Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by dmt, Dec 6, 2020.
I'd say that looks more like a list of over achievers to me
I wouldn't put Witherspoon that high up. He did quite a bit before DK blackballed him
Tubbs should at least be in the top 10 if not top 5.
Morrison didn't really underachieve he just wasn't as good as he was hyped to be.
The true list is probably guys who had the goods but didn’t get far enough to make the list:
Purcell “Magic” Davis
I’d say Corrie Sanders was an overachiever — one-hit wonder who has some kind of otherworldly rep off one fight.
I don't know about Jimmy, I think he peaked as amateur. Probably should have turned pro the same time around Page and Thomas did, 78, 79.
Andrew Golota obviously.
These are the staple three, IMO. It looks like Tyson Fury and Oleksandr Usyk will fall into this category, and I'd also include first career Foreman and Larry Holmes.
When I think of underachievers, I don't really think of guys like Baer, Bowe, Tyson, etc., who were world champions and are in the Boxing Hall of Fame. Those two things are the height of achievement for heavyweights, after all.
I would lean more towards guys who were expected to do great things and ended up being train wrecks.
* Odlanier Solis - Solis won the Amateur World Championships three times. He was the Pan-American Champion. Six-time Cuban National champion. He was the Olympic Gold Medalist. He fought Felix Savon three times and beat him twice. People spent decades talking about what would've happened if Teofilo Stevenson or Felix Savon had turned pro. We were supposed to get a glimpse of what we might have seen with Solis. He turned pro 50 pounds heavier than he was when he won the Olympics. And he got stopped in one round by Vitali. He lost to Tony Thompson twice - the second time because he was too fat (271 pounds) and out of shape to continue. And he never won anything.
Tyrell Biggs might also fit in this category. Another amateur world champion. Three-time U.S. champion. Olympic Gold medalist - beating Lennox Lewis and Francesco Damiani in that tournament to win Gold. Biggs was so hyped at one point, he and his Olympic teammates took a reporter to the gym where Larry Holmes was training before a title defense, and Biggs was talking smack to Holmes, and, as reported in the papers, Holmes (who never took crap from anyone) that day just took it. It was like Biggs was the heir apparent. But Biggs had already developed a drug habit at that point. Never won anything as a pro.
Ed Sanders might even fall into this category, although that seems a little unfair. Won Olympic Heavyweight Gold Medal in 1952 (the first American to win heavyweight gold in nearly 50 years), defeating a terrified Ingemar Johansson. Lost a controversial decision to Sonny Liston in the National Golden Gloves, even though Sanders had a broken thumb. At 6'4', 220 pounds, and only 23 years old, with an Olympic Gold Medal in his pocket - in the mid 1950s, no less, when Marciano and Patterson became champs - seems like he would've been on an Anthony Joshua-like trajectory to superstardom. Instead, he turned pro, lost two fights his first year - the second time being beaten into a coma by a journeyman and dying as a result. It sounds crass, but allowing a journeyman to beat you to death is 'underachieving' (at minimum).
1. Odlanier Solis
2. Jorge Luis Gonzales
5. Audley Harrison
7. Mike Tyson (Still top ten, arguably top five. Could’ve cleaned up the entire 90s and been number 1.)
10. Roy Jones
*Ibeabuchi went about as far as a schizophrenic who wasn’t the greatest boxer could go
*Biggs underachieved but his era was too difficult to be at the top
*Sanders and Douglas actually did something big. Cooney did nothing big unless being competitive with Holmes counts.
Good call with Gonzales.
However, I don't know how the era was too difficult for Tyrell Biggs but you have Damiani at #4?
Didn't they enter the same difficult era together, after Biggs beat Damiani in the Olympic final?
I don't know how Biggs gets excused, but Damiani doesn't.
I dont really think Biggs was built for the pros. He was lacking in power and wasn't physically strong. Maybe if he had Mackie Shilstone or if he came around in the 50s, he would've done better.
Damiani had a better set of tools for the pros, but camped out in Italy, only beating Biggs. The Mercer loss was excusable but he totally fell apart after that, when the loss actually showed how talented he was. Maybe 4 is a little bit high on the list.
For most of the fighters you named ( possibly all) that nose candy derailed their careers. But it was the 80's. Almost every pro athlete in most sports was using in one form or the other. Most of the entertainers. Some politicians, even some evangelist. The 80's was the decade of Cocaine.
Gonzalez was always a bum
False. He was a great am and chose not to develop or condition himself as a pro.
Bert Cooper, a waste of power