Originally Posted by ipswich express
Really surprised to read this on the Aussie forum, but good to see it's started an interesting debate. His win over Harada was in my opinion, the greatest victory by an Australian boxer, ever. To understand how great a win it was, you have to understand just how great Masahiko Harada was.
He stopped Pone Kingpetch (25-3 at the time) for the Flyweight world title. Kingpetch got his revenge in the return. He finished his career as a 3 time world champion. Harada eventually beat the legendary Eder Jofre for the Bantamweight world title in 1965. Jofre was 47-0-3 at the time. He made defenses against Alan Rudkin (23-1), Jofre again, Joe Medel (who had previously beaten him - Rose beat him too in a non-title bout), and Bernardo Caraballo (51-1-2 at the time).
He was an absolute wrecking ball at the time Rose faced him. Make no mistake, Harada was one of the greatest Asian fighters of all time. I ranked him 94 on my list that I posted in here a few years ago.
Rose beat Harada and then made his first defence against the 1964 Olympic Gold Medalist Takao Sakuri, again in Japan! He then faced Medel at Super Bantam in a non-title bout before defending against Chucho Castillo (34-7) and Alan Rudkin (36-4). He ended up losing his title to a living legend in Ruben Olivares. By this point Lionel pretty much couldn't force his body down to Bantamweight.
That stretch of 1967-1969, beginning with Gattellari, ranks up there with any level of opposition ever faced by an Australian boxer. You also need to consider that this was arguably the strongest time in the history of the Bantamweight division.
Often overlooked when speaking of Rose's career was him losing a razor thin decision in Japan at Super Featherweight for the WBC title! Yoshiaki Numata himself was a 2 time world champion and he beat Rose by 2 points on all cards over 15 rounds.
I think you can actually make a much stronger argument for Rose being underrated, than overrated.
I just read about this thread elsewhere.
Thanks for that Ippy.
Like anything at the elite level, it's hard, no, impossible, to understand what it's like to be assaulted for 15 continuous rounds.
Ask anyone that has sparred some serious rounds how they would feel doing 15 serious rounds.
You will seldom receive an utterance of any sense.
Unless you're talking to "old man" here, whose done several of them.
It wasn't so much about Lionels background that got my attention. He looked like he was doing alright with Jack. It was the way he fought, "Hit him, you'll get two back".
In addition to what's already been written here, I add.
Chu Chu Castillo never had a chin. He had a chunk, & it wasn't connected to his brain.
To compound his remarkable resilience, he had no reverse unless he was pounded backwards. No mean feat. Lionel did it, & virtually his own back yard, with at least a hundred men in that stadium that would kill him
, & Jack, should he win.
This was no "Biased" crowd. They were "obsessed".
Lionel did just that, in the face of what everyone knew, including the judges, & it wasn't until 4 AM that they drifted through the ruins to their escape.
To this day, ironically, for some perverse reason Ruben Olivaries is one of my all time greats.
Watching Lionel dragging himself to his feet after a body punch dropped him in the 2nd round, I felt a draining, as I knew Ruben was never going to let a weight drained fighter off the hook.
It was a strange feeling. A sort of admiration that any man that bested Lionel had to be a legend. & thus he became mine.
It's hard enough to separate great fighters. Punches hurt, & they take their toll.
To tragics like me, there is something of a virus one gets when you witness something, someone special, watching him being counted out, consoled that he's conscious, convinced that the time was right, & courteous to hand his crown to another legend, that even after so many years, so many class acts, the career of one person sits in a little patch in you mind, & occasionally he gets stirred with "Gee, that kids good. Fights like Lionel".