Defining greatness: divisional dominance v weight jumping

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Jel, Feb 5, 2020.


Which do you think defines greatness more?

  1. Dominating a weight class

    9 vote(s)
    56.3%
  2. Winning world titles in multiple classes

    7 vote(s)
    43.8%
  1. Drew101

    Drew101 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    At present, I'd say an extended reign at a single weight while facing the best available challengers commands more respect from me.
     
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  2. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Active Member Full Member

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    Dominating a single weight class as undisputed champion and defending it against top contenders is far more impressive to me than jumping up to another weight class and winning what these days they call a belt. Used to be what a fighter won was a world championship, not a "belt" awarded by some self-acclaimed entity. Nowadays, fighters often jump up to a new division to avoid fighting the best fighters in their natural weight class. In essence, it's the old shell game. Which shell is the pea under? Just keep moving the shells around to confuse the public into paying money for more bogus "championship" fights.

    In my opinion, from a competitive as opposed to a money standpoint, there are only two legitimate reasons for moving up in weight class: 1) a fighter can no no longer make weight or 2) he has cleaned up the division over which he rules and needs to move on to find suitable competition.

    I guess I'm a dreamer, but then aren't we all?
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2020
  3. George Crowcroft

    George Crowcroft The Cobra Will Always Bite Back... Full Member

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    Me and Lach went through this one on the podcast, this is an excellent example of splitting these two based on criteria. I, for example, have Hearns a few spots above Marvin.
     
  4. KuRuPT

    KuRuPT Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I'm assuming we're taking the best of each. I'm seeing a lot of people say... well in weight jumping sometimes it's like this, and not that impressive... same division dominance can sometimes be this and not very impressive. To me, it's the best reign you could have in one division vs. the best weight jumping career or run you could have. As McGrain says, all things being equal, I'll take the best weight jumping.
     
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  5. surfinghb1

    surfinghb1 Member Full Member

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    You can't ignore that going up in weight, especially in the old days more weight than now, and beating the best is more challenging.. When you go up in weight over your best weight, you start to lose your advantages (ie height, reach, power and strength against bigger men), not gain them.. For a SBW like Duran to beat SRL or a Greb to beat the hell out of Tunney giving up the weight he did , etc , etc , etc … are some of the best wins in boxing imo
     
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  6. thanosone

    thanosone Love Your Brother Man Full Member

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    Just commenting on this HOF statement.

    On topic...
    Being dominant in one division is harder to do and should rank higher.
     
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  7. Rock0052

    Rock0052 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I can see this argument as well.

    The main reason I think it's the single weight (if I can only choose one) is that it's easier to architect a way to being a multi-weight titlist thanks to having 4 major belts. You can only completely unify by beating all other beltholders, but you can become a 3 weight champ by beating the fourth best fighter in each of those classes since a #3 contender 40 years ago is a belt holder today.

    PED's also making it easier to win in multiple divisions- either by bulking up more than would be achievable normally or by boiling down to an artificially low weight class to start the run. I don't think it's a coincidence that multi-weight champs became much more common starting in the 80's when widespread access to PED's made it easier to bulk up or cut weight depending on what you were aiming for.

    Combine the PED and multiple belt factor, and the achievement overall has been diluted somewhat from the SRR, Greb, and Armstrong days IMO. Not to say that guys like ODLH, Floyd, Pac, etc. aren't exceptional fighters that had great weight jumping success. But it really is a case by case basis.
     
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  8. surfinghb1

    surfinghb1 Member Full Member

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    You are right. And that is why I was leaving all the bullsh*t out of it .. Cherry picking, PEDS, Catchweights, Alphabet champs, dodgeball, vacations, on and on ….You are the BEST up high and I am Best down low... And I'm coming up to kick your ass … The good ol days of the sport
     
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  9. Rock0052

    Rock0052 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I don't want to sidetrack the thread too much so I'll just leave it at this...he beat multiple HOF'ers at a weight he was routinely giving up size in, won title fights at the weight a decade apart, & is the oldest welterweight champ in history, which he accomplished by beating an undefeated champ 10 years younger than him. When you do all that in one of boxing's most prestigious divisions, you're getting in.
     
  10. surfinghb1

    surfinghb1 Member Full Member

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    You are right again, lol ...He's got arguably the best resume in the last 40 years of the sport. And the Competition and Activity to prove it. … Period
     
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  11. Rock0052

    Rock0052 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Amen to that :thumbsup:
     
  12. blackfella96

    blackfella96 Member Full Member

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    I would have to say Divisional Dominance is better because it is unbias and includes ALL weights. Now dominating multiple divisions, that's something else, but still bias.
     
  13. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    Dominating a weight class in my view. Especially today where you can have 3-4 routes to a belt. It does matter though how the weight jumping is done. The way DelaHoya did it was a bit on the cheap side. Compared to Arguello or Robinson.
    If you clean out your division and move up to fight the best in the next one up that is an accomplishment. More like Arguello rather than DLH.
     
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  14. Jel

    Jel Reserving the right to be inconsistent Full Member

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    I guess it does come down to the phrase "all things being equal" and it is definitely a case-by-case thing as well. Difficult to apply a blanket rule to it.

    One thing I will add is it is unquestionably easier to do either of these things than it was even 40 years ago when there were still only 2 world titles per division. Now, with a minimum of 4 titles (not to mention ordinary v super/diamond belts) the chances of going on a long undefeated run either in a single weight class or by jumping up the divisions by cherry picking your opposition along the way is simply easier and happens with far greater frequency, often make both these accomplishments less meaningful than they should be.

    A couple of examples from the 70s of why it wasn't so easy then to weight jump even after dominating a weight class (and yeah, yeah, I know I'm stepping into 'it were better in ye olden days' territory here):

    1. Roberto Duran, undisputed lightweight champion in Jan 1978 and recognized by everyone in the sport as one of that division's greatest ever fighters after the 3rd DeJesus fight (not to mention one of the best fighters anywhere in the world at that time) couldn't simply walk into a another world title fight in another weight class regardless of those credentials. He had to work his way through 8 fights in two and a half years before getting a crack at the welterweight title and that was after having beaten the only-recently- deposed WBC champ Carlos Palomino a year earlier, which in turn didn't automatically leapfrog him into the no. 1 contender spot. That was held by Sugar Ray Leonard who got the shot at WBC champ Wilfred Benitez instead.

    2. Alexis Arguello, who was never unified champion in any of the weight classes he held world titles in, gave up his WBA featherweight championship after a reign that had established him as the no. 1 fighter in that division and then worked his way through 7 fights in 10 months before getting a shot at the WBC super featherweight title 18 months after vacating his featherweight title. He then established himself as the world's best 130 pounder by beating the best available challengers. But he had to also make his way through Cornelius Boza-Edwards and Jose Luis Ramirez (both future world champions) at lightweight to get his shot at the WBC lightweight title. And then... after establishing himself as the no. 1 lightweight in the division, he went after the best light-welterweight champion to try and become boxing's first 4 weight world champion.
     
  15. Rope-a-Dope

    Rope-a-Dope Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Really depends on the competition. Dominating a weight class vs. tough competition is impressive, but so is moving up the weight classes and beating top fighters. Similarly, dominating a weight class that's weak, or moving up in weight and beating lesser champions is not that impressive.
     


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