The Quality of Marciano's Opponents

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by catchwtboxing, Apr 13, 2024.

  1. Pedro_El_Chef

    Pedro_El_Chef Active Member Full Member

    Mar 29, 2023
    John Henry was a past prime LHW who was managing to hold on to his crown while beating some notable heavyweights to get a shot at the champion, sounds familiar.
    Henry was a 25 year old with partial blindness on one eye, Moore was 41, both were managing to overcome opposition despite their handicaps.
    Pastor beat Bivins who kayoed Moore, to put things into perspective.
    Conn kayoed Pastor.
    Moore at his best is on par with both, at 41, he finds himself equal to Henry Lewis which isn't a bad spot at all.
  2. Jakub79

    Jakub79 Member Full Member

    Mar 3, 2024
    these are strange arguments. The fact that Moore gained 16 pounds between one fight and the next does not mean that sometimes he was a real LHW and sometimes a real HW, he was just a fighter with an unstable weight. The fact that he was able to be LHW again later on without any problems also proves this.
    I don't agree that Charles, Walcott or Moore were anything special. They were great names at the right time. In HW, none of them was a great fighter at the time of the fight with Marciano, but a big name that grew mainly during fights in LHW. It's not too difficult to understand. I accept the argument that, for example, Moore in HW won twice against Vadez (for me he could do it another two), defeated Baker and Slade, I still claim that this does not give him the legitimacy to call him an outstanding HW, especially at the age of 42. In fact, none of Marciano's rivals, at least at the time of the fight with him, was in my opinion better than Norton or Cooney. They had bigger names, that's all. But sportingly, Holmes's victories are much better.
    swagdelfadeel and Fireman Fred like this.
  3. Shay Sonya

    Shay Sonya The REAL Wonder Woman! Full Member

    Aug 15, 2021
    If we need an asterisk next to Marciano's name on that list I can think of a lot more Lineal Heavyweight Champions who need asterisks, some more than Marciano. But then that could get confusing. Sooo, we could use different symbols for different Heavyweight Champions, maybe: ~`!@#$%^&()_-+=:;"'<,.?/ I did not use the * because we already used that one for Rocky. I was just going down the list in my head, but I ran out of keyboard symbols and odd keys before I ran out of Champions who need a special symbol of some kind. RATS!

    Back to the drawing board.
  4. Ney

    Ney Well-Known Member Full Member

    Feb 13, 2024
    “…I was an old man fighting young opponents. He was a young man fighting old opponents.” - Holmes on Marciano.

    Yes well you were a 6’3” fella with an 81” reach & he was a 5’10” fella with a 67” reach, so swings & roundabouts, as they say Champ.
    thistle likes this.
  5. Glass City Cobra

    Glass City Cobra H2H Burger King Full Member

    Jan 6, 2017
    You literally did not address a single thing I wrote. You accused me of having double standards, didn't elaborate, then ignored every single point I brought up. Twice.

    So you're not just a coward, but a liar as well. Everyone can see the posts. :facepalm:
    swagdelfadeel likes this.
  6. Jakub79

    Jakub79 Member Full Member

    Mar 3, 2024
    don't know if I understood correctly, but could you explain to me what height and reach have to do with Holmes and Marciano?
  7. janitor

    janitor VIP Member Full Member

    Feb 15, 2006
    I agree with the op.

    You can say what you want about the era, but you can't really ask him to do much more with it.
  8. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    You can't fault Rocky's reign much. He fought what there was to fight pretty much.

    You can argue that it was an era in transition, though, and therefore not the best.
    swagdelfadeel, catchwtboxing and Ney like this.
  9. Drew101

    Drew101 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Pastor split a couple of fights with Moore; Moore avenged the loss to Bivins on multiple occasions, by stoppage. I don't see the '55 iteration of Moore losing to the likes of Nathan Mann.

    Conn kayoed Pastor in his best performance at heavyweight. Gave Joe Louis a heck of a fight the first time around and stank out the joint in the rematch. Not that much to go on, in terms of determining worth at heavyweight.

    Lewis was done by the time he got to JL. Moore wasn't done and would go on to register several more title defenses at LH and numerous wins at heavyweight. Hell, he's probably one of two or three best guys that pre-championship Ali faced on his way to the belt. JHL was an underrated LH champ, sure. Moore, at the stage, was clearly better.
  10. HistoryZero26

    HistoryZero26 Active Member Full Member

    Jan 6, 2024
    I don't like rankings but even if I did they are not applicable here. The critique of Marciano is his opponents were small and/or old. If his era was dominated by LHWs you flashing the rankings isn't going to challenge that critique. When people criticize Marcianos SOS they aren't saying his opponents weren't great boxers they are saying they are small for HW and those victories do not indicate Rocky would have done well in other eras.
    Hotep Kemba and Jakub79 like this.
  11. Pedro_El_Chef

    Pedro_El_Chef Active Member Full Member

    Mar 29, 2023
    Moore avenged his loss on a Bivins who had already lost to Walcott, Charles and Lee Q Murray multiple times.
    There's nothing wrong with a loss to a top 5 ranked guy like Nathan Mann. He was blasted out by the big punchers like B. Baer and Galento but his ducking swarming style was a good foil for a boxer like Pastor. Styles make fights.

    Conn also knocked out Gunnar Burland who'd be rated as high as no.3 and beat Lee Savold and Buddy Knox on top of that. Nevermind that Conn was at his absolute prime and went 13 rounds with a 27 year old Louis and being ahead on the scorecards at the time of the stoppage.
    41 Moore would be punching at the dust trail Conn would leave behind as he moved around the ring. Way too fast for the old timer.

    Lewis had beaten his top challenger Al Gainer 3 months before the Louis fight. He had beaten 52-2 Jimmy Adamick just before. In the previous year before his fight with Louis he beat Johnny Risko, Patsy Perroni and Al Ettore.
    Half blind or not the man could clearly still fight.
    The key difference is Moore went up to fight Marciano and looked very impressive doing so, Lewis went up to fight JL and was laid flat in a single round, hard to make a comeback after that.
    41 Moore does not do any better against the best of Louis, having slowed reflexes and relying on mechanical motions is the last thing you want when Louis is unloading combinations at your face and torso. Old men could never last 4 with Louis and "old" in this case were 36 and 34 year olds, not 40+ guys.
  12. Drew101

    Drew101 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    * I think the version of Bivens who lost to Lem Franklin and Tony Musto going into the first Pastor fight wasn't any better than the version that Moore faced, tbh. And, regarding Mann, in terms of relative worth I don't think he's any more relevant than Bob Baker or Clarence Henry were. The fact remains, Pastor still lost to another contender; and with the exception of Johnson, Moore didn't lose to similar class of opponent faced for a period of five years prior to facing Rocky. Edge: Moore for me.

    * Conn was faster than any version of Moore, but Moore was able to track down the slick boxing, faster Johnson on multiple occasions. If you want to edge that to Conn, that's fair. But Moore faced a similar class of opponent for longer, and registered more wins over a similar clas of heavyweight during his run at the weight.
  13. Drew101

    Drew101 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    Conney was big and hard punching, but he himself had made his name facing past prime former contenders. Really, only Young had anything left when he faced Gerry.

    The Norton win is impressive and it's a great fight; but Norton was coming off a debatable win over Young and within a year was stopped by Shavers and could easily have been called out against LeDoux.

    I think Moore, at that point, was more proven than Cooney and had more in the tank than Norton.

    As for the weight, Moore weighed whatever the hell he felt like weighing in the mid 1950's but by and large he still weighed more than the LH limit. Therefore, he was a heavyweight. And, while you can criticize the quality of his opposition, he still defeated several top five contenders at the weight, including the #1 Valdes, prior to meeting Marciano. Therefore, he was the leading heavyweight contender of that era. There really was no other guy that could have served as Marciano's signature opponent in that era.
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  14. Pedro_El_Chef

    Pedro_El_Chef Active Member Full Member

    Mar 29, 2023
    That could very well be argued, though the Pastor that beat and lost to Bivins was already faded and Moore's victories over a still good Bivins came 8 years years before his fight with Marciano.

    Clarence and Baker were ranked for a longer time than Mann though Mann was fighting in a more competitive, pre war division filled with young talent such as Nova, Farr, Pastor, Conn, the Baers and more. This was the division Pastor himself had to fight in and his resume at Heavyweight is simply better than Moore's as he holds wins over Toles, Thompson, Bivins, Franklin, Ramage etc.

    Moore has the better record overall no doubt, the problem is that 1941 Conn was at the absolute peak of his athleticism at 23, while Moore was 41, and I just can't overlook that. That's the main criticism against Marciano of course, not so much the quality but the age of those guys.
    I'm sure a prime Charles, Moore and Walcott would be no. 1 contenders in every era.
  15. Dempsey1238

    Dempsey1238 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 10, 2005
    People knock the Rock for fighting old guys, but what would happen had Marciano in 1955 decided he take on Valdes and not Moore??? Marciano pounds his way to a 9 or ten round ko over Valdes and retire. How would people view it?? That he beat a big prime heavyweight, or he duck Moore??? It really was not Marciano's fault that these old guys were killing it in the rankings.