When the gods want to destroy a great fighter, they first give them the title!!

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by janitor, Sep 30, 2019.


  1. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    It is a recurring theme throughout history, that a brilliant fighter loses the plot, once they gain their personal Everest!

    Perhaps the greatest fighters, are simply the few that can remain consistent, long after they reach the summit?

    Discuss.
     
  2. George Crowcroft

    George Crowcroft The Cincinnati Cobra Full Member

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    Interesting thread, Any examples?

    I'm thinking Terry McGovern.
     
  3. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Most of them to be honest!

    For every fighter that achieved longevity at the highest level, there are three who lost the plot fairly quickly, once they hit their personal summit!
    Not sure about that one.

    He seems to have had a bully boy mentality, and eventually somebody stood up to him, and played him at his own game.

    That aside, he did implode very quickly, once he was champion in two weight classes!
     
  4. Sting like a bean

    Sting like a bean Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Dempsey and Tyson come to mind. Wlad, Marciano, Chavez, Robinson, Holmes and Joe Louis are obvious counterexamples. Jack Johnson and Marvin Hagler didn’t really get their shot till relatively late but managed their success okay.

    The fact that I’m thinking of more exceptions than affirmations says more about the limits of my knowledge than the rule itself.
     
  5. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Bebop Boxer Full Member

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    Chan Hee Park self destructed after defeating Canto.

    Harada ate himself out of Flyweight, though I thought he deserved the second Kingpetch bout.

    An interesting counter to your statement is Joe Brown. He had a spotty record till he won the LW title, then he had a pretty spotless run till losing close to Ortiz.
     
  6. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Bebop Boxer Full Member

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    I think McGovern just became shot from so many brutal bouts and really pushing his limits over and over again. He also had mental illness.
     
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  7. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I would suggest that Johnson and Dempsey were prime examples of this, but that they put off the inevitable by avoiding a couple of key fighters, and because they were so damn good!
     
  8. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    I wouldnt include Johnson in there. He had circumstances that had nothing to do with boxing altering his career.
     
  9. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Absolutely, but he was turning up to title fights overweight and hung over, long before that!

    Would he have got away with that against a hungry Sam Langford?
     
  10. Bummy Davis

    Bummy Davis Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Duran when he came in somewhat out of condition vs DeJesus

    Frazier after FOTC

    Hagler didn't lose but was very disappointing vs blown up 135 lb Duran
     
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  11. Sting like a bean

    Sting like a bean Well-Known Member Full Member

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    What fighters did you have in mind in Johnson’s case? Langford and McVey?
     
  12. Roughhouse

    Roughhouse Member Full Member

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    On a more modern level, how about Matthew Hilton?
     
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  13. Bokaj

    Bokaj Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Don't know how usual that is actually. Probably mostly used as an excuse.

    Dempsey, LaMotta, Robinson, Frazier and Ali clearly lost a bit of dedication, but not the plot. Tyson is said to have lost the plot after Spinks, but went ko 5, ko 1, L10, ko 1, ko 1, ko 6, w12 between then and prison, so... Pryor went downhill pretty quickly, that's true. But really I can't come to think of too many.
     
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  14. Jel

    Jel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I like the thread idea but I've got to say I'm confused by some of the examples being mentioned.

    Duran in the first fight against DeJesus was a non-title shot which was an abberation. He retained his focus throughout the 70s, despite his out of the ring lifestyle. In the ring, he was a killer.

    Frazier was already world champion by the time he met Ali in 71. He'd effectively been world champ for the previous 3 years but unified in 70. If he'd lost focus permanently after picking up the title, I'd understand his name being mentioned but then we wouldn't be talking about him as an all-time great.

    And Marvin Hagler being mentioned at all is insane. His performance against Duran was a rare off night in an otherwise spotless title reign - one of the greatest in history in fact! It was his exceptional focus after winning the title that marks out his reign. It wasn't until the Hearns fight that he reached his goal and then started to lose focus. But for the first 5 years and 11 defenses, he was as hungry as he was before winning the title.

    I'd say Leon Spinks is a prime example of a fighter who lost all his hunger and focus after winning the title. Too much, too soon. He paid a heavy price for that, unfortunately.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2019
  15. Jel

    Jel Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I do think we often underplay longevity in title reigns here. Obviously, quality of opposition plays a big part and there are fighters who either sat on their title after they won it or feasted on easy defenses. But to retain the focus against even average opposition after winning a world title is (I would imagine) harder than maintaining it when you're a contender. Circumstances play a part so it's not a hard and fast rule, but that's my view.
     


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