Has the Classic forum learned anything in the old vs modern debate?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by cross_trainer, Aug 21, 2021.

  1. cross_trainer

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

    Jun 30, 2005
    That's fair. Although I also remember seeing somebody back in the day actually making the exact same argument he's making in a very perceptive way -- they posted a couple articles by turn of the century fighters / reporters nostagically picking Fitzsimmons over Joe Louis. And those guys deployed the same arguments you see now in favor of the old timers. It was actually pretty interesting to see the cycle going a hundred years ago.
  2. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    Look forward to posting with you, but there is always a youngster commenting on this, that is why I posted my comment earlier on this thread. This cycle is nothing new, I think that fighters, especially champions knew how to conduct themselves back then. A word of advice, on this site, there are a lot of very talented posters, you might learn a thing or two. I have been watching pro boxing since 1965, but these fellows here have taught me a lot, learning is something that is continuous. One thing I was taught as a youngster was respect for others.
  3. cross_trainer

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

    Jun 30, 2005
    I agree; there are a lot of awesome posters on this site. I haven't been back here for a while, but I've posted here off and on for a decade or so, and have always found something new.
    Loudon and Richard M Murrieta like this.
  4. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    These posters are great, a lot of them I consider friends. I have been here since 2019, they have taught me about certain fighters. We look out for each other, but anyway Welcome Back.
    Fergy and cross_trainer like this.
  5. cross_trainer

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

    Jun 30, 2005
    Richard M Murrieta likes this.
  6. Hannibal Barca

    Hannibal Barca Active Member Full Member

    Jul 23, 2010
    As perennial Classic topics go, the reigning champion has to be the old school vs modern debate. Are older heavyweights too small?


    Are modern fighters obese slobs?

    For the most part no. But cardio is not what it once.

    Is feinting/infighting/footwork/jabbing/whatever a "lost art"?

    Infighting is.

    What about steroids?

    PEDs have changed things.

    Why does Corbett fight like a coked-up jackrabbit who's never seen a jab before?

    Check out the early UFCs. Boxing in the 1890s was less than a decade removed from bare knuckle pugilism.

    Could Sullivan hip-throw Lennox Lewis under London Prize Ring Rules?

    Great question

    Howsabout the fact that Anthony Joshua got slaughtered by a short, blubbery, spherical sort of fighter?

    Joshua was imo not in shape as he was gassed surprisingly early, could not handle combination punching in the pocket against a very fast handed fighter, and he never recovered from the first knockdown. And Ruiz was better than advertised if you look into his record.

    I remember when I first came onto these forums back when they were still ESB. Similar debates were going on. (And I remember antagonizing both sides.) They do not seem to have gone away, although the terrain looks like it's shifted slightly here and there. The advent of accessible film has been huge, for starters...

    YouTube is the modern day Library of Alexandra. Except for Greb fans.

    Here's the question, though, especially for the older forum members:

    What have we learned?

    I'm not asking whether one side or the other has "won" the debate.

    But surely we must have learned *something* in over a decade of arguing about this stuff? Additional nuances we hadn't considered before? Myths busted? That kind of thing? At the very least, some arguments must have gotten *refined* over the years, surely, as the combatants dug up and deployed more evidence?

    For my part, I've learned the best modern swords are forged from finer metals than in the past, but are not hammered by blacksmiths of yore who knew far more about the trade, and the blades are not tempered nearly as long as they once were to prove their mettle.

    For my own part, a few things that immediately spring to mind -- if only as talking points -- are things like the mythbusting of Marciano's superhuman workout regimens, and the film footage showing just how different/premodern boxing really looked even a couple decades into the 20th century. The minor sub-debate that opened over Jesse Owens and the merits of cinder tracks (relevant, in turn, to the value of modern training) was also interesting, but I think ultimately a bit of a dead end.

    I disagree. The fact his adjusted 100 yard dash when adjusted for eras is the 2nd fastest was an epiphany for me, just as the distance some of the home runs Babe Ruth hit out of old stadiums were never replicated (see His 714th at Forbes Field, or his 1926 home run in Detroit. The distance measurements we can question, but some of his shots indisputably cleared roofs that were rarely if ever surpassed and were reported in dozens of newspapers. The top four long jumps in history are over 8.8 meters, but no one has come close in the last 30 years. All this being said, I concede these are partially athletic anomalies, but the point remains the pinnacle of sports performances are not always exemplified in the present age.

    How has the old vs modern controversy shifted for you since you first entered the Great Debate? Have things progressed at all? Anything that made you stop for a moment and think, "Huh. Maybe the other guys have a point..."

    I have come to see modern boxers from an athletic training perspective can produce largely better athletes as a result of tremendous advances in sports science.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
  7. Richard M Murrieta

    Richard M Murrieta Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 16, 2019
    They are severely obese and too lazy to train, loaded with excuses not to fight. They also have help from a little bottle with a syringe. They call it Modern Nutrition but in reality it is Steroids. My own personal opinion.
    OvidsExile likes this.
  8. Jason Thomas

    Jason Thomas Well-Known Member Full Member

    Feb 18, 2019
    "some crotchety old ----- was calling Joe louis an unskilled upstart"

    That was Jack Johnson. I believe, and I could look up and quote the article if you want, that he claimed Louis would lose to Tommy Ryan, who fought at welter and middle and I think at most weighed in the 150's.
  9. Fergy

    Fergy Walking Dead Full Member

    Jan 8, 2017
  10. BCS8

    BCS8 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    It really depends though. There's guys with a low guard like Willard that are eminently hittable. There's one guy who would have profited immensly from a modern trainer giving him some lessons.
    OvidsExile likes this.
  11. dangerousity

    dangerousity Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    You don’t need any documentation to keep your hands by your stomach, stick your chin up in the air and go in and out.

    Do you think an effective technique disappears out of thin air? Benny had a coach, he taught hundreds the same way. Techniques evolve for the better, not worse.

    People stopped doing what Benny did because someone found a better way to do it, and the process of evolution discards what is useless and adapt what is useful.. or was that Bruce Lee?

    You’re doing some mental gymnastics to somehow justify that’s ok. It’s armchair warrior at best. How about instead of analysing from your chair, you actually go out and box. Now if you’re a newbie, even better, you’ll be equally crap at both.

    Spar 1 guy with your guard up and a proper textbook boxing stance and then spar another with Benny’s stance. I’d put a good bet down on you getting ktfo from the latter.

    Benny got away with that style cos he was that much better than his competition. An example of this is Josh Kelly, guy looked like Pep against D class opponents. When you step up though, your game has to be near perfect, and Bennys style had tons of flaws that would be exposed if he faced someone who boxed properly with equal talent.

    And how could I forget Hamed-Mab.

    Anyone comparing Bennys stance to Whitaker is just lol. Again, proving armachair and lack of experience. Whitaker’s hands down, crouch low allows you to see better and dodge and move your head better. Benny wasn’t in that stance, he was upright with his chin up.
    Pat M likes this.
  12. Boxed Ears

    Boxed Ears this my daddy's account (RIP daddy) Full Member

    Jul 28, 2009
    Yes, I've learned everything.
    cross_trainer likes this.
  13. cross_trainer

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

    Jun 30, 2005
    Bruce Lee was an actor. Benny was a professional fighter.

    (Okay, I'm being a little unfair. Lee did train real fighters, so I guess he has some Cus D'Amato points.)

    Benny fought a lot more than either you or I, against other professionals who wanted to take his head off. Both of us are keyboard warriors compared to him. I am skeptical that the experiment you propose (encouraging some random newb on the internet to try to emulate Benny's style) is a good test.

    I mean, look: Talk to any coach you want and ask them whether it's a good idea to try to learn a new martial arts style from modern, high quality instructional video tapes. They'll say no, you need a coach. Benny's style isn't even laid out in instructional form. It's preserved by luck of the draw on crappy Charlie Chaplin film, where he's using it against other fighters whose styles are also only preserved on crappy Charlie Chaplin film.

    You are also assuming that I disagree with your conclusion that Benny Leonard's style was inferior and full of holes. As I said in my initial post, I am taking no stance on the matter. Instead, I'm only saying that your proposed experiment, specifically, wouldn't prove much.

    Your evolution argument, or even an argument appealing to the authority of modern, experienced coaches, would be (is) a lot more convincing to me than anything a novice experiences while trying to emulate a long-dead man's moves from grainy black and white footage. In any event, that's how I look at it.

    Mab lost fights too. It does not mean Mab's orthodox style sucks. The Ingle Gym is a bit beyond the scope of this thread, but I do wonder what more they would have to do to prove their stuff works.

    I didn't compare his style to Whitaker. Did someone else earlier in the thread?
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
  14. dangerousity

    dangerousity Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    Royce Gracie fought many more times compared to upcoming mma prospects today. These prospects would still wreck him.

    discard what is useless, apply what is useful. Process of evolution. Can’t argue it

    Old time fighters was learning the craft, today’s fighters are mastering the craft that has been improved upon over the past 100 years. I’m sure the first car on the road was a technological marvel, it won’t go faster than the floor prices Hyundai today.

    Todays fighters have a smaller margin for skill gap, because the clear documentation is out there baxk then, someone who fought somewhat modern was light years ahead of everyone. Hence look at SrR, no coincidence the guy looks like a modern fighter whilst his opponents still looked like they were use techniques from the 1920s.
    thistle likes this.
  15. cross_trainer

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

    Jun 30, 2005
    Right, I agree that MMA has gotten a lot better. (Mostly.) All I'm saying is that it wouldn't prove much if some random internet newb watched "Gracies in Action," tried some of the moves out without any coaching in a wrestling gym, and then concluded that Royce's style didn't work.

    We have lots of good evidence that Royce's style is incomplete by today's standards. I mean, the man is still around, and there are still old school BJJ guys about, so you can test it.

    With Benny Leonard, though, you can't really disprove his style by experimentation without a lot more effort, because there aren't any old school boxing gyms to test it against.

    It's not your conclusion I'm disputing at the moment. Just the viability of the experiment you proposed.