Originally Posted by JohnThomas1
I don't know about that, you've hammered out some compelling stuff and certainly don't shirk explaining in length.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm all too well aware my posts ramble on way longer than necessary, but I'll be working on becoming more succinct. (Along with improving my poor grammar and punctuation.)
The rest of your post makes one think too, that's for sure.
Sometimes, a boxer's heart isn't tested until he's spiraling into decline, due to age, or lack of legitimate competition.
Some boxers are so gifted, that at their peak nobody they confront succeeds in challenging their resolve in the face of adversity.
Although Salvador Sanchez did get off the deck in drawing with Juan Escobar, it could be argued that Sal's record should have been 46-0 when he met his untimely passing. (His only official loss was by 12 round SD.) His conditioning was so flawless that nobody was really able to test him in a genuine high profile trial by fire. He frequently came from behind to overtake his opponents, but this was largely due to patience based upon the confidence that he was in better condition than his adversaries, and would overtake them over 15 rounds. (Sal was among the final great 15 round champions boxing produced, one whose legacy would have been severely truncated by this current 12 round limit garbage.)
For a boxer with vastly superior abilities, a Catch-22 situation occurs. What would RJJ's ATG status be, if he retired after decisioning Mike McCallum, or even John Ruiz? Would he rate above SRR? But critics would have then said, "We never found out how he would have handled a true crisis situation."
For Murray Woroner's staged superfight between Marciano and Ali, Nat Fleischer declared in the preamble that, "Muhammad Ali has not proved to me that he is a great fighter. In my opinion, he is the fastest heavyweight champion in boxing history, but he hasn't demonstrated that he is a great one," or words to that effect.
Fleischer was correct. As of 1969, nobody had really tested Ali's heart in a war of attrition. (After the FOTC, questions about Ali's heart were answered.) Is it indeed necessary for a boxer to get beaten up to prove his greatness? In that instance, critics would use such an occasion to denigrate that competitor. If, on the other hand, he retires without anybody having been good enough to test him, then we are left questioning how good he really was, because of the belief that the true measure of a man can only be taken when he is surpassed by defeat, in fighting the unbeatable foe. (The Don Quixote Syndrome.)
How many competitors deliberately set out to find an adversary that their very best effort will fail against, just to test how good they really are, by not prevailing? Arguello's first match against Pryor is a case in point for both participants. We discovered what an awesome level of performance was necessary to definitively overcome Alexis, yet left wondering if Pryor may have truly been impervious during that event, regardless of his opponent. (Sure, Duran could have decisioned Pryor, but could Duran, Hearns, Cuevas, SRL, or anyone else near Aaron's weight have ever been able to stop The Hawk inside of 15 rounds on that night in Miami?)
Food for thought. (Or perhaps only BS.)