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Old 07-27-2007, 04:18 PM   #1
Decebal
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Default ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

Please comment on the following view in less than 250 words:


"Comparisons between fighters from different eras are unwarranted, and, as such, cannot reasonably be made."

The deadline for submissions is the 3rd of August, 12:00 GMT. With your gracious permission, I, Decebal, will judge the entries and decide a winner.

Last edited by Decebal; 07-27-2007 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 07-27-2007, 04:53 PM   #2
ChrisPontius
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

Boxing, like society, is under influence of constant changes. In the 19th century the transition was made from bareknuckle to gloved boxing and it didn't end there. The number of rounds has been reduced, the glove size changed and a "neutral corner" rule was added to name a few.

In Jack Johnson's days, boxing consisted for a large part of wrestling and in-fighting. Today, boxing consists for a large part of fighting on the outside and putting combinations together.

Can a fight like Joe Jeannette KO49 Sam McVey be compared to Ali vs Frazier I, or Holyfield vs Bowe I ? Certainly not, but all of those are legendary fights in their own way.

Much like that, some fighters in my opinion cannot be compared in a pure head-to-head sense because of the changes in the sport. But a fighter's legacy based on who he beat and how he beat them, can certainly be compared over the years. Marciano's legendary 49-0 is still standing 50 years later as well as Joe Louis' record for number of title defenses.

Clearly, even though the rules of boxing changed, legacies can still be assessed accurately and compared with one and other.


Did i cross the 100?
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:18 PM   #3
Decebal
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

you almost hit 200...OK, let's make it 250 limit. I'm looking for laconic replies, not windbags.
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

Clothes make the man, rules make the style, and Ruiz fights make me sick (no connection)

Ever since Ug Ugson crawled out of his cave to beat up his noisy neighbors, combat sports have been bounded by certain rules--rules that fighters figure out very quickly. There comes an equilibrium point in every sport when fighters figure out the best techniques for their ruleset. In some sports, large numbers of participants ensure that the transition is quick and painless. Others with smaller talent pools take longer. But in all cases, equilibrium is reached rather quickly. Strangely, fighters don't like to get punched in the face any more than they can help it.

"Full contact karate" went from no-contact point fighting to modern American kickboxing in less than a decade. Mixed martial arts were more or less complete in the same time frame. Judo has been the same since the 1880's. Yet modern boxing commentators would have us believe that boxing, with its massive talent pool, took seventy years to get it right.

Bosh. Boxing had thousands of tough, dedicated fighters working day in and day out to perfect their technique--and often participating in hundreds of fights. In a game where a split second of time could rob you of your senses and your meal ticket, you'd better believe that their techniques worked, pretty-looking or not. Their techniques appear look strange to us today...but how many of us have 300 professional fights?
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Old 07-28-2007, 11:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

Thank you. Any other takers?
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Old 07-28-2007, 11:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

-fullstop-
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Old 07-28-2007, 11:39 AM   #7
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

Quote:
Originally Posted by China_hand_Joe
-fullstop-
We have a winner.
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Old 07-28-2007, 11:43 AM   #8
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

Quote:
Originally Posted by cross_trainer
We have a winner.
Says it all, doesn't it! China_hand_Joe - what an excentric joker!
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Old 07-28-2007, 02:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

Quote:
Originally Posted by cross_trainer
)

Ever since Ug Ugson crawled out of his cave to beat up his noisy neighbors, combat sports have been bounded by certain rules--rules that fighters figure out very quickly. There comes an equilibrium point in every sport when fighters figure out the best techniques for their ruleset. In some sports, large numbers of participants ensure that the transition is quick and painless. Others with smaller talent pools take longer. But in all cases, equilibrium is reached rather quickly. Strangely, fighters don't like to get punched in the face any more than they can help it.
Do you think Ug Ugson ran at all -question mark-
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Old 07-28-2007, 03:10 PM   #10
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

Quote:
Originally Posted by China_hand_Joe
Do you think Ug Ugson ran at all -question mark-
Well, there was that one time with the infamous "wildebeest incident"
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Old 07-28-2007, 03:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

On second thought, your question seems to ask something slightly different. Here's another take. I'll use whichever entry you feel answers the question as you asked it:




Pick a famous fight. How many people predicted the outcome? How many of the thousands of commentators, professional fighters, trainers, and professional gamblers got it right? Unless it was a mismatch, not many. And remember, these are the most knowledgeable folks in the business.

We all know this, yet we still insist on rating fighters on how good we think they are, head-to-head. Most of us have never had a professional fight, trained a professional fighter, or made a living on boxing gambling, but we can say with absolute certainty that fighter X is the greatest because he would wipe the floor with fighters from every other era. Fighters in X's time, we say with a wise shake of the head, are clearly better on film.

It's an easy trap to fall into. There's just one problem--fighter X's opponents haven't proved that they're better. They only proved that they can look more impressive to observers. The real tests always come in the ring. If head-to-head hypothesizing was always correct...well, let's just say that we'd never be talking about journeymen like Marciano, LaMotta, and Greb. And who the heck was Buster Douglas?
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:45 AM   #12
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

Quite dissapointed with the no. of entries so far...I thought this would be a popular topic, because directly or indirectly it gets touched on a lot in all sorts of debates...yet we have only three entries...
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:07 AM   #13
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

"As humankind evolves, the species physically grows along with it. As with knowledge, the acquisition of applied talent can be affected in ways that previous generations never considered nor had availability to. This is how evolution works. The next always has more then their predecesors, simply because that's how the line of descent makes it be.

Evolution comes slowly, though.... so slowly that the idea that one generation has a cleanly identifiable advantage that previous generations cannot possibly fight with success against is highly suspect. It takes more than just knowledge and the process of physical evolution to make a great fighter. It takes heart, discipline, desire, mental and physical toughness and the mental makeup necessary to engage in a violent conflict with as little hesitation as possible.

The sport of boxing is littered with names that recall visions of physical beasts who disappointed because they lacked the requisite intangibles that mark champions of all sport and competitions in life. In general, the next generation will find itself more capable than the previous one, but boxing is a man-on-man spectacle, and in that scenario, it's what goes unseen (and will always remain unmeasurable) that is the determining factor.

That makes reasonable assumption not only possible, but necessary."


I ain't countin' that shit....
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:11 AM   #14
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

I'll do something a few minutes after the deadline -fullstop-
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Old 07-29-2007, 09:23 AM   #15
Decebal
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Default Re: ESB Essay Writing Competition: Comparing fighters from different eras

Quote:
Originally Posted by Decebal
Please comment on the following view in less than 250 words:



"Comparisons between fighters from different eras are unwarranted, and, as such, cannot reasonably be made."


The deadline for submissions is the 3rd of August, 12:00 GMT. For China_hand_Joe, the deadline is 29th of July, 16:00 GMT. With your gracious permission, I, Decebal, will judge the entries and decide a winner.
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