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Thread: Greatest sporting Legend

  1. #1
    walsh b
    Guest

    Greatest sporting Legend

    This is technically not boxing, though it is sport...Sky TV are conducting a poll to find the worlds greatest sporting legend. Each week, they discuss different sports and the public vote in the greatest in that particular sport. Pele was voted last week as the greatest in soccer. This week, the boxers were previewed and the ten that made it were...Hagler, Monzon, Robinson, Leonard, Duran, Armstrong, DLH, Archie Moore, Joe Louis, and Ali. The public vote is still out for the greatest boxer. Then they preview Golf, tennis, motorsport, and the Olympians along with some other sports. After all in each category are voted in, the overall greatest is voted by the public. Any views or opinions on who would be you greatest sporting legend????

  2. #2
    greek1237
    Guest

    ok

    How did DLH get in the top ten ????? I mean there is Gans, and Walker, and Greb to consider, HOW DID DLH get to the top ten??



    Is the Babe in the top for Baseball?

  3. #3
    walsh b
    Guest

    Re: ok

    Greek, I know...and where was the Rock. I mean c'mon, the greatest record in heavyweight history, only undefeated Heavyweight champ...makes a mockery of the poll, but ultimately, the poll is to find the greatest sports legend across every single sport.......

  4. #4
    DscribeDC
    Guest

    legend

    Jim Thorpe.

    Imagine one single player making a tiny Native American school a national powerhouse today. And dominating the Olympics. Couldn't happen. We'll probably never see his like again.

  5. #5
    Boxingnut
    Guest

    Re: legend

    Ezzard Charles beat Moore 3 times and yet didn't even get a mention.

  6. #6
    Boxscribe
    Guest

    Greatest boxing legend

    DLH was obviously there for the younger viewers.

    I don't know what their criteria is, but if you are talking 'greatest boxer' then the list could be quite long. If it is 'boxing legend' (and the show is about sporting legends), then there is only Ali or Robinson to choose from.

    IMO Marciano doesn't belong in the 'legend' or 'boxer' top ten. Neither does DLH.

  7. #7
    greek1237
    Guest

    Re: Greatest boxing legend

    The Rock is a lengend, but not to sure about top ten, maybe top 20 or top 15.

  8. #8
    GorDoom
    Guest

    Legends

    It's gotta be either Ali, Louis or Robinson though an argument can certainly be made for Dempsey & John L.

    GorDoom

  9. #9
    walsh b
    Guest

    Re: Legends

    Gor, are you talking about the greatest boxer or sports legend across all sports. The debate wants to find the latter...I'd pick Ali for both the greatest fighter and sportsman thru History

  10. #10
    DscribeDC
    Guest

    thorpe

    #1 Jim Thorpe
    #2 Ali
    #3 Pele
    #4 Jesse Owens
    #5 Babe Didrikson Zaharias

    I mean, come on. People are going to discount the old-timers simply because nobody alive still remembers what they did. But, really... Thorpe dominated every game he played, pro and amateur. Nobody of today, in our ultra-trained, high-tech, steroid world even comes close. Nowadays, if you're a great football player and a mediocre baseball player (ie, Sanders), you're considered a "legend."

    Don't even talk to me about Jordan. He mastered one sport and washed out in the minors as a baseball player.

    If you're looking for impact on society and across all sports, I can't think of another boxer who would be in the top ten.

  11. #11
    GorDoom
    Guest

    Re: thorpe

    Zaharias is a great call, 'Scribe. But I think Joe Louis MUST be considered. Without Joe & the dignity he brought to breaking racial barriers there wouldn't have been a Jackie Robinson.

    GorDoom

  12. #12
    DscribeDC
    Guest

    maybe

    in the bottom half of the top ten. As good as Louis was, he made a lot of his rep by beating the "bum of the month" club, or good fighters too small to be in the same ring with him (Conn) and such. Top ten of all time? An argument could be made against it.

    The more I think about it, there are a bunch of people I would put ahead of Louis, if you are going to consider all sports. Carl Lewis. Arthur Ashe. Jim Brown. Lance Armstrong. For social justice purposes, you would have to put Ali, Owens and Ashe ahead of the Brown Bomber.

    Also, what about people who performed great feats, like Roger Bannister, the first guy to run a 4:00 mile, or the first guy to swim the English Channel, or the first guy to sail the Atlantic Ocean? And what about sports like cricket or field hockey or gymnastics that are huge in big sections of the world but not popular in the US? What about skiing or tennis or wrestling? Wouldn't you have to include somebody like Alexander Karelin, who went something like 15 years without losing a Greco-Roman wrestling match, in a top ten?

    I think we gotta stop thinking like US couch potatoes and get global, people!

  13. #13
    Juan C Ayllon
    Guest

    Re: maybe

    Hey DscribeDC,

    I often appreciate your cynical and irreverent viewpoints. However, I have a hard time accepting that.

    Without Joe Louis, chances are, Ali wouldn't have made his mark, period. Louis helped make it possible for Jackie Robinson, Ali and other black athletes to gain the opportunities they received.

    As for Louis making his rep largely against "bum of the month" club or "good fighters too small to be in the ring with him (Conn) and such", that's patently unfair. It was fairly common knowledge back then that he tore up bigger guys with relative ease, whereas the smaller and faster types gave him more problems.

    If Klitschko were around in his day, chances are Klitschko would have gone the way of Primo Carnera:

    Fin.

    How's that for not "thinking like US couch potatoes"?

    Regards,



    Juan

  14. #14
    gazot
    Guest

    Ashe...

    Arthur Ashe, one of the 10 greatest sportsmen of all time? Is he even one of the 10 greatest tennis players of all time? Joe Louis stands head and shoulders above Ashe. I'm sure he overcame some prejudice on the tennis circuit in the 60's and 70's but nothing like Jack Johnson faced. Probably top 10 in a black sports hall of fame, but not even in contention for greatest sportsman, IMO.

  15. #15
    walsh b
    Guest

    Re: Ashe...

    I think Ali has to be number 1, not only because of his amazing talents in the toughest arena of all, but his character, personality, charisma...what others came close??. Purely on talent as a sportsman it is closer to call, but I think he was the greatest fighter of all time, second was Louis and Robinson was the greatest outside of the heavies. Maybe Carl Lewis or Jesse Owens or Spitz would figure, even Pele. Though I tend to distinguish team sports from individual sports. That's why Pele wouldn't rank as high for me, same with Jordan. Sampras for tennis was exceptional and Armstrong or Mercyx in Cycling

  16. #16
    DscribeDC
    Guest

    Re: Ashe...

    Juan,

    First of all, a pet peeve..."Cynical" is defined as "contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives," as in believing an altruist is really doing something for personal gain. Nowadays, people throw this word around with abandon to mean "nasty" or "not nice" or "something I don't agree with." There nothing "contemptuously distrustful" about debating Joe Louis' place in the all-time pantheon of sportsmen. I may be "cynical" in other contexts, but that word is wrongly-used here. It's an honest debate.

    Okay, maybe my assessment of Louis was too curt. He clearly is one of the all-time great fighters. But I stand by my belief that he would not be in the top ten of "all time greatest sportsmen." I just think there are too many pro and amateur greats in too many disciplines to squeeze him into the top ten. And his impact was largely confined to the US. I would say the top ten should be sportsmen whose impact was international. It stands to reason that a board full of boxing fans would try to load up the list with fighters, but among participants in all sports, I just don't think there is room in a top ten for more than one fighter. And I have to say that it would be hard for Louis to crack my top ten when his legacy is largely based on avenging a loss to a guy many considered over-the-hill to begin with.

    As far as Ashe is concerned, he was a great tennis champion, his visits to a very divided South Africa helped to end apartheid in that nation, and after his playing days, Ashe went on to become a first-rate sports history scholar. His "Hard Road to Glory" is considered a definitive history of the black athletic experience in America. I mean, the list says greatest "sportsmen," not greatest "athletes," so service to sports scholarship or the advancement of sport should probably be considered. I would certainly consider Ashe's post-professional life more worthy of inclusion in a list of superlatives than Louis' as a casino greeter.

    Heresy for a boxing board, maybe, but that's the way I feel. I would have no prob placing Louis in my top twenty, but not my top ten.

  17. #17
    DscribeDC
    Guest

    Re: Ashe...

    And I think Walsh is correct to examine cycling, swimming, etc. A category as broad as "sportsmen" needs to include all sports.

  18. #18
    greek1237
    Guest

    Re: Ashe...

    maybe on legends. MY top ten would be


    Babe Ruth.
    Jordan
    Ali
    Thrope
    Tilman "Tennis"
    Red Grange "Football America"
    Russel.
    Ty Cobb
    Man of War(Race Horse of the 1920's, BIGGEST legend of any Race Horse. Not sure if he is the BEST??)

    and Jessy Owans.

  19. #19
    DscribeDC
    Guest

    Re: Ashe...

    Admitting animals into the list? Hmmmm, don't know if I would go that far, although Secretariat is easily one of the ten best "athletes" I've seen in my lifetime.

  20. #20
    greek1237
    Guest

    Re: Ashe...

    Well if its lengends, Than Man of War has a BIGGER legend than the most of the people on this list.

    When I think race horse, I dont think of scentart or Funny cid, or seabiscut,

    I think of Man of War. He is the FIRST Race horse I heard of. Not sure if he can complete with todays better BREED horses, But the thing is, his blood line was needed to make champions of later down the line.

    Seasbiscut and War Emlem, are both in the blood line of Man of War. So yes even today his children are raceing in his name.

  21. #21
    Juan C Ayllon
    Guest

    He's Cynical...He's Cynical Not...

    I often appreciate your cynical and irreverent viewpoints. However, I have a hard time accepting that.

    --Juan C. Ayllon
    I may be "cynical" in other contexts, but that word is wrongly-used here. It's an honest debate.

    --DscribeDC
    Hi DscribeDC,

    As you so aptly put it, you "...may be 'cynical' in other contexts." Hey, we're all friends here, so let's be real: when don't you express a hint of cynicism? I mean, if you read between the lines of a number of my posts, I often do the same thing, to a degree (although "contemptuously distrustful" might be a bit harsh in both our cases).

    When I used the word cynical, I was firstly referring to your cynicism expressed numerous times in regards to other issues. In addition, I also saw a hint of cynicism--i.e., "contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives"--in what appeared to me as being a bit of a knee jerk reaction to Carte Blanch veneration of Joe Louis.

    I felt that in expressing your viewpoint, you oversimplified and erred in reducing his career as you did below:

    As good as Louis was, he made a lot of his rep by beating the "bum of the month" club, or good fighters too small to be in the same ring with him (Conn) and such.
    That struck me as a very cynical viewpoint and, at minimum, a gross example of over-reduction.

    His lengthy record aside, through the years, I've head fighters and commentators alike rave at length about Joe Louis' incredible ability to take advantage of the smallest openings, of the compactness of his punches, the efficiency of movement and his combination punching ability which has often been rated as being second to none, not to mention his ability to adapt and learn from previous bouts against opponents.

    Personally, I've also viewed films at both full speed and in slow motion and have marveled at the amount of torque he was able to generate with so little motion.

    Also, like Dempsey, I've also read in several places that Joe Louis found bigger men often tailor made for him.

    So, can you see why the remark about him making a reputation against "...good fighters too small to be in the same ring with him (Conn) and such..." might be offensive to me? Not to mention, it smacked of cynicism that flew in the face of the facts.

    Be that as it may, I did not misuse the word simply because I found what you said was offensive to me or not in line with my thinking, as you've suggested. In so many words, I was basically telling you that your Freudian slip is showing.

    True, as you put it, "it's an honest debate." Moreover, your follow-up remarks below were well taken and appreciated:

    Okay, maybe my assessment of Louis was too curt. He clearly is one of the all-time great fighters. But I stand by my belief that he would not be in the top ten of "all time greatest sportsmen."
    Very true. That is open to debate and a matter of opinion, no doubt.

    Anyways, if I've offended, I appologize.

    Have a terrific day,



    Juan

  22. #22
    Juan C Ayllon
    Guest

    Man or Beast?

    Admitting animals into the list? Hmmmm, don't know if I would go that far, although Secretariat is easily one of the ten best "athletes" I've seen in my lifetime.
    I second that emotion. If I'm not mistaken, it's a list of Sportsmen, is it not? Now, if we are broadening the definition of Sportsmen to include beasts, then by all means, bring them on. If not, perhaps they should also include a category entitled, "Sportsbeasts", which could include Secretariat, et al.

    Also, being the owner of a retired racing greyhound, are there no all-time great greyhound racers we could add to the list?

    How about the Tortoise from Aesop's Fables? "Flipper" the dolphin from the TV series (after all, he did some pretty good tricks and that dolphin talk was pretty cool stuff)?

    --jca

  23. #23
    greek1237
    Guest

    Re: Man or Beast?

    Maybe Balto, but thats a bout it, for raceing dogs, I suppose.

  24. #24
    walsh b
    Guest

    Re: He's Cynical...He's Cynical Not...

    Guys, I'd have to consider at least puting Louis in my top ten. I believe that the sport of boxing to be he toughest and most demanding sport of all time and it is the greatest in that sport who really is tjhe greatest sports star off all. And it's just luck hat Ali happened also to be the most charismatic sports star of all time. I'd put 2-3 boxers in the top ten...Louis has to be there. The greatest number of heavyweight title defenses ever, that beats the hell out of any home run, or slam dunk or Tour De France. Babe Ruth, great he was..great record...but I can't begin to compare Baseball to boxing. I don't think baseball come close in terms of courage, samina, heart, guts and even skill. And it is a team sport after all. Louis was individual, he's gotta be ahad of Jordan, Ruth, Thorpe.......

  25. #25
    BDeskins
    Guest

    Re: He's Cynical...He's Cynical Not...

    Babe Ruth
    Ty Cobb
    Wayne Gretzsky
    Jim Brown
    Michael Jordan
    John L. Sullivan
    Muhammad Ali
    Bobby Jones
    Babe Didrikson

  26. #26
    Boxscribe
    Guest

    Sky 'Greatest Sporting Legend' Boxing

    They announced the result for the boxers yesterday (as voted for by the public):

    1. Ali

    2. Ray Leonard

    3. Louis

    FYI - Soccer was won by Pele (followed by Maradona and Bobby Moore)

    It's Tennis and Golf this week.

  27. #27
    DscribeDC
    Guest

    Re: Sky 'Greatest Sporting Legend' Boxing

    I would have no problem whatsoever putting Joe Louis in my Top Ten boxers of all time. But placing him ahead of the greatest competitors of all time in every professional and amateur sport, including the greatest Olympic marathoners and decathletes? Hey, I'm glad he broke down the color barrier in the American fight game, but that doesn't get him there, IMHO, any more than it would get Jackie Robinson there.

    Again. It ain't cynical. I don't "distrust" Joe Louis. I just don't think he's one of the ten greatest.

    Boxers are great athletes, but as far as all-around sportsmen, all I can think of is Joe Frazier sinking like a stone to the bottom of a swimming pool during a telecast of ABC's 70s "Superstars" series. With apologies to the board, I would sooner put Rafer Johnson or Bruce Jenner in my top ten than any other fighter.

  28. #28
    writehooks
    Guest

    Re: Sky 'Greatest Sporting Legend' Boxing

    If we're talking "legends" then I think we have to consider how the rest of the world (everywhere but North America) looks at sports. Too often, I think, we tend to overlook what in some journalistic circles is referred to as the "China factor." While we in Canada and the US go ga-ga over the likes of Babe Ruth, Jim Thorpe or Wayne Gretzky, 1.5 billion Chinese have never heard of them because their impact was limited to our little piece of the planet. By contrast, true "legends" transcend national and cultural boundaries and become entrenched in world-wide sports mythos.

    Having recently spent 13 months as a sports columnist for the largest English-language daily in the People's Republic of China, I had the unique opportunity to observe this phenomenon first-hand. In fact, almost from day one, I made a point of asking Chinese sports journalists, fans and just plain folks (cab drivers, waiters, etc.) to name their favourite athletes, past and present.

    By a very wide margin, Ali was No. 1, followed by Olympic diving diva Gao Min and basketball stars Yao Ming and Michael Jordan (the NBA is HUGE in China). Pele, Martina Navratilova, David Beckham, Tiger Woods, Mike Tyson, George Foreman and Michael Schumacher were also regularly named. Ruth, Thorpe, Gretzky, Bonds, etc., were never mentioned.

    I'm not saying this is a foolproof formula, or that it's any more valid than some of the others included in this thread, but perhaps it's a little more indicative of how "legends" are perceived in a nation that accounts for nearly 20 percent of the planet's population. Inevitably, the Chinese who talked about Ali -- young or old, male or female -- knew as much or more about his religious and political activities than his accomplishments in the ring, although they were all aware of his being a world champion. Same with Pele. They knew he led Brazil to the World Cup as a 17-year-old, but not that he ended his career as a member of the New York Cosmos. Yao Ming and Gao Min are national icons in China, understandably, while Navratilova, Jordan, Foreman and Schumacher all have huge cult followings. Foreman is particularly popular with the Chinese because theirs is a culture that reveres seniors.

    For my money, the top legends are:

    1. Muhammad Ali
    2. Pele
    3. Martina Navratilova
    4. Jim Thorpe
    5. Joe Louis
    6. Michael Jordan
    7. Wayne Gretzky
    8. Babe Ruth
    9. Jack Nicklaus
    10. Michael Schumacher

  29. #29
    DscribeDC
    Guest

    Re: Sky 'Greatest Sporting Legend' Boxing

    I like the Jack Nicklaus call, but that is going to stir up the forces who feel that golf is played by "fat old white guys" and is not "athletic" enough. Personally, I wouldn't quarrel, since I think golf takes quite possibly more outright skill than any sport, if not more athleticism. And Nicklaus' record of achievement is legendary.

    If you knock golf out for not being athletic enough, you would have to dump motorsports as well, seems to me. Personally, I am for the inclusion of both.

    You also reraise the interesting point that most of the athletes named in all our lists come from the highly-hyped professional sports. In fact, the international competition and diversity of athletic competition would seem to counsel the inclusion of at least a couple of Olympic legends. Did somebody already mention Mark Spitz? It's interesting that nobody seems to like decathletes although they are the greatest sportsmen of all, aren't they?

  30. #30
    walsh b
    Guest

    Re: Sky 'Greatest Sporting Legend' Boxing

    Great post writehook.......I always seemed to notice that Americans usually stuck with their own heroes as opposed to the world. America no doubt produced outstanding athletes, more than any country really. But I noticed that they would have a top ten and it would be close to, if not 100% American. Ali of course gets my vote and very few would argue, more importantly I'm 100% convinced that if all athletes were polled on who they believed was the greatest sportsman or woman, they would pick Ali or the majority would. He had that effect on the world.

    So it's Ali and Pele through so far to the grand final. As far as I know, a tennis player and golfer are selected to go through from the public vote this week. I'd have to give Sampras the nod...14 majors, and I believe that on any one day, he was better than any player in history. Nicklaus as a golfer gets my nod, not a hope for all round though. I just don't rate golf as a true true sport. It's more a leisure pastime. Next week it's motorsport and Horse racing......I have to say that I thought it strange that Ray Robinson wasn't in the top 3 of the boxers vote. Is it because those who were voting were that bit young and weren't familiar??

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