Paulino Uzcudun vs. Primo Carnera. ( 1933 world title fight )

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Mendoza, Jan 4, 2019.

  1. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    Just because a boxer might be good, it doesn't mean they're automatically getting rated by The Ring. Even if they're rated by The Ring in one year, it doesn't mean they're a mainstay in the top-flight of Boxing. It's as true today, as it was back then.

    Looking at some of the wins you cite for Gains, of which a few could be considered 'good', the first thing I notice is that they are scattered over an 8-year period. Was Gains consistently testing himself against a very high level of opposition, in any given year, so as to force a claim to be rated? I don't think so.

    Some of the opponents you mention, include a 14-2-2 Schmeling, in 1925.

    I'm not even sure why you mention Rojas, who'd already compiled a losing record by the time Gains met him in 1927; worsened still, during a year in which Rojas lost 11 of 13 matches.

    I am unsure of what significance you believe there is in Gains splitting a pair with Burke?

    I also wonder how Cook and Scott figure into your argument, given neither of them were ranked when they met Gains.

    Renault would be retired, less than a year later, going 0-4, until then.

    Gains beating the then Ring #3, Primo Carnera, deserved recognition in the low-end of the Ring Ratings. However, Carnera falling out of the NBA Rankings by September '32 probably had less to do with him losing to Gains, as it did him adding another loss in the shape of Poreda, during August '32.

    I'm glad you brought up Neusel, who invariably gets mentioned in any post with a connection to Carnera. He, McCorkindale, Gains and Charles (and Peterson) are intrinsically linked and are much of a muchness, in terms of their level.

    As I alluded to earlier, being good doesn't grant automatic entry into the Ring's Ratings, but a moment in the sun might get you there temporarily. In my opinion, Neusel piggy-backed into those Ratings, via his win over Gains (who we already know had beaten Carnera - I think McCorkindale and Peterson would gain similar recognition for the same reason, later on).

    He then scored good wins, on paper, against other ranked opponents - notably, Poreda ('33); Levinsky and Loughran ('34). All of these guys were heading towards the exit of top-flight boxing, by this time (and the Levinsky decision is disputed).

    Nonetheless, things are looking good for Neusel, until he meets his fellow countryman and a resurgent Schmeling, who embarrasses the pretender in front of their home crowd, in 1934.

    So, let's look at what actually happened, within given timeframes, instead of dropping random W/L numbers, across varying periods.

    For '33...

    ...Neusel has:

    Ray Impelletiere W
    Stanley Poreda W (Ranked above him)
    Les Kennedy W
    Harry Crossley W
    Jack Pettifer W
    Don McCorkindale L DQ
    Maurice Griselle W
    Don McCorkindale D
    Pierre Charles L
    George Cook W

    1 win over a ranked contender (who ranked above him); 2 losses and 1 draw against unranked opposition.

    Levinsky has:

    Don McCorkindale W
    Jack Sharkey W (Ranked above him)
    Tuffy Griffiths W
    Charley Retzlaff W
    Johnny Risko L (Ranked above him)
    Unknown Winston W (Ranked below him)
    KO Christner W
    Tommy Loughran L

    2 wins over ranked contenders (1 of whom ranked above him and 1 below him); 2 losses; 1 to a ranked contender (who ranked above him) and another to an unranked opponent.

    It's clear that Levinsky outdoes Neusel in 1933 and deserves to hold his ranking above him.

    Now, for 1934...

    ...Neusel has:

    Len Harvey D
    Max Schmeling L (Ranked above him)
    Tommy Loughran W (Ranked above him)
    King Levinsky W (Ranked above him)
    Natie Brown D

    2 wins over ranked contenders (who ranked above him); 1 loss against a ranked contender (who ranked above him) and 2 draws against unranked opposition.

    Levinsky has:

    Art Lasky D
    Salvatore Ruggirello W
    Art Sykes W
    Art Lasky L
    Lee Ramage W (Ranked below him)
    Walter Neusel L (Ranked below him)
    Charley Massera W (Ranked below him)

    2 wins over ranked contenders (both of whom ranked below him); 2 losses; 1 to a ranked contender (who ranked below him) and another to an unranked opponent; 1 draw.

    So, here we see something, which on paper, looks like it should go to Neusel. But, let's look at it like someone who's rating the performances on balance...

    ...Levinksy actually loses two places in his ranking, to Art Lasky and Steve Hamas. Why is that? The answer to Lasky is obvious, but Hamas shoots up from #9 to #1 contender.

    This is because Hamas beat both Schmeling and Lasky that year. Schmeling holds his own miraculous position, at #4.

    Neusel bombed out of the ratings, because he'd been soundly beaten by TKO, in what was described as a 'master vs pupil' type scenario. His SD win against Levinsky was unconvincing and Loughran probably had his worst year ever, managing to not win a single bout in 1934 and himself crashing out of the Ring's Ratings.

    Neusel's Drawn bouts speak for themselves. Len Harvey, in particular, sits alongside McCorkindale, Gains, Charles, Peterson and Neusel, at around the same/similar level.

    Perhaps Neusel did deserve to maintain his ranking - maybe just. But, he really doesn't have that strong an argument, once the opposition and performances are looked at more closely. No one in the mix suffered a defeat as badly as he did, that year.
  2. edward morbius

    edward morbius Boxing Addict Full Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    I liked the above post as it is factually argued,

    I will busy for a while. I hope to be able to respond on Saturday.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2019
    PhillyPhan69 likes this.
  3. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    No one is pretending it's a courtroom. However, declaring "the weakness of [my] whole argument is that the ratings are totally American centered", with little more than a guess to explain it, is in itself, a weak argument.

    In terms of the world boxing scene, I do think all roads led to the U.S. (figuratively speaking).

    If the best Boxers in the world are deemed to be in the U.S., then it is up to those potential challengers, arising elsewhere and who think otherwise, to go and prove themselves better. It was possible to try and, at times, succeed; as evidenced by the efforts of Renault, Persson, Campolo, Uzcudun, Hansen, Von Porat, Schmeling, Carnera, Gains, Neusel, McCorkindale, Peterson, Farr, Lenglet...

    And, it works both ways - a la Johnson chasing Burns down to Sydney, Australia to get his title.

    I'm not sure why he would catch anyone's attention, when he was competing solely in his own country (bar one bout) and was fighting, almost exclusively, against Europeans (again, bar one opponent from the US). And, of the more notable opposition he faced in '27, how many times did Fernand Delarge and Hein Domgoergen exhibit their boxing skills outside of Europe? Why is it that they might not have been recognized as world-ranked boxers?

    Another way of looking at why Schmeling became rated in '29 is that he moved up a division, traveled to the US and beat two world-ranked heavyweights - one of them in The Fight of the Year.

    As explained in a prior post, he lost Poreda, as well as Gains, the month before the September '32 ratings were published. Both Gains and Poreda were unranked by the NBA, at the time Carnera fought them, as far as we know.

    I don't see competing in the U.S. as a drawback and I am not convinced that European Boxers had to perform there, in order to maintain their rating.

    Following his loss to Baer in '33, Schmeling had only 3 bouts in 1934. One in the US, which he lost to Hamas; another in Spain, where he Drew with Uzcudun. The third was in his home country, where he battered the would-be heir apparent Neusel. Schmeling maintained his #4 ranking in The Ring Magazine's Annual Ratings for that year.

    I'm fairly certain Gastanaga was not rated, in any year, by The Ring. His NBA ranking would need a deep dive, in order to try and fathom it. For now, however, I'm happy to say that it seems a strange ranking for him to have been given.

    That said, it's funny that you mention the potential of it being a swipe at Carnera (albeit, beginning a year too soon) because I've seen it written that Uzcudun wanted no part of Gastanaga, despite a publicly perceived rivalry between them.

    It's evidence of something; just not what you seem to think it is. I have rebutted, with fair reasoning, more or less every argument you have put forward for why you think the ratings were either corrupted and/or useless. The only oddity I cannot explain, at this time, is the NBA Rating for Gastanaga.

    In all honesty, I thought we'd done that quite some posts ago. However, I was still interested in reading your reasoning. My take from that and my review of the evidence you cite is that rating is more difficult than isolating a handful of competitors and forming a simple argument of - Boxer 'A' beat Boxer 'B' (at some point in time), who beat Boxer 'C' (at some other point in time); therefore, Boxer 'A' ranks higher than Boxer 'C'.
    mrkoolkevin likes this.
  4. edward morbius

    edward morbius Boxing Addict Full Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Man Machine--you are satisfied with you arguments and think them convincing. Okay. I am satisfied with mine and think them convincing. They will never be common ground, but I will mention some areas we disagee on.

    *just on general background, being the road competitor seems difficult in and of itself. In the three major American teams sports, a study shows that the home team wins 58% of the time in the NBA, 56% of the time in the NFL, and 54% of the time in major league baseball. So the home team is likely on the average to win 56% of the time. In all these sports the officials are league officials and have nothing to do with the home team. Having the home folks behind you seems a strong advantage.

    It is guesswork, but I would suppose the advantage would be even bigger in boxing as the officiating and rule interpretation varied more.

    The bottom line here is that the Euro fighters had to come to America and were strangers in a strange land.
  5. edward morbius

    edward morbius Boxing Addict Full Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    "Just because a boxer might be good, doesn't mean they are automatically getting rated by The Ring."

    Obviously not. Nor being no good means they won't be rated.

    Eddie Mader had 57 wins, 43 losses, 9 draws in his career. He had 27 career KO victories and 31 career KO defeats. A lifetime mediocrity.

    This is his record in 1935

    Terry Mitchell (17-14-2)-----W
    Norman Barnett (5-1-1)-----W
    Izzy Singer (13-6-4)-----W
    Eddie Houghton (20-13-3)-----W
    Terry Mitchell (22-19-2)-----W
    Hank Hankinson (39-10-1)-----W
    Tony Galento (56-18-2)-----W
    Al Ettore (50-7-2)-----L

    The only rated fighter here would be Hankinson. Galento had still not broken into the rankings. Mader ends the year ranked #6.

    Ray Impellitiere had a lifetime record of 10 wins and 7 losses, with 7 KO victories and 2 KO defeats. Here is his entire record

    Frank Zoreta (2-10)-----KO
    Sam Sujer (0-8)-----KO
    Gus Rodenberg (4-5-1)-----KO
    Cane Connors (0-2)-----KO
    Jose Santa (57-13-2)-----TKO
    Charlie Wagner (14-22-4)-----KO
    Tommy Loughran-----L
    Walter Neusel-----L
    Marty Gallagher (37-21-5)-----L
    George Neron (10-31-6)-----KO
    Primo Carnera-----KO by
    Tommy Loughran-----L
    Ford Smith-----(30-12-7)-----W
    (Impellitiere ends 1935 ranked #8 by The Ring)
    Andre Lenglet (26-8-3)-----W
    Tommy Loughran-----L
    Phil Brubaker-----W
    Bob Pastor-----KO by
    (Impellitiere ends 1936 ranked #6 by The Ring) So winning mainly against fighters with losing recards and going 4-4 in 1935 & 1936 gets this guy top ratings over several men who were beating Loughran, who in turn beat the Imp three times. To me this is laughable

    Imp's big win in 1935, which got him to #8, was over Ford Smith, 34-27-9 lifetime with 13 KO's, and 13 KO bys. Here is Ford Smith's 1935 record:

    KO Christner-----L
    Frank Connally-----D
    Tony Sousa-----W
    Hank Hankinson-----L
    Maxie Rosenbloom-----L
    Art Lasky-----W
    Tony Lynch-----ND
    Buddy Baer-----W
    Charley Retzlaff-----L
    Ray Impellitiere-----L
    Primo Carnera-----L
    Al Ettore-----L
    so Smith goes 3-7-1 with 1 ND during 1935. He ends the year ranked #10 in The Ring ratings. I guess they were very impressed with beating Lasky and the 20 year old Baer, and so Smith kept a rating despite losing four straight at the end of the year.

    For me, these ratings speak for themselves. The Imp in 1935 is especially outrageous.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  6. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010
    And yet, foreign fighters were able to win crowds over, based on their performances - because, boxing does not engender the type of loyalty, which team sports do of a local population.

    Also - How long did the visiting boxers, who had performed well, had won crowds over and been invited back repeatedly, remain strangers in a strange land?
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  7. Man_Machine

    Man_Machine Boxing Addict Full Member

    Jun 9, 2010

    Of course. One just needs to be doing better than the rest - or, beating someone who's doing better than the rest; the core of my previous explanations.

    For example...

    1935 is a curious year, for sure. However, look at who was leaving the ratings by the end of it...

    - Art Lasky (previously rated #3) went 0-3, for the year. Braddock decisioned him before beating Baer for the Championship, later the same year (Both Retzlaff and Smith had subsequently beaten Lasky by Stoppage that year).

    - Baer (peviously the Champion) went 0-2, for the year; crashing out of the ratings having lost his title to Braddock and been beaten by Louis, the same year.

    - King Levinsky (previously rated #5) earned a string of wins against very poor opposition and was then wiped out by Louis in a round.

    - Patsy Perroni (previously rated #6) went 0-1, for the year... ...losing to Louis

    - Peterson (previously rated #7) went 0-2 for the year (quitting twice to unranked Neusel)

    - Brown (previously rated #8) went 0-3 for the year... of those losses being to Louis

    - Ramage (previously rated #10) went 0-1 for the year... ...losing to Louis

    Ultimately, when a vacuum is created, something has to fill it.

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