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Thread: Mike Silver's All Time Top 10

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    Mike Silver's All Time Top 10

    Boxing Historian Mike Silver Recently Gave His All Time Top 10 In An Interview. He Mentioned The First Five Or Six Are Almost 'sacrosant' - A Given. 1 Sugar Ray Robinson 2. Joe Gans 3 Harry Greb 4 Benny Leonard 5 Jack Johnson 6 Sam Langford 7 Joe Louis 8 Joe Walcott 9 Jack Dempsey 10 Henry Armstrong There are two interviews at Dog House Boxing. A very sharp mind
    Last edited by langford; 02-23-2010 at 09:17 PM.

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    Re: Mike Silver's All Time Top 10

    Quote Originally Posted by langford
    Boxing Historian Mike Silver Recently Gave His All Time Top 10 In An Interview. He Mentioned The First Five Or Six Are Almost 'sacrosant' - A Given. 1 Sugar Ray Robinson 2. Joe Gans 3 Harry Greb 4 Benny Leonard 5 Jack Johnson 6 Sam Langford 7 Joe Louis 8 Joe Walcott 9 Jack Dempsey 10 Henry Armstrong There are two interviews at Dog House Boxing. A very sharp mind
    No Ali or Duran? Don't get me wrong it's a very good list. Just a bit odd.

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    The interviews

    I have read on Silver make me less and less impressed by him since reading his book THe Arc of Boxing.

    His Arrogance and superiority complex has just about reached the point where I'm ready to tune the guy out.

    ANYONE who has the audacity to see things differently from him is either an idiot or a "faux expert" a term he used so often in his book, it made you want to puke.

    THe Question was asked about where was Duran?

    Well Mr. Silver is hanging onto an article done in The Ring done right at the time of the first Duran Leonard bout. One done by Jack Fiske.

    Here is what I wrote about that. (if you get a chance to read the book, I recommend it, but Silver's arrogance is at times pretty overwhelming.):


    "I guess that's why I have been hammering on that whole "faux experts" phrase. It sounds like he didn't ask because he clearly didn't respect anyone on that side of the fence.

    I think Manny, Atlas and Roach were about as modern as he was going to tolerate. ANd Teddy and Freddie only becuase of their ties to D'Amato and Futch respectively.

    The Jack Fiske article/poll that he references in Chapter 12 as it pertains to Duran. That whole piece really mystified me as I have the original article that Fiske wrote from Ring Magazine and there are so many inconsistancies between what WAS written and what Silver relates I was down right dumbfounded.

    And his comment of the "faux experts" going over board in their overrating of Duran as a Lightweight......7 mos earlier in the Ring (from when Fiske's article was written), there was a Blue Ribbon panel of experts who voted on who was the greatest fighter in the history of Boxing. This was Late 1979 (Feb 1980 issue of the Ring) and the top 20 came out as such:

    1-Sugar Ray Robinson
    2-Joe Louis
    3-Henry Armstrong
    4-Muhammad Ali
    5-Benny Leonard
    6-Willie Pep
    7-Rocky Marciano
    8-Jack Dempsey
    9-Roberto Duran
    10-Jack Johnson
    11-Carlos Monzon
    12-Joe Gans
    13-Stanley Ketchal
    14-Mickey Walker
    15-Harry Greb
    16-Sam Langford
    17-Sandy Saddler
    18-Archie Moore
    19-Gene Tunney
    20-Tony Canzoneri.

    Duran finished behind ONE Lightweight, Benny Leonard.

    It's obvious to me that Silver had have taken exception with such a poll. And Fiske's poll taken 7 mos later I assume was done to counter this. However in the RIng, Fiske mentions only SIX respondents to his Poll In his words: "The Respondents included a manager, a matchmaker, a trainer, two writers and a radio tv announcer". This translates to D'Amato, Brenner, Arcel, Bromberg, Heinz and Dunphy.

    Silver states there were 17 "boxing experts" in the Poll and he doesn't even quote, Heinz, Bromberg who were quoted in the piece he references. Yet Chris Dundee, Lou Gross and Fiske himself are quoted and none of these are quoted in the Ring article. There was an odd disconnect here that STILL has me puzzled.

    But Back to the Best fighter poll done 7 mos earlier.

    Among those Pollees that ultimately had Duran the 9th greatest fighter ever (this was prior to the Leonard fight btw) and 2nd only to Benny Leonard as far as Lightweights were concerned, were the following:

    Freddie Brown
    Gil Clancy
    Cus D'Amato
    Don Dunphy
    Harry Gibbs
    Mike Katz
    Randy Gordon
    Billy Graham
    Jerry Izenberg
    Jim Jacobs
    Nat Loubet
    Barney Nagler
    Pat Putnam
    Art Rust Jr.
    Ed Schuyler
    Bert Sugar
    Herb Goldman
    Bob Waters.

    Now are THESE guys "faux experts"? Were THESE the guys Silver was criticizing even though some of them (Arcel, Dunphy, D'Amato) were quoted in Fiske's article in the RIng?"

    Hawk

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    Re: Mike Silver's All Time Top 10

    The interviews given above were just excellant , in my opinon. Maybe some others were came across as arrogant, I don't know. He certainly has alot of insight. As far as Duran, i'd imagine he is close behind to Armstrong and whomever. Anyhow, I found these interviews and his top 10 very interesting. Just my opinon.

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    Langford

    Silver argues that Duran was not even a top 10 LIGHTWEIGHT, to say NOTHING about being just behind Armstrong in a top 10 Pound for Pound List.

    His arrogance and smugness has completely worn thin with me.

    And I STILL think his book is a must read. But it is FILLED with this type of nonesense.

    FILLED with it.

    Hawk

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    Re: Mike Silver's All Time Top 10

    I didn't catch that line. I disagree with that. I agree with you that Roach and others were as modern as he would get. I do not see him as being a huge fan of post 1950"s boxing. Being around Stillman's gym, can do that to people: anybody. I knew a couple of pros who trained out of there, and it was a apparently a one of a kind place and they knew things about boxing I could only dream of. Certainly some of Silver's knowledge came from there, as well as some rightousness. Just a guess. He probably could tune down the preaching.

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    Re: Langford

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins

    And I STILL think his book is a must read. But it is FILLED with this type of nonesense.

    FILLED with it.

    Hawk
    This was the main problem I had with the book as well. Duran not top 10. Hagler couldn't have beaten Rocky Graziano. It just gets suffocating(and beyond ridiculous) after awhile.

    But like you, I still highly recommend it and agree with Silver's main point in writing the book

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    Exactly Surf

    Let's put it this way:

    Someone could write a document about Modern boxing, say covering the last 40 years. And the main point could be about something very positive about the sport over those 40 years which was an excellent, well thought out point that most would agree with.

    But throughout it all, you CONSTANTLY hear about how everything "newer" is "better" and how a Greg Haugen would NEVER had lost a Bob Montgomery or that there is No way in Hell a Tommy Loughran would sniff the Top 10 at Light Heavyweight and Multiple losses by Old fighters shows their weaknesses and fewer losses by a modern shows their superiority or other some such nonsense that simply was both Ignorant and Arrogant.

    Again, the main Premise you agree with, but much of the OTHER bullshit just has you, like I did and do with Silver (and many of his contributers in his book), wanting tune the writer out.

    I think SIlver's is still a must read, but be prepared to have your "sighs" and rolling of the eyes on high alert.

    My original review of his book and of Silver himself, is: A Mixed Bag. There is a lot of good there, but you have to deal with some definitive bad as well, that for many, they may just not be able to get beyond.

    I HONESTLY could understand someone telling me that the BAD, was simply too much and they had to pass on his book and couldn't finish it.

    I EASILY could see that.

    Hawk

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    Re: Mike Silver's All Time Top 10

    Hawk, do you think there is any reason those blue ribbon panel of experts had 5 of their top 10 as heavyweights? That is baffling enough to me......

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    It's a

    "Heavyweight" thing.

    In the 1970's the Ring selected a Heavyweight to be Fighter of the Year, 8 out of the 10 years in that decade.

    The Fight of the Year was a Heavyweight fight in 7 of the 10 years.

    At about the time the panel conducted this poll, I think there was a "Heavyweight Mindset" that was quite prevelant.

    I do think that mindset exists somewhat today, but not as exagerated as it was during that time period.

    Obviously this is only a theory and there is no science involved, but it seems as plausible and probable as anything else.

    Hawk

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    Re: Mike Silver's All Time Top 10

    Yes, and personally, to me, the exclusion of Sugar Ray Leonard from Silvers list is a bit odd to. This guy, other than immense one punch and combination power, had a very similar skillset to the great other Sugar himself.

    Beating Benitez, Hearns, Duran (when he chose to box, though Duran did look a bit fat and off that night in Montreal) and Hagler (albeit both were past their best), is still an incredible resume, not to mention the other top notch fighters he beat.

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    Re: Mike Silver's All Time Top 10

    Quote Originally Posted by The Welterweight Epitome
    Yes, and personally, to me, the exclusion of Sugar Ray Leonard from Silvers list is a bit odd to. This guy, other than immense one punch and combination power, had a very similar skillset to the great other Sugar himself.

    Beating Benitez, Hearns, Duran (when he chose to box, though Duran did look a bit fat and off that night in Montreal) and Hagler (albeit both were past their best), is still an incredible resume, not to mention the other top notch fighters he beat.
    2nd that. I think certain fighters are giving much more credit that their resume ACTUALLY spells out, simply because many grew up with this fighter or they love their style, then other fighters are discredited for personal biases. However that is the basis of what these polls are, personal opinion.

    Seems to me, some say a writer, poster or whatever is ignorant or their views senseless if they do not agree with them, especiallly on this ongoing Duran kick. However if certain fighters are placed where some say they should be placed then this writer or poster is knowledgeable. I prefer to say its simply their opinion, that I either agree or disagree with.

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