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Old 12-10-2012, 01:47 PM   #1
Mendoza
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Default Who were the most durable heavyweights ever?

Who were the most durable heavyweights ever? I’ll define durability as being able to take shots to the head or body without going down, and staying strong through the contest. Chins and bodies are best tested when they are hit, and can be verified if they were hit by punchers. This should not be confused with a loss due to injury or a nervous breakdown in the ring.

The rules of boxing have changed over the decades. Old timers had lighter gloves, no mouth guards, and protective gear that would be considered dangerous by today’s standards. As such taking a punch was harder in the 1950’s, and significantly harder at the turn of the century. Modern fighters have better protective gear, and heavier / softer gloves, but in general face more powerful opponents. So I believe it evens out.

Here are ten names in no particular order:

Oliver McCall. McCall is one of two Ring Magazine champions never to be floored by a punch. Interestingly enough he said Bert Cooper, not Lennox Lewis hit him the hardest. While McCall had some iron in his bones, he was in serious trouble vs. Bruce Seldon ( visibly hurt and shaken up ) late in the match until he rallied to stop Seldon late.

Ross Purrity. Purrity was in the ring with a who’s who list of punchers, and passed most of the time. He took more blows than a crash test dummy. While Purrity was the ultimate survivor, and often played defense, I believe he belongs here.

Vitali Klitschko. Like McCall he has never been floored by a punch in his entire career. That automatically makes the list. In my opinion Vitali has taken perhaps the hardest shots on film without going down.

James Jeffries. Never floored in his prime, Jeffries had a combined 84 rounds with Choynski, Fitzsimmons, and Sharkey. Each man landed their best, and Jeffries passed with flying colors. Jeffries was only stopped once in his career, and that happened after a 5 year layoff when he was out of shape, and rusty in the desert heat in round 15 vs. a prime version of Jack Johnson.

Ray Mercer. Mercer was only down once in his prime, and happened when Holfyeifld wore him down and caught him with a hook. Lewis clubbed Mercer but could not dent him. As an older fighter, he caught a careers worth of power punches from Wladmir Klitschko. During the post fight interview, Wladimir said he has been in there with lots of guys, and Mercer’s chin was the best.

George Chuvalo. Although he was legitimately floored by Bonevvna, Chavalo’s was never officially knocked down. Chavalo didn’t last long vs. Frazier or Foreman, and these two were the best punchers he faced. However it is clear that Chuvalo had a top level durability, and has a clear mind past the age of 70, which is rare for a guy who took a lot of punches.

Randall Texx Cobb. Cobb had no real amateur career. As such he wasn’t hard to hit cleanly. A poster boy for having an iron chin, Cobb was often on the receiving end of the blows. Shavers, Holmes, Norton, and Mercado could not hurt or floor Cobb. Shavers did not come close to landing his best vs. Cobb. Cobb was stopped later in his career, but in his prime he was never floored or hurt on film.

Larry Holmes. Holmes only has one KO defeat in his long career, and that one happened vs. a prime Mike Tyson when Holmes was in-active and older. Holmes faced a who’s who list of punchers, sometimes taking viscous shots along the way vs. Shavers, Cooney, Norton, Witherpsoon, and Snipes.

Muhammed Ali. Ali had a great but inconsistent chin in the sense that he could be knocked down or hurt, but he also had amazing recuperation powers. Ali meet many punchers like Foreman, Frazier, Liston, Norton, and Shavers. Some of them were able to hurt Ali, but none were able to finish him. Like Holmes, Ali was only stopped once in his career, and that happened when he was well past his prime.

David Tua. Only floored once in a long career ( by Rhaman ), Tua certainly belongs. His war with Ibeabuchi was legendary give and take for 12 rounds. Others like Lewis, Rahman, Maskaev failed to finish Tua.


Honorable Mention who I would include if this was a top 20 list. Rocky Marciano, Evander Holyfield, Sonny Liston, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Nikolai Valuev, Zelko Mavrovic, Joe Jeannette, Marion Wilson and Gene Tunney.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Who were the most durable heavyweights ever?

Tua got dropped by Barrett...

Ali was primarily extremely fast at recovering, you could hurt him relatively fast (compared to the granites, but you had to get him fast or he would just recover)




Andrew Hartley is probably the most durable of them all... he is the only one to last a full round in a proffesional fight against Charlie "sweet pea" Zelenoff.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: Who were the most durable heavyweights ever?

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Originally Posted by Mendoza View Post
Who were the most durable heavyweights ever? I’ll define durability as being able to take shots to the head or body without going down, and staying strong through the contest.




Honorable Mention who I would include if this was a top 20 list. Rocky Marciano, Evander Holyfield, Sonny Liston, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Nikolai Valuev, Zelko Mavrovic, Joe Jeannette, Marion Wilson and Gene Tunney.

Doesn't this criteria disqualify Foreman? He definitely didn't stay strong throughout a contest and was floored several times in the first phase of his career.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: Who were the most durable heavyweights ever?

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Originally Posted by Mendoza View Post
Who were the most durable heavyweights ever? I’ll define durability as being able to take shots to the head or body without going down, and staying strong through the contest. Chins and bodies are best tested when they are hit, and can be verified if they were hit by punchers. This should not be confused with a loss due to injury or a nervous breakdown in the ring.

The rules of boxing have changed over the decades. Old timers had lighter gloves, no mouth guards, and protective gear that would be considered dangerous by today’s standards. As such taking a punch was harder in the 1950’s, and significantly harder at the turn of the century. Modern fighters have better protective gear, and heavier / softer gloves, but in general face more powerful opponents. So I believe it evens out.

Here are ten names in no particular order:

Oliver McCall. McCall is one of two Ring Magazine champions never to be floored by a punch. Interestingly enough he said Bert Cooper, not Lennox Lewis hit him the hardest. While McCall had some iron in his bones, he was in serious trouble vs. Bruce Seldon ( visibly hurt and shaken up ) late in the match until he rallied to stop Seldon late.

Ross Purrity. Purrity was in the ring with a who’s who list of punchers, and passed most of the time. He took more blows than a crash test dummy. While Purrity was the ultimate survivor, and often played defense, I believe he belongs here.

Vitali Klitschko. Like McCall he has never been floored by a punch in his entire career. That automatically makes the list. In my opinion Vitali has taken perhaps the hardest shots on film without going down.

James Jeffries. Never floored in his prime, Jeffries had a combined 84 rounds with Choynski, Fitzsimmons, and Sharkey. Each man landed their best, and Jeffries passed with flying colors. Jeffries was only stopped once in his career, and that happened after a 5 year layoff when he was out of shape, and rusty in the desert heat in round 15 vs. a prime version of Jack Johnson.

Ray Mercer. Mercer was only down once in his prime, and happened when Holfyeifld wore him down and caught him with a hook. Lewis clubbed Mercer but could not dent him. As an older fighter, he caught a careers worth of power punches from Wladmir Klitschko. During the post fight interview, Wladimir said he has been in there with lots of guys, and Mercer’s chin was the best.

George Chuvalo. Although he was legitimately floored by Bonevvna, Chavalo’s was never officially knocked down. Chavalo didn’t last long vs. Frazier or Foreman, and these two were the best punchers he faced. However it is clear that Chuvalo had a top level durability, and has a clear mind past the age of 70, which is rare for a guy who took a lot of punches.

Randall Texx Cobb. Cobb had no real amateur career. As such he wasn’t hard to hit cleanly. A poster boy for having an iron chin, Cobb was often on the receiving end of the blows. Shavers, Holmes, Norton, and Mercado could not hurt or floor Cobb. Shavers did not come close to landing his best vs. Cobb. Cobb was stopped later in his career, but in his prime he was never floored or hurt on film.

Larry Holmes. Holmes only has one KO defeat in his long career, and that one happened vs. a prime Mike Tyson when Holmes was in-active and older. Holmes faced a who’s who list of punchers, sometimes taking viscous shots along the way vs. Shavers, Cooney, Norton, Witherpsoon, and Snipes.

Muhammed Ali. Ali had a great but inconsistent chin in the sense that he could be knocked down or hurt, but he also had amazing recuperation powers. Ali meet many punchers like Foreman, Frazier, Liston, Norton, and Shavers. Some of them were able to hurt Ali, but none were able to finish him. Like Holmes, Ali was only stopped once in his career, and that happened when he was well past his prime.

David Tua. Only floored once in a long career ( by Rhaman ), Tua certainly belongs. His war with Ibeabuchi was legendary give and take for 12 rounds. Others like Lewis, Rahman, Maskaev failed to finish Tua.


Honorable Mention who I would include if this was a top 20 list. Rocky Marciano, Evander Holyfield, Sonny Liston, Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Nikolai Valuev, Zelko Mavrovic, Joe Jeannette, Marion Wilson and Gene Tunney.
So, if Jerry Quarry was punching with the smaller gloves of yester-year,and hitting men who wore no gumshields, his power would be significantly improved? Is this your premise?

Taking the champions first. I know you set great store by knockdowns in sparring because you have repeated ad-nauseum that Gunboat Smtih stunned Jack Johnson in an exhibition match to the point his manger[your spelling ,]stopped it . Actually Smith put Johnson halfway through the ropes not on the floor,and this is verified by Smith's own lips, but lets continue to my point ,Vitali was dropped in training by two sparring partners,[2007,]so should we exclude him?

Best Heavy Champion Chins?
McCall and Jeffries.


Valuev is a good shout, Jeannette is not, Johnson, who was not an explosive puncher floored Jeannette multiple times. Chuvalo makes it because he did not have much defence, and took big shots flush.
Your other choices are good.
Bonewna? and ps ,there is no E in Muhammad Ali.

Last edited by mcvey; 12-10-2012 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Who were the most durable heavyweights ever?

Paulino Uzcdun, Tommy Farr, and Arturo Godoy might belong in the discussion.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Who were the most durable heavyweights ever?

I think skin toughness (cuts and swelling) should be considered a big factor in durability, as it is regularly how fighters otherwise durable lose fights.

Vitali's face falling apart VS Lewis disqualifies him as a durable fighter.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Who were the most durable heavyweights ever?

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Tua got dropped by Barrett...

Ali was primarily extremely fast at recovering, you could hurt him relatively fast (compared to the granites, but you had to get him fast or he would just recover)


recovering powers, another big factor in durability
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:08 PM   #8
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recovering powers, another big factor in durability
Recuperative powers ?
Ali in the 11th and 15th rds against Frazier in FOTC.
Holmes ,I still don't know how he got up from that Shavers right hand.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:13 PM   #9
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Paulino Uzcdun, Tommy Farr, and Arturo Godoy might belong in the discussion.
Yes , particularly Farr ,and Uzcudun.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:19 PM   #10
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mcvey says :So, if Jerry Quarry was punching with the smaller gloves of yester-year,and hitting men who wore no gumshields, his power would be significantly improved? Is this your premise?
I think it would be improved. But keep in mind, less padding in the gloves, and no wraps or wraps by the standards of the time means Quarry’s would be more prone to hand injuries, and perhaps become more judicious with his power in longer fights. Quarry was not a big puncher. I do not think he would be one in 1930 or 1900.

Quote:
Taking the champions first. I know you set great store by knockdowns in sparring because you have repeated ad-nauseum that Gunboat Smtih stunned Jack Johnson in an exhibition match to the point his manger[your spelling ,]stopped it . Actually Smith put Johnson halfway through the ropes not on the floor,and this is verified by Smith's own lips, but lets continue to my point ,Vitali was dropped in training by two sparring partners,[2005,]so should we exclude him?

I would not quote “ In this Corner “ as if it’s the gospel truth. It has its share of errors, and goes into detail 40+ years after the fact based on the opinions of the fighters, which isn’t always accurate. The NY times states that Gunboat Smith floored Johnson and made him see stars. Johnson could not continue, and the action was halted. I am not counting sparring sessions. I am only going on in the ring news reports or video. Since you brought it up, please show me a press clipping that says Vitali was floored in camp. I want names and dates from a news report, not gym rumors. Fair enough? Produce this and I will give you props. Vitali belongs on this list.



Quote:
Valuev is a good shout, Jeannette is not, Johnson, who was not an explosive puncher floored Jeannette multiple times. Chuvalo makes it because he did not have much defence, and took big shots flush.
Your other choices are good.
Jeannette is listed as honorable mention. Jeanette did not mature as a heavyweight until later. Jeannete had 106 fights, and was only stopped twice. His first KO loss happened when he was under 170 pounds in his 3rd pro fight. Jeannette had no know amateur experience. The other was to Langford in 1916 when he was past his prime. Jeanette fought many wars with Langford, Wills, and Mcvey. To only be stopped once in the series when he was past his best to me says he had amazing recuperation powers, and a solid chin. I listed Valuev as honorable mention as well. Valuev was shook up a bit from time to time, and never tested vs the best punchers. But he was also never floored, and due to his size was hard to move.

Upon further review, I think Uzcudun and Godoy should me mentioned. Not so sure about Tommy Farr

Last edited by Mendoza; 12-10-2012 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:31 PM   #11
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Doesn't this criteria disqualify Foreman? He definitely didn't stay strong throughout a contest and was floored several times in the first phase of his career.

Foreman was only stopped once in his career. Although you could say durability and cardiovascular shape are related in boxing, I am not focusing on long term cardiovascular shape and conditioning. I am focusing on punches landed that caused the fighter to weaken.

Foreman took his share of punches from the likes of Morrsion, Lyle, Briggs, and Frazier without being stopped. As such, I think honorable mention is fine for him in the durability department.

If this was cardiovascular and durability thread combined, Big George would not make the cut.
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Old 12-10-2012, 05:58 PM   #12
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Vitali's face falling apart VS Lewis disqualifies him as a durable fighter.
I agree. He only got beat on once and he was stopped.
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Old 12-10-2012, 06:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: Who were the most durable heavyweights ever?

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I think it would be improved. But keep in mind, less padding in the gloves, and no wraps or wraps by the standards of the time means Quarry’s would be more prone to hand injuries, and perhaps become more judicious with his power in longer fights. Quarry was not a big puncher. I do not think he would be one in 1930 or 1900.




I would not quote “ In this Corner “ as if it’s the gospel truth. It has its share of errors, and goes into detail 40+ years after the fact based on the opinions of the fighters, which isn’t always accurate. The NY times states that Gunboat Smith floored Johnson and made him see stars. Johnson could not continue, and the action was halted. I am not counting sparring sessions. I am only going on in the ring news reports or vid eo. Since you brought it up, please show me a press clipping that says Vitali was floored in camp. I want names and dates from a news report, not gym rumors. Fair enough? Produce this and I will give you props. Vitali belongs on this list.





Jeannette is listed as honorable mention. Jeanette did not mature as a heavyweight until later. Jeannete had 106 fights, and was only stopped twice. His first KO loss happened when he was under 170 pounds in his 3rd pro fight. Jeannette had no know amateur experience. The other was to Langford in 1916 when he was past his prime. Jeanette fought many wars with Langford, Wills, and Mcvey. To only be stopped once in the series when he was past his best to me says he had amazing recuperation powers, and a solid chin. I listed Valuev as honorable mention as well. Valuev was shook up a bit from time to time, and never tested vs the best punchers. But he was also never floored, and due to his size was hard to move.

Upon further review, I think Uzcudun and Godoy should me mentioned. Not so sure about Tommy Farr


I see, you dont count knockdowns in sparring as a reflection on Vitali's durability, but you do when it is Jack Johnson? Sounds reasonable.


A taped interview by the man who threw the punch is good enough for me. The NY Times did not have a reporter present at the sparring, they filed an AP report.

Vitali was floored by a body shot from Travis Walker, and shot to the chin by Raphael Butler.This was in 2005 Friday, April the 6th to be precise.

It happened at the Target Center Minneapolis Minn ,and was witnessed by Diego Corralles trainer Dickie Wood. Will that do you?
Here's confirmation.

TRAINER CONFIRMS “SHOBOX” CO-HEADLINERS FLOORED VITALI [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] DURING SPARRING

For Immediate Release

Travis Walker and Raphael Butler, Who Decked Former Champ
Within Days Of Each Other, Box Separate Foes
At The Target Center, Minneapolis, Minn., Friday, April 6, 2005, 11 p.m. ET/PT

NEW YORK (March 30, 2005) – Travis Walker and Raphael Butler knocked down then-[Only registered and activated users can see links. ] (WBC) heavyweight champion [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] during sparring in late 2005, according to trainer Dickie Wood.

Witnesses on those separate November days in 2005 have been reluctant to speak about the incidents at the gym formerly known as the La Brea Boxing Academy.

That is not the case with Wood.

“I was there the whole time, and I saw it all,” said Wood, who co-trains Walker and serves as the head trainer for Diego Corrales.

“He (Klitschko) was throwing a jab and he pulled back and was coming forward. Butler hit him with a right hand and Klitschko went down and his knee twisted underneath him. That was the last day of sparring. It was on a Friday, one week before the fight against Hasim Rahman on Nov. 12, 2005.

“The day before, Walker hit him with a body shot. It was a left hook to the body, and it knocked Klitschko down.”

Heavy-hitting heavyweights Walker and Butler co-headline Friday, April 6, 2005, on “ShoBox: The New Generation.” SHOWTIME will air the doubleheader at 11 p.m. ET/PT (delayed on the west coast).

The undefeated Walker (22-0-1, 17 KOs) will face fellow unbeaten George “El Torito” Garcia (13-0, four KOs) in the 10-round main event. In the co-feature, Butler (25-3, 1 ND, 20 KOs) will meet Art Binkowski (14-1-3, 9 KOs) in an eight-round bout. Goossen Tutor Promotions and Secondsout Promotions will co-promote the event from The Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn.

Most sparring partners would boast if they had knocked down a world champion. Walker and Butler adhere to a different way of thinking, however.

For the past one-and-one-half years, in fact, the up-and-coming heavyweights have been respectfully silent and have mostly refused to discuss the training sessions. The only thing you will hear from Walker and Butler is a humble repentance.

Walker, who is coming off a career-best victory on “ShoBox” over 2004 Olympic Jason Estrada, barely will acknowledge the Klitschko knockdown occurred.

“I really don’t want to talk about that,” said Walker, who will turn 28 slightly more than two weeks after the “ShoBox” telecast. “I feel that what’s done in the gym should stay in the gym.”

While Walker won’t say much, Butler is apologetic.

“I keep telling Steve not to bring it up because I’m not the type of guy that boasts about stuff like that,” Butler said of his manager, Steve Munisteri. “I actually felt really bad about that because it was an $8 million fight for the championship. That was his (Klitschko’s) life. He lives boxing. I felt bad for that whole situation.”

“I am actually more interested in who they can knock down when there is no head gear,” said promoter Dan Goossen. “It is great experience to spar with a fighter like [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], but, when everything is said and done, those are all learning experiences that hopefully carry over when the bell actually rings for your fight.

“What will really speak volumes is if they (Walker and Butler) are able to knockdown great fighters as they continue their climb through the heavyweight ranks.”

For Walker and Butler, the Klitschko incident is all in the past. The only thing on their minds is preparing for their nationally televised fights April 6 on SHOWTIME."



David Price is rumoured to have dropped him too, but I dont count that as I can't provide proof.[Only registered and activated users can see links. ] Pele Reid dropped Vitali during a kick boxing match.[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
Vitali was the reigning WBC champ and was training to defend against Hashim Rahman,the injury he sustained when dropped , prompted his retirement

Jeannette was floored about 20 times as much as Johnson whom you say had a suspect chin.



Your tales of hand wraps are amusing, have you ever had your hands taped for a fight?
Are you aware that Jeffries only ever wore wraps once, and that was when he sustained hand damage?

Last edited by mcvey; 12-11-2012 at 03:50 AM.
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Old 12-11-2012, 02:06 AM   #14
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So Vitali gets dropped by a livershot?

As I've said before at time, anyone can get dropped by that.
Even Mccall had to quit once against Tyson in a sparring match probably because of a livershot (after enormous amounts of sparring these 2 had).

I punched a friend pretty lightly in the liver when we were ****ing around( no pun intended) and he was already like holyshit this hurts ****ing bad.

Other 2 were true "chin *******s" on Vitali, though getting dropped by a tornado kick isn't really bad.
A spinning kick + 230 lbs guy is much worse than even a left hook from Wlad.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:48 AM   #15
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Default Re: Who were the most durable heavyweights ever?

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So Vitali gets dropped by a livershot?

As I've said before at time, anyone can get dropped by that.
Even Mccall had to quit once against Tyson in a sparring match probably because of a livershot (after enormous amounts of sparring these 2 had).

I punched a friend pretty lightly in the liver when we were ****ing around( no pun intended) and he was already like holyshit this hurts ****ing bad.

Other 2 were true "chin *******s" on Vitali, though getting dropped by a tornado kick isn't really bad.
A spinning kick + 230 lbs guy is much worse than even a left hook from Wlad.

Both the boxers who dropped Vitali, Walker, and Butler ,are heavy duty bangers ,no shame being floored by them , particularly in sparring where different things are worked on . I only mentioned them to highlight some double standards by the thread maker.
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