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Old 01-29-2008, 01:51 PM   #1
Sonny's jab
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Default Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

I've noticed that Joe Louis is regarded by many people here as number 1 or 2 heavyweight of all-time.

On the other hand, I see he gets picked against a lot in head to head match-ups.

Also, I've learned that Louis "has trouble with swarmers", "wouldn't do well against guys who stick and move", "would be at a stylistic disadvantge against big skilled punchers" and "would have nightmares with counter-punchers" "was troubled by fighters with good lefts" and "was troubled by fighters with good rights" ...... In other words, this great Joe Louis, who used to be praised for being a near perfect complete boxer-puncher, is actually a bit of a lousy bet against all styles, and against other great fighters he'd be up against it.
Sound preposterous to me, but I'm here to learn.

Which former heavyweight champions would you favour over Louis ?
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:01 PM   #2
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

I wouldn't bet money on any of these men, but I think Ali, Holmes, Lewis, Tyson and possibly Frazier could have beaten him.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

Gene Tunney and Jack Johnson would beat him.

I think that Liston and Tyson are both pretty close to 50/50 although I favour Louis very slightly against both.

Ali has a good chance, but I think Louis could get him.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

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Originally Posted by Woddy
I wouldn't bet money on any of these men, but I think Ali, Holmes, Lewis, Tyson and possibly Frazier could have beaten him.
I can see why you would make some of these picks, but I will never understand why you would pick Frazier to do it. I didn't even look in the Louis-Frazier thread, it's ridiculous. Joe is great, and one of my favourites, but he's there to be hit and he's in with the greatest puncher the sport has ever produced, composite.

Easy win for Joe Louis, easy.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

Ali, Foreman, Lewis, Frazier, Tyson, Vitali Klitschko and probably Holmes.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:17 PM   #6
Nick Balsamo
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

I think Ali and Liston would be pretty "heavy" favorites to beat a prime Joe Louis.

Ali is the best mover ever, was strong, iron chinned, resilient and damn too fast. His movement would definately confuse the slow footed Louis.

Liston was the best HW puncher-boxer ever. Big, strong, rangy, skillful enough with huge power in his jab, right hand and left hook. He could put some hurt on Louis' vulnerable chin.


Nota bene: A power boxer or "puncher-boxer" is a powerful puncher with enough skill to connect regularly, despite his lack in handspeed department. He's too skilled to be called a "pure slugger" too like the Julian Jackson's, Earnie Shavers' and Razor Ruddock of this world.

In that mold, I can list Sonny Liston, Gerald McClellan, Felix Trinidad among others. That kind of fighter never wants to outbox his opponent. He wants to knock him out with his stuff and prove their physical superiority.

On the other hand, a real "boxer-puncher" is faster, looks more explosive and generally has a better defense, can outbox or outpunch the opponent according to the situation. See Thomas Hearns, Oscar Dela Hoya, Ray Robinson among others.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
Which former heavyweight champions would you favour over Louis ?
None really.

The best you could say for anybody is that I didnt particularly favour him over them.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:25 PM   #8
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
I've noticed that Joe Louis is regarded by many people here as number 1 or 2 heavyweight of all-time.

On the other hand, I see he gets picked against a lot in head to head match-ups.

Also, I've learned that Louis "has trouble with swarmers", "wouldn't do well against guys who stick and move", "would be at a stylistic disadvantge against big skilled punchers" and "would have nightmares with counter-punchers" "was troubled by fighters with good lefts" and "was troubled by fighters with good rights" ...... In other words, this great Joe Louis, who used to be praised for being a near perfect complete boxer-puncher, is actually a bit of a lousy bet against all styles, and against other great fighters he'd be up against it.
Sound preposterous to me, but I'm here to learn.

Which former heavyweight champions would you favour over Louis ?
Louis is a hero with a great boxing legacy, but he is also a fighter who showed weakness vs punchers ( Galento, Schmeling ), boxers ( Pastor, Walcott, Farr,and Conn ), and swarmers ( Godoy ). I am not sure if any other all time great had so many fits vs different styles, and please note I'm not using the Charles or Marciano fights to make my point here.

History is full of better punchers, better boxing and better swarmers than Louis defeated in the ring. I beleive the best types of these fighters could all defeat Louis. Key word is could. If Louis had a better chin, better footwork, or a better defense, then I'd have a real time picking against him. However, as it was, he had some drawbacks, which were exploited.

I think the following fighters would likely defeat Louis: Jeffries, Dempsey, Tunney, Liston, Ali, Holmes, and Lewis.

I am 50/50 on Foreman and Tyson, as Louis would have to survive the early rounds.

I'd lean toward Louis over Holyfield, and Marciano.

I like Louis over Frazier, Patterson, J Johnson, J Sharkey, and others like this that had shaky chins and were Louis's size or smaller.

I also like Louis over the champs who lacked top end skills such as Willard, Braddock, M. Baer, Carnera, L Spinks, ect...
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:27 PM   #9
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

Mendoza, why Jeffries?

Not saying i'd disagree, but i'd be interested to hear more.
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Old 01-29-2008, 02:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain
Mendoza, why Jeffries?

Not saying i'd disagree, but i'd be interested to hear more.
Louis said his great weakness was clinching and being crowed. Louis also had fits with fighters who fought out of a crouch as Jeffires did. This was Jeffries style.

I honestly beleive Godoy defeated Louis when they first fought. I have seen the filmed fight. Louis didn't land enough punches to win enough rounds. He looked poor. Godoy who didn't hit as hard or wasn't as strong as Jeffries, easily bulled Louis to the ropes, landed body shots, and made Louis miss.

I think Jeffries hits harder than Godoy, and would have the best chin that Louis ever fought. Defensively, Louis was not that hard to hit. These are reasons why I think Jeffries would win.

Louis these like many fighters are a bit over rated. One thing that interests me is the historians that lived from 1900-1960 didn't think Louis was a 1, 2, or 3 all time great. Why is a good question? Louis shot up the ranks in the late 60's to early 70's

I think Louis victory over Schemling, and many boxing writers appreciating what Louis did outside the ring is why he rose in ranking over the years. Here’s some stuff you’ll never see in a magazine, but it’s true.

Louis re-match win over Schemling was a biblical type of moment for this country. Black and Jewish Americans hold a special place in their hearts for Joe Louis. And they should. Louis did a lot for racial relations for Blacks. There have been many great black trainers and fighters. They will never forget Louis. Neither will blacks who aren’t boxing fans.

Louis victory over Schemling was a special moment for the Jewish American’s, who qusidentaly have been giants in boxing as historians, writers, and trainers in the sport. When Louis fought Abe Simon, most Jews were for Louis, even though Simon himself was a jew. That is how much he meant to them.

Louis was a hero. Hero’s are never under rated. They are often embraced by the media. To merely suggest Louis wasn’t among the best is heresy in the eyes of some, but they way I see it; he can still be a hero and have flaws as an athlete at the same time.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

Maybe it's more an appreciation of what Joe Louis did INSIDE the ring that made him rise up the all-time ranking in the years after he retired.

His skills and accomplishments dont need "socio-political historical figure" explanations to complement them.
His reign as world's heavyweight champion is unrivalled. His skills as a boxer and his ability as a puncher are undeniable.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

Slight underdogs against Louis -

Lewis
Patterson
Frazier
Holmes

Even money against Louis -

Tunney
Dempsey
Holyfield

Favorites against Louis -

Tyson
Ali
Foreman
Marciano
Liston


As much as I love the Bomber, I don't rate him very highly head-to-head, especially against his fellow greats. Anybody who moves alot is gonna give him trouble (see Conn), anybody who tries to muscle him around is gonna give him trouble, and anybody with a good chin is going to at least have a shot. To be honest, I can't see him beating guys like Ali, Foreman, and to a lesser extent Marciano, ever.

His suspect chin and defence make me hesitant to make him a favorite over any skilled puncher with good stamina and chin (Liston, Tyson, Foreman). I have my doubts about how he'd fair against a true superheavyweight, as well.

Resume-wise? He's my #2.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by radianttwilight
His suspect chin and defence make me hesitant to make him a favorite over any skilled puncher with good stamina and chin
Exactly where dose the orthodoxy that Louis had a suspect chin or poor defence originate from?

I cannot see any convincing justification for either statment.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

Dempsey, Marciano, Ali, Tyson, Lennox Lewis, Wladmir Klitschko. In other words: only the absolute best of the best could have beaten a prime Louis. Dempsey and Marciano had great chins and obviously the power. Ali was Ali. Tyson from 86' to 89' may have been the best ever. Lewis and Klitschko are the prototypes for the huge, athletic modern heayweights with great power and boxing skills. Holmes, Charles and Tunney would be live dogs because they were great defensive fighters. Holmes' jab makes him a huge problem for anyone in his prime. Foreman also brings a lot to the table but Louis' precision punching would probably overwhelm Big George.
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Old 01-29-2008, 03:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: Who would you expect to beat Joe Louis at his absolute peak ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
I've noticed that Joe Louis is regarded by many people here as number 1 or 2 heavyweight of all-time.

On the other hand, I see he gets picked against a lot in head to head match-ups.

Also, I've learned that Louis "has trouble with swarmers", "wouldn't do well against guys who stick and move", "would be at a stylistic disadvantge against big skilled punchers" and "would have nightmares with counter-punchers" "was troubled by fighters with good lefts" and "was troubled by fighters with good rights" ...... In other words, this great Joe Louis, who used to be praised for being a near perfect complete boxer-puncher, is actually a bit of a lousy bet against all styles, and against other great fighters he'd be up against it.
Sound preposterous to me, but I'm here to learn.

Which former heavyweight champions would you favour over Louis ?
Yes, it is interesting how, if you combine everyone's interpretations of a fighter's weaknesses, in some cases you more or less come up with an incompetent loser.

Personally, I think Louis' most difficult style of opponent was the quick, elusive kind, followed by the swarmer, and that he had more difficulty with unorthodox opponents than orthodox ones. Highly unorthodox fighters fitting into those style frameworks make up his most difficult opponents for the most part, as exemplified by Walcott and Godoy, I would say. And I don't know of any good reason someone would think Louis was most troubled by the left- it was clearly the overhand right that was Louis' defensive Achilles heel. I believe about eight of the 10 knockdowns he suffered in his career were the result of overhand rights, and of course it was the overhand right which Schmeling famously slipped in past Joe's jab all night in their first match.

All that said, there is no one who I would strongly favor to beat a peak Joe Louis. I think I would make Ali a favorite over him. I can see Marciano, Dempsey, Johnson, Tyson, Lewis and Walcott posing serious threats to a prime Louis, but I can't bring myself to actually pick any of them over him.
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