Originally Posted by john garfield
Funny, D, you clearly feel very strongly about Rocky -- as I do -- but guaranteed, had you seen him spar, you'd have hocked every earthly possession and put it on Moore. Rocky was a horrendous gym fighter.
Reading Skehan's biography on Marciano had something to do with that, as did the fact that I then viewed Murray Woroner's filmed performance between Marciano and Ali twice on late night TV.
When Hagler was Middleweight Champ, my sister worked at a law firm representing him in Boston, and they were on a first name basis. Through the Petronelli's the link between Marciano and Hagler becomes very close in New England.
Given his dedication to conditioning (thanks to his disastrous amateur deput), it is kind of ironic that he was such a dreadful gym fighter. But he absolutely made the most of his ability, and being a more regular sized and regular looking guy (as well as one who stayed true to his roots), it's hardly surprising that his story would resonate as it does with average fight fans.
My understanding is that Charley Goldman was always careful to make sure that he was comfortable with his positioning through much of the training process, not trying to force him into a form mold he didn't naturally fit.
I have their book on boxing and bodybuilding, but I can't say I was particularly impressed by it. (Dempsey's "Championship Fighting" blows the doors off of any instructional book I've encountered by a prominent pugilist.)
From what I've read of Rocky's sparring sessions with Cesar Brion, he needed to be a lousy gym fighter just to get sparring mates in the ring with him.
Winning ugly is something most of us can identify with.
Listening to Moore, and reading what he wrote, I probably would have hocked every earthly possession I had, and put it on Moore to beat young Cassius Clay! (Unless I listened to Archie wearing earplugs, and was reading his writings with a blindfold!)