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Thread: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

  1. #1
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    Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    1.Henry Armstrong- the archetype

    2.Terry McGovern- pressured and KOd the reigning bantam, feather and lightweight champs all within 10 months.

    3.Battling Nelson- tireless. thickest skull in history (I hear they measured it after he died).

    4.Rocky Marciano

    5.Jack Dempsey

    6.Joe Frazier

    7.Tom Sharkey- read his profile by Tracy Callis. A devastating socker and iron hard. Beat Corbett, Choynski, McCoy and most of the top heavies of his time. Just couldn't get past Jeffries and Fitzsimmons.

    8.Ad Wolgast- if his hands weren't so fragile would have remained champ till Benny Leonard came along.

    9.Aaron Pryor

    10.Billy Petrolle- The "Fargo City Express"(the name says it all). Beat Canzoneri, McLarnin and a host of others.

    Honorable Mention: Jeff Fenech, Beau Jack, Bob Montgomery, Lou Ambers, George Kid Lavigne, Fighting Harada, Julio Cesar Chavez, Ace Hudkins, John L. Sullivan....anyone I'm missing?
    Last edited by Surf-Bat; 01-08-2008 at 07:47 PM. Reason: addendum

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    Greb

    Hawk

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    From by-gone days, I would add Mysterious Billy Smith, certainly as an honorably mention.
    Last edited by raylawpc; 01-09-2008 at 05:28 PM.

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    Re: Greb

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    Hawk

    I personally have never classified Greb as a "pressure fighter" in the classic sense. He was that rarest of boxers. Call him an "evasive pressure fighter". In a lot of ways he was as much Ali as Henry Armstrong, using his bouncing footwork to skittle out of the way when necessary, then boring in with a blizzard of punches before skipping out of range again.

    The guys I mentioned would pressure you like a pitbull on the attack. Greb would pressure you like a swarm of bees, stinging but staying just out of range of your return swipes.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Quote Originally Posted by raylawpc
    From by-gone days, I would add Mysterious Billy Smith, certainly as an honorably mention.
    I thought of Smith, but was he the type who bored in every second like the guys on my list? That particular criteria is what kept Stanley Ketchel and Roberto Duran off.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    From all I have read of him, yes. Of course, no films of him exist, as far as I know. My understanding is that he was very aggressive and very dirty.

    If you ever do a list of dirtiest fighters, he would have to be No. 1. I believe it was Tommy Ryan who said, "The only thing mysterious about Billy is how he would foul you next." Hitting low, butting, rabbit punching, foot stomping, wrestling, biting - anything went in a Mysterious Billy Smith fight. I believe it was Smith who would, in a clinch, rake the edge of his shoe against his opponent's shins.

    I think you should put Kid Lavigne in the top ten of your list. By all accounts, he was very aggressive - a "turn-of-the-century" Armstrong.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    I'd add Duran and J.C. Chavez, personally. Not for every fight of their careers, but for most when in their primes.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Briscoe
    Qawi
    Jung-Koo Chang
    jack kid Berg
    Santos Laciar
    sung-kil Moon
    Marvin Johnson
    Khaosai Galaxy
    Baby Jake Matlala...comically small and not all that formidable because of it, but maybe worth an honourable mention for his honest efforts.

    The last few might be better characterised by some as sluggers or pure-punchers i suppose.

    Duran against Buchanan is one of the best swarming performances of all-time IMO...Kobayashi and eventually Marcel were also great.

    He never really showed that amount of aggression again as his career progressed.That early Duran would have dominated Fernandez, Viruet and co from start to finish.Unfortunately the slower, more disdainful, unspectactular and technical approach he took against them-winning most of the rounds along the way- has ended up being revised by many as him having struggled with movers.

    For most of his championship reign i would class him as an aggressive boxer-puncher rather than a pressure fighter.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Fenech is my favourite of the modern school.

    His brittle hands never gave him concussive one punch power, but a lot of amatuer fighters here in Australia I'm friends with use his name when talking about applying consistent pressure, when someone in the gym says "Jeff Fenech him!" you know that means get in his face and not shoe shine, but drop the inside artillery - Ala his first title KO over Shingaki.

    There's some legendary stories of his conditioning - Peak jumping rope for 15 minutes straight with a 3 meter diameter sweat pool on the floor beneath him - His conditioning and 3 full minutes of flat out fighting always was inspiring to me.

    He was just a masterful exponent of cutting of the ring to apply yet more pressure.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    watched fenech/nelson one and became an instant fan. I just remember nelson trying to get out of the corner and fenech pushing him back in. What a mugging. Also one of the worst robberies i've ever seen. Met him at IBHOF. Super friendly. Beautiful wife. He showed up with a plane load of fans .

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    Excellent

    Add on List Mooch.

    And SUPERB points regarding Duran.

    Hawk

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    James Scott, the top light-heavyweight in lockup in the late 1970s/early 80s, was a very effective pressure fighter. Always moving forward and throwing blows.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Phillyfan
    watched fenech/nelson one and became an instant fan. I just remember nelson trying to get out of the corner and fenech pushing him back in. What a mugging. Also one of the worst robberies i've ever seen. Met him at IBHOF. Super friendly. Beautiful wife. He showed up with a plane load of fans .
    No argument with the robbery comment about their fight #1. It was interesting, and unusual for rematches in general, that Nelson defeated Fenech so decisively in their rematch.

    Nelson was likely being throughly truthful in the pre-fight talk before #2 that in their first fight, he had been weakened by malaria, and that Fenech's punches didn't hurt him. It sounded crazy and arrogant, but then he backed it all up in the rematch.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    No argument with the robbery comment about their fight #1. It was interesting, and unusual for rematches in general, that Nelson defeated Fenech so decisively in their rematch.

    Nelson was likely being throughly truthful in the pre-fight talk before #2 that in their first fight, he had been weakened by malaria, and that Fenech's punches didn't hurt him. It sounded crazy and arrogant, but then he backed it all up in the rematch.
    yeah, but there's two sides to every story.

    In Fenech's bio DVD he pretty much says that the draw just destroyed his spirit and he was barely training, screwing every chick between Sydney and Melbourne and just not with his heart in the fight.

    No disrespect to Azumah in any way, and I have no doubt that even a peak Fenech would struggle with the Professor in the rematch, but Fenech's heart was just ripped out in that draw.

    Tszyu's pro-debut on the undercard of that second fight was the one good thing for Australia that night...tragedy.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    This is not a comment on who would win between Fenech and Nelson.

    But, I have to laugh at a guy who says his "heart was ripped out" by an unfair decision. Wasn't Fenech a bad kid who beat up people in the streets? Then HE is somehow owed "fairness," and his feelings are hurt when he doesn't receive it?? He was a world-title-holder already!

    And sleeping around with many women, that's an excuse? Sounds like a punk-like, Duran-like excuse--I win and expect the glory, then when I lose I'll just blame MY OWN BEHAVIOR as if it's a reasonable excuse. Like the guy who beats his wife and blames it on the fact that he was drunk. (....But WHO got you drunk?)

    The more I hear about Fenech, the more I think he'd never stand a chance against Nelson assuming both are at full strength.

    Damn, why can't more boxers just be honest like Jack Dempsey ("I forgot to duck")?

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Quote Originally Posted by doomeddisciple
    yeah, but there's two sides to every story.

    In Fenech's bio DVD he pretty much says that the draw just destroyed his spirit and he was barely training, screwing every chick between Sydney and Melbourne and just not with his heart in the fight.

    No disrespect to Azumah in any way, and I have no doubt that even a peak Fenech would struggle with the Professor in the rematch, but Fenech's heart was just ripped out in that draw.

    Tszyu's pro-debut on the undercard of that second fight was the one good thing for Australia that night...tragedy.
    I'm very glad you wrote this, because I thought that Jeff looked a bit listless even before that first bell rang. Something just wasn't right. The old fire was gone. Nice to hear it verified. I think the Fenech of the first fight beats the Nelson of the second.

    This was on the undercard of Tyson/Ruddock. I believe Tyson was being threatened with prosecution for rape and some possible jail time around then. Did you notice that when Don King's meal ticket(Tyson) was in jail or threatened with it is when suddenly all these fishy results escalated? Chavez/Whitaker, Chavez/Randall II, Fenech Nelson I. Almost like the WBC was making sure ol' Don was being taken care of until Tyson was off the hook.
    Last edited by Surf-Bat; 01-13-2008 at 05:21 PM. Reason: addendun

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    This is not a comment on who would win between Fenech and Nelson.

    But, I have to laugh at a guy who says his "heart was ripped out" by an unfair decision. Wasn't Fenech a bad kid who beat up people in the streets? Then HE is somehow owed "fairness," and his feelings are hurt when he doesn't receive it?? He was a world-title-holder already!

    And sleeping around with many women, that's an excuse? Sounds like a punk-like, Duran-like excuse--I win and expect the glory, then when I lose I'll just blame MY OWN BEHAVIOR as if it's a reasonable excuse. Like the guy who beats his wife and blames it on the fact that he was drunk. (....But WHO got you drunk?)

    The more I hear about Fenech, the more I think he'd never stand a chance against Nelson assuming both are at full strength.

    Damn, why can't more boxers just be honest like Jack Dempsey ("I forgot to duck")?
    Fenech may have had a few fights as a kid - I think he was a little wild, and god knows nearly every Maltese person I've ever met has a temper and a half.

    And really, as legitimate as it is for you to question my paraphrased version of what Fenech said - I think it's just as legit to question Nelson's Malaria - I do have to admit bias here though - I am an Aussie and Fenech is a big part of why I love boxing so much.

    I will watch the DVD again when I dig it up and see if I can quote a bit more exactly of what Jeff said.

    That said Mr Frank - I wonder how many fighters on a Don King card have had things turn out in a way that's had a detremental effect on their career?

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Benny Bass and Luis (Kid) Kaplan deserve a mention.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Quote Originally Posted by doomeddisciple
    Fenech may have had a few fights as a kid - I think he was a little wild, and god knows nearly every Maltese person I've ever met has a temper and a half.

    And really, as legitimate as it is for you to question my paraphrased version of what Fenech said - I think it's just as legit to question Nelson's Malaria - I do have to admit bias here though - I am an Aussie and Fenech is a big part of why I love boxing so much.

    I will watch the DVD again when I dig it up and see if I can quote a bit more exactly of what Jeff said.

    That said Mr Frank - I wonder how many fighters on a Don King card have had things turn out in a way that's had a detremental effect on their career?
    Hi Mr. doomeddisciple,

    I have no "argument" with you, just a friendly debate, and of course these are just my opinions and I can be wrong. No disrespect toward you is intended in the least. Also, I have nothing against Australians and any prejudgment toward them would be positive, not negative.

    You are so right about fighters getting screwed under Don King's watch and on his fight cards. Oh how I agree with you. King and people like him have poisoned boxing for generations. Fenech was royally screwed vs. Nelson in their fight #1.

    I'm also guilty of having prejudices against certain types of people. Fenech, as I recall, pushed, held, forearmed, and otherwise employed dirty tactics against Nelson in their fight #1. Right then, I found him hard to like, as I had seen the Road Warrior for years and always liked his style and his soft-spoken demeanor. (Later, he became somewhat of a show-off, I know.)

    I DON'T like bullies, and that's how Fenech has come off to me in the past, and in that fight. (Though I'd readily agree he deserved that decision in #1 clearly and was robbed.) He was promoted in the US as a street fighter from childhood. That Maltese people have tempers makes no good impression on me. I like the nice guy; and dislike the bully, the dirty fighter, and the big-mouth. Give me an Alexis Arguello any day. Just my own personal feeling.

    Duran was a foul-mouthed, often dirty-fighting bully, who slept with 12-year-old hookers while being married. The more I learned about Fenech, including today, the more I came to compare him with Duran. I wonder what the public fascination always was with Duran, who was a bad guy in so many ways, but also happened to be a great fighter. Why do so many people worship the complete asshole wife-beater LaMotta?? Why choose to make a movie about such a person?

    Who knows about whether Nelson had malaria in the first fight? It SEEMED likely to me, because he then went out and beat up Fenech in the rematch; Fenech would be more likely to make up false excuses for #2, since he lost big, but he probably was telling the truth. I had just found it so odd and unusual that Nelson made these brash comments before a rematch with a guy who clearly beat him--if it were me, I'd have shown some humility. But, Nelson SEEMED to be telling the truth, in that the fight #2 result bore him out. That's all.

    But, mindful of this, I'd respectfully disagree with Surf-Bat's assertion that Fenech from fight #1 would beat Nelson from fight #2. Reason: Fenech was KO'd. So, to me, it could happen to him again. (He was also subsequently KO'd by Calvin Grove of all people.) Nelson, beaten all over the ring by Jeff, was not stopped, and this tells me he can take a beating from Fenech and survive when Jeff is having a good night...but it's questionable what Jeff can take from Azumah even if Jeff is in prime condition, since the excuse-laden version of Fenech was hurt and stopped by Nelson. Azumah, conversely, was only stopped once in his career, on his feet in the 15th against the great Sanchez.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    It wasn't that odd for Nelson to say something like that Michael.Like the vast majority of fighters, he tended to cover up for bad performances.


    IMO neither Nelson and Fenech were in their prime for either fight.Both had slowed down.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Frank
    Hi Mr. doomeddisciple,

    I have no "argument" with you, just a friendly debate, and of course these are just my opinions and I can be wrong. No disrespect toward you is intended in the least. Also, I have nothing against Australians and any prejudgment toward them would be positive, not negative.
    Not arguing either tiger - Enjoying the conversation mate! No worries there.

    You are so right about fighters getting screwed under Don King's watch and on his fight cards. Oh how I agree with you. King and people like him have poisoned boxing for generations. Fenech was royally screwed vs. Nelson in their fight #1.

    I'm also guilty of having prejudices against certain types of people. Fenech, as I recall, pushed, held, forearmed, and otherwise employed dirty tactics against Nelson in their fight #1. Right then, I found him hard to like, as I had seen the Road Warrior for years and always liked his style and his soft-spoken demeanor. (Later, he became somewhat of a show-off, I know.)

    I DON'T like bullies, and that's how Fenech has come off to me in the past, and in that fight. (Though I'd readily agree he deserved that decision in #1 clearly and was robbed.) He was promoted in the US as a street fighter from childhood. That Maltese people have tempers makes no good impression on me. I like the nice guy; and dislike the bully, the dirty fighter, and the big-mouth. Give me an Alexis Arguello any day. Just my own personal feeling.

    Duran was a foul-mouthed, often dirty-fighting bully, who slept with 12-year-old hookers while being married. The more I learned about Fenech, including today, the more I came to compare him with Duran. I wonder what the public fascination always was with Duran, who was a bad guy in so many ways, but also happened to be a great fighter. Why do so many people worship the complete asshole wife-beater LaMotta?? Why choose to make a movie about such a person?

    Who knows about whether Nelson had malaria in the first fight? It SEEMED likely to me, because he then went out and beat up Fenech in the rematch; Fenech would be more likely to make up false excuses for #2, since he lost big, but he probably was telling the truth. I had just found it so odd and unusual that Nelson made these brash comments before a rematch with a guy who clearly beat him--if it were me, I'd have shown some humility. But, Nelson SEEMED to be telling the truth, in that the fight #2 result bore him out. That's all.
    OK, first off - It's funny you bring up Duran, because that was Fenech's oft cited favourite fighter and his main inspiration. Though with Jeff's hand's - He would be more appropriatley monikered "manos de alabastro" in comparison to his hero.

    I also share your disdain for bullies, growing up skinny and a late bloomer I actually started getting into boxing to learn a few things myself. However, I only saw Fenech as a bully inside the ring. He has done some stupid things outside the ring though, his recent part in a jewellery theft was very disapointing.

    That said - I've never heard of Jeff being a wife beater, going to jail for other stuff, or any other kind of didgy activity. He's had two wives and been great to his kids, is a passionate advocate for boxing and on the domestic front has done more for boxing than any other Aussie living or dead.

    He did have a slightly wilder rep as a young bloke - That's what led him into the ring in the first place - But while his street fighting rep may have matched his style - He was not a guy like Australian world ranked and title challenger Shannan Taylor who was known in his home town as the biggest dickhead in Wollongong for beating up people in the pub on a regular basis.

    Jeff has been in the corner for many Australian's title shots, including Shannan and his passion is always obvious in the corner - He's certainly no Freddie Roach or like his own legendary trainer Johnny Lewis - Just watch the fights he cornered like Mosley Taylor or even better Glen Kelly Roy Jones Jnr - Almost hilarious in his desperation to fire up his charges.

    I totally see where you're coming from - It's completly logical - However, Jeff's crushed spirit was also a pretty logical, or at least understandable reaction to what happened in the states in the first fight.

    You'd often hear Johnny Lewis in Tszyu's corner in the middle rounds if Tszyu hadn't dispatched his foe by that time of fights in the states say "Come on mate, you don't want to leave it up to the judges over here mate" or words to that effect. Johnny was as crushed by that first fight as Jeff I think...


    But, mindful of this, I'd respectfully disagree with Surf-Bat's assertion that Fenech from fight #1 would beat Nelson from fight #2. Reason: Fenech was KO'd. So, to me, it could happen to him again. (He was also subsequently KO'd by Calvin Grove of all people.) Nelson, beaten all over the ring by Jeff, was not stopped, and this tells me he can take a beating from Fenech and survive when Jeff is having a good night...but it's questionable what Jeff can take from Azumah even if Jeff is in prime condition, since the excuse-laden version of Fenech was hurt and stopped by Nelson. Azumah, conversely, was only stopped once in his career, on his feet in the 15th against the great Sanchez.
    I guess the counter point to this - And I totally acknowledge this happened at the very end of Nelson's storied career - But Jesse James Leija drew, was stopped and then defeated Nelson on points.

    Maybe, JUST MAYBE, Jeff could have done the same thing - But from the first Nelson fight on - He was pretty much done and his heart gone from the game. And that's how Fenech fans think about it anyway!

    I will also readily admit beyond my own bias for Jeff that us Aussies have real problems dealing with loosing in the best of circumstances let alone ones where it seemed the judges or ref was against us.

    Tszyu enjoyed that sort of support from Aussies - We screamed in disgust when Joe Cortez DQ'd Tszyu for dislocating Leonardo Mas' jaw on the break in their fight and Vlad Warton spent some time clearing Tszyu's name and overturning that decision into a NC. To say nothing of the refereeing in the Hatton fight...

    We just don't like loosing I guess ha ha ha.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    From the UK

    Barry McGuigan, Jack 'Kid' Berg & Jock McAvoy could apply some serious pressure.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Jake LaMotta

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    excellant list surf-bat.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Fighting Harada should be in the top ten imo. He did have a higher punch out put than Jack Dempsey(Who faded in the later rounds)
    He had Henry Armstrong type of pressure always thowing punchings, and never stopping. He never tired either. I though Harada was Armstrong in the Jofer fights. And the Medal fight.

    Carman Balisio should be mention also. It was his stimia and pressue attack that defeat Robinson the first go around, and made it a CLOSE fight in the rematch, ashame there was no 3rd fight. Also His battles with Tony Demarco was amazing.

    Gene Fullmer should get a mention also imo.

    Micky Walker had power in both hands and when in his OWN weight class, was pretty effected, and even fighting heavyweights, he went after them and won lol.

    Battling Siki, ??
    Billy Graham also.
    The 50's pressue fighters were near the top about with Marciano, Carman, Fullmer, Bobo, and others.

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    You know

    He may not always have been the Most EFFECTIVE pressure fighter ever, But you are hard pressed to find any fighter who applied MORE pressure than Leon Spinks.

    TALENT wise, he doesn't rank with the greats mentioned here like a Harada et al. But Leon just never stopped coming at you and throwing punches, many of them amateurish no doubt, until he got to you or you were able to take him out or Stave him off somehow.

    Not the arsenal of others mentioned here, but his Pressure and volume was pretty noteworthy.

    Hawk

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Spinks was a pressure fighter, and with a bit more skills, and training could have been great.
    But I find it hard to belive even Spinks to applie more pressure than Henry Armstrong. Armstrong was truely on you the movement the bell ring to the final bell. He litary gave boxer's no breathing room( or running room)
    He was chest to chest, and in Armstrong's prime, you have very few options. Not even a great boxer in Barney Ross found out he had nothing to keep Armstrong off him. No amout of speed or movement would keep Armstrong off of you.

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    Oh yeah, and Henry "Hen" Pearce should get a mention. For a Barekuckler, he put on a lot of pressure on his foes. Never was beating, 7-0, with 7 kos. and he retire with the title and on top.

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    I'll be honest Greek

    I have watched the avaialble film on Armstrong and the Stories just don't seem to match the avaialble visual evidence.

    This is not to say you don't see the aggression from Hank. But when I first had the opportunity to finally view Armstrong on Film several years ago, I was expecting the perpetual motion and Homicide Hank that I read about for years.

    I came away from my film sessions, more than a little let down. Hank did indeed dsiplay pressure, but it was not UNIQUE or UNSEEN PREVIOUSLY pressure.

    Granted the romanticized writings that I had the opp to soak up certainly set the bar pretty high with my expectations. But at the same time, even seeing what i did view, it didn't far exceed any other more contemporary displays of pressure.

    Hawk

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    Re: Greatest Pressure Fighters?

    The only time people saw that kinda of pressue was in the days of Battling Nelson imo. After the 20 or so, there was still pressue fighters but not to the extant of Battling Nelson. Armstrong's non stop attack brought it back. He had a higher out put than Balisio, or Marciano. Perhaps even Joe Frazier.

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