Originally Posted by JohnThomas1
Great question, and i have an interesting tidbit to add. The tidbit is all about fine lines.
First off let me say i am not saying RJJ lacked heart, or had it in spades. Now surely most would regard him as an ATG, surely. Now if we look thru 95% his career it is possible to say that he got hit so few times and struggled so little that it would be possible for a sensationally talented fighter to get to ATG status without having to have his heart severely tested.
Remember, this is theoretical and not an opinion of whether Jones had heart or not. Maybe if pressed he might have shown the heart of a lion, but i think he is a good scenario that a fighter as talented as he might be able to do it.
Getting back to your question in proper tho, it probably is the most important yes. There would be very very few exceptions to the rule. Look at how many times Holmes came of the floor or from big trouble. Look at what Ali got past in some fights to pull them out. Look at Saad (some might think him borderline ATG, not sure), his reputation is built on heart. Look at Leonard vs Duran, balls to the wall for both.
Heart, while not quite 100 pre-requisite, would be right at the top of my list unless i see good enough debate in here to swing me.
Agree with what you said, except that I think Jones jr proved his heart in the ring. Sure outside the ring he may have been cautious to fight certain boxers or he was a prick to negotiate with but his first fight against Tarver sealed the deal on his heart. He put his chin out there in that fight and he was hit, but when he got to the championship rounds and the fight was hanging, he pulled through and won them.