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Old 08-20-2007, 05:13 PM   #29
Street Lethal
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Default Re: SRL Vs Marvin Hagler My verdict is in

The problem with changing the names is that Leonard didn't win, so there is no equality principle that allows for balancing the equation. It was cute, but not particularly effective (unless people are predisposed to think it is).

The problem with the guy who said that "opinion as fact is irritating" is that all sound judgment is based on fact. People who believe Leonard won don't have the facts on their side, to wit:

#1 Hagler made the fight. He was the aggressor, and, for most of the fight, he was the effective aggressor. Leonard fought almost the entire fight going backwards. He was rarely the aggressor in the fight. And he was effective even less.

#2 The number of punches landed by either fighter was roughly the same (Hagler threw a lot more punches), but Hagler landed the harder punches. He even had Leonard in trouble a few times. Had Leonard landed a significantly greater number of punches, then that would have counted for something, even though he was going backwards, but he didn't. Nor did he land any particularly solid punches. In fact, Leonard punched with open gloves and (sporadically) threw flurries. There was some shoeshinning but little in the way of substance. The few sneaky lead rights Leonard landed did not win the fight.

#3 Leonard broke off the exchanges. I don't remember Hagler initiating a single clinch. Moving backwards without returning fire and clinching are not the signs of superior boxing technique (honestly, I think a lot of people are confused about this). In fact, they go against the fighter in the scoring. Leonard did a lot of holding.

From time to time, champion Joe Louis was made to look silly by cute boxers. But, except for one fight, in which Louis was floored twice, judges rightly gave the track meets to Louis. Louis was coming forward and landing the more effective punches. That's the name of the game. That's what Hagler did. And, yes, he was slow, but not so slow that all he caught was air. Remember, according to punch statistics, they both landed about the same number of punches. You throw a lot and you miss a lot, particular when your opponent is trying to survive.

In Ali-Frazier I, Ali landed a hell of a lot more punches than Frazier, and his punches were damaging, too. He even had Frazier hurt a time or two. But Frazier made the fight, while Ali clinched too frequently. I don't think anybody seriously questions the verdict in Ali-Frazier I (except Ali!), yet, even though Hagler beat Leonard more decisively than Frazier did Ali, especially when you consider the relative number of punches landed and the damage done, people still maintain that Leonard won. If you believe Leonard beat Hagler it seems to me that you would also believe that Ali beat Frazier in their first fight.

The bottomline is that the fighter who makes the fight and lands the harder punches beats the fighter who breaks off exchanges and doesn't land a significantly greater number of punches.

It's wishful thinking to believe Leonard won. You have to make exceptions to the way fights are scored to give it to Leonard.
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