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Old 10-07-2012, 02:07 PM   #221
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Default Re: Rocky Marciano vs. Sonny Liston

Originally Posted by mr. magoo View Post
The only real arguments that I've heard in favor of Marciano ( or at least the ones that keep coming up ) are

" Rocky would force sonny to stop throwing the jab"

" Liston would fold under pressure as soon as someone stood up to him"

" an extra 30 lbs in weight and 17 inches in reach are irrelevant "

" Beating Floyd Patterson meant nothing, because Floyd was too terrified"

Now there may be some valid arguments which could give some REAL insight as to why Marciano should be favored, but I have yet to hear such perspectives.
I am not sure if anyone could fairly make Marciano the favorite. Truthfully, it's a fight that's tough to call. It's a puzzle with a few missing pieces. The idea that Liston is a significant favorite, or a heavy favorite should be the bigger argument being made by ardent Marciano fans. I'll pick Rocky but I'm not going to tell you he should be favored. Besides, why wouldn't Liston be favored on paper? He's always going to be that type of fighter who's better in estimation on paper than anywhere else. Fortunately, the fight gets fought in the squared circle.

The argument goes that if Marciano can take some of the necessary licks, without taking anything too much heavy or clean (Latter is most key), then he can make it an inside affair where Liston's longer arms and speed reveal Liston to be clunky and at a disadvantage. Then it becomes a question if Marciano can get himself in position without taking just a disastrous beating on the outside or getting knocked out (Hardly implausible), Liston's mental fragility will begin to surface. Liston may have dealt with the least amount of adversity or sustained resistance before the Ali fights than any other HW champion barring Foreman. He had the 2 round thriller against Cleveland Williams. Hardly an obstacle, more like a speed bump. The last time he had adversity when his jaw was broke and he lost that fight. Only Foreman faced less adversity, but he showed his grit against Lyle and his comeback.

Don't think to mention Tyson. His style forced him to take adversity as much literally as anyone could. His fights where Ruddock were displays of heart and grit tenfold to Liston. It's not just Liston being a bully that people might want to question but it's actually his stamina... his physiologically built in a way that's oxygen taxing (Big boned, dense muscles, long arms, etc). He paced himself. If Marciano can elude and take when he has to, it's going to be the first time someone forced to push Liston at a pace he didn't set and at a range he doesn't prefer since the Ali fights. I think Liston was a splendid fighter at what he did. Top-notch power and great boxing skills. He was so great that he could control the range and pace easily. I wonder if he could against Marciano. I don't just question his heart & toughness. I question his endurance. Luckily, Liston is somewhat ponderous. These weakness don't really complement themselves well together. If it's a sprint, Liston is guaranteed to win. But if it's a marathon... who knows.
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