Originally Posted by Street Lethal
It seemed like Moore was tired early. I think it's possible that he came in flat (the way he described his perfomance against Patterson) and decided to just mix it Marciano and counter right (it worked once, didn't it?)...
I don't believe Marciano was better than Moore. The age difference cannot be exaggerated. Moore was a marvel, and he was beating big heavyweights (like Valdes), but against the buzzsaw, he was just too old to hold up. He timing was a bit off as he tired. I think had Marciano met a younger Moore things might have been different.
Your analysis is sound and it tells me that you know your stuff.
Moore was interviewed (SI, '55) before the fight and his strategy against Marciano relied on two things that he illustrated at length and that he practiced in the bout. The first was the jab
. He did not believe that Marciano was capable of dealing with the jab and argued that Ezzard did not employ it enough. Ezzard "pushed" his jab. Marciano was "very deliberate"... "Everything's deliberate, see one punch, then another. Charles didn't jab that man."
Moore said plainly that he will jab hell out of him.
...The problem here was that Rocky accepted
the jab. Before fighting Walcott Marciano decided that he had no answer for it except to just take it. And he did. By the Moore fight, An adjustment was made... Marciano weaved very low and when Moore jabbed, he got the top of Marciano's head. Moore was hoping to knock him off balance with the jab but I think that this failed because Marciano fought in a crouch and leaned forward. Trauma to the face, yes, but he wasn't in the position to be knocked off balance. Marciano relied very, very much on leverage -whether he was giving or taking shots without losing balance.
Both Cheerful Norman (Moore's trainer) and Archie believed that Rocky survived as champion because he had not been subjected to the "cumulative destruction of of a series of good blows." So Moore was going to blast him with combinations... now in retrospect, this seems unwise but Moore was also convinced -absolutely convinced that he himself was stronger than any heavyweight. He said "Nobody's been stronger than me in there. He might be bigger and heavier, but he ain't no stronger."
Now if you see the first round, you see Moore jabbing and when Marciano bores and burrows in, Moore meets him and tests him. Meanwhile, Marciano does what Marciano does. He pounds in good investments. That sweet counter right in round 2 gave him false confidence. No one beats Rocky in a war of attrition. No one. It took Moore a while to calculate that he is taking too much and that he is not stronger than Rocco, but by that time, he was worn out. You can see him fight smarter at the end, but he was tired and when he got bulled to the ropes he didn't have the gas to spin out. He tried to rest there but was getting sledge-hammered too much.
What should Moore have done? He should have employed a strategem based on what he saw on film -not on prideful assumptions
. What was plain to see, was that Rocky was enormously strong and was able to take monstrous punishment. He was indeed deliberate, and Moore had that right, but instead of meeting him and trying to hurt him, he should have put in his own investment -points. That would have rendered Rocky unable to do his usual investment of pounding meat nonstop. If Moore formed a strategy around angles, strong countering, and mobility (or simple pivots, since his legs were old), it would have been a different fight. The counter right confirmed this. When he stuck in straight shots and countered and then reset distance he was looking good. That was how he got the kd. Moore got that one while backing up! When Marciano was allowed to get close, the fight turned 100% against Moore.
Originally Posted by Street Lethal
But I still believe he would have been more successful had he circled to his right. He would have had Marciano lunging and out of position. He could slip the hook (which he did effectively) and counter with the right uppercut from Marciano's left side (the way Tyson often did).
You believe that, but Moore did not!
Moore criticized Charles for trying to counter Marciano's left hook. "How you goin' to counter that hook? Man got stubby little arms not longer than that..." Moore also believed that Marciano's best shot was exactly that -a left hook. I am inclined to agree with him here.
That was why Moore was moving to his left. Also, that is the proper way to go according to most. You're intention is to slip the right and counter. The man is more off balance after throwing a right and then a jab or a hook, so you capitalize on that.