Re: debunking the myth of louis being completely past it ...
The fact is that Louis WAS completely past it when he fought Marciano... FOR HIM. The thing about Louis is that he was so damn great that even being way past it, he was still better than most everyone except for a few guys, so he looks like a competitive fighter. But he was a shell of what he once was. Most of the guys he fought on the comeback he would have quickly drilled in his prime.
Just watch the prewar footage on him and then watch the post war footage. The difference is marked, IMO. He is way faster, more active with feet and hands, more blazing with his speed and reactions pre-war than post. But he was still a solid boxer, so yes, he was at least competitive against Marciano even being relatively slow, with few punches, no combos, and his power punches, particularly his vaunted right, almost gone.