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Old 10-08-2007, 12:32 AM   #1
RoccoMarciano
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Default Chin vs Age

Does a fighters ability to take a punch decrease, increase, or stay the same as age increases?

Of course the reflexes slow with age, which assist when younger with leaning away/lessening a punches impact etc. But let's just say we forget about the youth reflex advantage and concentrate on punches that land with the same impact - will youth play any advantage, or will age?

I'm using this criteria to guage something outside of anything to do with Marciano, BTW
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: Chin vs Age

It depends on the extent of the brain-damage the fighter has received. A fighter has to have quite serious brain damage before it affects punch resistance that seriously. So for the most part chin stays the same in a technical sense - that is, the brain stays the same distance from the skull, the cushion protecting the skull remains intact.

However, punch resitance can improve with experience. Again, this is not an improvement of the brains safehouse (the skull etc) in the physical sense, but a veteran fighter who has previously been hit with the kitchen sink won't be "caught cold" in the same way a fighter with 20 or 30 fights (or more depending on what type of fighter/competition) can be.

Finally, I would mention diminishing returns on training as a factor as important as diminishing reflexes in fighters who get more vulnerable with age.
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Chin vs Age

Very interesting question. I've got no idea and look forward to other posters replies.

If forced to guess, I would say chin diminishes with age, on the basis that all physical traits do.

It seems to me that even with a punch of the same power landing, the declining reflexes of the older man will mean the brain is more 'surprised' by the impact, and thereby more likely to shut down from the shock.
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Chin vs Age

Do you think the Ali of today would take a prime George Foremans best punch at this stage in his life? Obviously it deteriates when you grow weaker with age. It just depends when you grow weaker.

Chin is decided by neck, back and leg strength to a large extent as these get weaker the chin gets weaker.

When your defenses erode from reduced stamina, you can't roll with punches as well too and you take more flush punches that you don't roll with or don't absorb.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:48 PM   #5
RoccoMarciano
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Default Re: Chin vs Age

I'm mainly considering Holmes vs Tyson with this question. Holmes had a very good chin, but did it deteriorate that much before he fought Tyson?
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Old 10-09-2007, 12:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Chin vs Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerPuncher
Do you think the Ali of today would take a prime George Foremans best punch at this stage in his life? Obviously it deteriates when you grow weaker with age. It just depends when you grow weaker.

Chin is decided by neck, back and leg strength to a large extent as these get weaker the chin gets weaker.

When your defenses erode from reduced stamina, you can't roll with punches as well too and you take more flush punches that you don't roll with or don't absorb.
Exactly. In general, punch resistance, like many other things, deteriorates with age. There are some exceptional fighters that seem to be able to retain their ability to take a punch as they age, but most don't. No surprise there.
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Old 10-09-2007, 08:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: Chin vs Age

Another poster on another forum once said you learn to take a punch by taking them. Usually the chin does decline with age but there are excecptions. Patterson (who else?) come to mind. After the Liston series, his second career of sorts was fairly tame in knockdowns. Granted 4 in his two bouts with Quarry but 3 or them were "flashers"; and he recovered nicely in the first Quarry scrap after that Sunday right from Jerry in the second to basically make it his fight to lose or draw which "passive Floyd" did, other than that there was the take the knee KD in Ali 1 and Bonavena (which was questionable). Bombs from Chuvalo didn't sent him down. I think his "china chin" rap waned somewhat after the Liston bouts.
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Old 10-09-2007, 10:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: Chin vs Age

The strength of a fighter's chin is often linked to confidence and self belief more than physiology. For example Ali and Patterson were vulnerable as young men but much harder to floor as they matured. Larry Holmes went down three times against Tyson in a fight he didn't prepare for or believe he could win yet returned to the ring in his forties and never suffered a genuine knockdown again despite fighting for the world title two more times. Its the heart not the head that gives you punch resistance.
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Old 10-10-2007, 01:56 AM   #9
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Default Re: Chin vs Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnBKelly
The strength of a fighter's chin is often linked to confidence and self belief more than physiology. For example Ali and Patterson were vulnerable as young men but much harder to floor as they matured. Larry Holmes went down three times against Tyson in a fight he didn't prepare for or believe he could win yet returned to the ring in his forties and never suffered a genuine knockdown again despite fighting for the world title two more times. Its the heart not the head that gives you punch resistance.
This realization may be one reason why Norton hired a hypnotist.

Conditioning can also be a key factor along with mental state, as Eddie Davis demonstrated against Mike Spinks.

George Foreman was slower and less mobile during his second career, but he was also much bigger and stronger. He stood up to Cooney's best hook, something he may not have been able to do during his initial run as a top heavyweight. (Conversely, would the Foreman of the Cooney fight have been stunned and floored by Ron Lyle?)

Advancing age can compromise the ability to evade punishment. As a smaller boxer moves up in weight classification, he may or may not improve his ability to take a punch with him. This can also be true whenever he moves up in class, as so graphically illustrated by Sean
O'Grady's career.
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Old 10-10-2007, 11:45 AM   #10
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Default Re: Chin vs Age

USUALLY a increas in weight increases a fighters chin. Of course there are exceptions. But look at Butterbean, he has so much ballast that it would be extremely hard to knock him down, but if he weighed 150 lb it would be probably only take a solid shot.
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Old 10-10-2007, 12:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: Chin vs Age

It mostly depends, I would assume, on how much said fighter put into properly training early in their career.

Take Evander Holyfield for instance. Setting aside the accusations of steroid use, it's apparent that from the get go, he valued strength training. For a 210 pound man, his neck and shoulder muscles are extraordinary. This gives him an instant ability to absorb a strong punch - moreso than most fighters - before it even begins to affect his legs. A veritable shock absorber, if you will.

Now, because Holy has spent his entire adult life working his body (by various means, if you think steroids has to enter into the discussion), as time has gone on, he's built a base of muscle that will lessen less over time than other fighters.

The foundation is so well done, so to speak, that age doesn't effect him as much as it would somebody else who never put the time into creating a solid, functioning ability to take a punch well.
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