Charley Burley's opposition

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Melankomas, Jan 26, 2023.

  1. Melankomas

    Melankomas Borderline Anarchist Full Member

    Dec 18, 2022
    I've been seeing a lot of people rate him as a top 20 P4P fighter, and that surprised me. I knew he was great, but not that great. Who did he beat? How good was his opposition?
  2. thistle

    thistle Boxing Addict Full Member

    Dec 21, 2016
    That's the problem, Great but not that Great!


    IF a Fighter is Great (1000s of them), guess what, he Is GREAT - End of!

    No B.S impossible lists changes that.

    neither do Titles, some never got a Chance (Burley), some got Chances they Shouldn't have got, some fought in Poor Era's too, some held Mickey Mouse Titles.

    Factors, Circumstance, Politics, Ownership and Corruption gets many a fighter titles...

    Only ACCURATE Recorded History & Reality matters, a Matter of FACT!

    Burley Was/Is GREAT as were many of his Opponents!!!.
  3. Melankomas

    Melankomas Borderline Anarchist Full Member

    Dec 18, 2022
    There's obviously a difference between great and GOAT material. Top 20 is different from top 50 or top 100. I thought Burley was more the latter before.
  4. Greg Price99

    Greg Price99 Well-Known Member Full Member

    Dec 17, 2018
    I have him #28.

    Archie Moore, Holman Williams, Bert Lytell, Aaron Wade, Jack Chase, Cocoa Kid, Fritzie Zivic, Shorty Hogue, Billy Soose and Billy Smith.

    Some of them multiple times. Some of them bigger than him. Exceptional win resume.

    I read a book about Burley years ago and always remember being impressed reading about his fight with Jay Turner. Burley was 5ft 9ins and 150lbs. Turner, HW champion of Texas, was 6ft 4ins and 220lbs. Burley dominated and battered Turner, who failed to come out for the 7th round.

    Some who watched him live, including those that saw SRR and Henry Armstrong, described him as the best boxer they'd ever seen.
    Dynamicpuncher likes this.
  5. McGrain

    McGrain Diamond Dog Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    There's nothing wrong with having him at number 50, that's not silly or anything at all, perfectly reasonable appraisal. I mean you can put him below Marvin Hagler ffs. But I too have him in the twenties and I think he's good for it.

    The thing that most impresses me about Burley, and i've said this a few times on here is that the regard he was held in by his elite boxing peers is almost unparalleled.

    Archie Moore, who Burley thrashed, called Burley “inhuman” and “a human riveting gun,” striving, even with his dazzling lexicon, to make himself understood on the subject of the man he named “the best fighter I ever met” and a fighter who would have “beaten Ray Robinson”.

    Less well known is the admiration of Burley by Moore’s on and off trainer, a man named Hiawatha Gray. Gray reportedly saw not only the greats of the 1940s and intimately knew both Moore and his incredible list of top drawer opposition, but also the greats of boxing’s infancy, men like Sam Langford, Jack Johnson, Joe Gans and Stanley Ketchel. Gray, like Moore, named Burley the best fighter he had ever seen according to Burley biographer Allen Rosenfeld. Ray Arcel, too, ranked Burley among the very greatest he saw. Eddie Futch named him one of the very best and introduced him to Larry Holmes as “the greatest fighter Pittsburgh has ever produced” without apologies to either Harry Greb or Billy Conn. Angelo Dundee was firm about refusing to name the greatest fighter of all time, claiming that opinions were “all about the time you come from” but when pressed, he named a handful of contenders that included Charley Burley.

    I've never read anything Jack Blackburn said about him that particularly stood out, but apart from Blackburn, you've basically got everyone you'd want. Joe Louis loved him too.

    The only I guy I read about that saw him as overrated was Jimmy Bivins. He was not as impressed by Burley.
  6. thistle

    thistle Boxing Addict Full Member

    Dec 21, 2016
    there is Little too No Difference between TOP Fighters with the exception of the Ray Robinsons and his ilk...

    there's Thousands of Great Fighters period!
  7. White Bomber

    White Bomber Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 31, 2021
    Robinson would have ****ed him up badly.
  8. Mike Cannon

    Mike Cannon Well-Known Member Full Member

    Apr 29, 2020
    Wholeheartedly agree with all that has been said regards Burley whom Moore described thus " slick as lard, and twice as greasy " and indeed rated Burley over Marciano, Patterson, Johnson, and all the greats that he fought, the only slight caveat would be, when the case is raised that he was avoided by the champs, of course it was because they might have lost the title to him, but their was another reason, that being as great as he was, his style was not by any stretch exciting, for sure he was punch perfect, but that came at a cost, he would lay and wait for openings, but that might entail a minute or longer before he felt it was right to unload, then having let the punch loose ( he rarely threw combos or clusters ) he would tuck up and wait for the next oppertunity, so no Armstrong or Frazier then, for the incumbent champ it was a lose/lose situation, the gate and his purse would have been affected negatively by Burleys style, and to boot, they could be dethroned.
    stay safe guys.
    Greg Price99 likes this.