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Old 12-17-2012, 05:45 PM   #1
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Default Super heavyies of the old days

this thread is devoted to some of the superheavyweight fighters from the early days of boxing (where men were supposedly tiny) who are forgotten to modern audiences.

As i find articles on such fighters i will place them here.

Here is a good article on the Welsh Giant, who was a sparring partner of the great Peter Jackson:
The 6 ft 4 inch Welsh Star, David St John.
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Old 12-17-2012, 11:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Super heavyies of the old days

Ed Dunkhorst proves that Tom Sharkey beats George Foreman.

Thread over.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:14 AM   #3
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Default Re: Super heavyies of the old days

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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
Ed Dunkhorst proves that Tom Sharkey beats George Foreman.

Thread over.
Dunkhorst does seem to be the king of the old super heavys and in time i will add some articles referring to him, but i really wanted to give a bit of credit to a few of the other unkown superheavies who were good fighters without being alltime greats.
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Old 12-18-2012, 09:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Super heavyies of the old days

Abe Coughle, Charles Puff, Ed Dunkhorst, Jess Willard, Battling Jim Johnson, Bill Tate, Tony Drake, George Godfrey, Tiny Jim Herman, Jose Santa, Arthur De Kuh, Ray Impellittiere, Primo Carnera, Abe Simon, Buddy Baer, Francisco de la Cruz
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Super heavyies of the old days

I don't understand the point of this thread beyond novelty's sake. There have always been big, even huge men throughout history. That's never been debated. But how many of those men displayed a level of athleticism or skill remotely approaching a Lennox or a Wlad? I can't think of a single one. Almost invariably they've been lumbering oafs whose skill level was drastically and demonstrably lower than their smaller, quicker counterparts.

I'm willing to be educated, but I have a hard time thinking that some uber quick and talented muscular giant on the level of the above two hasn't been heard of before now.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:04 AM   #6
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Default Re: Super heavyies of the old days

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Originally Posted by Absolutely! View Post
I don't understand the point of this thread beyond novelty's sake. There have always been big, even huge men throughout history. That's never been debated. But how many of those men displayed a level of athleticism or skill remotely approaching a Lennox or a Wlad? I can't think of a single one. Almost invariably they've been lumbering oafs whose skill level was drastically and demonstrably lower than their smaller, quicker counterparts.

I'm willing to be educated, but I have a hard time thinking that some uber quick and talented muscular giant on the level of the above two hasn't been heard of before now.
Aaah but have you seen Ewart Potgieter???

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This young lady was never the same after she had been "Potgieted"

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Last edited by mcvey; 12-18-2012 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:11 AM   #7
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Default Re: Super heavyies of the old days

No I haven't. He looks a little like a white stretched out version of Riddick Bowe though.
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:37 AM   #8
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Default Re: Super heavyies of the old days

Gogea Mitu, Jim Cully, whoever this guy is.
[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE8KnNselc4&list=UUR0HYdmfgWdYXripoVudUpA&index=25[/ame]
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: Super heavyies of the old days

So what, this thread is just going to be about really big guys who've competed in boxing? Is there any standard of quality going to be applied here?
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Super heavyies of the old days

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Originally Posted by Absolutely! View Post
Almost invariably they've been lumbering oafs whose skill level was drastically and demonstrably lower than their smaller, quicker counterparts.
I think bigger fighters might get under-rated in the "skill" department.
Bigger fighters use different techniques and tactics because they have different tools at hand, and it's just a physical fact that bigger men move in an 'uglier' manner than the smaller ones. That's due mostly to gravity.
Lennox Lewis himself was often viewed as a lumbering fighter for much of his career, even while his mobility was noted. But he had feet the size of a clowns and weighed 240 pounds so he's bound to look a bit lumbering in the ring, esp. if he was in there with someone small and quick and good.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:06 PM   #11
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I think bigger fighters might get under-rated in the "skill" department.
Bigger fighters use different techniques and tactics because they have different tools at hand, and it's just a physical fact that bigger men move in an 'uglier' manner than the smaller ones. That's due mostly to gravity.
Lennox Lewis himself was often viewed as a lumbering fighter for much of his career, even while his mobility was noted. But he had feet the size of a clowns and weighed 240 pounds so he's bound to look a bit lumbering in the ring, esp. if he was in there with someone small and quick and good.
A really big fighter's going to move differently and use different tactics to beat his opponents, I get that, but there's still a clear and discernible gap between Lennox and someone like Abe Simon who clearly lacked any sort of top level coordination or balance, and fighters like Simon were by far more prevalent than anyone approaching Lennox's level of skill and athleticism.

Even Bowe, whose skills I've often been critical of, could move around the ring with the grace befitting a top level professional prizefighter. Of the older fighters, the only truly large heavyweight who seemed remotely capable of emulating that was Buddy Baer, and he looked like he was fighting in slow motion.
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:28 PM   #12
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A really big fighter's going to move differently and use different tactics to beat his opponents, I get that, but there's still a clear and discernible gap between Lennox and someone like Abe Simon who clearly lacked any sort of top level coordination or balance, and fighters like Simon were by far more prevalent than anyone approaching Lennox's level of skill and athleticism.

Even Bowe, whose skills I've often been critical of, could move around the ring with the grace befitting a top level professional prizefighter. Of the older fighters, the only truly large heavyweight who seemed remotely capable of emulating that was Buddy Baer, and he looked like he was fighting in slow motion.
Abe Simon was oafish but he was tough and was a decent boxer, even Gene Tunney rated his left hand. He gave Joe Louis hell for 13 rounds in their first fight (unfilmed, I think). He beat Jersey Joe Walcott. It's not easy fighting a man like that, even if he looks oafish.
Of course he wasn't as good as Lennox Lewis but he might have given some of the 1990s heavyweights a hard night's work.

Primo Carnera gets a bit under-rated for his mobility and agility, relative to his size. I've seen him circled on his toes behind a jab pretty well for a big guy. More so than Buddy Baer (though I haven't seen much of B Baer).

I'm not saying these men were on a par with Wlad or Lewis as fighters - they were not - but the size of the 'gaps' in athleticism or coordination or whatever are open to subjectivity.

It's worth noting that Lewis fought very few men who were small and fast and slick and that might influence how his athleticism is viewed in relative terms too.
I think he'd probably beat guys like Sharkey and Loughran and Tunney, but he might well have looked like an over-grown oaf in there for a few rounds.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:15 PM   #13
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Default Re: Super heavyies of the old days

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Abe Simon was oafish but he was tough and was a decent boxer, even Gene Tunney rated his left hand. He gave Joe Louis hell for 13 rounds in their first fight (unfilmed, I think). He beat Jersey Joe Walcott. It's not easy fighting a man like that, even if he looks oafish.
Of course he wasn't as good as Lennox Lewis but he might have given some of the 1990s heavyweights a hard night's work.

Primo Carnera gets a bit under-rated for his mobility and agility, relative to his size. I've seen him circled on his toes behind a jab pretty well for a big guy. More so than Buddy Baer (though I haven't seen much of B Baer).

I'm not saying these men were on a par with Wlad or Lewis as fighters - they were not - but the size of the 'gaps' in athleticism or coordination or whatever are open to subjectivity.

It's worth noting that Lewis fought very few men who were small and fast and slick and that might influence how his athleticism is viewed in relative terms too.
I think he'd probably beat guys like Sharkey and Loughran and Tunney, but he might well have looked like an over-grown oaf in there for a few rounds.
I'm not denying that Simon was tough. If there are two things big guys generally have going for them it's toughness and punching power, though their lack of skill or poor reflexes often makes them an easier target. Simon wasn't totally terrible, but he also never struck me as a man who used his underrated skills or athleticism to win fights either; instead it seems to me he used his size and awkwardness to bull his opponents back to the ropes in a similar way to Matt Skelton today, a man who was also a very awkward customer to far more technically skilled fighters like Chagaev.

I agree that Carnera tends to get a bit underrated in the skill department. He at least tried to utilise his reach advantage unlike the (to me) more athletically gifted Baer, who totally gave up his size advantage vs Louis to fight him on the inside, a suicidal tactic. Still, he was an acromegalic giant like Valuev and lacked the natural coordination of men who were naturally that size which can be seen pretty clearly in his fights. Baer, despite his horrendous lack of speed, was able to use shoulder rolls and other advanced tactics in the ring against Louis (though again it was primarily his strength he seemed to be relying upon to win).
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:19 PM   #14
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Default Re: Super heavyies of the old days

Sure, but even Lennox Lewis (who had plenty of skills and athleticism) relied on his immense strength and power to hold the edge over his opponents (even most of his "super heavy" rivals). It was often what separated him from the rest.
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Old 12-18-2012, 01:43 PM   #15
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Sure, but even Lennox Lewis (who had plenty of skills and athleticism) relied on his immense strength and power to hold the edge over his opponents (even most of his "super heavy" rivals). It was often what separated him from the rest.
If you've got it, use it.
He didn't rely primarily on it to make up for vast gaps in his game that would have been exploited otherwise. He had the skills and athleticism in addition to the power, which is what made him so good.
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