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Old 06-20-2014, 08:15 AM   #1
mattdonnellon
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Default Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

Most of us here tend to rate these fighters together, Jeannette-McVea is another. I for one think, say, that Machen was a fair bit better overall than Folley. Anybody else care to split these guys?
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:01 AM   #2
SuzieQ49
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

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. I for one think, say, that Machen was a fair bit better overall than Folley.
Why? Folley outboxed him clearly both times they met. Folley also had better longevity than Machen.
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Old 06-20-2014, 09:59 AM   #3
mattdonnellon
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

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Originally Posted by SuzieQ49 View Post
Why? Folley outboxed him clearly both times they met. Folley also had better longevity than Machen.
Folley had his number OK and probably edged the first fight too but i give Machen the edge on consistency, toughness and felt he did better against common contenders. Better longevity is marginal at best.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:48 AM   #4
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

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Originally Posted by mattdonnellon View Post
Most of us here tend to rate these fighters together, Jeannette-McVea is another. I for one think, say, that Machen was a fair bit better overall than Folley. Anybody else care to split these guys?

Machen and Folley fought to a draw. I think Machen was a bit better over all as he had a good defense, could take a better punch, and could counter very well.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

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Machen and Folley fought to a draw
Folley deserved the decision in the first fight, and beat Machen convincingly in the rematch.

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I think Machen was a bit better over all as he had a good defense, could take a better punch, and could counter very well.
Folley had the better jab, better instincts, better offensive arsenal, hit harder, and was the more natural fighter. Folley outboxed Machen in their fight.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:00 AM   #6
mattdonnellon
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

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Originally Posted by SuzieQ49 View Post
Folley deserved the decision in the first fight, and beat Machen convincingly in the rematch.



Folley had the better jab, better instincts, better offensive arsenal, hit harder, and was the more natural fighter. Folley outboxed Machen in their fight.
I think they hit about the same and you are correct that Zora had the better jab but he was more brittle fundamentally than Machen, much more critical in a top heavyweight fighter. He had the style to control Machen but overall I side with Machen, for sure.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:33 AM   #7
edward morbius
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

Folley's better jab gave him an edge against Machen head to head, but his weaker chin made him less effective against the field. Machen did better against common opponents more often than not.

"Folley deserved the decision in the first fight"

On what basis? You sure can't prove it on the scoring or the major wire services--

Ref Carter--117-116 Folley
Judge Downey--115-115
Judge Apostoli--117-115 Machen

UPI--117-115 Machen
AP--117-116 Folley

Joe Louis--"It was a terrible fight. Machen wasn't sharp and Folley weakened."

"and beat Machen convincingly in the rematch."

This is correct, and the one really strong argument for rating Folley over Machen.

I remember that back in the day many critics felt Machen had the tools to handle Folley if he fought aggressively and carried the fight to him, but that he was content to get into a sparring match against a man with a better jab, as he also did with Harold Johnson.

*I might not agree with the critics. Folley's big weakness was that he was vulnerable to a right cross over the jab, and was flattened that way by such as Jones and Lavorante. Machen didn't have much of a right. He was even scored by some as a one-handed fighter.

Last edited by edward morbius; 06-20-2014 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:42 AM   #8
edward morbius
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

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Originally Posted by mattdonnellon View Post
I think they hit about the same and you are correct that Zora had the better jab but he was more brittle fundamentally than Machen, much more critical in a top heavyweight fighter. He had the style to control Machen but overall I side with Machen, for sure.
The way I would look at it also.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

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Originally Posted by edward morbius View Post
Folley's better jab gave him an edge against Machen head to head, but his weaker chin made him less effective against the field. Machen did better against common opponents more often than not.

"Folley deserved the decision in the first fight"

On what basis. You sure can't prove it on the scoring or the major wire services--

Ref Carter--117-116 Folley
Judge Downey--115-115
Judge Apostoli--117-115 Machen

UPI--117-115 Machen
AP--117-116 Folley

Joe Louis--"It was a terrible fight. Machen wasn't sharp and Folley weakened."

"and beat Machen convincingly in the rematch."

This is correct, and the one really strong argument for rating Folley over Machen.

I remember that back in the day many critics felt Machen had the tools to handle Folley if he fought aggressively and carried the fight to him, but that he was content to get into a sparring match against a man with a better jab, as he also did with Harold Johnson.
To argue against myself, a poll of the Press at ringside was something like 9 to one for Folley, and Machen was the home fighter (first fight). However some did pick Machen who finished the stronger.
You see the two fighters the same way as I do, though.
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Old 06-20-2014, 11:46 AM   #10
edward morbius
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

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Originally Posted by mattdonnellon View Post
To argue against myself, a poll of the Press at ringside was something like 9 to one for Folley, and Machen was the home fighter (first fight). However some did pick Machen who finished the stronger.
You see the two fighters the same way as I do, though.
Okay, you give a basis.


"Machen was the home fighter"

*Well, I used to live in San Francisco, and us folks from THE CITY certainly don't consider a fellow from a hicksville like Redding ours. I mean Machen might as well have come from any other backwater like New York City or London.

Last edited by edward morbius; 06-20-2014 at 12:02 PM.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:02 PM   #11
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

Folley's prime run is superb. He was retired twice with injuries, lost a questionable decision to Cooper in England, and lost to Liston by KO. Machen really can't compete on this front.

I favour Folley, personally, and i'm a huge fan of Machen.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:10 PM   #12
edward morbius
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

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Originally Posted by McGrain View Post
Folley's prime run is superb. He was retired twice with injuries, lost a questionable decision to Cooper in England, and lost to Liston by KO. Machen really can't compete on this front.

I favour Folley, personally, and i'm a huge fan of Machen.

"Folley's prime run"

Is basically against second-raters. I was looking at his record and he had a lot of fights against dubious opposition in the southwest. 32 of his victims did not have 10 victories, and these fights are spread all the way through his career.

Prior to his draw with Machen and his victory in the rematch, his big wins were a UD over Valdes (whom Machen KO'd) and a couple of split decisions over Wayne Bethea. W/O looking it up, I think Machen would later beat Bethea also.

Machen was fighting older and perhaps slipping guys and the like, but his victims, besides Valdes, included Baker, Maxim, Jackson, and Holman, a better group than Folley could claim, which is why Machen was the #1 contender. Machen also beat Summerlin and Young Jack Johnson, both of whom had stopped Folley.

Just an honest disagreement.

"Liston"

Machen performed a lot better against Liston.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:23 PM   #13
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

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Originally Posted by edward morbius View Post
"Folley's prime run"

Is basically against second-raters.
It depends on what you mean by "basically" and by second-raters. He's beating up marginal guys who hold or held or would hold rankings or who held the gate but nobody brilliant. SO guys like Alonzo Johnson, King, Besmanoff, Miteff, Rademacher, Bethea, old Valdes. These aren't great fighters of course not, but they are good pros for the most part. Past-prime he beat Chuvalo, Jones, Zech, Bonavena, Clark, Foster. A better standard of fighter.

The win that set him aside was prime Machen, who he beat very clearly.

Meanwhile, Machen himself probably beat a better standard of fighter, old Baker, old Maxim, Valdes, but he's losing, badly, to Johansson and Folley. In his prime, Folley only lost badly to Liston, who also beat Machen badly, by 10 rounds to 2 on my card (though Liston was penalised for fouls).

My big concern with Machen and how he is appraised is that he was, in essence, a left-handed technician with grace and poise to match his toughs, who lost to every top class left-handed technician he ever met.

Johnson, Liston and Folley all out-boxed him left-handed, they all shortened their punches against him to his great detriment. Machen was a left-handed technician of not little grace who was basically out-boxed by every left-handed technician he ever met who was world-class at the time he met them. Note, I'm not saying they were southpaws, just that their technical excellence was based upon the left-hand.

The best win either man has is Folley's victory over Machen. I suspect they could have met 25 times without Machen winning except by a cut or a bad decision. Whilst I admire Machen enormously, it's pretty clear that best-for-best Folley is just a better version of what Machen is.

As Matt said, they are in the same ball-park but I would always have Folley higher.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:27 PM   #14
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

I also think that Schmeling should be clearly above Sharkey (though not far above him). But I tend to stress great wins.
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Old 06-20-2014, 12:52 PM   #15
edward morbius
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Default Re: Charles-Walcott, Schmeling-Sharkey, Folley-Machen...

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Originally Posted by McGrain View Post
It depends on what you mean by "basically" and by second-raters. He's beating up marginal guys who hold or held or would hold rankings or who held the gate but nobody brilliant. SO guys like Alonzo Johnson, King, Besmanoff, Miteff, Rademacher, Bethea, old Valdes. These aren't great fighters of course not, but they are good pros for the most part. Past-prime he beat Chuvalo, Jones, Zech, Bonavena, Clark, Foster. A better standard of fighter.

The win that set him aside was prime Machen, who he beat very clearly.

Meanwhile, Machen himself probably beat a better standard of fighter, old Baker, old Maxim, Valdes, but he's losing, badly, to Johansson and Folley. In his prime, Folley only lost badly to Liston, who also beat Machen badly, by 10 rounds to 2 on my card (though Liston was penalised for fouls).

My big concern with Machen and how he is appraised is that he was, in essence, a left-handed technician with grace and poise to match his toughs, who lost to every top class left-handed technician he ever met.

Johnson, Liston and Folley all out-boxed him left-handed, they all shortened their punches against him to his great detriment. Machen was a left-handed technician of not little grace who was basically out-boxed by every left-handed technician he ever met who was world-class at the time he met them. Note, I'm not saying they were southpaws, just that their technical excellence was based upon the left-hand.

The best win either man has is Folley's victory over Machen. I suspect they could have met 25 times without Machen winning except by a cut or a bad decision. Whilst I admire Machen enormously, it's pretty clear that best-for-best Folley is just a better version of what Machen is.

As Matt said, they are in the same ball-park but I would always have Folley higher.
This is a perceptive post and you make a strong case.

Machen and Folley could be counted on to out-box the second tier guys, but failed consistently against first tier opposition, except of course Folley against Machen, if Machen is viewed as first tier. I wouldn't hold the Ingo blow-out that much against Machen in a comparison with Folley, as Folley was blown away by lesser right-hand punchers like Jones and Lavorante. I realize this will ignite the bash Ingo crowd, but I think Johansson is a likely KO winner over Folley given both men's track records.
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