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Old 07-12-2007, 04:19 AM   #1
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Default John Sullivan In The Modern Era

What division would John be best of fighting in?

And how do you think his skills set would translate?

How succesful do you think he would be (contender, belt holder, dominant champ, ATG, totally unbeatable?)?
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Old 07-12-2007, 09:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: John Sullivan In The Modern Era

He'd be a cruiserweight, known for an extremely awkward, hard to beat style. He'd be hit more than in his prime, for one thing (due to stylistic difference), and his knockout power would not be as telling, but the combination of the strange old-school style, power, feinting ability, roughness on the inside (where most fighters want to rest) and vicious tenacity in the early rounds would be enough to get him very close to the world title, if not grab it.

One x factor is ref leniency.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: John Sullivan In The Modern Era

As a raw athletic talent he was up there with the all time greats of any era. At cruiserweight I doub't that anybody could give him much of an argument.

If he takes on the big boys then a lot depends on the details of his style. I do think that he would bring some things to the table that they had never seen before especialy in terms of feinting.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: John Sullivan In The Modern Era

Today Sullivan would be a heavyweight, no doubt, and he'd knock most of these guys out without problem. He mostly weighed 200-230 pounds, at his best was in the low 200s, and only got below that for fights to the finish where he might have to fight for 3 hours, so he intentionally got down to be efficient, and also when you are running 10-20 miles a day and training for 2 plus hours a day, you tend to lose weight. If the lard asses fighting today did the same, they would slim down too. Also, if Sully had the nutrition and weight training they have today, he'd be a rock solid 230 with no problem.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: John Sullivan In The Modern Era

Quote:
Originally Posted by apollack
Today Sullivan would be a heavyweight, no doubt, and he'd knock most of these guys out without problem. He mostly weighed 200-230 pounds, at his best was in the low 200s, and only got below that for fights to the finish where he might have to fight for 3 hours, so he intentionally got down to be efficient, and also when you are running 10-20 miles a day and training for 2 plus hours a day, you tend to lose weight. If the lard asses fighting today did the same, they would slim down too. Also, if Sully had the nutrition and weight training they have today, he'd be a rock solid 230 with no problem.
With his rather dissolute training practices, I could see Sullivan going the same way as many modern contenders in trying to substitute weights and a little sparring for real training.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:12 AM   #6
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Default Re: John Sullivan In The Modern Era

Quote:
Originally Posted by apollack
Today Sullivan would be a heavyweight, no doubt, and he'd knock most of these guys out without problem. He mostly weighed 200-230 pounds, at his best was in the low 200s, and only got below that for fights to the finish where he might have to fight for 3 hours, so he intentionally got down to be efficient, and also when you are running 10-20 miles a day and training for 2 plus hours a day, you tend to lose weight. If the lard asses fighting today did the same, they would slim down too. Also, if Sully had the nutrition and weight training they have today, he'd be a rock solid 230 with no problem.
A couple of questions since you have done a lot of research on Sullivan.

1. How would you describe Sullivan's style. I have never quite got my head round it from what I have read. Who would be the best comparison.

2. Sullivan's power is legendary. would he consider him to be one of the major league puncher's of heavyweight history.

3. Evaluating his pre Kilrain competition is hard due to incomplete records. What conclusions have you reached on the quality of his oposition over this period.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:21 AM   #7
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Default Re: John Sullivan In The Modern Era

Read John L. Sullivan: The Career of the First Gloved Heavyweight Champion. I assure you that you will not be disappointed, and your questions will be answered much better than I can do in a short post. By reading fight by fight accounts, you will get a feel for his style and skills, which are also specifically discussed. You will also get plenty of discussion of how fast and powerful he was, as well as the experience level of his opponents. It's all there. Just ask anyone who has read it.

Let's put it this way. Picture a sport that exists, but is considered a fringe sport. Then imagine a guy who comes along and is so phenomenal, that everyone wants to see him. A guy who is so good that he causes an entire sport to raise up in its popularity to become one of the two most popular sports in the nation. A guy so fantastic that he turns the sport into a lucrative business. A guy so awe-inspiring that people who took little interest in boxing suddenly wanted to watch it. That guy was John L. Sullivan.
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