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Thread: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

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    Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    I have been reading a bio on Rocky Marciano and I wonder would he still be undefeated had he fought younger lions like Ali, Frazier, Bonavera, Quarry(I remember reading somewhere that Quarry had also thought that he could have beaten Marciano), Foreman, as well as other contenders/fighters from the that era. First of all, let me say that I have Rock in the top 10 in all-time heavyweights, but individual fights are one and loss by styles... styles makes fights. Bottom line would Marciano have been undefeated had he fought in the 1960s/1970s? There are a ton of great fights that would have been interesting.... Chuvalo, Earnie Shavers, Ron Lyle, Ken Norton, Patterson, etc.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Styles do indeed make fights, and funny thing is, Rocky's style from all the champs may well be the one style that succeeds more against the others
    than any other champ. He had that unbelievbale will to win, subtle defense, rock solid conditioning and non stop aggression.

    I think he breaks Bonavena, Quarry, Lyle, Shavers, Liston, Patterson. He beats Frazier on points. He loses to Clay/Ali via decision. Ali's jab, footspeed
    and toughness see him always out land the Rock.

    No chance Norton beats him. Holmes does well, but his willingness to trade see him lose late. Rocky wrecks Holmes' body and head for a late KO.

    Foreman? This is so tricky. I guess I would have to favour George. That ridiculous physical strength, and punch. But, if Rocky is still there mid rds
    and forcing the action, beating the arms, body and head, then George could crumble. George's uppercuts will be hitting Rocky flush. That scares me, henve why I would favour George
    Last edited by walshb; 01-21-2011 at 05:01 PM.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    I personally think Foreman would be a really bad right for the rock, but let me tell you a story about what Sandy Saddler said to me back in the 1980's. This is the former world's champion, who was one of Foreman's advisors along with Archie Moore when he won the championship from Frazier. Dick Saddler was Foreman's manager. Sandy was brought in to improve George's leverage and combination punching. Anyway, I met him at an amateur show in Queens, NY and he was very gracious and spoke quite a while to me. Knowing that he was at one time in Foreman's corner, I asked him if he thought George was the second best heavy of all time. He said "Lord, no.". I asked him who outside of Ali could have beaten him. He said "Marciano for one.". I was pretty surprised and I asked him how he figured that. He said "both men would go down, Rocky would be the one who got up." I personally don't agree, but that is from a man who saw Foreman up close.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Hatchetman Sheppard told me much the same about a Foreman v Marciano bout. He thought the world of Marciano. He knew what it took in that ring and he knew what Rocky brought into it with his training and discipline. Rocky would defeat all of those heavies with Foreman being the most interesting matchup because I dont think Larry Holmes would have defeated either Rock or Frazier because he never had to deal with pressure fighters like that nor did he have the pop to keep them off of him. Foreman I believe would lose a shootout based on his heavy arms getting tired. Rock would not be there to jab consistently and that would take away Georges best chance. Rock would not come into George as did Frazier. No way. He comes in and works much differently and that would be the diff.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    The first thing I think of, and will always think of, when I hear the name Rocky Marciano is not the usual thing that comes to mind for those too young to have seen him live. It's not that he was 190 pounds with a brick in each pocket. Not that his biggest conquests were against the aged or that he left too soon with the names Patterson and Liston on the immediate horizon.

    It's the punch that ended Jersey Joe's night in the first fight. Devastation that you would expect from a fresh banger early in the fight. Not at all what you exect from someone who had been at war for 13 rounds. Sure, Walcott's exhaustion has to be factored in, but if Rock lands THAT shot in the 2nd round, the 13th, the 25th...it still wouldn't matter. Hellacious power, resilience and patience, only the best of the best are beating him.

    Quarry would be a riveting battle that would turn into a brawl and with Jerry possibly ahead, he would be chopped down. Chuvalo might be killed, because Lord knows he could take a punch but how does he keep Rocky off of him? Shavers would get his respect, certainly, but even his dynamite fists aren't keeping Rock on the canvas, if he did get him there. And I'd bet my house WHEN Rocky hurt HIM, you could get your jacket off of the back of your seat because it was just about time to go.

    Most of the pre-first title Foreman I have seen gets staight broken by Rocky. Marciano could make himself very small in there and George had a tendency to burn out fast and hard and he was so very wild and off balance. The Foreman who beat Frazier? If George is allowed to shove and keep MArciano at distance, or displays rare patience and uses the jab, yeah, tough night for Rock.

    Ali and Holmes are my #1 and #2-4 respectively and not very many incantations of either do I see Rocky beating. Oddly, its easier for me to see a younger Clay making a mistake, getting caught and being led to a stoppage. Holmes had more examples of mistakes, but I also think he would take more out of Rocky along the way. The longer it went, the heavier I would favor Larry.

    Marciano-Frazier? All I can say is WOW!!!

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    The main reason that I came up with this thread is to wonder if Marciano would be 49-0 during this era. My opinion is no. I do agree that Quarry, Chuvalo, and Ringo would be wars with Marciano most likely winning, but it is not out of the question that he could be upset. I believe that Liston, Foreman, Ali, would beat Marciano. I would give a slight edge for Holmes and Frazier against Marciano. I know that Cleveland Big Cat Williams and Earnie Shavers were big punchers with so-so chins, but the 1st 3-5 rounds could be really interesting against these guys. Shavers nearly ko'd Holmes in the 7th round of their rematch and had Ali hurt in the 2nd round of their fight. I know that if the Rock survives their bombs, he most likely stops them. It would be very entertaining and interesting. Patterson is another example of a skilled gutsy guy with a chance. Patterson vs. Chuvalo is an example of this. Chuvalo bigger and stronger, yet Patterson did win a great fight. I guess I was just pondering was Rocky kind of lucky to be fighting in the era he was? Marciano had his mettle challenge by aged/shop worn guys like Walcott, Charles, and Moore, what would have happened had he been tested against huge punchers in their prime? What if Jerry Quarry had fought in his time slot of 1947-1955, would Quarry have been champion? The boxing gods don't always allow these questions to be answered and champions to be throughly tested like Louis and Ali were. Just look at the Klit brothers... 10-15 years from now similar questions will be asked of them as well.

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    Pitting

    Marciano in a different era as opposed to asking how Marciano would do at his best against fighters of a different era, is two different things.

    Concievably, you could make a sound arguement that Rocky at his absolute best vs the aforementioned fighters of this era, that Rocky wins each bout. I personally could not do that, but it could be done.

    But asking how he does if this were the era he were fighting in and not the 50's, is a different question.

    Realistically, Marciano is not on his A++ game every single night agianst a deeper pool of talent.

    Without giving my calls on certain fights as others have already done, I would say that NO, Marciano does not end his career at 49-0 had he fought during this era.

    I would imagine that he'd have finished his career with at least 3 L's, coming agianst different fighters at different stages of his pro tour, on his ledger.

    Hawk

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Which fighter whips Marciano at his A game. Holmes? Foreman? Ali? Patterson? Which fight did any of these fight that makes him a winner, a sure winner against Marciano? On paper? Paper doesnt add up sweat and blood and pressure. I think both Frazier and Marciano at their best beats all of these guys best nites. Ali and Foreman to me are the tuffest nuts to crack but arguements could go both ways. Frazier who fought Ali one I believe with his faster feet and better body movement could have beaten George. Its a stretch but I believe it. Ali and Marciano? Well I can believe Rock could get the job done. Frazier did and I think Rock would too.

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    Re: Pitting

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    Marciano in a different era as opposed to asking how Marciano would do at his best against fighters of a different era, is two different things.

    Concievably, you could make a sound arguement that Rocky at his absolute best vs the aforementioned fighters of this era, that Rocky wins each bout. I personally could not do that, but it could be done.

    But asking how he does if this were the era he were fighting in and not the 50's, is a different question.

    Realistically, Marciano is not on his A++ game every single night agianst a deeper pool of talent.

    Without giving my calls on certain fights as others have already done, I would say that NO, Marciano does not end his career at 49-0 had he fought during this era.

    I would imagine that he'd have finished his career with at least 3 L's, coming agianst different fighters at different stages of his pro tour, on his ledger.

    Hawk

    Thats for all greats though, Ali was not on his A game evey time out, and he lost a few, hell Marciano was not on his A game, but he did get away with it in his era. I think Marciano does have a good shot of retiring unbeating in the 60's, The only threats are a ageing Liston, and perhaps a very green Ali/Clay. I think if caught at the right time, Marciano could deal with both imo.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by sr71ko
    The main reason that I came up with this thread is to wonder if Marciano would be 49-0 during this era. My opinion is no. I do agree that Quarry, Chuvalo, and Ringo would be wars with Marciano most likely winning, but it is not out of the question that he could be upset. I believe that Liston, Foreman, Ali, would beat Marciano. I would give a slight edge for Holmes and Frazier against Marciano. I know that Cleveland Big Cat Williams and Earnie Shavers were big punchers with so-so chins, but the 1st 3-5 rounds could be really interesting against these guys. Shavers nearly ko'd Holmes in the 7th round of their rematch and had Ali hurt in the 2nd round of their fight. I know that if the Rock survives their bombs, he most likely stops them. It would be very entertaining and interesting. Patterson is another example of a skilled gutsy guy with a chance. Patterson vs. Chuvalo is an example of this. Chuvalo bigger and stronger, yet Patterson did win a great fight. I guess I was just pondering was Rocky kind of lucky to be fighting in the era he was? Marciano had his mettle challenge by aged/shop worn guys like Walcott, Charles, and Moore, what would have happened had he been tested against huge punchers in their prime? What if Jerry Quarry had fought in his time slot of 1947-1955, would Quarry have been champion? The boxing gods don't always allow these questions to be answered and champions to be throughly tested like Louis and Ali were. Just look at the Klit brothers... 10-15 years from now similar questions will be asked of them as well.
    Louis tested??? He had the same level of compention as Marciano had, unless one starts singing of the Great Max Baer being greater than Walcott or Charles, I dont buy it. Yes Louis rein longer, but he was tested just the same as Marciano, only some of these worn shop fighters did manage to ko Louis.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by Husker
    The first thing I think of, and will always think of, when I hear the name Rocky Marciano is not the usual thing that comes to mind for those too young to have seen him live. It's not that he was 190 pounds with a brick in each pocket. Not that his biggest conquests were against the aged or that he left too soon with the names Patterson and Liston on the immediate horizon.

    It's !!!
    Patterson maybe, but Cus was determind to keep Patterson in the lower divsions until Rocky was slipping or retire. Liston was no were near the close on this "Immendiate horizon."

    Rocky has no globe to tell who will rise and who will fall. Liston was always a iffy when Marciano retire. Liston didnt even have 20 bouts about. And it took nearly 6 years after Rocky to retire, for Liston to reach the top, by which time Marciano would be near 38 years of age. Rocky left at 32, which imo was the right time to leave.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    People are REALLY REALLY going to hate me for this, but I think the heavies of the 70's beat marciano. I apologize that I haven't studied rocky, but I have seen a few fights. I just find it hard to believe at 5'10 ,67 reach, and weighing in the mid 180's, he beats top fighters in the 70's , most over 6' tall and most weighing in their 220's. The heavies of the 70's knew how to fight and trained for 15 round fights.
    I don't mean to pick apart marcianos numbers, but
    louis was way past his prime.
    As was archie moore and savold.
    Lowry was 5'10 177lbs,
    vingo 6'4 but only 189 lbs.
    Lastarza 6'0 187 lbs,
    eatman 5'11
    ,buonvino 6'0,
    shkar lost 17 of his last 30 fights before rocky.
    Simmons lost 7 of last 11 fights and 10 more after rocky.
    kid matthews was 179 lbs,
    walcott , I believe was winning before the big punch,gave rocky trouble with his 74" reach.
    Cockell was 5'9.

    Ali, holmes, and foreman were 6'3 215 lbs to 220 lbs. Ali had an 80" reach and holmes 81".
    shavers going toe to toe with rocky would be something to see, but even he was 6'0 220 lbs. Rocky survives past 4 and he wins. Chuvalo was 6' but weighed 215 lbs and never knocked down. Even ernie terrell was 6'6 , 220 lbs, and an 82" reach. How do you over come those obstacles?

    rocky111 says "On paper? Paper doesnt add up sweat and blood and pressure"
    so true, and i know size isn't everything. shannon briggs is 6'4 and 240 pounds of muscle, but he couln't box, had no stamina, and no movement. ali,frazier,foreman,holmes, norton had the experience, size,stamina,and power to take rocky. Forget the computer fight, I see ali grabbing rocky behind the head every time he gets close and bearing down with all 220 pounds. same with holmes, he makes rocky eat the jab and if he gets inside, grabs and bears down with his weight.
    okay, let my schooling and beatings begin

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by greek1237
    Louis tested??? He had the same level of compention as Marciano had, unless one starts singing of the Great Max Baer being greater than Walcott or Charles, I dont buy it. Yes Louis rein longer, but he was tested just the same as Marciano, only some of these worn shop fighters did manage to ko Louis.
    Louis not tested? Max Baer(puncher), Buddy Baer(puncher), Lou Nova(puncher), Galento(puncher), Max Schmeling(smart counter puncher/hard puncher), Billy Conn(speed/smart boxer), Jersey Joe Walcott(fast boxer/puncher)... I could go on, but I his record speaks for himself. Also his fights with Walcott came when Louis was on his last legs as a champion. Great champs often win when not at his best/past their prime. How many world champions did Louis fight in his career? I think it is something like 10. 2 of 3 losses(Charles and Marciano) came after his comebacks. Both Joe Louis and Ali with their long careers fought all kinds of styles and opponents. Any controversial decisions that Louis got he squashed them by knocking out in rematches. Just look at his record and it will answer your questions or doubts. I could put Joe Louis using the same template of Marciano vs. the heavyweights of 1960s/1970s and he would destroy nearly everyone with relative ease. Only Ali, Holmes, Liston, and Foreman would stand a chance of beating him. Ali and Holmes because of their speed and boxing skills, Liston and Foreman because of their power, strength, boxing skills, long jab, and great chins. Frazier, Shavers, Big Cat Williams, Chuvalo, and any other fighter dumb enough to come and slug with a prime Louis would be destroyed or picked apart. Even a prime Mike Tyson. As I have said before styles makes fights. You need speed and boxing skills to beat Joe Louis or pray that he is not 100% and chasing women like his 1st fight with Schmeling. Boxer-punchers like Louis have a different dimension to them. Not only great boxing skills, but great punching power. Now add pinpoint accurate punches with hands just as fast as Ali or Patterson. Oh yeah... Louis was 68-3 with 54 knockouts.
    Last edited by sr71ko; 01-23-2011 at 09:20 AM.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by sr71ko
    Louis not tested? Max Baer(puncher), Buddy Baer(puncher), Lou Nova(puncher), Galento(puncher), Max Schmeling(smart counter puncher/hard puncher), Billy Conn(speed/smart boxer), Jersey Joe Walcott(fast boxer/puncher)... I could go on, but I his record speaks for himself. Also his fights with Walcott came when Louis was on his last legs as a champion. Great champs often win when not at his best/past their prime. How many world champions did Louis fight in his career? I think it is something like 10. 2 of 3 losses(Charles and Marciano) came after his comebacks. Both Joe Louis and Ali with their long careers fought all kinds of styles and opponents. Any controversial decisions that Louis got he squashed them by knocking out in rematches. Just look at his record and it will answer your questions or doubts. I could put Joe Louis using the same template of Marciano vs. the heavyweights of 1960s/1970s and he would destroy nearly everyone with relative ease. Only Ali, Holmes, Liston, and Foreman would stand a chance of beating him. Ali and Holmes because of their speed and boxing skills, Liston and Foreman because of their power, strength, boxing skills, long jab, and great chins. Frazier, Shavers, Big Cat Williams, Chuvalo, and any other fighter dumb enough to come and slug with a prime Louis would be destroyed or picked apart. Even a prime Mike Tyson. As I have said before styles makes fights. You need speed and boxing skills to beat Joe Louis or pray that he is not 100% and chasing women like his 1st fight with Schmeling. Boxer-punchers like Louis have a different dimension to them. Not only great boxing skills, but great punching power. Now add pinpoint accurate punches with hands just as fast as Ali or Patterson. Oh yeah... Louis was 68-3 with 54 knockouts.

    But saying Louis was tested while Rocky was not?

    The Baer brothers could hit, but they didnt know the first thing about the rule book so to speak. Louis was able to bliz and out skill them both because of how poor they were. Walcott was more pin point than either Baer brother, and I think brings the hurt longer with the shots he did vs Marciano. I think if there was any questions about Marciano's chin, it was proven in the Walcott fight.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    I cannot imaging how Marciano could beat Foreman. George had an iron chin. He was in his very long career knocked out only once. And that, against Ali, was more because of fatigue than chin. He had to chase Ali. Like he had to with Jimmy Young. Marciano didnít have such style. He could, just like Joe Frazier, only go foreword. His duty against Foreman is, while trying to knockout the unknockoutable, to avoid the greatest knockout fists in history. This is too much asked. They always say that styles make fights. I believe Marciano was made for Foreman. Just like Joe Frazier was.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Rocky had plenty of style, plenty of moves, plenty of know how in that ring. Much more than George Foreman had. Walcott, Charles, Moore were masters and beat much bigger men with consistancy, but they never figured out Rocky enough to beat him.
    Tie up Rocky in close? Ever see how successful Joe Louis was at that? Take Rocky in close and TRY to tie him up. See what those short powerful arms can do. It would never happen. Ali at 22o is a target for Rock. Too slow and got hit to much. He better weight in at about 205 and keep moving. Foreman? Lots of heart and a good chin. But Ali and Lyle had him down and so did Jimmy Young. Rock has a shot at wearing him down and keeping from being a target like Frazier made himself. Watch Rocky, he doesnt come in like a open target. He like dempsey is slicker than you think or writers from this era try to make him. Like I said Foreman is tuff nut to crack, but he could be cracked to be sure.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Wow, surprised Marciano is getting super-human status on here. I think if placed in the late 60s/early 70s he wins most but loses to some of the elites of that era . . .definitely Ali, Foreman, maybe Frazier. In the late 50s/early 60s he loses to a peak Liston.

    To say his comp was on the same level as Louis is absurd. Louis beat a Walcott at his peak, plus Schmeling, Baer brothers, Nova, Pastor, Godoy, Uzucudun, Carnera, Sharkey, Conn etc.
    For Marciano he has a Walcott for his last hurrah, a past prime Charles, Moore and then the quality nose-dives. LaStarza and Layne were decent fighters but would've lost to the top 10ers of the late 30s/40s.

    The fact remains Marciano never fought an elite natural HW boxer-puncher who was at his peak when he fought Rocky. A 38 year old Walcott is the closest and he gave Marciano the battle of his life and put him down. We simply do not have the evidence that someone like a Shavers couldn't have stopped him early, Foreman might demolish him worse than Frazier . . hell considering he never fought anyone like a peak Ken Norton, Norton might've jabbed his face off before Rocky ever manages to land anything. Or maybe Rocky grinds both down. A great career but still one with many question marks since he was fairly protected on his way to his title shot and had a relatively brief reign.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Just curious, but did anyone on this board see Rocky fight live? I never met the man and videos of his fights aren't the best. But I'm 5'10" and I have stood next to Ali, Foreman, Holmes, Lewis, Terrell, and the klitchkos. They dwarfed me. I realize tyson is also 5'10 and regularly fought taller me, but tyson also fought at around 215 and that was solid muscle. I think rocky would not have fared any better against the 70's big men than tyson did against lennox lewis.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Being as the heavyweight division has no weight restriction, its like a sherman tank going against a german tiger tank.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    I would pick Foreman, Liston, and Holmes to beat Rocky. I would pick Marciano over Quarry (very close one here), Bonavena, Ellis. Frazier is too close to call. The Foreman who hammered Frazier and Norton could not be outslugged. Which brings Lyle and Marciano to mind. Lyle just barely beat Bonavena (I believe one judge had it dead even) so I doubt he could handle Rocky.

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    THat's my point

    "Thats for all greats though, Ali was not on his A game evey time out, and he lost a few,"

    IMO the era was too deep for Marciano to get through it unscathed.

    And it does apply to all greats accross the board.

    As far as the "well who beats him?" question, again, THAT is a different discussion.

    One that's already been had and there is no point in THIS discussion, to go an redebate that all over again.

    Would Marciano have been able to retire undefeated had he fought in the era that is been suggested here?

    I say no.

    Think he finshes up with at least 2 or 3 L's on his resume.

    Hawk

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    The points made about size are very apt here. I love Rocky, and rate him for his size as top 5 ever. Like, 190 lbs? Who is beating this man whilst weighing 190? But, guys with 3-4-5-6 inches in height and up to 30 and 40 lbs in weight who are also very skilled, could be a step too far.

    Call me mad, never a fan of lb for lb, but Rocky gets my number 1 vote
    Last edited by walshb; 01-24-2011 at 12:51 PM.

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    Ezzard Charles

    who was no longer at his optimum best, when he squared of with Marciano, came thisclose to beating Rocky in their first bout. And they were within a few pounds of each other.

    Ez at his absolute best vs Marciano?

    Give me Charles.

    Hawk

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    At any point in Charles' career I don't think he gets the job
    done against Rocky.

    Up to 190 lbs, I will take the Rock over any fighter in history.

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    Re: Ezzard Charles

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    who was no longer at his optimum best, when he squared of with Marciano, came thisclose to beating Rocky in their first bout. And they were within a few pounds of each other.

    Ez at his absolute best vs Marciano?

    Give me Charles.

    Hawk
    I didnt think Charles was close to beating Marciano the first go around.

    After 5 rounds, Charles could not keep up with Marciano's pace.

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    I did.

    I had it a 2 point win for Rocky.

    Hawk

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    I'm a big fan of Marciano, and I agree with Rocky that the Rock was an underrated defensive stylist.

    I think that pre-exile Ali beats Marciano, as does Liston. I also think that the '70s Foreman beats Marciano: I think that Foreman does land hard on Marciano, and I think that Foreman's big punches would do more damage than, say, Walcott's or Moore's. (And I'd say the same for Liston v. Marciano.)

    I'm on the fence in regard to Frazier and Holmes. A Frazier-Marciano matchup would be fascinating: two pressure fighters, both tough, well-conditioned, and hard hitting. Many imponderables in such a fight, but I'd lean very very slightly toward Marciano because he had power in both hands. (Frazier's right gets underrated, I think; but it was not as strong as Rocky's left. Frazier's left and Rocky's right are pretty equal.)

    I think that Holmes would simply jab and move his way to a points win. But Marciano could close distance darned well, and I could see him getting to Larry and working over Larry's body.

    Marciano-Bonavena would be interesting, but I see Rocky winning that pretty handily, possibly by KO. (Yes, KO.)

    I don't see Rocky losing to Shavers, Quarry, Chuvalo, or Norton. Norton might give Rocky a hard time, but Rocky would tag him hard at least by mid-rounds and would then finish him.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Rocky wasn't all that much younger than Charles (yes, I know Ezz had a lot more mileage) but when Rocky and Charles met the first time there were several insiders sitting ringside who said Charles was in the best shape of his life. IMO there's no way to watch the pace of that fight and suggest that Charles was considerably better when he was at his best. He was very close to his best that night, I have no doubt.

    I think Rock has many tough fights in the 70s, but the only guys I would pick to have a decent chance to beat him are Ali and Holmes. I think the older, cannier and tougher Ali does better against Rocky than the fleet-footed version whom I believe Rocky would eventually run down. And against Larry I think the speed is a big factor, but (as I have told Hawk many times before) Larry's attitude of "fuck you" after getting biffed around could easily be his undoing. Larry mixes with Rock and he is in deep water.

    Rocky slowly grinds down the rest into hamburger, but often taking a great deal of punishment to get there.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Oops - forgot Foreman. Young Foreman crushes Rocky in a couple rounds, IMO. Rocky breaks down and wears out the 90s version, but the 70s version would (much as I love the Rock) probably steamroll him.

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    Re: Rocky Marciano vs. the 1960s/1970s heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by TKO11
    Rocky breaks down and wears out the 90s version,
    A prime Holyfield who was bigger and heavier was not able to do that to that old man...

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