Are modern boxers really fitter than in previous eras?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by ribtickler68, Mar 13, 2014.


  1. Greb & Papke 707

    Greb & Papke 707 Train by day Joe Rogan podcast by night, all day Full Member

    212
    197
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Apr 9, 2019
    Absolutely not. Jess Willard for example was the size of modern heavyweights and that son of a ***** went 26 rounds with Johnson. Could fury or wilder or Joshua go 26 rounds? Highly doubt it
     
    superman1692 and Reinhardt like this.
  2. Smokin Bert

    Smokin Bert Boxing Addict Full Member

    3,301
    2,596
    Sportsbook:
    837
    Sep 8, 2013
    Not even close. With a few exceptions, today's fighters are nowhere near as fit as fighters from previous eras. In spite of shorter fights, the punch output is often less than half of what is was through the early 90s. Quite frankly, the sport is getting a little boring.
     
    superman1692 and Reinhardt like this.
  3. Bukkake

    Bukkake Boxing Addict Full Member

    3,768
    1,283
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Apr 20, 2010
    26 quiet rounds of ridiculous feinting, with a few punches thrown in here and there… yeah, I think a well trained heavyweight from today would be able to do that. I mean, an old, overweight Johnson could do it - so why not a modern heavyweight?
     
    Pat M likes this.
  4. Bukkake

    Bukkake Boxing Addict Full Member

    3,768
    1,283
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Apr 20, 2010
    Do you have any statistics, that back this up?
     
  5. kolchak65

    kolchak65 New Member Full Member

    56
    29
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jan 13, 2014
  6. Reinhardt

    Reinhardt Boxing Addict Full Member

    4,471
    3,852
    Sportsbook:
    39
    Oct 4, 2016

    No they are not more fit, your comment on work rates is spot on. Duran and Leonard's work rate in Montreal was astonishing there hasn't been a welterweight in the last 40 years who'd have survived. Also Pryor was a perpetual motion machine against Arguello.
     
    ribtickler68 and Smokin Bert like this.
  7. Fuzzykat

    Fuzzykat New Member Full Member

    60
    52
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 18, 2019
    Of course, it all depends on the particular fighters you're comparing. But no, I don't think today's fighters are generally more fit than fighters of of other eras.
     
    roughdiamond likes this.
  8. Brixton Bomber

    Brixton Bomber Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    17,318
    1,973
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Sep 21, 2013
    Guy's like Usyk, Pac-Man, Calzaghe, Diaz, Floyd etc had (and have) phenomenal cardio.

    I think nowadays there's a little too much of "Everything" going on. Let me explain...

    1) Fighters boiling down A LOT to have the size advantage, that kills your stamina.

    2) Fighters moving up multiple divisions and carrying too much weight, that kills your stamina.

    3) Fighters slacking off during camp/using camp as a way to make weight due to ballooning up in-between fights.

    How many guys, other than the heavies, are fighting at their walk-around weight? Not many I'd imagine. Was likely to be much more common back then.

    Wax lyrical about Running all you like, but after a bit more isn't better.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  9. HOUDINI

    HOUDINI Boxing Addict Full Member

    5,256
    1,185
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Aug 18, 2012
    Roadwork back in Dempsey’s time and before was not just running. It involved a multitude of activities that included running, calisthenics, rock throwing, leap frogging etc.
     
    Brixton Bomber likes this.
  10. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

    8,999
    5,060
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Mar 19, 2012
    Guys lift weights more now. That can be deceiving.
     
    Brixton Bomber likes this.
  11. christpuncher

    christpuncher Member Full Member

    340
    245
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jul 31, 2019
    someone posted on here about Dempsey's thoughts on fitness and how he had a great foundation from manual labour, a lean type of everyday sort of fitness which fighters in the past had way more of than these days, I'd say if anything boxers and just people in general used to be fitter in the past.
     
    roughdiamond likes this.
  12. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Ridin' the rails Full Member

    6,809
    10,570
    Sportsbook:
    500
    Jul 25, 2015
    Bump. This topic always interested me.
     
  13. robert ungurean

    robert ungurean Богдан Full Member

    11,579
    6,945
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Jun 9, 2007
    No...Fighters that were 15 rd fighters were fitter and seemed to have a higher punch output IMO. Good solid boxing training. No personal conditioners which dont seem like they help IMO
     
    ribtickler68 likes this.
  14. Bukkake

    Bukkake Boxing Addict Full Member

    3,768
    1,283
    Sportsbook:
    1,000
    Apr 20, 2010
    Me too.

    I think, all eras probably had great fighters, some that were not so great - and some who were downright awful! Some superbly trained boxers that could go all night - and some fat undertrained ones who would gas after a few rounds.

    What obscures the discussion, is all the information we have of this era. Last night I watched a card from London, with an excellent main event (Taylor vs Prograis) - but also with a real undercard stinker (Okolie vs Ngabu).

    The problem is, that back in the old days (say pre WW2) we only have video available of the best of the best. No down-the-bill stinkers. No videos of journeymen huffing and puffing through 10 boring rounds - or of any of the fights where both contestants were thrown out for not even trying.

    So this can leave us with the impression, that the old-timers were superior and (generally) better conditioned - which may not really be true at all. Since we have never seen 99.9% of the boxers back then, we can't really make sweeping statements about how they had much more heart and determination, or were better conditioned than today's boxers. IMO.
     
    roughdiamond likes this.
  15. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Ridin' the rails Full Member

    6,809
    10,570
    Sportsbook:
    500
    Jul 25, 2015
    That's a good point, and very true.

    Slight related point. I remember reading an article on Young Griffo, and in the related interview, Griffo's opponent (who I can not recall, might've been Lavigne) said boxers were not dedicated enough in 'this day and age' compared to back in the day, where they would practise feints alone for hours, alongside their gym work, running etc. Keep in mind he was saying this at a point we'd consider a golden age of stamina and skill!

    Also interesting how Oscar Valdez or Santa Cruz, IMO, is much fitter than other boxers for their categories, and they train very 'Old school'. Unlike a Joshua with the 'scientific program' (though he's a heavyweight).
     
    Bukkake likes this.


Sign up for ESPN+ and Stream Live Sports! Advertisement