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Old 12-19-2009, 07:04 PM   #1
PetethePrince
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Default Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

A lot of people here seem to rank Liston ahead of Tyson and Foreman. Not all, plenty don't in fact. But Liston is viewed very favorably. This seems to be due to his built up status in H2H scenarios. Somehow, Tyson gets the bully cast more than Liston does. Yes, Liston is an incredibly complete fighter. And has a solid resume and comp and unfortunately lost it all when the GOAT dethroned him. But losing should cost for something... losing twice against GOAT in an embarrassing fashion should too. Shouldn't it? Corruption, threats, conspiracy theories or not. That's not for us to judge, analyze, or determine. Falling into obscurity should hurt his legacy.

A lot of his credit goes to cleaning up the division from 58-62. I credit him for that, but a lot of his credit is due to KOing a HOF Heavyweight like Patterson in the 1st round - not once but twice. Similarly, I've heard from a very respected poster that this is such an achievement that he should get massive credit for it. It's not indifferent to the Foreman vs Frazier showdown because it took Foreman 2 rounds and not 1. This was a showcase of power and destruction, though. Yes, Frazier under-estimated Foreman. Didn't train properly with the discipline he should have and came in about 8-10 pounds overweight. Joe Frazier thought he could slip that lazy jab and left hook Foreman to death. Didn't pan out that way. But frankly, under-estimating Foreman and being a little past your best doesn't do enough to discredit this demolish-ment against a top 10 HW of all time. Even if Frazier is made to order for Foreman, this doesn't effect this accomplishment just explain its. And Foreman, doing this to not only Frazier once but twice does this to Kenny Norton. Then you take the rest of his resume, accomplishments, and 90's championship run and you have one of the all time great Heavyweights. Also, Foreman won the HW Gold Medal. This is a nice bonus.

Tyson cleaned up the division in the 80's. On a resume basis, Liston vs Tyson is comparable I admit. But Tyson did this as a champion. Not Liston's fault he was ducked, but Tyson was cleaning up and defending his title. Liston gets props for his 1 round demolishment of Patterson, and although Patterson is a more accomplished HW than Spinks I still think Tyson's 1 round demolishment is equally as impressive.

Then take his 90's run. He loses to the best in Holyfield and Lewis, but beats Ruddock twice and regains the title a second time. Tyson gets cast as a bully with no heart but he came back from prison to win the title. Liston fell of the map after the second Ali fight. Yes, Liston was old, but Tyson did more and should be granted a higher ranking. No? At this moment, I have Liston ahead but with more thought I think Tyson deserves to be ranked above him.

Even guys like Frazier and Holyfield. Frazier, especially. Can Liston be ranked above him? Holyfield, although inconsistent, probably has the best resume of anyone HW besides Muhamamad Ali. Doesn't that count for something?

Now, I understand some rate with H2H. And this is what it comes down to. Does Sonny have ability, height, reach, to be such a monster to grant this status? Is he that much better than either Foreman or Tyson in terms of H2H?

Thoughts on my current anti-Liston rant. Honestly, he is a potential top 10 HW. A borderline top 10 HW. But I've seen him ranked as high as #3. And I've seen him in many people's top 5. Yes, I know when the poll was conducted Liston did not make the top 10, but... what's the fascination with the few respectable posters giving him such high praise. This high praise, isn't like the Tyson fanatics that are 14 year old boys that love KO highlights. This is coming from our best members.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

who the hell puts liston above them? espically foreman..i have never heard that....
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

Never underestimate the value of a great jab. Sonny could be survived over the distance, but good luck pulling off the decision on the scorecards! Even at the end against Wepner, this was not somebody considered an easy touch for anybody who wasn't a peak GOAT. Tommy Morrison engineered a superb points win over a mature Foreman. But that version of Morrison cleanly loses the verdict to any edition of Liston who ever stepped foot in the ring. Straight punches tend to prevail over looping swings. George was never any kind of straight puncher.

Tyson used Cus D'Amato's peek a boo defense. We saw how well that worked against Sonny twice.

In his late career stoppage of the rugged Scrap Iron Johnson, an aging Liston showed that he could box effectively in retreat. That's an ability Foreman and Tyson never demonstrated, and suggests a greater versatility on Sonny's part than he is generally given credit for possessing.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:03 PM   #4
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

For me, and catch hell for this or not but you started it with Liston, both Liston and Johnson have always struck me as overrated in terms of all-time rating. Great fighters, no doubt, but when you look at what they proved, I just don't rank Liston or Johnson up with the short, short list of HWs. Not after Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Holmes, then Tyson, Holy and Lewis came along. Before the seventies, okay, short list, but they've been pushed out for many reasons.
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

once again..who has liston above foreman and tyson?
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:45 PM   #6
Richel Hersisia
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

not above foreman, but i have him above tyson... and by some margin..


out the top of my head, my list is this

Ali
Louis
Holmes
Marciano
Foreman
Lewis
Dempsey
Liston
Johnson
Foreman
Frazier
tunney
Tyson
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

Liston, Tyson, and Foreman all had a somewhat similar career pattern: they streaked through their division in a relatively short span of time and were touted as "invincible," then had their limitations shockingly and embarrassingly exposed and never really were the same afterward. I'd say Foreman was the best of the three, as his win over Frazier is a bigger and more impressive achievement than any the other two had, and he also managed the best "comeback" of all of them later in his career. He's actually the only one to eventually regain the status he once held during his initial peak run.

I don't agree that Liston's win over Patterson is on par with Foreman's over Frazier. Frazier was a genuine proven great and undefeated champion, whereas Patterson was always considered a vulnerable and heavily criticized titleholder. Foreman's win over Frazier was a humongous upset and surprise. While Liston taking out Patterson in only the 1st round is impressive, he still was expected by most people to win that fight in some way.

I frankly don't see a case for putting Liston over Foreman. Liston/Tyson is tougher to call, but I agree that Tyson probably accomplished more during the later stages of his career than Liston did. I also think Liston probably has the weakest resume of the three. In his whole career, he really only beat three top tier fighters - Patterson, Machen, and Folley. A lot of people will add Cleveland Williams to that list, but he really didn't distinguish himself as a leading contender until after the Liston fights. Even if you do take all four of those fighters into account, I don't consider that a totally mind-blowing set of wins. While they all had some talent, none of them were considered particularly durable and they'd all had some obvious limitations exposed even before Liston entered the picture (and would so again afterward).
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Old 12-19-2009, 09:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

ok...so Richel Hersisia has....
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregDempsey View Post
who the hell puts liston above them? espically foreman..i have never heard that....
You new?

Quote:
Never underestimate the value of a great jab. Sonny could be survived over the distance, but good luck pulling off the decision on the scorecards! Even at the end against Wepner, this was not somebody considered an easy touch for anybody who wasn't a peak GOAT. Tommy Morrison engineered a superb points win over a mature Foreman. But that version of Morrison cleanly loses the verdict to any edition of Liston who ever stepped foot in the ring. Straight punches tend to prevail over looping swings. George was never any kind of straight puncher.

Tyson used Cus D'Amato's peek a boo defense. We saw how well that worked against Sonny twice.

In his late career stoppage of the rugged Scrap Iron Johnson, an aging Liston showed that he could box effectively in retreat. That's an ability Foreman and Tyson never demonstrated, and suggests a greater versatility on Sonny's part than he is generally given credit for possessing.
This is very true. I guess that's what makes Sonny so appealing. He's so awesome on paper... but that's just paper. I'm not saying that doesn't always translate, because it does and we see this in film. But his versatility, skill, ability and overly appeal is no real legit justification to me of being a top 5 ranked HW. To me, having him off your list is more viable. H2H the guy is clearly monster, but how far along has Liston versatility been over-credited and over-emphasized. Fighting off the back foot is nice and all, but it doesn't mean he controls range and distance against Holmes, Ali, or even neccessarily beats swarmers like Frazier and Tyson. Yes, on paper Sonny is as murderous as he was on film. And I guess this gives him a chance to win any fantasy fight. And that's what his ability/diversity does give him a legitimate shot. He had no real limitation, however, in his most defining fights he crumbled and folded. That's what we remember him by, and perhaps if he was consistently stood up to then he would break. Mentally, just like Tyson did. I have a feel he fell apart mentally more in the Ali fights than physically. Cleveland Williams get Knocked out too soon. He didn't dent Sonny's armor enough. Sonny felt it but wasn't discouraged enough. Imagine that over the course of 5-10 more rounds. Can he take that? Has he ever proven to win a real dogfight? No... favoring him against Holyfield, Lewis, Ali, Holmes, Tyson, and even Frazier and Foreman can be difficult. This guys generally should grit, toughness, and skill. Tyson is the only one casted as a mentally weak fighter on that list. Liston gets too much of a pass, perhaps? Maybe I'm just ranting and raving over nothing. Most likely...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GregDempsey View Post
once again..who has liston above foreman and tyson?
Many posters. Check the HW rankings list. Some of the most credible and respected posters have Liston as far as anywhere from 3-5. To be specific, McGrain has him #4 I believe. Suzie Q has him ranked #3 and Muchmoore has him #5 or #6.
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Old 12-19-2009, 11:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richel Hersisia View Post
not above foreman, but i have him above tyson... and by some margin..


out the top of my head, my list is this

Ali
Louis
Holmes
Marciano
Foreman
Lewis
Dempsey
Liston
Johnson
Foreman
Frazier
tunney
Tyson
But he's above the second coming of Foreman, right? Is that the Monk you refer to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by My2Sense View Post
Liston, Tyson, and Foreman all had a somewhat similar career pattern: they streaked through their division in a relatively short span of time and were touted as "invincible," then had their limitations shockingly and embarrassingly exposed and never really were the same afterward. I'd say Foreman was the best of the three, as his win over Frazier is a bigger and more impressive achievement than any the other two had, and he also managed the best "comeback" of all of them later in his career. He's actually the only one to eventually regain the status he once held during his initial peak run.
I agree. I have Foreman ranked very highly. In fact, as high as the people that rank Liston as high as they do.

Quote:
I don't agree that Liston's win over Patterson is on par with Foreman's over Frazier. Frazier was a genuine proven great and undefeated champion, whereas Patterson was always considered a vulnerable and heavily criticized titleholder. Foreman's win over Frazier was a humongous upset and surprise. While Liston taking out Patterson in only the 1st round is impressive, he still was expected by most people to win that fight in some way.
Neither do I, and I don't know how you could. Regardless of a little overweight and a little past prime. Frazier was still 29 and seen as being great after beating Ali in FOTC. Liston has like the quickest win in championship history over a top 25 HW of all time. This sort of achievement gets blown way out of proportion. It's a get achievement but doesn't enhance the win into some milestone.

Quote:
I frankly don't see a case for putting Liston over Foreman. Liston/Tyson is tougher to call, but I agree that Tyson probably accomplished more during the later stages of his career than Liston did. I also think Liston probably has the weakest resume of the three. In his whole career, he really only beat three top tier fighters - Patterson, Machen, and Folley. A lot of people will add Cleveland Williams to that list, but he really didn't distinguish himself as a leading contender until after the Liston fights. Even if you do take all four of those fighters into account, I don't consider that a totally mind-blowing set of wins. While they all had some talent, none of them were considered particularly durable and they'd all had some obvious limitations exposed even before Liston entered the picture (and would so again afterward).
Yes, Liston/Tyson are tougher to call. Much more similarities and general pattern. Tyson lost against the best of his eras in the 90's, Liston lost to Ali twice. Both cleaned out divisions. Liston did pre-title, Tyson did during his reign. Last time I checked, I have Liston ranked #8 with Tyson #10.

I wouldn't diminish Nino Valdes though.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

well p4p there can be some argument of course. but h2h i see liston beating both foreman and tyson. ofcourse this is not everyones opinion. but especially foreman i believe is made for liston. in strength they are probably the same, maybe george a little stronger) as far as speed goes also about equal but sonny was the far better boxer, was a better ring general and had better stamina then a prime foreman.
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Old 12-20-2009, 08:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

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Originally Posted by junior-soprano View Post
well p4p there can be some argument of course. but h2h i see liston beating both foreman and tyson. ofcourse this is not everyones opinion. but especially foreman i believe is made for liston. in strength they are probably the same, maybe george a little stronger) as far as speed goes also about equal but sonny was the far better boxer, was a better ring general and had better stamina then a prime foreman.
I know sparring is just sparring but I hear Foreman gave so much hell to Sonny in sparring that his services as a partner were second-guessed.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:14 AM   #13
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

I think the main argument over having Liston over either is many would agree anyone in history would lose to the Ali that Liston lost too, so it isnt really a bad loss, Foreman lost to a much worse version of Ali.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:23 AM   #14
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

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Originally Posted by My2Sense View Post
I'd say Foreman was the best of the three, as his win over Frazier is a bigger and more impressive achievement than any the other two had, and he also managed the best "comeback" of all of them later in his career. He's actually the only one to eventually regain the status he once held during his initial peak run.
Foreman's comeback is the most overrated comeback of all time. And although technically becoming linear champ again, no one really considered him no1 in the world at any time during either of his comebacks, Tyson some at least some considered no1 in 95-96 when he unified the WBA and WBA

As for comeback wins - is past prime Frazier, Lyle, Moorer (and losses to Young, Holyfield, Morrison, Schulz) really much better than Prime Rudduck, Bruno, Seldon, Golota (losses to Holy/Lennox)??

You also talk about the lack of Listons wins over top10 rated contenders, Foreman only beat Moorer, Frazier, Lyle, Norton in the top 10 to my knowledge not sure if Chuvalo/Peralta were ranked when he fought them. And thats all spread over 3 decades

Liston didnt have a chance to make a comeback because he was shunned from the mainstream.
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Old 12-20-2009, 09:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: Sonny Liston Ranked Above Tyson and Foreman - Why, And How?

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Originally Posted by Boxed Ears View Post
I know sparring is just sparring but I hear Foreman gave so much hell to Sonny in sparring that his services as a partner were second-guessed.
Where did you hear this?
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