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Old 08-08-2007, 01:17 PM   #1
McGrain
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Default Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

I haven't really been able to sleep since I had this discussion with you about Corbett. I can't make up my mind; either you're a better source than the one popular opinion holds (which is definitley possible)

OR

You're a collectivist and you beleive that the sport only sees technical advancement because of an exchange of parcels of cultural information. Cultural exchange in sport, in fact - if this is true it could cloud your judgement (at least as I see it). Though I guess it could be somewhere in between.


Here is what Bob Mee says about James J Corbett: An innovative boxer who brought technique to a peak, "Gentleman" Jim Corbett was a strangely remote man.


The IBHOF'S website describes him as "a new breed of boxer".


This is from Boxrec: (Corbett) developed innovations that led to modern boxing techniques and fighting styles...he utilized fast jabs and hooks and possesed excellent footwork along with slippery head and body movement.


Myself, most of the (reproduced) original sources I have speak of Corbett as someone who is doing something a bit unusual (though no-one flat out says "he has a new punch" either) and there is also that sense of his gameness being in doubt due to his elusiveness in the ring - the same thing Ali was to endure years later when he fought in a manner strange for a heavyweight. (The suspicions about his gameness seem to be dispelled by his gruelling battle with Jackson).



My point is just that your opinion seems to be at odds with what seems to be the popular opinion where Corbett is concerned. I guess I'd like to hear a little bit more about why.

Everyone's opinion on Corbett and his innovative technique (or lack of), or just Corbett in general is welcome, of course.
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
I haven't really been able to sleep since I had this discussion with you about Corbett. I can't make up my mind; either you're a better source than the one popular opinion holds (which is definitley possible)
I don't think that popular boxing opinion held that Corbett was THAT far off the beaten path...

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
OR

You're a collectivist and you beleive that the sport only sees technical advancement because of an exchange of parcels of cultural information. Cultural exchange in sport, in fact - if this is true it could cloud your judgement (at least as I see it). Though I guess it could be somewhere in between.
Individuals play a big part in development in the martial arts, I would not dispute that (though corporate knowledge is also very important). Ed Parker, Helio Gracie, Cus D'Amato, even Bruce Lee each have their unique contributions to their respective sports. Note, though, that from a probability standpoint it's not that common to see the champions themselves coming up with the techniques (of the four, only Helio competed). They are, after all, only one fighter out of thousands.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
Here is what Bob Mee says about James J Corbett: An innovative boxer who brought technique to a peak, "Gentleman" Jim Corbett was a strangely remote man.


The IBHOF'S website describes him as "a new breed of boxer".
He was a new breed of boxer--he was the first lineal champion under purely Queensberry Rules, and brought an air of respectability to boxing that it had not enjoyed before. Surely these are unique accomplishments?


Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
This is from Boxrec: (Corbett) developed innovations that led to modern boxing techniques and fighting styles...he utilized fast jabs and hooks and possesed excellent footwork along with slippery head and body movement.


Myself, most of the (reproduced) original sources I have speak of Corbett as someone who is doing something a bit unusual (though no-one flat out says "he has a new punch" either)
Apparently a few did say exactly that. In rebuttal, one period article I read said that Corbett's claimed inventions were just old techniques with new names:

http://www.aafla.org/SportsLibrary/O...corbett+sayers

("The Old and New Pugilism, aafla database)


Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
and there is also that sense of his gameness being in doubt due to his elusiveness in the ring - the same thing Ali was to endure years later when he fought in a manner strange for a heavyweight. (The suspicions about his gameness seem to be dispelled by his gruelling battle with Jackson).
Then again, Mayweather is also slighted for the same thing despite a rather conventional (and amazing) defensive ability.

Corbett's defense, from what I have seen on film was little different from a melding of Billy Edwards and Mike Donovan's manuals. It had a few unusual tricks here and there (including a holding n' hitting method that is closely approximated in Donnelly), and his stance was a little wider (then again, so was Allanson-Winn's) but he doesn't seem that unconventional--at least, not moreso than EVERY boxer is unorthodox because nobody is a perfect fighter. Nor was his elusiveness particularly new--in every era, fighters disliked being hit.

I can only compare the manuals to the film, and conclude that the two are remarkably similar.


Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
My point is just that your opinion seems to be at odds with what seems to be the popular opinion where Corbett is concerned. I guess I'd like to hear a little bit more about why.

Everyone's opinion on Corbett and his innovative technique (or lack of), or just Corbett in general is welcome, of course.
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

Quote:
Originally Posted by cross_trainer
I don't think that popular boxing opinion held that Corbett was THAT far off the beaten path...
I would agree. But how different do you really have to do things in order that they be described as new, or even focusing?



Quote:
. Note, though, that from a probability standpoint it's not that common to see the champions themselves coming up with the techniques (of the four, only Helio competed). They are, after all, only one fighter out of thousands.
But probability is only a part of the issue I think. Raw ability is also important. It is those fighters with the best reactions, stamina, durability whatever it may be could be the deciding factor as regards making a technique useful - and therefore viable - rather than necessarily making it exsist. Though confidence born of winning may also be a factor in seeing fighters establish new tecnhiques.



Quote:
He was a new breed of boxer--he was the first lineal champion under purely Queensberry Rules, and brought an air of respectability to boxing that it had not enjoyed before. Surely these are unique accomplishments?
Interesting...you think that Corbett's standing as an historical figure has become confused with technical innovation in the minds of those crediting him with greatness?




Quote:
Apparently a few did say exactly that. In rebuttal, one period article I read said that Corbett's claimed inventions were just old techniques with new names
This is pure gold, thanks. Long, i will get to it. Just for the moment, I would agree with Corbett's claim for a large part. Refinement may be the key as opposed to birth.


Quote:
Then again, Mayweather is also slighted for the same thing despite a rather conventional (and amazing) defensive ability.
He is cricised for it, but his gameness is not doubted, at least in my experience...he has shown he can fight already, it is frustration rather than suspicion which surrounds him.

Quote:
Corbett's defense, from what I have seen on film was little different from a melding of Billy Edwards and Mike Donovan's manuals.
This is interesting. Would the melding of these manuals in and of itself be considered inovative (though an inovation waiting to happen)?

Quote:
Nor was his elusiveness particularly new--in every era, fighters disliked being hit.
Of course. I will say, it ain't what you do it's the way that you do it.
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
I would agree. But how different do you really have to do things in order that they be described as new, or even focusing?

But probability is only a part of the issue I think. Raw ability is also important. It is those fighters with the best reactions, stamina, durability whatever it may be could be the deciding factor as regards making a technique useful - and therefore viable - rather than necessarily making it exsist. Though confidence born of winning may also be a factor in seeing fighters establish new tecnhiques.
In other words, Corbett's physical abilities were responsible for popularizing the techniques he used but did not necessarily invent? Yeah, I could go with that--we have seen the same in everyone from Toney to Tyson.

My point is that everything I've seen him do on film comes from earlier manuals. His boxing may have given a slight slant to specific types of techniques, though...just as fighters today all want to imitate the specific techniques that Toney puts to such good use, even though he was not their inventor.




Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
Interesting...you think that Corbett's standing as an historical figure has become confused with technical innovation in the minds of those crediting him with greatness?
Actually, yes. I think that his status as the first non-bareknuckler (and his own efforts to popularize his image as the first "scientitic" boxer in his writings) seriously impacted the public perception of his boxing style.



Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
This is pure gold, thanks. Long, i will get to it. Just for the moment, I would agree with Corbett's claim for a large part. Refinement may be the key as opposed to birth.
But other than his word, what guarantee do you have that Corbett was a new type of boxer? Why not draw the line earlier--at Donovan or Mitchell, for instance, who fought heavyweights? Or perhaps with junior-middleweight Tom Sayers who won the heavyweight championship? For that matter, what about Mace, whose abilities with the mufflers was renowned? Go back all the way to Hen Pearce and you'll see a smaller man destroying larger opponents with brutal precision and barely a mark on his face. What did Corbett do that these men did not, or were not evolved enough to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
He is cricised for it, but his gameness is not doubted, at least in my experience...he has shown he can fight already, it is frustration rather than suspicion which surrounds him.
Hmmm...perhaps you are right. Bad example.

My point is that there are many fighters who people look at suspiciously because they haven't had their "chin checked" yet. Corbett was one of them because, much like many slick reflex-mashers, he didn't get hit much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
This is interesting. Would the melding of these manuals in and of itself be considered inovative (though an inovation waiting to happen)?

Hmmm....not really. Boxing manuals go back a long way, and there were large numbers of diverse manuals available to the general public...much moreso to trainers. There was probably as much inter-gym learning as there is today (then again, inter-gym learning isn't huge even now).

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
Of course. I will say, it ain't what you do it's the way that you do it.
Perhaps I was a bit simplistic in my answer; my apologies. What I meant was this--that fighters' desire to avoid being hit generally results in "correct" defense developing rather quickly. As exhibit A, I show you 1970's karate as soon as it became full-contact--karate was thrown from non-contact point fighting to modern American kickboxing in a year or two. A few years later, karate "theory" had completely reworked itself into something similar to modern boxing.
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

Thanks for taking the time to lay out your position, and for the link.

Anyone else got anything to say about Corbett?
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:57 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
Thanks for taking the time to lay out your position, and for the link.

Anyone else got anything to say about Corbett?
Corbett was a mans man.
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Old 08-08-2007, 04:59 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amsterdam
Corbett was a mans man.
He was still trying to pick a fight with Sullivan during the training for Jeffries-Jackson...he was a headcase in my opinion. I think he was a mentalist.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

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Originally Posted by McGrain
He was still trying to pick a fight with Sullivan during the training for Jeffries-Jackson...he was a headcase in my opinion. I think he was a mentalist.
Sullivan on the other hand was just plain and simply a bad man... but Jack Johnson is the GOAT for pure balls.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:07 PM   #9
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Default Re: Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

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Originally Posted by Amsterdam
. but Jack Johnson is the GOAT for pure balls.

Amsterdam, I think you might be right.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
Amsterdam, I think you might be right.
I am. Ali's interview on the subject of Johnson convinced me. In Johnson's time, he could have been hung just for associating with white women, when he was strolling around with multiple white women and rubbing it everyone's face without a lick of care and doing whatever he wanted within America's ignorant, but dangerous racist times.

Either nuts or the biggest balls ever, Johnson takes it, best sway ever.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amsterdam
I am. Ali's interview on the subject of Johnson convinced me. In Johnson's time, he could have been hung just for associating with white women, when he was strolling around with multiple white women and rubbing it everyone's face without a lick of care and doing whatever he wanted within America's ignorant, but dangerous racist times.

Either nuts or the biggest balls ever, Johnson takes it, best sway ever.
There were at least two atempts on Johnsons life.

He was verry fan friendly though. If a group of fight fans were out there he was always right in the thick of them signing autographs and buying beers.
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Old 08-08-2007, 05:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Cross_Trainer...this opinion you have about Corbett

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He was verry fan friendly though. If a group of fight fans were out there he was always right in the thick of them signing autographs and buying beers.

Bloody brilliant wasn't he?
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