Could any 80s contender have been the GOAT with perfect management and drug-free dedication?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by cross_trainer, Jan 5, 2022.

  1. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Liston was good, but no "Tire Iron" Jones Full Member

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    Could any 80s contender have amassed a record qualifying him for heavyweight GOAT status with only two changes to that contender's career:

    1) Unrealistically supportive management and promotional opportunities. For whatever reason, promoters fall over themselves to make great fights for this guy at the best possible times for him.

    2) A great work ethic with no drug problems.

    We will also assume that he tends to get the nod in (very) close fights, because of his promotional advantages.

    With those changes, could any of the 80s heavyweight contenders (not lineal champions) have become the heavyweight GOAT?
     
  2. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I’ll throw Greg Page’s name in for consideration.
     
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  3. Saintpat

    Saintpat Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I think he’s the one with the most talent … but not GOAT talent.

    And I’m sure he probably did some drugs but it seems to me his complete lack of discipline and focus was his bigger issue, unlike, say, Pinklon Thomas.
     
  4. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    Carl "The Truth" Williams.

    His defense against lefthooks would have been tightened up to where it was no longer was a weakness. Picture the way he fought against Bert Cooper.
     
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  5. The Long Count

    The Long Count Boxing Junkie Full Member

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  6. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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  7. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Williams was very talented, but I think his chin would always have the potential of letting him down. He was a pretty disciplined guy in the eighties, but he would have to be matched VERY carefully to make ATG status. And ATGs shouldn’t duck other fighters.
     
  8. Bah Lance

    Bah Lance Active Member banned Full Member

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    Honestly it's doubtful. Ali set the bar so high that it has been three decades since the chaotic drug riddled 80s and we still haven't had anyone remotely challenge his legacy.
     
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  9. sweetsci

    sweetsci Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I think Page had the skills, athleticism, and durability. I’m specifically using his 1981 output as a gauge. Seems like in 1982 he changed his style to be more exciting, and that didn’t work for him as well. Is that when he went with the Kings? I think something happened psychologically around that time (dealing with King?) that didn’t serve him well.

    As far as matchmaking, I’d just be very careful about slick boxers. See George Chaplin and Tony Tubbs. The guys who outworked him - Berbick, Witherspoon, Bey - that’s where the more dedicated, disciplined approach carries him through.
     
  10. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    None would be GOAT.

    I do have to put Pinklon Thomas ahead of Page as a contender (with the aforementioned unrealistically supportive team, etc involved). Thomas had the kind of jab that could have taken even MUCH further and kept him champ much longer imo. He had a no-joke right hand coming behind it, too.

    Sure, he could have used more movement, but to me no other contender had as much potential, though I'll assert that for single performances, Witherspoon showed that in truckloads against Holmes.

    Page was losing fights he should have won relatively early on, and that just kept happening. I feel that Thomas would have given Iron Mike far more of a run for his money had it been the 1984 Pinklon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
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  11. Ali Holmes

    Ali Holmes Active Member banned Full Member

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    Pinklon Thomas could have been much better. Look what he accomplished with hardly any amateur background to speak of.
     
  12. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Check out this jab:

     
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  13. Ali Holmes

    Ali Holmes Active Member banned Full Member

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    Dundee praised the Thomas jab. And he had some success against Tyson with his jab
     
  14. RulesMakeItInteresting

    RulesMakeItInteresting Boxing Addict Full Member

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    He did good from rounds 2 until the end...but to my eyes it was obvious Thomas had slowed down from even two years before that. Not sure how that happened, as he was still under 30, but he looked even more past-it than he did against Berbick.

    To be more clear, I'm not sure what happened to Thomas. He had Dundee, perhaps a top 10 or 11 heavyweight jab, good chin, really good right hand...it's not as clear what toppled him in comparison to Bowe (apathy, horrible manager, Kentucky Fried Chicken)...
     
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  15. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Doubtful but I think there were a few of them who could have gone a lot further than they did