Originally Posted by SolomonDeedes
I've heard this narrative before but I don't really buy it. If Layne was ruined by Marciano and Charles in '51 it means that he was already ruined when he beat Charles in '52 (I realise the decision over Charles was disputed, but a poll of the ringside press put the consensus at a 4-3-3 win for Charles - too close to be a blatant robbery). Likewise, it means that Roland LaStarza earned his title shot with a split decision win against a ruined fighter.
As for Valdes, I don't think there's any evidence that his eye injury was suffered against Satterfield. When it was discovered in 1960, Valdes himself said that he'd had it for 10 years.
-Here's the round by round:
-At this rate we seem to be making a case for Layne actually being better than we thought. Charles may not have been up to par, but it does mention Layne having improvements and fighting hard, also appears to be at his regular fighting weight.
-LaStarza certainly took advantage of the vulnerable Layne's high ranking after Charles II to set up his desired rematch against Marciano. As for the match being close, Layne was still a rough customer, especially against someone who probably lacked big time power. Articles said Layne wrestled LaStarza around early but tired, and took a beating in the late rounds. LaStarza also traded wins with Rocky Jones and Bucceroni, he was good fighter and all, looked really great against Marciano, but seemed rather erratic. I tihnk he could only get up for Maricnao, and had no interest mixing it up with the other contenders. He called out Rocky for the longest time yet didn't bother making a move until Layne jumped up the rankings.
-It looks like the true vanishing point for Layne was after the third Charles fight, where he took another bad beating. He was thrown in against Walls just a few months later, and also appeared to be ill with the flu, insisting on a postponement. He lost 16 lbs in between the two Walls matches, not far apart. Interesting stuff, it seems Layne went hot/cold after the first Charles fight, and finally hit the wall after the third one.
- He claimed as much but I don't know. Valdez certainly never returned to form after Satterfield. It was one of the nastier eye injuries I've seen, up there with Vargas/Mosley. In addition, he just took a nasty beating from one of the harder hitters in history. Anyway a fading Valdez in his mid 30s was still beating up lower tier top 10 guys in the late 50s, so he certainly had more longetivity than you were giving him credit for.