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Old 02-06-2008, 06:05 PM   #1
RoccoMarciano
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Default Is it Possible..

For a fan of Rocky Marciano to think MM Dempsey was a poor champion?

I think how their careers panned out makes it at least a possiblilty for fans pre 1960.
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:54 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoccoMarciano
For a fan of Rocky Marciano to think MM Dempsey was a poor champion?

I think how their careers panned out makes it at least a possiblilty for fans pre 1960.
Who's MM Dempsey? Do you mean the middleweight 1800s Jack Dempsey?
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Old 02-06-2008, 06:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by radianttwilight
Who's MM Dempsey? Do you mean the middleweight 1800s Jack Dempsey?
Manassa Mauler.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:28 AM   #4
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Default Re: Is it Possible..

Yes, of course it is. Their reigns were much, much different in terms of quality. Marciano was the guy who fought twice a year like clockwork against the #1 or #2 challenger for his title, won cleanly with no funny business every time, and gave rematches when they were merited. Dempsey was the one who took enormous layoffs- even a three-and-a-half year layoff- while champion, never fought the #1 challenger for his title, and had a wild/controversial title fight or two which he never resolved via rematch.

And yet the historians of the day would tell you that Dempsey was the greater fighter and Marciano would be honored to shine his shoes! I can see where a Marciano fan could find Dempsey and his legacy somewhat annoying/ poor. READ: I personally like Dempsey and his legacy and think he is a rich contribution to the history of the sport, but the criticisms of his career listed above remain valid.
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Old 02-07-2008, 03:55 AM   #5
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Default Re: Is it Possible..

I like Dempsey too, but avoiding fighters of colour will forever be a black mark against his name, pardon the pun.
Rocky ducked nobody.
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Old 02-07-2008, 07:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Is it Possible..

Dempsey gets a bum rap for 'avoiding' Wills. The last time I remembered fighters for money right? Well, there was no solid financial backing for Dempsey to meet Wills. I think Dempsey gets too much grief about this. If the fight would have been financially viable Dempsey would have fought Wills and most likely have knocked him out rather easily. He would have had a lot more trouble with even an old Langford IMO. Styles make fights.
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Old 02-07-2008, 11:31 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sardu
He would have had a lot more trouble with even an old Langford IMO. Styles make fights.
By that argument, we can claim that George Foreman had no reason to fight Muhammad Ali in 1974, so he should've freely ducked him.

Why? "George Foreman is a prime, unstoppable, monstrous Olympic Gold Medalist. Muhammad Ali is an old man. Foreman demolished the guy that beat a much younger Ali in 1971, so why should he waste his time with old men?"

People said the same thing about Hopkins-Trinidad, too. Trinidad was a 3:1 favorite coming into the fight...and we saw what a one-sided asswhipping he got
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Old 02-07-2008, 04:26 PM   #8
ChrisPontius
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Default Re: Is it Possible..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sardu
Dempsey gets a bum rap for 'avoiding' Wills. The last time I remembered fighters for money right? Well, there was no solid financial backing for Dempsey to meet Wills. I think Dempsey gets too much grief about this. If the fight would have been financially viable Dempsey would have fought Wills and most likely have knocked him out rather easily. He would have had a lot more trouble with even an old Langford IMO. Styles make fights.
Whether he had a good reason for it or not is irrelevant here.

Dempsey could perhaps make more money and fame by doing movies while retaining his health by not boxing. Should that mean that his 3 year lay-off doesn't count against him too, because there was a reason for it?

We're judging fighters on their legacies as fighters.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Is it Possible..

Quote:
Originally Posted by radianttwilight
By that argument, we can claim that George Foreman had no reason to fight Muhammad Ali in 1974, so he should've freely ducked him.

Why? "George Foreman is a prime, unstoppable, monstrous Olympic Gold Medalist. Muhammad Ali is an old man. Foreman demolished the guy that beat a much younger Ali in 1971, so why should he waste his time with old men?"
Yes, but George Foreman probably would have ducked Ali if he hadn't been offered all that money to fight him.
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Old 02-08-2008, 05:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
Whether he had a good reason for it or not is irrelevant here.

Dempsey could perhaps make more money and fame by doing movies while retaining his health by not boxing. Should that mean that his 3 year lay-off doesn't count against him too, because there was a reason for it?

We're judging fighters on their legacies as fighters.
Yes, I agree.
But sometimes people go further and say, "Dempsey was scared of Wills" or "Dempsey obviously didn't think he could beat Wills".

Most champions would fight the lesser opposition for the same money, or BETTER MONEY.
Carpentier probably paid considerably more than Wills ever could. All champions would have chose Carpentier.

But then Dempsey could have fought Wills AS WELL AS the others, but he didn't. Dempsey's inactivity suggests he (and, most likely, his management) avoided fighting, not that he was running scared of one man in particular.

Johnson and Willard before him were largely inactive. As were Corbett and Fitzsimmons. Dempsey was following a precedent really. Becoming champion in those days had different standards. Enjoying the fame, and rejecting "unworthy" challenges (not to mention the color line, that all but Burns - an active champ - could be said to have adhered to) was the precedent.
Later, Schmeling looked to be defending at no better than once a year, Baer too, and Braddock waited two years to make his first defence. I guess it took Joe Louis to really sell the idea that a great champion should be a "fighting champion".
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