boxing

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


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-15-2014, 05:17 PM   #1
Jester
Journeyman
ESB Jr Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 214
vCash: 500
Default Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

I've heard many people on this forum accuse Zale of intentionally avoiding the best competition of his era, and looking over his resume, the only really big names on his record were Graziano and Cerdan, fighting both of them when he was past his best years. That could be seen as ducking, but the only fighter I've ever heard him accused of avidly avoiding was Burley. If anyone could offer some insight as to who he ducked, and how close certain fights were to materializing, it would be greatly appreciated.
Jester is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2014, 05:42 PM   #2
mcvey
P4P King
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Garden Of England
Posts: 25,148
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester View Post
I've heard many people on this forum accuse Zale of intentionally avoiding the best competition of his era, and looking over his resume, the only really big names on his record were Graziano and Cerdan, fighting both of them when he was past his best years. That could be seen as ducking, but the only fighter I've ever heard him accused of avidly avoiding was Burley. If anyone could offer some insight as to who he ducked, and how close certain fights were to materializing, it would be greatly appreciated.
During the years Zale was champion/ranked ,some of the ranked men he did not meet were:
Burley
Lamotta
Basora
Booker
Williams
Chase
Moore
Charles
Overlin
Belloise
Bivins
The War had a huge effect on Zale's career , how much responsibility you feel is his for not meeting those guys is down to you .
After the war he went for the $$$$ fights, the trilogy with Graziano, and his last defence against Cerdan.
mcvey is online now  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2014, 06:49 PM   #3
Flea Man
มวยสากล
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: @ferociousflea
Posts: 40,697
vCash: 75
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

Graziano is only a big name because of his fights with Zale. Sure, he was popular before, but in a gatti kind of way.

Abrams was a quality fighter. Al Hostak and Fred Apostoli too. Zale took on Billy Conn as the smaller man so he wasn't a cheese champ or anything.

But when it came to his title, he didn't risk it too much no. He'd be remembered as a better fighter had he taken on just a handful of the names McVey mentioned, but I suspect hardly anywhere near as fondly as a middleweight champion.

He was also out of action for what, 5 years?
Flea Man is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links


Old 10-15-2014, 07:48 PM   #4
klompton2
Belt holder
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,889
vCash: 500
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

I dont think Zale was a cherry picker until after the war and then it was blatant. He spent four years out of action and when he returned had six fights in six months against total nobodies before signing to fight the undeserving Graziano (how do you get rated at MW beating up on washed up welterweights???). If you want argue he wanted to cash in on the popular Graziano thats fine but after knocking Graziano out he spent the next ten months facing: Unrated Deacon Logan whose best wins came years earlier against a faded Allan Matthews, Len Wadsworth who had only won 5 of his last 12 fights and lost, Tommy Charles who had only 1 of his last 6 losing four of those, 2 by KO, Al Timmons who had won only two of his last 8 fights, and Cliff Beckett who had failed to win any of his last 11 fights including getting stopped in his previous fight. Meanwhile Jake LaMotta had been rated #1 the entire time and had been practically begging for a title fight. He then rematched Graziano and lost before facing three tuneups, the best of which was Lou Woods who had been knocked out in his last fight. He then defeated Graziano in the rubber match and immediately went into the fight with Cerdan, who didnt deserve that shot over other fighters either. Had Zale defeated Cerdan (which I believe he would have had he not been totally shot) it would have been another fight against undeserving cherry picker who was percieved as being a bigger draw and lesser threat. Essentially Zale was ducking the best fighters nearly 3 years. So yeah, I think after the war his reputation as a cherry picker was deserved.

The thing thats always ****ed me off about Zale (who was supposedly a really nice guy) was that he used to write a column for Boxing Illustrated and in it he would regularly blast LaMotta and Robinson and talk about how he would have beaten them and done this and that to them when in reality he wouldnt have fought those two in a million years and actively ducked both of them.
klompton2 is online now  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2014, 07:55 PM   #5
burt bienstock
Champion
East Side Guru
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 8,318
vCash: 500
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

When Tony Zale returned to the ring after 4 years without a fight while in the Navy,
Tony Zale was 33 years old...Knowing he was past his peak, and serving his country
for 4 long years he probably felt along with his brain trust," why not make my dough now
while I can with the best box office attraction', and that is what he did. Before he went into the navy for four years Zale tackled the likes of Apostoli, Al Hostak, Billy Soose, Georgie Abrams, and a terrific lightheavyweight Billy Conn. At his best he would be a threat to any middleweight before him or after him. He always gave the crowd thrills for
his terrific body punching, sturdiness and warrior attitude. I never saw him live, but wished I had...
burt bienstock is online now  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2014, 09:16 PM   #6
klompton2
Belt holder
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,889
vCash: 500
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

Wanting to cash in is hardly a reason for letting basically every top ten contender sit on the shelf and wait for a title shot (especially considering they had already waited during the war).
klompton2 is online now  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2014, 09:47 PM   #7
he grant
Historian/Film Maker
East Side Guru
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 8,257
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

It seems he really blatantly ducked the best after the war. He didn't do a Larry Holmes who at least beat the guy some wanted him to fight. Zale basically fought no one. It's interesting that Klompton refers to Graziano as a Hatti because a while back I started a thread here asking if Zale and Graziano were basically a Gatti- Ward of their era.
he grant is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2014, 09:51 PM   #8
burt bienstock
Champion
East Side Guru
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 8,318
vCash: 500
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

After the war, not fighting for FOUR long years and as I have posted, at age 33 Tony Zale
and his braintrust Sam Pian and Art Winch did choose to fight the best gate attraction with the least risk, and not earning money for four years, I cannot blame him.
One other thing. Rocky Graziano who was the most exciting gate attraction of the post war years by far, waged 3 wars with a fading Zale, that truly ruined both of these men.
My hunch tells me that a pre war Zale who fought Fred Apostoli, Georgie Abrams and
a murderous punching Al Hostak, would have tackled a Ray Robinson, or Jake LaMotta
when he was in his prime. Say what you might about a prime Zale, no fighter was ever any tougher during his times and after. he wasn't given the name of Man of Steel for no good reason. Furthermore if an Artie Levine could come within a whisker of koing Ray Robinson, having Ray down for 17 or so seconds in 1946, why in tarnation would a
prime murderous superior punching Tony Zale not have a great shot to do better than an Artie Levine ? If Tony Zale retired at age 33, after he was discharged by the Navy, his stock would be a hell of a lot higher on this forum...
burt bienstock is online now  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2014, 10:10 PM   #9
Boxed Ears
Militant Stupidity or...?
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Koorva, Ukraine
Posts: 26,761
vCash: 0
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

People don't remember it now but they used to even call him "Pariah" Carey back then. They all paid lip service to his incredible range and the catchy quality of some of his fights but they were all just haters when all was said and done. Jealous haters. They didn't want him to have the finer things in life and some of them didn't even accept his Polish ancestry to be "pure white," insisted KKK Grand Wizard Kringelbert Fishtybunz, at that time. So, Zale was really a great talent, that people held in spite for his racially ambiguous ethnicity and his bravery in choosing to accept luxury and ease that he'd worked so, so hard for all of his life. They even had a brief smear campaign against his beloved pocket dog named "Punchy". The bottom line is he never cherrypicked a cherry that he didn't deserve to eat.
Boxed Ears is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2014, 11:03 PM   #10
Dubblechin
Contender
ESB Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 1,139
vCash: 500
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

***

Last edited by Dubblechin; 01-24-2015 at 12:20 AM.
Dubblechin is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2014, 11:44 PM   #11
klompton2
Belt holder
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,889
vCash: 500
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

This hyperbole is a joke "Burt."

It doesnt matter what their reasoning was what matters is that he blatantly took the path of least resistance when better, much more dangerous fighters had been waiting for a chance at him for years. Essentially they were trying to keep his title bottled for the better part of a decade. Yeah, he fought tougher fights before the war but whats lost on hero worshippers like you is that he HAD to because the title was fractured and in dispute. With so many guys laying claim to it he had to fight those guys to move into position and he didnt even beat all of those guys. Soose took him to school in Chicago and Hostak was an inch away from beating him in Chicago and had Hostak not suffered from terrible hands he may have beaten Zale in their series. When Zale finally won universal recognition against Abrams his first fight afterwards was a non title fight against Conn, essentially a win win situation. If you look at Zale's record he actually has one of the less impressive records of any of those late 1930s/early 1940s claimants both in terms of performances and contenders faced. Abrams had fought and defeated everyone, Hostak had been in there with Risko, Steele, Krieger, Matthews, and Zale. Soose had been in there with Risko, Burley, Vigh, Abrams, Overlin, Zale, Mauriello, and Garcia. Apostoli had been in there with Steele, Risko, Broulliard, Thil, Overlin, Krieger, Garcia, Corbett, Conn, Bettina,and Zale. Hell, Zales path to the title was downright tame compared to those guys. Especially when he got the big names he got.

It doesnt matter what your rose colored hunch tells you the fact is that when he had the opportunity to fight LaMotta and Robinson he ran in the other direction. And to pretend it was because he was cashing in (as if he would have made peanuts fighting either of those guys) is pure fantasy on your part.

Had he retired after Conn he would be remembered as fairly innocuous champion because of his biggest fights: Hostak 3x, Apostoli, Abrams, Conn, Soose, and Mamakos he got ahold of a Hostak who was pretty well used up at that point suffering from bad hands and confidence issues and still didnt have the easiest time in the world in two of those fights, lost to Soose, got ahold of a pretty faded Apostoli who wouldnt defeat another contender until seven years later in his second to last fight (and that was a faded Abrams who would retire after one more fight). Mamakos was beating him handily in their fight and Mamakos was nothing special, Conn took 10 of 12 rounds, and Abrams dropped him. In short, the only reason anyone thinks anything of Zale today is because of his legendary three wars with a guy who never even deserved those fights to begin with and never beat a legitimate top MW contender to earn that shot.

Also he was called the Man of Steel because he was from Gary Indiana, famous for its steel mills. The guy was stopped 5 times and another 3 fights at least was a hair away from getting stopped and was dropped and hurt in several other fights.

So now Hostak is a murderous puncher on par with a pure puncher like Levine? Based on what? KOs on his padded record? Look at the top guys Zale fought and tell me he was puncher. Even among faded top fighters or guys that werent especially durable he still took more than half the fight to get to them most of the time. He wasnt a big KO puncher like you are trying to portray him, he was a body puncher who wore guys down.
klompton2 is online now  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2014, 11:52 PM   #12
klompton2
Belt holder
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1,889
vCash: 500
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dubblechin View Post
I don't put much responsibility on him for not defending during World War II. The titles were all officially frozen anyway. A lot of the champs and contenders were serving in the military. And contenders who weren't serving probably should've been. After all, if you could train and fight for a world title, I don't know why you couldn't be in the service with all the guys who were never athletic to begin with.

As for Zale being a cherry picker after the war, I don't think he was any more selective than other champs. It's not like, after the war, Joe Louis, Gus Lesnevich and Freddie Cochrane all lined up the 10 best guys who waited for title shots for years and gave everyone their championship fight.

Louis fought Conn (who wasn't a heavyweight) because that was the money fight.

Louis vs Conn-Mauriello, Lesnevich vs. Mills-Fox, Zale vs Graziano-Cerdan ... whatever.

Nobody called Bivins.
Nobody called Bivins because Louis was busy fighting the guy who beat Bivins and who was a better matchup and more dangerous fight as well. Its not like Louis was ducking anyone. As I said, you can make a case for why Zale would take one fight with Graziano to cash in but when Louis was taking on the dangerous and much more deserving Jersey Joe Zale was defending against Graziano a second time and had already had about a dozen fights out of the service. Thats awfully hard to justify.

It gets tiresome hearing about how Bivins should have gotten a shot at Louis when he actually got a shot he stunk the joint out and ran like a scared thief against a totally shot Louis who had nothing but his jab left. Was he supposed to do better against a 3/4 years younger version of Louis who could actually still fight and throw combinations?
klompton2 is online now  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 12:07 AM   #13
Cmoyle
Contender
ESB Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 607
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

“They wanted me to fight you Tony. They offered me a lot of money, but I wanted nothing to do with you. You hit too hard to the body.” SUGAR RAY ROBINSON, World Welterweight and Middleweight Champion

Believe it or not
Cmoyle is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 12:11 AM   #14
burt bienstock
Champion
East Side Guru
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 8,318
vCash: 500
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

Quote:
Originally Posted by klompton2 View Post
This hyperbole is a joke "Burt."

It doesnt matter what their reasoning was what matters is that he blatantly took the path of least resistance when better, much more dangerous fighters had been waiting for a chance at him for years. Essentially they were trying to keep his title bottled for the better part of a decade. Yeah, he fought tougher fights before the war but whats lost on hero worshippers like you is that he HAD to because the title was fractured and in dispute. With so many guys laying claim to it he had to fight those guys to move into position and he didnt even beat all of those guys. Soose took him to school in Chicago and Hostak was an inch away from beating him in Chicago and had Hostak not suffered from terrible hands he may have beaten Zale in their series. When Zale finally won universal recognition against Abrams his first fight afterwards was a non title fight against Conn, essentially a win win situation. If you look at Zale's record he actually has one of the less impressive records of any of those late 1930s/early 1940s claimants both in terms of performances and contenders faced. Abrams had fought and defeated everyone, Hostak had been in there with Risko, Steele, Krieger, Matthews, and Zale. Soose had been in there with Risko, Burley, Vigh, Abrams, Overlin, Zale, Mauriello, and Garcia. Apostoli had been in there with Steele, Risko, Broulliard, Thil, Overlin, Krieger, Garcia, Corbett, Conn, Bettina,and Zale. Hell, Zales path to the title was downright tame compared to those guys. Especially when he got the big names he got.

It doesnt matter what your rose colored hunch tells you the fact is that when he had the opportunity to fight LaMotta and Robinson he ran in the other direction. And to pretend it was because he was cashing in (as if he would have made peanuts fighting either of those guys) is pure fantasy on your part.

Had he retired after Conn he would be remembered as fairly innocuous champion because of his biggest fights: Hostak 3x, Apostoli, Abrams, Conn, Soose, and Mamakos he got ahold of a Hostak who was pretty well used up at that point suffering from bad hands and confidence issues and still didnt have the easiest time in the world in two of those fights, lost to Soose, got ahold of a pretty faded Apostoli who wouldnt defeat another contender until seven years later in his second to last fight (and that was a faded Abrams who would retire after one more fight). Mamakos was beating him handily in their fight and Mamakos was nothing special, Conn took 10 of 12 rounds, and Abrams dropped him. In short, the only reason anyone thinks anything of Zale today is because of his legendary three wars with a guy who never even deserved those fights to begin with and never beat a legitimate top MW contender to earn that shot.

Also he was called the Man of Steel because he was from Gary Indiana, famous for its steel mills. The guy was stopped 5 times and another 3 fights at least was a hair away from getting stopped and was dropped and hurt in several other fights.

So now Hostak is a murderous puncher on par with a pure puncher like Levine? Based on what? KOs on his padded record? Look at the top guys Zale fought and tell me he was puncher. Even among faded top fighters or guys that werent especially durable he still took more than half the fight to get to them most of the time. He wasnt a big KO puncher like you are trying to portray him, he was a body puncher who wore guys down.
So you are saying that Artie Levine was on a par with Al Hostak ?
Heck no...Hostak was a great puncher with comparative brittle hands
who though I never seen him fight was considered several notches above
Artie Levine who I did see fight.
burt bienstock is online now  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2014, 12:12 AM   #15
burt bienstock
Champion
East Side Guru
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 8,318
vCash: 500
Default Re: Tony Zale's reputation as a cherry picker

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmoyle View Post
“They wanted me to fight you Tony. They offered me a lot of money, but I wanted nothing to do with you. You hit too hard to the body.” SUGAR RAY ROBINSON, World Welterweight and Middleweight Champion

Believe it or not
I believe it Clay!
burt bienstock is online now  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 11:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Boxing News 24 Forum 2015