How much credit do you give fighters for beating an inexperienced fighter before they became great

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Flo_Raiden, Jun 27, 2019.


  1. Flo_Raiden

    Flo_Raiden Boxing Addict Full Member

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    How do you rate a fighter's win over an opponent who were prospects / inexperienced but would later become a champion/belt holder? Basically a victory over a soon-to-be-great fighter who was at the early stages in their career before they matured, improved and became a much more highly regarded fighter.
    There's been plenty over the years, examples such as Walcott beating Johnson, Sanchez beating Nelson, RJJ beating Hopkins, and most recently Mayweather beating Canelo and Salido beating Lomachenko, just to name a few.

    Should they be counted as great wins based on how great they would become later on despite not being at their absolute best when they initially fought?
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
  2. George Crowcroft

    George Crowcroft Pimp C's Full-Time Tutor Full Member

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    It's hard to say, if they were as skilled as they were when they cemented themselves as great then full, but if not then however good I perceive them at the the time

    a good recent example is Mayweather vs Canelo, did anyone in 2013 expect Canelo to be as good he was now? But he wasn't that good then so I can't give him that amount of credit
     
  3. JackSilver

    JackSilver Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Some people do the opposite and rather than praise the fighter that beat the future champion, they instead forever hold the loss for the prospect against them for the rest of their career. For example Mark Antman a.k.a. Steve McQueen, whenever someone mentions heavyweight David Haye in any matchup,will always respond by saying Haye is garbage because he was stopped by a cruiserweight Carl Thompson who wasn’t able to stop Chris Eubank therefore in his eyes, Haye is forever below Thompson and Eubank even though Haye was just a novice at the time and would go on to win a world title at both cruiserweight and heavyweight.
     
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  4. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti A Being of Inexplicable Inclinations Full Member

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    I think it depends. You really have to assess what level they were at.

    e.g. I don't think Choynski deserves much credit for beating the Johnson that lost to Hank Griffin. But you have to give credit to say Young Peter Jackson for beating a pre-prime Sam Langford, who had gotten wins over Joe Gans and Joe Jeannette.
     
  5. Saad54

    Saad54 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Jones' win over Hopkins should not be dininished because he, not just Hopkins, grew and improved. Both he and Hopkins turned pro around the same time. It is a great win.
     
  6. Rope-a-Dope

    Rope-a-Dope Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I agree that it depends how close to their prime they were. A year? That's pretty good. A whole bunch of years? Not impressive. Guys like Arguello and Canto lost fights early in their careers against complete randoms that never won any significant fights.
     
  7. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    Some really good posts here. I agree it depends and will circle back. Just wanted to say good thread.
     
  8. expljose

    expljose Active Member Full Member

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    I always say so and so beat a not quite ready for prime time version of said fighter...
     
  9. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    It is simple really.

    You look at how good the fighter was on their stand alone merits at the time.

    If they were a local level fighter, or had ceased to be a major force at world level, then the win is not worth much.

    If they were a significant player in the division, then the win holds tangible value.
     
  10. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    It also depends on the point of the career of the more experienced fighter .. Take Larry Holmes. In the post Cooney era of his career he was able to assert more control over his career and pick specific fights like Witherspoon, Williams and Smith . All three were very tough fights but here you had an aging champion in his mid thirties fighting huge, young, very gifted guys .. in all three cases the losers put up among the best fights of their careers be it due to their own physical condition or getting up for a title bout before becoming jaded shells themselves .. however if you look at Sanchez, who was in his prime over Nelson it is a different matter to me ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  11. scartissue

    scartissue Boxing Addict Full Member

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    The first couple of fighters I thought of was Alexis Arguello against Ernesto Marcel and Eusebio Pedroza against Alfonso Zamora. Arguello was still evolving but he wasn't a complete novice against Marcel. He had 34 fights and wins over Jose Legra, Famoso Gomez and Valentin Galeano, so it was an outstanding win in retrospect for Marcel as we all know what Arguello went on to. I give Marcel a lot of credit on this one. Regarding Pedroza, he was only 14-1 at the time with about two decent wins in his back pocket over Benicio Sosa and Orlando Amores. He was a WBA fighter so he was going to get a title shot just like Lujan did although they really didn't deserve it yet. Anyways, Zamora blows him away in 2 rounds and Pedroza moves up to feather. And to tell you the truth, I thought Pedroza was a bit chinny back in the day because of those recent results so I wasn't expecting the reign he had. Now he definitely grew into his form so I don't give Zamora as much credit for that one, although it is a nice scalp in retrospect for him.
     
  12. Momus

    Momus Boxing Addict Full Member

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    With pre-prime you have to apply the same principle as you would to post-prime. As far as possible, using footage of the fighter, results in fights around that time, and the context of where they were in their career, make as objective an assessment as possible about how good they were, and then credit the other fighter accordingly.

    If the losing fighter is clearly not world class at the time, they shouldn't be retrospectively raised to that level based on what they later achieved. Equally though, there are some traits (eg punch resistance) that may not have been apparent at the time but can be said with reasonable confidence to have been possessed earlier on in their career.

    The important thing is to be consistent. Don't for example elevate Lennox Lewis as a pro for beating Bowe as an amateur, if you're not prepared to give credit to Jorge Luis Gonzalez for doing the same.
     
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  13. Flo_Raiden

    Flo_Raiden Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Some really good responses. I think another example would be Julian Jackson KOing Terry Norris before Norris became a bigger player @ 154.
     
  14. young griffo

    young griffo Boxing Addict Full Member

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    This.

    Jones gets caned for beating a "green" Hopkins who'd had more pro fights than Jones, had 100 amateur fights and was 4 and a half years older than Jones. It's nonsense.
     
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  15. BundiniBlack

    BundiniBlack Well-Known Member Full Member

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    In the examples in the OP people juat arbitrarily decide they were "pre-prime" when there is little to no evidence that they weren't already great
     
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