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Old 07-13-2007, 03:12 PM   #31
john garfield
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Default Re: Moore's strategy in the Marciano fight

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Originally Posted by Street Lethal
I've heard this before. So you saw him spar?!
At Stillman's Gym and when he was in camp at Grossingers and Kutchers in the Catskill Mountains.
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Old 07-13-2007, 03:21 PM   #32
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Default Re: Moore's strategy in the Marciano fight

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Funny, D, you clearly feel very strongly about Rocky -- as I do -- but guaranteed, had you seen him spar, you'd have hocked every earthly possession and put it on Moore. Rocky was a horrendous gym fighter.
Reading Skehan's biography on Marciano had something to do with that, as did the fact that I then viewed Murray Woroner's filmed performance between Marciano and Ali twice on late night TV.

When Hagler was Middleweight Champ, my sister worked at a law firm representing him in Boston, and they were on a first name basis. Through the Petronelli's the link between Marciano and Hagler becomes very close in New England.

Given his dedication to conditioning (thanks to his disastrous amateur deput), it is kind of ironic that he was such a dreadful gym fighter. But he absolutely made the most of his ability, and being a more regular sized and regular looking guy (as well as one who stayed true to his roots), it's hardly surprising that his story would resonate as it does with average fight fans.

My understanding is that Charley Goldman was always careful to make sure that he was comfortable with his positioning through much of the training process, not trying to force him into a form mold he didn't naturally fit.

I have their book on boxing and bodybuilding, but I can't say I was particularly impressed by it. (Dempsey's "Championship Fighting" blows the doors off of any instructional book I've encountered by a prominent pugilist.)

From what I've read of Rocky's sparring sessions with Cesar Brion, he needed to be a lousy gym fighter just to get sparring mates in the ring with him.

Winning ugly is something most of us can identify with.

Listening to Moore, and reading what he wrote, I probably would have hocked every earthly possession I had, and put it on Moore to beat young Cassius Clay! (Unless I listened to Archie wearing earplugs, and was reading his writings with a blindfold!)
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Old 07-13-2007, 04:00 PM   #33
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Default Re: Moore's strategy in the Marciano fight

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Originally Posted by Street Lethal
It seemed like Moore was tired early. I think it's possible that he came in flat (the way he described his perfomance against Patterson) and decided to just mix it Marciano and counter right (it worked once, didn't it?)...

I don't believe Marciano was better than Moore. The age difference cannot be exaggerated. Moore was a marvel, and he was beating big heavyweights (like Valdes), but against the buzzsaw, he was just too old to hold up. He timing was a bit off as he tired. I think had Marciano met a younger Moore things might have been different.
Your analysis is sound and it tells me that you know your stuff.

Moore was interviewed (SI, '55) before the fight and his strategy against Marciano relied on two things that he illustrated at length and that he practiced in the bout. The first was the jab. He did not believe that Marciano was capable of dealing with the jab and argued that Ezzard did not employ it enough. Ezzard "pushed" his jab. Marciano was "very deliberate"... "Everything's deliberate, see one punch, then another. Charles didn't jab that man."

Moore said plainly that he will jab hell out of him.

...The problem here was that Rocky accepted the jab. Before fighting Walcott Marciano decided that he had no answer for it except to just take it. And he did. By the Moore fight, An adjustment was made... Marciano weaved very low and when Moore jabbed, he got the top of Marciano's head. Moore was hoping to knock him off balance with the jab but I think that this failed because Marciano fought in a crouch and leaned forward. Trauma to the face, yes, but he wasn't in the position to be knocked off balance. Marciano relied very, very much on leverage -whether he was giving or taking shots without losing balance.

Both Cheerful Norman (Moore's trainer) and Archie believed that Rocky survived as champion because he had not been subjected to the "cumulative destruction of of a series of good blows." So Moore was going to blast him with combinations... now in retrospect, this seems unwise but Moore was also convinced -absolutely convinced that he himself was stronger than any heavyweight. He said "Nobody's been stronger than me in there. He might be bigger and heavier, but he ain't no stronger."

Now if you see the first round, you see Moore jabbing and when Marciano bores and burrows in, Moore meets him and tests him. Meanwhile, Marciano does what Marciano does. He pounds in good investments. That sweet counter right in round 2 gave him false confidence. No one beats Rocky in a war of attrition. No one. It took Moore a while to calculate that he is taking too much and that he is not stronger than Rocco, but by that time, he was worn out. You can see him fight smarter at the end, but he was tired and when he got bulled to the ropes he didn't have the gas to spin out. He tried to rest there but was getting sledge-hammered too much.

What should Moore have done? He should have employed a strategem based on what he saw on film -not on prideful assumptions. What was plain to see, was that Rocky was enormously strong and was able to take monstrous punishment. He was indeed deliberate, and Moore had that right, but instead of meeting him and trying to hurt him, he should have put in his own investment -points. That would have rendered Rocky unable to do his usual investment of pounding meat nonstop. If Moore formed a strategy around angles, strong countering, and mobility (or simple pivots, since his legs were old), it would have been a different fight. The counter right confirmed this. When he stuck in straight shots and countered and then reset distance he was looking good. That was how he got the kd. Moore got that one while backing up! When Marciano was allowed to get close, the fight turned 100% against Moore.

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Originally Posted by Street Lethal
But I still believe he would have been more successful had he circled to his right. He would have had Marciano lunging and out of position. He could slip the hook (which he did effectively) and counter with the right uppercut from Marciano's left side (the way Tyson often did).
You believe that, but Moore did not!

Moore criticized Charles for trying to counter Marciano's left hook. "How you goin' to counter that hook? Man got stubby little arms not longer than that..." Moore also believed that Marciano's best shot was exactly that -a left hook. I am inclined to agree with him here.

That was why Moore was moving to his left. Also, that is the proper way to go according to most. You're intention is to slip the right and counter. The man is more off balance after throwing a right and then a jab or a hook, so you capitalize on that.
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:35 AM   #34
Marciano Frazier
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Default Re: Moore's strategy in the Marciano fight

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True, but I'm not basing that on only one opponent's expressed opinion/experience. Moore himself stated immediately after his match with Marciano that, "He's the strongest boxer I ever fought. I don't know that he is the hardest hitter, but he certainly hits hard enough." It's intriguing to me that the Mongoose would express some doubt about the supremacy of punching power from an adversary who he had a warm relationship with, at the time they'd just competed against each other. After his career was over, Archie definitively asserted that the first right hand Yvon Durelle floored him with in their initial meeting was indeed that hardest punch he ever took in his career.

To be sure, Rocky had more than sufficient power for his needs. But two highly qualified and experienced opponents of Rocky have both stated that he was not the man who hit them the hardest. One opinion could perhaps be readily dismissed, but such a confluence of feedback on this subject as Lowry's and Moore's can give one more pause for thought.

Marciano himself indicated that he felt his two knockout punches against Walcott were the hardest punches he ever connected with.
Moore had never landed a knockout punch on himself that we're aware of, so Moore not being certain Marciano was the hardest hitter he'd ever fought would not provide any evidence that Moore himself hit harder than Marciano. Only Lowry's statements support that conclusion. Based on their careers and their respective results against their multiple common opponents, it seems reasonably evident that Marciano hit harder. And Moore's remark about the Durelle punch being the hardest he ever took is actually contradicted by his statements in a RING Magazine interview, for which he reported that Curtis "the Hatchetman" Sheppard hit him the hardest of all his opponents.

And yes, some of Marciano's opponents didn't feel that he had hit him the hardest out of everyone they'd faced, but again, this needs to be looked at in context-
First, many experienced and qualified opponents who faced Marciano did consider him the hardest hitter they'd ever fought(among them Freddie Beshore, Keene Simmons, and Walcott). Some experienced and qualified opponents who fought Louis, Foreman, Tyson, Lewis, etc. didn't consider them the hardest hitters they'd ever fought(for example, Chuvalo said that Frazier hit him harder than Foreman, Alex Stewart said that Holyfield hit him harder than Foreman or Tyson, McCall said that Buster Douglas hit him harder than Lewis or Tyson, Walcott said after the first Louis fight that Gomez, Sheppard, Ray, and Murray hit him harder than Louis, Holmes, Holyfield, Ruddock, etc. all said that Tyson was not the hardest hitter they ever fought and that different opponents hit harder, etc.).
If we were to take all the testimony about who hit the hardest or hit harder from all the common opponents of all the champions, we would have a truckload of contradictory statements; for example, Rex Layne(who fought Marciano and fought exhibitions against Louis) said that Louis hit him harder than Marciano, but Jersey Joe Walcott, Freddie Beshore and Keene Simmons said Marciano hit them harder than Louis.

A fighter doesn't land his hardest punch, or even throw his hardest punch, in every fight. Sometimes one guy may have landed an especially hard punch on an opponent while another guy who normally hits harder will not have connected with such a blow. Some fighters' punching power changes and develops over the course of their careers. And our own perceptions of how hard a punch hit us are subjective and qualitative, and not a hard science.

Now, I'm not saying that the opinions of opponents aren't important in assessing punching power- I think they're very much so. But the fact that common opponents often contradict each other, contradict themselves(for example, Foreman said at various times that Lyle, Cooney and Ali[!] hit him the hardest, Marciano that Vingo, Walcott and Moore hit him the hardest, Moore that Sheppard and Durelle hit him the hardest, etc.), and say things which are pretty strongly at odds with the hard facts(like Buster Douglas hitting harder than Lewis or Holyfield hitting harder than Tyson, which are each claimed by a common opponent) demonstrates that they need to be taken with a good grain of salt and interpreted in context. I hope I've illustrated reasonably well why one common opponent's statement on the subject doesn't really provide good reason to think there is a serious possibility that Moore was a harder hitter than Marciano.
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Old 07-14-2007, 02:59 AM   #35
Marciano Frazier
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Default Re: Moore's strategy in the Marciano fight

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Originally Posted by Street Lethal
It seemed like Moore was tired early. I think it's possible that he came in flat (the way he described his perfomance against Patterson) and decided to just mix it Marciano and counter right (it worked once, didn't it?). But I still believe he would have been more successful had he circled to his right. He would have had Marciano lunging and out of position. He could slip the hook (which he did effectively) and counter with the right uppercut from Marciano's left side (the way Tyson often did).
I think Moore tired early because he was fighting Marciano. If you examine the careers of nearly all Marciano's major opponents, you'll see that virtually every one of them tired unusually early in their fights with him. Marciano was an unusual fighter. He threw an unusually high number of hard, punishing punches to the arms, shoulders, body and head, virtually never clinched, never backpedaled, never "cruised" through sections of a fight, and never took a round off.

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I don't believe Marciano was better than Moore.
Marciano was champion, while Moore wasn't, Marciano never lost, while Moore did, Marciano did better than Moore against their common opposition, and Marciano beat Moore himself in very decisive fashion. At least as a heavyweight, I think it's plenty evident that Marciano was the better fighter.

Quote:
The age difference cannot be exaggerated. Moore was a marvel, and he was beating big heavyweights (like Valdes), but against the buzzsaw, he was just too old to hold up. He timing was a bit off as he tired. I think had Marciano met a younger Moore things might have been different.
Actually, the age difference can be exaggerated quite a bit. Moore was 38-42 years old(depending on whose word you take), yes, but as you say, he was a marvel. One of a kind. He may have been old, but he was on the biggest winning streak of his career, having won his last 21 fights in a row, and one certainly can't claim that his opposition was weaker than usual in that run, seeing how six of those were against world champions and future Hall-of-Famers and several more were against top heavyweight contenders. Moore was on the absolute best run of his career going into the Marciano fight, bar none. He would go on afterwards to compile an impressive 37-4-2 record, make five more successful defenses of his light heavyweight title, hold that title for five more years, and remain a top 10 heavyweight for seven more years. Moore was absolutely in his prime when he fought Marciano, in spite of his advanced age.
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:46 AM   #36
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Default Re: Moore's strategy in the Marciano fight

Marciano Frazier, you have produced a series of highly intelligent and well-articulated brilliant posts on this thread (as have the rest of you here). Many lucid insights, and thoughtful, interesting analysis. I'm going to sit back, relax, and enjoy these exchanges, as there's nothing I can contribute now to this discussion.

Was there ever any possibility that Archie Moore could have defeated Rocky? I don't think so. Ezzard Charles had Archie's number, and did about as well in his 15 rounder with Rocky was anybody in that era could have done. Archie only lasted into the eighth round as was, so the idea of him lasting twice as long, and being on his feet at the end of 15 rounds seems a little far fetched to me.

Was Moore actually a harder puncher than Marciano? Maybe, for one punch, maybe not. He appears to have been able to connect more reliably than Rocky, but punch for punch, Marciano was perhaps a bit like Cuevas, an attrition specialist who could take an opponent out with any shot landed. If Marciano's average power per punch wasn't the highest of any heavyweight champ, I'd like to know whose was!
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Old 07-14-2007, 12:28 PM   #37
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Default Re: Moore's strategy in the Marciano fight

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Originally Posted by john garfield
At Stillman's Gym and when he was in camp at Grossingers and Kutchers in the Catskill Mountains.
Lucky you! Did you ever see him fight live?
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