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Old 08-24-2007, 07:13 PM   #1
Russell
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Default Eugene Hart

Would anyone here say he has a claim to being the hardest hitting MW of all time? Top 10? 5?

I've heard it said that he rocked Hagler? Complete bullshit or what?

Supposedly his punches were lifting Antofurmo off his god damned feet Foreman/Frazier style.


Anyone know anything else about him?
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Old 08-24-2007, 09:30 PM   #2
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

I have two of his fights, the Hagler bout and his one round destruction of Kitten Hayward. Best left hook I've seen at middleweight, probably better than even Eduardo Lausse's, because it was faster and a bit sharper I think.

Hagler wasn't exactly "hurt" as we would typically classify the term. He was momentarily shaken a bit, but that was about it. He was never in danger of going down or being stopped. That said, for Hagler to give even that much pause was remarkable, and the sign of a damn good puncher.
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:05 PM   #3
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

Would you say he was more or less affected by Hart's hook than he was against Hearn's bombs?
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Old 08-24-2007, 10:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell
Would you say he was more or less affected by Hart's hook than he was against Hearn's bombs?

...........It's kind of hard to say; I seem to remember him being along the ropes while fielding Hart's best with his back to the camera, though someone may have to correct me on that. I should throw that back in the VCR and see.

I don't think it was quite as pronounced a pause against Hart as against Hearns, but you could tell he was definitely affected, if only briefly.
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Old 08-25-2007, 02:51 AM   #5
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell
Would anyone here say he has a claim to being the hardest hitting MW of all time? Top 10? 5?

I've heard it said that he rocked Hagler? Complete bullshit or what?

Supposedly his punches were lifting Antofurmo off his god damned feet Foreman/Frazier style.


Anyone know anything else about him?
"If he couldn't hurt me, nobody can. He wrapped his hooks around his whole body and made my head spin."-Vito Antuofermo speaking about Cyclone Hart, circa 1980. (Hagler also described Hart's hook as the hardest shot he'd been hit with, but that was in an interview conducted before his wars with Hearns and Mugabe.)
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Old 08-25-2007, 03:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

Anything else come to mind about him, Duodenum? Love to hear... well... just about anything.
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Old 08-25-2007, 05:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

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Originally Posted by Russell
Anything else come to mind about him, Duodenum? Love to hear... well... just about anything.
Not too much. Marv was apparently in the Philadelphia gym where Hart was training, and when Cylone spotted him, he said, "Hey Hagler, look!," slammed his hook into a heavy bag and proclaimed, "I've got the baddest hook in the division!" Marv turned to one of the Petronelli brothers with him, and said, "Put him on the list." He cemented his reputation by running the Philly gauntlet of Watts, Monroe, Briscoe and Hart, not avoiding anybody on his climb to the top, or while at the pinnacle of the division. The best middleweights of that era were tough as nails, always seeking out the stiffest competition to make a name for themselves.
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Old 08-25-2007, 05:14 AM   #8
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

Does anyone even begin to compare with him power wise at MW with that left hook?
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Old 08-25-2007, 11:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell
Does anyone even begin to compare with him power wise at MW with that left hook?
Opponents of Hart's, like Antuofermo, Briscoe, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Sugar Ray Seales and Willie Monroe would be the best authorities on that, perhaps especially Eddie, who faced an incredible plethora of powerpunching talent over his career. What I'd like to know is who did NOT consider Gene Hart the hardest puncher they ever were hit by. (Eddie could be so elusive with his upper body movement, that it's possible Hart never landed solidly on him.)
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Old 08-29-2007, 12:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

I heard that he flattened Tim Witherspoon in sparring. Is that true?
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Old 08-29-2007, 01:30 PM   #11
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

Hard to say. He was definitely a hard puncher, but he didnīt KO many good opponents, say I havenīt him in a ATGīs list (hardest- hitting MW-punchers)...
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Old 08-29-2007, 03:57 PM   #12
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

I rewatched his fight with Hagler last month in fact. Hart was a damn hard puncher you could tell he could hit damn hard by the impact of his shots. However i don't think he really hurt Hagler at all. Maybe just a brief stunn. That goes to show how great Haglers chin was.
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Old 08-29-2007, 09:57 PM   #13
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

Has anyone seen any of his other fights?

How'd he perform in them?
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:04 AM   #14
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Default Re: Eugene Hart

Russell, I’ve been interested in Hart for a while now, so I’ll try and fill in the gaps.

There were many factors contributing to the shocking power behind Hart's left hook; the fact that he was in a wheel chair when he was younger which helped develop his upperbody as well as the fact that he was naturally left handed being a few. His polio also caused him to drag one of his legs a bit which, while hurting his mobility, stood as a kind of stake for him to plant into the canvas and use to help drive in that left hand full throttle.

Hart’s finest hour, or minute in this case, was against Stanley “Kitten” Hayward when he came out guns blazing and ended matters early. After staggering Hayward back to the ropes with a ripping series of punches, Hart dumped his man with a right cross, double left hook combination and then proceeded to dig into his target upon his arise until the referee waved it off.

He met a few bumps along the way, first in an odd “No Contest” match against Denny Moyer when both men became injured falling out of the ring and then losing to fighters such as Puerto Rican iron man Jose Monon Gonzalez, fellow Philadelphian middleweights Bobby Watts and Willie Monroe, and a young Eddie Mustafa Muhammad in which he was apparently knocked out twice on the same night; once after the bell had sounded to end the third round, in which case Hart was given extra time to recover, and then again for keeps in the fourth.

His draw with Briscoe at the Spectrum in Philadelphia was another high moment for Hart, but Bennie made quicker work of him in the rematch with help from that big right hand. Story has it that the initial fight was actually signed after Hart rocked Briscoe with a big left hook during a sparring session earlier that year. Benton stopped it immediately in fear that his fighter had suffered a concussion, but the two men later signed for the official fight regardless; it was that type of fearless mentality that made Bennie even more so intimidating and beloved in Philadelphia. In any case, Briscoe was always respectful of the power behind Eugene’s hook, claiming "He could knock down the walls of Jerusalem with that thing".

Big Philly promoter J Russel Peltz handled many of Hart’s early fights and wholeheartedly believed in Gene’s knockout ability as well: "Hart was probably the best one-punch puncher I ever saw. He could knock your head off with one left hook. I never saw a puncher in my life as dangerous. He didn't win too many fights down the stretch because his legs went. You had a chance if you could get him into the later rounds. But he was very dangerous for the first half of the fight." That type of mediocre stamina coupled in with an average chin and will power hurt him in the long run however, especially in the Antuofermo fight where Hart managed to wobble and cut his man after doubling up on his signature punch, yet still succumbed soon after in face of Vito’s tenacity. An up and coming Hagler managed to put on an expert boxing exhibition against the more limited Hart for most of the night, with exception to the end of the fifth when Gene smacked in a beauty of a left hand upside Marvin’s skull; the "Cyclone" would later go on to retire on his stool. Nevertheless both men, at one point or another, called Hart the hardest puncher they had ever faced.

Dick Tiger looked to have a similar left hook as well, just a potent combination of raw power and sneaky quickness behind it.

It’s a shame Hart didn’t take the fight game more seriously and work on building more off his established punching ability, for his potential vastly exceeded his accomplishments. Nonetheless, steamrolling Hayward in the manner that he did, decisioning "Sugar" Ray Seales, and holding "Bad" Bennie Briscoe to a draw are the marks of a good fighter. One of the top three hardest punchers ever at 160, perhaps even the most powerful of them all.
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