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Old 06-22-2007, 05:03 PM   #16
McGrain
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

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Originally Posted by UpWithEvil
IIRC, testosterone was first synthesized in the late-30s. That would be considered the first synthetic steroid hormone. I don't believe it was used for performance-enhancement until after the war, when Soviet scientists began to experiment with human subjects.

Yeah, I think this is about right, wasn't it originally used in attempts to train bone disorders and stuff like that?

Would you be up for speculating as to what time the drug found it's way into boxing?
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

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Originally Posted by McGrain
Yeah, I think this is about right, wasn't it originally used in attempts to train bone disorders and stuff like that?

Would you be up for speculating as to what time the drug found it's way into boxing?

...and when drugs in general found their way into boxing? I would like to hear this as well.

As a fairly conservative sport, boxing seems like it would attract steroid use only relatively recently, when weightlifting and similar methods also came into vogue.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:15 PM   #18
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

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Originally Posted by McGrain
Would you be up for speculating as to what time the drug found it's way into boxing?
Actually, there is some decent evidence on the topic that came to light following the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Russian scientists were administering steroids to weightlifters by 1950. By the 1970s Eastern block nations were using numerous synthetic steroids almost indiscriminately for their para-professional athletes (recall all the jokes about East German swimmers and such).

Steroid use in the West became prevalent among bodybuilders and weightlifters in the mid-60s. By the 1970s football players were gobbling steroids by the handful with almost no medical guidance, based on underground suggestions and whispered gym conversations. By the 1980s international track & field monitors finally realized the degree to which steroid use had permeated their sport but there was significant dispute over what effect, if any, these drugs had on performance.

When Ben Johnson shattered the world record in the 100M dash, that proved to be the wake-up call for the sport. Steroids didn't just make you big, bulky, and strong, as the public perception went. Steroids could make you fast and explosive too.

Suddenly every professional athlete could see a potential benefit from the drugs. Baseball players could build strength AND recover from injuries faster. Boxers could train harder, reduce bodyfat, AND gain lean muscle.

I believe we'll look back on the 1990s as the Golden Age of Steroids in American sport. As time passes and more revelations come to the fore (remember that Holyfield, after being confronted with his own steroid link, denied any involvement but quickly passed along that he'd heard Tyson was a user) we'll find it easier to list the athletes who *didn't* use the drugs at least once or twice.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

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Originally Posted by UpWithEvil
I believe we'll look back on the 1990s as the Golden Age of Steroids in American sport. As time passes and more revelations come to the fore (remember that Holyfield, after being confronted with his own steroid link, denied any involvement but quickly passed along that he'd heard Tyson was a user) we'll find it easier to list the athletes who *didn't* use the drugs at least once or twice.

Very interesting post.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:19 PM   #20
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

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Originally Posted by UpWithEvil
Actually, there is some decent evidence on the topic that came to light following the fall of the Iron Curtain.

Russian scientists were administering steroids to weightlifters by 1950. By the 1970s Eastern block nations were using numerous synthetic steroids almost indiscriminately for their para-professional athletes (recall all the jokes about East German swimmers and such).

Steroid use in the West became prevalent among bodybuilders and weightlifters in the mid-60s. By the 1970s football players were gobbling steroids by the handful with almost no medical guidance, based on underground suggestions and whispered gym conversations. By the 1980s international track & field monitors finally realized the degree to which steroid use had permeated their sport but there was significant dispute over what effect, if any, these drugs had on performance.

When Ben Johnson shattered the world record in the 100M dash, that proved to be the wake-up call for the sport. Steroids didn't just make you big, bulky, and strong, as the public perception went. Steroids could make you fast and explosive too.

Suddenly every professional athlete could see a potential benefit from the drugs. Baseball players could build strength AND recover from injuries faster. Boxers could train harder, reduce bodyfat, AND gain lean muscle.

I believe we'll look back on the 1990s as the Golden Age of Steroids in American sport. As time passes and more revelations come to the fore (remember that Holyfield, after being confronted with his own steroid link, denied any involvement but quickly passed along that he'd heard Tyson was a user) we'll find it easier to list the athletes who *didn't* use the drugs at least once or twice.
To tell the truth, I suspect that the vast majority of the top heavyweights have been using them at one time or another...nor do we really have the ability to accurately catch them all. As far as I'm concerned, Holyfield was on the same level of playing field as his steroid-using contemporaries.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:59 PM   #21
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

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As far as I'm concerned, Holyfield was on the same level of playing field as his steroid-using contemporaries.
I doubt that *every* contender was using steroids in the 1990s, and that's the problematic aspect of this discussion. I think it's fair to guess (and it's just a guess) that the 1990s incarnations of George Foreman and Larry Holmes were not using steroids. Holyfield beat them both, but to what degree was his performance improved by the strength and explosiveness he gained through steroid use? Larry Holmes gave Holyfield a surprisingly competitive fight; does a drug-free Holyfield maybe lose another round or two as his strength wanes during the fight? How different the historic legacies of both Holmes and Holyfield would be if Larry eeks out another couple of rounds that night.

That is my biggest concern - did steroids (in this example) rob Larry Holmes of a possible consensus spot in the all-time top-5? What of Riddick Bowe? Does Tyson demolish a juice-free Holyfield in 1996 and see his own career rebirth?

It's insidious. And that's why most people view it as cheating, regardless of the legalities involved.
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:34 PM   #22
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

I think he used steroids. I think some of his inconsistent performances and ailments may have been due to it. Like the rubber match against Bowe when he suffered from a case of too-much-HGH-itis, or the Moorer fight when the NSAC said he showed the signs of HGH use.

But that's just speculation and thought. There's no proof of it, and we also don't know which other HWs that were champs or top contenders used.

I don't think I'll change my rankings based on simply speculation. If real evidence came out, then that's different.
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Old 06-22-2007, 08:40 PM   #23
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

What would constitute "real evidence", by your estimation?
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:21 PM   #24
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

No, I wouldn't

The playing field has not been even for awhile - For all we know all his opponents have used steroids, also.

And we don't know for absolute certain.

I'm not convinced steroids = a world title either. Holyfield will still have needed to acquire skills and show guts in the ring to get where he has, they're not a miracle drug rather a mixed bag of benefits and not so favourable effects.

I rank him top10, anyway.
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:24 PM   #25
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

I currently rank him at #9.

I think I was asking you about this in another thread recently. If you had told me about the 2004 order findings, I would have taken your claim a little more seriously.

If you could prove he did it in the 90's, I would change my opinion of him. I place him where he is based on his performances in that decade. I guess I'll always wonder about it, but innocent until proven guilty.
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:35 PM   #26
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

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Definitively prove Holyfield used steroids and I will consider the question.
If you've read the thread and the linked article on si.com, you are aware of the facts in evidence. As I've made quite clear, I've no interest in lawyerly obfuscation on the matter. Save your Chewbacca Defense for Hector Camacho's appeal.
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Old 06-22-2007, 10:44 PM   #27
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

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I think I was asking you about this in another thread recently. If you had told me about the 2004 order findings, I would have taken your claim a little more seriously.
I am almost positive that I discussed this very specific si.com article in that thread. It's one of the very few pieces of solid evidence we have linking steroids to championship-caliber boxing (Roy Jones Jr.'s BALCO ties being perhaps better-known, along with positive tests from Fernando Vargas and James Toney).

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If you could prove he did it in the 90's, I would change my opinion of him.
But again, I ask what would constitute proof? Boxing didn't test for steroids during this period, so actual analytical results from a laboratory are out of the question. Barring that, what do you think the necessary standard of evidence would be?

For his part, Holyfield denies ever having used steroids, even in the face of the evidence against him dating back to 2004. Given the specificity of the evidence, he's either the victim of a conspiratorial plot, or a bald-faced liar. If he's such a shameless liar, one cannot help but assume that any pleas of innocence on the topic are similarly disingenuous.
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:06 AM   #28
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

With or withot steroids, Holy is not in my alltime top 10 heavyweight list.
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:23 AM   #29
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

Quote:
Originally Posted by UpWithEvil
From the article:

"We spoke with several officials with the Nevada Athletic Commission, and while HGH is on a list of banned substances, boxers are not tested for it."

Given this fact, the exculpatory power of, "Evander...has not, to my knowledge failed a test" has to be considered worthless.

But this isn't about something as trivial as matters of law, "guilty" vs "not guilty". No jury is going to rule that Holyfield's heavyweight career received an unfair boost due to his reliance on under-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Your standard of legal "guilt" or "non-guilt" doesn't really factor into this.
i hate to be mean, but steroids does help in those really close moments of boxing where you're fighting back when hurt. wouldn't dare question holyfield's heart and clever ability, but against a guy like rocky marciano or joe frazier or riddick bowe and maybe tyson, you will get hurt and you just wanna go down but you muster all the courage and STRENGTH you can to fight back. steroids can help there. in that sense, i do lower him. well, let me think this through...

against atgs w +/- steroids prime for prime

lewis: win / win (competitive but close decision)
tyson: win / win
bowe: don't know what happens, steroids definitely will help big time in this fight.
holmes: loss / loss
ali: loss / loss
liston: loss / loss
foreman: loss / possible win (steroids will definitely help pull out of tough situations in this one)
frazier: loss / win
marciano: loss / win
louis: loss / loss
louis: loss / loss

in a head to head sense, it does affect him. in terms of what he achieved, he'd have beaten all the guys that he did beat (tyson, foreman, holmes, mercer, moorer) with or without steroids because he outboxed those guys.

in terms of traits, holy's greatest abilities was: 1. ring smarts - clever boxer, look at his clever boxing against tyson when holy was past his physical best and tyson was a wild, dangerous boar ; 2. hand speed and general skills ; 3. heart ; 4. physical ability to fight while hurt (yes, i separated this from 3)

steroids would affect only #4 and that would not be a factor against anyone except bowe and MAYBE tyson.

yes, it slightly lowers him.
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Old 06-23-2007, 05:52 AM   #30
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Default Re: If You Rank Holyfield a Top-10 ATG...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Janitor
When did steroids become widely available?
Quote:
Originally Posted by UpWithEvil
Widely? 1950s, early-60s.
I think this is the key point here.

I'm pretty sure that Holyfield was on steroids when he gained 20 pounds of lean muscle under guidance of that professional juicing guy, while already being in lean, ripped shape before that.

But the thing is, how can we know who used them and when?

Schwarzenegger was already juicing up in the 60's, who is to know Foreman didn't also take them in the 70's? Or Norton, or Lyle? There was no control whatsoever back then.

I wouldn't be suprised if Foreman (or Holmes) took them in their late-careers either. You don't have to be in ripped shape to take them. Look at Botha and Toney, they used them but weren't exactly Mike Weavers either. Add to that the psychological side ("i'm old now, i need this edge to compete") and the fact that Foreman was fighting very active for an old man.


While Holyfield is one of the extreme examples where it's pretty obvious, in some cases it's not, i.e. Botha and Toney. There may have been a lot of steroid users from the 60's on but they get a free pass because there was no control back then. In fact there still is not much control. So i don't know how fair it is to punish Holyfield for it.
Hard question actually... i'd have to think about it a bit more.
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