Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?
JT, the notion of RJJ as a potential exception to the rule had occurred to me when I spotted the title of this thread, but you've addressed it far better than I could.
From my peculiar perspective, dedication and discipline through the training process usually necessary to become an ATG requires heart, in and of itself. Then, the old addage, "The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender," comes into play. Greater sacrifices and effort equate into greater determination and resolve. (Of course one can pass the threshold between building the body up, and breaking it down. Overtraining doesn't do any good either.) Peak physical conditioning is enormously crucial to withstanding or recovering from a heavy shot.
Maintaining a high level of fitness is what kept Patterson and Carnera getting up from devastating knockdowns, despite being chinny. (In my opinion, Floyd is a worthy HOFer.)
Ray Arcel's comment that Duran would rather fight than eat, leads me to wonder whether fighting spirit is the same as heart. Greb, Walker and Duran started out doing it because they loved it. SRR didn't pursue boxing as an end in itself, but as a means to reach another objective, the same success in show business that Max Baer sought after the Frankie Campbell tragedy. Foreman's comeback was also fueled by ulterior motives. (On the other hand, if it hadn't been for Duran's car accident, Roberto might still be competing.)
Can Max Baer be considered an ATG?