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Old 04-22-2011, 03:00 PM   #121
burt bienstock
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

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Originally Posted by enquirer View Post
Those picking robinson i think are totally guilty of thinking that the more 'aesthetically pleasing' ,eye pleasing and technically correct great is somewhow superior to the unorthodox great.
I see no possible scenario how robinson beats Greb. Greb is a swarming,rythym breaking nightmare style,moreso than
la motta/basillio/fullmer,bigger than those three,has unlimited stamina,a heavyweight chin,the speed of a cat,the strength of turpin but most importantly the priceless gift of the ability to beat any 160 man in history and most of the lt heavies as well.
This is THE absolute worst matchup for Robinson at 160.
A man whom the great 175er Tunney could not outbox or overwhelm till the fifith fight and your telling me a natural 154er is going to have a chance? ray has no chance of stopping Greb,and i fail to see how he would outbox Greb on the front or back foot.
Greb is as clear cut the no1 160 man as could be to those with an impartial eye.
Well said E.Greb was UNIQUE, in that he mixed tremendous handspeed,and bouncing around footwork, where Tunney and others declared he was never in the same spot for a half of second. Combined with a LUST for battle,
tremendous stamina,rugged strength in the inside,and a great chin that withstood,heavyweight punchers when necessary. It was said by an opponent
that, 'I thought that the ceiling above me opened up ,and I was engulfed in a sea of boxing gloves".
Aside to doubters who spout, "well I never saw him,so how can I rate him"?
Well if you were walking on a beach, and saw a watch in the sand. You would
have to conclude that it was made by someone...So with the record of Harry Greb. Truly amazing,and FEARLESS was he fighting with sight in ONE EYE,
knowing that one blow could cause his other eye to close,making him virtually blind,and helpless. But he did this for the FIVE years of his career,
every time he entered the ring.Against bigger men than he to boot.
Yes E,Harry Greb deserves accolades, as our best P4P fighter IMO...Cheers.
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Old 04-22-2011, 03:17 PM   #122
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

A lot of faith being put on a man that no one has ever seen and who did have his reported struggles in the ring despite a great record. I wouldn't put money against Robinson in any fight at welterweight and middleweight and he would take atleast one in a series against anybody. Greb and Robinson would likely need several fights to settle the rivalry.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:03 PM   #123
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

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A lot of faith being put on a man that no one has ever seen and who did have his reported struggles in the ring despite a great record. I wouldn't put money against Robinson in any fight at welterweight and middleweight and he would take atleast one in a series against anybody. Greb and Robinson would likely need several fights to settle the rivalry.
You say "no one has ever seen him [Greb]!. My father had seen Harry Greb, and Ray Robinson,as thousands of other boxing people of Greb's and Robinson's time. With respect A, your statement should be taken with a grain of salt !
I too have never seen Abraham Lincoln, but I recognize Lincoln's greatness from the body of work and achievments ,he has left behind for posterity.
So too with Harry Greb....
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:12 PM   #124
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

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You say "no one has ever seen him [Greb]!. My father had seen Harry Greb, and Ray Robinson,as thousands of other boxing people of Greb's and Robinson's time. With respect A, your statement should be taken with a grain of salt !
I too have never seen Abraham Lincoln, but I recognize Lincoln's greatness from the body of work and achievments ,he has left behind for posterity.
So too with Harry Greb....
I didn't talk about those people though. What should be taken with a grain of salt are our opinions since we never saw Greb in action. We can only make "educated" guesses, but without the greatest education which is analyzing actual footage.

Jack Sharkey saw both men and thought Robinson was the greatest.
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:41 PM   #125
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

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I didn't talk about those people though. What should be taken with a grain of salt are our opinions since we never saw Greb in action. We can only make "educated" guesses, but without the greatest education which is analyzing actual footage.

Jack Sharkey saw both men and thought Robinson was the greatest.
Jack Sharkey said that Robinson was the best welterweight he had seen
Mickey Walker, Maxie Rosenbloom, Jack Dempsey,all who fought and sparred with Greb thought of him as the greatest fighter they had ever seen.Period.
Tell me A,all hype aside- do you think that Ray Robinson, would have CHALLENGED and LICKED such great big LH's as Gene Tunney, Tommy Gibbons, Tommy Loughran, Jack Dillon,Battling Levinsky, Kid Norfolk,
Gunboat Smith, Billy Miske, Bill Brennan[5 times],etc.?
Well this is what Harry Greb did, whilst Ray Robinson avoided all the top bigger LH's of his time,such as Ezzard Charles, Archie Moore, Harold Johnson,
Lloyd Marshall etc. I was around those days when Robbie took on one LH,
Joey Maxim,because Maxim couldn't hit as hard as some middleweights of that time,and posed very little threat to Robinson. But Robinson avoided the hard bangers as abive. Ray KNEW his limitations, Harry Greb ,had no limitations, taking on everyone regardless of weight, style, color.
I am certain that Harry Greb in prime would beat EVERY opponent of Ray Robinson.
I am convinced that Ray Robinson, would lose to all of the bigger HOFamers
that Greb beat...What better criteria is there?
Aside- I am not trying to disparage the greatness of Ray Robinson,who I saw at his best,and was easily the best P4P fighter i ever saw live. But Greb was
at HIS best, more astounding, as the record shows. take care...
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:49 PM   #126
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

You're forgetting that Greb was a solidly built middleweight who weighed as much as 170 pounds in his day. Robinson started off at lightweight and made his mark at welterweight until moving up to middleweight and taking out the best. That's similar to Greb competing with the best light heavyweights of his time, and he sometimes even outweighed those men (Loughran, Dillon).

Robinson took on Joey Maxim because he held the light heavyweight title. He had won amateur titles at featherweight, beaten the lightweight champion in a non-title bout, dominated the welterweights, won the middleweight title 5 times. A light heavyweight title would have only made his record even more awesome, but it's awesome either way.
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:32 PM   #127
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

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You're forgetting that Greb was a solidly built middleweight who weighed as much as 170 pounds in his day. Robinson started off at lightweight and made his mark at welterweight until moving up to middleweight and taking out the best. That's similar to Greb competing with the best light heavyweights of his time, and he sometimes even outweighed those men (Loughran, Dillon).

Robinson took on Joey Maxim because he held the light heavyweight title. He had won amateur titles at featherweight, beaten the lightweight champion in a non-title bout, dominated the welterweights, won the middleweight title 5 times. A light heavyweight title would have only made his record even more awesome, but it's awesome either way.
U say Robinson started as a lightweight. True as a 19 year old in 1940 Robinson at almost 6ft,was a lightweight for a short time. Harry Greb at the same age was about fighting at 140-1 pounds at 5ft 8".Robinson grew into a welterweight @147,who always had a height advantage [almost 6ft] over his
welterweight opponents. He once tackled a fighter who weighed several pounds above 147 pounds named Artie Levine,[I knew his Aunt] in 1946.
In the 9th round Levine dropped Robinson flat on his back with a right hand
and the ref walked Artie Levine back to a neutral corner,and back before starting his COUNT. It was estimated that Robinson was on the canvass for 17 seconds before he got up,clearing hs head.So Robbie knew the dangers of fighting bigger and stronger men...Greb didn't,because of his style of fighting and his sheer toughness.
Yes it is true that Greb when fighting non-title bouts with bigger men,had the luxury of allowing himself to occasionally fight over 160 pounds. Why not,enjoy yourself some good meals,without having to make 160 pounds ?
BUT,when the occasion demanded to fight at MIDDLEWEIGHT ,160 pounds
Harry Greb still made the weight,with Mickey Walker in his last year [1925],just ONE year before Greb's tragic demise in 1926.I'll bet Robinson's walking around weight while a middleweight was 165or more, until fight time.
A, no matter how you look at it, Ray Robinson was prettier to behold, while
Harry Greb was just more effective....I'll take them both,methinks....
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Old 04-22-2011, 05:58 PM   #128
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

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bman,You inquire why Harry Greb was in his time, alongst with Jack Dempsey and Benny Leonard,not recognized as the"Best P4P fighter of his times"? The answer is quite simple,b. There was no such designation as the
best P4P fighter in those days. NONE. That apppelation was formed during the times of Ray Robinson,MANY years later.
Isn't this one of those myths like the Clay-Cooper glove, Papke-Ketchel throat shot, etc that keeps getting more mileage every time it's regurgitated?

I've read contemporary reports of Henry Armstrong being described as the best P4P fighter way before Ray Robinson ever turned pro.

And I doubt it was created just for Armstrong.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:05 PM   #129
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

I hate when people bring up the "Robinson started out as a LW" argument against Greb. Greb weighed as low as 138 early in his career. Just a few pounds north of Robinson's lowest weight. He was also shorter and had a shorter reach. Furthermore, for a lot of Robinson's WW championship he was considered a freak for being able to make 147 and there was constant talk of when he would be moving up because of his well known weight struggles. Yes, he was a naturally lighter guy, but not THAT much lighter. He could weigh 154. At the end of his career Greb could weigh 158. Yes, he was known to go into the 160s but anything over about 165 for him was simply unnecessary weight.

Furthermore, Jack Sharkey may have said Robinson was better (and Id be curious just how many times and when Sharkey saw Greb fight) but Ive found a TON more testimonials by people who saw both guys who didnt think Robinson would have a chance. As stated above (and I know I will be percieved as being biased, although I love Robinson as well) I just think this is a bad style, size... basically everything matchup. Everything Greb brings to the table is like an amalgamation of all of the things Robinson had trouble with only on steroids. I just dont see him beating that. P4P I also dont think Robinson comes close. But, stylistically, based on everything Ive read, yes Robinson was probably a far more asthetically pleasing fighter (Although he could be boring as shit sometimes).
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:07 PM   #130
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

The term p4p was not created for Robinson. Thats something Larry Merchant or Bert Sugar cooked up. And indeed I have some reports calling Greb "the greatest fighter barring weight" or "of any weight" etc etc. I havent read the term pound for pound that early but I have seen the meaning or idea of the term applied to Greb several times.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:34 PM   #131
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

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U say Robinson started as a lightweight. True as a 19 year old in 1940 Robinson at almost 6ft,was a lightweight for a short time. Harry Greb at the same age was about fighting at 140-1 pounds at 5ft 8".Robinson grew into a welterweight @147,who always had a height advantage [almost 6ft] over his
welterweight opponents. He once tackled a fighter who weighed several pounds above 147 pounds named Artie Levine,[I knew his Aunt] in 1946.
In the 9th round Levine dropped Robinson flat on his back with a right hand
and the ref walked Artie Levine back to a neutral corner,and back before starting his COUNT. It was estimated that Robinson was on the canvass for 17 seconds before he got up,clearing hs head.So Robbie knew the dangers of fighting bigger and stronger men...Greb didn't,because of his style of fighting and his sheer toughness.
Yes it is true that Greb when fighting non-title bouts with bigger men,had the luxury of allowing himself to occasionally fight over 160 pounds. Why not,enjoy yourself some good meals,without having to make 160 pounds ?
BUT,when the occasion demanded to fight at MIDDLEWEIGHT ,160 pounds
Harry Greb still made the weight,with Mickey Walker in his last year [1925],just ONE year before Greb's tragic demise in 1926.I'll bet Robinson's walking around weight while a middleweight was 165or more, until fight time.
A, no matter how you look at it, Ray Robinson was prettier to behold, while
Harry Greb was just more effective....I'll take them both,methinks....
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I hate when people bring up the "Robinson started out as a LW" argument against Greb. Greb weighed as low as 138 early in his career. Just a few pounds north of Robinson's lowest weight. He was also shorter and had a shorter reach. Furthermore, for a lot of Robinson's WW championship he was considered a freak for being able to make 147 and there was constant talk of when he would be moving up because of his well known weight struggles. Yes, he was a naturally lighter guy, but not THAT much lighter. He could weigh 154. At the end of his career Greb could weigh 158. Yes, he was known to go into the 160s but anything over about 165 for him was simply unnecessary weight.

Furthermore, Jack Sharkey may have said Robinson was better (and Id be curious just how many times and when Sharkey saw Greb fight) but Ive found a TON more testimonials by people who saw both guys who didnt think Robinson would have a chance. As stated above (and I know I will be percieved as being biased, although I love Robinson as well) I just think this is a bad style, size... basically everything matchup. Everything Greb brings to the table is like an amalgamation of all of the things Robinson had trouble with only on steroids. I just dont see him beating that. P4P I also dont think Robinson comes close. But, stylistically, based on everything Ive read, yes Robinson was probably a far more asthetically pleasing fighter (Although he could be boring as shit sometimes).
Greb did start as a 140 pounder, when he was 18-19 years old, and was bombed out by Joe Chip. A year later he was regularly weighing 160 and even up to 170 so he grew a lot physically since that fight. It's not like Jake LaMotta was smaller than Robinson despite only being 5'8. It has been stated that Greb was weight drained at 155 pounds (even LaMotta did make 154) which took away from his performance, while Robinson throughout his whole career could make the weight without problems.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:39 PM   #132
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

What does any of that have to do with a prime for prime match between Greb and Robinson?


Furthermore, a year after turning pro Greb was not weighing 170. The fight in question he took on short notice (literally coming out of the crowd) with no training and likely weighed in wearing street clothes (and it was winter meaning those clothes would have been heavy). He most certainly was not a legitimate 170 pounder and never was at any point in his career. Whether he carried that weight sometimes is not indicative of what his natural weight was.
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Old 04-22-2011, 06:51 PM   #133
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

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What does any of that have to do with a prime for prime match between Greb and Robinson?


Furthermore, a year after turning pro Greb was not weighing 170. The fight in question he took on short notice (literally coming out of the crowd) with no training and likely weighed in wearing street clothes (and it was winter meaning those clothes would have been heavy). He most certainly was not a legitimate 170 pounder and never was at any point in his career. Whether he carried that weight sometimes is not indicative of what his natural weight was.
It has to do with the question of greatness between the two. I was answering burt who claimed Robinson could not beat the light heavyweights that Greb did. That's possible but you have to take into account that Robinson at his best was a welterweight, not a middleweight, yet won the middleweight title 5 times and challenged for the light heavyweight title.

LaMotta was never at his best at 170 pounds either but there's no question he was physically bigger than Robinson and walked around at well over 170 pounds.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:10 PM   #134
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

Oh, I was talking about what the thread starter asked: 1950 Robinson vs a prime Greb, or prime for prime. I dont think Robinson wins.

As for the weight, I still dont see where that factors in. We arent talking about a mythical what if Greb were a welterweight etc. My point was that both men started within a few pounds of each other and both men ended within a few pounds of each other. Greb fought and beat LHWs and HWs despite the fact that he was a natural 158 pounder. In his last fight before retiring in 1952 Robinson weighed 157, he was younger than Greb when Greb had his last fight (and weighed a pound and a half more than Robinson), and had by then outgrown the WW division. To argue who was "bigger" is symantics. As I pointed out both had different physical advantages over the other. The bottom line is that Robinson's competetive ceiling was considerably lower than Greb's. Some people will disagree with me but I think Maxim is one of the weaker LHW champs and Robinson was stopped by him. You cant tell me Maxim was ever better than guys like Loughran, Tunney, Norfolk, Gibbons, etc. Furthermore, if Robinson gets stopped by Maxim what happens when he faces a guy like Brennan who could box and punch and weighed between 20 and 30 pounds heavier than Maxim. I realize thats besides the point because this about Robinson-Greb not Robinson-Brennan but the fact that Greb could fight those big guys in the dead of summer outside and not faint from exhaustion like Robinson, while not having the physical height and reach to be able to stay away and box from outside, or the power to keep them off of you. Well, that says something about the guy. I think he would have been all over Robinson like a wet blanket.
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Old 04-22-2011, 07:39 PM   #135
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Default Re: Harry Greb vs. Sugar Ray Robinson

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It has to do with the question of greatness between the two. I was answering burt who claimed Robinson could not beat the light heavyweights that Greb did. That's possible but you have to take into account that Robinson at his best was a welterweight, not a middleweight, yet won the middleweight title 5 times and challenged for the light heavyweight title.

LaMotta was never at his best at 170 pounds either but there's no question he was physically bigger than Robinson and walked around at well over 170 pounds.
To put this to rest:
1- Jake LaMotta was no Harry Greb. Greb would have made Jake seem like he was stuck in mud.
2-Even if Greb was a few pounds heavier than Ray was as a Welterweight, Greb tackled men ,all HOFamers who weighed, 10 to 35 pounds more than Greb,whilst Robinson truly avoided dangerous opponents as the ""murderers row " guys, as Cocoa Kid, Charley Burley,Holman Williams,Bert Lytell, Lloyd Marshall ,who weighed about the same as Ray did. Robinson and Gainsford knew the dangers these guys posed,and NEVER gave these worthies a much deserved money shot. Why not ? They were too damn dangerous to fight.
That is why A..Robinson in 1947,when he was in his prime,eeked out a controversial decision from Georgie Abrams ,a good middleweight. There was booing after that fight.At least Georgie Abrams tackled Charley Burley to a draw. To sum this debate up : Greb ,tackled much heavier great bigger men
in his career,and whipped them ,DUCKING no one.
Ray Robinson, beautiful to watch ,beat everyone his weight ,with the glaring avoidance of,men of his weight "murderers row",because they posed a danger to Robinson and his legacy. This is a FACT. And never tested himself against bigger punchers,as Harry Greb did. Just for the HELL of it. Cheers A.
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