Re: Is it impossible for the fighters of today to ever reach the greatness of SRR or SRL?
Only time will tell. I think fighter, today, labor under some disadvantages like:
--12 rd. fights--which causes less decisive outcomes
--Jr. Weight divisions
--Unwillingness for some fighters (American AND European) to go overseas
--Boxing, itself, just isn't as popular as it was, even just 20 years ago, let alone 50 or 60 years, ago
--Guys (esp. tough ones like SSM and Clottey) who get beat are hard-pressed to get back into the mix; fans share some of the blame here, for acting like a loss is the kiss of death to someone's career
--Some fighters just refuse to fight other top contenders (will PBF fight a SSM, Clottey, Hatton, Williams/Margarito winner, or Cotto?)
--Low-risk fighting styles
To me, ODLH came pretty close to attaining this type of greatness. He's been the beneficiary of one of the biggest robberies I've seen, against Sturm, and he DID get ko'd by BHop, after being competitive for most of the fight. 160 was just too heavy for him. Outside of these two fights, though, he's been a HAIR away from winning ALL of his other fights.
For someone to reach that level of greatness, today, is going to take someone WANTING that kind of recognition, and willing to take on ALL comers. Not this 'risk vs. reward' bullshit attitude we see from some fighters, today.