Originally Posted by Shake
How do you feel about the assertion that it is almost a different sport now? The dip in activity and frequency of fights in a boxers career makes it so that it suits different types of fighters.
Injury-prone but otherwise fine boxers can thrive in the current climate, where they couldn't in an environment where you often boxed more than once in a month. You have the advantage of video footage of your opponent, ample time to prepare for his style, and to prepare yourself physically. Ricky Hatton was famous for a lifestyle that would have barred him from any sustained success in the old days.
In reverse, you could say the best fighters in the old days were the ones that kept fit continuously, could fight while avoiding injuries, be tough and fight with injuries or in less than perfect condition, figure out an opponent while having much more limited info and without the use of performance enhancing substances.
The current climate favors fighters who, given the perfect preparation and postponement in case of injury, can work towards the highest highs and peak at just the right moment. You need to be a "ten" twice a year.
In the old days natural fitness, grit and recuperative ability were much more important. It does no good to be sterling one night and wortless the next. You need to be an "eight" all year round.
Therefore, I submit that modern fighters of comparable standing reach a higher level of quality in comparison to their old time counterparts on a given fight night.
In other words -- the boxing on display in the modern era is better, overall, than in the days of 200+ fights on a resume. In the old days it was simply more quantity instead of quality.
A well thought out post, even though I totally disagree. You don't become a master of your craft by doing it once or twice per year. The more you fight, the better you get at fighting. It's that simple. Repetition is the mother of skill.
The fighters of old saw more styles, more tricks and had to overcome MANY more challenges than today's pampered pugs. Back then you had to fight for a living. It was a craft. Today it is a pastime. A hobby, practiced at a bit but never fully committed to. How can you when you have so much down time in between fights? You have nothing better to do but spend your millions for 6 months and dissipate. Not a good thing