Originally Posted by Lex
All of it and more.
A boxer's inspiration may be different from his or her stylistic influences. WBC Women's Super Bantamweight champ Alejandra Marina Oliveras says her inspiration and influence is Mike Tyson, and she fights like it. Her nickname is Locomotora and it suits her.
As an amateur, my inspiration was Muhammad Ali, but his style was totally unsuited to my physical abilities. Sure, I was tall and rangy for a lightweight (5'11"), but I wasn't quick, fluid or gifted with defensive brilliance. My stylistic influences were more like Danny "Little Red" Lopez and Roberto Duran. Duran made me appreciate that a shorter guy could indeed use a jab just as effectively as a taller guy.
Training is critical, and not always necessarily in a positive way. Personally, I don't believe that Floyd Mayweather Sr. has been a good influence on Oscar DLH. Oscar was at his best when he used what George Foreman called "crow hopping" foot movement. DLH really did have a predatory look about him when he used that style to move in and out, picking opponents apart. The less mobile, shoulder rolling semi-copy of PBF doesn't suit Oscar.
Experience and adaptability are major factors. George Foreman demonstrated that during his comeback. Some boxers, like Shane Mosley, Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson, demonstrated the ability to adapt mid-fight.
Natural athletic ability is the least important of these factors. Rocky Marciano proved that. Has any successful champ done more with less?
i agree with most of it, but.. marciano's style was not opposed to his body's abilities. the way he nailed opponents to the ropes, diving in, constantly swinging and outworking, totally fit his size.
i can't think of one big champion who built up his whole career on a style not matching his physiques. sure, some switch their styles or fight in their bad stance if they observe weaknesses, but this is a different story.
pre-steward-wlad may have been a good fighter. he was exciting to watch, because his defensive work wasn't too good and he often let both hands fly. i don't think he completely changed, like many people suggest and start getting nostalgic about how much more entertaining old wlad was, but it's obvious he found a way to 'weaken his weaknesses'. now he's a worthy champion and you're not getting flamed to death for at least giving him underdog chances against atg's.
if you're the hearns type, and you try peekabooing, you will notice very soon that there are so many weaknesses connected you can't continue this way.
on the other hand, it's always hard to speculate on things like this, especially when mental aspects get involved. take morales' warrior attitude away and let him fight a bit more cooled down. he might have been able to outbox his 'enemies'. but wouldn't this change of personality also result in a fighter with less heart, who may have outpointed opponents just to quit the fight too soon and lose anyway?