Originally Posted by Manassa
Bat - what are your opinions on Williams' punching ability?
I rate him in the top ten all-time - in contrast to my reasoning for Armstrong (overwhelming knockout consistency at his peak - people forget this and get used to his filmed decisions), I regard Williams highly due to his peak ability. In full flight, he was incredible. TKO1 Gatica and TKO6 Jack are two of the most impressive displays of attack I've ever seen.
People ask about his paltry knockout percentage, and my main answer is; Williams had more to his game than punching. He had an excellent jab and was a top body puncher. He could rip up anyone who came at him, but most wouldn't dare.
Other, less significant reasons may be political. What's your take on this?
I don't put much stake in KO percentages because for some strange reason they take losses into account. I'm no math whiz, but this makes zero sense to me. Ike stopped 61 opponents in 127 wins during one of the toughest stretches in division history. He floored Kid Gavilan (something no one else but Carmen Basilio ever did), stopped the dreaded Freddie Dawson with one punch and stopped a veritable who's-who of the LW division champs and challengers- Beau Jack, Bob Montgomery, Juan Zurita, Johnny Bratton, Tippy Larkin, Enrique Bolanos, Jesse Flores, Buddy Garcia, Ronnie James, Dave Castilloux...
That's a lot of top names. Williams was obviously a deadly puncher.
You mentioned Gatica. That Argentinean boy was on a tear when Ike stopped him.
Also remember that Franke Carbo (via Blinky Palermo) controlled Ike's career. According to Ike he had to sometimes hold back from utilizing his sleep-inducer, like in his fight here in L.A. with Enrique Bolanos. Who knows how many fights he held back in?