Heavyweights. Old timers vs modern.

Discussion in 'World Boxing Forum' started by SmackDaBum, Jan 3, 2017.

Golden era vs modern super hws...

  1. Golden era

  2. Modern era

  1. Absolutely!

    Absolutely! Fabulous, darling! Full Member

    Jul 8, 2010
    Sure they could beat some of today's guys, but what's that really saying? You could easily drop Kovalev or Beterbiev or Gvozdyk into the HW division and they could likely beat some guys as well. Just not the top ones.

    There is nothing to suggest that a LHW could compete at the highest levels of today's HW landscape without significant acclimating. Even cruiserweights don't fight at heavy without significant weight gain. Haye came in at 215, Adamek at about 215 as well, Huck came in at 210. Briedis came in at about 214. Likely this is only their rehydrated weight, but that only shows how undersized guys like Louis and Dempsey would be even at cruiserweight.

    So really it is a fantasy to suggest that a fighter that would have competed at LHW could compete in meaningful fights at HW today, since there are no examples to prove the case.

    I don't really understand this. What's different about today that would necessitate Ward needing to bulk up that wouldn't have applied to earlier fighters? Ward's a master tactician, and always ensures his preparations are second to none, so for him to gain 15lbs -25 lbs of muscle means there must be a damn good reason.

    And Ward's handspeed and overall sharpness are some of his best attributes, as is his great footwork/control of distance, all things that would potentially be ruined by such a large weight gain.

    To a degree. But enough to beat the majority of top twenty fighters? This isn't the strongest era, but it contains enough fighters to give both guys major problems. Does Kovalev even beat Lucas Browne or Dillian Whyte? He's undoubtedly more skilled than them, but one punch from either man would flatten his helmet. How does Beterbiev beat Carlos Takam or Kubrat Pulev?

    Well of course. But that's not nearly as far a cry as saying Dempsey or Louis do the same.

    And Wilder isn't actually all that big. He's just tall. His last fight he weighed in at 219 or something ludicrous. Plus he sucks. That isn't a legitimate comparison, since Wilder holds no advantage over Tyson but his height, and that isn't anything Mike hasn't had to combat innumerable times before.

    I'd honestly even pick Dempsey or Marciano to beat Wilder, to be honest. I hold him in very low regard.

    I agree in the main. But there has been an upward trend over the decades towards more athletic and coordinated fighters over the often clumsy combatants of yore. And in the heavyweight division the average size has definitely increased among the upper echelons.

    Plus the addition of PEDs, which improve year on year, has to be taken into account as well.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
  2. Loudon

    Loudon Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Mar 7, 2012
    Athletes in other sports rely more on sports science and advances in equipment etc. All of which make a considerable difference.

    Compare the athletic tracks of today and yesteryear.

    Compare the footwear.

    Compare the blocks.

    Sprinting requires a lot of technique, but it also heavily relies on power and strength.

    How does boxing relate?

    A hook is a hook.

    You could give a guy today a state of the art gym, a nutritionist, a masseuse, a chef, and a $200 pair of running shoes etc. It wouldn't mean he'd have better footwork than a fighter of 50 years ago.

    A kid training in a Joe Calzaghe like tin hut in a pair of old Chuck Taylor's could become a better fighter than a kid who has everything at his disposal.

    Boxing is an art, where many techniques have to be mastered. And being powerful with access to sports science etc, just isn't as important in boxing as what it is in other sports.

    You cannot compare a man sprinting around a track against the clock, to two men boxing each other in a ring, in a physical game of chess, where they're trying to outsmart each other with technique.

    We know athletic times get broken. We know that a sprinter from 50 years ago couldn't compete today if you used a time machine and dropped them in today's era. We know that because of their recorded times. But that is not evidence to support a theory that fighters from 50 years ago couldn't beat today's guys. Again, boxing doesn't not rely on power and speed in the way that sprinting does. It's based more on technique.

    You cannot say that because the sprinters are getting faster each decade, that boxers are also becoming faster each decade. You cannot use times from track and field to say that today's fighters are faster as a whole. A guy from 80 plus years ago in Harry Greb is regarded as having had blazing hand speed. Then there were guys like Benny Leonard etc. Hand speed and footwork have no relevance to track times being broken.

    For your theory of how boxing progresses each decade to hold any weight, I should be absolutely ridiculed for even thinking that Larry Holmes and Muhammad Ali could have a chance at beating today's HW's, seeing as though their primes were 40-50 years ago. Yet most people would agree with me. And it's not because we're nostalgia nuts who are stuck in the past. It's because we can clearly see that a guy like Larry Holmes possessed a better skill set than a guy like Deontay Wilder. We can see that Ali was better than Joseph Parker.

    Again, for your theory to be right, then today's fighters would be classed as THE BEST fighters of all time. Yet they clearly aren't. And as soon as you start to make exceptions, then it blows your theory and your comparisons straight out of the water.

    Some of today's guys are better than the fighters of the past, but some of them aren't.

    Some of today's divisions are stronger than in the past, but some of them aren't.

    There simply hasn't been a gradual progression each decade like in other sports.

    Again, there's been progression since the M.O.Q, but not per decade.

    The best fighters of the world today, are no better than the best fighters of the 90's. And if you watched those fighters and you have an understanding and a knowledge of the sport, then you know that. You don't need actual proof. You don't need a time machine to be certain. You just know by using logic and your own knowledge of the game. You can see it.

    Yes, today's sprinters are the fastest of all time. Yes, today's swimmers are the fastest of all time. But if your theory of how boxing follows those sports was true, then it would mean that today's MW's would absolutely annihilate the MW's of the 90's if they were put in H2H competition. Yet if you'd been watching boxing for as long as I have, then trust me, you would bet your HOUSE on the MW's of the 90's prevailing in a completion.

    The difference is this:

    If you went and took a swimmer and a sprinter from 70 years ago, as they were, and then you put them up against Phelps and Bolt, they wouldn't have a chance. Whereas if you went back 70 years and took Ray Robinson and dropped him into today's WW division, the chances are he'd have a lot of success. Why? Because if you analyse his skill set, you'll note that he was just a better fighter than a guy like Keith Thurman.

    Yes, of course sports science, nutrition and technology will aid a fighter. But at the end of the day, mastering timing, distance and punch techniques, are far more important.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
    dinovelvet likes this.
  3. Loudon

    Loudon Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Mar 7, 2012
    Great post.
  4. JoffJoff

    JoffJoff Regular Junkie Full Member

    Jan 25, 2017
  5. lufcrazy

    lufcrazy requiescat in pace Full Member

    Sep 15, 2009
    I've not looked at those sports but none of those 3 are combat related.

    On average perhaps what you are saying is true, I don't think many would dispute that, but when we are discussing elite fighters we're not talking about the average boxer, we're talking about the outliers.

    There are boxers today who are slow like Lemieux, boxers who are pillow fisted like Malignaggi, boxers with a poor gas tank like Chisora, boxers who are not durable at all like Khan, boxers who are very injury prone like Vitali.

    If boxing was as simple as the best trained fighter wins, then that would the case every single time.

    Statistics mean nothing when comparing individuals. There's nothing romantic about a fight between two men, not sure where that notion comes from. It's simply a case of watching two men fight and deciding who I think the better man is.

    George Foreman killed the myth about huge progress between eras. He was from the "golden era" of this thread and returned 20 years later to knock out a champion of the "modern era" of this thread.

    The average boxer today might well be better than the average boxer of 100 years ago, but when talking champions we're talking about the outliers.
    Loudon likes this.
  6. SmackDaBum

    SmackDaBum TKO7 Full Member

    Nov 22, 2014
    Would like to read more from him. I got a feeling that this board has tilted in our favor when it comes to nostalgia. He would have thrived here nowadays.
  7. bandeedo

    bandeedo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 19, 2007
    modern heavies are garbage, in comparison, and you can say im bias, if it makes you feel better.