Originally Posted by godlikerich
Guys from 30 years ago also fought a lot more frequently, and generally had some seriously tough sparring sessions. This helps explain it largely in my opinion; they were never out of shape because they fought every week or even twice a week and fought more rounds. They also didn't have access to the nutrition we had today so (generally) were of a smaller build and had less muscle mass on them to tire them out.
I can see what you are saying though. Old school style training, diet, and importantly fighting schedule probably lead to a better conditioned fighter. But that is really what you are focussing on here - stamina. I would argue that many of today's fighters are physically stronger specimens who are often faster and more explosive (or if not, just hit harder) - albeit sometimes at the expense of their endurance. Some fighters don't get the balance right - David Haye I believe does more explosive work than endurance work; he can punch fast and explosively but cannot maintain it. Wlad Klitschko has to pace himself too - but again, very explosive. Modern sports science in boxing often tries to balance explosiveness, strength and endurance all at once. It's hard to do in one body. Look at most sprinters' builds and then look at marathon runners' builds; they are very different.
I would also argue that Foreman's stamina later in his career was better because he paced himself better; generally I would say that big, strong men like Foreman are always more disposed to getting tired than the lighter framed guys. The dangerous fighters are the small framed, fast men who punch like animals. It's not that often you see a tremendously powerful man who is physically strong who can fight with a high output for 12 or 15 rounds. There have been few big men who could really bang, were strong and could throw lots of shots (Joe Frazier was a rare exception, even he only weighed 205-210 at his peak - small by heavyweight standards). Notice how many of today's heavyweights are huge - 240lb plus - it's simply not conducive to good stamina - whatever era you are fighting in. If they fought more frequently, sparred a lot and ate less then they would have better stamina - but would generally struggle with the much bigger guys in terms of strength and weight. It's all swings and roundabouts. In some weight divisions old school training could be a real benefit more than others. It's the schedules that are always going to be a problem now though - boxers often do shit all between fights and get fat.
we can respect each others opinions.
i personally think punching power is a hard one to explain. a puncher is born not made. i dont think the HW's today are hitting any harder than the boys back in the days. maybe a little stronger strength wise (maybe due to extra weight) even that i doubt cos an old foreman was throwing the 90's crop of guys around like morrison, cooney, holyfield, briggs and we know these guys arn't weaklings.