How should the term, All-time Great (ATG) Heavy-weight be defined ?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by cuchulain, Oct 13, 2021.

  1. cuchulain

    cuchulain Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Inspired by a thread in the GF that asks if Wilder's performance in his most recent loss cements his HW ATG status, I'm wondering how posters in this forum define the term.

    For this thread, let's just consider the HWs.

    If you have a list, where is the cut-off in that list...top 10...top 20...top 50...top 100 ?

    Given the sheer number of professional HWs who have boxed in the past century and a quarter (at least 40,000), being in the top hundred would put a boxer in the top quarter of the top one percent, a distinction that might garner ATG status.

    If you decided that one HW in a thousand merited ATG status, then your top forty would make the cut.

    Or do you have some other criteria for the honour ?


    I would like to hear from the very serious "students" among you, @cross_trainer, @Stonehands89, @McGrain @Rumsfeld, @JohnThomas1, @IntentionalButt, @kirk , @lufcrazy and all the other 'biggies' who are slipping my mind at the minute.

    Everybody...give me your take...please.
     
  2. Rumsfeld

    Rumsfeld Moderator Staff Member

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    I'll get back to this after I finish my review of the fight itself.

    :thumbsup:
     
  3. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    Haven't thought about it too much, but some combination of performance in one's own era, historical significance, and the general regard they're held in by boxing historians. IBHOF Hall of Fame membership is a loose barometer, but perhaps overinclusive. Holding an undisputed title ought to make you an ATG. Not that I'm an expert.
     
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  4. Gazelle Punch

    Gazelle Punch Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Plenty of boxers have been in all time fights…doesn’t make them all time HWs imo. You need wins over solid opposition. Period. All time is a status reserved for a select few HWs that beat the best in their division…something Wilder hasn’t come close to doing. Heck Fury hasn’t done it either.
     
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  5. djanders

    djanders Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I'm guessing there have been 50,000 or so heavyweights? While there were a lot of all-time good heavyweights, IMHO, 99.9% of all heavyweight fighters were not all time greats. That leaves us with maybe 50 who were all time greats. From there we can have our top 10 of the all time greats, the greatest of the great!
     
  6. cuchulain

    cuchulain Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    :thumbsup:
     
  7. cuchulain

    cuchulain Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    So I'll take it that your definition of ATG heavy-weights , DJanders, would be the top fifty of whatever list you came up with.
     
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  8. cuchulain

    cuchulain Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    So how many ATGs heavyweights have there been, C_T ?

    I'm trying to get a sense of how exclusive the club is.



    Then we might need to define "expert" as well. :biggrin:

    I'm guessing you make the grade under any reasonable definition. :sisi1
     
  9. cuchulain

    cuchulain Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Just for clarification, Rummy, I'm less interested in whether Wilder qualifies as. an ATG, than what your definition of that term is.

    How do you decide who qualifies....how many have there been...etc ?
     
  10. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    Dunno how many ATGs there are. Tally up the number of undisputed champions from every weight class. That should give you a good first draft before you start adding people. Probably no more than double or triple that number, max.
     
  11. Fogger

    Fogger Member Full Member

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    First of all, my basic definition of an all time great would basically be the creme de la creme of Hall of Famers or future HOFers. Also great is how great you are within your era. We have no way on knowing how Jack Johnson would have done in this day and age with modern training and nutriion. By the same token, we cannot know what Lennox Lewis might have achieved in an era where black fighters were not given the opportunities they deserved.

    I don't think it's a specific number, top ten, top twenty or whatever the case may be. In any group there could be one ATG one or 35 great ones. For heavyweights I would say there are twelve. Chronologically, they would be Sullivan, Jeffries, Johnson, Dempsey, Louis, Marciano, Ali, Frazier, Holmes, Bowe, Lewis, W. Klitschko.

    Obviously, this list is subjective and I am sure you disgree with some of them. Happily, that is not the point of this thread.
     
  12. lufcrazy

    lufcrazy requiescat in pace Full Member

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    For me it's a bench mark system.

    John L Sullivan was the greatest HW ever, for years. No amount of revisionist behaviour can change that he was the goat during his time. No amount of HW fighters coming after him can change it neither. So for me, anyone who is greater than, or on the level of John L, they're an ATG.
     
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  13. red corner

    red corner Member Full Member

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    Wins over current ring magazine when they happened, wins over age 35 to 34 or young ranked men ( wilder has zero ) ,wins when the fighter was past his best say over 35, historical value of the opponent.
     
  14. cuchulain

    cuchulain Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    John L did not make it on to your 15 top HW list, nor your 25 P4P list in the Rumsfield thread.
     
  15. lufcrazy

    lufcrazy requiescat in pace Full Member

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    Exactly my point. ATG isn't a top x imo.

    We spend all our lives agreeing Joe Frazier is an ATG, but if 15 better HWs come along he's no longer an ATG?

    I don't subscribe to that line of thinking.

    ATG is a standard, John L might not make my top 15, quite clearly his greatness transcends all time.
     
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