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Old 10-02-2007, 08:38 PM   #54
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Default Re: How many does Liston win vs...

Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
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.
Fair enough.

Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
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.
Did I argue that the Floyd decimation represented anything indicative of anything?

"Gas"? You said that head-to-head hypotheticals have nothing but "unsubstantiated opinion" and I retorted that such a position is simply wrong -observed patterns and objectivity substantiate an opinion. That is pretty plain and easy to understand.

You then proceed to "gas" about Liston's conquests which I conceded long ago are not nearly as formidable as others'. You have either forgotten or have chosen to ignore that I asserted that Liston's strengths and style and skill level should be honestly factored in.

The rest of the paragraph is a study in irrelevance. To wit: who has Dempsey faced that had the jab of Liston? or endurance of Marciano? or the power of Foreman? Who has Louis faced that had the coordination and mobility of Ali? or the relentlessness of Frazier? Who has Marciano faced who has the functional size of Lewis? The adaptability of Holmes? The slicing straight shots of Ali? The strength of Liston?

We can see and raise each other all night with that merry-go-round.

Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
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.
I said that considering his smarmy reputation and police record, he was likely to be "disdained" and there are posters whose apparant disdain of Liston shades their objectivity.

Liston is getting some credit these days, but how is he generally remembered? --as the guy laid out at the feet of Ali in the famous photograph. The guy who took a dive. The guy who died mysteriously in 1970. Most people never saw film of Liston's reign of terror in the late 50s and early 60s. Even out here where ****ysts dwell, they can't help but focus on Clay-Liston when discussing him. The Martin fight is thrown about as evidence despite the fact that Liston was old and a wreck by that time.

Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
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.
Forget Patterson and look at the whole record. How did he deal with different styles you ask....

Liston could go a solid 10 rounds with a skilled boxer in Machen -and outbox him.

He could outbang a larger slugger in Williams and take monster shots. He stopped Mike DeJohn in 6 and DeJohn was considered up there with Foreman in terms of power by none other than Chuvalo. Chuvalo fought him in deJohn's last fight. Liston got him near prime. He went right through Nino Valdes. Liston dominated punchers.

While green, he could drop a split decision after getting his jaw broken.
Cleveland slammed home monster shots on him and Sonny took it and returned it. That shows heart.

He could do exactly what he should have done against a smaller champion -destroy him. Twice.

He handled boxer-punchers like Summerlin, Henry Clark, and Zora Folley -giving Folley his first KO loss. Folley went on to defeat Cooper, Bonavena, and Chuvalo and was no joke. He knocked out #2 ranked HW contender Roy Harris in 1 round. If my memory serves me well not only Harris, but Folley, Clark, DeJohn, Williams, and Wepner were all HW contenders at some point.

Right after the dive in Maine, he fought Zech, who was a superheavy and rendered him a bleeding mess. Another fringe contender in Amos Lincoln cound't last either. His last fight was against a young Wepner -who was over 6'5- and utterly destroyed them. Liston barely trained for these. Wepner needed 75 stitches in his face and was later quoted "no man should ever have to take this kind of punishment."

Liston can be outboxed by larger men but I find it hard to fathom how Dempsey is going to accept Liston's straighter, more efficent bombs when he got lucky against a cave man named Firpo. Or how Marciano is going to deal with that jab without getting sliced and diced like Wepner. Or how the offensive minded, less physically powerful, and plodding Louis is going to overcome a superior physical speciman with matching skill, a longer jab, and a better chin. I am indulging in Devil's advocacy there, but it is still clear to me thath you are the one making the leap of faith. I would be curious to hear from you how any of the punchers you mention are going to overcome Liston's strengths.

Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
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.
You are magnifying Maine again. That was a fix, and it is as clear as day to most historians and people who were there.

Liston mirrored Ali's courage against Norton when he fought Marshall by fighting with a broken jaw. Go watch the hell that Williams put him through. Watch him at about 40 years old against Leotis Martin. Liston had plenty of heart. Not alot of luck, but plenty of heart.

I do not see Louis' record of conquests as that much more formidable than Liston's --and I do not see Conn ever hurting Liston. Liston, I believe, went down legitly once when he was about 40.

I think that you are really underestimating Liston and you are justifying it with arguments that are weighed down with selective evidence.
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