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. thistle

    thistle Boxing Addict Full Member

    Dec 21, 2016
    you are right, but you think those skills were still wrong or so wrong up until recent years or so. that Is Wrong!

    Boxing Progressed/Evolved from a more Grappling Brawling Physical type confrontation to a very Skilled BOXING Athletic type confrontation by the mid late 20s, another 10 years later it is the NORM, SRR was NOT Unique, there were THOUSANDS of Stylists, Beautiful Boxer Athletes the World over and there were also rugged brutal fighters, who by nature are not naturally 'Finessed'...

    so by the 30s it was Already DONE and there has be 'little' if any improvement on that.

    Nutrition or Equipment or shiny modern gyms mean NOTHING.

    the Athletic Skilful Technicians have been here for approx 100 years now, but the thing that has waned greatly is Number of Honest fights where True Top men MEET Each other, and for years on end adding up to literally Dozens & 100s of fights.

    that can never be replaced!!!

    look at Anthony Joshua, he is a Fine Specimen, a Good Boxer, a Knock Out Puncher and in reality should be "the Undisputed" SUPER - Heavyweight Champion of the World... but we have all seen the questions, the weaknesses and the concerns.

    Now place AJ in the 40s, (as an Average Size HW 6' 3"), times the number of his fights by at least 3... 1 of 2 things is going to happen, he will either Fall Away from favour, beaten by other great and capable men, or he will Expand his Skill and rise to the TOP and/or Undisputed Champion.

    That's it, that is the only 2 realities of what would happen to him or any other 'Modern' fighter placed back then... but to Pin Such Supremacy on him or others now, is entire inaccurate and insulting to the Facts & History of Boxing.
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  2. reznick

    reznick In the 7.2% Full Member

    Mar 17, 2010
    If you try your hardest to account for film technology, you’re still not accounting for it enough.
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  3. FrankinDallas

    FrankinDallas Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jul 24, 2004
    Show some of your examples to these guys, Rezzie.
  4. 70sFan865

    70sFan865 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    May 30, 2019
    People were doing Leonard things for over 50 years and somehow they realized in a moment that it was never effective... or maybe, just maybe the change of rules and equipment has a little to do with that?

    Do you really think that high guard defense would be effective with smaller gloves?
  5. cross_trainer

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

    Jun 30, 2005
    This always struck me as one of the better points the old timers had. I'm skeptical of historical theories that require prolonged stupidity from generations of historical people to work.

    I could easily believe that there were some non-obvious refinements going on. But if Leonard's style is so stupid that a total novice can discover a fatal flaw in a single session of playing around at the gym, you've got to wonder whether generations of boxers were complete idiots.
  6. cross_trainer

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

    Jun 30, 2005
    On the other side of the coin, the Degeneration Thesis -- the idea that boxing skill has declined over time -- leaves a lot of unanswered questions as well.

    I first encountered that one through the writings on Cox's Corner, a very fun and meticulous site. I believed it at the time, but since then, some of the supports for the argument tended to erode. It relied a lot on the idea that older fighters fought more, that modern guys relied on superficial flash and weightlifting, that there was a bigger talent pool back then, and that the modern rules and gloves remove the incentive to infight or body punch so much that modern fighters don't do it well. Same with feinting.

    Most of these claims/supports have been weakened over time. Modern fighters still fight quite a bit, and at least some of them spar frequently as well. And since sparring is a valuable learning experience, you'd have to compare relative sparring frequency, which I don't think there's enough data to do. Moderns also have (on average) longer amateur careers. I think Louis had double digit amateur fights, which is impressive, but not close to Wladimir's triple digit figures. The modern training argument I never really bought, since it's excessively skeptical of the value of sports medicine and science. But Marciano's schedule sort of clinches it, since he was known as being a fanatical trainer and the volume is not insane. Body punching still exists, and wrestling, sadly, exists in often excessive amounts these days.

    The best point was probably the one about boxing's contraction in terms of talent pool. At least a few years ago, there were genuinely more fights listed on Boxrec in the 1930s compared to today, and many more past ones are probably lost due to poor record keeping and the passage of time.

    I do wonder what *would* be necessary in order for the Degeneration Thesis to be true. I don't know of many sports with declining performances over time, but I'm sure they must exist. What signs would need to be there to conclude that a degeneration had actually occurred? I wonder about that.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
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  7. Glass City Cobra

    Glass City Cobra Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 6, 2017
    You could look at stats for athletes of equal size and experience. For example, 6'3 210 pound point guards in the 70's compared to ones in the 90's and so on. Taking care to pick ones who have similar professional experience. If the average guard in the 70's did better in terms of ball handling, passing, etc, by a significant margin you could safely conclude that the overall skill level for guard in the 90's was worse than the 70's.

    Similarly, you could compare welterweights from the 70's and 90's. Compare who had a higher hit % (punches landed vs thrown), compare who got hit more often, who landed more body shots, etc. It could tell you a lot about the overall quality of that era.

    And if you do it for multiple weight classes and see a pattern for that decade in general, you can get closer to figuring out if a sport had gotten worse at certain points in the century. However, it would also be important to pick fights between guys who are world class and not a big time superstar champ vs a bum with 7 fights (all losses). Otherwise, the numbers would look very skewed as far as being able to assess the skill level for certain eras.
  8. dangerousity

    dangerousity Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 4, 2005
    This is RJJ, an athletic phenom who was always out of range and relied on his feet and hand speed to close the distance.

    this is gene Tunney. His opponent looks like a guy from my gym starting out and throwing a right hand whilst stickin his chin up in the air because he is both nervous about attacking and the oncoming punch, so his body propels him forward but his chin is saying “get me the fk out of here”. It’s classic noob move for amateurish guys who’s not fluent in the movements that goes against their nature.

    Both are flat footed as hell and their range is ridiculous. How people cannot see this is primal shite I don’t know. Again, by people who’s never boxed. If you box you would understand what these movements entail. These guys are amateurs by today’s standards.

  9. Pat M

    Pat M Active Member Full Member

    Jun 20, 2017
    Nice post, I wouldn't walk out my front door to watch those guys "box." If they are amateurs, they aren't top level amateurs. They are Novice level at best. If people want to see that level of fighter, they can probably find it on the first night of a Rough N Rowdy Brawl, by the second night, that level of fighter has been eliminated and the competition is a little better.

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  10. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    I am not sure that he would to be honest.

    There are fighters with low guards in every era, and not all of them are athletic phenomenon's.

    Willard found a style that worked for him, and what he lacked could not be taught.
  11. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006

    He relied on his feet and hand speed.

    Take those away, and what have you got left?
  12. MarkusFlorez99

    MarkusFlorez99 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 13, 2021
    That truly is laughable
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  13. cross_trainer

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

    Jun 30, 2005
    It seems like it would be easy to attribute higher hit %, who landed more body shots, etc. to superior/inferior opponents. Or just fighting styles differing from era to era. That would be my worry about using these metrics. They would be objective in the sense that they're measurable numbers, but they would reflect the quality of the opponent as well.
  14. Glass City Cobra

    Glass City Cobra Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jan 6, 2017
    That's why I suggested only using stats for comparably good opponents and not hit% against tomato cans.

    You can also narrow the data further by comparing an outsider fighter vs an inside fighter in the 70's vs the same style matchup in the 90's. Even if the resume isn't the same quality, it should give you some interesting data.
    cross_trainer likes this.
  15. cross_trainer

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

    Jun 30, 2005
    Completely serious question: Why wasn't Tunney eliminated? Global professional boxing with gloves had already existed for something like 35 or 40 years. [EDIT: 42.] Professional boxers had been sparring with gloves for another 80 years before that.

    It just seems odd to me that nobody would realize that you should keep your chin down after repeatedly getting clipped. Or figure out the right range. Or figure out not to stay flat-footed. Tunney had been a professional for over 60 fights. Why didn't he figure this out? Why didn't the guys who trained him (and the guys who trained them, and so on) figure it out?

    The way you describe them, they sound like guys who just walked into a boxing gym for the first time. It wouldn't surprise me if the early guys in the 19th century were novices like the Rough N Rowdy Brawl guys, sure. But if Tunney was a novice, then it would mean that the entire boxing profession had been hosting Rough N Rowdy Brawl matches for a hundred and thirty years and learned pretty much nothing in that entire span of time.

    I'll tag @dangerousity as well, since he also made a good and detailed post.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2021