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Old 07-08-2007, 10:30 PM   #1
McGrain
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Default Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

Not good, not a champ, an ATG? Can a fighter become and ATG without great heart?
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:40 PM   #2
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

I dont think so.
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

Great question, and i have an interesting tidbit to add. The tidbit is all about fine lines.

First off let me say i am not saying RJJ lacked heart, or had it in spades. Now surely most would regard him as an ATG, surely. Now if we look thru 95% his career it is possible to say that he got hit so few times and struggled so little that it would be possible for a sensationally talented fighter to get to ATG status without having to have his heart severely tested.

Remember, this is theoretical and not an opinion of whether Jones had heart or not. Maybe if pressed he might have shown the heart of a lion, but i think he is a good scenario that a fighter as talented as he might be able to do it.

Getting back to your question in proper tho, it probably is the most important yes. There would be very very few exceptions to the rule. Look at how many times Holmes came of the floor or from big trouble. Look at what Ali got past in some fights to pull them out. Look at Saad (some might think him borderline ATG, not sure), his reputation is built on heart. Look at Leonard vs Duran, balls to the wall for both.

Heart, while not quite 100 pre-requisite, would be right at the top of my list unless i see good enough debate in here to swing me.
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Old 07-08-2007, 10:53 PM   #4
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnThomas1
Great question, and i have an interesting tidbit to add. The tidbit is all about fine lines.

First off let me say i am not saying RJJ lacked heart, or had it in spades. Now surely most would regard him as an ATG, surely. Now if we look thru 95% his career it is possible to say that he got hit so few times and struggled so little that it would be possible for a sensationally talented fighter to get to ATG status without having to have his heart severely tested.

Remember, this is theoretical and not an opinion of whether Jones had heart or not. Maybe if pressed he might have shown the heart of a lion, but i think he is a good scenario that a fighter as talented as he might be able to do it.

Getting back to your question in proper tho, it probably is the most important yes. There would be very very few exceptions to the rule. Look at how many times Holmes came of the floor or from big trouble. Look at what Ali got past in some fights to pull them out. Look at Saad (some might think him borderline ATG, not sure), his reputation is built on heart. Look at Leonard vs Duran, balls to the wall for both.

Heart, while not quite 100 pre-requisite, would be right at the top of my list unless i see good enough debate in here to swing me.
Agree with what you said, except that I think Jones jr proved his heart in the ring. Sure outside the ring he may have been cautious to fight certain boxers or he was a prick to negotiate with but his first fight against Tarver sealed the deal on his heart. He put his chin out there in that fight and he was hit, but when he got to the championship rounds and the fight was hanging, he pulled through and won them.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat_Lowe
Agree with what you said, except that I think Jones jr proved his heart in the ring. Sure outside the ring he may have been cautious to fight certain boxers or he was a prick to negotiate with but his first fight against Tarver sealed the deal on his heart. He put his chin out there in that fight and he was hit, but when he got to the championship rounds and the fight was hanging, he pulled through and won them.
No argument Pat, i was certainly not saying Jones didn't have heart, but pointing out that a fighter of the same or potentially even more talent could concievably reach this lofty status without a genuine heart check. For instance, if Jones never fought Tarver and retired right before fight 1 he may have indeed reached the heights without having to prove his heart in Tarver 1. As you point out, this was the fight he knuckled down in, and many will agree he was ATG if he retired right prior to it.
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Old 07-08-2007, 11:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

I would say yes, but not for the reasons that may immediately spring to mind.

It takes heart to put yourself through the grind and better yourself to that level. Many also-rans have had more natural talent than many greats, the difference being that fortitude and will to succeed. This could easily be translated to heart.

Basically, it goes beyond merely taking a beating and coming back in an actual fight.
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

JT, the notion of RJJ as a potential exception to the rule had occurred to me when I spotted the title of this thread, but you've addressed it far better than I could.

From my peculiar perspective, dedication and discipline through the training process usually necessary to become an ATG requires heart, in and of itself. Then, the old addage, "The harder you work, the harder it is to surrender," comes into play. Greater sacrifices and effort equate into greater determination and resolve. (Of course one can pass the threshold between building the body up, and breaking it down. Overtraining doesn't do any good either.) Peak physical conditioning is enormously crucial to withstanding or recovering from a heavy shot.

Maintaining a high level of fitness is what kept Patterson and Carnera getting up from devastating knockdowns, despite being chinny. (In my opinion, Floyd is a worthy HOFer.)

Ray Arcel's comment that Duran would rather fight than eat, leads me to wonder whether fighting spirit is the same as heart. Greb, Walker and Duran started out doing it because they loved it. SRR didn't pursue boxing as an end in itself, but as a means to reach another objective, the same success in show business that Max Baer sought after the Frankie Campbell tragedy. Foreman's comeback was also fueled by ulterior motives. (On the other hand, if it hadn't been for Duran's car accident, Roberto might still be competing.)

Can Max Baer be considered an ATG?
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:21 AM   #8
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

Yes

Last edited by enzo; 02-25-2006 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:29 AM   #9
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

When you are going from great fighter to all time great, you need heart. Not just the ability to fight back from a knockdown, but the ability to absorb punishment and still fire back. When fighting other greats, 9 out of 10 it will get down to an absolute war and you will be put in a life and death situations. If the opponent is an all time great, you will bet he will have a struggle on your hands no matter how good you are.

Look at Ali, Arguably the fastest ever, As good a chin as anyone, extremely powerful, yet without heart, he would have lost to Cooper and maybe never got a shot, Never come back from the Norton broken jaw, never beaten Frazier, never hung tough and beat Foreman. In fact, he would have been just a good to average fighter even with all his great attributes.
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Old 07-09-2007, 12:34 AM   #10
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

It is an important elelment but if you don't have the physical talent all the heart in the world won't make up for it.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:25 AM   #11
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnThomas1
Great question, and i have an interesting tidbit to add. The tidbit is all about fine lines.

First off let me say i am not saying RJJ lacked heart, or had it in spades. Now surely most would regard him as an ATG, surely. Now if we look thru 95% his career it is possible to say that he got hit so few times and struggled so little that it would be possible for a sensationally talented fighter to get to ATG status without having to have his heart severely tested.
Excellent stuff.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:26 AM   #12
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by salsanchezfan
yes, but not for the reasons that may immediately spring to mind.

It takes heart to put yourself through the grind and better yourself to that level. Many also-rans have had more natural talent than many greats, the difference being that fortitude and will to succeed. This could easily be translated to heart.
Yes, I agree with this, I think that drag is constantly underated.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:28 AM   #13
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
Not good, not a champ, an ATG? Can a fighter become and ATG without great heart?
Kind of, to me the biggest intanagable is 'redemption' and to gain redemption you normally need a mighty good ticker.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:32 AM   #14
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

i believe heart and courage is every bit as rare as great boxing ability.
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Old 07-09-2007, 05:40 AM   #15
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Default Re: Is Heart The Single Most Important Attribute If A Fighter Is To Become An ATG?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thunder06
i believe heart and courage is every bit as rare as great boxing ability.
I agree with you. It's probably rarer.

Studies have shown that there is a 1% of the population that just don't experience fear like the rest of us. They'd be taken out in the wild but because they're in protected society they get on OK. I don't think that these people would do particularly well as top drawer boxers. I think mastering the fear and overcoming the desire to lay down is part of the process for approaching greatness. But JT1 makes some excellent points about very special fighters in this regard.
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