Re: How much would a Marciano win over Floyd Patterson in 1956 do for his legacy?
Floyd Patterson will always be a great fighter in my mind. But I can't ignore the fact that he was also a very vulnerable champion, and in all likelyhood, was even more so when only 21 years of age and weighing at 180 lbs with less experience. Marciano would have been past his best in 1956 had he still been around, but we still had yet to see a true decline. Cus D'Amato certainly didn't like the idea of Floyd getting in the ring with him, and frankly I'm sure there was a reason for it. Now Patterson's handspeed, boxing skill and the kind of tenacity that only comes with youth, would have been a factor to consider without a doubt. But with that also came his tendency to be decked periodically and even KO'd occasionally. Johannson knocked out a fully primed and more seasoned Patterson than the one that the Rock would have been hypothetically facing had they met in 1956. In addition, Rocky was a seasoned warrior who had fought in numerous blood baths over many rounds, took hard shots and came back to win, figured out complex fighting styles of men like Walcott, Charles, Lastarza and others. Obviously we'll never know who would have won, but if they were to arrive here in their primes via time machine, I'd have to place my money on the more proven man...