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Old 08-14-2007, 11:09 PM   #1
Tommy Hearns
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Default Archie Moore - Oakland Billy Smith I (1946)

Anyone seen this fight? Very early footage of the vintage 'Mongoose' in action against one of the more dangerous black contenders of the era, Oakland Billy Smith, for the California State Light Heavyweight Title.

Smith himself was a fundamentally sound slugger with a powerful overhand right, a punch that would later go on to put Harold Johnson down for the ten count in the only (legitimate) time in his career. Moore showed a stern chin by withstanding the shot whenever it landed, although he negated the punch for the most part through his head movement and ability to roll with it. Moore’s defensive dexterity also becomes apparent while consistently avoiding the jab, making use of his quick reflexes and weave to work around it while landing his own left hands in return.

Even with the poor film quality both men look powerful and trim, clocking in at around the 170 pound mark. Smith proves his resiliency time and time again in close quarters, holding his own in the clinches and, once in range, burying his head into Moore’s chest and throwing volleys of hooks and uppercuts downstairs. Archie’s cross armed defense protected him well over the course of the fight however, and overall it’s Moore’s professionalism that sets the two men apart; setting traps, creating angles, judging distance, and looking for openings in contrast to Smith’s upright positioning, relative stagnance, and methodical advances.

The rounds are cut short so I didn’t bother scoring them, but just by quickly looking at the fight it becomes apparent why Moore doesn’t walk away with the win despite being the more polished fighter; his work rate was noticeably lower than Smith’s, which in turn led to the draw.

Also, does anyone know if there is even earlier footage of Moore out there? Any info would be appreciated.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Archie Moore - Oakland Billy Smith I (1946)

Moore looks like a mix of lazy defensive-minded Roy Jones Jr with Thomas Hearns' jab (which he throws too seldom to pile up points).
There are short highlights of two Ron Richards fights from 1940, 1 and 2 min respectively.
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Old 08-15-2007, 03:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Archie Moore - Oakland Billy Smith I (1946)

It should be clear also to anyone who's seen this fight, that young Moore was better than his old version from technical point of view, more versatile, better agility, better reflexes, better defense, better jab. Same as it is with Bernard Hopkins, B-Hop of the 1990's looked better than B-Hop of the 2000s.
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Archie Moore - Oakland Billy Smith I (1946)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Senya13
It should be clear also to anyone who's seen this fight, that young Moore was better than his old version from technical point of view, more versatile, better agility, better reflexes, better defense, better jab. Same as it is with Bernard Hopkins, B-Hop of the 1990's looked better than B-Hop of the 2000s.
Ture. But Hopkins gained a great deal of wisdom as he aged. He became a smarter fighter. In a way, the 2000's Hopkins could be viewed as a better fighter than the 1990's version.
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Old 08-15-2007, 07:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Archie Moore - Oakland Billy Smith I (1946)

Coming into Trinidad fight (at this point B-Hop was already a true master), Hopkins fought 3 more fights in the 2000s - Syd Vanderpool, Antwun Echols II and Keith Holmes. These are not the fighters that could have taught him something he didn't know. By mid-to-late 1990's B-Hop had already reached his peak as a fighter, he didn't improve after that.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Archie Moore - Oakland Billy Smith I (1946)

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Originally Posted by Senya13
There are short highlights of two Ron Richards fights from 1940, 1 and 2 min respectively.
I'll definitely be on the lookout for those then.
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