Originally Posted by the cobra
Robinson's only losses in peak form took place when he was outweighed by 16lbs against a fellow ATG whom he beat all 5 other times they fought and the first match against a HOF'er who was his 5th consecutive opponent in 4 weeks. 5 fights in 4 weeks! it's pretty hard to be at top form under those circumstances, and Robinson set things straight 2 months later in the rematch with a brutal stoppage. Outside of collapsing from a record setting heat wave against Maxim after 13 one-sided rounds in his favor, those were the only losses in Robinson's first 12 years and 130+ fights.
A bit hard to call that inconsistent.
You are right, Ray Robinson was not inconsistent. But, you seem to forget that we are judging on all time great basis, not on average or even great basis. We are not talking about the best fighter in his weight division, but the best fighter, full stop.
Think about prime Muhammed Ali, he was beaten once (maybe) and that it is it. Prime Joe Louis was arguably beaten once. Prime Jim Jeffries was never beaten, Prime Jimmy Barry never lost a fight, etc And these are fighters who most people say dont make the top 10! Let alone the so called Greatest of All time. Prime Carlos Monzon didnt lose as much as Ray, Neither did Prime Sonny Liston etc. Now i know that there are arguments about quality and quantity of oposition for these guys but the fact is once the all time greats hit their prime, they very rarely, if ever lose, no matter who they face and under what circumstances. The same cant really be said about middleweight Sugar Ray leonard. Welterweight RAy, definitely but not middleweight Ray. Does this mean he wasnt great, of course not, in fact, he was great enough to come back and win. That is a great quality in itself. It is just the all time great fighters didnt need to show this quality, anywhere near as regularly.
Now it may be that the reason Ray lost so regularly was because he was older, which is largely true, but you can hardly be the all time greatest in a division that you simply didnt really dominate that well (compared to other all time greats).
Even the post-retirement Robinson on the comeback trail probably beats Hagler. Hell, the 40 year old version who was besting Fullmer has a decent shot at beating Hagler or any middleweight we have footage of (not that he should necessarily be favored). He was that damn good.[/quote]