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Old 04-07-2011, 05:04 PM   #1
SuzieQ49
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Default Cleveland Williams rated 10th when he fought Liston in 1960

According to Spokesman Review

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According to Milwaukee Journal

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Anyone have the Ring Magazine monthly ratings of 1960? I would love to put an end to the debate whether Williams was top 10 rated when he fought Liston the 2nd time.
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:06 PM   #2
McGrain
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Default Re: Cleveland Williams rated 10th when he fought Liston in 1960

I know what you mean, it's because people who want to run down Sonny bang on about it, "he wasn't ranked, he wasn't ranked".

Of course he was ranked when he fought Ali. Fifth, I think.

Which version was better?

As you said yourself, it's safe to say that Liston fought the best version.
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cleveland Williams rated 10th when he fought Liston in 1960

It doesn't really matter if he was ranked or not, especially by RING magazine. I bet if I saw the list and checked some of the names ABOVE Williams (in places 1-9), I'd find at least one or two who didn't deserve to be above him.

It always baffles me how on this board so much stock is put in RING magazine's opinion and ratings as historical barometers of a fighter's quality, or even that people assume the RING ratings were good and honest.

At the time RING magazine ratings were accepted because they came out every month and fans bought the magazine,. It became a status symbol to have a place in RING's top ten.

But let's me clear : these ratings were drawn up Nat Flesicher or one of his disciples, and at one time by Jack Dempsey, or some freelance "ghost" writer. Or, at best, a small panel of three drunk Bert Sugar lookalikes (actually, the guys Bert Sugar modelled himself on). Back in the day I mean.
I'm sure there was dodgy dealings too, not that it matters.

I just think it's odd how so many discussions of this board seem to still hold the RING magazine top 10s from 50 or 60 years ago as some sort of holy scripture or Rosetta Stone.
As historians, perhaps we should be a bit more critical.
I mean, I don't see anyone putting much stock in Nat Fleischers ALL-TIME TOP 10 RANKiNGS, or having trouble questioning them.


Anyway, that's my side rant over with.
Yeah, it's not surprising Williams was ranked among the RING's top ten.

But I think he's often mentioned almost as some sort of long-standing top 3 or 4 contender, a bogeyman who was menacing the champion until Liston came along and cleared him out of the way.
It's been claimed "Patterson ducked X, Y, and Z" : Z being Williams.
"Ingo ducked him". "Williams was ducked". "All the guys Patterson wouldn't fight" blah, blah, blah.

The guy was rated 10th by RING magazine in 1960, was described as "unranked" or "not in thechampionship class" by Sports Illustrated in '58 or '59.
He was hardly some dark shadow or ogre looming over the championship. And neither was Liston, in truth, until significantly later than has often been claimed (eg. '58-'59).
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