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Old 01-02-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
Sonny's jab
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Default Rating Gene Tunney

He's difficult to rate within a weight division because really he was at his best in his later fights when he was a solid 185-190 pounder.
But he didn't stay long enough at heavyweight before retiring to rate highly.

In hindsight people prefer to rank him very highly at 175 - and perhaps deservedly - but I dont think he was the finished article until the last few years of his career, when he was outgrowing the light-heavy division.
In other words, at his best he was bigger than light-heavy. And since most of the film, and his greatest contemporary critical acclaim is at HW then I dont know how high he should rate at light-heavy.

He weighed 182 when he beat Gibbons,and 181 against Greb in the fight where he gave Greb a beating. These fights were after Tunney had stated he was no longer going to try to fight at 175. These were his best wins outside of Dempsey. Against Dempsey he was a lean hard 186 pounder. Pictures of Tunney show a marked different in the size and apparent strength of his physique, and his top end performances also got better reviews at the higher weight.

At light-heavy, Tunney had some great results too, but not as impressive fighter as he was later.
He's one of the rare exanmples of a fighter who was perhaps even improving up until the day he retired.

He possibly does deserve a higher ranking at 175 than he should get at heavyweight, on resume and longevity alone. But it's a mistake to imagine the later Tunney as the same as the earlier version, IMO.

Tunney was a great great fighter but he's difficult to rate in a weight class.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:56 AM   #2
mcvey
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Default Re: Rating Gene Tunney

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
He's difficult to rate within a weight division because really he was at his best in his later fights when he was a solid 185-190 pounder.
But he didn't stay long enough at heavyweight before retiring to rate highly.

In hindsight people prefer to rank him very highly at 175 - and perhaps deservedly - but I dont think he was the finished article until the last few years of his career, when he was outgrowing the light-heavy division.
In other words, at his best he was bigger than light-heavy. And since most of the film, and his greatest contemporary critical acclaim is at HW then I dont know how high he should rate at light-heavy.

He weighed 182 when he beat Gibbons,and 181 against Greb in the fight where he gave Greb a beating. These fights were after Tunney had stated he was no longer going to try to fight at 175. These were his best wins outside of Dempsey. Against Dempsey he was a lean hard 186 pounder. Pictures of Tunney show a marked different in the size and apparent strength of his physique, and his top end performances also got better reviews at the higher weight.

At light-heavy, Tunney had some great results too, but not as impressive fighter as he was later.
He's one of the rare exanmples of a fighter who was perhaps even improving up until the day he retired.

He possibly does deserve a higher ranking at 175 than he should get at heavyweight, on resume and longevity alone. But it's a mistake to imagine the later Tunney as the same as the earlier version, IMO.

Tunney was a great great fighter but he's difficult to rate in a weight class.
Good point,I find much the same problem with Langford and Burley.
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rating Gene Tunney

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
He's difficult to rate within a weight division because really he was at his best in his later fights when he was a solid 185-190 pounder.
But he didn't stay long enough at heavyweight before retiring to rate highly.

In hindsight people prefer to rank him very highly at 175 - and perhaps deservedly - but I dont think he was the finished article until the last few years of his career, when he was outgrowing the light-heavy division.
In other words, at his best he was bigger than light-heavy. And since most of the film, and his greatest contemporary critical acclaim is at HW then I dont know how high he should rate at light-heavy.

He weighed 182 when he beat Gibbons,and 181 against Greb in the fight where he gave Greb a beating. These fights were after Tunney had stated he was no longer going to try to fight at 175. These were his best wins outside of Dempsey. Against Dempsey he was a lean hard 186 pounder. Pictures of Tunney show a marked different in the size and apparent strength of his physique, and his top end performances also got better reviews at the higher weight.

At light-heavy, Tunney had some great results too, but not as impressive fighter as he was later.
He's one of the rare exanmples of a fighter who was perhaps even improving up until the day he retired.

He possibly does deserve a higher ranking at 175 than he should get at heavyweight, on resume and longevity alone. But it's a mistake to imagine the later Tunney as the same as the earlier version, IMO.

Tunney was a great great fighter but he's difficult to rate in a weight class.
Good post, just that when rating by weight division , i give most credit to achievement at the weight , while i may agree with you that he might have been a more complete and better fighter later on in his career , his achievement at 175 means i have him high there - how can a boxer prove himself more than emerging as the best of the bunch in a very good/great era ?

I do give credit to fighters who dont stay at weight class long when ranking by division aswell , but they need to do something really special/look spectacular to get above the real achievers of the division's history.

This is just opinion though on how i rank by weight division.

Good point though
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Old 01-02-2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rating Gene Tunney

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcvey
Good point,I find much the same problem with Langford and Burley.
Now Burley, thats a hard one . He was at his best at welter i think , but his best wins were at middle , so really , history-wise he should be ranked high at MW not WW , do you think ?

Langford is so hard to rank by weight class , that im not even gna touch that
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rating Gene Tunney

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
He's difficult to rate within a weight division because really he was at his best in his later fights when he was a solid 185-190 pounder.
But he didn't stay long enough at heavyweight before retiring to rate highly.

In hindsight people prefer to rank him very highly at 175 - and perhaps deservedly - but I dont think he was the finished article until the last few years of his career, when he was outgrowing the light-heavy division.
In other words, at his best he was bigger than light-heavy. And since most of the film, and his greatest contemporary critical acclaim is at HW then I dont know how high he should rate at light-heavy.

He weighed 182 when he beat Gibbons,and 181 against Greb in the fight where he gave Greb a beating. These fights were after Tunney had stated he was no longer going to try to fight at 175. These were his best wins outside of Dempsey. Against Dempsey he was a lean hard 186 pounder. Pictures of Tunney show a marked different in the size and apparent strength of his physique, and his top end performances also got better reviews at the higher weight.

At light-heavy, Tunney had some great results too, but not as impressive fighter as he was later.
He's one of the rare exanmples of a fighter who was perhaps even improving up until the day he retired.

He possibly does deserve a higher ranking at 175 than he should get at heavyweight, on resume and longevity alone. But it's a mistake to imagine the later Tunney as the same as the earlier version, IMO.

Tunney was a great great fighter but he's difficult to rate in a weight class.
Then rate him at cruiser. That was his prime weight.

1 Marciano
2 Charles
3 Tunney
4 Dempsey
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rating Gene Tunney

Another thing is, DID Tunney real prove any dominance at 175 ?
In hindsight we might assume he was the best of the bunch, but it's not clear cut at all.

Georges Carpentier had lost the title to Battling Siki and been beaten soundly by Tommy Gibbons before Tunney got to him.

Battling Levinsky lost on points to Tunney a couple of years AFTER he'd been KO'd by Carpentier for the title.

The Tunney-Gibbons match was fought at 6 or 7 pounds above 175, and Gibbons may well have been past it.

In Tunney's only fight with Loughran the 8 round no decision was very even.

Tunney has by far the best record against Greb, who may have been the best, but again his performances improved as he outgrew the 175 division and as Greb's eyesight apparently worsened.
Maybe Gibbons arguably has better results against a prime and fully-sighted Greb.

Mike McTigue and Jack Delaney were light-heavy champions in the mid-20s. Tunney never fought them.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rating Gene Tunney

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
Another thing is, DID Tunney real prove any dominance at 175 ?
In hindsight we might assume he was the best of the bunch, but it's not clear cut at all.

Georges Carpentier had lost the title to Battling Siki and been beaten soundly by Tommy Gibbons before Tunney got to him.

Battling Levinsky lost on points to Tunney a couple of years AFTER he'd been KO'd by Carpentier for the title.

The Tunney-Gibbons match was fought at 6 or 7 pounds above 175, and Gibbons may well have been past it.

In Tunney's only fight with Loughran the 8 round no decision was very even.

Tunney has by far the best record against Greb, who may have been the best, but again his performances improved as he outgrew the 175 division and as Greb's eyesight apparently worsened.
Maybe Gibbons arguably has better results against a prime and fully-sighted Greb.

Mike McTigue and Jack Delaney were light-heavy champions in the mid-20s. Tunney never fought them.
In that era though , every1 will have been beaten by the time they fought every1 else most likely . They were fighting so often . These were top fighters of a tough time , they werent ruined after being beat . It is hard to beat them all in a era that full of top fighters . H ebeat the best ones though , in Carpentier , Greb , Loughran (one of the best imo) .

You have a good point though , i keep looking up his record and im considering taking him down a bit .

You have ruind my light-heavy list !!!
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rating Gene Tunney

Quote:
Originally Posted by teeto
In that era though , every1 will have been beaten by the time they fought every1 else most likely . They were fighting so often . These were top fighters of a tough time , they werent ruined after being beat . It is hard to beat them all in a era that full of top fighters . H ebeat the best ones though , in Carpentier , Greb , Loughran (one of the best imo) .

You have a good point though , i keep looking up his record and im considering taking him down a bit .

You have ruind my light-heavy list !!!
I think Loughran was still maturing when Tunney beat him.
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Old 01-02-2008, 10:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Rating Gene Tunney

Quote:
Originally Posted by teeto
In that era though , every1 will have been beaten by the time they fought every1 else most likely . They were fighting so often . These were top fighters of a tough time , they werent ruined after being beat . It is hard to beat them all in a era that full of top fighters . H ebeat the best ones though , in Carpentier , Greb , Loughran (one of the best imo) .

You have a good point though , i keep looking up his record and im considering taking him down a bit .

You have ruind my light-heavy list !!!
Well, I think over the time period Tunney is probably the
best choice for number 1, but perhaps at no point was he obviously the best out there. He never fought for the title, maybe not his fault, but I think Greb was "ducked" more so than Tunney.

I dont see Tunney's position as similar to say Ezzard Charles in the late 40s when Ezz was clearly a superior fighter, cleaning up the division but being dnied crucial title shots.

Tunney gradually got the better of Greb, but wasn't dominating an entire division.

Like I said, Tunney's ND "win" over Loughran was disputed, and some call it a "win" for Tommy.
Carpentier was finished when he faced Tunney, he'd been KO'd by Siki by then.

Tunney's position as a light-heavy in the 20s is a bit like how a great fighter has difficulty dominating a division without unifying these days. The merry-go-round, various titles, and rivals jumping around divisions makes it hard to pin dominance in a division. Tunney, for whatever reason, has similar missing pieces and doubts.

It's worth noting that Tunney's plan was ALWAYS to challenge for Dempsey's heavyweight title, so it's no wonder he didn't need to tidily dominate the 175 division.

BTW, I say all this as a great fan of Tunney's. I think he was an amazing fighter.
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Old 01-02-2008, 12:25 PM   #10
teeto
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Default Re: Rating Gene Tunney

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
Well, I think over the time period Tunney is probably the
best choice for number 1, but perhaps at no point was he obviously the best out there. He never fought for the title, maybe not his fault, but I think Greb was "ducked" more so than Tunney.

I dont see Tunney's position as similar to say Ezzard Charles in the late 40s when Ezz was clearly a superior fighter, cleaning up the division but being dnied crucial title shots.

Tunney gradually got the better of Greb, but wasn't dominating an entire division.

Like I said, Tunney's ND "win" over Loughran was disputed, and some call it a "win" for Tommy.
Carpentier was finished when he faced Tunney, he'd been KO'd by Siki by then.

Tunney's position as a light-heavy in the 20s is a bit like how a great fighter has difficulty dominating a division without unifying these days. The merry-go-round, various titles, and rivals jumping around divisions makes it hard to pin dominance in a division. Tunney, for whatever reason, has similar missing pieces and doubts.

It's worth noting that Tunney's plan was ALWAYS to challenge for Dempsey's heavyweight title, so it's no wonder he didn't need to tidily dominate the 175 division.

BTW, I say all this as a great fan of Tunney's. I think he was an amazing fighter.
Good points and a good post . I still think Carpentier was good when he fought Tunney , Carpentier was 30 so maybe . I dont think he was ruined because of what happend against Siki . Siki was awkward , but a bit novicey .

Maybe Carpentier was past it , i dont know , but its not because of the Siki fight i dont think . Your points are good and they could im considering them , not ready to knock Tunney down a notch yet though . I still see him as the second most dominant LHW ever , maybe Spinks could chalenge for that though
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