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GorDoom
03-23-2006, 01:15 PM
Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

By Lee Groves & Martin Mulcahey from Max Boxing

It was once a rare occurrence for a former middleweight to fight for the heavyweight championship, but in the last three years, we’ve seen that happen three times – and the middleweights have fared pretty well, thank you. First Roy Jones outslicked John Ruiz to lift the WBA belt in 2003, and then James "Lights Out" Toney briefly held the WBA bauble after decisioning Ruiz the following year. Last week, Toney fought Hasim Rahman to a mathematical standstill, and several observers felt Toney should have won the fight. As for me (Lee Groves), I scored it 114-114 because though Rahman outworked Toney and was the aggressor, the "Fatman" landed the cleaner, sharper blows on the inside. To me, this was one of the rare occasions when a draw seemed justified.

Last week, Marty Mulcahey suggested we assemble a list of our top 10 "non-heavyweight" heavyweights on the occasion of Rahman-Toney, and I gladly took him up on his request. Over the next two articles, MaxBoxing readers will encounter two different perspectives on the same subject, which provides a broader historical overview.

As for me, I only ranked fighters who actually fought for the heavyweight title, thus worthy names like Mickey Walker were left off. Also, I based my list on accomplishments at both heavyweight and any lighter weights in which they campaigned. Many achieved a lot as light heavyweights and middleweights but weren’t able to take their talents all the way up the scale. But the men higher up the ladder were more "well-rounded", so to speak.

At 237 pounds, James Toney was a little bit too well-rounded for his own good, but he likely has a few more chapters to write before his book can be critiqued. In the meantime, here is, in ascending order, my 10 best "non-natural" heavyweight challengers:

10. Stanley Ketchel (53-4-5, 50 KOs, 4 no decisions) – It is a tribute to Ketchel’s legacy that he remains one of history’s hardest hitting middleweights 96 years after his life was snuffed out by Walter Dipley’s bullet at age 24. In his two middleweight championship reigns, Ketchel registered 10 defenses and six knockouts, and it was his title defense record that Carlos Monzon broke six decades later. His roster of opponents included Billy Papke (W 10, KO by 12, KO 11, W 20), Hugo Kelly (KO 3), Joe Thomas (KO 2), Philadelphia Jack O’Brien (ND 10, KO 3), Frank Klaus (ND 6), Willie Lewis (KO 2), Sam Langford (ND 6) and Jim Smith (KO 5). His one fling at heavyweight was short but unforgettable as he decked champion Jack Johnson only to be knocked unconscious with a right uppercut seconds later.

9. Bob Fitzsimmons (40-11, 32 KOs, 10 no-decisions, one no-contest) – "Freckled Bob" was on the other end of the age scale when he made history. He was 27 when he captured the middleweight title from "The Nonpareil" Jack Dempsey (KO 13) and he proceeded to tear his way through the division by going 12-1 (11 KOs) with one no-contest during the time he was champion. He only defended the title once, knocking out Dan Creedon in two rounds more than three years after the Dempsey victory. His most notable non-title wins as 160-pound champion were against Peter Maher (KO 12, KO 1), and though he lost by foul against Tom Sharkey, Fitzsimmons nevertheless earned a crack at heavyweight champion James J. Corbett in 1897. Fitzsimmons won the belt with his famous "solar plexus" punch in the 14th round, but as was the custom of the day, he used the belt to promote his stage career instead of belting opponents with his fists. When Fitz finally put the title on the line two years later, James J. Jeffries knocked him out in 11 rounds.

After the Jeffries loss, Fitz was a veritable whirlwind of activity as he scored four knockouts in 1900 to earn a rematch with Jeffries, who absorbed a pounding before bowling over the smaller man in eight rounds. But Fitzsimmons wasn’t finished at the world-class level as he won his third divisional title, the recently created light-heavyweight crown, by decisioning George Gardner over 20 rounds at age 40. By doing so, Fitzsimmons became the first man to win a championship past the age of 40, a feat equaled just four more times over the next 103 years. He defended the 175-pound belt once, no-decisioning Philadelphia Jack O’Brien over six rounds, before losing the title to O’Brien over 20 rounds in the rematch. Fitzsimmons didn’t do much in terms of racking up title defenses, but his status as boxing’s first triple crown winner earns him a spot on this list.

8. James Toney (69-4-2, 43 KOs) – Had Toney won the WBA title from Rahman, he would have ascended one place on this list, but since he didn’t lose per se, he’ll stay here until at least his next title shot. "Lights Out" has certainly prospered in this era of division jumping, but his attitude toward taking on the best is strictly old-school. Only six weeks after knocking out Michael Nunn in 11 rounds to win the IBF middleweight title, he beat a legitimate number one contender in Reggie Johnson by split decision. After icing Francisco Dell’Aquila in four rounds, Toney drew with Mike McCallum in a fight many thought Toney deserved to win. But Toney struggled mightily with the 160-pound limit and it was graphically evident during his controversial decision win over Dave Tiberi. Following victories over Glenn Wolfe (W 12) and McCallum (W 12), Toney headed for the 168 pound class.

Toney debuted well by stopping Doug DeWitt in six rounds, then chopped up IBF champion Iran Barkley before stopping him in 10 rounds. Toney spent only five fights at super middleweight, but he made the most of his time by defending against Tony Thornton (W 12), Tim Littles (KO 4) and former IBF light heavyweight champion Prince Charles Williams (KO 12). It didn’t take long for Toney’s weight issues to resurface, and they came at the worst time possible against Roy Jones Jr. Jones dominated Toney over 12 rounds to lift the title – as well as Toney’s unofficial status as pound-for-pound king.

Compared to his successes at other weights, Toney struggled at light heavyweight, going 8-3. His highlights include a fifth-round knockout over 1988 Olympian Anthony Hembrick to win the USBA belt, but his time at 175 was defined by his two close losses to Montell Griffin. After Toney dropped another 12-rounder to Drake Thadzi, he slipped into a career funk. During this time, Toney was a man without a set division as he fought at 175, cruiserweight and even heavyweight. But Toney found his way back to world prominence – and Hall of Fame consideration – by beating IBF cruiserweight champion Vassiliy Jirov to capture his third divisional title.

Toney had long wanted to become heavyweight champion, and six months after beating Jirov, he blasted out Evander Holyfield in nine rounds to put himself squarely in the title picture. An Achilles injury suffered in training pushed back his calendar considerably, and it would be 18 months before Toney stood across the ring from WBA heavyweight titlist Ruiz. Twelve rounds later, Toney became a four-division champion, but 12 days later a positive steroid test made him an ex-champion as the bout’s result was changed to a no contest. Toney’s draw with Rahman doesn’t help his status, but it doesn’t hurt it either. Stay tuned for further developments.

7. Billy Conn (63-11-1, 14 KOs) – Like Toney, "The Pittsburgh Kid" made his presence felt from middleweight to heavyweight. As an up-and-coming 160-pounder, the stylish Conn took on Fritzie Zivic (W 10), Babe Risko (W 10), Vince Dundee (W 10), Young Corbett III (L 10, W 10) and Teddy Yarosz (W 12, W 15, L 12). Conn gradually gained weight as time progressed and while weighing what would be super middleweight poundage today, he fought Fred Apostoli (L 10, W 15) and Solly Krieger (W 12). The Krieger win earned Conn a shot at southpaw light heavyweight champion Melio Bettina, and the stiff level of early competition paid off as Conn dethroned Bettina by 13th round knockout.

While champion, Conn notched good non-title wins against 186-pounder Gus Dorazio (KO 8) and 190-pounder Henry Cooper (W 12) while still weighing under the light heavyweight championship limit. Conn solidified his credentials by beating Bettina (W 15) and Gus Lesnevich (W 15, W 15). After the second Lesnevich win, Conn announced his intent to pursue a heavyweight title fight. He earned a crack at Joe Louis after beating Bob Pastor (KO 13), Al McCoy (W 10) and Lee Savold (W 12).

Ahead on the cards, Conn famously went for the knockout in the 13th after stunning Louis badly in the 12th with a crackling hook to the jaw. Louis seized on those valuable counterpunching opportunities to put Conn down for the count. After the Louis loss, Conn decisioned middleweight champion Tony Zale in an over-the-weight match before entering the military. Though his performance against Louis in the 1946 rematch earned him the Associated Press’ "Flop of the Year" award, Conn ended his career on a winning note with two ninth-round knockouts over Mike O’Dowd and Jackie Lyons 10 days apart in November 1948.

6. Roy Jones Jr. (49-4, 38 KOs) – At his peak, which seemingly lasted from the moment he turned pro in 1989, Jones was regarded as one of the most gifted fighters to ever step between the ropes. His blazing hand speed and one-punch power enabled him to race through the weight classes with ease. In his second and third pro outings, Jones handled the 9-2 Stephan Johnson (KO 8) and the 16-1-1 Ron Amundsen (KO 7). His best wins as a rising middleweight came against former welterweight champion Jorge Vaca (KO 1), Art Serwano (KO 1), Glenn Wolfe (KO 1), Percy Harris (KO 4) and the 70-3-2 Jorge Castro (W 10).

Even though he fought future middleweight great Bernard Hopkins with a damaged hand, Jones still managed to win the vacant IBF belt by lopsided unanimous decision. Jones only made one defense (a spectacular two-round KO of Thomas Tate), but kept himself busy with non-title fights. Jones became the first man to knock out Thulane "Sugar Boy" Malinga (KO 6) and he consolidated his super middleweight credentials by beating Fermin Chirino (W 10) and Danny Garcia (KO 6).

When Jones met Toney for the IBF belt, "Lights Out" was considered by many the world’s best fighter while Jones’ gifts presented an intriguing X-factor. Jones, in prime condition, dominated a weight-drained and sluggish Toney to take his place atop the pound-for-pound mountain, a spot he would occupy for the better part of a decade.

Jones notched five defenses at 168, beating Antoine Byrd (KO 1), Vinny Pazienza (KO 6), Tony Thornton (KO 3), Bryant Brannon (KO 2) and future super middleweight champ Eric Lucas (KO 12) while mixing in an impressive non-title win over Merqui Sosa (KO 2).

Jones would make his biggest historical impact at 175 pounds. He won the interim WBC belt by beating an aged Mike McCallum (W 12), but shockingly lost the title by ninth-round disqualification for twice blasting a kneeling Montell Griffin. After regaining the title via emphatic one-round KO, Jones was off to the races, amassing 12 title defenses over the next four years, eventually unifying the three major belts. His best wins included Virgil Hill (KO 4), Reggie Johnson (W 12), Richard Hall (KO 11), Otis Grant (KO 10), Eric Harding (KO 10), Derrick Harmon (KO 11), Julio Gonzalez (W 12) and Clinton Woods (KO 6). Though Jones would be heavily criticized for failing to fight Nigel Benn, Steve Collins, Chris Eubank, Gerald McClellan and especially longtime WBO champ Dariusz Michalczewski, subsequent events have made these victories look better.

After beating Woods, Jones made the long-rumored jump to heavyweight to fight WBA titlist Ruiz, seen by many as the most beatable beltholder. Nevertheless, Jones escaped Ruiz’s clutches when few other fighters could and scored a dazzling decision to capture his fourth divisional belt. No one knew at the time that the Ruiz fight would be Jones’ last great performance. After struggling to a majority decision over Antonio Tarver, he lost his three most recent fights against Tarver (KO by 2, L 12) and IBF champion Glen Johnson (KO by 9). Though the 37-year-old Jones still seeks to make more history, many observers doubt his ability to do so – which would probably suit Jones just fine.

5. Archie Moore (199-26-8, 145 KOs with one no-contest) – "Ancient Archie" did his best work at an age when most fighters are either retired or looking to recapture past glories. At age 36, with more than 150 professional fights behind him, he dethroned Joey Maxim by 15-round decision in his adopted hometown of St. Louis. Over the next nine years, Moore, who had a spotty record as a younger fighter, would go 41-3-1, including nine title defenses and a slew of non-title engagements. His title fight victims included Maxim (W 15, W 15), Harold Johnson (KO 14), Carl "Bobo" Olson (KO 3), Yolande Pompey (KO 10), Tony Anthony (KO 7), Yvon Durelle (KO 11, KO 3) and Giulio Rinaldi (W 15).

As a heavyweight, Moore was best known for his title fight losses to Rocky Marciano (KO by 9) and Floyd Patterson (KO by 5), but Moore had several victories against the big boys. While champion, Moore bested heavyweights Bob Baker (KO 9), Bert Whitehurst (KO 6, KO 10), Nino Valdes (W 10, W 15) and Willie Besmanoff (W 10, KO 10). After Moore was stripped of his title, "The Mongoose" took out Pete Rademacher (KO 6) and Alejandro Lavorante (KO 10), and at age 45 he managed to get a 10-round draw with Willie Pastrano, who would dethrone light heavyweight champion Harold Johnson the following year.

4. Michael Spinks (31-1, 21 KOs) – Spinks will go down in history as one of the sport’s most dominant light heavyweights. As a contender, Spinks enjoyed solid wins against Ray Elson (KO 1), Gary Summerhays (W 8), Tom Bethea (W 8), Ramon Ranquello (KO 6), Murray Sutherland (W 10), Yaqui Lopez (KO 7) and especially Marvin Johnson (KO 4), whom he nearly decapitated with a gorgeous left uppercut to the jaw. Spinks then dethroned WBA champion Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and went on to put together 10 defenses over the next four years. In his sixth defense, he outboxed WBC champion Dwight Muhammad Qawi to become undisputed champion. Spinks defended the unified belt four times before he decided to leave the relative security of the 175-pound class to pursue heavyweight history.

By beating Larry Holmes September 21, 1985, Spinks became the first reigning light heavyweight champion to dethrone a heavyweight king, which is a primary reason why he is placed so highly on this list. He also occupies this spot because he continued to perform well against much bigger men. He controversially beat Holmes in the rematch seven months later, then knocked out Steffen Tangstad (KO 4) and Gerry Cooney (KO 5) before falling in 91 seconds before the iron fists of a prime Mike Tyson. With the exception of the Tangstad fight, the heavyweight Spinks was a heavy underdog, and his ability to spring upset after upset with his confounding herky-jerky style provided hope for future smaller challengers like Jones and Toney.

3. Tommy Loughran (96-23-8, 18 KOs with 45 no-decisions) – As his record suggests, Loughran relied more on savvy than sock. But that was because his right hand, which carried respectable power, was also very fragile. He usually had one or two chances to throw it with full strength, after which it would be useless. So Loughran developed one of history’s best jabs and he used his considerable acumen to outsmart most guys.

His list of opponents reads like a Hall of Fame roll call, and he won more than he lost. He fought Harry Greb six times, and though he lost two and fought him to three no-decisions, Loughran was good enough to inflict one of the rare losses on Greb’s record. Other pre-title victims include Johnny Wilson (W 10), Young Stribling (L 6, L 10, W 10), Georges Carpentier (W 10) and Johnny Risko (W 10, W 10). After dethroning Mike McTigue by 15-round decision, Loughran notched six impressive title defenses, beating Jimmy Slattery (W 15), Leo Lomski (W 15), Pete Latzo (W 15, W 10), Mickey Walker (W 10) and James J. Braddock (W 10).

After the Braddock win, Loughran announced he was vacating the belt to pursue the richest prize in sports. His campaign started badly as Jack Sharkey blew him out in three rounds and Ernie Schaaf took a pair of 10 rounders. But Loughran soon gained his heavyweight sea legs as he knocked off King Levinsky (W 10), Max Baer (W 10), Schaaf (W 10), Risko (W 10) and Paolino Uzcudun (W 10). Victories over Sharkey (W 15) and Ray Impelletierre (W 10) earned Loughran a shot at the mountainous Primo Carnera. The 86-pound weight disparity was the largest in title fight history until last December when Nikolay Valuev outweighed John Ruiz by 86 ¼ pounds. Carnera used his bulk intelligently, but illegally, by stomping on Loughran’s foot in the first round to take away the smaller man’s vital edge in mobility. Fifteen dull rounds later, Carnera’s hand was raised in victory. Still, Loughran deserves this place on the list because he was an accomplished light heavyweight champion who made real noise at heavyweight.

2. Evander Holyfield (38-8-2, 25 KOs) – To be truthful, when I originally assembled this list I completely forgot about Holyfield because it has been so long since I’ve thought of him as anything but a heavyweight. But a gentle reminder from Mr. Mulcahey brought those memories back and once I re-examined the record, "The Real Deal’s" collection of career achievements is simply extraordinary. It is a tribute to Holyfield that he has so firmly established himself among the best of the big men that his cruiserweight deeds became secondary to me when assessing his impact on the sport.

Holyfield began his career as a light heavyweight, but by his sixth outing he had left the 175-pound division far behind and campaigned regularly as a cruiserweight. By just his 12th pro fight, he found himself standing across the ring from the formidable Dwight Muhammad Qawi in a scheduled 15-rounder for the WBA title. In what remains the greatest cruiserweight title fight ever, Holyfield overcame his inexperience with the distance, Qawi’s skills and severe dehydration to become the first world champion from the celebrated 1984 U.S. Olympic team.

In just five title defenses, Holyfield unified the belts and certified himself as the standard by which future cruiserweight champions must be compared. His victims included Olympic teammate Henry Tillman (KO 7), IBF champ Rickey Parkey (KO 3), former heavyweight title challenger and future cruiserweight champion Ossie Ocasio (KO 11), Qawi (KO 4) and perennial WBC champion Carlos DeLeon (KO 8).

By the time he moved up to heavyweight, Holyfield was nearing his physical prime, so he had plenty of time to establish his legacy among the big men. "The Real Deal" went about his transformation in the right way – by adding muscle mass while retaining his cruiserweight speed. In an age of super-sized heavyweights, the 6-2 Holyfield not only survived but prospered. In his 30 fights at heavyweight, Holyfield was 20-8-2 (11 KOs), but the record is deceiving when one considers Holyfield was far past his best when most of the losses took place. Holyfield is the only man to win a piece of the heavyweight title four times, and though he only had seven successful defenses in those reigns his achievements can’t be denied.

With the notable exceptions of Lennox Lewis and Chris Byrd, Holyfield met and defeated every significant big man he ever faced. The heavyweight legacy of Toney – who stopped Holyfield in nine rounds – remains in limbo, so he can’t yet be called an historically significant heavyweight. Still, his list of heavyweight scalps is one to behold: Pinklon Thomas, Michael Dokes, Alex Stewart (twice), James "Buster" Douglas, George Foreman, Larry Holmes Riddick Bowe, Ray Mercer, John Ruiz, Hasim Rahman and Mike Tyson (twice) among others.

As great as Holyfield was, even he must bow to the accomplishments of the man atop my list:

1. Ezzard Charles (96-25-1, 58 KOs) – "The Cincinnati Cobra" tops this list because he was the one man who made a significant impact in three weight classes. As an amateur, he won the 1939 AAU middleweight championship, and he began his pro career with 20 straight wins (14 by KO) before losing a 10-round decision to 131-fight veteran Ken Overlin, with whom Charles drew five fights later. Charles bounced back well as he knocked off Teddy Yarosz (W 10), Anton Christoforidis (KO 3), Charley Burley (W 10, W 10) and Joey Maxim (W 10, W 10).

The middleweight would learn hard lessons from Jimmy Bivins (L 10) and Lloyd Marshall, who knocked Charles down eight times before stopping him in the eighth. Charles would avenge both defeats, beating Bivins three times and knocking out Marshall twice in light heavyweight contests. The most famous victim of the light heavyweight version of Charles was future legend Archie Moore, who lost two decisions and was knocked out in eight rounds.

While weighing just over the light heavyweight limit, Charles defeated heavyweights Joe Baksi (KO 11), onetime conqueror Elmer Ray (KO 9), Walter Hafer (KO 7) and Johnny Haynes (KO 8) to establish his credentials in the sport’s heaviest division. His success was rewarded with a fight with Jersey Joe Walcott for Joe Louis’ vacated championship. Charles, long denied a shot at the 175-pound belt, became heavyweight king via 15-round decision.

Unlike the other men on this list, Charles enjoyed a lengthy reign as he amassed eight title defenses. He defeated Gus Lesnevich (KO 7), Pat Valentino (KO 8) and Freddie Beshore (KO 14) before gaining universal recognition with a lopsided 15-round decision over the comebacking Louis. Over the next eight months, Charles defended the title four more times against Nick Barone (KO 11), Lee Oma (KO 10), Walcott (W 15) and Maxim (W 15). In his ninth defense against Walcott, Charles was far ahead on the scorecards before Walcott knocked Charles unconscious with a single left uppercut to the jaw in round seven.

Charles would receive three opportunities to regain the title. Two years after losing a close decision to Walcott, Charles threatened Rocky Marciano’s perfect record like no other previous challenger. In their first fight on June 17, 1954, Marciano emerged with a hard-fought 15-round decision, and three months later Marciano sustained a horrific vertical cut on his nose so gruesome that he either had to knock Charles out in the eighth round or lose the belt. "The Rock" certified his greatness by doing what he had to do to save his title, but at 33 Charles remained a good enough fighter to put Marciano in desperate straits.

Only time will tell how far Toney will ascend – or descend – but one thing is clear: Five years from the day he retires, Toney will get the chance to make more history by delivering perhaps the most interesting Hall of Fame induction speech ever made.

Martin's critique: This is why I love working with Mr. Groves - we advance upon and battle questions about boxing from different angles. While Lee culled his list by limiting it to boxers who actually fought for the world title, I freelanced a bit more, and included boxers who did not fight for the heavyweight title. Yet, these men still did considerable damage to heavyweights nonetheless. Lee's self control might explain his higher status, with his work at the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Compubox, while I labor away at....well I show up on most days here at Maxboxing.

Overall, we agree much more than we disagree, but one of my top three does not even make an appearance on Lee's list. Also, I simply refuse to consider a boxer who only has one legitimate bout at heavyweight for my list, no matter how great his achievements were in other divisions. I prefer to rank my guys on achievement at heavyweight alone. Which might seem a bit stern, or even shortsighted, but my belief is that this is where these men set themselves apart from all other boxers. The biggest disagreement Lee and I have is on Roy Jones, around whom the word 'disagreement' seems to appear a lot. Instead of addressing it here, I did so in my ranking of James Toney, who made my top ten list. Which you will have to tune in for later this week....

Elmer Ray
03-23-2006, 01:50 PM
well i agree on most of it, though i don't think lougran should be so high. I think guys like archie moore or billy conn would have never lost had they got to fight carnera for the title.

- moore also SHUTOUT hall of fame heavyweight clarence henry, i have a new york times article on the fight if anyone cares for it


one mistake they said was


"In his ninth defense against Walcott, Charles was far ahead on the scorecards before Walcott knocked Charles unconscious with a single left uppercut to the jaw in round seven."


thats incorrect. it was infact WALCOTT WHO WAS WELL AHEAD ON THE CARDS at the time of the stoppage




but this is a great interesting topic!

hawk5ins
03-23-2006, 01:59 PM
The Jones inclusion, and as high as he was (over Conn!!?!?!?!?!?!?) has me baffled. One fight over one of the most unspectacular heavy titlests ever is more impressive than Billy's body of work at Heavy? Please.

Especially considering that it was virtually duplicated by Toney a couple of years later!

Sheesh.

Hawk

TKO11
03-23-2006, 02:10 PM
Jones was the one thing that really leapt out at me as well. One fight, dominant but not extraordinarily so, against a very average fighter who would never have held a title in any other era. Not a very impressive resume as a heavyweight. Of those on the list, Conn and Fitz clearly deserve to be ahead of him, and probably fat bastard Michelin Man Toney as well.

No real beefs other than that - but I would probably dump Jones altogether in favor of Tommy Burns.

Todd
03-23-2006, 02:23 PM
The Jones inclusion, One fight over one of the most unspectacular heavy titlests ever is more impressive than Billy's body of work at Heavy?

Groves leaves himself wiggle room with a dubious criteria: "Also, I based my list on accomplishments at both heavyweight and any lighter weights in which they campaigned."

I think they literally forgot about Michael Moorer—not because he belongs on the list, but also because he's unmentioned in the list of Holy's opponents.

hawk5ins
03-23-2006, 02:32 PM
Todd I suppose you are right in that theory on his wiggle room re Jones. ANd I agree with you on it's dubiousness.

So let me thow this out there for Mr. Groves. Iran Barkley. He beat Former WBA Heavyweight Champ Gerrie Coetzee and Barkley was a three division champion with two victories over sure fire Hall of Famer Thomas Hearns. How's about that resume?!!?!

If we are going to use lower weight criteria, what the hell?

(For those unfamiliar with me, Ido tend to throw around a bit of sarcasm every now and then.)

Hawk

The Shoemaker
03-23-2006, 02:48 PM
I definatly think that Chris Byrd belongs on that list. The guy doesn't have much to work with as far as physical tools (size, reach, can't punch) and it's not as though he runs from people; he stands in firing line of big hitters and baits them into throwing bombs so he can counter them (ala Jimmy Young). Like Young, he's too boring to watch for the networks and modern fans who don't appreciate the way he fights (the object's to win). Plus the old geezer's can't stand him because they hate everyone who fought after 1905. No doubt Byrd will lose to Klitschko, because his opponent is 6'-7" with a jab, and Byrd can't hurt him, but he's still had a hell of a career considering that he got the max out of his limited talant.

Roy Jones fought the right fighter (Ruiz) and had the right referee (Jay Needey), who doesn't allow holding and mauling (not a criticism of Needey, but the selection of him benefitted Jones). As far as Jones "never fighting on that level again," I think Tarver had something to do with it. Not that i am a big Tarver fan, but but Tarver exposed Jones' chin and lack of toughness (geeze -you can tell from the 3rd fight that Jones was intimidated by him). Plus Tarver's older than Jones. You can't argue that Jones' chin got beaten down (ala Razor Ruddick), since hardly anyone got to it, and factoring in that the chin is usually the last thing to go on a fighter (watch Ali-Shavers)
you'd have to conclude that jones has a weak chin. That's why a swarmer like Glen Johnson went after him and KO'ed him.

Another suspect chin fighter that you could make a case for would be Michael Moorer. But the problem with Jones, Moorer, Spinks, Toney, Byrd and Hollyfield is that they have all been rumered to have used steroids to quickey put the weight on. Obviously, Toney's guilty as charged, whether the others are guilty or not is debatable. Although roids don't give you punching power, they allow Light Heavies to quickly transform the bodies into heavyweights (beats the alternative, which is putting on fat) which at least gives the fighters the strength to compete at that higher level. Something the old timers didn't have- of coarse a lot of them are fighting a champion who weighs under 200 llbs, so moving from Light heavy to Heavy isn't THAT huge of a jump. i know the old geezer's will scream, but being 6-3 to 6-5, weighing 220+ with an 80+ inch reach and BEING FLUID doesn't hurt, nor does having huge hands, having the athleticism to throw combo's while weighing over 220 hurt neither.

I also think you forgot Gene Tunny on that list.

The Shoemaker
03-23-2006, 03:22 PM
I hate to repost but ... Take a look at the Ring ratings up until the 1960's: Light Heavies and Heavies were pretty much interchangable, as far as contenders. You even had guys like John Henry Lewis, Jimmy Bivins and others jumping back and forth between the two weight classes. That pretty much ends by the 1960's. I'd argue that Sonny Liston was really the first big Heavy who really imposed his size on smaller fighters to the point where they can't compete. Obviously, 185 llb Rocky Marciano's an exception (even though Weil kept him away from bigger fighters-he'd have still killed Nino Valdez, who Weil was afraid of) but Rocky has the frame of a 215 llber- look at his hips, ass, and thighs. It's just that his fanatical training reduced him to 185, but supposidly, his walking around weight was over 200. My point is that after Liston and Ali, there are no more Light Heavyweight contenders for the title. And there hasn't been one for 40 + years. Unless of coarse, they cheat and take roids or like Jones, takes advantage of the fact that there are 5 Hevyweight titles to chose from-and he probably took roids as well.

And don't give me Jim Jeffries. Like most fighters who lean back and fight off their back foot- they can't impose their physical advantages (Jeff's style against Corbett,"was to lean back in a croutch, stick his left arm straight out and rush Corbett like a battering ram") over smaller fighters. Jeffries fought 165 llb Joe Choynski to a 20 round draw, lost about 20 out of the 23 rounds to the 185 llb Corbett, and went 45 rounds in two fights with the 180 Tom Sharkey. That's what happens when you have two lean back fighters, who maul, grab and wrestle. 165 llbers can compete with 215 llbers

Roberto Aqui
03-23-2006, 04:43 PM
I'm not impressed with Lee Groves & Martin Mulcahey.

First off, they water down their premise by counting lighter weight accomplishments. Lame to start off with.

Clearly Fitz and Tommy Burns are the most unnatural heavy champs ever. Fitz spent most of his career under 150, and Burns was short with short reach and probably started his career around the 160 mark which is where he seems to have hovered for most of his career. We can debate their "greatness" at most unnatural, but they are the most unnatural and have a good heavy resume.

Where's Tunney? Man started as a skinny middleweight and fought 95% of his career below the heavy limit. Maybe these chaps were drugged with majic mushrooms in their spaghetti sauce.

Finally, Holly had the large majority of his fights as a heavy and is bigger than most "traditional" heavies. Dump Holy out of this venue. C'mon!

What were they thinking? It would take a palm reader to figure that out.

Mr E
03-23-2006, 04:54 PM
Interesting.

My list:
1-Gene Tunney
2-Evander Holyfield
3-Ezzard Charles
4-Sam Langford
5-Michael Spinks
6-Floyd Patterson
7-Archie Moore
8-Tommy Gibbons
9-Harry Greb
10-Bob Fitzsimmons

Honorable mention (chron order): Stanley Ketchel, Tommy Loughran, Mickey Walker, Billy Conn, Jimmy Bivins, Harold Johnson, Jimmy Ellis, James Toney, Roy Jones, Jr.

Elmer Ray
03-23-2006, 05:55 PM
Interesting.

My list:
1-Gene Tunney
2-Evander Holyfield
3-Ezzard Charles
4-Sam Langford
5-Michael Spinks
6-Floyd Patterson
7-Archie Moore
8-Tommy Gibbons
9-Harry Greb
10-Bob Fitzsimmons

Honorable mention (chron order): Stanley Ketchel, Tommy Loughran, Mickey Walker, Billy Conn, Jimmy Bivins, Harold Johnson, Jimmy Ellis, James Toney, Roy Jones, Jr.

my list



1. ezzard charles
2. sam langford
3. evander holyfield
4. gene tunney
5. floyd patterson
6. Archie Moore
7. Michael Spinx
8. billy conn
9. Harold Johnson
10. bob fitzimmons

hagler04
03-23-2006, 11:37 PM
Gene Tunney is a HUGE miss on that list

Jones Jr over Conn is a joke . . .Conn victim Bob Pastor would have embarassed Ruiz.

BDeskins
03-24-2006, 01:54 AM
There were a few things I disagreed with. Fitz being so low, regardless that he beat and held his own with the very best heavyweights of his day. Also, I don't see where James Toney, or Roy Jones would belong on the list. Hell, Mickey Walker was more successful at heavyweight than both of those fighters combined. The you had other light heavyweights like Battling Levinsky, Maxie Rosenbloom, Jack Delaney, "Philly" Jack O'Brien and Harold Johnson...to name a few...all of whom had great success against heavyweights...Jones and Toney just do not have the credentials at heavyweight!

Elmer Ray
03-24-2006, 02:31 AM
i agree barry,


lets not forget guys like kid norfolk and jack "giant killer" dillon as well

Elmer Ray
03-24-2006, 02:31 AM
i agree barry,


lets not forget guys like kid norfolk and jack "giant killer" dillon as well

HE Grant
03-24-2006, 12:29 PM
Holyfield does not belong on the list. He was a legit heavyweight for most of his career. If it was juice or not is another question. However, I cannot place a guy that fought between 207 and 218 for ten years as a light heavy.

Charles and Tunney are the two that stand out. Most rate Tunney as the better heavyweight. While it appeared he was a great fighter, he gets an incomplete by me. He basically beat a semi-shot Dempsey twice andf then packed it in. Not enough to go on. For me, Tunney's greatest achievements were against Greb and that is major.

Charles remains a bit of a curiosity to me. His record below heavyweight was about as great as it gets. From middle to light heavy be beat many of the greatest names in history. What confuses me is his heavyweight career. Post Boudini he seems to have lost his killer instinct. While it did not stop him from dominateing at light heavy, he lacked something at heavy. Deservidly or not, Tunney seems to be recognized by most as the greater heavy and I'm not sure he deserves it.

Many others deserve credit. Michael Spinks would have given many fighters lot's of trouble at heavy with his style, strength, size and power/speed. He simply walked into the worst fighter , possibly ever, for his style.

James Toney despite his terrible attitude regarding condition deserves credit.

There are so many others. The more I see how disappointing today's heavyweights are against smaller men, the more I believe , excluding certain matchups, that the smaller men would have been extremely competitive against the dinosaurs of the past 20 years.

The era of the huge heavyweights was hugely overated.

Elmer Ray
03-25-2006, 02:20 AM
Deservidly or not, Tunney seems to be recognized by most as the greater heavy and I'm not sure he deserves it.


charles was defintley the better heavyweight. he accomplished a lot more at heavyweight, beat better competition, proved himself a lot more, and I think he looks better on film.

HE Grant
03-25-2006, 09:05 AM
You may be right. In addition, Tunney's two biggest name opponent wins, Greb and Dempsey , are matched by Charles domination of Moore (at light heavy about equal to Greb) and his defeat of a semi-shot Louis (to Tunney's semi-shot Dempsey). Charles fought much more at heavyweight, held the title longer. I get back to why does almost every historian rate Tunney an all time great at heavy and Charles is almost forgotten?

The obvious first response is that Tunney got out fast, undefeated but that has a double edge.

Elmer Ray
03-25-2006, 10:53 AM
You may be right. In addition, Tunney's two biggest name opponent wins, Greb and Dempsey , are matched by Charles domination of Moore (at light heavy about equal to Greb) and his defeat of a semi-shot Louis (to Tunney's semi-shot Dempsey). Charles fought much more at heavyweight, held the title longer. I get back to why does almost every historian rate Tunney an all time great at heavy and Charles is almost forgotten?

The obvious first response is that Tunney got out fast, undefeated but that has a double edge.


charles wins over moore count more than tunneys over grebs because moore was a better light-H than greb and tunney! not to mention moore never beat charles, while greb beat tunney.



I get back to why does almost every historian rate Tunney an all time great at heavy and Charles is almost forgotten?


-cause charles was horribly underated for his time


charles at heavy beat jersey joe walcott, who is better than any heavyweight tunney ever fought. charles also beat a better longer list of dangerous very good contenders than tunney did like

Walker Smith
03-25-2006, 11:43 AM
It's interesting that many of the guys thus far listed also fought at middleweight. We always talk about how embarassing it is to see Toney embarass these big boys, but, back in the day, it was happening then too, like Harold Johnson beating Nino Valdes, Tunney beating Dempsey and Conn beating Louis for 13 rounds. Yes, we do have a pretty shitty heavyweight division, but we should keep things in perspective when we talk about talented middleweights moving up and cleaning up on bigger slower heavyweigths. I believe if you take out all of the guys who didn't fight at middleweight exclusively, such as Patterson, Johnson, Holyfield and Spinks, then I think Toney slides in nicely with some wins over some naturally much bigger guys and a draw against a guy who was an ex-heavyweight champ who actually showed up to fight, but clearly wasn't in the same ball-park skillwise.

Roberto Aqui
03-25-2006, 04:03 PM
charles at heavy beat jersey joe walcott, who is better than any heavyweight tunney ever fought. charles also beat a better longer list of dangerous very good contenders than tunney did like

The Dempsey Tunney fought would have cleaned out the post Louis heavy division. Charles beat Moore before Moore became the ol' Mongoose. The Greb and Gibbons that Tunney beat is far better than any fighter Charles beat. Tunney also beat Delaney, Levinsky, Loughran, and Carpentier, which matches up well with the best Charles beat.

Where Charles had his advantage is he fought more top heavy contenders and had a longer heavy career, and he fought more quality sub heavy fighters overall than did Tunney, but he also has a ton more losses, so it's a wash overall.

Where Gene has his cracks is that he never faced any of the good or great black fighters of his day, no black fighters apparently, though there may be some obscure ones in his record. I understand he did try to make a Wills bout, but that was only selfishness, wanting to get a crack at Dempsey by beating Wills.

HE Grant
03-25-2006, 05:56 PM
The Moore Charles beat was not the Old Mongoose, he was a prime Mongoose and Charles destroyed him. I have always said that Moore was great but not the greatest at light heavy. He was beaten too often. His legacy was that he survived so long. I do agree that Roberto's other points regarding Tunney's opposition are valid.

Rafael
03-25-2006, 07:29 PM
I would not include Holyfield in this category. He would have been a career heavyweight in just about any era.

The Shoemaker
03-25-2006, 09:01 PM
A shot Dempsey would "clean out the post-Louis Heavyweights". First off, i'd favor Marciano over a prime Dempsey (along with Liston, Ali, Foreman, and bunch more). Marciano's chin, physical strength, conditioning and abilty to carry his power late in the fight, would be the reasons. As far as the "shot" Dempsey, thats a bigger joke. Do you know why the Tunny fights were 10 rounders ? because Dempsey's camp insisted on it (because that's all he could go). Not only was he shot in those fights, he doesn't have a clue on how to cut the ring off, Dempsey just follows Tunney around the ring. Of coarse Tunney's one of the first fighters who actually gives lateral movement, actually uses the jab-right hand combination. Dempsey's also a pioneer, he doesn't fight off his back foot, he comes in swarming AND actually moves his head comming in (what a shock). He also eats up the "lean-back fighters, by going to their bodies, which takes him to their heads (what a concept). Dempsey's also aided by being allowed to stand behind knocked down fighters and nailing them with sucker shots (that's the rules of the time). Interesting, Gene Tunney once stated that Dempsey would beat Walcott, Charles, and Marciano on the same night (they thought the fighters of that era sucked as well). Tunney also said that Dempsey would KO Louis in one round (the oldtimers didn't think the fighters of the 40's were any good neither). Fact is, despite what the old geezers of that era thought, boxing by the late 40's early 50's had improved over the 10's and 20's (I know that's blasphemy for some). As far as Greb over anyone Charles has fought-how would you know, you've never seen Greb fight (that 5 minute training clip must have wowed you). Lastley, as far as the "Old Mongoose" of the 50's being better than the one that Charles fought in the late forties- come on! Of coarse you're the guy who predicted that Jerry Quarry could beat Larry Holmes. I mean that fight has to be one of the biggest mismatches ever produced. You have a fighter, who is susceptable to the jab, fighting a guy with arguably one of the greatest jabs ever (plus Quarry cuts easy as well).

Mr E
03-25-2006, 09:17 PM
charles was defintley the better heavyweight. he accomplished a lot more at heavyweight, beat better competition, proved himself a lot more, and I think he looks better on film.

With all due respect, fellas, I gotta disagree here.

Besides Dempsey, who, though 'semi-shot,' as HEGrant puts it, was still a great fighter, Tunney beat Greb, Levinsky, Gibbons, and Carpentier, all of whom were all-time great light-heavyweights, just as Moore & Bivns were. Walcott was maybe better than any of those guys, but Charles didn't exactly dominate him. I doubt the left hook that flattened Charles would have flattened Tunney, and I can't see Tunney getting knocked out by Lloyd Marshall either. I also can't see him EVER losing to a lumbering oaf like Nino Valdes. Gene was the more consistent performer.

Two great 'little' heavyweights, but I think Tunney's better chin and, I think, better speed, give him the edge.

But I definitely see the counter argument.

Roberto Aqui
03-25-2006, 11:02 PM
Of coarse you're the guy who predicted that Jerry Quarry could beat Larry Holmes.

Quarry certainly could at his best. Would he? I don't know. Quarry at his best would be as good as anyone Larry ever fought, like a fading Norton, Cooney, and Spinks. On the basis of consistency, say in a 3 fight series, Holmes would rule with at least 2 of 3.

I never said that Dempsey could beat Rocky. I was talking about the immediate post Louis division of Walcott and Charles. Neither had the elusive footwork of Tunney, nor the chin and neither was quite as quick.

But, seeing as Rocky would be there to hit, I might have to favor Jack. Whatever he lost, he was still tough and could crack and find Rocky a lot more than Moore and Walcott did. It'd be a tough fight for the older Dempsey, but the kinda fight he always excelled at.

Elmer Ray
03-26-2006, 01:03 AM
The Greb and Gibbons that Tunney beat is far better than any fighter Charles beat.


walcott was better heavyweights than any of them including gene tunney. walcott was too big for greb, too skilled, fast, powerful for a far past it gibbons, and I think walcott looked better on film than tunney.

- also i might add gibbons was far past his prime when tunney beat him




Greb, Levinsky, Gibbons, and Carpentier, all of whom were all-time great light-heavyweights, just as Moore & Bivns were



archie moore was better than gene tunney himself. bivins was better than all those guys above at 175lb except greb.





But, seeing as Rocky would be there to hit, I might have to favor Jack. Whatever he lost, he was still tough and could crack and find Rocky a lot more than Moore and Walcott did. It'd be a tough fight for the older Dempsey, but the kinda fight he always excelled at.


rocky would have destroyed the far past his prime dempsey within 3 short ounds. it wouldnt have even been a fight. jack sharkey had dempsey nearly knocked out and dempsey only won cause he cheated IMO. sharkey was better than dempsey at that point of his career. DEMPSEY WAS LOOONNNNG GONE.

- a prime marciano vs dempsey, a much better matchup






I was talking about the immediate post Louis division of Walcott and Charles. Neither had the elusive footwork of Tunney, nor the chin and neither was quite as quick.


walcott had better footwork than tunney, MUCH BETTER. watch the louis fights, walcotts footwork and shuffle are a lot more unpredictable and tricky than tunney's footwork. walcott was faster and more smooth with his footwrok and used it to throw opponents off balance and confused which tunney never did. charles footwork was more polished and more smooth than tunney's.

-walcott was defintley quicker in hand and footspeed. it took joe louis 23 rounds to finally catch up with walcott and louis was a much better fighter in 1947 than dempsey was in 1927. walcott showed quicker handspeed on film and he was more elusive, slick than tunney. walcotts upperbody movement was leagues above tunney's.

- charles was faster than tunney in handspeed. his punches defintley

- walcott in his prime was only knocked out by louis and marciano. walcott faced a lot more huge punchers in his career than tunney did and he took hard punches from marciano, louis, ray, hatchetman sheppard, tiger jack fox, tommy gomez, without going down. how many world class fighters did tunney faced that weighed above 190lb? wut proves that tunney had a better chin than charles? charles faced bigger punchers than tunney and took big punches from marciano, valdes, ray, satterfield, louis, moore without going down. tunney's chin was unproven at heavyweight. name the big powerful heavyweights that tunney faced? NONE




, and I can't see Tunney getting knocked out by Lloyd Marshall either. I also can't see him EVER losing to a lumbering oaf like Nino Valdes. Gene was the more consistent performer.


the lloyd marshall fight happened when charles was 21 years old and just 165lb. lets see a 21 year old gene tunney fight a lloyd marshall.

- charles had a "off night" vs valdes. happens to all champs. charles showed up to the valdes fight overweight(193lb) , over confident, and undertrained and he LOST A HUGE UPSET to a unknown journeyman at the time who proved he was far better than his record indicated and he would go on to become # 1 contender. - incidentley, tunney never fought a big skilled heavyweight like nino valdes.



-Tunney did not fight anything approaching the depth of competition that Charles did either at light heavyweight or heavyweight. That is the principal reason that his record looks pretier. Charles has a much better pedigree at heavyweight with far more fights against ranked contenders. It should also be noted that the losses to Johnson, Layne and Ray should in fact be wins.



-personally, tunney on film is a little bit too "herky jerky" for me. charles on the other hand was a more polished and smoother boxer. I think that Charles is a better version of Tunney.

- i also think walcott beats tunney

Elmer Ray
03-26-2006, 01:07 AM
I think schmeling and jack sharkey would have given tunney very close fights and think schmeling-tunney is 50/50. godfrey and wills(22-24) would have also been very tough dangerous fights for tunney. tunney never fought a heavyweight like either of these guys.

- I hate to sound like i am being a tunney hater with my recent posts, but what i am trying to get across is tunney does not rate highly on accomplishments at all since he had many flaws and holes in his heavyweight career. most of his ranking is based on him head to head.



I think tunney was a great fighter, top 20 heavyweight of all time but nothing more. in comparison, i think both walcott and charles are top 15 heavyweights of all time.


incidently,

IBRO thought highly of all three rating tunney # 11 greatest heavy, walcott # 16th greatest heavy, charles # 17th greatest heavy, except they think higher of tunney which i disagree with.


- I think its safe to say walcott and charles would have been the best heavyweights tunney ever faced and that includes the semi shot dempsey

Elmer Ray
03-26-2006, 01:22 AM
Gene was the more consistent performer.


mr. e,


with all due respect how can u say this and keep a straight face, considering charles faced far greater competition at both 175 and heavyweight during his career and fought a lot more depth, and wider range of size, style than tunney. obviosiosly ur going to be far more consistent if your fighting the fighters tunney fought.

PeteLeo
03-26-2006, 02:38 AM
Sharkey tried to knock out the shot Dempsey, including hitting him several times clearly after the bell, but he couldn't do it. I think we tend to underrate Dempsey's chin due to the knockdowns that Firpo scored against him, but Jack was never that hurt even in that bout (the through-the-ropes moment was a shove, and when he made his way back into the ring, Luis was unable to capitalize on his condition). Marciano might -- and probably would -- eventually whip the Dempsey of the Sharkey fight, but I don't think it would come in just three rounds, and I do feel that Rocky would carry a lot of residual damage out of the bout himself.
One alleged low blow that can't even be confirmed by the only surviving film is enough to conclude that Dempsey beat Sharkey by cheating? Believe me, Sharkey was giving as good as he got in the questionable tactics department, including below the belt, behind the head and back, and after the bell. The truth seems to be that after an awful start, the aged, rusty Dempsey had gritted his teeth and was slowly working his way back into the fight on the scorecards. He might even have won a decision. Sharkey had his chance to take out the old man in the first couple of rounds, and he couldn't do it. Dempsey was as tough as a pine knot, even at that point, tough enough to go to war with the Rock for a good six or seven rounds, I think. Who knows what would have happened in those rounds? There is no doubt which of the two was by far the more frequent bleeder. PeteLeo.

The Shoemaker
03-26-2006, 03:00 AM
Elmer Ray- you could have given the excuse that Charles was on leave from the service when he took the fights with Bivins and Marshall, although that's not really fair to Bivins and Marshall (not their fault). He avenged them both when he returned after the war (plus he has two wins over a prime Charley Burley, when Charles was 20 years old). Also, Charles fought everyone while tunney drew the color line. I don't know what source people on this site use when they state that Wills ducked Tunney; in Roger Kahn's book on Dempsey, Kahn, using a letter from Tunney to a New York promoter basically stated that he shouldn't have to fight Wills before fighting Dempsey.
Wills fought the dangerous Firpo to get to Dempsey, why would he fear a Light Heavy ? Plus, it isn't as though Wills is making very much money fighting black fighters. Thing is Wills is shot by 1925. As I said, much of Tunney's success is due to the fact that he was one of the first fighters to use lateral movement and use a jab-straight right combo. That's not that big of a deal in the 1940's. Plus Tunney holds his hands very low, not that other boxer's don't but it's not as though he has a long reach. The reason I'd take a PRIME Marciano over a PRIME Dempsey is that Marciano, like Frazier, carries his power late into the fight. So if Dempsey doesn't get him out of there by the 5th round, he's in big trouble. Marciano's also physically stronger than Dempsey and that should be a factor with two guys who like to get inside. Like Frazier, Marciano will often lose early rounds because the opponents can hang with them at that pace, by they can't hang at that pace for long (Frazier puts even more pressure on his opponent than Marciano).

Elmer Ray
03-26-2006, 03:08 AM
edited

Elmer Ray
03-26-2006, 03:08 AM
were comparing a far past his prime dempsey with a prime marciano. this will be a clear win for marciano and i think inside of 5 . same thing with comparing a far past his prime marciano vs demsey. no contest. no way dempsey of the tunney fights will be able to survive marciano fighting like that. perhaps we share different opinions, but i feel prime for prime they were pretty much even and i see it 50/50



- one myth that I would like to officially bust about marciano is "cutting", marcian was NOT a bad bleeder. guys like chuck wepner, henry cooper, quarry were, NOT MARCIANO.

* out of rockys 49 fights, ONLY 6 fights did rocky suffer bleeding cuts. rocky NEVER HAD A FIGHT STOPPED ON CUTS. the johnny skhor(headbutt), ezzard charles II(elbow), Keene Simmons, Walcott I, were 4 of the 6 fights rocky suffered cuts.

* the 2nd charles fight was not going to be stopped in the next round like the legend tells it. it was a myth that newspapers made up to give a spice to the fight. in reality, the cut was HORRIBLY gruesome but the doctor never implied he was going to stop it in the next round.

* be realistic, the charles cut was defintley an elbow. I mean, in history of boxing have u ever seen a punch do that do a fighters nose??

- it appears rocky is not the bleeder everyone makes him out to be, if only he only suffered cuts in a few of his 49 fights and the only time he was on verge of getting stopped on cuts was simmons I and charles II.

Elmer Ray
03-26-2006, 03:15 AM
Elmer Ray- you could have given the excuse that Charles was on leave from the service when he took the fights with Bivins and Marshall, although that's not really fair to Bivins and Marshall (not their fault). He avenged them both when he returned after the war (plus he has two wins over a prime Charley Burley, when Charles was 20 years old). Also, Charles fought everyone while tunney drew the color line. I don't know what source people on this site use when they state that Wills ducked Tunney; in Roger Kahn's book on Dempsey, Kahn, using a letter from Tunney to a New York promoter basically stated that he shouldn't have to fight Wills before fighting Dempsey.
Wills fought the dangerous Firpo to get to Dempsey, why would he fear a Light Heavy ? Plus, it isn't as though Wills is making very much money fighting black fighters. Thing is Wills is shot by 1925. As I said, much of Tunney's success is due to the fact that he was one of the first fighters to use lateral movement and use a jab-straight right combo. That's not that big of a deal in the 1940's. Plus Tunney holds his hands very low, not that other boxer's don't but it's not as though he has a long reach. The reason I'd take a PRIME Marciano over a PRIME Dempsey is that Marciano, like Frazier, carries his power late into the fight. So if Dempsey doesn't get him out of there by the 5th round, he's in big trouble. Marciano's also physically stronger than Dempsey and that should be a factor with two guys who like to get inside. Like Frazier, Marciano will often lose early rounds because the opponents can hang with them at that pace, by they can't hang at that pace for long (Frazier puts even more pressure on his opponent than Marciano).



I agree with most of what u wrote, and I am still undecided on a prime for prime dempsey marciano match.

- you make a great point about dempseys late round power, though dempsey showed in the 2nd brennan fight he had his late power, and it was in a very close competitive fight. i believe after 10 rounds, brennan had been winning. however, it also must be noted dempsey was an extremeley fast starter and knocked most guys out early so he wasnt having to prove himself later in the fight.

- the gibbons fight u can say dempsey didnt finish him, but this happened in 23 and some papers at the time reported jack wasnt the same "hunry lion" he once was. also gibbons was quite durable and hard to knockout cause of his defense and ring savvy.




- tunney could have fought a still very good wills anywhere from 1922-24. tunney never fought a big poweful heavyweight let alone a skilled big powerful heavyweight.

PeteLeo
03-26-2006, 03:27 AM
Historian Herb Goldman stated in Boxing Illustrated that Wills turned down offered fights with both Tunney and Gibbons. Goldman's pretty meticulous, so I would accept his conclusions unless other evidence were introduced.
I sincerely doubt that Marciano was physically stronger than Dempsey, and I don't think he had faster hands or a better chin. He certainly didn't have the movement that Dempsey could employ when young and fit (pre-layoff and Hollywood adventures). If Walcott's left hook could drop a prime Marciano like a sack of potatoes and hurt him repeatedly (look at round eleven of their first fight -- it's agonizing), Dempsey's hook would do even more damage.
Marciano cut in six fights. To the best of my knowledge, Dempsey never cut during a bout. We've all read the story of his bathing his face in beef brine, so maybe the benefits of that activity were real.
In Dempsey you have a naturally larger man who hit just as hard or harder than Rocky, a man whose toughness was goldplated when he went the distance twice with Tunney though athletically finished, knocked out a very good Brennan in the twelfth when he was undertained and overconfident, and clearly out-pointed one of the trickiest boxers ever to ply his trade in the division over fifteen fast-paced rounds. Not to mention coming back from a severe beating in the early rounds to blast out Sharkey with one punch. He certainly didn't have to win his fights early.
Head to head, I find it difficult to see how Rock wins this one. But I'd love to see the collision of the two bulls. PeteLeo.

Elmer Ray
03-26-2006, 03:51 AM
I sincerely doubt that Marciano was physically stronger than Dempse


I think marciano was stronger than dempsey and a lot of other heavyweight champions. Marcianos strength was one of his greatest attributes. people talk too much of marcianos stamina, and not enough about his strength.

archie moore who fought many 220+ heavies in his career said "marciano was far and away the strongest man i ever fought, and believe me i met some tough ones."

ezzard charles also said "marciano was the strongest i ever faced."


-almost all of marcianos opponents and sparring parnters have said the same thing.

- i think marcianos strength is VASTLY underated by many people today. I constantly hear people say frazier was stronger and they base it all on frazier being 15-20lb heavier when in fact frazier had 20lb more fat than marciano. marciano was regularly well over 200lb, and he had to train himself FANATICALLY down to make 185lb.





- dempsey defintley has the bigger edge in speed, no question. he had faster hands, and he defintley had faster footspeed and cut off the ring better



- chin? i think its close but i see marciano as being the more durable of the two.





If Walcott's left hook could drop a prime Marciano like a sack of potatoes and hurt him repeatedly (look at round eleven of their first fight -- it's agonizing), Dempsey's hook would do even more damage.


you cant say this. this is picking apples and oranges.


its like me saying if cooper's left hook could drop and nearly KO ali, listons, foremans, fraziers hook would defintley ko ali .


or like me saying


if firpos could drop dempsey 2x and then knock him out of the ring and nearly out(if it werent for ringsiders help) , what do u think marcianos punches would do to dempsey?

Elmer Ray
03-26-2006, 03:58 AM
walcott was a big puncher. in RING magazines top 100 greatest punchers, they rated walcott # 66. That left hook walcott knocked marciano down with in the first was a carbon copy of the same one that recentley knocked ezzard charles out cold! except rocky was only down for a quick 2 count. walcott said he could not believe he turned his head to see that marciano had gotten up.

The Shoemaker
03-26-2006, 04:14 AM
Pete-I'll get you Khan's source on Tunney-wills, when I can find the book. The reason I think Marciano's physically stronger than Dempsey is "look at their builds". Marciano has huge forearms, big thighs, and a big ass (in perportion to his height and weight). Like i said, Marciano's walking around weight is over 200 llbs, it was just that he was a fanatical trainer that he dropped below 190 for his fights. Plus he used his strength in fights to wear down opponents, physically move them, and throw them into corners far more often than Dempsey did. And, practically everyone who fought Marciano talked about his strength and how he wore them down. I never said Dempsey wasn't in shape, it's just that Marciano was a freak in regards to physical conditioning (most people would overtrain if they followed his regiment), the only fighter that comes close is Frazier. I doubt if Brennon or Gibbons are going to fight him at the pace Marciano will fight him at.

The Shoemaker
03-26-2006, 04:38 AM
Sorry Elmer- I didn't read your post on Marciano's strength, so I wound up repeating what you said. The guy was built like a fire Hydrant. I disagree with you on Frazier, I think 205 was perfect for him. I think he'd be overtrained and weak if he dropped down under 190 (he trained like crazy for Ali in "71"). Remember, 99% of the fighters can't train like Marciano or be effective that far below their natural weight that's just in his genes. Then again roids will allow athletes in other sports to overtrain, but then again, steroids usually put weight on people.

Roberto Aqui
03-26-2006, 10:48 AM
its like me saying if cooper's left hook could drop and nearly KO ali, listons, foremans, fraziers hook would defintley ko ali .


or like me saying


if firpos could drop dempsey 2x and then knock him out of the ring and nearly out(if it werent for ringsiders help) , what do u think marcianos punches would do to dempsey?

Bad logic.

The valid comparisons are championship bouts straight up when generally the fighters are at their best. Clay was young and unfocused against Cooper in a non title bout. A valid point would be that Ali could be hit with a damaging left hook all through his career and sometimes struggled against quick prime fighters or big strong fighters.

Firpo is also a much larger, yes, stronger man than Rocky, and yes, he hit harder, it was all he had. Did Rocky ever face a really big guy who could crack like Firpo who, today, would be a larger version of Corrie Sanders? BTW, it was a push that propelled Jack out of the ring after he was knocked off balance by a right hand.

Roberto Aqui
03-26-2006, 11:18 AM
Pete-I'll get you Khan's source on Tunney-wills, when I can find the book. The reason I think Marciano's physically stronger than Dempsey is "look at their builds". Marciano has huge forearms, big thighs, and a big ass (in perportion to his height and weight). Like i said, Marciano's walking around weight is over 200 llbs, it was just that he was a fanatical trainer that he dropped below 190 for his fights. Plus he used his strength in fights to wear down opponents, physically move them, and throw them into corners far more often than Dempsey did.

Here's the IBHOF TOT for both. They didn't include "ass" measurments.

Ht..5-10¼ 6-0¾
Wt..184 187
Reach..68 77
Chest..39 42
Exp...42 46
Waist..32 33
Bicep 14 16¼
Neck..16¾ 161/2
Wrist..7½ 9
Calf..14¾ 15
Ankle..10 9
Thigh..22 23
Fist..11½ 11¼
Forearm 12 Jack 14½

Now, I'm not gungho on validity of ancient TOT measurements which have never had any official guidelines or directives, but it appears that Jack has a significant advantage in every category save the ankle and presumably the "ass". The neck/calf sizes are almost identical.

Don't think you make a good case for Rock's strength advantage. Jack handled the much bigger stronger fighters, and I doubt Rocky could ever come out of the gate as fast as Jack and maintain his form down the stretch like Jack did, so I really don't see a stamina advantage either.

It seems to me that Rocky trained down to his optimal size, which suited his paced pressure style based on stamina. Let's not make it any more than it is which is what you are doing. He was not this tremendous physical speciman who cut himself down. He was losing body fat.

Crold1
03-26-2006, 11:26 AM
Why perpetuate the myth that Holyfield was not a natural heavyweight? It's not true. prior to the birth of the Crusierweight class, Holyfield was a heavyweight his whole career. Even with Crusierweight, he was above 200 lbs. before his 20th fight. Hell, Muhammad Ali fought at light heavy in the Olympics too and was light early in his career. Still a heavyweight. Holy was a small heavyweight; not an unnatural one. Guys like Moore started at middleweight so to compare that to Holy is stupid.

Sharkey
03-26-2006, 12:56 PM
A bout between Dempsey and Marciano wouldn't, I don't think, be settled by a determination of which one was physically stronger.

Not for one second do I pan Marciano's potential victory in this as a possibility. Still, I do not think Dempsey is one of the prospective fanatasy opponents that would be right in Rocky's wheelhouse.

If Marciano would defeat Dempsey, would it hinge on if he was stronger or not..to the point that if he wasn't, in fact stronger, he would THEN be a likely loser?

His stamina and punch rate would be effective against Jack. But for sheer physical strength as it makes one a winner over another...maybe in some Superstars competition.

Elmer Ray
03-26-2006, 01:42 PM
Firpo is also a much larger, yes, stronger man than Rocky, and yes, he hit harder, it was all he had.

disagree, marciano defintley hit harder than firpo, though firpo could wack.

- pre 1954 rocky was one of the hardest p4p hitters who ever lived.


- marciano was buil like a fire hydrant, i forget who said it. take a look at his forearms, his legs, etc he was incredibly thick and big boned. archie moore faced big strongest sluggers like 6'3 215lb nino valdes yet he called 188lb marciano far and away the strongest man he ever fought.

The Shoemaker
03-26-2006, 03:58 PM
As far as "Tale of the Tapes" or physiques as a guage to describe someones "functional strength" in the ring; I am sure Mike Tyson or Mike Weaver's numbers would blow Dempsey and Marciano's out of the water. But in funtional strength in the ring, it's not even close. Tyson, like Dempsey, didn't rely on physical strength to win fights, it's not that big of a deal; their fights were won because of their speed, and ability to get inside on bigger fighters and kill them with accurate combinations. Both fighters do get tied up a lot (Dempsey-Gibbons, is a bore to watch as Gibbons ties Jack up continuously) . Marciano on the other hand, depends on his strength, it's arguablly his biggest weapon. There are different ways to use strength in the ring, you can grab, hold, and force your opponent to the ropes like Fullmer, Jack johnson, or John Ruiz (I know it's blasphemy to put Ruiz in their class, but the guy does use his strength to win fights-he also weighs 240-doesn't look it), or you can use your upper body strength like Foreman to shove swarmers off of your chest (where they can do damage) and force them back outside where they have to run the gauntlet to get back inside. Marciano's pressures' different, he doesn't tie up much, instead he uses his legs and lower center of gravity (like I said, it's like trying to push on a fire hydrant) to drive his opponent to the ropes. Because when their opponent's back is on the ropes, not only are they easier to hit, but most of them arn't as dangerous with their back on the ropes, they don't have any leverage or room to throw (unless they are great in-fighters, or they're used to fighting off the ropes, which few fighters are), so Marciano is much safier if his opponents on the ropes and his opponent has to fight him out of a phone book, with no leverage. Thing is, Marciano's opponents either have to push back with their legs (against someone who is lower than them), go to the ropes, or move. Either way they are expending energy. Next point: In a Marciano-Dempsey match up, everyone thinks that Dempsey will nail him with a big right hand ala George Foreman. Dempsey has the same style as Marciano, he wants to get inside. a lot of times when two swarmers meet people predict early KO's, that's not always the case. A lot of times both fighters are "safe in the pocket" and because of that they don't land bombs. I think a big key to that fight would be strength and conditioning (and Marciano has a better uppercut than Dempsey, which will come into play with two swarmers). Now, you have one fighter who's whole fight plan is predicated on using his physical strength, the other uses his hand speed and ability to throw combinations (which was a big deal in the 1920's). As far as Dempsey muscleling Firpo or Willard, I didn't see that. I saw a guy get inside by slipping their roundhouse right hands (neither of the "Giants" -Firpo was 6-3 1/2 had much of a jab) then killing the longer-armed fighters with combinations. Then after dropping them, he got behind them (no neutral corner back them) and sucker punched them back down again and again (not Dempsey's fault that was the rules back them).

The Shoemaker
03-26-2006, 04:08 PM
I meant to say that Tyson and Dempsey both are easier to tie up than Marciano (Tyson, despite his size, was real easy to tie up). Of coarse Tyson is fighting 240 llbe'rs, so I doubt if too many 180 llber's are going to tie him up

Ted Spoon
03-26-2006, 04:11 PM
You mean fighters who fought below todays minimum weight for Heavy weights?

Bob Fitzsimmons and Sam Langford were two of the best.

Some observers of the time believed Langford was at his fighting peak during his Welterweight days. However, he had the nessecary frame to add weight.

He was a special fighter. Not only would Sam prove a real danger to the likes of Tunney, Louis and Marciano -- men around his size, but I'd bet he'd have a few surprises in him vs. the big Heavy weights of more modern times.

Jim Flynn expressed that Langford hit him harder than Dempsey had. His left hook, right uppercut combination was sizzling. His record showed he could destroy huge men.

Fitzsimmons, again, had that frame. These men were not really what you would call small, but rather 'special cases'. He used those lanky arms and patented shifts to create that power of his.

Champions today, both of them.

Elmer Ray
03-26-2006, 04:40 PM
There are different ways to use strength in the ring, you can grab, hold, and force your opponent to the ropes like Fullmer, Jack johnson, or John Ruiz (I know it's blasphemy to put Ruiz in their class, but the guy does use his strength to win fights-he also weighs 240-doesn't look it), or you can use your upper body strength like Foreman to shove swarmers off of your chest (where they can do damage) and force them back outside where they have to run the gauntlet to get back inside. Marciano's pressures' different, he doesn't tie up much, instead he uses his legs and lower center of gravity (like I said, it's like trying to push on a fire hydrant) to drive his opponent to the ropes. Because when their opponent's back is on the ropes, not only are they easier to hit, but most of them arn't as dangerous with their back on the ropes, they don't have any leverage or room to throw (unless they are great in-fighters, or they're used to fighting off the ropes, which few fighters are), so Marciano is much safier if his opponents on the ropes and his opponent has to fight him out of a phone book, with no leverage. Thing is, Marciano's opponents either have to push back with their legs (against someone who is lower than them), go to the ropes, or move. Either way they are expending energy. Next point: In a Marciano-Dempsey match up, everyone thinks that Dempsey will nail him with a big right hand ala George Foreman. Dempsey has the same style as Marciano, he wants to get inside. a lot of times when two swarmers meet people predict early KO's, that's not always the case. A lot of times both fighters are "safe in the pocket" and because of that they don't land bombs. I think a big key to that fight would be strength and conditioning (and Marciano has a better uppercut than Dempsey, which will come into play with two swarmers). Now, you have one fighter who's whole fight plan is predicated on using his physical strength, the other uses his hand speed and ability to throw combinations (which was a big deal in the 1920's). As far as Dempsey muscleling Firpo or Willard, I didn't see that. I saw a guy get inside by slipping their roundhouse right hands (neither of the "Giants" -Firpo was 6-3 1/2 had much of a jab) then killing the longer-armed fighters with combinations. Then after dropping them, he got behind them (no neutral corner back them) and sucker punched them back down again and again (not Dempsey's fault that was the rules back them).



very interesting post shoemaker






crold,


in holyfields book, it states hes naturall 195lb and had to bulk up vs bryd.

PeteLeo
03-26-2006, 06:25 PM
I still think you guys are dismissing Dempsey's combo speed and deceptive reach (77' or 78"). At his best, he could fire off volleys that seemed to come from too far away to reach his opponent -- until said opponent was looking up at him from the canvas. He wasn't a slickster like the best Walcott, true, but his hook was harder (according to many -- Sugar stated on "Ringside" a couple of months ago that he rated Jack's hook the best of all, better than Frazier's or Louis') and just as quick. An over-the-hill Jersey Joe consistently nailed a prime Marciano with that shot, leading me to think that sooner or later, the impact from Dempsey's blows would be just too much for even the Rock. PeteLeo.

The Shoemaker
03-26-2006, 06:32 PM
Elmer Ray- I should have used a more textbook fighter like Joe Louis than George Foreman. My point was that I doubt that either Marciano or Dempsey are as versitale as Louis, who will set, and nail a slugger comming in (baiting them with his half-step back stlye). I'd argue since both of them (Marciano and Dempsey) live and die by getting inside, they are both going to be moving forward at each other rather than setting up. Obviously, it's not etched in stone one or the other can nail the other one comming in, but I think the majority of that fight would be fought on the inside, since that's where both of them want to be. Since both are tough-minded, and have strong chins, the fight may last longer than people think. It's not as though either of these guys have a plan B. I think it comes down to who's stronger and in better condition, two traits that are not only Marciano's strengths, but also what his style is based on.

The Shoemaker
03-26-2006, 06:53 PM
Ted Spoon: Bob Foster was also tall and lanky and could hit when he was fighting people near his weight (I don't count Doug Jones, that was early in his career). trouble was his shots didn't do anything Frazier, Ali, or Terrelle - Wonder why ? I've seen Langford 2-3 times on film. he's 5-7, 175 llbs, comes straight in, no head movement, no crouch. fortunatly, his opponents are fighting in that antiquated style of fighting off their back foot, with their left arm out. they can't snap a jab off, and the majority of their fights are quasi-wrestling matches. You guys bitch about Ruiz, he ain't 1/1000 as bad as those guys in regards to holding and wrestling. Of coarse you're looking at Ruiz objectively (or over-objectively) while the old timers are viewed with star's in your eyes. Yes, Langford does go to the body, in fact he's one of the first fighters to base his attack off of the body (doesn't say much for the fighters that preceeded him). It also doesn't say much about Jim Corbett, when he got KO'ed by a body shot-which once again, was a big deal back then. I don't care how bad the fighters are today at heavyweight, Bob Fitzsimmons at 165 llbs is NOT winning a title (especially with his extinct style), neither is Langford at 175 (especially if he's going to walk straight in face-first). Often times the fighter with more boxing skills still gets beat at heavyweight, physics (and power) come into play. Two points: There hasn't been a heavyweight contender under 190 llbs in 40+ years-why not? Secondly, How come that no fighter in 80+ years has fought in that stupid, archaec pre- WWI style (Schmelling and Burley fought off their back foot but they wern't as exaggerated as that) ? Maybe because fighters like Dempsey made it obsolete. In both cases, remember that boxing is a multi-million dollar sport, so if there were sub 190 llb heavies who could contend they would. Same with that stupid style of the pre-WWI era. If it worked they'd use it.

Elmer Ray
03-26-2006, 07:30 PM
I still think you guys are dismissing Dempsey's combo speed and deceptive reach (77' or 78"). At his best, he could fire off volleys that seemed to come from too far away to reach his opponent -- until said opponent was looking up at him from the canvas. He wasn't a slickster like the best Walcott, true, but his hook was harder (according to many -- Sugar stated on "Ringside" a couple of months ago that he rated Jack's hook the best of all, better than Frazier's or Louis') and just as quick. An over-the-hill Jersey Joe consistently nailed a prime Marciano with that shot, leading me to think that sooner or later, the impact from Dempsey's blows would be just too much for even the Rock. PeteLeo.

jersey joe was not "over the hill" when he fought marciano. Walcott was undeniably a late-bloomer as a fighter. Walcott had just overcome his arch-nemesis, Charles, twice in his last two fights. Now, does anyone, when discussing Charles' legacy, say "Charles was beaten by a past-prime Walcott"? I'm afraid not. Those two wins were the biggest victories Walcott ever put together, and they were his last two fights before he fought Marciano, only a few months prior. Ridiculous to think he was in his prime? No, to the contrary, I see no reason to think he suddenly became an old, washed-up fighter the night he faced Marciano simply to fulfill the detractors' attempts at discrediting him. Walcott was hard as nails when he fought Rocky, he was fast, sharp, confident, focused, and in no way fought like an old man. Many historians and Ringsiders consider this one of or if not walcotts best preformances of his career. IMO it was walcotts 2nd best preformance on film, the first one being the louis robbery. walcott never let his hands go as much as he did in the marciano fight, nor did he ever display the aggresiveness he showed in the marciano fight before.

Jersey Joe Walcott said of the 1st marciano fight " never before have I felt better or more confident."


-I never hear anyone say walcott was past his prime during the charles-walcott series, YET 3 of their 4 fights was taken place LESS THAN A YEAR AWAY from the marciano 1st fight.




walcott hit marciano with a left hook almost a carbon copy of the charles knockout and marciano took it and was up at 2. now difference between dempsey and walcotts left hook is walcotts left hook thrown at a different angle(more of an uppercut) than dempseys and was trickier, making it more unpredictable and harder to see. walcott had more accuracy in his left than dempsey, slightly more speed, and better timing with his punch, so this was another big reason jersey's left hook landed more than jacks might. dempsey no doubt had a better and harder left hook than walcott, but dempsey will not land his left hook on marciano as much as walcott would. dempsey was a competley different fighter than jersey joe and threw punches differently than jersey joe. dempsey defintley will land his left hook on marciano, and it will hurt him and defintley could drop him if placed properly, as with the same of marcianos punches.





what is your thoughts about jack dempsey being able to avoid marcianos right hand? brennan, firpo, carpentier, and others all staggered dempsey with right hands. dempsey had a better defense than marciano, but he will be slugging it out with marciano and when he got overaggresive he became wild and flaily like vs willard and firpo which he will have to compose himself not to do vs rock. dempseys chin was dentable and i dont think he had as good as a chin as rocks, so i think rocky can take jacks punch a little better. dempsey did face bigger punchers than rock faced, but he was also floored and staggered by less ones and was knocked down more.


- firpo may have pushed dempsey out of the ring but right before he did he landed hard punches on dempsey and when dempsey was pushed out, he was already out on his feet from firpos punches. dempsey barely managed to beat it(some say if it werent for the ringsiders helping jack up) . marciano is a much better all around puncher and finisher than firpo, so you gotta wonder if jack gets put in that position vs rocky, will he be able to survive it?

Mr E
03-27-2006, 01:25 AM
mr. e,


with all due respect how can u say this and keep a straight face, considering charles faced far greater competition at both 175 and heavyweight during his career and fought a lot more depth, and wider range of size, style than tunney. obviosiosly ur going to be far more consistent if your fighting the fighters tunney fought.

Disagree. Gibbons & Greb were pretty dang close to Moore & Bivins, I'd say. Sure hate to live on the difference. Walcott may have been better than anyone Tunney ever beat, except Dempsey, but Charles only went 2-2 against him. Marciano may have been better than the version of Dempsey whom Tunney beat, tho' not better than prime Dempsey, but Charles was 0-2 against Marciano.

Mr E
03-27-2006, 01:29 AM
Sharkey tried to knock out the shot Dempsey, including hitting him several times clearly after the bell, but he couldn't do it. I think we tend to underrate Dempsey's chin due to the knockdowns that Firpo scored against him, but Jack was never that hurt even in that bout (the through-the-ropes moment was a shove, and when he made his way back into the ring, Luis was unable to capitalize on his condition). Marciano might -- and probably would -- eventually whip the Dempsey of the Sharkey fight, but I don't think it would come in just three rounds, and I do feel that Rocky would carry a lot of residual damage out of the bout himself.
One alleged low blow that can't even be confirmed by the only surviving film is enough to conclude that Dempsey beat Sharkey by cheating? Believe me, Sharkey was giving as good as he got in the questionable tactics department, including below the belt, behind the head and back, and after the bell. The truth seems to be that after an awful start, the aged, rusty Dempsey had gritted his teeth and was slowly working his way back into the fight on the scorecards. He might even have won a decision. Sharkey had his chance to take out the old man in the first couple of rounds, and he couldn't do it. Dempsey was as tough as a pine knot, even at that point, tough enough to go to war with the Rock for a good six or seven rounds, I think. Who knows what would have happened in those rounds? There is no doubt which of the two was by far the more frequent bleeder. PeteLeo.

Right. I've often wondered how apocryphal that story was-- film certainly doesn't show any blow that was clearly low, but it does show the Mauler taking it to him during the 6th and 7th rounds.

Marciano would have had trouble with any version of Dempsey because he was so easy to hit. Yes, his defense was better than people often credit, but no one can deny that he was hit early and often in every fight he ever fought.

Elmer Ray
03-27-2006, 01:32 AM
Disagree. Gibbons & Greb were pretty dang close to Moore & Bivins, I'd say. Sure hate to live on the difference. Walcott may have been better than anyone Tunney ever beat, except Dempsey, but Charles only went 2-2 against him. Marciano may have been better than the version of Dempsey whom Tunney beat, tho' not better than prime Dempsey, but Charles was 0-2 against Marciano.


- tunney easily decisioned dempsey twice, thats how far gone dempsey was. tunney wasnt better than walcott at heavyweight. sharkey was taking dempsey to school.

-walcott 15 unanimous 1927 dempsey WIDE DECISION


- tunney beat a far past his prime tommy gibbons in gibbons last fight, in comparison charles beat a PRIME archie moore. THIS VICTORY MEANS A LOT MORE. also any version of gibbons would be knocked out by archie moore. also, IMO moore was BETTER THAN TUNNEY

- tunney LOST TWICE to greb going 3-2 vs greb. in comparsion charles had a better win loss/ratio charles beat moore 3 out of 3 and bivins 4 out 5. it ALSO must be noted harry greb was a middleweight who weighed 162lb for the tunney fights.

- greb was an all time 160lb, but he was not better than moore at 175lb



- ezzard charles also beat harold johnson, but he was robbed. harold johnson is argueably a top 10 light-H of all time


at 175lb

moore KO 4 1925 tommy gibbons
moore 15 unanimous 162lb harry greb
moore 15 split gene tunney

Mr E
03-27-2006, 01:37 AM
I think marciano was stronger than dempsey and a lot of other heavyweight champions. Marcianos strength was one of his greatest attributes. people talk too much of marcianos stamina, and not enough about his strength.

archie moore who fought many 220+ heavies in his career said "marciano was far and away the strongest man i ever fought, and believe me i met some tough ones."

ezzard charles also said "marciano was the strongest i ever faced."


-almost all of marcianos opponents and sparring parnters have said the same thing.

- i think marcianos strength is VASTLY underated by many people today. I constantly hear people say frazier was stronger and they base it all on frazier being 15-20lb heavier when in fact frazier had 20lb more fat than marciano. marciano was regularly well over 200lb, and he had to train himself FANATICALLY down to make 185lb.





- dempsey defintley has the bigger edge in speed, no question. he had faster hands, and he defintley had faster footspeed and cut off the ring better



- chin? i think its close but i see marciano as being the more durable of the two.







you cant say this. this is picking apples and oranges.


its like me saying if cooper's left hook could drop and nearly KO ali, listons, foremans, fraziers hook would defintley ko ali .


or like me saying


if firpos could drop dempsey 2x and then knock him out of the ring and nearly out(if it werent for ringsiders help) , what do u think marcianos punches would do to dempsey?

I wouldn't be surprised if Dempsey and Marciano were the 2 strongest champs ever, pound-for-pound, but if I had to guess, I'd give the edge to Dempsey. He looks amazing moving Firpo and Willard around-- and nobody ever moved him. Definitely think Dempsey took AT LEAST as good a punch as Marciano. The only class-A banger Marciano ever fought was a dead-shot Louis. Say what you want about the over-all skill level of guys like Fulton, Morris, Willard and Firpo, they were all big strong guys who specialized in powere punching and Firpo was the only one who ever even made Dempsey blink. Brennan was mobbed up, we all know that, so half his losses and half his wins probably don't count. But ALL those KOs can't have been set-ups-- he was a banger. And a damn good one, too-- the films of the second Dempsey fight show that, when they took the hand-cuffs off him, he was a really good fighter. Good enough to have beaten either Roland LaStarza or Don Cockell. I betcha.

Elmer Ray
03-27-2006, 01:38 AM
Marciano would have had trouble with any version of Dempsey because he was so easy to hit. Yes, his defense was better than people often credit, but no one can deny that he was hit early and often in every fight he ever fought.
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its tough not to get hit when ur facing master boxing sharpshooters who have incredible speed, timing, and accuracy in there punches like moore, charles, walcott

Elmer Ray
03-27-2006, 01:51 AM
I wouldn't be surprised if Dempsey and Marciano were the 2 strongest champs ever, pound-for-pound, but if I had to guess, I'd give the edge to Dempsey. He looks amazing moving Firpo and Willard around-- and nobody ever moved him. Definitely think Dempsey took AT LEAST as good a punch as Marciano. The only class-A banger Marciano ever fought was a dead-shot Louis. Say what you want about the over-all skill level of guys like Fulton, Morris, Willard and Firpo, they were all big strong guys who specialized in powere punching and Firpo was the only one who ever even made Dempsey blink. Brennan was mobbed up, we all know that, so half his losses and half his wins probably don't count. But ALL those KOs can't have been set-ups-- he was a banger. And a damn good one, too-- the films of the second Dempsey fight show that, when they took the hand-cuffs off him, he was a really good fighter. Good enough to have beaten either Roland LaStarza or Don Cockell. I betcha.

- please don't use the term "shot". if louis was shot, then he would never have been able to rack up 8 victories in a row, make charles face look like he been hit with a telphone pole, or have been able to be the # 1 contender like he was when he fought rocky. shot fights dont accomplish these things. I happen to think even a 1950s version of joe louis was one of top 10 heavyweights of the 1950s. only great fighters like charles, marciano were able to beat him. 1950s louis still had the best jab in boxing, was stronger 215lb, more experienced, still had some power left, great ring smarts, solid boxing skills. he was nowhere near the prime joe louis, but he was still a formidable fighter. a shot fighter is one who is not able to compete on the world class fighting level anymore. this is not the case with joe louis in 1950. joe louis even knocked out big nino valdes in an exhibition, valdes as u know was a top contender in the 1950s.

i would say walcott was a banger too class A. he was rated # 66 on rings top 100 greatest punchers list. walcott had a powerful left hook as well as a hard sneaky right that put louis down 3 times. walcott knocked down many world class fighters and most were just with 1 punch, but he lacked the agressiveness and finishing touch. the only time he showed his true aggresive self was the 1st marciano fight. walcotts famous one punch KO of ezzard charles should not be forgetton. this was the only time a prime charles was ever knocked out.

-Curtis Sheppard stated that Moore was the hardest hitter he ever fought. Sheppard was in with just about every top heavyweight of the '40s, including big, hard-hitting contenders like Lee Q. Murray and Lem Franklin, and still alled Moore the hardest hitter he ever faced. Tiger Ted Lowry, who fought nearly every top heavyweight of the late '40s through mid '50s, said the same thing. And these guys fought Moore in the '40s, before he'd reached his heavyweight prime.


i do agree dempsey faced big powerful punchers, but willard, and defintley fulton never landed anything on dempsey so he never got his chin tested in these fights.

Elmer Ray
03-27-2006, 01:54 AM
brennan would have defintley beaten cockell . but not lastarza. lastarza was much better than cockell, and better than brennan. brennan showed in the billy miske fights he couldnt deal with a slick boxer, lastarza would outbox brennan en route to a UD.


- throw out lastarzas record post marciano fight 1953, he got completley ruined in the marciano fight where he suffered broken bones in his arms and permanant physical damage. a prime lastarza would have taken cockell too school IMO

Elmer Ray
03-27-2006, 02:15 AM
btw,

i rate dempsey 3rd on my all time heavyweight list, and marciano 5th. where do u rate these 2 legends?

The Shoemaker
03-27-2006, 02:27 AM
Interesting, that of these three swarmers, Frazier, Marciano, and Dempsey, Frazier looks like he's the hardest to hit (give you up and down along with side to side head movement, makes himself even smaller by getting low), yet, of the three he's most likely to get hit the most in a fight. It sounds contridicting but of the three he puts the most pressure on, therefore he is taking more risks.

Put it this way, I'll bet Frazier's opponents miss him more often than the other two. Of coarse Marciano and dempsey will give foreman a better fight than Frazier, but Frazier's a harder fight for Ali than the other two (not saying they'd be easy for him). Interesting, that Marciano and frazier are labled as slow starters, while Dempsey and Tyson were fast starters. Although Tyson's murderous pace is only going to be about 3-4 rounds, then odds are he'll get discouraged and/or fade. Excellant point about Marciano's bound to get hit comming in against Charles, Walcott, Moore, and the old Louis, they are not only pin point punchers, but they can JAB. The jab is the biggest obstacle for a swarmer (although a right uppercut's another problem). Tunney's about the first big time jabber that I've seen Dempsey fight on film. The sport's evolving in the 1920's

PeteLeo
03-27-2006, 03:06 AM
Say what you want about Firpo, he was a modern-sized heavyweight (an in-shape modern-sized heavyweight, anyway) with a bomb of a right hand. The first time he decked Dempsey (actually the second time, since Jack went down for about half a second from one of the first punches of the bout and was up before "one" could be called, basically having tripped over his own feet in his rush to get at Firpo) came off of what looked to be the hardest shot Firpo was capable of landing, a cross straight down the pike into Dempsey's forehead, and all it did was cause Jack's gloves to touch down for an instant. Seconds later Firpo was on his ass again. The second (or third) "knockdown" did come after another flush shot to Dempsey's face, but it wasn't enough to drop him. The following shove sent him out of the ring. Dempsey's chin was as close to iron as you'll find this side of Chuvalo or Ali. Willard didn't test him because Dempsey was wary enough of the big galoot to use his feet and head movement (my copy of Dempsey-Willard contains ancient commentary by someone who states that Willard's trying to hit Dempsey was akin to attempting to punch a sunbeam). Tunney isn't necessarily known as a hitter today, but he could bang when the opportunity presented itself, and the best he could do against a legless and shot Dempsey in twenty rounds was a blink-your-eyes one count (which the corrupt or incompetent Barry called out immediately upon Jack's touchdown, unlike the vacation time he gave Tunney). This was much briefer than either time Marciano was on the floor. The first Flynn fight is problematic since there are SO many differing reports from books, newspapers, and Dempsey himself. I simply can't make heads nor tails of it. I'll just say that Dempsey post-Flynn I had as reliable a chin as anyone in the division. Carpentier managed only stutter step that was the result of momentary carelessness. Had Dempsey been interested in finishing early, I don't think Georges would have seen the second round.

Now, if he sampled Marciano's Suzie Q flush, it might have decked or even stopped Dempsey (I have great respect for Rocky's right hand power -- I think he could have dropped Ali with the perfect shot). But in disagreement with an earlier poster, Jack did have a "Plan B," one which worked quite well for the first minute of the Willard fight. He could have easily evaded Marciano's rushes (well, "easily" is a relative term) and hit him from outside with brutal power. Prime to prime, I think Dempsey had the pop and just enough options to take the brass ring. Post-Tunney Dempsey would have taken a beating for half a dozen rounds or so and most likely been rescued from the blitz (and his own courage) by the ref. But he would be throwing bull ape shots back at Rocky (whom he wouldn't have to chase, unlike Tunney) the entire time, and there's always the possibility that the fists that broke Willard's face into smithereens might have done the same to Marciano's. PeteLeo.

Elmer Ray
03-27-2006, 04:39 AM
good post pete leo, and thanx for sharing the info on the fights. i dont disagree with anything u say. dempsey certainly did have a rocky solid chin. GREAT POINT about the first firpo knockdown, he caught dempsey FLUSH and jack only touched his glove to the canvas for a 1 count. firpo got all his 6'3 216lb of natural right hand power into that one.

Ted Spoon
03-27-2006, 10:40 AM
The Shoemaker,

I don't believe Foster was ever in the position to work anything against Ali or Frazier -- Ali had him out reached, out manoeuvred and Frazier did not give him a chance to get set.

Still, Foster managed to cut Ali, and hit him with some fair shots. Needless to say he was facing two outstanding Heavyweights.

Some fighters were designed to fight at one weight. If you were to singularly criticize Foster it would be that he never had the greatest set of whiskers, and like Moorer, if your going up a weight, you are playing with fire.

Fitzsimmons and Langford in particular were tough to the core. Langford was very short, stump legs -- it all came from his Heavyweight esque upper body. He had huge shoulders, long powerful arms and a thick neck.

Fitzsimmons had big torso in comparison to the rest of his slender build.

Height and weight is no way to gauge the size of an individual -- observe Sonny Liston's, that gives you no idea of his all around 'massiveness'.

There is allot of truth in dimensions. A fighter maybe light or short, but they probably have something else working in their favour. Fitzsimmons, Langford, Dempsey n' Marciano were all 'big' in their own way.

You will not find fighters of that physical make-up anymore because of the training methods and diets that are implemented. Boxing is a changed sport, it has not become more advanced, but rather adapted in accordance to the rules and length of fights.

Ted Spoon is no dreamer, I'm a realist. If a fighter appears to lack aspects in their game, I'd say so. There is such a thing as rose tinted spectacles, but conversely there is a much needed consideration when judging the primitive film Langford's exploits were caught on.

The kinetoscope was the ancient motion picture devise -- a fluctuating 24 frame camera that was easily affected by slight weather changes. Before you even lay eyes on whoever maybe about to roll off that old machine, take into account that it is not a true representation of the fighters themselves.

Further, these old timers have but a handful of available film, if that -- most of which is not complete. It's like judging what is in the Ocean after a few spots of fishing. If Lennox Lewis was born over 100 years ago and all that survived were his bouts with Ruddock n' Golota he would eternally be remembered as a destroyer -- any papers speaking of his 'sweet science' would not be accepted by those who do not judge that which is not filmed.

A lack of material is sure to cripple vaunted legacies.

If you slow down and repeatedly watch Langford's film vs. Jim Flynn for instance you will notice how he bores in to keep him off balance, spins him, then whips in uppercuts. His inside fighting was part of his effective style once you see through the ugly presentation.

Ruiz clinches to upset ones rhythm, or take 5 because he is a bit winded. He relies on this tactic as his pugilistic ability is fairly poor, and that's being generous.

Mr E
03-27-2006, 02:26 PM
- tunney easily decisioned dempsey twice, thats how far gone dempsey was. tunney wasnt better than walcott at heavyweight. sharkey was taking dempsey to school.

-walcott 15 unanimous 1927 dempsey WIDE DECISION


- tunney beat a far past his prime tommy gibbons in gibbons last fight, in comparison charles beat a PRIME archie moore. THIS VICTORY MEANS A LOT MORE. also any version of gibbons would be knocked out by archie moore. also, IMO moore was BETTER THAN TUNNEY

- tunney LOST TWICE to greb going 3-2 vs greb. in comparsion charles had a better win loss/ratio charles beat moore 3 out of 3 and bivins 4 out 5. it ALSO must be noted harry greb was a middleweight who weighed 162lb for the tunney fights.

- greb was an all time 160lb, but he was not better than moore at 175lb



- ezzard charles also beat harold johnson, but he was robbed. harold johnson is argueably a top 10 light-H of all time


at 175lb

moore KO 4 1925 tommy gibbons
moore 15 unanimous 162lb harry greb
moore 15 split gene tunney

You really know your stuff, Mr Ray, and I hope you understand that I debate you with a wide grin and the utmost respect.

IMO, Dempsey 1927 v. Walcott would have more closely approximated Dempsey-Sharkey than Dempsey-Tunney. In my humble opinion, Walcott had neither Tunney's chin (as his KO losses to Ettore, Simon, Fox, et al., attest) nor his stamina. The shots that knocked out Tunney in '27 (heh) would have done even more damage to Jersey Joe. Walcott was a bigger hitter than Tunney, I believe, but that would have been his only advantage-- and hard hitter though he was, he didn't hit remotely hard enough to knock out the Mauler. Again, just my opinion.

Gibbons was on about 14 or 15-fight win-streak when he fought Tunney, don't forget, which included a 6-round wipe-out of the great Kid Norfolk. He may have been past his best, but he wasn't past it much, I'm willing to bet.

I do note that Boxrec has decided to call the 4th Tunney-Greb bout for Greb, contrary to most of what I've read over the past 20 years, based, it seems on a 2 newspapers to 1 talley compiled by lead Greb cheerleader Steve Compton. As to that, I am skeptical. Assigning wins and losses to newspaper decisions after the fact, in particular 80 years after the fact, seems to me to be a dicey proposition, especially when it's as amibiguous as 2:1. We have 3 decisions in Tunney-Greb bouts and since even Greb stated that Tunney beat the living daylights out of him in that last bout, so as far as I'm concerned, it's 3-1 Tunney, with 1 ND. Do you think Charles does any better against Greb? Not me, man. Greb was one amazing SOB.

Moore is pick 'em v. either Greb or Gibbons, IMO. Maybe a slight favorite, but not a prohibitive one. Seriously, how much $$ would you put on the Mongoose against either of those guys? Maybe a little, but not your paycheck, I'll bet.

Mr E
03-27-2006, 02:28 PM
its tough not to get hit when ur facing master boxing sharpshooters who have incredible speed, timing, and accuracy in there punches like moore, charles, walcott

You can say that again, brother. But he also got whacked a few times by Don Cockell, among others.

Mr E
03-27-2006, 02:33 PM
- please don't use the term "shot". if louis was shot, then he would never have been able to rack up 8 victories in a row, make charles face look like he been hit with a telphone pole, or have been able to be the # 1 contender like he was when he fought rocky. shot fights dont accomplish these things. I happen to think even a 1950s version of joe louis was one of top 10 heavyweights of the 1950s. only great fighters like charles, marciano were able to beat him. 1950s louis still had the best jab in boxing, was stronger 215lb, more experienced, still had some power left, great ring smarts, solid boxing skills. he was nowhere near the prime joe louis, but he was still a formidable fighter. a shot fighter is one who is not able to compete on the world class fighting level anymore. this is not the case with joe louis in 1950. joe louis even knocked out big nino valdes in an exhibition, valdes as u know was a top contender in the 1950s.

i would say walcott was a banger too class A. he was rated # 66 on rings top 100 greatest punchers list. walcott had a powerful left hook as well as a hard sneaky right that put louis down 3 times. walcott knocked down many world class fighters and most were just with 1 punch, but he lacked the agressiveness and finishing touch. the only time he showed his true aggresive self was the 1st marciano fight. walcotts famous one punch KO of ezzard charles should not be forgetton. this was the only time a prime charles was ever knocked out.

-Curtis Sheppard stated that Moore was the hardest hitter he ever fought. Sheppard was in with just about every top heavyweight of the '40s, including big, hard-hitting contenders like Lee Q. Murray and Lem Franklin, and still alled Moore the hardest hitter he ever faced. Tiger Ted Lowry, who fought nearly every top heavyweight of the late '40s through mid '50s, said the same thing. And these guys fought Moore in the '40s, before he'd reached his heavyweight prime.


i do agree dempsey faced big powerful punchers, but willard, and defintley fulton never landed anything on dempsey so he never got his chin tested in these fights.


Excellent post. Louis was 'shot' only compared to the Louis of old. He was still probably the 4th or 5th best heavyweight out there, after Marciano, Charles, Walcott, maybe Moore by then. Maybe Henry.

Dunno about Walcott being that big a hitter, to be honest. Ring's list doesn't quite convince me-- lots of folks were misplaced on that list, IMO. Maybe I under-rate his power, but I do think Ring over-stated it a little. He was a sharpshooter for sure-- caught lots of guys coming in right on the button, which produced a lot of knockdowns (Louis & Marciano, among others). But, except for Ez, they often got up.

Mr E
03-27-2006, 02:35 PM
brennan would have defintley beaten cockell . but not lastarza. lastarza was much better than cockell, and better than brennan. brennan showed in the billy miske fights he couldnt deal with a slick boxer, lastarza would outbox brennan en route to a UD.


- throw out lastarzas record post marciano fight 1953, he got completley ruined in the marciano fight where he suffered broken bones in his arms and permanant physical damage. a prime lastarza would have taken cockell too school IMO

Yes, you're right; I take it back. Styles make fights and LaStarza, like Miske, had the style to beat Brennan. [Though I would bet a small fortune that that last Brennan-Miske fight was a fix.] But I think Brennan was a better over-all fighter.

Mr E
03-27-2006, 02:42 PM
btw,

i rate dempsey 3rd on my all time heavyweight list, and marciano 5th. where do u rate these 2 legends?


It's so hard to mix eras. I like to do it like this:

Old-Timers:
1-Jack Johnson
2-Jim Jeffries

'Golden Age':
1-Jack Dempsey
2-Joe Louis
3-Rocky Marciano
4-Gene Tunney

'Modern Era':
1-Muhammad Ali
2-Larry Holmes
3-George Foreman
4-Joe Frazier
5-Sonny Liston

'Steroid Era':
1-Lennox Lewis
2-Riddick Bowe
3-Evander Holyfield
4-Mike Tyson

If I have to mix 'em, Ali comes out on top, followed by Dempsey & Louis. Marciano just a few notches below (but below Holmes & Foreman).

Elmer Ray
03-27-2006, 02:48 PM
Excellent post. Louis was 'shot' only compared to the Louis of old. He was still probably the 4th or 5th best heavyweight out there, after Marciano, Charles, Walcott, maybe Moore by then. Maybe Henry.

Dunno about Walcott being that big a hitter, to be honest. Ring's list doesn't quite convince me-- lots of folks were misplaced on that list, IMO. Maybe I under-rate his power, but I do think Ring over-stated it a little. He was a sharpshooter for sure-- caught lots of guys coming in right on the button, which produced a lot of knockdowns (Louis & Marciano, among others). But, except for Ez, they often got up.


Mr. E i enjoy debating with you,


yea the thing about walcott is he was not a good finisher, and in most of his fights he wasnt agressive and these were the reasons he didnt have many knockouts. he was a counterpuncher master boxer, so he wasnt looking for the knockout most of the time. the only time on film i saw walcott going in and looking for the knockout was the first marciano fight, cause he had no respect for rock. walcott knocked down/out many world class fighters, and the thing is most of his knockdowns were with ONE punch only, not with a flurry. walcott needed only 1 punch to knockout charles, floor louis 3 times, floor marciano, floor bivins, KO sheppard, etc. walcott had a dangerous two punch arsenal, his most post powerful punch was his left hook while his sneaky right was a good one because it came out of nowhere and caught you when you weren't looking. fact is, you can have all the knockouts in the world, but if ur unable to use your power vs world class fighters, then its meaningless. walcott on the other hand had proven power vs great fighters which IMO is the # 1 thing when talking about a certain fighters punching ability. walcott floored or knocked out greater fighters like louis 3x, marciano, charles, ray 3x, bivins, harold johnson.

walcott wasnt an all time puncher, but he was a certainly a good one. I rate him in the same class as a floyd patterson as a puncher, who himself could bang. walcott may have been only 6'0 195lb but he was chizzled, look at him from the waist up and he looks like a 215lber.

Elmer Ray
03-27-2006, 03:14 PM
Excellent post. Louis was 'shot' only compared to the Louis of old. He was still probably the 4th or 5th best heavyweight out there, after Marciano, Charles, Walcott, maybe Moore by then. Maybe Henry.


me and you are on the same page when it comes to 1950s heavyweights :D

louis vs henry would have been quite a fight in 1951. i believe it almost happened. there was talk of it. it would have been the speed, youthness of henry vs the big powerful louis and his telephone pole jab. One thing that wil be a factor is louis jab. henry knocked out bob baker, but baker was outboxing him and outjabbing him before henry got to him. louis had the best jab in heavy division then, and if henry allows louis to work his jab, henry will have a very difficult night. hell joe louis jabbed a prime ezzard charles face swollen and charles had one of the best defenses of that era. so if louis can penetrate that, i see him getting to henry with his jab. louis at 6'2 215lb would be the bigger man than 6'1 185lb clarence henry and stronger and more experienced. henry will be the younger, faster of the two but this could be another holmes-mercer where the old master schools the hot young contender. it would be interesting.




You really know your stuff, Mr Ray, and I hope you understand that I debate you with a wide grin and the utmost respect.


thanx, im only 18 so i still gotta lot to lean.






walcotts KO losses to abe simon, al ettore, tiger jack fox, should NOT be held against him for many different reasons. walcott was just 21 years old and green, taking these fights on 24 hr notice with no training whatsoever and having eaten hardly anything in a couple days. walcott was outboxing ettore and simon until the lack of stamina from no training , NO FOOD IN HIS STOMACH, kicked in and walcott fell over from exhaustion. kinda like foreman-ali. you dont hold the ali knockouts against his chin do u? walcotts KO losses to simon and ettore had nothing to do with his chin. the only early KO that was legit was when tiger jack fox stopped walcott, however walcott was a green 21 year old malnourished kid taking on one of the greatest knockout artists of all time at the peak of his powers. its amazing walcott was able to box with tiger and give him as much trouble as he did, and of course the far more experienced, better at the time tiger jack fox knocked walcot out. in the rematch, walcott managed to survive the distance vs the much more experienced and world class tiger jack fox.

- look at dempsey, some dont hold the flynn KO loss against his chin cause he was a starving hobo who hadnt ate in hardly 3 days. well when walcott fought simon and ettore, he took on these top 10 contenders on 24 hr notice with no training and he also had barely ate anything in 3 days since he had a HUGE FAMILY TO FEED! thats the only reason why he took these fights. it wasnt about winning or losing, it was about making money.


- anything pre felix bocchichio i dont hold against walcott



-the only time walcott was knocked out in his prime was 2 all time great punchers joe louis and rocky marciano.


- tunney may have had the better chin, but remember outside of dempsey tunney NEVER faced a hard punching heavyweight. he fought mostly 160-175lb fighters his whole career. tunney never took on a big heavyweight who could punch either.

walcott fought huge punchers

curtis sheppard
rocky marciano
joe louis
elmer ray
tiger jack fox
tommy gomez


these guys were all wicked punchers. its fare to say walcott had his chin tested vs better punchers.

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 03:25 AM
Has it ever occured to anyone that Jess Willard and Louis Firpo won fights because of their size ? We are talking about a time in history when the average height was about 5'-6" and the average shoe size was a size 6. The fight between the 6-3, 215 Firpo and the 6-5, 245 Willard was billed as the "Battle of the Giants". If you put those height and weights in perportion to today's figures, you'd have a 7 foot 300 + guy fighting a 6-9 280 guy ("little" Chris Byrd, who is slicker than a lot of middleweights, weighs 215). Secondly, is anyone going to compare the size and athleticism of today's athletes with the 1920's. I mean there were plenty of 6-7 basketball players during the 1950's but NONE of them could do what Michael Jordan or Domonique Wilkens could do. I realize that size and athleticism is not as major of a factor in boxing as it is in other sports, but it sure as hell doesn't hurt to be 6-3+ , 220+ and fluid. There's no one like that in the 1920's or earlier. Another point- THE LEFT JAB. When I watch Firpo and Willard fight on film, I never see any straight left jabs, or even straight rights. All I see is wide looping punches, mauling, holding, and a few wild uppercuts (the worst punch to throw from the outside. Willard (like Brennon, and fulton)lean back in their stance, with all of their weight on their back foot-thats the style. they just wing punches. Boxing starts to change in the 20's- mainly the lean back fighters are dying out and the left jab comes into play. Hell, even a slow
uncoordinated stiff like Primo Carnera has a good left jab. That's the first thing you teach a big, slow fighter (then maybe add a straight right). Even the 7 foot Russian stiff can land a jab. The jab is the basis of boxing (unless you're a swarmer), yet you guys are crazy over two big slow stiffs who don't jab. Take a modern fighter like Lennox Lewis- 6-5' ,250, with no fat, he's also built 100X better than either of those two. Unlike Willard and Firpo, Lewis is a professional- he throws STRAIGHT Left Jabs, and STRAIGHT Rights. His left jab is like a piston, and its comming from a 250 llber, who knows how to throw a punch, not some wild swinging brawler. Of coarse, you guys will say he has a china chin (because two guys caught him with lottery punches), but Tyson or Tua, two guys with chins (Tua has a concrete chin) couldn't get past his jab. but Dempsey at 185, is going to walk right through his jab and KO Lewis or Foreman, or any other big hitter. And your logic is "well he KO'ed Firpo and Willard, there just as big"; or "Dempsey's so much quicker" - Hell, I'd hope for Dempsey's sake at 185 llb's he'd be quicker than a 220+ guy, because what 185 llber today isn't quicker. Actually, I'd argue that Tyson and Tua are on Dempsey's level with hand speed, even though they out weigh him by 50 llb's. Of coarse, I am sure you guys think that some little pea shooter like Dempsey's going to crack Tua's jaw, and I am sure you also think that Tua's combinations arn't going to phase Dempsey. like I've argued before, boxing's a multi million dollar industry, if there were 185 llber's today or in the last 40 years that could win the heavyweight title, they'd do it. I guess physics doesn't apply to Dempsey, Fitz (a 165 llber) or Langford. Of coarse Bob Foster and Michael Spinks, murderous hitters at light heavy, punches don't move elite heavyweights (Spinks hit Cooney, who has a questionable chin, with about 100 rights), but those three puches will. It's like if their are two modern fighters fighting each other say Tarver vrs Hopkins, most of you will pick Tarver because of his size. And if Tarver went up and fought say Klitschko or Brewster (Tarver would probably weight 185-190), all of you would pick the the two bigger heavies, because of size and power. yet, when it's a fighter like dempsey, all the logic's thrown out the window. All based on the fact that he murdered two big slow punchers, WHO DON'T EVEN USE A JAB

hagler04
03-28-2006, 04:06 AM
People in the 20s were just as athletic as the top athletes now.

No left jab from Williard? Watch his fights man, that was almost all he threw was a straight stiff left. So did Fred Fulton, who was probably better than Williard and all of the pundits said was more athletic and quicker. Dempsey blasted through him too.

Williard at 6'6, 230 in the Johnson fight was a great physical specimen, with more stamina than Lewis ever showed. Even though the fight wasn;t fought at a fast pace, Johnson-Williard still had some good exchanges, and were 3 min rounds in hot humid weather for over 20 rounds. Lewis in slow action fights would get winded by the 7th round.

You can't compare basketball in the 50s to the 80s b/c in the 50s the sport had recently been developed and hadn't even developed modern rules, wheras boxing with minor modifications has had the same rulebook since the turn of the century.

I'm not going to go through the literally hundreds of example of fighters 170 and above, knocking out guys over 210 lbs, from the 19teens through today. I've seen it happen in person many times. It's about bone structure, not weight. Louis was a NATURAL heavyweight, a big guy. At 205 he was ripped and ready to fight a fast pace for 15 rounds. Show me film of any of the 1990s HWs who were 240 going near that pace for 10 rounds, let alone 15.

185 lb Dempsey could crack anyman's jaw. It's about leverage, speed, timing, and strength. What about friggin' Mike Weaver, who in his prime was 6'1, 205. Not much larger than Dempsey (and shorter arms) but he was one of the top HWs of the 80s. Or Chris Byrd, who weighs 215 but whose bone structure is that of a light HW. This a guy who actually LOSES weight while he's not fighting.

Dempsey was a real Heavyweight, with a lean and slim heavyweight body. Tarver and Spinks are and were not. That's the difference.

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 05:08 AM
Hagler 04: People were just as athletic in the 1920's as today ? Do you want to argue Track and Field- you can't. Why ? Because unlike boxing, baseball, or football, which are subjective, Track and Field has a stop watch and a tape
making it OBJECTIVE- end of arguement. You can't argue that Jessie Owens
would beat Carl Lewis, because i know Lewis would blow his doors off (I've got a clock for my evidence-what's yours ?). The best athlete of the first half of the 20th century was Jim Thorpe. High School kids and WOMEN pentathalon performers would kill Thorpe. Look at the NFL: Dwight Freeny at 290 llbs ran a 4.3- he's faster than the wide receivers of the 60's. Are you going to argue that Jess Willard or Firpo have the fluidity of Ali, Holmes, or even Toney Tucker ? People are bigger, stronger, faster, and more athletic today than any era-especially "the Golden Age" of the 1920's (I know Red Grange, all 150 llbs of him would dominate the NFL) Same with the 180 llb lineman of the era. Your comment about basketball in the 50's is a joke. There's no one in the 60's that can do what Wilkens, Erving or Jordan- or about 20 players playing today can do (Lebron James is 6-8, 255 llbes with a cross over dribble-why because he's ungodly athletic). The only reason that boxers, especially heavyweights suck today is because boxing is no longer a major sport- if it was, you'd have 260 llb Muhammad Ali's, or 300+ George Foremans (minus the fat). The problem is they are all in the NBA and NFL. Of coarse if their were 300 + llbers who can rip, I am sure you'd still think that Dempsey would muscle them, all 185 llbs. As far as Jess Willard's text book jab, what are you watching ? (my films are Dempsey, Johnson, and Firpo highlights) . First off, he leans way back with all his weight on his back foot, so he can't possibly get anything on his jab even if he did actually throw it. That's a STUPID, obsolete style, that no one has used in 80 years (no Burley or Schmelling, didn't have all of their weight back) why-because you don't have any balance, plus you give your body away. That's why Dempsey was so successful, in that era, because instead of wrestling and reaching for a lean back fighter's head, he worked the body, which took him to the head. As far as your assesment of Fred Fulton being a good fighter-how do you know ?
Since as far as I know, no film exists of Fulton, you've never seen him fight. It's human nature to think that the past is better than today (Nat Fleicher rated James J Corbett over Louis and Bob Fitzsimmons over Dempsey), but when you state that the athletes of the 1920's are just as good as today, you lose credibility. As far as weight having nothing to do with power- come
on. Why do you suppose no Middleweight champion has ever beaten a Light Heavyweight champion (I know Robinson should have beaten Maxim, but Robinson knew better than to mess with Archie Moore, who would have KO'ed him). No one knows for sure what exactly generates power in a punch (not even you), but I am sure size, coordination and FIST SIZE has a lot to do with it. Like I keep saying, there hasn't been a sub 190 llb champion or legitimate contender in 40 years, do you think that possibly the size and athleticism of fighters like Ali, Holmes, Tyson and others may possibly have something to do with it ? There also hasn't been a big time hitter weighing under 190 llbs in 50 years. You'd think that out of the law of averages, someone would come along. Naw- that's thinking logically. Like I said, it's pretty bad when women pentathalon athletes are better athletes than Jim Thorpe-who is regarded as the best athlete of the first half of the 20th century.

hawk5ins
03-28-2006, 08:58 AM
I agree there have been natural progressions in sports, but of course that is directly related to advanced training, diet, and other chemical enhancements that the body can take.

Are people in the 20's just as athletic as they are today? Well let's level the playing field. We all wonder how well an athlete would perform if they had the luxury of modern day day technology, science, travel, nutrition etc.

But let's for a moment play the reverse coin: How well would Carl Lewis be performing if he were NOT afforded the luxuries and "advantages" that he had when he was at his peak? What if going to the olympics was done via boat vs plane? What if his training regimen were as archaic as Owen's and Thorpe's were? What if the night before his competition, he was sleeping in a flea bag motel vs. an upscale village that catered to his every whim?

And let's not even get into the suplement and diet and chemical aspect of all of this. And if anyone thinks that Ray Lewis, were he to play in the NFL in the 1920's resembles ANYTHING like he does today.....

Now as far as Boxing goes, a Left jab is still a left jab and a right cross is still a right cross and 147 pounds is still 147 pounds. So while Heavies are getting bigger, I'm not sure it's a broad brushed stroke to say they are better. Ali and Holmes may very well have been better than Dempsey and Tunney who preceded them. But Ali and Holmes are also better than Byrd and Rahman who followed them. The same goes for Dempsey and Tunney being better than Byrd and Rahman.

And the term "throw back", is by virtually every definition, a compliment. It is almost used exsculsively for boxers. And one of the reasons is, that while the game hasn't changed dramtically in it's basic tenets, it is viewed that older practices are indeed better and certainly more favorable.

Just something to chew on.

Hawk

Roberto Aqui
03-28-2006, 01:14 PM
Because unlike boxing, baseball, or football, which are subjective, Track and Field has a stop watch and a tape
making it OBJECTIVE- end of arguement. You can't argue that Jessie Owens
would beat Carl Lewis

Anyone can see that the advancement of modern equipment, fields of play, and technique renders your arguement null and void as you have presented it.

Athleticism is genetic, just like intelligence. You'd be hard pressed to make the case that people are more intelligent today because of what they can do on computers. I could hop in my truck and drive the Indy 500 with my CD player, AC, and cooler of beer and smokes and blow by Barney Oldfield like he was some ol' mule, but does that mean I'm better than Barney?

Jesse Owens ran around a 10.5 in Berlin as I recall. Put him straight up on the same rubberized track in modern shoes, and he'd sure give the professionally trained Lewis a run for the gold. Let Owens train professionally, and BOOM, my money is on Jesse!

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 01:47 PM
Hawk,
Certainly diet training methods, supplements and roids have something to do with people being superior athletes, but we are also evolving. Like I said the average Shoe size of the early 1900's was a size 6 (I don't know what that converts to in the UK), people are just bigger-framed. As I stated
Firpo's at 6-3 1/2, 215 is a giant in 1920, and that's part of the reason he wins (along with being tough, very active, and having power). But watching him and Willard fight, all I see are two guys "winging it". it's effective then, and a lot of times brawlers give text book fighters fits, but the law of averages usually catches up to them as fighters who throw straight punches.
My fault with those two and most of the fighters of that era is that they fight off their back foot (Firpo doesn't) and they don't establish or know how to throw a jab. Dempsey and Tunney certainly do and I think those two have a lot to do with changing boxing. (count how many times Willard threw a left jab in his 3 round fight with Dempsey). My point is that people take two exceptions in Willard and Firpo (they also try and sneak Fulton in as well), then build the two up in order to support their arguements. I don't think that anyone exactley knows what generates punching power (I believe its the weight of the object combined with how fast its going), since most of it generates from the lower body obviously coordination come into play but so does leverage and a ton of other factors, including functional weight and fist size (plus fighters like Joe Louis could add power by baiting people into moving forward, thereby catching them coming forward). You're dealing with human beings, some tall rangey guys have power and some short squat guys have power. Same with taking a punch- that's another argument (obviously rolling with the punch), but generally speaking bigger framed fighters, who have coordination, both hit harder and take harder shots. When you combine that with 6-3 to 6-5 fighters having fluidity (Ali, Holmes, Bowe) you can see why 185 llb'ers contending for heavyweight titles have been phased out in the last 40 years. Some freak of nature should have came along.

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 02:16 PM
Robert- First off, Jessie Owens was probably the biggest genetic freak of nature in any sport (his State Long Jump record in Ohio held from the 1920's until about 1977) so I don't think he's a fair example (I shouldn't have used him). But the average olympic athlete from the 20's is probably going to get beat by the women of today. You're correct, it is genetics, but the athletes of today are NATURALLY bigger, stronger, and faster BEFORE you throw in the supplements, the roids, or the superior conditions. Bobby Jones isn't going to out drive Tiger Woods, I don't care what equipment he uses. Most 6-7 people walking around in the 1950's couldn't walk and chew bubblegum, let alone have a 48 inch verticle jump like Dominique Wilkens. Yes, boxing is different than most sports where size and athleticism is neutralized by toughness and having the skills of the craft, and power (Galento). But size and athleticism don't hurt, especially at the elite level. Part of Ali's greatness is because of his size and athleticism (his chin and physical strength help him a ton). Robinson's also a great athlete (tap dancer). My point is that people will say that Lennox Lewis would beat an in shape James Toney or Chris Byrd (who have way more skills than Lewis), because of his physical advantages, yet they magically believe that Gene Tunney at 6-1, 185 would dance rings around Lewis. it's like they'll have objectivity in one case, then throw it all away in another. Probably because one is par of boxing lore and the others arn't.

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 02:29 PM
Sorry for the typo, I meant to say "Roberto".

hagler04
03-28-2006, 02:41 PM
How do you know there wern't 6'7 guys in the 1940s who could jump like Wilkins? If you're gonna argue from a genetic evolutionary standpoint that argument is highly flawed b/c it's gonna take more than 40-50 years to see notociable differences in humans from a physical standpoint. You would have to go by centuries or even longer. If basketball had started in the 19th century and developed along through the 50s, you would've seen 6'7 guys dunking just like 40 years later. Just think about. 40 years. You're telling me that in less than one lifespan people suddenly became more athletic and there was suddenly a whole crop of big tall athletes? That's ridiculous. I've seen footage of 6'6 Big Bill Tate and he was more fluid and quicker than any 6'6 heavyweight fighting today, including Lennox.

And Roberto brings up a solid point. People always bring up the track records, but the surface, shoes, and level of training (Olympians didn't train year round like they do now) make a HUGE difference. I remember running track in high school and my times were INFINETLY better wearing the spikes then running in just regular running shoes. And my cross-trainer Nikes were themselves much better than what Jesse Owens and his kin were wearing, which were more like overgrown socks.

You keep bringing up Toney and Byrd, but they are not physically comparable to Dempsey, Louis, and Marciano. Byrd is a guy who through weight training blows up in weight for fights, in his mid 20s he was weighing 169. Toney is just fat. Dempsey, Marciano, and Louis all trained DOWN for optimal speed and endurance. They had heavyweight knockout power. Give Chris Byrd a bigger punch and I think he embarasses Lewis. Even as he is I think he would've given Lennox TONS of problems and possibly eeked a decision.

Dempsey? WIth his speed, quickness of foot, and stamina, (not to mention punching power) Lewis would be looking up from the ring floor saying "Hasim who???"

hawk5ins
03-28-2006, 03:03 PM
I still do not know how you can say "naturally" bigger.

Diet, vitamins, supplements all play apart in evolution. If Carl Lewis were an athelete in the 1920's, based on what was avaialble to him during that time, he would not be NATURALLY faster, bigger, stronger or more athletically gifted than any other athelete of the time.

And IF Owens were afforded the luxuries of today, diet, vitamins and supllements included, he himself would be bigger stonger faster.

And with the basic tenents of boxing, the sport is very much the same. especially in the lighterweight classes. But with all that IS afforded to them, we certainly have not seen superior stamina and endurance that we have seen in years gone by. 15 round championship fighters? Heck going 12 strong rounds today is considered taxing to most fighters today.

Agian, as it applies to the heavyweight division, fighters ARE bigger today, but not necessarily better. If Bigger automatically meant better, then every heavyweight today would be at least the equivilant of Lennox Lewis, who by the way, is STILL the only HUGE heavyweight, that has shown he belongs in the discussion wiht heavyweight greats.

I am not all for saying Firpo or Willard were Class A opponents during their day SIMPLY becuase of their size. I think their needs to be the same scrutinization for fighters SKILLS in the 20's that we would apply to today's "big" heavies.

Hawk

Sharkey
03-28-2006, 03:31 PM
I have read no serious publication which maintains that humans have evolved, in less than a century at a pace where 350 pound lineman or the like being the norm could be stated to be a product of such.

As for track, consider the simple improvements in footware, track conditions etc. There is research out there that suggests that the improvement in sprinter times is related for the most part to improvements in footware. I am unsure to it's veracity.

I reject that in the last 30 years we have seen evolution to where the answer to why athletes are 50 pounds larger in football at least is "just because", I rather believe we encourage the gaining of huge amounts of weight.

naf2003
03-28-2006, 03:44 PM
Jess Willard turned pro at age 29. He was mostly big and strong. No great skills. On tape he is not impressive. He is not even impressively built.

On the other hand guys like both Klitschkos, Lewis, and Bowe are as big or bigger, obviously skilled, and they are apparently much more athletic if one can gauge athleticism by the available tape of Willard.

Non-elite big boxers like Mike Grant, Jameel McCline, and Mike White look more athletic than Willard. Sure Willard might be tougher than some of them, but with his limited skills and athletic ability, could he make any of them prove their toughness? I doubt it.

If one watches basketball, today we see guys near 7' shooting three pointers, doing crossover dribbles, making acrobatic dunks. Even 20 or 30 years ago it was rare to see an athletic 7 foot man. Most or all stayed close to the basket waiting for a pass so that they could dunk or hook over shorter opponents.

To me it is obvious that athletes have improved over time. Whether it is genetic or because of training/drugs, or the emphasis on athletics, athletes are better. The current crop of heavyweight boxers might be the exception.

They look terrible. Boxing is not attracting the top heavyweight size athletes. Those guys are in football and basketball. The amateur boxing programs are not what they once were and profeesional boxing is not what it once was. Unless boxing becomes a popular sport again, there may never be another great heavyweight fighter.

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 04:17 PM
Hagler 04: you have to be related to "Formerfighter": How do I not know that there wern't 6-7 guys who could jump like Wilkens during the 1940's ? Geeze, I think if a 6-7 kid was doing 360 dunks or dunking from the free throw line in Gym class, someone "might" notice that ? Nah, I am sure it was a regular occurance in the 1940's.

Roberto Aqui
03-28-2006, 04:32 PM
Jessie Owens was probably the biggest genetic freak of nature in any sport (his State Long Jump record in Ohio held from the 1920's until about 1977) so I don't think he's a fair example (I shouldn't have used him). But the average olympic athlete from the 20's is probably going to get beat by the women of today. .

Not really. Marion Jones had to use designer steroids to set the women's 100 meter record of 10.8 as I recall. Owens was running below that in primative conditions and was not a professional athlete.

I was in my early 40s when a younger friend of mine came around and we went down to the university and put in 3-4 cross country miles on a Sunday morn and finished at the track. He used to be on his HS track team and wanted me to time him in the 100/400 meters, so naturally I wanted to see if I could beat him in the hundred and he timed me at 12.5, not too bad for a guy never on the track team and over 20yrs past sprint fly routes in pickup football games. A few weeks later I watched a portion of a major track meet held at the same stadium. The winning woman finalist ran something like 11.7, and a couple of trailers posted times like mine. I imagine 40 yr old Jesse woulda whupped the lot of them. Keep in mind that Jesse was also only a few tenths faster than the rest of the top sprinters.

hawk5ins
03-28-2006, 04:39 PM
Why are football players bigger? They are told they need to be. The bar has been raised. Is technique superior? I don't see it any improvements.

Agian the whole bigger and or better thing to me still does not explain why athletes and specifically boxers, have INFERIOR stamina and endurance than fighters of yesterday. "Superior" would include this aspect.

It clearly does not.

Hawk

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 04:45 PM
Hawk,
You make some valid points about diet supplements, ect, being part of the process, but i could also use that in my arguement as to why the athletes of today are bigger, stronger, and faster. Like I said, Jessie Owens is a freak of nature, but I still think that Lewis has better genes (not by much). But you have to argee that Lewis was closer to the norm in his era than Owens was. I've never said that today's heavies were any good (in fact i said they sucked) but that's because boxing's a dying sport. If if was the #2 sport like it was until the 1950's then look out. Look at the rebirth in the 80's
that decade may not have the depth of the 40's or 50's (IMO the golden era of boxing) but I'll put Leonard, Duran, Hearns, Hagler, Spinks, Sanchez, Pryor,
Holmes, Ayala, Mccallum, Arguello, Tyson, Beneitez, plus a shitload of Lightweights against any era. Plus, at heavyweight, often size and power win out over skills. it can't hurt to have size, especially if you have boxing skills to go along with it. My point with these guys is that most would favor Lewis, Bowe, or even Tucker against say Roy Jones, Jimmy Ellis, or any other small heavyweight that has more speed and boxing skills. Yet, when it's Gene Tunney or 165 llb Bob Fitzsimmons, they throw all of the physical advanteges out the window. I mean unless if these guys get "right hand crazy" and try and hit a little shit (to them) like Tunney by loading up, odds are they are going to stick their jab in his face, like they would to any other 185 'er. What's Tunney going to do, stay on the outside and lose every round, or try to swarm, something that he's not used to doing. Klitschko's way slower than Byrd, but he's 6-7 and can jab, that's hard for Byrd to counter. as long as Klitschko's not trying to KO him (like a lot of idiots that Byrd draws in) he wins
My point that no one has answered yet, is why hasn't there been a Heavyweight champion that has weighed 185 llb's or less, in the past 40+ years ? I can't even think of a contender. You've got to figure that with the millions of dollars at stake and a 6 Billion population in the world, some freak of nature would have emerged. Like the 6-3, 240 llb Linemen in the NFL, they're extinct.

rocky111
03-28-2006, 05:00 PM
Give me bobby Satterfield, who beat more quality heavies than most of those guys mentioned combined. He could beat anybody he hit and he did it quite a few times.

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 05:08 PM
Hawk, You have to have the frame to put on "functional" weight. Plus having long arms is a huge advantage in the NFL, especially on the O-line. Steroid useers like Alzado, Courson, and Webster (half of the Steeler's O-line from the past are dead or messed up) didn't weigh 320-350, they didn't have the frames to carry it, even with roids. Trust me, the NFL is a multi-BILLION dollar business, if they could find lineman at 6-3, 240 who can produce they'd play them. Trouble is if they fire out on a 350 llber who can leg press over 1000 llbs, they ain't going to move him the length of their dick's. I havn't even gotten into linebackers who are 6-3, 245 and run 4.4's, there are a ton of them, nor have i discussed the 230 llb running backs who don't have an ounce of fat on them (Reggie White supposidly didn't use steroids, and he was "naturally' 6-5, 300, and ran a 4.6). look at USA Today's all Scholastic High School Football team, most of the O-Lineman are 6-7, 300 + with little or no fat. I can't accuse them of being on roids (maybe a few kids are but roids ain't adding height or increasing your frame. On to boxing: Yes, 240 llbers have a tough time going 12, but most of the old timers in 45 round fights arn't going all out either (Willard-Johnson). Like i say, a lot of the heavies are garbage. Of coarse keep in mind that people said that during the 70's as well, and that Tunney and others stated in the 1950's that Dempsey would knock out Marciano, Walcott, and Charles on the same night. Tunney also said that Dempsey would KO Louis in one round, and dempsey himself, use to question Louis' chin. Same thing when dempsey was champ,"he's good, but he couldn't beat Jeffries". And when Jeffries was champ, "he's no John L Sullivan". It's human nature. Your stamina point is valid, it is tougher for a 240 llb'er to go 12 rounds at a high pace (Foreman was in shape in Zaire, it's just at that size and THAT PACE, he faded). But it doesn't mean it can't be done. Brewster may be limited but he is in shape, as bad as Ruiz is, is in in shape at 240. Plus FORCING a big guy to fight at a fast pace, means you have to take risks yourself. I am sure if Frazier could have gotten Liston and Foreman into the 7th round, they'd have faded, trouble is Frazier ain't seeing the 3rd round.

PeteLeo
03-28-2006, 05:18 PM
How many 185lb. heavyweight champs have there ever been? Maybe Marciano is the "genetic freak" you should be talking about.
By the way, I would not rate Tony Tucker the favorite over RJJ. PeteLeo.

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 05:24 PM
Sharkey, Unless there has been a ton of pygmies out there statistically decreasing the average size of the population, I can't see how you havn't noticed how much bigger (including height) the athletes are (and the population as well) When Wilt chamberlin played in the NBA in the early 60's there were maybe 3 7 footers. Now there is probably close to 100. And a lot of them have the athleticism to handle the ball (Dirk Nowetski). It sure as hell seems like we are bigger stronger and faster than 40 years ago. There are quarterbacks who weigh 260, with no fat. They just don't look it because you are watching them play surrounded by 6-7, 350 beasts. Now there arn't any 7 footers in the NFL, but wait about 20 years and there will be. I don't know where you got your stats, but if they are accurate in regards to people being the same on average as they were 40 years ago, then damn, I must be missing something. It sure as hell looks like it. However, you can't dispute that the difference in size from the early part of the 20th century. Like i said the average height was 5-6, the average shoe size was a size 6. I think improved neutrition during the baby boom era may be a factor- but I don't have any evidence to back that up.

hawk5ins
03-28-2006, 05:34 PM
"My point that no one has answered yet, is why hasn't there been a Heavyweight champion that has weighed 185 llb's or less, in the past 40+ years ? I can't even think of a contender."

Are you telling me that if Evander Holyfieldwhen he was a Cruiserweight around 190 pounds, if he took on James Tillis and Pinklon Thomas when he did, but did so while still weighing what he did for Deleon or Ocasio, that he doesn't beat those guys? I say he might have faired better than he did as he was still adjusting to his bigger frame.

Evander did not "bulk" up to Heavyweight naturally. And he didn't need to be 207 to compete or defeat Seamus McDonough, either.

As far as supplements and steroids from 20 to 30 years ago vs. today, are you telling me that with the dietary and weight gain supplements that are used WITH steroid today don't have a marked effect on size? Do you honestly think that if what is avaialbe TODAY, were avaialble to Alzado 25 years ago, that he would not be incrementally bigger than he was?

As far as smaller heavies competeing agianst bigger heavies, skill and size win out imo. At Lightheavyweight, I see Tunney being a superior fighter to Roy Jones AT THAT weight. Pound for pound, I think Jones was his superior. And while I am not blown away with Tunney's heavyweight accomplishments, I do feel he was more effective and better suited for that weight than was Jones.

So while I do see Jones having issues with bigger, decently skilled heavyweights, I think Tunney, who is superior to and better suited at such weights, would fair much better agianst a Tony Tucker type fighter who, let's be honest, was a marginal titleist to begin with.

I don't think Tunney beats Lewis at heavyweight and would have serious issues with the Riddick Bowe of his one night prime. But I don;t think it's a stretch to say Tunney beats a Tucker or a Page. Would I take Jones over Tucker or Page? No. Then agian, at heavyweight OR lightheavyweight, I don't see Jones beating Tunney.

Hawk

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 05:41 PM
Pete,
I agree with you on Rocky. I could be wrong, but I think he is a freak of nature. His walking around weight was 210, it was that he was such a fanatical trainer that he trained himself down. most people don't have his genes, if they followed his regiment, they'd overtrain. Al Weil did keep him away from big heavies of that era (Valdez), not saying that he wouldn't have destroyed Valdez. I mean Weil was afraid of matching Rocky with Archie Moore, in fact Moore had to go on a campaign just to get Rocky in the ring with him (what's the old saying-don't wish for what you hope for ?). Still, Rocky would have had a bitch of a time with Liston, Foreman, Lewis, Tyson or Tua. I am sure he'd win some of them but I don't think he's running that gauntlet. as far as RJJ vrs Tucker: Jones has never fought anyone 6-5, with long arms, so he has his work cut out for him. Tucker can hold up under Tyson's shots, so I don't think Jones is going to KO him. Tucker may not hit, but he is a heavyweight, and if Jones' chin can't hold up with some Light heavies, it ain't holding up if a heavy catches him. A buddy of mine was a middleweight swarmer with a tough chin. He told me he sparred Jimmy Young once, with 16 ounce gloves. He said it was like getting hit with a ton of bricks
and Young is a light hitter.

Elmer Ray
03-28-2006, 05:53 PM
Al Weil did keep him away from big heavies of that era (Valdez)

joe louis at 6'2 214lb was bigger than nino valdes and better too. then again weill wanted no part of louis, the IBC forced him to take it.




Still, Rocky would have had a bitch of a time with Liston, Foreman, Lewis, Tyson or Tua.



not tua, hes not in a league with these guys


shoemaker,


don't u think rocky would come in at around 205lb if he were fighting today? with all the modern benefits? i spoke with rocky's brother and goody petronelli personally and they both told me rocky would be 20-30lb heavier if he were fighting today. based on rocky's bone structure, id say he could bulk up to 205lb and still retain all his physical abilites .

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 06:09 PM
Hawk,
Yes, Alzado would be bigger, but if i remember correctly, he's about 6-3, so i can't see him getting to 320. there's only so much you can put on even with roids and supplements (A lot of supplements are bullshit anyway. Your body can only take in so much protein, it's going to piss out the rest. I wasted so much money on the bullshit claims of "Amino Acids", "Spirolena or whatever the latest BS Protien supplement fad there was, and all the other BS during the 80's). And yes Alzado could go up to 330, but he'd have a big fat barral, ala James Toney. I realize that Nose Tackles, DT's and interior lineman often have fat asses and fat guts, but they can get away with it. unlike Alzado, who is supposed to be rushing the passer. Left Offensive tackles and Defensive Ends are usually athletes.
Hollyfield is an excellant counter point (the best one so far) but he still doesn't become champ until he's over 200. Yes, he'd probably beat some heavies when he weighed under 190 (Bob Foster did), but you are using the multi-champion format to aid your argument (Jones beating Ruiz). If there were 5 heavyweight champions during the 30's and 40's you'd have some stiffs as champs as well. Remember- just because there are 5 champions doesn't mean that the top 5 fighters in the world are champions (look at the Russian 7 foot stiff). Technically, Joe Louis beat Lee Savold for the Heavyweight championship during the 50's, since Savold was recognized as champ by the British Boxing Board (they recognized Charles after Louis KO'ed Savold). Hollyfield does have a hell of a chin, but I don't think he has the power to be the best heavy in the world during the lull between Holmes and Tyson. Plus, i could accuse hollyfield of being on roids, just like Toney, Byrd, and even Michael Spinks (man he gained weight in a hurry before he fought Holmes- must have been Macky Shackelstein's milk shakes- kind of like Panama Lewis' 'Vitamin bottle" he gave to Pryor). I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on supplements and roids having something to do with the athletes of today's sizes. But like I said, supplements and roids don't make you taller, don't give you a bigger frame, and don't give you longer arms. That's genetics
Plus like i said, I could use supplements in my argument as well, in regards to athletes of today being bigger, faster, and stronger than the "Golden eras of the past"

hawk5ins
03-28-2006, 06:11 PM
Play in the NBA today? And Play well? How many Power forwards? ANd that play well?

Nowitski certainly is an anomoly. He certainly is not the norm

What adds more quality to a team? A 6'6" (generous) HOF Center in Wes Unseld or 7'0" STARTING Center Desagna Diop for the Mavs? What are Desagna's stats? 2 points and 5 rebounds a game? Give me a 20 20 night out of Unseld any day of the week.

And Charles Barkley during his career showed that You don't have to be the tallest in the division to pull in boards either.

If there are 100 7 footers in the league today (which I think is a bit generous), I'd be willing to state FLATLY, that roughly 80% of them, if not more, are Stanely Roberts level players (all size, no skill) rather than saying we have 100 Nowitski or O'Neal's running around.

Additionallly, basket ball IS a bigger sport today. Colleges recruit for size as well as skill with much more intent than they did back in Wilt's day. And the NBA had fewer teams 30 40 years ago. To waste time on a 7 foot stiff who has very little skill level, when there weren't that many roster spots to go around? There are over 30 teams today. ANd many of these stiffs actually START today!

Wilt was so heavily recruited becuase of skill AND size. Are we suggesting that we have a multitude of athletes running around today that bring to the table what Wilt brought back then? If so, how come I don't see track and field contestants running around today that are Wilt's size doing what Wilt did for Kansas in the late 50's?

If Wilt is More of the NORM today, how come our Olympics don't field a team of 7 footers to compete in the Summer games? Was Wilt a freak back then? Yes. And he would be so today as well. MORESO. Give him the Training, suplements and diet of today and we probably never see the 250 pound rookie that we saw for the Warriors. We'd be seeing a 300 pound goliath, that we saw in his later Sixer and Laker years, but with the deer like speed he had in his early 20's. And as years rolled on, he would maintain that weight, rather than purposefully put it on with the archaic weight training programs that he used in 67-68. And when one talked about freakish strength, there would be only one name whom you would point to. And his middle name was Norman.

Agian, diet and vitamins and supplements ARE the cause for whatever seeming boom in height we see today. Naturally over the course of 40 years, height and weight didn't increase to what we are seeing without any boost or assistance.

Hawk

Mr E
03-28-2006, 06:15 PM
Jess Willard turned pro at age 29. He was mostly big and strong. No great skills. On tape he is not impressive. He is not even impressively built.

On the other hand guys like both Klitschkos, Lewis, and Bowe are as big or bigger, obviously skilled, and they are apparently much more athletic if one can gauge athleticism by the available tape of Willard.


I think Willard looks a LOT better in the films against Johnson than people give him credit for being. [Johnson looks a lot better, too, for that matter, given that folks will tell you that he showed up drunk, weighed 400 pounds and hadn't fought for 20 years.] But be that as it may, Willard had to have been a HECK of an athlete to be able to do all the roping and riding tricks that paid in his bills in the wild west shows when he wasn't defending his title. That stuff ain't easy-- those cowboys, Willard included, are very athletic. You think Vitaly Klitschko or Michael Grant could hit a calf with a lariet whilst going full-speed on a horse? I very much doubt it.

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 06:25 PM
Elmer,
As usual excellant points. Yes, Tua's a lazy fu*k, but with that chin and that power and handspeed, he'd be a bitch for a lot of swarmers (especially one's without plan B's) they'd force Tua's lazy ass to fight. (maybe Tyson and Tua would be "cutting deals" by about the 5th round, especially if they can't hurt the other). as for Rocky, that's a valid arguement, he would weigh over 200 llbs today. He's still stuck with his frame however, but he's built to be a swarmer anyway. He doesn't have Tyson and Tua's skill's but he's got 1000X their hearts, and would definatly beat them if he was born during their eras (at least I think so, i can't prove it), he'd probably beat them weighing 185 as well, we are not exactly talking about two mentally tough individuals. But skill wise- those two may have top 5 all time skills. Someone told me he was built like Larry Cszonka before he trained and after he retired.

Sharkey
03-28-2006, 06:35 PM
Shoe:

In response to pygmies and assorted other wee-folk...my point was that people have not over the last 30 years been born prone to a humongousosity due to evolutionary forces kicking in around the Ford administration.

Instead, it is the science and lack thereof to some degree encouraging the accumulation of gigantic guts on lineman in the NFL, and the utter body-building cum cue-stick exteriors of the NBA swingmen of today.

Quaterbacks can weigh 260 today because no one is telling them not to weigh that much. Terry Bradshaw I am sure could have weighed in at a nice solid 240...if that wouldn't have made Noll's already simmering jugular explode.

The point is athletes as larger people than the general populace are encouraged to become fine-edged in appearance in many sports, while the internal machinery is roughly the same.

I am not in agreement that hospitals around the USA are littered with 30% larger children with ab-development than when I was born...nor that the pressures of living in the modern world coupled with the darwinistic forces of the absence of the ColdWar have somehow produced a mutation providing us with 100 pound heavier athletes from the womb.

Sharkey
03-28-2006, 06:41 PM
So yes people are bigger, and there are many more people to boot. However, nutrition and medicine have a lot to do with it...as you state.

My contention was strictly disagreeing with the opinion advanced that people are bigger to the degree they are merely through attrition of time.

hagler04
03-28-2006, 06:42 PM
A few points.

In the 1940s, kids didn't play basketball in gym class. That leads us to why basketball can't be used as a basis for comparison. Basketaball was a FRINGE sport really until the 1970s and didn't become a major American sport, on the professional level, until the 1980s. Chamberlain was a giant in B-Ball for the 1960s not b/c they are less 7 ft guys all around, but b/c not many people played professional basketball. Young poor kids did not have 'hoop dreams' in 1960, at least the wide majority. Boxing on the other hand was a major American sport from the 19teens until the 1990s.
Ditto with football. Hell until the 1980s the majority of professional footballers did football as a part-time job. Forget the massive off-season training camps they do now.

Either way, Chamberlain WAS a very athletic guy who could've def. been a top player today. Centers now can't even do hook shots.

Williard was a very good athlete for his size. You you just judge choppy sped-up film no-one looks athletic. Anyone who can 'break in' wild horses has immense strength and agility.

A HUGE reason Wladimir beat Byrd WAS his speed. Slow? Besides Byrd and Toney Wlad has the fastest hands in the HW division.

About today's HWs and conditioning. Foreman, a 6'3 BIG man was IN SHAPE at 217 lbs. Ruiz, a former 188 lber at 6'1, is NOT at 240. Neither is chubby Brewster at 225 or Rahman at 240 or any of these 6'1-6'2 guys who are muscular but not in boxing condition and over 220 lbs. If you really think someone like Zora Folley at 200 lbs wouldn't have knocked out the clumsy slow Rahman we saw two weeks ago you are dreaming.

Kid Achilles
03-28-2006, 06:46 PM
Apparently men in the middle ages were actually taller than those living in the 17th and 18th century. This definitely goes against the grain of the common thought process of "we've gradually gotten taller". Apparently height on a national level has more to do with social standing than evolution and genetics.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040902090552.htm

Check this link out.

Sharkey
03-28-2006, 06:51 PM
Corrie Sanders' hands were incredibly fast....faster than Wlads. Same with Tony Tubbs'. What catches one's eye is that when these guys have fast hands we a re told they have fast hands..."for a big guy".

In all sports we have the thoroughbred craze for the 'skill' positions and the 'lunchpail' requirements for the men in the 'trenches'.

There is a definite trend towards at once specialization AND versatility. The accepted notions of what doth a fighter make have changed..but it is within the change of attitude that a change in the available pool of talent is made maleable.

Large guys were always encoruaged to become fighters. Now, the largest of the large are not exposed by the true fighting machines, because the great athletes are not in boxing at the level of the biggest divisions. Anyone want to claim that the crusiers of today are on a par with those who tipped the scales similarly in the old days?

If men are so big today as opposed to yesterday to the point of exclusionary thinking in terms of their coupled 'evolutionary' induced coordination...in that they are more the norm than the exception...then why was Lennox Lewis a 220 pound man who became a guy that weighed 250? Why did Bowe go from 225 to 256? Because they could.

Why did Jack Dempsey have bigger arms than Evander Holyfield or Mike Tyson..and a larger chest cavity than either? When was Frank Bruno born? Gerry Cooney? Abe Simon? Otto Von Porat?

Who is bigger..James Toney or Jim Jeffries? Tim Witherspoon (213 against Holmes or something like that) or Max Baer?

There is a melding of the ideal athlete body-type that no longer is sport-specific. Baseball players are routinely the clone-type size of 6'3", 210-240. Need they be? Or if you are that size is it seen as you fit the ideal.

to keep this about boxing consider this: it has become common to see the late-to-boxing-guy. A guy that was good at some other sport, but came to boxing later in life than most would ideally. Many of them have one thing in common: size. That there is room for them to flourish speaks to me more of the absence of depth than to the abilities born of being large.

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 06:57 PM
Hawk,
Come on, size and athleticism in basketball are way more important than in boxing. at least the boxing people on this site have an argument. Basletball-give me a break. No, Wes Unseld is not getting 20 and 20 a night (the rebounding numbers were higher than, because THEY MISSED MORE), today, because at 6-6, 230 he ain't playing center today. That size was huge during the 60's, it ain't anymore. All Chamberlin did was toss up his ugly-ass finger roll, miss it, then get his own rebound. It sure as hell didn't hurt being 7 foot tall and agile, playing against 6-8, 210 llb centers (you also had 6-6 power forwards, 6-5 shooting forwards, a 6-2 off guard and a 5-11 point.
I havn't even gone into the "Black Quota's" of the era Which league is better the all white SEC of the 60's or the SEC today (you can chose football or basketball for your choice). You also forget that there were a few 7 foot 220 llb stringbeans playing in the NBA during the 60's (the coaches didn't believe in weight training in practically every sport). Tom Burlision and Neal Walk, averaged around 20 points and 20 rebounds back then, why because they were 7 foot tall. Yes, Wilt could play today, but he's not dominating on that level, because he won't have a freakish size advantage. Plus coaches arn't dumb enough to sit around and watch a player play "butt ball" and go one on one. They'll run another 6-10 to 7 footer at him to double. The games also changed, ever since Jordan (with the exception of Shaq, who buy the way at 7-1, 330 would be illegal during the 60's.) As far as Chambelin, Jabbar kicked his ass, with his sky hook, Jerry West said that Wilt used to bitch about not getting any help. And if i want to lump in the 6-10 + guys of today, along with the athletic 6-10+ players of the 80's and 90's Olyjawan, Robinson, Duncan, Garnett-(another 7 footer), O'Neil, and on and on, they'd destroy the teams of the 60's. The list of athletic big men of that era (early 60's) are Chamberlin and Russell, that's it. The rest is basically crap. Why can't anyone see that Chamberlin, Jim Brown, and others of that era, dominated because of their size and athleticism ? The thing is that their size and athleticism wouldn't be that dominant today. In any sport, including to a much lesser extent boxing. I'll have to finish this on a B.Ball forum, back to boxing !

hawk5ins
03-28-2006, 07:13 PM
Get's 20 20 a night. But rebounding has MORE to do with desire and positioning than it does with size.

Who would you rather have at center: Unseld or a 2 point 5 board stiff? ( and as far as the more rebounds to grab aspect, it is not as dramatic as it is suggested. Someone of Oneal's size is a pitiful rebounder. He has had multiple 1,2 and 3 Board nights and has been shut out from grabbing a single rebound on more than one occasion. Wilt by comparison, NEVER had a professional Game in which grabbed less than 10 boards. Never. That goes beyond shooting percentages. That's hustle and desire.) Note: Burleson and Walk NEVER came close to averaging 20 points and 20 boards a game in ANY season. So NO. It wasn't done by every Tom, Neal or Harry.

Would Wilt with TODAY's Training, vitamins, diet etc. have a Height advantage over the league that some suggest was the only reason he flourished back in the 60's and 70's? Mybe not the height. But the combination of Speed, size and strength that Wilt would combine would set him apart from today's centers.

Add to the fact that Wilt played more of a finesse game becuase he was sensitive to criticism that he was a Goliath. In today's game, that would NOT be scrutinized and would actually be ENCOURAGED. So take THAT govenor off of Wilt and he could and IMO WOULD dominate today.

I don't want to turn this into a Hoops conversation (and all due respect Mr. E, I'm going to shy away from the Rodeo clown aspect as well), as I think there is plenty to talk about in dealing with the boxing end of this.

ESPECIALLY the Stamina endurance aspect which the "newer is better" faction NEVER addresses when asked. Let's refoucus this back to boxing.

Hawk

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 07:20 PM
Shark,
You make excellant points, especially the one in relation to population growth (it's like Duh ! why didn't i think of it). Plus sports are going outside the US to grab athletes increasing it even more. Maybe when Castro croaks you'll get some decent boxers (although i think the Cubans are overrated to begin with- the guy that Bowe destroyed -Gonzales ?). You could have also added that these wacked out parents following the Todd Marinovich, Tiger Woods, Williams' sisters, examples of making your kid into a superstar, by hiring all of these trainers and coaches, also contributed (nothing like Gravy Training off your children). Still, where the hell are all of these Giants coming from ? Too bad none of these wacked out parents in the US are building great boxers (although D'Amato-Tyson come close).

Sharkey
03-28-2006, 07:35 PM
More people=more big people.(and more small people as well)

There are only so many NBA and NFL jobs available. See my edit above, I had a eureka moment.

There appears to be a removal of the 'limit'..of the 'sport-specific' body type and the scouts' eye is at once more wide-ranging and at the same time transfixed by sheer physical ability that is not sport specific...at least it seems to me.

The Shoemaker
03-28-2006, 08:03 PM
Hawk,
Cut me some slack, I've been arguing with 5 different people for the last few hours! I've got to get some things done that I was supposed to do a few hours ago. But I'll sneak in a reply before I go. You and i are actually in agreement on a few issues. i think the athletes of today are better (except in boxing-which they would be if it was still a major sport) because of gnetics, you argue diet and supplements. Still, we both agree on the principle
(at least I think we do). On boxing: it doesn't hurt to be 6-5" and fluid. Yes, you are correct it is a lot harder for a 240 llber to fight a fast pace fight and still have endurance to finish and carry their power. That's why I have a ton of respect for Marciano and Frazier. it's a hell of a lot easier for Henry Armstrong or Manny Pacquio (spelling) to fight at that pace than it is for a heavy. But to force some of these guys to fight that pace is easier said than done. Like I used Foreman in Zaire as an example. People think that the old man in his 40's was in better shape, but unlike the killer in Zaire, the old man was fighting at a measured pace. If he or someone can force him to fight at the Zaire pace, he ain't seeing the 4th round. But to force him to fight at that pace, you have to take risks (ala Michael Moorer). Sonny Liston looked in great shape against Eddie Machen, but Machen wasn't pushing him and not trying to win- so Liston's not going to fade, but when Sonny's getting his ass kicked by Ali it's a different story (that Liston of "64" would still beat any Eddie Machen). yes, the lighter fighter usually has a stamina edge on the bigger guy, but FORCING the bigger guy to fight at that pace is easier said then done. Lastley, most fighters fight at a different pace for a 12 round fight than they would for a 15 or 20 rounder. Same with a 6 or 8 rounder in reverse. I actually thought Rahman looked in shape against Toney and threw a ton of punches, of coarse his opponet was gassed by the 3rd round, but still he did throw a lot of shots. Look at David Tua- Ike Ibeabuchi. I think that fight set a punch stat record, possibly for all weight classes. In fact I could always use Ibeabuchi in my arguements about the garbage fighters of today's era. The best one's probably sitting in jail. Not comparing the two, but if you took Joe Louis out of the 1940's, think how bad the era would be. Especially with no one to break the color line. you may have Abe Simon as your champion. I am sure the supporters of Firpo and willard would add the great Abe Simon to their list of "would be champion today". I've got o go Hawk, I'll check your post later tonight.

hagler04
03-28-2006, 08:36 PM
Tommy Farr, Max Baer, Leroy Haynes, Elmer Ray, Joe Walcott, Nova, and Godoy were all very good heavyweights. Without Louis the 40s still had a lot of very good fighters. MUCH better than today.

Rahman threw a lot of punches but most of those were thrown laying on the inside and were completly arm punches. Compare that activity to Liston vs Machen, constantly moving his body and head, throwing out LOTS of stiff jabs (and continually jabbing tires you out) Eddie was making Liston move, giving him odd angles. I'm much more impressed by Liston's stamina vs Machen than Rahman, or even Ibeabuchi vs Tua. Tua was hardly doing anything for the first 5 rounds, and Ike was throwing punches, flat-footed, against a stationary target up close. By the 5th round Ike tired and Tua swept most of the remaining rounds. Ike got a 2nd wind around the 10th round but again Tua was flat-footed, stationary, and a target to be hit. Most of the punches traded were on the inside with the fighters leaning on each other. It's not so easy to fight a guy who can stick and move. Ike was already tiring by that 5th round vs Byrd when he landed that Hail Mary hook. If they had rematched a few months later I would've picked Byrd by decision.

Just look at the movement of Liston in fights of him in his prime (and Sonny is never thought of as a very fluid fighter). And then look at Brewster, Rahman, Brock etc. It's a joke.

Roberto Aqui
03-28-2006, 09:46 PM
No, Wes Unseld is not getting 20 and 20 a night (the rebounding numbers were higher than, because THEY MISSED MORE), today, because at 6-6, 230 he ain't playing center today. That size was huge during the 60's, it ain't anymore.

Wes' nickname was Stump. Do you know why?

He was under 6-4 and weighed about 270 by the time he retired and couldn't be moved once he picked his spot, thus was a rebounding, pick setting machine. The average center in his day was around 6-10, 240. He was not a classic great ball player, but a specialized player filling out an important role as part of the larger team whose sum was greater than it's parts added together. I know the NBA publicity machine made him out to be taller than he was, but he was a freak among NBA centers.

I would also add that Elvin Hayes was much taller, 6-9, a natural college center who went head to head against Kareem in college and much more athletic, but they pegged him in at forward to take advantage of his ball handling skills. He was a huge dominant forward but would have been under average size for center.

PeteLeo
03-28-2006, 11:26 PM
If you take John Ruiz as the ampersand, the RJJ who embarrassed Ruiz would easily out maneuver (and probably KO) the Tucker who was chewed up by John. Yeah, Tony was past his best by then, but so was Roy. PeteLeo.

Elmer Ray
03-29-2006, 12:47 AM
Especially with no one to break the color line. you may have Abe Simon as your champion


no u would have jimmy bivins or billy conn as your champions. then in mid 40s, u would have elmer ray as ur champion

The Shoemaker
03-29-2006, 01:26 AM
Elmer Ray,
My comment about Abe Simon was more or less a jab at the people I've been arguing with about Firpo and willard. Remember, i said with the color line still in place. As bad as he was, Simon would contend in an all white division, basically because of his size. And they'd say he was better than anyone today the old "he may look awkward on film, but ..." Instead of reality, "he looked awkward on film, because he was awkward." What would have really happened with no Joe Louis ? Probably Schmelling beats Braddock and takes the title back to Germany, which Hitler will use for propaganda and it will be stuck over there for years with Schmelling only defending against Germans and a few Euro's, maybe some bottem of the barral US fighters. Hitler sure as hell wouldn't let Schmelling defend against Baer, who was at least thought to be Jewish, and he could beat Schmelling, nor would he have defended it against any black fighters (hell, you can't even get US fighters to defend against blacks). eventually the NBA and NY State would strip Schmelling or WWII would break out. Conn's probably the best white fighter off the top of my head, but Baer might be too big for him, and could catch him. Then again, we know Nova would beat Baer. The trouble is that there are no black fighters that are going to garner the interest like Louis did during the 30's; that's why he broke the color line- there was public interest in him. Plus you had a power struggle between Jacobs and Johnson (I think that was his name), along with the fear that Braddock would lose to Schmelling and the title would go back to Germany (actually Louis would have gotten a shot at Braddock earlier, but he took the easy money against Schmelling, which threw the whole division on its head when schmelling won) My point is that I don't think that Bivins is that much better than anyone else (barely beat Mauriello during the war for the duration title), so they ain't breaking the color line for him. Maybe walcott, Charles, or Ray near the end of the decade (I think Charles beat Ray pretty easy the second time-disputed loss the first time) Charles is getting bigger. What would probably break the color line is that Jackie Robinson would break it in baseball, so boxing would then be under pressure to break it. It's a good "what if" though.

The Shoemaker
03-29-2006, 02:04 AM
Roberto- Actually Wes Unseld had a shit load of athletic ability before he tore up his knee (that's when he was the 20-20 man that Hawk keeps refering to)
I think he was only dominant for a year or two (his rookie and second season- I think). Yes, Wesley would play today as a role player, because the NBA like the NFL loves specialists. if you're great at one thing, you'll last. He'd also be strong today, but not the animal he was during his era. as far as Elvin Hayes: everyone brings up the UCLA game when Houston ended their winning streak. No one remembers that Jabbar kicked Hayes' ass in the rematch, when they blew Houston out by about 30 in the final four match up. And Jabbar kept kicking Hayes ass throught the pro's (Jabbar hated him). Also, they usually didn't put Unseld on Jabbar when Washington played them, usually Hayes took him. Because i don't care how strong Wes was, Jabbar's still shooting over him, as would Duncan, Oneil, and just about every big man. Yes, Wes could move them off their spot, but with their size advantage, he'd have to push them into the parking lot to stop them. I mean they know Wes isn't going to block their shot, and Wes knows he isn't going to block their shots. Wes would be a role playing rebounder (thug) who would use all six of his fouls.

The Shoemaker
03-29-2006, 02:17 AM
Pete,
I don't think its fair to use Ruiz as a barometer between Tucker and Jones. There are style match ups to deal with, plus Tucker was pretty much shot. Ruiz has nothing outside of immense strength (that's according to people who have boxed him either in the ring or in the gym), toughness, and conditioning. He doesn't have the skills to beat Jones, and with Jay Nady as the ref, he's not going to be allowed to maul and brawl jones into a corner (not criticising Nady, that's the way he calls fights). I never saw the Tucker fight, but i am sure he mauled him (theirs a shock) and wore the old man down. Yes, Jones could beat a prime Tucker, but I don't think so, like I said, he's never fought anyone 6-5 before and Tucker can box. So I'd think he'd keep Jones on the end of his jab and win a boring fight. i know Jones isn't going to maul and brawl Tucker and throw him around the ring like Ruiz may do
I also doubt if Jones would take the risks to get inside on Tucker. as long as Tucker jabs Jones he should keep him outside; unless of coarse he tries to land the right, then Jones could counter him. But his chin stood up to Tyson's shots so I am sure it could hold up to Jones' . What an ugly fight.

hawk5ins
03-29-2006, 08:43 AM
"Yes, you are correct it is a lot harder for a 240 llber to fight a fast pace fight and still have endurance to finish and carry their power."

Who is saying anything about limiting the stamina argument to just heavyweights? If the newer is better theory is the standard, then fighters who are competing at 147 TODAY, by the Newer=Superior theory, Should have superior Stamina to a 147 pound fighter from 40 to 50 or more years ago. That simply is NOT the case.

So let's not limit this to Size. If the modern athlete is so superior, why do they lack the endurance of fighters who trained "archaically?

And while you mentioned lower weight fighters such as Pacquiao, he has shown that he slows down in later in the fight and could not have HIS stamina compared to an Armstrong or Jack or even a Pryor. Heck, Marquez and Morales I were examples of that. He was much stronger than Morales in the return, but that was becuase Morales didn't have a whole lot after round 6. He was superior to Morales not superior stamina wise to fighters of days gone by. His volume and pace are not out of the norm either.

Hawk

Roberto Aqui
03-29-2006, 08:46 AM
What would probably break the color line is that Jackie Robinson would break it in baseball, so boxing would then be under pressure to break it. It's a good "what if" though.

Nope, without a Joe Louis there would've been no Jackie Robinson in baseball. Robinson would've been courtmartialed and spending a decade in the brigg.

I would also remind you that the color line in boxing had been broken thousands of times prior to Robinson. Breaking the colorline in the rest of society would probably be delayed by a decade without a Joe Louis.

Joe did not break a barrier, he built on previously laid groundwork for a larger equity and justice, not only in boxing but in the greater society. Only a non-assuming unsophisticated country boy from the South could ever challenge the status quo with such unconscious effort.

wildhawke11
03-29-2006, 11:05 AM
Did you guys recall Roger Bannister the athlete who was the first man to run a four minute mile on May 6th back in 1954, Well just one of his studs or spikes in the shoes he wore weighted more then a modern athlete's whole shoe. Everything has been done including the surfaces the guys run on to help boost and increase the runners chances of putting in faster and faster times on the track. To say nothing even about the enhancing drugs, better diets, personal trainers and the full time training or time off work that is given to the modern guy to complete compared to the runner from years ago. With all this in mind its no wonder that today's runners are so much faster by comparison.


Lets also keep in mind in regard to the HWs today they are much older then most of the old time fighters. When your about 19 - 25 you normally have quite a good body shape. In most cases ten or so years later you start to put on weight. I recall many years ago a HW was considered at his peak around about 26 years of age. Check the ages of the modern HW. Time most start fighting there body's are not in the best shape anyway. They start fighting when most of the old timers had years of boxing experience behind them and were ready to call it a day. The modern HW, to tell you the truth i would be ashamed at there age to even strip off if i had a gut that hangs over my shorts and tits that could fill a bra. I have often wondered what sort of training in fact the fat no stamina modern slob does do. I agree there are the odd one or two but from what i can see there far and few anyway. In any sport you go in for you should enter the arena in condition and at least try to give it your best shot.

Mr E
03-29-2006, 02:34 PM
Let's not get TOO carried away with how great the talent level was in the 1940s. WWII wiped out a generation of young fighters, don't forget-- which I would imagine is part of the reason guys like Archie Moore and Jersey Joe Walcott were able to hang on so long.

Joe Louis was the cream of the crop by a country mile, IMO. Had he defended against a prime Jimmy Bivins, Elmer Ray, Lee Q. Murray, Turkey Thompson and Joe Baksi -- 5 fighters he is occassionally accused of having ducked -- he would have had 30 successful defenses instead of 25, not to mention 5 more knockouts.

I've always thought Max Baer was over-rated-- I don't think he beats either Willard or Firpo. Leroy Haynes beat Carnera, but he couldn't beat Al Ettore in 3 tries-- and Ettore had more losses on his record than Paris Hilton has had boyfriends. Tommy Farr's losses to Baer and a washed-up Braddock show he was not an A-level contender, IMO.

Here's how I think the post-Gene Tunney title progression would have gone had their been no color line and no corruption (and if Joe Louis didn't exist):

1930: Jack Sharkey TKO5 Max Schmeling -- [they tell Schmeling to quit pretending, get off his ass and take his beating like a man, which he does]

--Sharkey successfully defends the title with close, hard-fought decisions over George Godfrey and Larry Gains, the 2 most deserving contenders after Schmeling

1933: Max Schmeling W15 Jack Sharkey -- [this does NOT mean I think Schmeling was robbed in the rematch; but I do think that Sharkey would be getting a little long in the tooth by now and might under-estimate Schmeling for the rematch; and Schmeling would be hungrier than ever]

--Schmeling succussfully defends against 1 or 2 of Carnera, Uzcuden, Loughran, Rosenbloom

1934: Max Baer KO10 Max Schmeling

1935: Jim Braddock W15 Max Baer

1936: Max Schmeling W15 Jim Braddock [Schmeling becomes the 1st to regain the title]

--Schmeling getting old, not willing to risk anything he doesn't have to, retreats to Germany and feasts on a few European contenders as easy defenses, finally lured back to America for big money match against reigning light-heavy champ, Billy Conn...

1941: Billy Conn W15 Max Schmeling [The Black Uhlan washed up; Conn pitches a shut-out]

--Conn, also careful, eeks out a few defenses over slower heavyweights for a couple years, until...

1944: Jimmy Bivins W15 Billy Conn [Bivins in his prime, sharp as a tack-- Conn had lost a step]

--Bivins successfully defends against a trio of terrific young heavyweights, Elmer Ray, Lee Q. Murray and Turkey Thompson, but then runs into...

1947: Archie Moore W15 Jimmy Bivins

1948: Ezzard Charles W15 Archie Moore

1951: Jersey Joe Walcott KO7 Ezzard Charles

1951: Ezzard Charles W15 Jersey Joe Walcott

1952: Rocky Marciano W15 Ezzard Charles

The Shoemaker
03-29-2006, 02:56 PM
As far as Roger Bannester's shoes: yes, I am sure you are correct, new training gear helps, but... pretty soon you guys are going to claim that the Track stars of pre-1980 ran with 10 llb weight vests on. Yes, modern tracks and equipment helps them, but it's still genetics, better diet, better coaching and better supplements. actually, I think a lot of older records from the 90's are still standing, probably due to better drug testing and stiffer penelties (Track and Field's was about the only sport that was serious about their drug problem, until the others got pushed into it by public pressure). But even though the records are artificially high, along with being lower (it's harder to break a 9.7, 100 than a 11.0 sec 100) and closer to the maximin human limits, we still ain't at our limits, so the records will continue to fall in the next 20 years. Before Bannister broke the 4 minute mile, some physisits said the mark was physically impossible for humans (same now with a 2 hour marathon)
You are right that boxers and other athletes usually peak later in life and last longer. But boxing being so brutal, I think it's more of a case of less fights. i know there are exceptions like Walcott who peaked later in life or Moore who fought on a high level for 20 years, but like you said most boxers of yesteryear were shot by the time they were 32. Definatly, starting later in life (although some of these kids have extensive amantuer careers).
In the other sports it's really different. Nolan Ryan was still cracking 90MPH on his fastball when he was in his 40's. Look at Cleamon's today. Obviously 5 man rotations help, but I just think that they work harder than the oldtimes (I know that's blasphemy to some). But Pro sports are in most cases a full time job , 365 days a year (they have enough money so they don't have to work in the off season) plus, since it's such a big business Pro Teams put forth the money to finance year-round training, because their competors do. football players usued to use training campt to get in shape, not any more (in most instances)
You're right about boxers, they're often the opposite. Could be that you can cut more corners with a 12 round fight limit. Plus, as with all sports the relationship between coach (or trainer) has changed. I am sure Freddie Roach views James Toney as a business opportunity, it wasn't as though he groomed him from age 15 on (most guys who groom their fighters from an early age, get their prospects stolen when the kid looks like he has potentual
Earnie Butler-Larry holmes) unless they have a father-son relationship. I remember arguing with a friend about whether Angelo dundee should have been criticised for not having Ali prepared to fight Jimmy Young (not just being in shape-but Ali didn't have a clue on how to lead) He said, "Ali wouldn't have listened anyway" Same with Roach, you can leave Toney, but some other competor will get the money by being his trainer. Even Eddie Futch put up with a lot more of Riddick Bowe's bullshit than he would have 30 years ago, before he finally quit.

Elmer Ray
03-29-2006, 03:06 PM
Let's not get TOO carried away with how great the talent level was in the 1940s. WWII wiped out a generation of young fighters, don't forget-- which I would imagine is part of the reason guys like Archie Moore and Jersey Joe Walcott were able to hang on so long.

Joe Louis was the cream of the crop by a country mile, IMO. Had he defended against a prime Jimmy Bivins, Elmer Ray, Lee Q. Murray, Turkey Thompson and Joe Baksi -- 5 fighters he is occassionally accused of having ducked -- he would have had 30 successful defenses instead of 25, not to mention 5 more knockouts.

I've always thought Max Baer was over-rated-- I don't think he beats either Willard or Firpo. Leroy Haynes beat Carnera, but he couldn't beat Al Ettore in 3 tries-- and Ettore had more losses on his record than Paris Hilton has had boyfriends. Tommy Farr's losses to Baer and a washed-up Braddock show he was not an A-level contender, IMO.

Here's how I think the post-Gene Tunney title progression would have gone had their been no color line and no corruption (and if Joe Louis didn't exist):

1930: Jack Sharkey TKO5 Max Schmeling -- [they tell Schmeling to quit pretending, get off his ass and take his beating like a man, which he does]

--Sharkey successfully defends the title with close, hard-fought decisions over George Godfrey and Larry Gains, the 2 most deserving contenders after Schmeling

1933: Max Schmeling W15 Jack Sharkey -- [this does NOT mean I think Schmeling was robbed in the rematch; but I do think that Sharkey would be getting a little long in the tooth by now and might under-estimate Schmeling for the rematch; and Schmeling would be hungrier than ever]

--Schmeling succussfully defends against 1 or 2 of Carnera, Uzcuden, Loughran, Rosenbloom

1934: Max Baer KO10 Max Schmeling

1935: Jim Braddock W15 Max Baer

1936: Max Schmeling W15 Jim Braddock [Schmeling becomes the 1st to regain the title]

--Schmeling getting old, not willing to risk anything he doesn't have to, retreats to Germany and feasts on a few European contenders as easy defenses, finally lured back to America for big money match against reigning light-heavy champ, Billy Conn...

1941: Billy Conn W15 Max Schmeling [The Black Uhlan washed up; Conn pitches a shut-out]

--Conn, also careful, eeks out a few defenses over slower heavyweights for a couple years, until...

1944: Jimmy Bivins W15 Billy Conn [Bivins in his prime, sharp as a tack-- Conn had lost a step]

--Bivins successfully defends against a trio of terrific young heavyweights, Elmer Ray, Lee Q. Murray and Turkey Thompson, but then runs into...

1947: Archie Moore W15 Jimmy Bivins

1948: Ezzard Charles W15 Archie Moore

1951: Jersey Joe Walcott KO7 Ezzard Charles

1951: Ezzard Charles W15 Jersey Joe Walcott

1952: Rocky Marciano W15 Ezzard Charles


archie moore wasnt even a heavyweight contender in 1947. he was stricly a light-H. moore didnt become a contender at heavyweight till 1952. bivins would lose his title to jersey joe walcott in 47


- i also think elmer ray beats jimmy bivins. ray would be heavyweigth champ 44-47 until walcott beats him


but ur post 1947 picks, I LIKE ALOT AND AGREE WITH!

Mr E
03-29-2006, 03:09 PM
I may have the dates a little crossed -- I didn't do any checking -- but Moore had Bivins' number. I think that, had Bivins won the title, Moore would have demanded a shot-- and he would have won.

Of course, Charles had Moore's number, too.

Elmer Ray
03-29-2006, 03:24 PM
I may have the dates a little crossed -- I didn't do any checking -- but Moore had Bivins' number. I think that, had Bivins won the title, Moore would have demanded a shot-- and he would have won.

Of course, Charles had Moore's number, too.

i think ray would win it in 44 and then lose it to walcott in 47

Mr E
03-29-2006, 03:41 PM
i think ray would win it in 44 and then lose it to walcott in 47

Elmer Ray v. Jimmy Bivins would have been an interesting fight anyway. that's for sure.

Do you know why there is an 8-year gap in Ray's record ('28-'36) or so? According to Boxrec, he turned pro at age 16 in 1926 ran up a 9-1 record over the next 2 years, when, at 18 (1928), he disappeared for 8 years. He didn't return until 1936 at age 26. Was he in the slammer?

The Shoemaker
03-29-2006, 05:17 PM
As far as the Joe Louis "what if":
i guess your scenario is based on a fantasy world with no Nazism, no WWII, no racisim, and that boxing is NOT a business, where fighters are actually in it to make money. First off, yes, Max Baer is overrated- but he does have unbelievable power in his right hand, right up there with Shavers, who i am sure you don't think can hit either because he's not 185 llbs or fought post-1960. Jim Braddock stated that Baer hit harder than Louis, so did others that fought the two-doesn't that hold any weight ? Obviously, louis is more capable of KO you, because like Tyson, he has speed and accuracy in both hands. while Baer's just winding up and winging it. But i can see the argument that Baer's heavier handed than Louis. that being said, what could you possibly see on film of Jess Willard that makes you think he wouldn't get hit by Baer ? Willard holds both hands at his waist and is a sitting duck for a right hand. Baer has a good enough chin (he's not exactly fighting a skilled fighter in willard, who against Baer wouldn't have nearly the size advantage), and hits WAY harder than Willard. Willard doesn't see the third round. Back to your scenario : Scmelling over Braddock in 1935. There is a problem here, in that Joe Louis paves the way for Schmelling to get his title fight. He gets rid of Baer, who I don't think Schmelling can beat (I know Baer sucks) and Louis puts Schmelling back on the map as a title condenter by losing to Schmelling. So without Louis, Schmelling probably needs to beat Baer before Baer beats Braddock in the re-match, which he probably would. For argument's sake I'll give Schmelling the title. With World War II, and the fact that Schmelling, whether he wants to be or not, is a symbol of the Nazi's, he's NOT LEAVING THE COUNTRY (they were supposidly afraid he might defect when he fought Louis the second time). And he sure as hell ain't crossing the Atlantic in 41 in the middle of a war to fight in a hostile country (I know the US was neutral until December of 41, but they were still viewed as hostile and are near war with Germany) I don't care if he want's to make "big money"or not, that's not his choice. Alright I'll give the title to Conn (and no, Conn's not traveling to Germany to win the title). first off you state that Conn would purposely fight the "big slow heavyweights" . Those are the Fighters he'd avoid. If he fights Baer (either Max or Buddy) he's taking a hell of a risk. Baer takes two steps and he cuts off the ring. Plus Baer has big time power and if he can muscle Conn, or get lucky he can KO him (same with Nova). Contrary to beliefs, joe Louis was a patient fighter, he wasn't a swarmer like Frazier, Marciano, or Dempsey, that's why he had trouble with boxers like Conn. Notice who the contenders were that conn fought to legitimize himself as a heavy. Bob Paster
whio weighs about 180, Lee Savold, around 185. He didn't go risking blowing a shot at Louis by fighting huge (which back then was about 200 +) fighters with punches. Yes, conn could beat Baer(s) or Nova or other big heavies, but they are a risk. Next point: Why would Conn risk his title against Bivins ? He can't make any money fighting a black fighter with no charisma. Even AFTER Louis won the title, black fighters were getting screwed at middleweight and Light Heavy (and even Heavy) during the 40's. It's not as though Conn has any pressure to fight Bivins or any other black fighter. Why take the risk ? Okay, say Bivins somehow gets his title shot and defeats Conn. wouldn't you think that Bivins may actually wan't to make some money while he's champion ? so why would he defend against black fighters like Turkey Thompson and the other guy's you listed ? He'd want to fight white fighters because that's where the money is, and that's who the IBC wants him to fight
And as far as Abe Simon being a stiff, which I agree with- how'd he KO Walcott, and draw with the legendary Turkey Thompson ? I mean granted, Walcott peaked late (and he had Typhoid during the early forties) but he wasn't a stiff. And if Turkey Thompson's so great he should destroy a big slow stiff like Simon. I don't care if its before Thompson's peak, Simon sucks. Maybe because like Carnera beating Loughrin, sometimes big stiffs cause problems for 185 llb heavies ? (Hey Simon extended Louis for 13 rounds). Jeeze, you may have to come up with a revision on Simon, putting him on the same pedestol with "all time" greats like Jess Willard and Louis Firpo. I am sure all three would destroy Tyson.

Elmer Ray
03-29-2006, 05:59 PM
schmeling was a better fighter than sharkey and baer. he would have won the rematch vs baer IMO. also, he was still young and sharkey was way more experienced than schmeling when they first fought. schmeling proved in the rematch he was a better fighter than jack sharkey.

i rate them

1. schmeling
2. sharkey
3. baer


no way 1940s past his prime baer beats conn. baer had trouble with slick boxers like tommy loughran and a past his prime baer would get shutout by conn. conn was better than loughran

Elmer Ray
03-29-2006, 06:03 PM
walcott was a stiff when simon knocked him out. walcott had recentley drew with 18-19 billy ketchell. walcott was a part time journeyman fighter when simon beat him.

also, walcott dominated simon during the fight. he outboxed him and dances circles around simon. walcott had no stamina, since he hadnt eaten barely anything in 3 days and took this fight on 24 hr notice. so walcott ran out of gas, and was stubmling around the ring exhausted when simon put him down for the count. WALCOTT FELL DOWN MORE FROM EXHAUSTION, not simons punches.

amazing a part time journeyman fighter taking the fight on 24 hr notice with no food in his stomach was able to easily outbox the
# 4 rated contender in the world.

hawk5ins
03-29-2006, 06:03 PM
I think most saw he had talent and didn't get the most out of it that he probably should have. I haven't really seen too many (if ANY) place Max in any top 10 Heavyweight list or even a top 12 or 15.

I have Max at #18 on my Heavyweight list, just ahead of Jeffries and Schmeling (I have always maintained the Heavyweight division, historically was very top heavy and not deep at all. That Bowe and Jeffries both crack my top 20 is a testament to that).

Personally Mr. E. and this is just MY opinion, thinking that Either Willard or Firpo would or could beat Baer, TO ME, seems like a rather large UNDERRATING of Jethro's dad.

Willard, who IMO is only slightly a slightly better version of Carnera, would be butchered by Baer and Firpo would be on the short end of the stick in a Shoot out.

Baer certainly didn't do enough to geta a Greatness tag placed on him. But he sure as heck deserves a bit more credit than not being able to beat Willard or Firpo!

Hawk

Mr E
03-29-2006, 06:16 PM
Shoemaker, I'm guessing you've been working over-time on all these post responses, such that you are getting some statements and posters mixed up. Consequently, I'm not going to react to the sarcasm, but will respond point-by-point:


As far as the Joe Louis "what if":
i guess your scenario is based on a fantasy world with no Nazism, no WWII, no racisim, and that boxing is NOT a business, where fighters are actually in it to make money.

Never said 'no racism;' just said no color-line. Otherwise the parameters were as set forth above. But I didn't put a whole ton of thought into it-- I was just engaging in a little unbridled speculation for the pure fun of it. I should probably have also specified that would bestow upon each deserving contender his rightful shot at the title, but I didn't expect to be taken QUITE so literally.


First off, yes, Max Baer is overrated- but he does have unbelievable power in his right hand, right up there with Shavers, who i am sure you don't think can hit either because he's not 185 llbs or fought post-1960.

No idea where this comes from, but it's a total non-sequiter. I bet Shavers's right hand was even better than Baer's actually. Shavers was a great puncher-- and he's under-rated today, IMO.


Jim Braddock stated that Baer hit harder than Louis, so did others that fought the two-doesn't that hold any weight ?
Not much. Guys often say fighters whose punches they COULD take hit harder than fighters whose punches they could NOT take. Human nature. But, also, I never said Louis hit harder with his right hand than Baer did anyway, so I'm not sure where this comes from.



Obviously, louis is more capable of KO you, because like Tyson, he has speed and accuracy in both hands. while Baer's just winding up and winging it. But i can see the argument that Baer's heavier handed than Louis.

I could see the argument, too. Disagree, but this is a case with respect to which reasonable minds could differ.


that being said, what could you possibly see on film of Jess Willard that makes you think he wouldn't get hit by Baer ?
Never said he wouldn't get hit by Baer.


Willard holds both hands at his waist and is a sitting duck for a right hand. Baer has a good enough chin (he's not exactly fighting a skilled fighter in willard, who against Baer wouldn't have nearly the size advantage), and hits WAY harder than Willard.
Sure Baer would hit him. But Willard's chin was granite and, unlike Baer, he had a left jab. No evidence that Baer hit any harder w/ a single shot than Willard did (Willard killed a man too, recall), though he certainly threw more punches. I think Willard had better stamina, too. I like Willard on points over 15 by virtue of his steady left. Wouldn't put my mortgage on it, though.


Willard doesn't see the third round.
Strongly disagree.


Back to your scenario : Scmelling over Braddock in 1935. There is a problem here, in that Joe Louis paves the way for Schmelling to get his title fight. He gets rid of Baer, who I don't think Schmelling can beat (I know Baer sucks) and Louis puts Schmelling back on the map as a title condenter by losing to Schmelling. So without Louis, Schmelling probably needs to beat Baer before Baer beats Braddock in the re-match, which he probably would.
Generally, I agree. Again, I didn't mean the scenario to be anything close to an all-inclusive, fully exhaustive analysis. But, yeah, I like Schmeling over Baer in a rematch and I think that, absent Louis, Schmeling would have been the best fighter in the world in 1936.


For argument's sake I'll give Schmelling the title. With World War II, and the fact that Schmelling, whether he wants to be or not, is a symbol of the Nazi's, he's NOT LEAVING THE COUNTRY (they were supposidly afraid he might defect when he fought Louis the second time). And he sure as hell ain't crossing the Atlantic in 41 in the middle of a war to fight in a hostile country (I know the US was neutral until December of 41, but they were still viewed as hostile and are near war with Germany) I don't care if he want's to make "big money"or not, that's not his choice. Alright I'll give the title to Conn (and no, Conn's not traveling to Germany to win the title).

Yes, I did make the presumption that Schmeling could defend his title against the top contender if he decided he wanted to, and, yes, I omited to concern myself with the logistics. But I take from all that that you don't disagree with 'Conn W15 over Schmeling' as an arguable result circa 1941?



first off you state that Conn would purposely fight the "big slow heavyweights" . Those are the Fighters he'd avoid. If he fights Baer (either Max or Buddy) he's taking a hell of a risk. Baer takes two steps and he cuts off the ring.
I didn't say he'd fight Baer but, if he had, I think Conn would have done to Baer just exactly what Loughran did to him-- namely, lick him six ways ta Sunday. But I was thinking more of the 'clumsy oaf fringe contender' type.



Contrary to beliefs, joe Louis was a patient fighter, he wasn't a swarmer like Frazier, Marciano, or Dempsey,
Contrary to whose belief? No question that Louis was a lot more than a 'swarmer' (as, while we're on the subject, was Dempsey).


that's why he had trouble with boxers like Conn.
Wild over-simplification, but generally correct, IMO.


Notice who the contenders were that conn fought to legitimize himself as a heavy. Bob Paster whio weighs about 180, Lee Savold, around 185. He didn't go risking blowing a shot at Louis by fighting huge (which back then was about 200 +) fighters with punches. Yes, conn could beat Baer(s) or Nova or other big heavies, but they are a risk.
Well, everyone is a risk, right?


Next point: Why would Conn risk his title against Bivins ?
Heh. Yes, one assumption I made was that, with no color line, the best contenders would all get their shots. Otherwise, what's the fun of the exercise, man?


He can't make any money fighting a black fighter with no charisma.
Come on. Any bout between the top 2 heavyweights in the world would always create interest, even if those heavyweights are Ken Norton and Jimmy Young.


Even AFTER Louis won the title, black fighters were getting screwed at middleweight and Light Heavy (and even Heavy) during the 40's.
yes, they were; I was presuming no color line


Okay, say Bivins somehow gets his title shot and defeats Conn. wouldn't you think that Bivins may actually wan't to make some money while he's champion ? so why would he defend against black fighters like Turkey Thompson and the other guy's you listed ?
I'm sure he would. But again, I speculating as to what would happen w/ no color line, giving the best fighters the shots they deserved.


And as far as Abe Simon being a stiff, which I agree with
I don't recall saying Simon was a stiff. Both Walcott and Thompson suffered some KOs during their careers that are hard to explain. Neither had a granite jaw and both probably had to do a little 'business' from time to time to stay in the game. I don't know. It's also true that good fighters get upset by hitters from time to time.



Jeeze, you may have to come up with a revision on Simon, putting him on the same pedestol with "all time" greats like Jess Willard and Louis Firpo. I am sure all three would destroy Tyson.

Saying Willard and Firpo are under-rated, which they both are, is a far cry from saying either could beat Mike Tyson, which neither could.

Colin Maclaurin
03-29-2006, 06:27 PM
hawk five ins,

i have respect for your knowledge of the sport and next to you i am a paperweight. but i have 2 questions in particular:

1) why do rate rjj as p4p superior to tunney?
2) you do just in rating jack johnson highly, but why not jeffries?
( i ask this because experts of that time were pretty much 50/50 as to who the better fighter was, which personally leads me to believe a fight between the two in primes would have been close )

Mr E
03-29-2006, 07:24 PM
schmeling was a better fighter than sharkey and baer. he would have won the rematch vs baer IMO. also, he was still young and sharkey was way more experienced than schmeling when they first fought. schmeling proved in the rematch he was a better fighter than jack sharkey.

i rate them

1. schmeling
2. sharkey
3. baer


no way 1940s past his prime baer beats conn. baer had trouble with slick boxers like tommy loughran and a past his prime baer would get shutout by conn. conn was better than loughran

Taking each on his particular best night, I rate that group:

1-Jack Sharkey
2-Max Schmeling
3-Tommy Loughran
4-Billy Conn
5-Max Baer

You know who I think is under-rated? Bob Pastor. He was a tough mutha who would fight anybody, black or white, anywhere. Conn's victory over him was extremely impressive.

thumper3852
03-29-2006, 07:53 PM
Another thread flung far afield here.............

Another thread on heavyweights that turns into the size argument and the "old vs. new" arguments....this has to be the fiftieth or so...but:

-Great athletes are great athletes, comparing them on an era to era basis is just subjective and obviously never ending, as attested by this thread and many others....I can't however understand throwing in guys like David Tua into the mix. Could John L.Sullivan or Jim Jeffries or Jack Johnson compete today....very likely yes....could Joe Louis handle a Lennox Lewis? Hell yes he could....but getting to the finer lines of could Firpo beat a Baer or a marciano or a Tyson, etc etc etc just gets to be nonsense after a while and gives a nother 50 reasons for a poster to respond, each time a bit more vehemently, each time a bit more agitated, etc etc...it serves little useful purpose.

Indeed, heavyweights have gotten much larger on average, so have athletes in many other sports..but as another poster mentioned a welter is still a welter and todays welters arent any better than yesterday's welters...so why heavyweights? Because they're bigger? They dont hit harder, they arent better boxers, they arent faster to a man..so what makes them better? You think Liston couldn't jab with Lewis? You think Marciano couldn't come from the floor with a hook and take out a Bowe? Or Louis being patient and crafty enough to exploit a Tyson weakness? Cmon........Buster did....

Humans are getting bigger...its a fact...food additives, medicine..sports have progressed to specially train an athlete for the chosen endeavor...if you're a good fast smart linebacker that weighs 240 and stands 6'3" we can make you a top prospect weighing 265-275 and moving faster that you ever dreamed...if youre a high school pitcher and hit 6'5" and have a a live arm we can draft you into a farm system and teach you how to throw a splitter and mechanics that can earn you millions for being a short reliever...the list goes on and on.

But a fighter? Can't teach toughness, cant give you a new chin, cant teach heart or desire......great athletes are great athletes. A hundred years from now...Ali will still be revered, Louis, Robinson, all the greats will still be greats, and hopefully we''ll get some new ones to add to the list. I don't think Tua will be on it.....

Just my 2 cents......

The Shoemaker
03-29-2006, 08:20 PM
Hawk,
I can't believe your defending me ! Not that either of us think Baer's any good, but when you have "freakish" power in your right hand, you're going to beat stiffs like Jess Willard, who's jaw has a bullseye on it. BTW-my apologies on Neal Walk being a 20-20 man. he averaged 20 points and 12.4 Rebounds per game in 72-73. what confused me was that he led the NCAA in rebounds in his senoir year (19.8). no way is some 6-10, 220 llb stiff going to average 20-12 a night today, nor is he going to lead the NCAA in rebounding his sr year. He did it because he was 6-10 (it not like he had Kevin McCale moves and foot work in the post niether). Yes, Diop's a stiff, but although technically he starts he only averages 17 minutes a game. his job is to close off the middle and hammer people. It's not that dallas needs any more shooters on the floor, so for them he's functional. In fact, I' am betting against Diop's team tonight, so I have to go and watch the game

hawk5ins
03-29-2006, 08:26 PM
hawk five ins,

i have respect for your knowledge of the sport and next to you i am a paperweight. but i have 2 questions in particular:

1) why do rate rjj as p4p superior to tunney?
2) you do just in rating jack johnson highly, but why not jeffries?
( i ask this because experts of that time were pretty much 50/50 as to who the better fighter was, which personally leads me to believe a fight between the two in primes would have been close )
Colin,

I'm not really big fans of either Jones or Tunney. That said, I think Jones form either 160 or probably 168, was superior in all facets of the game to Tunney, save possibly Chin, where Jones was essentially a mystery in that department.

Competition of both obviously swings to Gene, but as a Nat Lightheavy, I do feel he should have fared better agianst Greb who was really a nat Middle. And by all accounts, his draw with Tommy Loughran was a bad duke that benefitted Gene who should have lost that fight.

Comparing the two at 175, I clearly think Gene is superior. I don;t however think that was Jones' best weight.

As far as Johnson Jeffries goes, I think Jack defeated superior opposition (especially when factoring his pre title opposition and was IMO clearly more skilled and had the two met, I think Jack slaps Jeff around silly.

Jeffries was very tough and extremely strong. He also relied on his opponents wearing down from beating on HIM. I think Jack boxes patiently and given his clear advantage in speed and skill, does what he wants, when he wants with Jim.

The only way I see Johnson losing to Jeffries is if he came in woefully out of shape and tripped over the ring ropes on the way in and concussed himself on the canvas after he tripped. I think this would always be a horrible matchup for Jeffries, whom I only have in my top 20 Heavyweight Champs list becuase I think historically the division is weak and I give him credit for 6(?) successful defenses and a 5(?) year reign and he clearly showed he was the best of HIS time.

I'm sure there are several here who think I am selling Jeff short. I assure you I am not kneejerking this proclamation and it IS based on quite a bit of research. Ironically, one of the pieces that i find most revealing is one done by Tunney himself, in which Tommy Ryan explains the style he totoured Jeff with and why he thought it essesntially would be the only one that would bring him success. Essentially it's akin to the Homer Simpson parody of Jeff, done a few years back. The on in which Homer takes everyone's shots and then taps his exhausted opponent and they fall down.

Yes it wasn't THIS bad for Jeffries, but as Ryan states, given jeff's ability to absorb tremendous amounts of punishment, it was a strategy that proved successful.

Hawk

hawk5ins
03-29-2006, 08:32 PM
Ha!

Shoe, I don't think I ever belittled your viewpoint, rather I didn't agree with it. Still don't. Doesn't mean we will disagree on everything.

BTW

1-Baer
2-Schemling
3-Sharkey (though I still don't think Sharkey put his best effort forward in the rematch with Schmeling. I rate Max over Sharkey more on Max's win over Louis, than head to head.)

Hawk

Mr E
03-29-2006, 08:36 PM
I think most saw he had talent and didn't get the most out of it that he probably should have. I haven't really seen too many (if ANY) place Max in any top 10 Heavyweight list or even a top 12 or 15.

I have Max at #18 on my Heavyweight list, just ahead of Jeffries and Schmeling (I have always maintained the Heavyweight division, historically was very top heavy and not deep at all. That Bowe and Jeffries both crack my top 20 is a testament to that).

Personally Mr. E. and this is just MY opinion, thinking that Either Willard or Firpo would or could beat Baer, TO ME, seems like a rather large UNDERRATING of Jethro's dad.

Willard, who IMO is only slightly a slightly better version of Carnera, would be butchered by Baer and Firpo would be on the short end of the stick in a Shoot out.

Baer certainly didn't do enough to geta a Greatness tag placed on him. But he sure as heck deserves a bit more credit than not being able to beat Willard or Firpo!

Hawk

Hey, hawk, it's all speculation. I don't have any illusions that my crystal ball is better than anyone else's. I would absolutely put money on either Willard or Firpo to beat either Baer or, most certainly, Carnera. However, I have sure as Hell lost a lot of bets in my life.

Cheers.

The Shoemaker
03-29-2006, 08:43 PM
Thumper,
I've never said that the fighters today are any good, i just said that if boxing was a major sport, you would have some unbelivable fighters. You are correct, that athleticism and size is not a big of a deal in boxing as it is in the other sports, but it doesn't hurt. The guy's you named Ali, robinson and Louis have ungodlty athletic ability to go along with their skills and chin (although Ali's fundamentaly flawed you can get away with it at heavy, especially with his size ,speed, and chin.). So at the elite level athleticism doesn't hurt. As far as Sullivan, Jeffries or Fitz, they all fought in antiquated styles, all their weight was on their back foot, and boxing back then was quasi/wrestling. Lots of mauling, and guy's just winged shots. Dempsey changed a lot of that and so did Tunney. Size, reach and speed also don't hurt, neither does athleticism. Like i keep asking these guy's name 185 llb'er with power in the last 40 years ? I can't (I had to revise it because Hollyfield may have won a title in 86, I doubt it, but he'd contend). You'd figure some freak of nature would come along. and , since being heavyweight champ brings 10's of millions more than the lower weights, someone would have tried it (Michel spinks and Bob foster don't do). as far as David Tua making my top twenty-no way. But he certainly has top 20 abilty, as Mike Tyson has probably top 5 physical tools. But Tua's lazy and stupid, and Tyson's got a ton of issues. But put Joe Frazier or Marciano's heart in those two and you've got an animal. On Tua, yes, he's flawd, especially against a boxer, but if you bring the fight to him, he is dangerous. Not only does he have power, but he has an ungodly chin, and fast hands. On Tyson, I doubt if he makes my top ten, but he can certainly on a given night beat a lot of those guys on the top ten. He's 220 llbs, powerful, fast, ACURATE and has a strong chin. You'd better bring your A Game to beat him. Mainly, you'd better have a chin and you'd better send him a message early, (like Ali did to Foreman and Hollyfield did to him early in the fight), he's as dangerous as anybody for the first two or three rounds.

Mr E
03-29-2006, 08:54 PM
Ha!

Shoe, I don't think I ever belittled your viewpoint, rather I didn't agree with it. Still don't. Doesn't mean we will disagree on everything.

BTW

1-Baer
2-Schemling
3-Sharkey (though I still don't think Sharkey put his best effort forward in the rematch with Schmeling. I rate Max over Sharkey more on Max's win over Louis, than head to head.)

Hawk

Well, let's not forget that Sharkey WON the rematch with Schmeling.

Sharkey
03-29-2006, 10:03 PM
Sharkey in the rematch was older, heavier and ALWAYS prone to not giving his best....and he was the hottest headed, irascible, for-the-love-of-the-dough guy out there.

The same guy who, when asked what the title was worth to him, cracked it depended on how much he could pawn it for.

Head to head, I think Sharkey at his best (where that is I am not sure) is more than a match for Baer and Schmeling..who themselves were often less than scintilating.

Sharkey has himself to blame for history's treatment of him in the ledger books. For a guy who wanted so much to be liked and respected, he certainly seemed to go out of his way to prevent an appreciation for him.

Maybe the Larry Holmes of the PostDempsey era in the respect of feeling at once longing for adulation and at the same time having a 'go to hell' exterior.

hawk5ins
03-30-2006, 01:04 AM
That have cracks in them.

E-Sharkey DID get the duke in the second Schmeling bout, but I think most would agree he looked much better in the first bout, the one he lost.

Re the return match, most accounts that I have read had Schmeling getting a raw deal. In another thread, I quoted form the NY Times article that showed that the clear majority of Ringside experts tallied Max the victor in that bout.

EDIT: (found it):

"E

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have a copy of the New York Times Encyclopedia of Sports, the Boxing edition and in it it reprints the TImes's post fight account dated June 22nd 1932.

The subtitles to the headline "70,000 see Sharkey outpoint Schmeling to Win World Title" were:

*Boston Heavyweight Triumphs over German in 15 rounds in New Bowl.

*Officials Vote 2-1

*$500,000 Gate Estimated

*Many in the Crown voice Disapproval of Decision--MAJORITY of Experts Favor Loser.

And of Course-

*Milk Fund to recieve 25 Per Cent of Net Profits.

But that really has nothing to do with the point here.

James P Dawson who penned the article also felt Max won 9-5-1. ANd noted that in an Expert ringside poll, 14 of 22 polled immediately after the bout, favored Max. 1 had it a draw and 7 for Sharkey.

GunBoat Smith's contention that the decision was fair, must be considered as he was in the ring. But let's remember that he also had a vote along with the two judges and he voted for Jack. So he wouldn;t likely criticize his own card. ANd the Muldoon as NYSAC isn't likely to raise too much of a stink about a decision in his backyard under his watch."

I think Max to be the superior fighter, but given how both fights played out and Jack's inconsistancies, I think it is arguable either way.

Hawk

thumper3852
03-30-2006, 09:11 AM
I never said athleticism was not a big deal in boxing....I said great athletes are great athletes no matter what era they are in......


There are so many ifs in the response that it makes it crazy to respond...but if you dont think a fighter with the Ali attributes you mention (speed, chin, etc) cant compete in a lower division because of his "flaws", then apparently only the perfect fighter actually could compete...doesn't really make sense to me.

It seems to me that many of today's fighters have a far greater tendency to just wing bombs at the expense of defensive skills and other boxing strategy, and the heavies maul and wrestle far more than in the past...probably because of conditioning issues in manty cases....

You've argued so many points with "ifs" I think maybe you've reached a point where "if" you didn't respond to every posters every point with several "ifs", you may have actually made a point along the way.

I've lost too much hair to split anymore of them.............

hawk5ins
03-30-2006, 10:37 AM
I think one could say that Roy Jones, was fundamentally flawed. He relied almost solely on athelticism and never mastered somthing as basic as a jab.

Pernell Whitaker may have actually POSSESED the correct fundamentals, but he didn't really utilize them and thus fought a fundamentally flawed fight. And did so successfully.

These are but two examples of the top of my head where SIZE does not dictate getting away with fundamental flaws.

Hawk

Sharkey
03-30-2006, 11:23 AM
Is it possible Hawk Five ins (love that name), that the Greb fights illustrate how awesome Greb was..how particularly super-amazing, p4p top 5 he was, rather than how Tunney wasn't particularly amazing?

hawk5ins
03-30-2006, 12:11 PM
You're just trying to get me to bump up Greb on my Pound lists.

I do concede that Greb's performances should be cast as praise of Greb rather than a belittlement of Tunney.....To a degree.

I do think a nat Light Heavy whom many wnat to rate rather high at Heavyweight, should have faired better agianst a Nat Middle, great as he is.

It is one of the main reasons, when placing Tunney in his optimum division, it would be at 175 and Not Heavy.

Again. Tired battles here.

And I'm tired.

Hawk

Elmer Ray
03-30-2006, 01:33 PM
simon knocking out walcott is not a legit victory.

walcott was a part time journeyman at the time taking the simon fight on last second notice. walcott had barely eaten anything in the past 3 days so walcott ran out of gas, and was stubmling around the ring exhausted when simon put him down for the count. WALCOTT FELL DOWN MORE FROM EXHAUSTION, not simons punches. walcott was also still suffering the lingering effects of typhoid

Elmer Ray
03-30-2006, 01:34 PM
Sharkey in the rematch was older, heavier and ALWAYS prone to not giving his best....and he was the hottest headed, irascible, for-the-love-of-the-dough guy out there.

The same guy who, when asked what the title was worth to him, cracked it depended on how much he could pawn it for.

Head to head, I think Sharkey at his best (where that is I am not sure) is more than a match for Baer and Schmeling..who themselves were often less than scintilating.

Sharkey has himself to blame for history's treatment of him in the ledger books. For a guy who wanted so much to be liked and respected, he certainly seemed to go out of his way to prevent an appreciation for him.

Maybe the Larry Holmes of the PostDempsey era in the respect of feeling at once longing for adulation and at the same time having a 'go to hell' exterior.



no max in the reatch was more mature, better, stronger, and not as green. schmeling is defintley the best out of baer, sharkey IMO. max proved he was superior than sharkey in the rematch.
I think out of all of them, max schmeling looks the best on film.

Sharkey
03-30-2006, 01:39 PM
Ok. My retort to that is: No. Max was better in the rematch than he had been, and Sharkey was a worse fighter than he had been by that point.

"The winner of a rematch proves superiority" is definitely not a science I want to advocate.

hawk5ins
03-30-2006, 01:51 PM
Schmeling MAY be the best of the group, but I don't think it's as clear as you tend to describe it.

Max WAS in his 7th year as a pro when he first faced Sharkey and had plenty of exposure to fighting away from home.

The rematch while indeed two years later, was ONLY two bouts later. So I'm not sure where this maturity and experience comes from that makes him "green" in his 51st career bout and much more mature and seasoned in his 53rd bout.

I think Sharkey's inconsistancy certainly had alot to do with this.

And if we exscuse inexperience for the First Sharkey bout, how does the Baer loss get exscused? And with it, the loss to Hamas that followed it? How can we be SO sure that Schmeling avenges the Baer loss?

Some of what one might bank on in taking Max in a return would be Baer's inconsistancy that plagued HIS career.

Baer, Schmeling Sharkey. Sharkey, Schmeling Baer. All three were so CONSISTANTLY inconsistant, that I am unsure how anyone can be certain any one was superior to the other.

Hawk

Elmer Ray
03-30-2006, 02:17 PM
i think schmeling reached his peak in 1936 when he fought joe louis. he was never as good as in that fight. he was 30 stronger, more mature. he was coming off two spectacular wins over hamas, uzcuden avenging his last 2 fights with them. IMO schmeling went into a drought 1933-34 partly due to lack of confidence after baer loss. he pulled himself back together though.


- jack sharkey looked just as good in 2nd schmeling fight. its just schmeling was a lot better prepared, more mature and stronger entering the rematch.

- I honestly believe schmeling would have beat baer in a rematch, he did not let his hands go enough in there fight, he just didnt look right to me.

- i also dont think schmeling gets enough credit for the louis victory. remember, louis was comming off a 4 round battering of max baer.

- the only thing that kept max from being the first two time world heavyweight champion was having to beat joe louis TWICE.

- had schmeling got to fight braddock, no doubt he would have been the first heavweight champion to regain the title

Elmer Ray
03-30-2006, 02:19 PM
i would also like to add, jack sharkey may have won the first 3 rounds of the first schmeling fight, but there were still 12 rounds to go. schmeling could have turned it around. lets not be so fast to critisize max. the real fight took place in 1932 when WE GOT TO SEE what happened when they tangle for 15 rounds.

The Shoemaker
03-30-2006, 02:19 PM
Thumper,

I never said that Ali wouldn't dominate at a lower weight class being flawed, of coarse he would, look at Roy Jones (who doesn't have Ali's chin). all I said was that it is easier to get away with being technically flawed at heavy than the other classes, which is true. Because at heavyweight, size speed, and power often trump technical skills, more often than at the lower weight classes. Jimmy Ellis had 100X the skills than George Foreman, but Foreman's walking through him and is going to KO him in 3 rounds. Yes, there are occasionally the John Mugabi's at the lower weights.

Heavies can cut corners because they can get away with it more often than at the lower weight classes. as far as athleticism, there are no Dominique Wilkens' in the 1920's, whether they had supplements or not or whether basketball was a major sport or not, no one of that era has the athleticism to do reverse dunks, or 360's, especially a 6-7 person of that era, who would be lucky to walk and chew bubblegum; Jim Thorpe, the best athlete of the first half of the 20th century, wouldn't even place in a High school decatholon today. And I don't care what supplements he takes, what shoes he wears or what track he runs on. No fighter from the 1920's has any where near the pysical tools Mike Tyson has, especially at 220 llbs. Interesting, you complain about the holding and mauling of today (okay, I'll grant you that) then you praise Johnson, Jeffries, and Sullivan- that's all they practically did.That was the way they fought back then. Of coarse everyone views them with stars in their eyes. as far as a bare knuckle fighter like Sullivan(who holds his fists vertically) competing today, come on. Jim Corbett, who beat him, got KO'ed with the "deadly" solar plexes punch. last point; I notice one thing in your criticism that you didn't address was "why hasn't there been a sub 190 llb champion or major contender in the last 45 years ?" Or, "why hasn't there been any power punching heavyweight under 190 llbs in the last 40 years ?"

Those questions don't have any "ifs" in them.

hawk5ins
03-30-2006, 02:27 PM
There is a Certainty that you are pointing to that can't really be backed up with a whole lot given the inconsistancy of these fighters.

I have yet to read a report of Sharkey Schemling II that states: "Sharkey was just as sharp as he was in the first fight and for that matter as he EVER had been, yet Schmeling was clearly superior, more seasoned than he had previously shown."

I don't completely reject your positions re these fighters. I only reject the Clear Cut manner with which you paint it.

Hawk

hawk5ins
03-30-2006, 02:40 PM
I don't get the Wilkins could NOT have existed in the 20's had everything that is avaialbe now (popularity, Suplements, training etc) being exactly the same back then, why a Wilkins could NOT have existed.

What do you hang your hat on that makes this so?

Why WOULDN'T Modern conditions, if placed in an earlier era, not affect that era and it's athletes? Is intelligence under the same gun here? I would think based on all that is avaialble to us now that there are indeed smarter people on our planet than say 80 years ago. But if individuals were afforded the same benefits of today and they GREW up with them as today's folks have, would they not be able to absorb the same material? Or were they just simpley "limited" and could never advance?

I think we need to break out Trading Places here for everyone to watch.

Hawk

Sharkey
03-30-2006, 02:42 PM
Elmer,

A time-line based on less-than-facts is not evidence but opinion. As for Schmeling 'could have' from the first bout, I offer he was on his way to being beaten to a pulp..and could have been stopped in round 4.

or 5. or 6.

---This thread should be returnd to it's rightful purpose: discussing unnatrual heavyweights..of which the Max's and Sharkey are not included within. Apologies for the hijack---

Mr E
03-30-2006, 04:06 PM
i would also like to add, jack sharkey may have won the first 3 rounds of the first schmeling fight, but there were still 12 rounds to go. schmeling could have turned it around. lets not be so fast to critisize max. the real fight took place in 1932 when WE GOT TO SEE what happened when they tangle for 15 rounds.

I'm convinced that Schmeling went down because he was getting his ass kicked and thought he might sneak one past the goal-tender, as it were. That was a very common ploy in the late 20s and early 30s. It's a sign he gave up.

I think Schmeling was in his prime for that bout-- younger, stronger and faster than he was against Louis for sure-- and he'd had plenty of fights under his belt by then, too, so he was plenty experienced. When both were "on," Sharkey was just flat better than Schmeling, IMO.

thumper3852
03-30-2006, 04:13 PM
"The guy's you named Ali, robinson and Louis have ungodlty athletic ability to go along with their skills and chin (although Ali's fundamentaly flawed you can get away with it at heavy, especially with his size ,speed, and chin.). So at the elite level athleticism doesn't hurt"

sounds like you said you can get away with flaws like he had at heavyweight doesn't it?

as for the imaginary 190# line, it might be important to consider:

There were only a few at that weight ever to hold the title, the last and most notable being Dempsey...

In the past 40 years, you would have Floyd Patterson..... Quarry fought at 195#s Leotis Martin fought in that weight territory, Ellis did....it's not like heavyweights at that size are non existent...and they often beat the bigger guys,, Bonavena, Chuvalo, Foster, Lyle etc.

It's easy to surmise that each of them (and other) would weigh in around 10 or so #s heavier if fighting today....

Finally, I've stayed mainly on fighters of the past being competitive with todays fighters, not getting into could Firpo or Sharkey beat a Tony Tucker a Tony Tubbs or a David Tua...that stuff belongs in the fantasy threads. My conjecture is yes they could compete/would be competitive and in many senses, especially the heavyweights, todays guys are less schooled, more flawed, and in poorer condition. As to styles, Ali changed everything, and they haven't moved from that an inch....that was 40 yearsago.

People are bigger today, no question...the world is also a smaller place...you never had a Russian heavyweight contender, a Japanese player in the Major Leagues or an NBA combing the planet for Yao Ming, the Chinese probably didnt even play basketball. Circumstances have made things as they are, but circumstances don't make yesterday's athletes chumps compared to today's athletes, period.

GorDoom
03-30-2006, 04:25 PM
Jeez, this thread has morphed way off the subject. By this time hasn't this thread been flogged to death already?

GorDoom

Elmer Ray
03-30-2006, 05:42 PM
I think Schmeling was in his prime for that bout-- younger, stronger and faster than he was against Louis for sure


disagree,

schmeling was better in the louis fight. he was bigger, stronger, more mature, just as fast, smarter, more experienced.

schmeling was still too young when he fought sharkey in 1930. he hadnt reached his peak yet.



- i did not notice any signs of sharkey aging in the 2nd schmeling fight. however i did notice schmeling was a lot better.
schmeling on his best day IMO is better than any version of sharkey

GorDoom
03-30-2006, 06:26 PM
& what do Schmeling & Sharkey have to do with the top ten unnatural heavyweights? They were both legit heavies in their time.

GorDoom

hawk5ins
03-30-2006, 06:33 PM
how either you OR Mr. E can be so clear (And "clear" polar Opposites) about two heavyweights whose careers' were anything but clear.

The only thing clear about Schmeling and Sharkey (and Baer), is that their careers lacked the defintiveness, clarity and conssistancy that you both seem to think existed in (Mr. E) Sharkey and (Elmer) Schmeling.

As Gordoom just pointed out, both were Clearly Heavyweights. That's about it.

Hawk

Mr E
03-30-2006, 06:52 PM
how either you OR Mr. E can be so clear (And "clear" polar Opposites) about two heavyweights whose careers' were anything but clear.

The only thing clear about Schmeling and Sharkey (and Baer), is that their careers lacked the defintiveness, clarity and conssistancy that you both seem to think existed in (Mr. E) Sharkey and (Elmer) Schmeling.

As Gordoom just pointed out, both were Clearly Heavyweights. That's about it.

Hawk

...which, I would think obviously, is why I consistently couch my own statements in terms of "I think" and "in my opinion."

Mr E
03-30-2006, 06:57 PM
& what do Schmeling & Sharkey have to do with the top ten unnatural heavyweights? They were both legit heavies in their time.

GorDoom


Thread drift is part of message board culture, my good man. But you're the boss, so I shall tip my cap with a waive of good cheer and discontinue my participation.

Roberto Aqui
03-30-2006, 11:23 PM
.Jim Thorpe, the best athlete of the first half of the 20th century, wouldn't even place in a High school decatholon today.


That has to be some of the most unnatural logic I've ever heard.

The Shoemaker
03-31-2006, 02:19 AM
Roberto- as far as "unnatural logic", I would say your Quarry-Holmes post where you brought up Holmes' loss to Mike Tyson, would have to be up there. i mean there was a 17 year age gap between the two (Larry was almost 39 years old) and Larry hadn't fought in 22 months, so to use that fight to diss Holmes isn't exactly logical. like i said, you have a fighter with arguably the greatest jab in the game, fighting a guy (Quarry)who couldn't slip a jab if there was a hole in the ring, plus Jerry cuts- but you think it's a close fight. It's like Ali-Quarry- a missmatch.

Hawk- My point on "Nique" is that 99% of what he can do is because of genetics- traits that people from the 20's didn't have. wilkens was born in 1960, so odds are, he didn't have suppliments, plyometrics, or any of the other BS. He was born that way. As were Ali, Leonard, Robinson, ect.

My point earlier was that unless they take roids (which i suspect Byrd, Toney, Hollyfield, Spinks were on) or have really late growth spurts, the odds are that you will have less unatural heavyweights becoming champions or even contenders. as I stated earlier, the heavies and Light heavy ratings were interchangable (take a look at the Ring ratings of the 20,30's,40's and 50's) until the late 60's, then it "magically" ended. My blasphemous point was that it's a lot easier to make the transistion from being a light heavy to heavyweight, when your elite heavyweights are 6-1,190 llbs, than if they're 6-3 to 6-5, 215 to 235 llbs, which has been the case since the late 60's- early 70's. I'll submit to the moderator's request to kill this "off topic" discussion (which often happens on forums) even though it has brought some argument and interest to this site. Mainly 162 replies and over 1200 viewers in about 5 days.

PeteLeo
03-31-2006, 04:26 AM
I'll just reiterate what several others have already said: physical evolution does not take place in fifty or sixty years.

Also, to anyone who doesn't think people of the Twenties and Thirties were capable of the kinds of athletic ingenuity that present basketball players exhibit, my advice is to track down tapes of vaudevillian "trick dancers" and then watch them with your mouth hanging open in awe. Those guys were freaking awe-inspiring. Most seemed to actually be defying gravity and achieving real levitation, even into their fifties and sixties.

Better nutrition probably contributes to greater overall height and weight since the early part of the Twentieth century, but I'd bet 99% of all non-steroid-assisted athletic "superiority" nowadays is attributal to better equipment, more training, and individual showmanship. Most of the spectacular theatrics to be found on modern basketball courts was specifically forbidden by coaches in prior times, when the team was infinitely more important than individual achievements. These "show off" actions were considered unacceptable evidence of selfishness. Even dunking was frowned upon.

Why are there no more 190lb. heavyweights? Because the prevailing "wisdom" is that bigger is better (I personally think this idea took root in the division when "big" Sonny Listion -- all 210 pounds of him -- made "little" Floyd Patterson collapse into a quivering puddle). Today's contenders seem to feel that if "A" is going to tip the scales at 245, then it will take at least 250 pounds of suet for him to be competitive. They forget about "little" Jerry Quarry, who made monkeys out of "giants" like Mathis, Lyle, and Foster at only 195 or so.

Has there been a better pound for pound hitter than Jimmy Wilde? A faster or slicker boxer than Willie Pep? A tougher "ironman" than Paulino Uzcudun? These men were all at their peaks fifty to a hundred years ago, so why aren't they merely over-shadowed blips on the boxing radar now? Why do behemoths like W. Klitschko, Michael Grant, and even Lennox Lewis still drop like sacks of wet sand when the fists of smaller guys collide with their chins?

Personally, I think Dempsey, Louis, Frazier, and men of that oaken ilk would run riot through today's heavies, even without injecting an extra fifty pounds of hormonal musculature into their systems. But, seeing as how everyone else is doing it, I don't know if they could resist the temptation to juice up, as well. PeteLeo.

The Shoemaker
03-31-2006, 06:22 AM
Pete, there is nothing I hate worse than people who deviate from the topic !
I'll guarentee that none of the vaudevile performers were 6-5 and above; because people 6-5 then were Giants. Like i said, the average shoe size in the US during the 20's was a size 6, and the average height was about 5-6.

For the hundreth time (check my posts) I've never said that today's heavies are any good, in fact I said they suck. But still, if you're 6-3 +, 220 + and have FLUIDITY and skills, you're going to kick practically all of the 185'er's asses, look at big stiffs like Simon, Carnera, and Willard- they were contenders, dispite having no skills.

No Jerry Quarry doesn't do (I said UNDER 190) and I believe that Foster and Lyle weighed around 215 (Mathis was way out of shape, so it wasn't a functional 235). Jerry was around 195 to 202 (Shavers fight) during that era. Yes, Jerry got the most out of his limited physique, countering the big slow guys to death, but they were headhunters, who really didn't jab (Lyle developed one later, not that they would have beaten Jerry with one but it would have helped), still Ali, Liston, Holmes, Bowe, and others (including the big, slow Lennox Lewis) will beat Jerry with just their jabs. As far as Lewis getting KO'ed, yes Rahman and McCall got lucky and landed lottery punches on him, but Rahman was 238, and McCall was 231 (to Lewis' 238), it wasn't as though a 6-0, 185 llber, with Alligator arms, KO'ed him (they'd never get passed his jab).

As far as your "bigger is better" theory: I would think that Freddie Roach, Teddy Atlas, Buddy McGirt, and any other trainer today would grab a quicker 185 llber and make them into a world champion since the championship is worth millions (plus the heavies suck, so you would think that today would be the opportune time to do it). Unless you think that those guys are idiots and subscribe to that theory as well. On steroids: it's not as though you simply inject your arm with that junk and gain 50 llbs of muscle over night, there is still only so much you can do with your frame. Steroids allow you to over train, so you still have to work your ass off to make any gains. I tried them about 20 years ago for about 6 weeks, like a dumbass kid. I gained a little on my bench press, but you lose it when you come off them. I can't see any advantage for them in boxing, unless you are like the "Unnatural heavyweights" and at least add muscle to your frame (beats the alternative which is fat), but far as I know they don't add punching power.

I'll tell you one thing that steroids do, they provide an excuse for these old geezers to bitch about the modern athlete. The same old geezers, who used to blast the modern players for weight training (said they'd get to muscle bound), then they turn around and bitch about roids. Like i keep saying, the heavyweight championship is worth tens of millions of dollars, there are and have been tons of 6-1",185-190 llb fighters in the past 40 years
yet, they can't generate any power- why not ?

hawk5ins
03-31-2006, 09:36 AM
Tie the points together. ALL of them.

Pete is pointing to the athletic ability that existed in vaudeville performers in the early part of the last century.

Now ADD to that, nutrition, diet, vitamins, Poularity and interest in a sport, opportunity, training, etc etc etc.

Forget it. I'm done with this one.

Hawk

thumper3852
03-31-2006, 10:40 AM
Thank you Gordoom

As I said a couple days ago, its another thread flung far afield.....

shoemaker...most of the thread's volume is from you.....

we've finally honed in on the point you're making and it seems to the imaginary 190# line....."No Jerry Quarry doesn't do (I said UNDER 190)"

"there are and have been tons of 6-1",185-190 llb fighters in the past 40 years
yet, they can't generate any power- why not ?"


Must be some magical power difference between 189 3/4 #'s and 194-195....

So all this for that?

I think the real point you want to make is:"The same old geezers, who used to blast the modern players for weight training (said they'd get to muscle bound), then they turn around and bitch about roids"

Volume doesn't equal substance imho

Roberto Aqui
03-31-2006, 11:44 AM
Roberto- as far as "unnatural logic", I would say your Quarry-Holmes post where you brought up Holmes' loss to Mike Tyson, would have to be up there. i mean there was a 17 year age gap between the two (Larry was almost 39 years old) and Larry hadn't fought in 22 months, so to use that fight to diss Holmes isn't exactly logical. like i said, you have a fighter with arguably the greatest jab in the game, fighting a guy (Quarry)who couldn't slip a jab if there was a hole in the ring, plus Jerry cuts- but you think it's a close fight. It's like Ali-Quarry- a missmatch.
.

Well, looks like you're as unnaturally wrong about me as you are on Thorpe.

Larry didn't face the top names who were active during his undefeated streak. Those he did face, Shavers, Cooney, and Snipes gave him tough fights. Quarry is easily as good as those guys and a dangerous counter puncher and Holmes could be rocked. There's no stretch to say Quarry could possibly beat Holmes who was never some invincible fighter. He was just a fighter with a glossed record and easy schedule.

I brought up the Tyson fight because of the ease Tyson disposed of Holmes. On paper Holmes should have been a tough fight for a 21 yr old heavy, especially since Holmes picked Tyson for his supposed stylistic weaknesses. When you look at who beat Holmes, it's when he stepped up his competition, Spinks, Tyson, Holy. Could a more prime Holmes have beat Frazier/Foreman/Ali/Norton in their heydays? 29 yr old Larry had a tough disputed split decision over a fading Norton, so no, it doesn't look like Larry is in their category either. Younger, inexperienced young guns like Witherspoon and Williams also lost close disputed decisions to Holmes. Larry was only invincible against the Franks, Zanons, ect that he padded his record with.

hawk5ins
03-31-2006, 11:55 AM
This is equally ridiculous.

To state that Age, activity and prime had little to do with Holmes' performances agianst Spinks, Tyson and Holyfield is as out to lunch as some of the other points you are debating agianst Shoe here.

It's funny you state Holmes faced a "fading" Norton, but would dismiss that Holmes was "possibly" faded himself when facing the aforementioned trio (heck add in Williams as well. I think Holmes beat Witherspoon and simply over looked him and had a tough bout with him. Agianst Timmy and Carl, Larry sucked it up and pulled out wins. Does that not count for anything?).

This thread is turning into an abyss of sillyness if you ask me.

Hawk

Sharkey
03-31-2006, 11:56 AM
I don't see much logic here, no offense intended, on either side.

Holmes was past it. And in my opinion, unaware of it in his head...so he hadn't adapted to the crab-grab-and-paw he employed later to survive.

Logic involves straight lines and paralells that are understood to be built on the facts preceeding such.

It doesn't involve analogies or ask/give result-oriented conclusions that THEN need to be supported. (AKA 190 pound or less men with power in boxing).

Read this twice before anyone thinks I am saying anything bad about the postors...I am not.

GorDoom
03-31-2006, 01:33 PM
I am locking this thread due to the sheer innanity of it. You guys have gone so far off topic & you're just blurting factoids & the thread makes absolutely no sense anymore.

GorDoom