Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mr. magoo, Aug 15, 2021.
Williams career didn't really gain any traction until he moved to Houston where the promoters brought in mostly mediocre opposition to fatten his record. Except for the Daniels fight every time he stepped outside of Texas to fight a real contender he got beat. His manager Hugh Benbow was happy to go along with this regimen. Benbow must have known something. Williams and Benbow could have asked their promoter to bring top contenders into Texas, but the few times they did Williams wasn't that impressive -- a draw with Machen and a TKO loss to Mac Foster were among them.
THANK YOU SO MUCH!
I stopped posting on this site several years ago when someone kept deleting my posts when I use to answer all the questions in the Boxing Trivia contests. It happened too many times, the questions were Great and my answers were right on so I don't know why someone would keep deleting them, so I just went on some other sites.
The only contenders he lost to outside of Texas PRE-GUNSHOT were Ernie Terrell (an SD loss in Philly where Terrell was fighting out of) and a peak Sonny Liston so it's a bit misleading to say he lost "every time" he stepped outside of Texas to fight a real contender"
As I stated above Machen was the #2 contender on a 6 fight win streak and had defeated names such as Valdes, Jackson, Dejohn, London, Whitehurst, Rischer, Maxim, Summerlin, Holman, Mederos, Miteff, and (Both Young Jack, and Alonzo) Johnson. Williams drawing with him in a fight where one judge had him clearly ahead, and the majority of the (admittedly perhaps partial) crowd had him a clear winner. This is undeniably a very impressive result.
Williams was a (literally) shot 36 year old against Foster. Can we please be fair? Regardless he still ruptured Foster's ear drum in the first fight and went to war with him, and hit him "with a hook that would've knocked out a lesser man" in a round that was rated 5th best of that year.
"Nine years later, in the fall of 1969 when Williams was over the hill and trying to recapture some of his old magic, he seemed to stumble into a time warp and revisit the Liston fights against another hungry contender in former Marine, Mac Foster. In September of that year, Mac stopped Cleve in the fifth round in Fresno. In November the two men locked horns in another thriller and Foster knocked out Williams in the third at Houston.
Ring Magazine described it as "a thrill-packed session which began with Williams rushing out of his corner and attacking with a crisp left hook at close range. A sharp right hand buckled Foster’s knees. It seemed as if the Big Cat had regained his old power and was showing young Foster how it ought to be done."
“But Mac fought back with a vengeance. They slugged it out with lefts and rights, with Williams seemingly having an edge in the furious exchange. Foster shot a vicious left hook to the Big Cat’s jaw which floored him. After Cleve arose, another hook sent him back to the canvas. A few moments later, Foster landed a tremendous left hook to Williams’ jaw, then crashed a right and it was all over. Williams fell heavily to the floor.”
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"Before the third round Williams was instructed by his corner that boxing was getting him nowhere and to use his only remaining weapon of substantial value—the left hook. At the bell he charged off his stool with a barrage of hooks and rights to the head and body and Foster was momentarily stunned—rather more than he likes to admit—by a hook that would have knocked out a lesser man."
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They probably deleted them so they could give themselves a chance to keep up with you. I'd admittedly do the same
Seems to me most people who defend Cleveland Williams have a pretty realistic view of his limitations. On the threads where he's up against Mike Tyson or George Foreman no one's predicting anything better for him than a gutsy losing effort.
Some people just respect him as a good fighter who deserves better, all these years after his death, than someone spending hours coming up with reasons why he was no better than this or that frequently defeated fringe contender.
If Williams is lucky, he’ll be compared to a fringe contender like Howard Smith or Stan Ward. Otherwise it’s Lamar Clark or someone similar Williams is compared to.
To be fair to Chok though, the claim that The #2 29 year old Machen was punch drunk is probably worse than anything he’s ever said.
True. That was a new one.
Cleveland Williams won alot fights. He wasn't an easy guy to beat. He won just about every fight he entered. Except that one time....and that other time.
It’s no disgrace being compared to those guys. With the right management Smith and Ward would be a lot better thought of. On their night these were good fighters.
For context, watch Ward against Ron Lyle.
We must all recognise that matchmaking and best possible preparation goes a long way into how we all regard our favourite fighters.
The only elite contenders he fought were Terrell and Sonny Liston though. Even if Billy Daniels was doing ok he was really just a name guy. Of the many name fighters Williams fought, I think only 27 of 90 opponents were at least “known” opposition, and of these, they were all still just “normal fare” for any other normal contender. Nobody worth shouting about. And I think 11 or so of this 27 beat him anyway.
15-11-1 against known guys if I recall.
I wouldn't say Tyson and Foreman (two of the most universally beloved wrecking machines post Liston) is a realistic ceiling for a guy that couldn't beat Machen.
I've seen plenty of fantasy threads where Big Cat has picked over Champions like Lewis, Wlad, Louis, Patterson, Marciano...etc. So the question is rightfully being asked, who did he actually beat?
It's not crapping on the man as a person or disrespecting his death, to put his career in a critical perspective. Lay off the crocodile tears.
Where exactly is the fantasy thread where Williams is picked over Joe Louis? I'm interested to read it.
He lost 5 fights pre-gunshot. One when he was a 19 year old kid in a bout that was stopped prematurely when Williams was chasing his opponent around the ring, another as a still green 20 year old last minute substitute against a monster puncher with vastly more experience, 2 losses against a peak Sonny Liston, a H2H monster, and a razor thin SD loss to Terrell (that many including myself didn’t have him losing) in Philly where Terrell was fighting out of. Terrell, who’d go on to widely out point Folley in his next fight and subsequently become the best heavyweight of the mid-60s not named Ali, was already ko’d by the Big Cat less than a year prior.
Their’s absolutely no shame in any of the above.
Yeah, in todays boxing world of 4 belts Williams would hold one of them at some point. I mean look at Vitali K.'s resume of best wins , it's on par with Cleveland's. Herbie Hide and Corrie Saunders are his best ? I'd pick Cleveland and Machen to beat both of them
The knockout almost certainly wasn't real. We will never know.