The Best of the Rest: 160lbs Tier II Tournie - Last 16 Fight 5: Michael Nunn SD15 Gene Fullmer

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by McGrain, Aug 31, 2021.

Who will win?

Poll closed Sep 3, 2021.
  1. Fulllmer T/KO

    21.7%
  2. Fullmer Points

    26.1%
  3. Nunn Points

    34.8%
  4. Nunn T/KO

    17.4%
  1. McGrain

    McGrain Diamond Dog Staff Member

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    What i've done is i've lifted top tiers out of my top fifty at the poundage and organised them into a seeded tournament to uncover "the best of the rest" at the poundage, with you, the denizens of the world's greatest boxing history forum, casting the deciding vote. The difference between this middleweight tournament and the equivalent at 175lbs is that I've left ALL the guys with no footage in this time. I understand that makes things difficult and for some, frustrating but there are just far too many excellent and intriguing fighters from middleweight history. I understand this makes making a pick very hard, but i hope you'll still place a vote and make a post because obviously without your input the whole thing becomes meaningless.

    Pick your man! Write however many details you like or don't in a post below. But maybe try to post, to keep things moving a little bit. You have three days.

    And let's be nice. No reason for disagreeing over total fantasies after all!

    15 Rounds, 1970s rules and ref. 10 points must. I'll only vote where there's a tie.

    GENE FULLMER (55-6-3)
    Slate-faced and bull-necked, Fullmer boxed with a tactical indifference to even the hardest of punches but such was his durability and determination that he became one of the four men to hold the middleweight title in the year of 1957. A cynic might argue that Fullmer, like Carmen Basilio, only picked up the title because of the inconsistencies of the late incarnation of Sugar Ray Robinson but Robinson remains Robinson and in slogging his way to the middleweight title, Fullmer became one of the definitive middleweight battletanks. Without the layered counter-punching abilities of someone like **** Tiger or the full-blown work-rate of Jake LaMotta, Fullmer had to rely on durability and heart to perhaps an even greater degree than those two immovable legends.

    Perched perfectly between Robinson and another great champion, **** Tiger, no sooner had he seen of the first then he had to make war with the second – this was a contest he could not win as even his prestigious strength saw him out-matched by the monstrous Nigerian, who out-muscled and bulled the previously impervious Utah man. Still, Fullmer has a truly impressive ledger and took on and defeated multiple top five contenders, including Rocky Castellani, Ralph Jones, Spider Webb, Charles Humez and the superb Carmen Basilio, who he twice stopped in brutal encounters. He was unlucky not to get the nod over the superb Joey Giardello when they met in 1960, ten of eleven ringside reporters favouring Fullmer according to The Milwaukee Sentinel, but overall, Fullmer got far more out of his career than a fighter with his limitations had any business achieving. He was a hard night’s work for any man who ever weighed 160lbs.


    MICHAEL NUNN (58-4)

    Michael Nunn was huge, fast, powerful and a southpaw, an absolutely terrifying mix of attributes that made him one of the most feared fighters on the planet in the late 1980s.

    Nursed a little through his early years as a professional, decent wins over unranked fighters like Darnell Knox and Willie Harris seemed perhaps to have left him unprepared for his first ranked opponent, strap holder Frank Tate, a fighter who held two victories over Nunn in the amateurs and who was 23-0 as a professional. Watching the fight now, one can see what it was that Tate set out to do, namely nail down a flashy, elusive opponent with textbook boxing and patient pressure, but he was completely outclassed. Nunn had such speed and accuracy that he could find punches that Tate was not equipped to deal with, reaching all the way across himself with a trailing left to land a power-punch below Tate’s right elbow after blasting him with a more traditional southpaw jab. Meanwhile Tate’s own punches, for the most part, were lost to the wind as Nunn ditched them with a reaction’s based defence that left Tate clawing at the air. The left-hand Nunn used to fold Tate to the canvas at the end of the eighth looked almost incidental to the general sea of leather Nunn crashed down on Tate’s shore but it heralded the end in round nine among a tsunami of hooks that forced referee Mills Lane to intervene.

    Nunn had taken his amateur style and fused it to the cornerstones of a professional fighter, throwing with bad intentions and boxing with a heart-fuelled determination to dominate his opponent. It was a heady combination and his victory over Tate heralded four years of fearsome middleweight tyranny that included a three year reign as the lineal middleweight champion. This most important of titles was sealed after his brutal retirement of the old warhorse Juan Domingo Roldan with the most astonishing knockout of 1989, his first round dispatch of Sumbu Kalambay.

    Kalambay was supposed to be a step up for Nunn, a class apart from what had gone before. Nunn destroyed him with a single punch, and more impressive, a single punch of exactly the type that Kalambay excelled in throwing, a straight thrown against an opponent who had been manoeuvred directly across him. Kalambay victim Iran Barkley was up next, and he provided his usual level of stubborn resistance, even taking a draw on one of the official scorecards (and mine), Nunn winning by a narrow margin from an aggressive opponent. Uncertainty regarding Nunn’s fighting qualities, rampant before his destruction of Kalambay, re-emerged. These were deepened still further by a desperately close majority decision win over Marlon Starling, the wonderful welterweight champion. Nunn, bigger than most of his middleweight opposition, held an almost comical size advantage over Starling but the welterweight king repeatedly found his larger opponent with lead right-hands. Nunn reclaimed some ground overwhelming another former welterweight champion, Don Curry, in ten, but then a menacing and full-sized middleweight stepped out of the shadow and knocked him catastrophically out; with that the reign of James Toney began.
     
  2. McGrain

    McGrain Diamond Dog Staff Member

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    This content is protected


    This content is protected
     
  3. AwardedSteak863

    AwardedSteak863 Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Speed and range of Nunn is just too much for Gene to overcome.
     
  4. FartWristedBum

    FartWristedBum I walk this Earth like a bum Full Member

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    Perhaps falling into the obvious here but I think the slicker Nunn takes this by rtd/PTS win, prime for prime. Fulmer could wear him down over 15 but probably not.
     
  5. KeedCubano

    KeedCubano Read my posts in a Jamaican accent Full Member

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    Nunn's wily but Gene's a horrible match up for him. If he thought Barkley was rough, he's in for a proper hard night here.
     
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  6. robert ungurean

    robert ungurean Богдан Full Member

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    Fullmer walks him down and stops him
     
    Jel likes this.
  7. Jel

    Jel Reserving the right to be inconsistent Full Member

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    That version of Nunn probably beats that version of Fullmer!
     
  8. Jel

    Jel Reserving the right to be inconsistent Full Member

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    I see this going one of two ways:
    Fullmer works Nunn on the inside and wears him down before scoring a late rounds TKO or Nunn uses his physical advantages in height, reach and speed to take a points decision.

    While my head is leaning towards the latter, two things give me pause about Nunn winning this:
    1. He may never have been quite as good as he appeared to be against Frank Tate and Sumbu Kalambay - particularly the latter fight which was one of the freak results of the 90s.
    2. If a guy like Iran Barkley could give him trouble and he could run out of steam so suddenly and spectacularly against James Toney then I figure Fullmer can find a way.

    So I'm picking Gene by late rounds TKO.
     
  9. catchwtboxing

    catchwtboxing Boxing Junkie banned Full Member

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    To my Nunn fairly easily, although he was so tentative, that it would be closer than it had to be.
     
  10. Fergy

    Fergy Walking Dead Full Member

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    Yep. This.
     
  11. AwardedSteak863

    AwardedSteak863 Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Not sure what you getting at. I have seen Nunn fight plenty of times where he dictated where the exchanges took place. Fullmer as great as he was has only one place that he can operate from and the is inside against Nunn. He will take a beating to get there and likely won't be able to keep him there for 3 minutes of every round. Speed, range, footwork, power, height all favor Nunn. That is a lot for the legendary toughness of Fulmer to overcome.
     
  12. KeedCubano

    KeedCubano Read my posts in a Jamaican accent Full Member

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    He consistently got past the speed, power and height of Robinson. What makes you think Nunn is good enough to better that?
     
  13. AwardedSteak863

    AwardedSteak863 Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Ray was 5'11 with a 72 inch reach. Nunn was 6'1 with a 77 inch reach. Ray was not in his prime at all when he fought Fullmer at Middleweight. He was at his best at WW over a decade earlier. Nunn was absolutely prime at 160.

    You don't think a five inch reach difference between Robinson and Nunn is significant? How about a nearly 15 year age gap? Robinson was in his mid 30's and had well over 150 fights by the time he fought Fullmer.
     
  14. KeedCubano

    KeedCubano Read my posts in a Jamaican accent Full Member

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    Robinson, even by then, was still more skilled, and quicker than Nunn. His power was more of a deterrent than anything Nunn has, and his jab was far better than Nunn's. Fullmer pressed and pressed Robinson even after suffering a horrid KO.

    Two inches doesn't make a big difference when a major part of a fighter's game is making himself smaller. Iran Barkley's messy and pressure gave Nunn a handful. Fullmer's would too.
     
  15. AwardedSteak863

    AwardedSteak863 Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I disagree and we can just leave it at that. Ray is no doubt the greatest fighter ever but at 35 and two weight classes over his natural weight, he was without question NOT PRIME.
     
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