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Old 08-10-2007, 04:02 AM   #1
fists of fury
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Default Tale of the tape - heavyweights

I've been compiling a tale of the tape for every heavyweight champion from Sullivan to the modern era.

While punching in the numbers, I found a few interesting observations. For instance, it seems that Sonny Liston ushered in the era of the heavyweights with big thighs.
Before him, most heavyweights (with obvious exceptions such as Carnera and Willard and one or two others) had comparatively rather small thighs, being in the region of 22 inches or so.

With Liston and every other champion after him (with the exception of Evander Holyfield, Michael Spinks and Leon Spinks) their thigh measurement was 25 inches or better. I did not check Chris Byrd's leg measurements, but even if you include him, that makes only four champions since Liston with a thigh measurement of less than 25 inches.

While it's no secret that heavyeights seemed to get bigger and heavier with the inception of Liston, I was surprised that it was mainly in the area of upper leg development.
If you look at someone like Max Baer, his overall measurements - with the exception of the upper leg - compare very favourably with modern heavyweights. The same applies to James J. Jeffries and quite a few others from the pre-Liston era.

This leads me to ask: why did upper leg dimensions suddenly grow exponentially since Liston's time? Did fighters suddenly concentrate on the leg excercises more? Was it just a genetic evolution? Was there a slight shift in styles, making more use of the legs?

My source is the IBHOF tale of the tape, which can be found on their website. (sorry for not linking it here)


PS-Can someone provide the measurements for Marvin Hart please? The measurments provided on the IBHOF websire don't seem correct.

Another thing - 70's George and 90's George seem to differ quite a bit in their measurements. Unless 90's George's reach somehow shrunk and his fists got a lot bigger, something is amiss.
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:06 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

Very interesting. I tend to think that it would have something to do with the lack of running done by modern fighters compared to older fighters.
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:10 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

Here is the link, by the way. [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

Marciano was a cruiserweight by 1990's standards....
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanner
Marciano was a cruiserweight by 1990's standards....
Yeah, he wasn't a big, big guy. However, given today's training methods and nutrition, he'd probably weigh about 210 or so. Big enough.

Louis would scale around 220 today, Jeffries maybe as high as 230.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:51 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

Maybe skipping rope had something to do with it? Pretty good at working your thighs and what not.

I know Liston skipped rope heavily...
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:40 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longcount
If the vintage guys could have scientifically increased their career starting weight by 20% (which is less than Holyfield & Moorer did) :

Liston would have been 240
Jeffries would have been 252
Dempsey and Louis would have been 217
Marciano would have been (a very stumpy) 228
Baer would have been 230
Tunney would have been 210
I can believe Liston weighing a solid 240 in today's times. He had a large frame. Jeffries at 252 might have been too heavy, imo. That weight would sap his stamina.

I can easily see Dempsey and Louis at a rock solid 217. That would be ample size to tackle today's guys.

Marciano would (imo) be a bit heavy at 228. For me, between 210 and 215 would be ideal. I think again, like Jeffries, too much weight saps one of his most important qualities - stamina.

Baer at 230 is totally believable. Same with Tunney at 210.

Evander proved beyond doubt that you don't have to be a huge, hulking guy to beat the best of today.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:01 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Longcount
Liston would have been 240
Jeffries would have been 252
Dempsey and Louis would have been 217
Marciano would have been (a very stumpy) 228
Baer would have been 230
Tunney would have been 210
.
Liston would be musclebound and immobile at 240, he was only 6'0 and he'd be a punchbag at 240, 220-225

Jeffries would have weighed 230

Dempsey/Louis maybe aroudn 217

LOL Marciano at 228? He'd be a punchbag at that weight. 210 MAYBE

Baer may have weighed 230

Tunney was a light heavyweight, maybe he could have bulked up to 210 but his mobility would be lost somewhat.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

As for bigger thighs. Fighters are bigger generally and thighs will see a higher increase in size because they are a bigger bodypart

Holyfield had very small thighs for a modern fighter - only 22inches

Tyson had huge 27inch thighs of pure muscle but in the clinches got pushed around
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

Most Tale Of The Tapes Are Not Acurate, Big Guys Get Bigger And Small Guys Get Smaller, I See Vitali At 6'8 1/2 And He Is Not And They Were Making Valuev 7'2, I Seen Toney Listed At 5'8 And 5"10(he Is 5'9) And I Have Seen Marciano Listed At 5"10( He Was A Little Over 5'11 And You Can See Him Standing Next To Patterson,frazier,lastarza And Walcott And There Was Not Much Difference. Foreman Was 6'3, Ali Was Almost 6'3 But I Have Seen Foreman At 6'4, I Dont Know Why But Thats Just The Way It Is
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:42 PM   #11
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bummy Davis
Most Tale Of The Tapes Are Not Acurate, Big Guys Get Bigger And Small Guys Get Smaller, I See Vitali At 6'8 1/2 And He Is Not And They Were Making Valuev 7'2, I Seen Toney Listed At 5'8 And 5"10(he Is 5'9) And I Have Seen Marciano Listed At 5"10( He Was A Little Over 5'11 And You Can See Him Standing Next To Patterson,frazier,lastarza And Walcott And There Was Not Much Difference. Foreman Was 6'3, Ali Was Almost 6'3 But I Have Seen Foreman At 6'4, I Dont Know Why But Thats Just The Way It Is
Vitali might be 68 or taller.. McCline is listed at 66. Look at the photo.

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Old 08-10-2007, 08:43 PM   #12
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

VK is leaning to the side though.
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Old 08-10-2007, 08:58 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

One thing being overlooked is who is taking the measurements. Saying they are inaccurate and inconsistent is an understatement. Look at recent tales of the tape- arm measurements for the same fighter fluctuates, so does every other part measured. IBHOF has Joe Louis waist at 36"!!! He was definitely thinner than that. This is not a science. They have Leonard and Hearns' arms at 15", while so are Frazier's and Ali's in ones I've seen. DLH's arms are usually a realistic at 13 3/4" (or around). Just compare some other weight measurements compared to some heavies. There is no consistent accurate measurement.
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Old 08-10-2007, 10:01 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

Height seems to get *****d around alot for certain fighters. I remember reading an early article on George Foreman, right around the time that he started his professional career. The article referred to George as being 6'5"!

As for Ali, I don't think he was ever 6'3". Both Larry Holmes and George Foreman were listed at 6'3" for most of their careers, and they were both taller than Ali.

Last edited by Raging B(_)LL; 04-26-2006 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:33 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tale of the tape - heavyweights

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyJ74
Height seems to get *****d around alot for certain fighters. I remember reading an early article on George Foreman, right around the time that he started his professional career. The article referred to George as being 6'5"!

As for Ali, I don't think he was ever 6'3". Both Larry Holmes and George Foreman were listed at 6'3" for most of their careers, and they were both taller than Ali.
Larry in one article I saw was listed at 6'3 1/2, and to me thats about right. Then in another one I saw George at listed 6'4, and I'd say thats about right.
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