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Old 02-25-2008, 04:45 AM   #16
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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Originally Posted by RoccoMarciano
Stupid - it was termites and ants.
No way. Too protein heavy. The rebar provided the minerals.

"And when you gaze long into John L. Sullivan, John L. Sullivan gazes also into you."

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Old 02-25-2008, 01:10 PM   #17
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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Originally Posted by RoccoMarciano
Yep and if all sources are in agreement, does that make them accurate, or does that make them biased? If ten write in support, and ten write against, who are you going to believe?

Boxing is one of the most (perhaps the most) biased sports on earth. The thought it was any less more so in the past is based upon nothing.

If sources agree about a particular fighter, how can you say they wouldn't have agreed about them regardless of what transpired? Human opinion is a very powerful force.
Film/video can be edited. Wald Klitshko would be a good example. If I made a video of his losses you might think he got stoped in every fight. If I made a video of his best preformances you might think he is really really good.
It is a lot easier with footage but you still need to know that your source is reliable.
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Old 02-25-2008, 07:47 PM   #18
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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Originally Posted by ripcity
Film/video can be edited. Wald Klitshko would be a good example. If I made a video of his losses you might think he got stoped in every fight. If I made a video of his best preformances you might think he is really really good.
It is a lot easier with footage but you still need to know that your source is reliable.
Good point!


This problem arises with anything that happened before the invention of the video camera. Written word is all there was back then.

By the same thinking the whole history of mankind can be challenged because we don't have video evidence to back it up.

All one can do is use the best source available and form an opinion based on that.

Even judging different fights with the use of video tapes is ultimately just that, opinion. There is no way of proving that fighter A from one era would beat fighter B from another era. (Based on the upsets in the last year most people can't even get same era fighters right consistantly) If they didn't actually fight it is one persons best guess based on the available evidence. The written word is just one type of evidence and if that is all we have to go on, then that will have to do.

Anyway it makes for interesting debates and it also makes sure that these legends of the past are not forgotten.

Also of note evolution doesn't happen over the course of a few decades, it takes centuries. (Many people use this evolution theory to discredit old time fighters). Now science and better nutrition, that makes a difference.

Thus, in answer to your question, I don't think it is futile, it's just more difficult.
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Old 02-26-2008, 04:56 PM   #19
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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I apologize ,I think everybody knows where Im coming from!!I have my bias,no harm towards anyone , you guys are #1!!! But (HA HA HA) , you know i just answered DWPs Q on Conn ,we really dont have any film!! the gentleman before me answered it great we have to go on word,written & spoken ,Thank... Peace!!! ....
what the hell is wrong with you?
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:02 PM   #20
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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This is a great subject!!! Quickly for all those that say stupid to judge without seeing.What about War of Independence!!Wheres the FILM!!!
Who's war of independence?

If you are referring to the one the United States fought, the simple fact they are still independent proves who won that one
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:48 PM   #21
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Lack of fight footage should not hurt a fighter imo. I rank Greb pretty high.

I agree with Crosstrainer in parting the eras of barekucks and gloves.

I belive say Ali may lose to Hen Pearce under London Prize rules, but in the 15 round era, Ali should mopped the floor with the Barekuckler great.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:53 PM   #22
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

Well, some people on this forum seem to think that Sam Langford would beat the snot out of any modern giant, despite never having seen him on film, so who knows.

They say reading books is better for the imagination than watching movies.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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Well, some people on this forum seem to think that Sam Langford would beat the snot out of any modern giant, despite never having seen him on film, so who knows.

They say reading books is better for the imagination than watching movies.
Well Sam Langford does have film to his name though, vs Flynn.
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Old 03-01-2008, 05:55 PM   #24
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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Originally Posted by bravecubs
I apologize ,I think everybody knows where Im coming from!!I have my bias,no harm towards anyone , you guys are #1!!! But (HA HA HA) , you know i just answered DWPs Q on Conn ,we really dont have any film!! the gentleman before me answered it great we have to go on word,written & spoken ,Thank... Peace!!! ....
It's like you're yelling at me with your words.
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Old 03-02-2008, 09:49 AM   #25
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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To try and rate an old boxer when film is not available?

Without film, you are left with accounts of the fight... well, just how accurate are these accounts?

Did the writer like the fighter, did he hate him?

Even if we see writings from ten people that state a fighter was "the greatest" in their day and age, does that really mean anything? Maybe those ten people were already partial toward the fighter in question.

Basing anything on a written account doesn't really accomplish much, in my view. Boxing is now, and always has been, way too biased for that.

Anyway, it's just an interesting matter to consider for the fans of boxers before film crept in.
At the end of the day you have to do what you can with the sources available.

As a paleontologist I han never know certain thigs about the extict animals I study such as their colour but I can infer other things like how it moved.

My reconstruction of an extinct animal is the best interpretation possible given the information available and I would expect some aspects of it to be revised in the light of future discoveries. I recently looked at the tail of a phrehistoric fish reconstructed in 1935 and found out that every illustration since that time was wrong and that every experiment that asumed that tail shape was wrong. When I write it up for publication I will not be presenting a series of facts but a series of conclusions based on a series of facts and asumptions. I will make it clear what are facts and what are asumptions and that my conclusions depend on these asumptions being correct.
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Old 03-03-2008, 02:21 AM   #26
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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At the end of the day you have to do what you can with the sources available.

As a paleontologist I han never know certain thigs about the extict animals I study such as their colour but I can infer other things like how it moved.

My reconstruction of an extinct animal is the best interpretation possible given the information available and I would expect some aspects of it to be revised in the light of future discoveries. I recently looked at the tail of a phrehistoric fish reconstructed in 1935 and found out that every illustration since that time was wrong and that every experiment that asumed that tail shape was wrong. When I write it up for publication I will not be presenting a series of facts but a series of conclusions based on a series of facts and asumptions. I will make it clear what are facts and what are asumptions and that my conclusions depend on these asumptions being correct.
While I certainly appreciate this post, I'm the first to admit that I don't agree with assumptions, in a factual sense. While assumptions may indeed help to reveal fact at times, I'm more more fond of seeing an assumption that helps to support an earlier fact. You are doing great work regardless!

In boxing, we often run into opinions regarding the earlier boxers. Who is to decide whether or not these opinions are in fact accurate. A human view of what they saw is always biased! For example, if one (an observer) went into a fight liking the fighter, they will come out of the fight trumpeting this fighter's skills. If one (again an observer) goes into a fight hating the fighter, each and every flaw performed by that fighter will be analyzed in spades. There is no way of getting around this part of human nature that I'm aware of.... we even see it today, when film is available!

I have a great appreciation for the work you are doing. But to ask a human to give an accurate representation of what they witnessed, when they themself had a favourite, is silly in boxing. Everything they witness will be slanted toward a favourite... this is true in the "film age" as much as it was before that time, Janitor!

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Old 03-03-2008, 02:41 AM   #27
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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While I certainly appreciate this post, I'm the first to admit that I don't agree with assumptions, in a factual sense. While assumptions may indeed reveal fact at times, I'm more more fond of seeing a fact that supports an earlier assumption - rather than an assumption that "may", or may not, confirm a fact. You are doing great work regardless!

In boxing, we often run into opinions regarding the earlier boxers. Who is to decide whether or not these opinions are in fact accurate. A human view of what they saw is always biased! For example, if one (an observer) went into a fight liking the fighter, they will come out of the fight trumpeting this fighter's skills. If one (again an observer) goes into a fight hating the fighter, each and every flaw performed by that fighter will be analyzed in spades. There is no way of getting around this part of human nature that I'm aware of.... we even see it today, when film is available!

I have a great appreciation for the work you are doing. But to ask a human to give an accurate representation of what they witnessed, when they themself had a favourite, is silly in boxing. Everything they witness will be slanted toward a favourite... this is true in the "film age" as much as it was before that time, Janitor!

SRR was supposed to be a significantly superior fighter @ welterweight than @ middleweight, but I have seen no footage of him @ welter, and many say there is little if any footage of those welterweight fights. Based on what I have read, I have no doubt that he was better @ welter. A fighter who has not been filmed is not to be disregarded, or more accurately penalized because there is no film of him. Especially when considering what is usually attempting to be accomplished, and that is subjectively comparing the greatness of fighters from different era's and fantasy matches between these fighters.
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:01 AM   #28
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For some of these fighters, people will use any little scrap of footage to convince themselves that they've seen the extraordinary talents of a legend demonstrated.

I've seen a few seconds of an old fat 60 year old John L. Sullivan playfully waving his fists at an old Corbett being described here as "amazing feints"


To a lesser degree, Jim Jeffries gets a load of people doing back somersaults over his ability to slip a few punches against a fairly inept looking sparring partner. People seem to forget that any good boxer has defensive moves, and can duck and slip some punches. Or they just convince themselves because it's Jim Jeffries that they are witnessing undoubtable evidence of incredible skills that you'll only ever see other "greats" capable of producing.

It's pure nonsense.
If any of us were to read good things about a current fighter but weren't familiar with him or his opponents, and then we see just a scrap of grainy sparring footage, NONE OF US would feel at all confident in assessing his chances against the fighters we've seen and know of.
But with these old-timers lots of guys here seem to do just that.

People will argue against this post, but it's true.
Deep down I think everyone knows that they "just dont know".

Harry Greb is actually one of the guys I'd make a minor exception for. His resume is so vast, he won so many fights, and he beat bigger men in Gibbons, Brennan and Tunney, who all exist on film, and he gave Dempsey fits in sparring. And we know he was awkward and dirty.
So I think it's fair to assume Greb was something special, to an extent that you could say, "He probably stands a great chance against X or Y", but that's it. You cant pretend to know HOW he would do it, because you have no idea how he looks fighting. The fact that we have some of his victims on film is vital though.
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:03 AM   #29
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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Originally Posted by sthomas
SRR was supposed to be a significantly superior fighter @ welterweight than @ middleweight, but I have seen no footage of him @ welter, and many say there is little if any footage of those welterweight fights. Based on what I have read, I have no doubt that he was better @ welter. A fighter who has not been filmed is not to be disregarded, or more accurately penalized because there is no film of him. Especially when considering what is usually attempting to be accomplished, and that is subjectively comparing the greatness of fighters from different era's and fantasy matches between these fighters.
I'm not saying there is a penalty...

One point I'm making is that written acoounts may, or may not be trustworthy for the older fighters. Look at it this way, sthomas, would you ever say anything bad about your mum, or favourite teacher? Of course you wouldn't! The only trouble is, people carry this rose-glass opinion of their favourites regarding everythng they like, including a fav boxer. We all do it, even today.

Why is it so hard to accept that some may have been just like you and me in times past regarding a favourite boxer? One obvious matter is how a huge number viewed a "great white (Jeffries)" vs Jack Johnson!
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Old 03-03-2008, 03:19 AM   #30
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Default Re: How Futile is it..

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I'm not saying there is a penalty...

One point I'm making is that written acoounts may, or may not be trustworthy for the older fighters. Look at it this way, sthomas, would you ever say anything bad about your mum, or favourite teacher? Of course you wouldn't! The only trouble is, people carry this rose-glass opinion of their favourites regarding everythng they like, including a fav boxer. We all do it, even today.

Why is it so hard to accept that some may have been just like you and me in times past regarding a favourite boxer? One obvious matter is how a huge number viewed a "great white (Jeffries)" vs Jack Johnson!
Bringing my mom into it, brutal... I love my mom, she's the greatest! but guess what, I've said many negative things about her, not out of disrespect but as fact. I say Great boxers of the past had their share of detractors too, and their critics opinions are writtin down. Another place to look is the boxers themselves when discussing their opponents. Joe Choynski is a great example. Many great fighters, including Jack Johnson, said that Choynski hit them harder than any other opponent they ever faced. Based on that evidence, I think it's safe to conclude that Choynski had serious power, and I am very confident that even without film to proove it, that he punched harder than Chris Byrd.

I do get your point though, and agree without film it is tougher, but it's not some futile witchhunt.
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