Re: Joe Louis vs Sonny Liston
I like Louis in this one. I think Joe was the superior defensive boxer at slipping punches when moving in, and he put shorter punches together better than Sonny. My belief is that Louis slips Liston's jab on the way inside, and then drives Liston back by coming up with combinations between Sonny's longer arms. Louis was the most accurate of the HW champs, and wouldn't have had a particularly hard time connecting with Sonny's head, especially since the less mobile Liston would be fighting tall in this one. That could result in him retreating for a change, a bad situation for Liston. To back Joe up as Godoy did, a much lower center of gravity was necessary, an advantage Liston would not have enjoyed,
Once inside, Joe would need far less room to pull the trigger than Sonny required. Louis's jab was faster, and his hook was much shorter, and would have been delivered in a tighter arc than Liston's. Louis would split Sonny's arms and feet, securing the center line for himself. Punch for punch, Liston's longer hook may have been harder than anything Louis had in his arsenal, but shorter, sharper, more accurate combinations decide this one between Liston's arms and wider base.
Louis was one individual who Sonny was actually afraid of, and Joe wouldn't have been intimidated if they'd met in the ring. Joe scored fairly quick kayos over larger, stronger, and harder punching opponents than himself. He would enjoy a substantial edge in leverage and technique.
Sonny was physically tough, but his mental durability was a different matter. Joe probably stops him in the middle rounds, after continually driving Sonny back with his efficient attack. Bottom line is that this is won by punching, and Liston's few big guns are overwhelmed by Joe's far more numerous smaller arms.