"But superheavyweights back then were BAD!"

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by cross_trainer, Nov 7, 2021.

  1. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    Debates about whether modern superheavyweights are a different and improved breed will sooner or later loop back to Carnera and Willard.

    Some say that Carnera and Willard are examples of how big men are nothing new to boxing. Others, however, argue that Willard and Carnera are nothing like modern superheavyweights because their technique was so bad. So you can't compare them.

    I think there's a minor problem with the people of the "Carnera and Willard sucked, so you can't compare them to modern superheavyweights" camp.

    Usually, the people who criticize Carnera's and Willard's technical flaws will ALSO point out equally bad flaws in the smaller fighters of the 1910s to 1930s eras. The problem is that if this is true -- if the small fighters and big fighters both had bad technique -- then they were on a level playing field technically. And yet the smaller guys beat them back then.

    Now, it's true that there are ways around this. You could say that technique in the 20s was bad for both, but that the technical awfulness hurt the biggest men more. Or something like that. But the situation is a little complex.
     
  2. Journeyman92

    Journeyman92 52-0 banned Full Member

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    I think the cream of the crop rose to the top that’s it- If there were better “SHWs” then they obviously would’ve been in the fold. I find it hilarious though when the reasoning becomes “Lennox Lewis would look like Ernie Terell back then” as if PEDs are why big boxers exist? Ridiculous nonsense.
     
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  3. Barrf

    Barrf Member Full Member

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    There are accusations of Lewis taking PEDs?

    He looked like a natural 6'5" with great genes who lifted and took training seriously.
     
  4. Journeyman92

    Journeyman92 52-0 banned Full Member

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    It was rampart in his era I assume he did honestly but who knows LOL my point was that steroids aren’t the reason SHWs are at the top.
     
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  5. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    The bottom line is that the laws of physics were the same back then, and the big men were trained by the same people as the little men.

    Having said that, even I have to admit that men like Willard and Carnera lacked something, and that they were not temperamentally suited to the fight game.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2021
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  6. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    As someone who's said that Lennox would look like Terrell back then, I think most with that opinion are only saying that weight training (and whatever else) has allowed fighters in general to get heavier and more muscular. Terrell was not a small man when he fought Ali.
     
  7. red corner

    red corner Active Member Full Member

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    They fought because they were big, not good but their sheer size allowed them to reach the top at a certain point in time.
     
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  8. tommytheduke

    tommytheduke Active Member Full Member

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    Carnera didn't suck. He went 11 rounds with a broken ankle and managed to blacken Baer's right eye only using the jab. If that was Fury or Klitschko we wouldn't hear the end of it.
     
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  9. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Then many other men would have got to the top on size alone.
     
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  10. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    Another interesting question is why the giant guys disappear from the championship roll from the 30s to at least the 90s.
     
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  11. mrkoolkevin

    mrkoolkevin Never wrestle with pigs or argue with fools Full Member

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    Well, yeah—that's a big part of it.
     
  12. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    I don't know how much this makes sense, though. They may not have had many superheavyweights, but they did have some fighters who were bigger or taller than others. If anything, size mismatches were more common then than today.

    Unless you are arguing that all fighters with any kind of size advantage back then couldn't fight well; essentially that everyone "fought small."
     
  13. ironchamp

    ironchamp Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Say what you will about Willard and Carnera but I don't see many Super Heavyweights today that can fight the full 15 rounds let alone 26 in chasing a title.
     
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  14. Barrf

    Barrf Member Full Member

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    genetics. Tyson was a natural lean 212 or so, at 5'10". Why couldn't Lewis be a natural lean 250 at 6'5"? Sometimes someone has freak genetics.

    I know a dude like this in real life. White dude. 6'4", ~ 260, all muscle. He's been a serious weight lifter his entire life, always natural, not even very scientific about his diet. Just happened to be born with god tier genes and took up lifting.
     
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  15. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    That's part of my point. Steroids aside, boxers didn't lift in the 1960s for the most part. Your 6'4", 260 pound white dude is a serious lifter, unlike Terrell.