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Thread: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

  1. #61
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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.
    Last edited by PeteLeo; 03-27-2006 at 03:10 AM.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

  5. #65
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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmer Ray
    - 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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmer Ray
    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmer Ray
    - 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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmer Ray
    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmer Ray
    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).

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr E
    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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

    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

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    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
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 03-28-2006 at 09:30 AM.

  16. #76
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by The Shoemaker
    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!

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    Sorry for the typo, I meant to say "Roberto".

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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???"

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    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

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

  25. #85
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    Quote Originally Posted by The Shoemaker
    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.

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    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

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

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    Re: Top Ten Unnatural Heavyweights

    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.

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