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Old 03-15-2012, 09:14 PM   #76
Stonehands89
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

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I'm not sold on that, that version would be considerably weaker, less weight in his shots, less resistance, less muscle.
That's a modern theory. In the 20s, 30s, and 40s, guys were just as likely to come in lighter because speed would help bring a win more than mass.

And when you're carrying poundage around for 15 rounds, that matters.

Little guys beat big guys with speed. Dempsey and Conn came in lighter than a modern counterpart would in their place because they knew that their best chance was speed. Ezzard may have had a different idea. But that doesn't make him a natural heavyweight ...because...he...was...a...light heavyweight.

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Do you have a source that he was struggling with ALS this early?
Don't need one. I didn't claim it was a fact, only that I think it may be so.
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Old 03-15-2012, 11:58 PM   #77
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

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Do you have a source that he was struggling with ALS this early?
Charles himself claimed after his diagnosis that with the benefit of hindsight he actually sensed the presence of ALS while training during his prime. Athletes like this do tend to know their own bodies, and the rate of progress with ALS can vary dramatically. This is only anecdotal testimony from the man himself, but as tough as these people are, one must assume there's some truth to his claim if long time trainer Arcel observed this deterioration as early as 1955. This is a line of work where it's imperative to conceal weakness, sometimes even from one's trainer. (Frazier never would have won Olympic Gold by revealing his broken left thumb, and his career would have been kaput long before he ever sniffed a title if a blind eye had been revealed. Greb's 1920s resume was also compiled by concealing a bad eye.)

He last competed in September 1959. When the disease took hold, it initially affected his legs, the worst thing that could happen to a boxer (whereas it went after Lou Gehrig's upper body first). Given Archie Moore's health and lifespan, Ezz may have been able to successfully box as long, or even longer than the Mongoose, or Jack Britton. (As it was, he kept going until he was 38, and nobody put him down for the count until over four years after Marciano II.)
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:56 AM   #78
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

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I don't know man, possibly. I watched in on mute and Marciano's leg looked like gemelli for just a second, and he took some good shots in the previous seconds.

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Nah, I remember it just like it happened there. I tend to think Charles did good job hitting and holding and when they broke, Charles threw a good left hook and Marciano is sort of just getting hit with shots and probably thinking "What the hell." To me, he backs up and loses his footing. What does it really is Charles after the hook goes after him with a jab. Rocky covered up with his glove for a second and doesn't really see the jab till the last second. He sort of overreacts for a second and loses his footing when he's already moving backwards. I'm sure Rocco felt those shots but I don't think he wobbled or was hurt, shook, or in any real threat. It was just momentary slip, and Marciano didn't show any signs of weakness in legs afterwards.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:59 AM   #79
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

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Don't need one. I didn't claim it was a fact, only that I think it may be so.
Tend to think it really was showing signs after the Marciano fights, maybe after the 1st one. Not saying it's a coincidence, just think Marciano is the sort of wrecking ball career ruiner. And those fights were grueling and Charles took insane punishment.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:52 AM   #80
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

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ezzard was indeed a great light heavyweight albeit a heavyweight who could make lightheavyweight in just the same way as Moore and maxim were.

Have you researched the layne, valdes and johnson loses or the disputed 1947 fights with Moore and ray and the 1949 maxim fight yet?
Ray and maxim fights seem like clear victories. Valdes loss seems like a clear loss.

Not looked at layne nor johnson yet.

You are being far too statistical in your approach towards boxing. Coming from me, that says a lot. Judging a man of two year end rankings doesn't give a full picture as you should be aware of.

Before leaving for the army, lesnevich had lost to bivins. Bivins ruled the two divisions for the next 4 years. Regardless off what your year end rankings tell you.

When bivins outgrew lhw, the duration title was contested between, I believe, marshall and bolder. When marshall won he was seen as the best active lhw. When he lost to moore, archie was seen as a guy longgg overdue his title shot and a surefire top contender. Guess who moore lost to? That's right charles. Almost immediately after his comeback in 46. He fought in and around the limit for the next 3 years and you can justify gus ducking him all you want but the reality is that charles was much better than gus at that stage and a win over gus might have given him the paper title gus was wearing, but it certainly wouldn't have been one of his best victories.

If you are crazy enough to class charles, moore and maxim as heavyweights, then I apologise for taking you seriously.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:21 AM   #81
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

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That's a modern theory. In the 20s, 30s, and 40s, guys were just as likely to come in lighter because speed would help bring a win more than mass.

And when you're carrying poundage around for 15 rounds, that matters.

Little guys beat big guys with speed. Dempsey and Conn came in lighter than a modern counterpart would in their place because they knew that their best chance was speed. Ezzard may have had a different idea. But that doesn't make him a natural heavyweight ...because...he...was...a...light heavyweight.

Don't need one. I didn't claim it was a fact, only that I think it may be so.
That's not really true, Patterson in the 50s force fed himself to grow from being 170lbs to being a real HW of 180-190lbs. Jack Johnson ate his way upto 210lbs, which he claimed his prime weight. Jeanette/Langford claimed they were much more effective HWs when going from the MW limit to 180s-200 range.

Having the strength to absorb punishment, back your opponent up and not let him push you around has always been paramount. You can get tired allot quicker when being the smaller man in a long fight too because you have to do more

Now at 32 and with his condition I'd certainly take the 1950 version that won the title over the '54 version to give Rocky a better fight. The version Rocky beat was still very very good and may well have deserved to win every fight after his Walcott KO loss, the Walcott/Johnson/Layne are controversial losses so Charles form coming in is much better than his record suggests
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Old 03-16-2012, 08:37 AM   #82
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

Two points ... the first is that Charles was just a few weeks shy of 33 so the references of age 32 are simply off the same way we cannot discount how the previous five fights impacted his body ..

Secondly, of course credit to him for taking Rocky the distance in their first bout but putting that accomplishment aside was the fight really that close ? Everything I read supports that after some strong opening rounds it really was more or less a Marciano dominated bout ... as for the second it was all Marciano ... my point is that with all respect to Ezzard I don't see any version defeating Marciano ... no doubt he was better at 28 than 33 but he also might have been more aggressive and caught as a result as well .. either way I simply see Marciano as too tough ...
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:25 AM   #83
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

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Nah, I remember it just like it happened there. I tend to think Charles did good job hitting and holding and when they broke, Charles threw a good left hook and Marciano is sort of just getting hit with shots and probably thinking "What the hell." To me, he backs up and loses his footing. What does it really is Charles after the hook goes after him with a jab. Rocky covered up with his glove for a second and doesn't really see the jab till the last second. He sort of overreacts for a second and loses his footing when he's already moving backwards. I'm sure Rocco felt those shots but I don't think he wobbled or was hurt, shook, or in any real threat. It was just momentary slip, and Marciano didn't show any signs of weakness in legs afterwards.
Can't say that's wrong.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:29 AM   #84
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

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Tend to think it really was showing signs after the Marciano fights, maybe after the 1st one. Not saying it's a coincidence, just think Marciano is the sort of wrecking ball career ruiner. And those fights were grueling and Charles took insane punishment.
Duo reminded me of Ezzard's own statements about it. Dealing with Marciano over all those rounds is going to have an effect, but again, I can't rule out what was lurking inside Ezzard.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:07 PM   #85
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

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That's not really true, Patterson in the 50s force fed himself to grow from being 170lbs to being a real HW of 180-190lbs. Jack Johnson ate his way upto 210lbs, which he claimed his prime weight. Jeanette/Langford claimed they were much more effective HWs when going from the MW limit to 180s-200 range.
Notice I said 20s, 30s, 40s. Did Greb gain 25 pounds to fight heavies? Walker? Burley? How much did Dempsey weigh when he faced Willard? How about Conn when he faced Louis?

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Having the strength to absorb punishment, back your opponent up and not let him push you around has always been paramount. You can get tired allot quicker when being the smaller man in a long fight too because you have to do more
It has certainly not always been paramount. The James Toney school of thought on the matter is a questionable one at best. Little guys beat bigger guys because of speed and too many to count said as much.

Bottom line is that this isn't an "either/or" thing. Some guys, guys 6 ft for example with a frame that can hold the weight, for example, may be better served by packing on the weight. Others want the speed. If you're a speed guy it makes less sense to stuff your face to face big guys.
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:22 PM   #86
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

From what is written of the Valdes fight it was a legit loss. Ezzard apparently underestimated the than not well regarded big man by coming out slugging and looking for an early impressive knockout. Valdes survived and a gassed Charles was vulnerable to being bear hugged and muscled around the ring for the remainder of the fight. The somewhat hometown ref may have been a litlte liberal with Valdez' holding, I recall it was written that at one point, Valdez literally bear hugged Charles off the canvas and carried him to the ropes.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:10 PM   #87
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

Just on the ALS theory--I don't think there is anything to explain about Charles, really.

He was aging. He was 34 in 1955. I've seen the fights with Johnson, Wallace, Satterfield, and the two Marciano fights, and I thought he still looked good for a man his age. I would have given him a close nod over Johnson.

Saying his decline was due to an illness which killed him 21 years later strikes me as unsupported speculation.

I would point out that Jack Sharkey went downhill faster and further after turning thirty than Charles did, losing to just about everyone, but lived to 92.

A look at his weights shows that Charles fought at quite a bit higher weights after 1955, often over 195, sometimes over 200. He was just another fighter getting old and heavy. And his failure to be a double champion or to regain his crown must have weighed on him psychologically.

Last edited by edward morbius; 03-16-2012 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 03-16-2012, 03:19 PM   #88
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

My take on the initial question is that Marciano was a better heavyweight than Charles and probably would have beaten him anytime after about 1951. The best version of Marciano would probably have beaten the best version of Charles.

The two men had seven common opponents--Moore, Walcott, Louis, Layne, Matthews, Beshore, Reynolds--Charles went 10-4 with 4 ko's against these men. Marciano went 8-0 with 8 ko's. None of these men did better against Marciano than they did against Charles.

It also should be pointed out that Marciano himself was not a youngster when he fought Charles, turning 31 in 1954. He was less shopworn, though, but I think he was probably going back a bit by this time.

Last edited by edward morbius; 03-16-2012 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 03-16-2012, 04:12 PM   #89
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

I'm still not sure if I'd ever favour charles over Rocky.

I do think that film suggests he was better before 1950 though.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:26 PM   #90
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Default Re: How would a prime Charles have fared against Marciano?

Marciano would always defeat any version of Charles or Moore, regardless of difficulties.
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