Originally Posted by Stonehands89
Wrong. The good ones are based on informed opinion, and informed opinion is formed on patterns observed, styles observed, and objectivity.
Well, those that offer selective examples that bolster their man and tear down the other are not objective are they.
Perhaps you read selective posts --I think that most posts have sense enough to take each man at their peak and hypothesize from there.
I am as objective as I can be and if I am not, I admit it --and others out here will attest to that. You will not read many opinions out here from me that are not backed up by argument.
At the same time, others make no bones about their bias -and if you are paying attention out here you could name them. You're coming off like an old fogey.
The psychobabble you accuse me of was not about why he isn't ranked higher, it was about the threat that society -both black and white found in him. The NAACP did not want Floyd to fight Liston for the title. Pscyhobabble? Try historical fact.
You misunderstood the post. I said that when you take all of the HW champs and have each man fight his peers, Liston would have the best record in my (informed) opinion. Ali is second. Also, If you have been reading what I have written, you would have read that I don't believe that Liston should be favored against Ali, prime for prime.
Anyway, you state that Ali was green in 1964 and say nothing about Liston's age in 1964. Someone needs an objectivity check.
Again, Liston does not have the greatest scalps in HW history. You need to look at what his strengths were in the ring, how he dealt with different styles, and his level of skill. Styles make fights, indeed, and although it is true that Liston had some trouble with speed and particularly large men with demon speed, he could handle swarmers, punchers, and boxers.
---this has been the crux of what I've been saying! What took you so long?
1. On Ali over Liston--I was responding to the direct quote of Liston rating at the top of the hill not the post of two days earlier which frankly I no longer remembered. You did say back then that Ali would beat Liston. I apologize for being mistaken.
2. Objectivity--Well, you brought it up by criticizing Ted Spoon, and by implication myself, with "it begs the question of objectivity." Gas about observed patterns and objectivity means nothing because there is no pattern to be objective about. Who did Liston fight who compares as a puncher to Tyson? Who was as big and skilled as Lewis? Holyfield fought men who were bigger than Liston and who punched extremely hard. Who did Liston fight who was both as big and as skilled as Holyfield? An arguement that he blew away the weak-jawed 189 lb Patterson, so therefore he blows away Holyfield or Tyson or Lewis is just not convincing.
3. On the point about psychobabble-where is Liston necessarily underrated. In the 2000 poll by the AP to rate the best heavies of the century, he was #7. Ring Magazine rated him #7 in their 1999 yearbook. Nor was he underrated in his own time. He was favored over Patterson and Ali, 7-1 against Ali, and even 7-5 in the second fight, which I think was kind of nuts. Liston has an interesting back story and like others with an interesting back story, such as Dempsey, he is more likely to be overrated than underrated.
4. How did he deal with different styles? All top fighters met a wide variety of styles. Liston is below average in this regard. His best, and indeed only, top tier victim was Patterson, but Patterson never showed consistent or early power at heavyweight. He scored 18 knockouts in 34 fights after moving into the heavyweight division in 1956 to fight Jackson. He scored only one 1 round knockout at heavy. And Patterson had a shaky jaw. He suffered four crushing stoppages in his prime years of 24 to 30. As the jewel in the Liston resume, he hardly convinces that because Liston handled Patterson; Dempsey, Louis, and Marciano, all of whom had bigger punches and better chins, would follow suit.
5. Patterson aside, what about the rest of Liston's resume. I would say that if Liston had never boxed, and if Ali had never boxed, none of Liston's opponents would still have ever have been champion. Machen lost to Johansson, Folley, Johnson, Patterson, and Terrell in critical fights. Folley lost to Cooper and Terrell, and was stopped by Lavorante and Jones. Williams did stop Terrell in their first fight, but was outpointed in the second. One could argue he might have the best chance, but I think Terrell would most likely have eventually replaced Patterson as champion sometime in the mid-sixties.
6. Liston looks better than his resume--so do a number of other champions, Dempsey, Walcott, Tyson, among others. The problem on judging by film is that Liston was rarely in deep and when he was, he folded rather quickly. It makes it an act of faith to assume he would win against top men who were tougher and more talented than anyone he defeated.