-2006, 09:20 PM
I thought that was a cheapshot against Rocky, so I'll give you your fantasy request since he don't need defending.
Sure, Robby could beat Johnson. It's not a given, but given the lethargic nature of Johnson's style, Robby could stick and move and frustrate him outside. O'brien did it with a lot of miles near the end of his career and a near prime middleweight Robby has more power and at least as good skills, probably better.
Moreover, Robby wouldn't turn this fight down. He turned down Rocky because he knew Rocky was coming right at him for the kill which Johnson wouldn't do. He'd have to take care in any clinches though.
In fact, the more I study Johnson, the more I want to step in the ring with him. You think I'd wanna face Ali, Rocky, Langford, or Sonny? Hell NO, but Johnson, sure. I wouldn't pull any Ketchels or Flynns, but I bet I could stick and move and frustrate the hell out of him. Is that ridiculous? Maybe, but the point is that modern guys like Robby would not be scared off by Johnson's style.
Look at what little Sam Soliman recently did against Winky, a JrM Vs a LH. Winky has fine boxing skills and is reasonably quick, not a wild slugger, but he looked clueless against a guy with movement who could stick and move and fight all night.
Johnson Vs YOU? Well, you won't get in the ring with Johnson, so I had to!
01-10-2006, 10:07 PM
you are one funny son of a bitch.
01-10-2006, 10:26 PM
There you have it, Roberto saying Ray Robinson could have beaten Jack Johnson....
I don't know what's funnier, that prediction, saying that I would ever offend Rocky or saying that Rocky needs you to defend him.
At least you finally answered the question...now if you can tell me where to score some of what your smoking !!! :rollin
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