Originally Posted by mattdonnellon
A lot of what you say is correct but I dont follow on with the logic that if somebody can achieve something that nobody else could that it automatically makes them the greatest.
eg How many could hold the undisputed title for ten years with 25 or so defences, only Joe Louis apparently. How many could win the title, defend it for 5 years without even getting dropped once and then retire undefeated, only Jeffries.
I agree an argument can be built for Foreman as the number one Heavy, as it can for Ali, Louis, Liston, Holmes, Lewis, The Klits, Dempsey, Johnson, Jeffries.
I for one dont buy it, that's all I'm saying. You just cant dismiss the Ali, Young and Lyle contests, they are as relevant as the Frazier and Norton fights.
Georges resume the first time around is probably the thinnest of the top Hw's.
You raise a good point about others having done things that also cant be replicated. I actually agree with most of what you say, in that just because someone cant replicate what they did doesnt mean they are the greatest. But, (and the point i am getting at) is that i think that it can make a good argument that he is number one.
In recent years, it has become almost accepted as gospel that Ali and Louis are the two greatest fighters ever and no other conclusion is rational. I raise the George Foreman argument, because i think it is interesting that others have legitimate claims to being the greatest of all time, despite their claims being laughed at by most.
You raise Jeffries and louis and ask whether anyone could do what they do. Obviously we dont know for sure, and each of these has an argument to be the greatest ever. But in relation to Foreman, i dont think it is necessarilly certain that he couldnt. In fact, if you were going to back someone to do what they did, Foreman might just be your bet.
I dont see an old Fitzsimmons as being a much bigger challenge than Frazier who was blasted out twice. I doubt Sharkey or Ruhlin beat Foreman. Corbett would be the toughest trick, but you would have to back to drop corbett like Jeffries did, wouldnt you. It is very arguable that corbett isnt as good as Ali, not as big and certainly not as durable. This leaves the comeback. Given what comebacking George did, I think he would win the strength battle with a prime Johnson and you wouldnt like to bet against him landing a KO punch, would you? It is very arguable that Foreman would have been more impressive than Jeffries.
Even Joe Louis (and not to downgrade him in any way), but Wouldnt foreman have a good chance of doing what he did? I mean for starters, it is hard to see a young Schmelling KOing a young Foreman isnt it? And with the max that showed up, if anyone was going to repeat the Louis Bomb out, it would be foreman wouldnt it? And without Ali to produce an alltime great performance and stop Louis, which of louis opponents would have done the same?
No one can say for sure, but you would think that Conn was the only realistic chance. And i know foreman does tend to tire, but knowing this, isnt likely that Conn is going to get sloppy (like he did with Louis) and trade with Foreman, thus exposing himself to a moorer style trap.
The charles Walcott performances are going to be a huge challenge for Foreman to follow but he showed in old age with his gallant losing effort to Holy that he would not be beyond going the distance with great fighters. And who knows, he has the ability to win a controversial decision like Joe or even produce the upset KO. And last but not least leaves Rocky Marciano who lets not forget, you would think, is stylistically made to order for George Foreman, even the old George Foreman.
Obviously a Jimmy young style slip up is likely to happen at some point in time, but that really is just a hunch. Evidence suggests on a fighter for fighter basis that Foreman could repeat the feat. I think i give him a better chance of doing this, than i give Joe of repeating the wins that Foremand had. All this does strengthen Foreman's claim to the no 1 postion, doesnt it.
surely it isnt as fanciful as the proposition seems at first.