Originally Posted by Ali_
In 1971, Nat Fleischer, perhaps boxing's most famous historian and also editor and founder of Ring magazine, named Marciano as the all-time 10th greatest Heavyweight Champion. Nat Fleischer wrote that in terms of boxing ability Marciano was "crude, wild swinging, awkward, and missed heavily. In his bout with Light Heavyweight Champion Archie Moore, for example, he missed almost two-thirds of the fifty odd punches he tossed when he had Archie against the ropes, a perfect target for the kill."
John Durant[disambiguation needed ] author of The Heavyweight Champions wrote in 1971 (pg. 123) “Critics do not rate Rocky with the great ones, like Jeffries, Johnson, Dempsey, Tunney, and Louis. He never faced top-fighters like they did. It was not Rocky’s fault, of course, that there was not much talent when he was fighting. He fought them all and that is what a champion is supposed to do.”
In December 1962, a Ring magazine poll of 40 boxing experts had Jack Dempsey rated the #1 Heavyweight of all time, with Joe Louis 2nd, Jack Johnson 3rd and Marciano 7th. Charley Rose, a historian, and John McCallum's Survey of Old Timers (survey of a group of historians and writers), rated Marciano at #8 and #9 of greatest heavyweights of all time.
In 1998, Ring named Marciano as the 6th greatest Heavyweight Champion ever. In 2002, Ring numbered Marciano at #12 on the list of the 80 Best Fighters of the Last 80 Years. In 2003, Ring rated Marciano #14 on the list of 100 greatest punchers of all time. In 2005, Marciano was named the fifth greatest heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization. A 1977 ranking by Ring listed Marciano as the greatest Italian American fighter. In 2007, on ESPN.com's list of the 50 Greatest Boxers of All Time, Marciano was ranked #14
~The Greatest Boxer Ali commenting on Rocky Marciano in a title defense against Ezzard Charles in the presence of the reputable Howard Cosell.
Fleisher is very famous but rarely seems to make much sense.
It's pretty obvious Marciano's opposition was 2 or 3 levels above Dempsey/Jeffries opposition and maybe better than Louis opposition. Dempsey and JEffries have very weak opposition and neither have beat anyone in the league of a Walcott, Charles, Moore or Louis
As a technical pressure fighter he's a few levels above Dempsey because Dempsey had no jab and often a defence that you can penetrate with your eyes closed. Marciano had a much better defence than Dempsey, was fitter, a better bodypuncher, much harder hitter, stronger and better at breaking opponents down
Dempsey was an ideal opponent for a skilled boxers to outbox, Charles, Walcott and Moore would all beat Dempsey by wide decisions
Ali went onto rate Marciano very highly for the record, above Frazier for one