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Old 10-07-2012, 05:25 PM   #1
hernanday
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Default How were old timers so good?

Modern boxing only started in the late 1800s, in England like 1880/90s under the current rules. How were old time trainers so good when the average person never even travelled more than 15 miles from their home? Yet today people can travel anywhere easily get boxing information, watch tapes in slow motion of greats, and we have a dearth of good fighters.

Boxing is one of the strangest sports in this manner in that when we speak of many of the greatest in the sport we speak of guys from almost over 100 years ago, tunney, johnson, corbet, joe gans,dempsey and so on. One would imagine with all our technology, video footage, devices to measure power of a punching technique, someone would have put it all together and have made a stable of near invincible boxers. But instead what you find is almost a gradually decline of the skill set of boxers since the 70s. I heard some old timers blame it on amateur boxing because they say it makes boxers focus on the wrong thing from early on. What I find even more strange is guys who should be good because their dads were great boxer's aren't ie joe frazier son should have tore up the 80s.
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:38 PM   #2
YUZO WANTANABE
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

something to think about is guys today dont fight as much. in the past a young fighter fought much more and thus would get much more experienced year by year than a young fighter today. back then fighters at the top all fought each other meaning that the best fought the best and many times they fought each other sometimes several times. it was a pressure makes diamonds system
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

dedication
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Old 10-07-2012, 05:56 PM   #4
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

Humans have been fighting for century, it's not like swinging a baseball bat or shooting a basketball. Punching is all in the body its just a matter of learning technique and having dedication that can make you successful, even men not considered to be talented.

And I agree with the above poster the amount of fights per year helped mold the old timers into greats. The experience and nothings better practice than the real thing. Today's fights fight twice a year with all of this off time and little sparring.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

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Originally Posted by YUZO WANTANABE View Post
something to think about is guys today dont fight as much. in the past a young fighter fought much more and thus would get much more experienced year by year than a young fighter today. back then fighters at the top all fought each other meaning that the best fought the best and many times they fought each other sometimes several times. it was a pressure makes diamonds system
thats a good way of putting it, but also add in life's HARD Times, and obviously we're talking among the working poor, this makes for some right _ucken hard merciless bastards.

so through that into the mix well trained athlete's and the dozens of fights against right good calibre of fighters before you get to the top, as you have mentioned.

I knew a right old school bunch of hard _uckers in my 52 years, and when I came of age I met and knew some street fighting _uckers I'd never want to go near, but let me tell you, the old _unts I knew were made of different stuff to them.

Hard Times (mind toughness), and Top Athletes as well, plus the degree of multiple fighting, thats as good as it gets!
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

This would be an excellent discussion to involve a poster named Cross trainer, who has devoted quite a bit of time to studying the techniques and training habits of early fighters. I'm not sure if he still posts here nor how often however.

I think every era, weather we're speaking of the 19th century or today, has had its master punchers, boxers, swarmers, etc. Time, devotion to hard work, quality trainers and yes even natural talent all factor into the equation in my opinion. We've had men such James Jeffries, Evander Holyfield, Rocky Marciano and Wladimir Klitschko were dedicated to hard core training.. Others like Max Schmeling, Muhammad Ali and Jack Dempsey who were diligent about studying their opponents and forming game plans for fighting them. Its different for each fighter, but frankly I don't think any era is completely void of talent, nor for that matter filled with immortals.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

If you asked me to break it down to one factor:

It was the fact that they literaly lost everything if their career didn't pan out, and might end up begging for a living.

That was a strong motivating factor.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

The old timers weren't better. Watch the documentaries of Basilio Against the Mob and Jim Braddock "Cinderella Man". Basilio states in the doc about him that he didn't bother getting a trainer until he was several years into his professional boxing career. Braddock was a top light heavyweight for a while without ever developing any skill with his left hand. However, after breaking his right hand he was forced to train only his left for a while thus becoming a two-handed fighter that could win, something that virtually all top professional fighters of today are. Max Baer, the heavyweight champion, seldom threw a left hand. Also, just looking at some of the old timers footwork I'm reminded of watching a karate class.

The main thing that makes the old timers better is their press clippings.

I cannot see how the elimination of racial segregation in boxing, the reduction of mob control in boxing and the inclusion of the former USSR in professional boxing has made boxing "weaker". Also, no longer having one kingpin promoter like Don King or Tex Rickard increases the quality of professional boxing. Even the presence of MMA makes boxing better because people have other choices rather than watch some dog shit boxing match. Now you better have a GOOD boxing contest card.
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Old 10-07-2012, 06:11 PM   #9
YUZO WANTANABE
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

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Originally Posted by thistle1 View Post
thats a good way of putting it, but also add in life's HARD Times, and obviously we're talking among the working poor, this makes for some right _ucken hard merciless bastards.

so through that into the mix well trained athlete's and the dozens of fights against right good calibre of fighters before you get to the top, as you have mentioned.

I knew a right old school bunch of hard _uckers in my 52 years, and when I came of age I met and knew some street fighting _uckers I'd never want to go near, but let me tell you, the old _unts I knew were made of different stuff to them.

Hard Times and Top Athletes as well, plus the degree of multiple fighting, thats as good as it gets!
yeah i got that sense when i looked at some of the new fighters today like chavez jr and khan, these kids are famous millionaires fighting once a year, they drive around in nice cars and have nice clothes, and i question if they even want to be boxers at all. with the guys back then you got the sense that they werent boxing for fame or so somebody might like them, they were boxing because they had to, it was all they had and all they knew. arguello said in an interview i read a long time ago many years after he retired about fighters today not being the same anymore, they quit more easily and their hearts are just not the same; something only someone like arguello could pick up and read from things like body language, and just looking in the eyes of someone.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:15 PM   #10
hernanday
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

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Originally Posted by Butch Coolidge View Post
The old timers weren't better. Watch the documentaries of Basilio Against the Mob and Jim Braddock "Cinderella Man". Basilio states in the doc about him that he didn't bother getting a trainer until he was several years into his professional boxing career. Braddock was a top light heavyweight for a while without ever developing any skill with his left hand. However, after breaking his right hand he was forced to train only his left for a while thus becoming a two-handed fighter that could win, something that virtually all top professional fighters of today are. Max Baer, the heavyweight champion, seldom threw a left hand. Also, just looking at some of the old timers footwork I'm reminded of watching a karate class.

The main thing that makes the old timers better is their press clippings.

I cannot see how the elimination of racial segregation in boxing, the reduction of mob control in boxing and the inclusion of the former USSR in professional boxing has made boxing "weaker". Also, no longer having one kingpin promoter like Don King or Tex Rickard increases the quality of professional boxing. Even the presence of MMA makes boxing better because people have other choices rather than watch some dog shit boxing match. Now you better have a GOOD boxing contest card.
Braddock was tough, fought injured for a long time, and would whip probably ever fighter post 2000. Boxing outside of welter is very weak right now on a whole. And even the top welter's likeCanelo are just expert tomato crushers, beating up guys who have no business being in a ring. And while Floyd is talented, am I to be impressed watching him crush ortiz tomatoes or fighters who it appears he pays off (emm emm Mosely- clinching a guy who your hurt). Max baer may have one hand, but he'd probably kill someone like klitschko if K's people would ever agree to fight him. The heavyweight division is probably the most disgraceful excuse for boxing I've ever seen. Klitschko is a talented fighter no doubt. And I can't blame him for crushing tomatoes because he is in a tomato field.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:16 PM   #11
hernanday
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

So guess it can be summed up as oldies fought more, had more grit to win because they weren't rich people who boxed but were boxers who were rich.

I wouldlike to hear cross trainers view on it since he studied oldies
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Butch Coolidge View Post
The old timers weren't better. Watch the documentaries of Basilio Against the Mob and Jim Braddock "Cinderella Man". Basilio states in the doc about him that he didn't bother getting a trainer until he was several years into his professional boxing career. Braddock was a top light heavyweight for a while without ever developing any skill with his left hand. However, after breaking his right hand he was forced to train only his left for a while thus becoming a two-handed fighter that could win, something that virtually all top professional fighters of today are. Max Baer, the heavyweight champion, seldom threw a left hand. Also, just looking at some of the old timers footwork I'm reminded of watching a karate class.

The main thing that makes the old timers better is their press clippings.

I cannot see how the elimination of racial segregation in boxing, the reduction of mob control in boxing and the inclusion of the former USSR in professional boxing has made boxing "weaker". Also, no longer having one kingpin promoter like Don King or Tex Rickard increases the quality of professional boxing. Even the presence of MMA makes boxing better because people have other choices rather than watch some dog shit boxing match. Now you better have a GOOD boxing contest card.
So we are in a golden era right now?
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

There's not a lot of people who decide to get punched in the face repeatedly as a way to earn their money, if they got other choices. I love watching boxing and I love the sport, however I'd have to be dumb or ignorant to not notice that most past champs are punch drunk.

My point is that our society is getting better and better in most departments, so it's normal to see less and less people choosing to become boxers. We also see more guys like David Haye who are there to make their money and leave the game as soon as possible. You can look at all the Joe Louis tapes you want, if you don't spend a ridiculous amount of time in sparring, trying to replicate his moves, you won't become the next Louis. I don't know for you, but I prefer to keep my job and not risk the chance of someday talking like James Toney.

Our society has changed a lot and I see it as an improvement that a violent sport like boxing has not improved as much as a non-violent one like tennis. I'll continue looking at the sweet art, but like I said i'd need to be ignorant or dumb to not see its weaknesses.
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

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Originally Posted by hernanday View Post
Boxing outside of welter is very weak right now on a whole.
There are many good boxers in the lower weight division. Guys like Moreno, Donaire, Rigondeaux, Nishioka, Mares, Gamboa (if he's still alive).
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Old 10-07-2012, 08:32 PM   #15
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Default Re: How were old timers so good?

The trainers were lifers; Guys who fought themselves, who learned from the best, and then dedicated themselves to doing it for others.

The list of guys like this is growing shorter then anybody is comfortable admitting.

Also, experience. Boxing IS experience. There is only so much to learn, actually: How to punch, how to move, how to block and parry, and when to punch. The rest of it is comfort, awareness, presence, conditioning, and all that lovely stuff that 99% of men can only get through rounds. Sparring serves this purpose some, but ultimately, to get a true comfort level and a solid identity as a prizefighter, you need to prizefighter.

Archie Moore, as an overall athlete, doesn't look all that impressive on film. But he is a perfect technician; He dictates fights in every sense. That is experience, grit, and a steely mind that people still talk about. I've heard old timers say that when you sat ringside at a Moore fight, you watched his eyes, his feet, and his waist, and you saw artistry.

This is, in fact, what boxing is actually about, and this mindset is dying out.
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