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Old 07-19-2007, 02:13 PM   #1
Street Lethal
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Default The Meaning of Pound for Pound

I understand that if a boxer is considered the best pound for pound that he would be the best in any division at any time. If we could make Sugar Ray Robinson 6 foot 3 inches and make him 212 pounds he would be the best heavyweight of all times. The next best would be that boxer who would be best if we imagine Robinson never existed. Is this the way other people understand this idea?

I believe a lot of people think that Henry Armstrong is up there with Robinson. Do people believe that Armstrong's ability and style would make him the best in any weight division for all times if Robinson never existed? Thinking about it this way Roberto Duran would have to be up there because he would be a demon at any weight in his prime. I think that if you shrunk Muhammad Ali down to lightweight he would be up there. He was too quick and smart for most boxers.

There is another thread about who we could all agree on, but it doesn't answer the question about what pound for pound means so I started this thread. I want to know what those here think about the idea. Thanx.
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

The problem with shrinking fighters down, or blowing others up, and imagining that they were all the same size or fighting at all divisions and all times is that fighters of different sizes fight differently.

Ali's style worked tremendously against heavyweights but if you scale Ali down to lightweight it's very hard to say how well he'd have fared against some lightweight styles. We cant imagine him being as ridiculous fast relative to his opponents because there is a limit to how fast we can imagine a fighter being, and the laws of physics make it likely impossible to be that fast (as fighters like M.Taylor, Ali and Jones Jr have already stretched the bounds of reason with their quickness in their respective weight divisions). It's hard to gauge how powerful or not a scaled-down heavyweight would be, or how nimble a scaled up featherweight would be. The questions of power, chin, and style match-ups are difficult to answer if we imagine guys in impossible dimensions. I cannot imagine a bantamweight Sonny Liston, for example, and certainly cannot imagine how he would approach the styles present in the bantamweight division, or how his opposition would approach him.
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Old 07-19-2007, 02:51 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

How do you understand the meaning of pound for pound then?
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

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Originally Posted by Street Lethal
How do you understand the meaning of pound for pound then?
If every fighter weighed the same, who is the best?

It is a totally ridiculous concept, no doubt; but is fun to debate
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

I don't think Muhammad Ali would need to be too much faster. He was already one of the fastest boxers even at heavyweight. But he would be even faster at a lighter weight.

For example, what would a fight look like between Henry Armstrong and Ali? The best example of an Armstrong like boxer at heavyweight is Joe Frazier. Ali beat him two out of three. I believe that a prime Ali beats the Frazier he faced in the first fight. Armstrong is better than Frazier, so it would be a hell of a fight, one that I think Ali might win. Ali could outsmart Armstrong. So does Ali belong in a pound for pound list?

What about Roberto Duran? I am going to guess that most people would pick Duran over Armstrong. So how can people rank Armstrong over Duran? Lightweight was their best weight and I think Duran could beat Armstrong so pound for pound Duran is better. What do you think?
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

I don't think that is how you measure pound for pound at all.

The way you measure it is, which fighter is the most dominant in their weight class. Which fighter is the best fighter, considering both the current crop and the best of all time, in the weight that they are fighting. In this regard there are a few things to consider.

1) While a fighter may be the undisputed champ and clearly the best of his weightclass, the lack of great competition at the weight class will bring down his pound for pound ranking. Joe Calzaghe is a good example. If Calzaghe was fighting very quality fighters all the time, his pound for pound stature would improve.

2) The overall domination of the fighter against other's. Part of the reason that Floyd is the p4p #1, while there are fighters with better records on paper, is the fact that his fights are not even close. When we compared fighters from different weight classes, since it isn't feasible to have them fight each other, we much examine their history with a finer tooth comb than we would if they were in the same weight class. Floyd is #1 because most of his fights aren't even CLOSE. RJJ was p4p #1 because he rarely lost a single round.

3) There talents relative to THEIR FIGHTING WEIGHT. For instance, both Wladimir and Floyd have p4p speed. While Floyd's speed isn't necessarily MUCH MUCH better than other fighters at welter (as Klitschko's speed is much much better than other fighters at Heavyweight), we have to take into account the fact that, as stated earlier, you can only be so fast at the lower weights. For instance, Cotto's power in a pound for pound sense is more impressive than Sam Peter's, because Heavyweights are EXPECTED to KO their competition moreso than WWs are.

That was sort of just rambling, my main point is, if you think of it in terms of a super blown up Manny Pacqiuo or a tiny shrimp version of Wladimir Klitschko, you are misguided.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

I've always wondered what people mean when they talk about current pound for pound champions. It always seems that by the time a guy makes it to the top of a pound for pound list, he isn't really pound for pound the best any more (i.e. Mayweather at 154 is not the most dominant fighter in the sport). It's not really about accomplishments, because, if so, Evander Holyfield would still be on people's pound for pound lists. What then? It's almost like if a guy fights top opposition for long enough, it's his turn to be pound for pound champ until he loses.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

Good question Lethal, according to wikipedia; Pound-for-pound is the term used in boxing, mixed martial arts and other combat sports to describe a fighter's value in relation to fighters of different weight classes. For me I think of pound for pound as being the best fighter (having power, speed, skill etc) under given conditions (weight, height, reach, background etc) and the critieria which are in brackets will differ from person to person. So for example even though Calzaghe has fought in only one division, his advantages(speed, skill etc) serve him well for his weight/height to put him in the top 10 P4P, whereas PFB has better speed, power and skill for his conditions to put him respectivetly at #1. Contructive feedback is appreciated.
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Old 07-19-2007, 03:32 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajohnfp
I've always wondered what people mean when they talk about current pound for pound champions. It always seems that by the time a guy makes it to the top of a pound for pound list, he isn't really pound for pound the best any more (i.e. Mayweather at 154 is not the most dominant fighter in the sport). It's not really about accomplishments, because, if so, Evander Holyfield would still be on people's pound for pound lists. What then? It's almost like if a guy fights top opposition for long enough, it's his turn to be pound for pound champ until he loses.
Great post! I agree. It does sometimes feel like that, which is why I've tried to set real criteria for other fighters to unseat the current p4p champ, instead of it just being you get upgraded when he loses.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:16 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

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Originally Posted by justaboxingfan
Good question Lethal, according to wikipedia; Pound-for-pound is the term used in boxing, mixed martial arts and other combat sports to describe a fighter's value in relation to fighters of different weight classes.
Sorry to chop up your quote but I agree with this part. This is the way I think about it.

I will probably catch hell for this but Miguel Canto ruled the flyweights for a long time, but I don't think of the flyweights as the talent rich division that the lightweights or welterweights are. So while he was dominant I don't think in relation to fighters of different weight classes that he is pound for pound one of the greatest of all times.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:36 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

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Originally Posted by Calabrese
I see it more this way...

I believe the best Heavyweight is seen as the best fighter in the world, period (meaning he could kick everybody else's ass) - while the best overall non-Heavyweight is seen as the best "pound for pound" in the world. It's about talent and skill yes - but also quality of opposition, dominance, excitement, consitancy, activity, etc.

I think the best HW in the world right now is Wladimir Klitschko, therefore he's the best in the sport - while the best non-heavyweight right now is Manny Pacquiao, so I see him as the best pound-for-pound.

Go ahead and hate.
This makes sense. Joe Louis was the baddest man on the planet because he was the heavyweight champion but Sugar Ray Robinson was pound for pound the best boxer in the world.
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Old 07-19-2007, 04:46 PM   #12
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

I think people are getting far too deep here...

Until the late 80s apart from the odd end of year list and Boxing News; pound for pound was rarely spoken of other than the given that Robinson was the best ever pound for pound.

After the sweet one passed away in 89 and the Heavies were dominated by this bloke who's name I forget; pound for pound began to rear its head. At first to find a living successor to Robinson (I think The Ring did an article 'Is Charley Burley, the best living pound for pound fighter?'); and then to decide who was the best amongst the current crop.
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

Didn't KO magazine have a pound for pound section in their ratings going back to the early 1980s? Was Mike Tyson ever in there?
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

Quote:
Originally Posted by Street Lethal
Didn't KO magazine have a pound for pound section in their ratings going back to the early 1980s? Was Mike Tyson ever in there?
KO had an annual end of year rating in the 80s. That was kind of a vote for fighter of the year merged with best pound for pound.

Last edited by Thread Stealer; 03-16-2006 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 07-19-2007, 05:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Meaning of Pound for Pound

If you took pound for pound to literaly mean, highest physical perfomence per pound of body weight, then the top 10 slots would be held by flyweights.

Laws of physics.

Last edited by Zakman; 03-16-2006 at 01:10 AM.
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