Boxing  

Forum Home Boxing Forum European British Classic Aussie MMA Training
Go Back   Boxing News 24 Forum > Boxing > Classic Boxing Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 01-02-2013, 07:02 PM   #1
Bugger
Contender
ESB Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 745
vCash: 500
Default The Term "Tomato Can"...

We all know what a tomato can is when its referenced towards a boxer, but does anyone know how it made its way into common boxing lingo? Most boxing idioms seem to have, obvious or not so, a reference or meaning behind it... for the life of me i cant seem to connect the dots with this term.

Its a question out of sheer curiousity more than anything.

Cheers
Bugger is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 01-02-2013, 07:19 PM   #2
Seamus
Undisputed Champion
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Lisboa, Portugal
Posts: 12,140
vCash: 1000
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

A proclivity to bleed?
Seamus is online now  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2013, 07:38 PM   #3
dyna
Belt holder
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,363
vCash: 1551
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

Any fighter that ever faced a fighter I didn't like except for the the fighters he faced I liked ever, then they were simply not in their primes.
dyna is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2013, 08:13 PM   #4
LittleRed
Belt holder
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Yoknapatawpha
Posts: 3,215
vCash: 475
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by dyna View Post
Any fighter that ever faced a fighter I didn't like except for the the fighters he faced I liked ever, then they were simply not in their primes.
Drinking again dyna.
LittleRed is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2013, 08:53 PM   #5
amhlilhaus
Contender
ESB Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 882
vCash: 1000
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

I think hof manager 'dumb' dan morgan coined the phrase in the 1910's.
amhlilhaus is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2013, 09:44 PM   #6
Ricky42791
Contender
ESB Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 927
vCash: 2835
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
A proclivity to bleed?
Seamus hit it on the head. "Tomato can" comes from a fighter who will make the other fighter look good for busting them up and bleeding in the ring. it doesnt necessarily mean they were "bleeders" per se but just someone to make the other fighter look good but tomato sauce is symbolism for blood
Ricky42791 is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 08:13 AM   #7
Unforgiven
Undisputed Champion
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 12,568
vCash: 1000
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

I thought it was just someone easy to knock over.
Back in the days before Playstation or even Atari or Space Invaders, kids used to line up empty cans and throw stones at them.
Unforgiven is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 11:32 AM   #8
IntentionalButt
Nash Equilibrium Debunker
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 120,171
vCash: 10000
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

It used to mean a bleeder (which could denote any level, from an 0-5 failure up to a world champion) but over time that original definition has become antiquated and replaced with "someone who gets knocked out frequently".

Classic is probably not the best place to ask about contemporaneous usage, because a majority of these folk are from a time when the original meaning was more widespread.

Modern boxing fans use it to mean a low-level record padder with a notoriously bad chin. These days someone can be referred to as a tomato can without ever having broken their skin in the ring.
IntentionalButt is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 11:37 AM   #9
IntentionalButt
Nash Equilibrium Debunker
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Boston
Posts: 120,171
vCash: 10000
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

Chuck Wepner is a good example of someone who fits the original definition but not the current one.

By today's standards he is more of a journeyman or gatekeeper, a few levels above a tomato can which is the bottom rung in boxing.

He was stopped several times, but most often on cuts. It wasn't as though he had a glass jaw, nor was he towards the absolute bottom of the sport in terms of skill. (although he certainly wasn't world class, he was able to compete to a degree with those who were - something modern 'tomato cans' wouldn't be able to do...at worst he can be labeled a high-end club fighter)
IntentionalButt is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 04:03 PM   #10
My dinner with Conteh
Champion
East Side Guru
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,999
vCash: 1000
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

Yeah, a bleeder's a few levels above the tomato can- even the 'bum' has more respect. The Bum always gives a decent account of himself despite his lack of ability. The tomato can is on a similar rung to the 'stiff' and the 'turkey'- no punch; no chin; no heart; no chance- a tasty filling a fighter can gobble up and fatten the left side of his record with.
My dinner with Conteh is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 04:05 PM   #11
Manassa
-
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: ESB since '05
Posts: 3,883
vCash: 75
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by My dinner with Conteh View Post
Yeah, a bleeder's a few levels above the tomato can- even the 'bum' has more respect. The Bum always gives a decent account of himself despite his lack of ability. The tomato can is on a similar rung to the 'stiff' and the 'turkey'- no punch; no chin; no heart; no chance- a tasty filling a fighter can gobble up and fatten the left side of his record with.


Where does a cab driver rate?
Manassa is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 04:19 PM   #12
Boxed Ears
ESB #1 Name Changer!
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pazinfowit, USA
Posts: 24,727
vCash: 26665
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

In the spring of 1851 through to the summer of 1912 John L. Sullivan's mum would jar tomatoes. Sullivan considered this the ideal fashion to preserve fresh tomatoes for later use. So adamant was he about this sentiment that once he rose to prominence he would make public exhibitions where he'd beat a man dressed as a tomato can-a mascot, if you will, from pillar to post, Sullivan dressed himself as a jar of tomatoes.

This symbolised the superiority of the jarred method over the canned method. These mascots were usually half-starved railroad bums, often dying of TB, and were easily beaten up. Therefore, in later years, men who were easy to beat up were known as tomato cans. It all stemmed from Sullivan's mother's tomato preservation technique. And now you know the rest of the story.
Boxed Ears is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 04:25 PM   #13
My dinner with Conteh
Champion
East Side Guru
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,999
vCash: 1000
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manassa View Post


Where does a cab driver rate?
The same question was asked around 40 years ago. In order to decide if the 'cab driver' was a step up from the 'tomato can' two leg-endary heavyweights from the Land of the Horizontal took on the guise of each 'type' for Gilbert Odd's 'almanac' and fought it out to discover for themselves. Result: Cab Driver won by TKO.

[ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLJhiaqkf_o[/ame]

Last edited by My dinner with Conteh; 01-03-2013 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Offending Cab Drivers.
My dinner with Conteh is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 04:35 PM   #14
Manassa
-
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: ESB since '05
Posts: 3,883
vCash: 75
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

Wow. I really thought cab drivers were generally better (I normally picture a tomato can as being kicked around on the floor).

Chavez is dropping a few places, I can tell you that.
Manassa is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2013, 04:48 PM   #15
My dinner with Conteh
Champion
East Side Guru
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 4,999
vCash: 1000
Default Re: The Term "Tomato Can"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manassa View Post
Wow. I really thought cab drivers were generally better (I normally picture a tomato can as being kicked around on the floor).

Chavez is dropping a few places, I can tell you that.
He is...just realised I put tomato can at the end by mistake. Yes, cab driver's nearly as good as a bum; he's no turkey or tomato can. I better edit.
My dinner with Conteh is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Reply

Boxing News 24 Forum > Boxing > Classic Boxing Forum

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:23 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Boxing News 24 Forum 2013