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Old 09-18-2007, 08:50 AM   #1
young griffo
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Default Fighting To The Opponents Level

What fighters seemed to fight only as good as the fighter in front of them?

By this I mean fighters who would look average to ordinary against average to ordinary opposition but when matched with a talented,threatening opponent would lift their performance to meet this challenge.

An example of this is Evander Holyfield who looked less than stellar against ordinary opponents like Bert Cooper,Vaughn Bean,Alex Stewart and Bobby Czyz but when faced with a Tyson,Bowe,Mercer,Foreman or even a Lewis would bring a completely different level of output and intensity to meet these much more dangerous challenges.

Another example is the 70's Ali who'd go through the motions with a Buster Mathis,Joe Bugner or Rudi Lubbers only to bring his A-game against a Frazier,Foreman or Quarry.

Any other fighters like this spring to mind?
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Old 09-18-2007, 09:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

Interesting thread. You could argue that all great fighters fight like this but I see what you mean.

How about Joe Calzaghe? His performace against Lacey was his best and Lacey was the best fighter he fought.

Charley Burley certainly deserves a mention. He actually had a different style for when there was something serious on the line.

You mentioned Ali who said, "I can't train my hardest for every fight. It would kill me."
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Old 09-18-2007, 09:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

Larry Holmes is the epitome of this IMO.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnThomas1
Larry Holmes is the epitome of this IMO.
your avatar is the epitome of ....never mind.

how about jimmy carter? he did it all the time, even losing the title occasionally and outside title defenses you never knew what you'd get.

and not because they wanted to, but the black dynamite crew had to 'carry' their opponents in hopes of getting more fights, so it's kind of the same principle.

arturo gatti..wait, never mind.
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Old 09-18-2007, 03:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

Archie Moore made it an art form to just do what ever was needed to win...

Maxie Rosenbloom was suspected of doing his best to just drop a fight or two.

Kid McCoy and Abe Attell had reputations for very often doing as little as required, hell McCoy became part of the English language because of it.
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

Erik Morales.
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Old 09-18-2007, 04:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

Carlos Monzon
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

Sometimes James Toney has been guilty of this

Last edited by brooklyn1550; 09-18-2007 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 09-18-2007, 05:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brooklyn1550
Sometimes, James Toney has been guilty of this
Yes, those were fights where he forgot to take the steroids.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

Not sure about Ali. Take the mentioned Mathis fight. Ali toyed with Mathis and tried not to hurt him. The gulf in class was woefully obvious.

I think Lennox Lewis is a great example. He usually won. But most of his opponents were in the ordinary-good, rather then great-legendary range. And he was often only a punch or two, or a round or two better than them.

Some examples: Mercer, Bruno, Mavrovic, 'spent' Holyfield - and of course Rahman and McCall for falling below the level of your weak opposition!
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Old 09-19-2007, 02:28 AM   #11
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

Emile Griffith is the quintessential example.
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Old 09-19-2007, 03:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Street Lethal
Emile Griffith is the quintessential example.
That's an excellent example actually.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:18 AM   #13
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

Evander Holyfield would be an obvious choice.
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Old 09-19-2007, 07:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

Sal Sanchez, anyone...
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Old 09-19-2007, 10:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: Fighting To The Opponents Level

This way of thinking is often just used as an excuse to brush aside poor performances.

Not saying it doesn't apply to some fighters of course.

Sanchez for instance just struggled with more technical boxer types.He wasn't simply fighting to their level while in actual fact could have thrashed them at any time.
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