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Old 12-13-2007, 03:55 PM   #1
john garfield
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Default If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

In scanning the various threads, I see people making arguments for and against fighters based on BoxRec or musty articles.

Let's presume for a moment every legend that young posters are dead set on undermining had lost all the controversial fights on their records. Would that make them less brilliant?

If Joe Louis had lost the nod to Walcott the first time...
If Tunney was KO'd in the return with Dempsey...
If Robinson was really starched by Artie Levine...
If Cassius Clay had lost to Doug Jones...

IF! IF! IF! IF THE QUEEN HAD BALLS...
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john garfield
In scanning the various threads, I see people making arguments for and against fighters based on BoxRec or musty articles.

Let's presume for a moment every legend that young posters are dead set on undermining had lost all the controversial fights on their records. Would that make them less brilliant?

If Joe Louis had lost the nod to Walcott the first time...
If Tunney was KO'd in the return with Dempsey...
If Robinson was really starched by Artie Levine...
If Cassius Clay had lost to Doug Jones...

IF! IF! IF! IF THE QUEEN HAD BALLS...
Joe Louis was already an ATG before the Walcott fights, so yes, he's still an ATG regardless.

Gene Tunney already schooled Jack Dempsey the first time, so yes, he's still an ATG regardless.

I really didn't find the Ali-Jones fight controversial. Ali won 6-3-1 on my card. The crowd just went crazy whenever Jones's gloves went within 12 inches of Ali. I guess it could've been different if Jones had gotten the nod since it would've taken longer for Ali to win a title, but he probably still would've reached the top and had a great career. Some of Ali's later wins (Norton, Shavers) were controversial, but that was after he achieved a great deal.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

It depends on the fighter.


If Ali had lost the decisions against Jones, Young, Norton III and Shavers then his standing would've been a bit less, especially considering Young and Norton III really did deserve the verdict whereas Shavers was very close and Jones should not have won.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

Depends on who we're taliking about. I don't think losing to Walcott would have hurt Louis, in fact if he did lose, he likely would have become the first to regain the title, hence improving his legacy.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john garfield
In scanning the various threads, I see people making arguments for and against fighters based on BoxRec or musty articles.

Let's presume for a moment every legend that young posters are dead set on undermining had lost all the controversial fights on their records. Would that make them less brilliant?

If Joe Louis had lost the nod to Walcott the first time...
If Tunney was KO'd in the return with Dempsey...
If Robinson was really starched by Artie Levine...
If Cassius Clay had lost to Doug Jones...

IF! IF! IF! IF THE QUEEN HAD BALLS...
Louis would still be an ATG, but Walcott would be regarded a lot better.. I hate it how people who havent seen those fights talk about how Louis kicked Walcotts ass.. Walcott had him down, and was counter punching great, in both fights...
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

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Originally Posted by mr. magoo
Depends on who we're taliking about. I don't think losing to Walcott would have hurt Louis, in fact if he did lose, he likely would have become the first to regain the title, hence improving his legacy.
In that scenario Walcott might have a shot at being the second to regain the title if he then went on to lift it from Ezzard Charles.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

James toeny has been in controversial fights, even though i thought he clearly beat sosa, reggie johnson and mcallum, i will give you the tiberi win as a robbery but thats about it.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

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Originally Posted by john garfield
IF! IF! IF! IF THE QUEEN HAD BALLS...
She might as well. Charles sure as hell doesn't.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john garfield
In scanning the various threads, I see people making arguments for and against fighters based on BoxRec or musty articles.

Let's presume for a moment every legend that young posters are dead set on undermining had lost all the controversial fights on their records. Would that make them less brilliant?

If Joe Louis had lost the nod to Walcott the first time...
If Tunney was KO'd in the return with Dempsey...
If Robinson was really starched by Artie Levine...
If Cassius Clay had lost to Doug Jones...

IF! IF! IF! IF THE QUEEN HAD BALLS...
Depends on which fights are considered controversial-some comments-
1. I guess if Jeffries lost the draws to Ruhlin and Choynski and the fight with Sharkey, he would drop quite a bit. What about losing only one? Still some drop I think.

2. Dempsey loses the fight with Miske which went to a draw--some drop. Dempsey doesn't make it back into the ring against Firpo. Big drop.

3. Tunney gets counted out in second Dempsey bout. Tunney drops some, depending on what would have happened in the rubber bout. This scenario would give Dempsey a lift, however.

4. Louis loses to Walcott--Probably not much impact because Louis was aging, especially if he regained the title in 1948. A loss to Godoy would be harder to shrug off.

5. Marciano loses close one(s) to Lowry or LaStarza--Came early in career and he would still have beaten everyone he fought--also close decisions, not decisive defeats. I don't think it would hurt as much as some think. Doesn't get to heart of his legacy.

6. Frazier loses to Bonavena--I might be in a minority, but I think he did--an official loss would certainly drop him some, but he did defeat Bonavena in a rematch and he was green.

7. Liston blows close one(s) to Summerlin. These were very controversial decisions, but Liston was young and I don't think they would hurt him critically. As with Marciano, might rub some lustre off record but wouldn't tarnish the heart of his accomplishment.

8. Ali--had a lot of close calls--Jones, Frazier II, Norton II & III, Young, and Shavers. Obviously, if all went against him, he would look fairly erratic. Jones would certainly tarnish him a great deal. The problem with a loss to Norton in 1976 is that Norton would then have won 2 of 3. Close decisions do brace up Ali's legacy some.

9. Holmes--loses to Norton--ouch. This would have to drop him a great deal as Ken was past his best and Holmes was peak. Holmes loses to Witherspoon--certainly drops him some.

10. Lewis drops decision to Mercer. Another hard to explain defeat in his prime. It would have to drop him.
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

I think that when its possible (i.e. when footage is available), one should always go with their own interpretation of a fight irrespective of an official result.

If you think a great lost in a fight they controversially won, then you should regard it as a loss and rank the fighter accordingly.

If you think a great won in a fight they controversially won, then you should regard it as a win and rank the fighter accordingly.

That would take care of the boxrec-ism and all the emphasis being placed on offcial records that so many a poster religiously rely on.

The problem comes when we don't have footage at our disposal and when we don't even have a description of a fight, it becomes even worse. In that case losses do affect our perceptions of a fighter, for we have nothing other to go off other than their record for that particular fight.

Most important fights are reported about though, and so in most cases, we should at least, make an effort to read about the fight before we make judgement on it. Looking at the offocial result should always be a last resort.

So to answer the question: would we still think a fighter was great if they lost all the fights they controversially won?

We would dampen our opinions of them, presuming

1. we agreed that they lost after viewing the film, or
2. we were informed that they lost after reviewing the literature on a fight, with the majority thinking they lost (when we didn't have access to film), or
3. all we had to go by was the official record

Otherwise, it shouldn't alter our opinions on them at all

Mind you, a lot of people just look straight at the record and forget about all else. To those people, their opinions would greatly be altered if the greats lost the fights they actually controversially won. But in any event, who gives a **** about the opinion of those people?
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Old 12-13-2007, 05:38 PM   #11
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

Quote:
Originally Posted by john garfield
In scanning the various threads, I see people making arguments for and against fighters based on BoxRec or musty articles.

Let's presume for a moment every legend that young posters are dead set on undermining had lost all the controversial fights on their records. Would that make them less brilliant?

If Joe Louis had lost the nod to Walcott the first time...
If Tunney was KO'd in the return with Dempsey...
If Robinson was really starched by Artie Levine...
If Cassius Clay had lost to Doug Jones...

IF! IF! IF! IF THE QUEEN HAD BALLS...
I didn't mention Robinson--I think a countout against Levine would really hurt his legacy. He also was saved by the bell against LaMotta in the fight he lost. If those two went against him, I don't think he would be considered the p4p greatest, even though both are middleweights.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:50 PM   #12
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
It depends on the fighter.


If Ali had lost the decisions against Jones, Young, Norton III and Shavers then his standing would've been a bit less, especially considering Young and Norton III really did deserve the verdict whereas Shavers was very close and Jones should not have won.

Totally agree with all cards here. Good scoring, my fellow Dutchie.
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
In that scenario Walcott might have a shot at being the second to regain the title if he then went on to lift it from Ezzard Charles.

Very good point. Joe would have been pushed up a few places for definite.
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

Most of you are voicing opinions about fans, at large. Where would the greats be in YOUR estimation?

To me, a thoroughbred's always a thoroughbred.
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Old 12-13-2007, 07:19 PM   #15
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Default Re: If the greats had lost their controversial wins, would they still be great?

My .02 cents

Louis' record was in tact and by the time that the Jersey Joe fights come around
I think he already established himself and was past his best then, I don't hold fighters at the end of their careers to the flame if the lose a couple going out or when they start. I love Louis. My only knock on him is that I wish he would have fought Bivin's after the war, actually my knock is on WWII its self that took that fight away. It would have been great to see Bivins vs. Louis after the Conn fight for instance, even if Bivins had been slipping by then.

If Tunney was KO'd by Dempsey, Dempsey would jump ahead a few notches for me. Tunney is a great win period. You could always explain the first loss as due to a long layoff. I know its some big "ifs" but if Dempsey had beat Tunney in a rematch (even if he lost a third fight, which would have happened of course), fought and beat Wills, and maybe picked up a yearly defense in 1224-1925 against top ten guys, Dempsey would be top three for me hands down.

The Robinson fight doesn't change much for me. I would have liked to see Levine beat him. But, what would it change for SRR? He'd be 130-3 then instead of 130-2 or whatever. And I am sure Robinson would have beat him in a rematch after losing.

If Ali would have lost to Jones, that is kind a bigger set back. That would have changed history. Clay had a couple of good wins before Jones, but if he lost to Jones, Jones goes on to fight Liston, Liston beats Jones. Ali might have to wait until 1965 or so to fight Liston, if he still gets stripped in 67 that only gives him two years at his dancing best. Interesting.
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