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Old 09-12-2007, 10:04 PM   #16
Bummy Davis
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

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Originally Posted by Marciano Frazier
Yes, I personally think Williams is very overrated, thanks to the sort of mystique he gives off thanks to his imposing appearance, tales of having been ducked by elite opponents, and perceived status as a rival of Sonny Liston. In spite of having those things, Williams' career frankly lacks substance compared with many other heavyweight contenders'. He defeated exactly one top 10 opponent in his entire near-100-pro-fight career- Terrell in the first fight-, and came up short every other time he stepped up against elite opposition. As impressive as he may have looked, he just never really delivered when it all came down to it.

Big Cat, Norton,Mike Williams had that cut weight lifting built, Norton did the best but builts can be decieving
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Old 09-12-2007, 10:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

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Originally Posted by Mendoza
This is one way to look at it. Williams had a lot of heart and a very fan friendly style. He was a big puncher who had the mis-forutne of being at his best when Liston was also at his best, and being at his worst when Ali was at his best.
Accurate description.

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Williams was avoided by Patterson for a title shot. Williams vs Patterson could have go either way.
Eh, I think that's questionable. The top two contenders at the time Williams was on the rise and Liston hadn't yet come to the top were Machen and Folley. They were both considerably more deserving challengers than Williams- when the champion doesn't fight his top two challengers, do you say it's #3 he's ducking?

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I tend to view Williams as an unlucky top contender who got his biggest fights at the absolute worst time for him.


Who else could beat a prime Liston, and a prime Ali?
The issue isn't just not beating Liston or Ali- the issue is barely beating anyone. Williams has, as I said, one career win against a contender.

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Your point about Williams not facing other contenders is valid. However I believe itís a two way street as the Tommy Jacksonís, and Roy Harris of boxing were not so eager to meet Cleveland Williams. They didn't have to to get title shots from Patterson.
Oh, no, Williams fought other contenders- he just didn't beat them. Even in his pre-shooting career, Williams' record against top 10 opponents is 1-4-1. His best results were going even with Machen and Terrell, both of whom, incidentally, accomplished a lot more than Williams ever did and went even with him in head-to-head matches, but are, oddly enough, typically seen ranked below him in historical standing.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:10 AM   #18
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

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Heīs overrated, heīs hyped up that Listonīs legacy looks better, but in reality his best results were a draw against Machen, not very impressive if you ask me...

Exactly. Nice size for the era. Impressive physique. Fodder for the Liston-philes.

All hat, no cattle.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:31 AM   #19
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

Why don´t we remove the word "overrated", and instead use "very popular" which is what Cleve Williams were and still is with us who remembers him.

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Old 09-13-2007, 07:50 AM   #20
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

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Originally Posted by Marciano Frazier
A, Williams fought other contenders- he just didn't beat them. Even in his pre-shooting career, Williams' record against top 10 opponents is 1-4-1. His best results were going even with Machen and Terrell, both of whom, incidentally, accomplished a lot more than Williams ever did and went even with him in head-to-head matches, but are, oddly enough, typically seen ranked below him in historical standing.
If we take Ali and Liston out of the mix, Williams Ko'd Terrell, drew with Machen ( I hear it was a questionable call ), and lost a Split decision to Terrell. This means Williams was likely " on par " with Machen and got the better of a decent Terell. Unlike Terell and Machen who were not equipped to beat a star heavyweight, Williams had a real puncherís chance to pull off an upset.

Williams also defeated some of the same guys who mixed with Liston and Ali, and beat a faded John Holman. While his resume of wins vs top guys is thin, there is no doubt Williams was dangerous. In my opinion Pattersonís management did not want to give Williams a title shot.
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Old 09-13-2007, 08:15 AM   #21
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

The point is "overated". Its not a question of potential but rather the fact that he is routinely rated above Machen, Folley and Terrell while his overall record does not justify this. Very similar to Ruddock as someone pointed out.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:18 PM   #22
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

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Originally Posted by mattdonnellon
The point is "overated". Its not a question of potential but rather the fact that he is routinely rated above Machen, Folley and Terrell while his overall record does not justify this. Very similar to Ruddock as someone pointed out.
Agreed. With Williams there needs to be a qualifier. He was not as accomplished as Terrell, Folley, or Machen. In an accomplishment sense, those guys should be rated higher, and Cleveland Williams is over rated.

However if you are talking about hypothetical head to head match ups vs the filed, than I do beleive you could rank Williams over the Terrell's, Folley's, and Machen's of boxing. Williams was a big man with fair skills, a big punch, and little fear. He's got a punchersí chance and a big time heart to get off the canvass as much as he can. Williams in theory has a greater chance to upset superior competion than the Folley's, Machen's and Terell's of boxing.

Maybe Willaims puncherís chance didnít work vs a tough Sonny Liston, but it could have worked vs Patterson, Ingo, or even Lennox Lewis. I would compare Williams to an in shape Rhaman, who quiescently cashed in on his punchers chance. While Rhaman is a bit better overall than Williams was, I hope you see what I am angling for.
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Old 09-14-2007, 02:57 AM   #23
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

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Originally Posted by Mendoza
If we take Ali and Liston out of the mix, Williams Ko'd Terrell, drew with Machen ( I hear it was a questionable call ), and lost a Split decision to Terrell. This means Williams was likely " on par " with Machen and got the better of a decent Terell.
Don't forget the Bob Satterfield fight, in which Williams was bombed out and knocked unconscious. I do think he was arguably a little green for that match, though, and it was on short notice. The Terrell thing is a little bit in the hair-splitting zone, but I will concede that if you give the edge to one of them in their head-to-head series, it's Williams- although, being fair with my remark about Williams in the Satterfield fight, it is true Terrell probably wasn't really at his peak yet, seeing how he had lost to Bethea within the last year-and-a-half and had yet to beat an elite opponent and really "break through," so to speak, when he fought Williams.

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Unlike Terell and Machen who were not equipped to beat a star heavyweight, Williams had a real puncherís chance to pull off an upset.
Williams had a puncher's chance, but he also had a fairly weak chin and questionable defense, while those guys were durable and defensively sound. Terrell and Machen had better overall skillsets- Williams was a high-risk, high-vulnerability fighter. I suppose in theory Williams has a more real chance at beating a championship-level opponent, but I would also say he would be much more likely to just get blasted out and not be competitive than a Machen or Terrell would. They would be better at "hanging" with top-flight opposition.

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Williams also defeated some of the same guys who mixed with Liston and Ali, and beat a faded John Holman.
You see, this is where my point becomes more apparent- Holman was never a particularly good contender in the first place, had lost five of his last six and was in his final pro fight when Williams fought him, and yet he is brought up as one of Williams' best wins! There are a few others who could be named instead, but they're not much better. The only top 10 opponent anywhere near his prime who Williams ever beat was Terrell, and other than that, he was knocked out by Satterfield, drew with Machen, lost the Terrell rematch, and was bombed out twice by Liston- that's the entirety of his big-fight career, even in his prime.

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While his resume of wins vs top guys is thin, there is no doubt Williams was dangerous.
Yes, although for whatever reason(judging by film and his opponents' and observers' accounts, his power was very real) he doesn't seem to have really been among the most effective knockout artists- his knockout percentage wasn't too stunningly high even against no-name opposition, and he only ever actually managed to floor or stop one ranked opponent- again, Terrell.

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In my opinion Pattersonís management did not want to give Williams a title shot.
No, I don't think they did either, but they shouldn't really have been under any serious pressure to do so, either. During Patterson's first title reign, he racked up a dozen wins against largely no-name opposition with a couple washed-up ex-fringe contenders mixed in, and then get knocked out by Liston, and during the second one, he picked up another dozen wins against relatively insignificant opposition while splitting with Machen and Terrell. Basically, he wasn't any more deserving than at least four other active contenders, I'd say. If Williams had separated himself against Machen and Terrell and become #1 contender, I'm sure Patterson would have superceded D'Amato and made the fight, just like he did with Liston in real life. The point being that I don't think we can really apply the Langford-at-middle-to-heavyweight or Charles-at-light-heavyweight theory here or anything; Williams had his opportunities and didn't prove himself to be exceptional relative to his peers, and so his failure to receive a title shot is incidental and not necessarily unfair; remember, Machen never fought for the title himself.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:27 AM   #24
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

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Marciano Frazier Don't forget the Bob Satterfield fight, in which Williams was bombed out and knocked unconscious. I do think he was arguably a little green for that match, though, and it was on short notice. The Terrell thing is a little bit in the hair-splitting zone, but I will concede that if you give the edge to one of them in their head-to-head series, it's Williams- although, being fair with my remark about Williams in the Satterfield fight, it is true Terrell probably wasn't really at his peak yet, seeing how he had lost to Bethea within the last year-and-a-half and had yet to beat an elite opponent and really "break through," so to speak, when he fought Williams.
True. The Satterfield fight greatly diminished Williams resume. My main point was Williams got the better of Terell in the series because he scored the lone KO, and had a questionable draw vs Machen.


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Williams had a puncher's chance, but he also had a fairly weak chin and questionable defense, while those guys were durable and defensively sound. Terrell and Machen had better overall skillsets- Williams was a high-risk, high-vulnerability fighter. I suppose in theory Williams has a more real chance at beating a championship-level opponent, but I would also say he would be much more likely to just get blasted out and not be competitive than a Machen or Terrell would. They would be better at "hanging" with top-flight opposition.
Machen was durable. He went a hard 12 with Liston, but also suffered a brutal 1st round KO loss to Ingo. I do think Williams has a real punchers chance for an upset vs elite level fighters, which I like to rank him a tad higher even if his resume is thinner.

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You see, this is where my point becomes more apparent- Holman was never a particularly good contender in the first place, had lost five of his last six and was in his final pro fight when Williams fought him, and yet he is brought up as one of Williams' best wins! There are a few others who could be named instead, but they're not much better. The only top 10 opponent anywhere near his prime who Williams ever beat was Terrell, and other than that, he was knocked out by Satterfield, drew with Machen, lost the Terrell rematch, and was bombed out twice by Liston- that's the entirety of his big-fight career, even in his prime.
This is true. Williams needed to fight more contenders. I think Williamsís career path was unlucky. He drew Liston twice when Liston was at his best and Ali once when Ali was at his best. He never drew Patterson or Ingo, and had a gun shot would that tarnished his legacy a bit towards the end of his career.

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Yes, although for whatever reason(judging by film and his opponents' and observers' accounts, his power was very real) he doesn't seem to have really been among the most effective knockout artists- his knockout percentage wasn't too stunningly high even against no-name opposition, and he only ever actually managed to floor or stop one ranked opponent- again, Terrell.
Who else could have knocked out a prime Liston or Ali?. Terell is a tough guy to stop. Williams did that. Williams had 58 KO's in 78 fights but the numbers do not tell the entire story. Prior to his gun shot wound, Williams pretty much stopped who he was supposed stop.

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No, I don't think they did either, but they shouldn't really have been under any serious pressure to do so, either. During Patterson's first title reign, he racked up a dozen wins against largely no-name opposition with a couple washed-up ex-fringe contenders mixed in, and then get knocked out by Liston, and during the second one, he picked up another dozen wins against relatively insignificant opposition while splitting with Machen and Terrell. Basically, he wasn't any more deserving than at least four other active contenders, I'd say. If Williams had separated himself against Machen and Terrell and become #1 contender, I'm sure Patterson would have superceded D'Amato and made the fight, just like he did with Liston in real life. The point being that I don't think we can really apply the Langford-at-middle-to-heavyweight or Charles-at-light-heavyweight theory here or anything; Williams had his opportunities and didn't prove himself to be exceptional relative to his peers, and so his failure to receive a title shot is incidental and not necessarily unfair; remember, Machen never fought for the title himself.
Williams had his chances for sure. Unfortunately for him his three biggest fights were all TKO looses vs Ali and Liston when they were at their best. In hindsight Williams appears to be a mis-managed fighter who most certainly was better than most of Patterson's title opponents. Williams should have fought the same guys Patterson did, and some of Marciano's past their prime name opponents like Ezzard Charles to force a title shot with Patterson. Instead he crossed path with Liston twice, and suffered a gun shot wound that nearly killed him and robed him of some ring ability.
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Old 09-14-2007, 09:00 AM   #25
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

Too good for his own good..

Punched too hard for any top fighters to chance themselves with..

Too small a name to be considered a heavy challenger..

The typical member of the who needs em club.

Cleve made everyone who ever fought him remember him for his ability to punch solid and to prove his game heart.
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Old 09-14-2007, 12:03 PM   #26
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

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Originally Posted by Bigcat
Too good for his own good..

Punched too hard for any top fighters to chance themselves with..

Too small a name to be considered a heavy challenger..

The typical member of the who needs em club.

Cleve made everyone who ever fought him remember him for his ability to punch solid and to prove his game heart.
When Sony Liston was asked who he would defend his title against first he replied-

"Anybody who beats Williams".

More than anybody else in that era he possibly knew a few things that we don't.
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Old 09-14-2007, 12:23 PM   #27
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

Most People Rate A Fighter On What He Achieved, Not By What He Might Have Or By What People Percieved Him To Be.
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Old 09-14-2007, 12:57 PM   #28
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

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Originally Posted by mattdonnellon
Most People Rate A Fighter On What He Achieved, Not By What He Might Have Or By What People Percieved Him To Be.
I have often criticised people for givin high rankings to impresive looking fighters with mediocre achievments.

On this ocasion however there is some diference between the resume of the fighter and the buzz coming from people on the ground at the time. While I will never rank Williams based on this contemporary buzz I will ask why it is there.
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:50 PM   #29
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

I appreciate what your are saying. In the 1890's nobody would compare even Fitz, Sharkey, Choynski etc. with Peter Maher in terms of sheer punching power, but now with the passage of time they are routinely taken as harder hitters by many. Folley foe example beat Machen, Cooper, Bonavena, Clark, Jones, Cleroux, DeJohn, Valdez, Chuvalo and drew with Mildenberg. Is that not as impressive as Williams yet nobody hypes Zora.
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Old 09-15-2007, 03:15 PM   #30
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Default Re: overated cleveland williams

I really liked Williams,tell me the names of your favorite heavy's and how many had 58 ko's.Getting koed by Liston,Satterfield or Ali is no disgrace.Have a cop blast the kidney out of a figher,and see what kind of career that guy will have for another six years.Old, beat up, shot up,Cleveland Williams,gave young up and coming Mac Foster all he wanted in round three of their first fight
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