Originally Posted by lufcrazy
I do think he'd slipped by the time he fought rocky.
He got stopped by a perfect punch against jersey, but other than that, he hadn't really lost since returning to boxing in 46.
After losing to jersey, he lost to him again, lost to layne, lost to valdes and lost to johnson.
He picked up many victories as well during this time.
I'd like to read up on the valdes fight more. I plan on watching the harold johnson fight later.
Unless i'm missing something with these losses, i'd say jersey was the last man to beat a prime charles.
From 1946 - the two fights vs. Rocky Marciano (1955)... Ezzard Charles only lost to Elmer Ray ('47), Jersey Joe Walcott ('51 and '52), Rex Layne, Nino Valdes ('53), and Harold Johnson ('53). A case can be made that the KO loss to Walcott should have been the only loss during this time period. He went 1-1 (1) vs. Ray, 2-2 vs. Walcott, and 2-1 (1) vs. Layne... 5-4 (2) vs. these men lifetime but a serious case can be made for 8-1 (2).
Charles went 39-1 from 1946 - the first loss to Walcott in 1951. He had already beat Walcott twice. The only loss during this time was a split-decision to Elmer Ray that could have went either way. He stopped Ray in 9 rounds in the rematch.
After the 39-1 stretch he went 14-5 leading up to the two losses vs. Marciano. He went 0-2 vs. Marciano then 10-13 leading up to his retirement. In my honest opinion Charles was slipping after he lost the HW Title but he was still very good for a few years after.