Originally Posted by My dinner with Conteh
Surely you jest?
More than any other type of sportsfan, most boxing folk are at once torn between their inability to imagine the true reality of the past and the uncontrollable desire to compare boxers across eras. It's a nasty combination, one that tends to favor what is most recent.
It's that kind of historial relativism that makes me appreciate those historians who have taken the time to tell us just how bad, how strong, how good, and how talented the people who lived beyond our own days were.
Why would I jest? Dempsey is #7 all-time on Ring Mag's "100 Greatest Punchers of all Time." Lewis is #33. Dempsey could take a punch; Lewis was near glassy. Why WOULD'T I give an interesting historical edge to one of the all-time best punchers against one of the weaker chins in heavyweight history?!
While we're at it, Joe Louis is #1 on the puncher llist!
Dempsey was a puncher's puncher. I don't personally like him as a boxer, but I recognize what he was and what his talents were. He was a great puncher. Lennox has a poor chin. 6 might have been an overestimation, but I won't knock it down by much. I realize how good the greats were.
Nothing about being more recent than the greats from the past takes that reality away.