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Old 02-12-2008, 11:22 AM   #1
McGrain
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Default Foreman or Wills?

11 - Jack Dempsey
12 - Rocky Marciano
13 - George Foreman
14 - Harry Wills
15 - Peter Jackson

Ok, forget for the moment the fact that they are probably both to low, and the fighters around them and Rocky is to low - who do you have higher, Wills or Foreman?

Is it reasonable to have Foreman above Wills?

Who do you think would have won if they had met?
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
Is it reasonable to have Foreman above Wills?

Who do you think would have won if they had met?
You could make an intelectualy sound case for having either higher because their records have verry diferent strengths and weakneses. Wills record hangs on sheer volume while Foremans is based on a small number of exceptionaly high quality wins.

It is hard to say how they would have fared head to head.

Wills would be able to counter Foreman like Lyle did but probably did not have Lyle like power. This suggests to me that his best chance would be to tie Foreman up in the clinches and tire him out while outboxing him and perhaps scoring a stopage late in the fight. So Wills chances depend on his ability to neutrralise Foreman and suvive his early assult.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

No disrepect intended-but if heavies could be placed in a tournament without respect to what they represented regarding their eras-and I only saw one film of Wills well after his peak-I think Foreman could line all of them up like he did when he fought five heavy's in one night-and stop all of them.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

I haven't seen Wills. But based on what I have read, I would pick a peak Foreman over Wills.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:46 PM   #5
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaywilton
No disrepect intended-but if heavies could be placed in a tournament without respect to what they represented regarding their eras-and I only saw one film of Wills well after his peak-I think Foreman could line all of them up like he did when he fought five heavy's in one night-and stop all of them.
There has never been a heavyweight champion less technicaly sound than Foreman in any era.

He is the ultimate embodiment of the triumph of god given physical gifts over technique.

He is therfore the ultimate proof that fighters from Wills era could be competitive in later eras.

Last edited by Vantage_West; 02-10-2007 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 02-12-2008, 12:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
11 - Jack Dempsey
12 - Rocky Marciano
13 - George Foreman
14 - Harry Wills
15 - Peter Jackson

Ok, forget for the moment the fact that they are probably both to low, and the fighters around them and Rocky is to low - who do you have higher, Wills or Foreman?

Is it reasonable to have Foreman above Wills?

Who do you think would have won if they had met?
Foreman by a good margin. He likely hit harder, and was much better at cutting off the ring.
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Old 02-12-2008, 01:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
You could make an intelectualy sound case for having either higher because their records have verry diferent strengths and weakneses. Wills record hangs on sheer volume while Foremans is based on a small number of exceptionaly high quality wins.

It is hard to say how they would have fared head to head.

Wills would be able to counter Foreman like Lyle did but probably did not have Lyle like power. This suggests to me that his best chance would be to tie Foreman up in the clinches and tire him out while outboxing him and perhaps scoring a stopage late in the fight. So Wills chances depend on his ability to neutrralise Foreman and suvive his early assult.
Very good summary Janitor.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
There has never been a heavyweight champion less technicaly sound than Foreman in any era.

He is the ultimate embodiment of the triumph of god given physical gifts over technique.

He is therfore the ultimate proof that fighters from Wills era could be competitive in later eras.
I disagree on Foreman's fundamentals;for one thing-everybody on the above list would have big problems dealing with Foreman's jab.Also-I don't say the greats on the above list couldn't be competitive-and Wills matches up physically better with Foreman=sized heavy's than most of his contemporaries,but in regard to heavy's(only) time-I think-marches on-and this includes Foreman(my own crazy pick for all time greatest heavy).
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:31 PM   #9
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
You could make an intelectualy sound case for having either higher because their records have verry diferent strengths and weakneses. Wills record hangs on sheer volume while Foremans is based on a small number of exceptionaly high quality wins.

It is hard to say how they would have fared head to head.

Wills would be able to counter Foreman like Lyle did but probably did not have Lyle like power. This suggests to me that his best chance would be to tie Foreman up in the clinches and tire him out while outboxing him and perhaps scoring a stopage late in the fight. So Wills chances depend on his ability to neutrralise Foreman and suvive his early assult.
that is the story right there.

I think you could argue either one ahead of the other. I don't think there is a clear favorite. Depends how you look at it.

I would normally go with Wills, because he had to be so good for so long. Legacy speaking.
But then Foreman's comeback is something very unique.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:47 AM   #10
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

Foreman above Wills overall, but not by that much. I've got:

11. George Foreman
12. Jim Jeffries
13. Jack Dempsey
14. Riddick Bowe
15. Floyd Patterson
16. Harry Wills
17. Gene Tunney
18. Joe Walcott
19. Max Schmeling
20. Peter Jackson


Much of this bunch are very close to call. We can speculate and gain valuable info from reports etc stating just how great Wills was, but unfortunately he never got any title shots.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:57 AM   #11
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

Ps: janitor, my rating of Jeffries has fluctuated quite a bit over the years (lowest I've had him was #16). I currently have him at #12 and am interested in hearing an argument for placing him in the top 10. He was a very good fighter of course but I can't see how he quite makes the cut and who he'd replace in my 'elite' list. Where do you rank Jeffries and by what criteria? I also reckon that I might rank Jackson a tad too low. Thoughts?


Ps: Others feel free to join in the debate.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:29 PM   #12
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaywilton
I disagree on Foreman's fundamentals;for one thing-everybody on the above list would have big problems dealing with Foreman's jab.
Dealing with the jab might just be one area where fighters from that era were better (albeit under a diferent rule set). Jack Johnson for example was a master at catching jabs and countering off them.

Quote:
Also-I don't say the greats on the above list couldn't be competitive-and Wills matches up physically better with Foreman=sized heavy's than most of his contemporaries,but in regard to heavy's(only) time-I think-marches on-and this includes Foreman(my own crazy pick for all time greatest heavy).
Well I guess there is no shame in Wills loosing to your No1 guy and it shouldnt mean that he would necisarily loose to other top fighters from that era.
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Old 02-14-2008, 03:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Foreman or Wills?

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holmes' Jab
Ps: janitor, my rating of Jeffries has fluctuated quite a bit over the years (lowest I've had him was #16). I currently have him at #12 and am interested in hearing an argument for placing him in the top 10.
I am sure you are aware that Jeffries dominated the top 10 heavyweight lists for the first half of the 20th century after people has seen Dempsey and Louis in action.

Even if this was mostly nostalgia I strongly suspect that a grain of truth ran through it. To understand it we have to put his career in context.

Jeffries was perhaps thrown to the wolves more than any other champion in history. In an era when basicaly everybody picked up a handfull of losses on the way up he was beating world class heavies after a few fights and won the title after only a dozen. He was verry much a developing fighter when he started defending the title.

The raw numbers of his record alone are impresive. Seven title defences puts him in the Johnson, Dempsey, Marciano, Lewis bracket before we consider how raw he was when he started fighting them. Now consider that he beat a similar number of elite fighters to these guys before he won the title. It dosnt matter that he only had 20 or so fights because his record is like those of the above fighters with the padding removed. His top end competition was at least as good as Dempseys and arguably as good as Marcianos.

Quote:
He was a very good fighter of course but I can't see how he quite makes the cut and who he'd replace in my 'elite' list.
That is for you to decide. I can only make the case for him and let you decide if sombody can be moved out.

Quote:
Where do you rank Jeffries and by what criteria?
If you are to rank every top heavyweight by efectivness under the rule set of their day then he should be top5. He would be virtualy unbeatable in his own era under his own rule set which is why so many old time historians and fighters ranked him No1.

Based on his resume relative to his era he is in the same bracket as Dempsey, Marciano and Louis. Verry similar in fact.

Quote:
I also reckon that I might rank Jackson a tad too low. Thoughts?
Ha ha ha.

We will never be able to evaluate Jackson properly.

If we could however we could I believe that he would be higher than Jim Corbett on most lists. That means top 20 and probably under rated. In reality he likley had the potential to be-

Sullivan
Jackson
Jeffries
Johnson
Dempsey
Louis

Cross yourself.
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