Why do we always pick historical fighters over current ones?

Discussion in 'British Boxing Forum' started by Infern0121, Apr 14, 2018.

  1. SambaKing

    SambaKing Member booted Full Member

    Feb 17, 2017
    HWs today are in better shape? Have you seen the fight of the century or the thrilla in Manila in the blistering heat? Incredible endurance that no heavyweight today could even remotely come close to. The thrilla in Manila was one of the greatest feats I've ever seen. Then you have AJ gassing today in half the temperature after doing a 5 punch combo.

    Are today's heavyweight's bigger? Yes, but please, does that matter so much when they are less skilled & have less stamina. Larry Holmes would play tig with AJ's face until the Watford man gases & gets stopped. Tyson would destroy Joshua & Wilder too. May I add, I'm not as harsh on AJ as most people here but to me this is obvious.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  2. destruction

    destruction Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Mar 26, 2009
    Thrilla in Manilla.
    Both Ali and Frazier are CWs by todays standards. We saw Usyk, Gassiev, Dorticos and Breidis all at CW show just as much punch output.
    When you are comparing CWs to HWs of course there is a higher punch output at CW. It doesnt prove they are in better condition.
    AJ is a super HW in height and build, so of course he throws fewer punches. Thats simple biology. Same with Wlad, in fantastic shape all his career.

    A good big un always beats a good small un. Thats a rule that always holds. Look at Wlad Klitschkos reign- 10 years as undisputed and undefeated HW champion of the world, something Ali or Frazier never achieved.

    Lewis, Vitali Klitschko both beat any fighter you care to name from the so called golden era, which I refer to as the BS era. So much BS has been written about how unbeatable a man is who lost 5 times and lost at least 4 times on corrupt judges scorecards. Thats hardly elite son, hardly. None of them other than Ali knew how to throw a straight shot. Terrible technically.

    Boxing has come a LONG LONG way since the 70s.
  3. big moose

    big moose Active Member Full Member

    May 16, 2010
    "Why do we always pick historical fighters over current ones?"

    Personally, I think the premise of the question is false. There are many people, perhaps more, who think the opposite - would pick AJ ahead of Ali, wear their Floyd TBE hats with pride.

    I think there are two biases / heuristics at play. One is nostalgia, combining a pining for ones own youth, when you were younger and more hopeful, with a love of the fighters of that time. Likewise, how many of us have musical tastes anchored at the time they were around 18-25 years old?

    Also, there is the habit people have of comparing the best of a period of decades with the state of a division at this very instant. Misguidedly expecting the current Top 10, with partway completed careers, to compare with, say, an all-time Top 10 from every fighter from an extended period (30 years in some of the posts above).

    As for the fluffers in TBE beanies, that's probably just "recency bias": whatever happened lately, with still-vivid memories is subconsciously accorded greatest significance. Plus, I suspect a good dose of ignorance about the history of boxing, too lazy to read / watch the background material.
    Momus likes this.
  4. Farmboxer

    Farmboxer Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jul 19, 2004
  5. Momus

    Momus Well-Known Member Full Member

    Nov 27, 2010
    It's a really good point. People tend to compare a current snapshot with a period in history. For any particular date in history a division will be in a state of flux, with fighters at different stages of their careers and moving in different directions. If you compile a decade together, there's a tendency to take all fighters at their peak form.

    Taking 90’s heavies as an example, the roll call includes Lewis, Tyson, Holyfield, bowe, ruddock, Moorer, McCall, mercer, Morrison, foreman, Holmes, tua, tucker, etc etc. It looks like a stacked division if you pretend that they were all active and in form at the same time.

    In reality though, slap bang in the middle of this golden era the three major champions were Bruno, seldon and Botha, which is a weaker collection than anything before or since. At the brief time bowe was in his prime, mercer was losing to Jesse ferguson.
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  6. Twentyman

    Twentyman Ronald Macintosh‘s thumb Full Member

    Apr 20, 2016
    Apparently, when asked to remember poignant sporting moments in your sport of choosing, in this case boxing, we tend to reminisce fondly about events between the ages of 10-30. Our memories filter out the trash because quite simply it’s not worth remembering, and pick out the good bits like a highlight reel in our heads. In the modern day (as in right now) we are all too aware of all the tin cans who are operating in boxing today.

    In 20-30’s years time, Anthony Joshua will be remembered as a great, whilst we’ll forget about the Dave Allen’s & the Sam Eggington’s (No disrespect meant to them).

    It’s a mix of declinism, and cognitive bias.
    boranbkk and Scissors like this.
  7. N17

    N17 Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Feb 16, 2013
    I think it's because we can look at past fighters careers in full, they had huge fights, their "legacy" fights and the fighters today haven't finished yet.

    You just don't know how a career is going to finish, for example RJJ, if RJJ retired after beating Ruiz for the WBA Heavyweight World title do you believe he'd be looked at differently to he is now after all those KO defeats?
    boranbkk likes this.
  8. lencoreastside

    lencoreastside Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Declinism & cognitive bias! For crying out loud 20! You can't be coming on here and using that kind of language! :) :)
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  9. PaddyGarcia

    PaddyGarcia Paul Smith's Highlight Reel Full Member

    Feb 13, 2014
    Well, it really depends on who is being compared to who. Older fighters have had their legacy put into context with time, whereas contemporary fighters haven't had that luxury. So that is something which can often cause us to pick the older fighter; we know what they're capable of. As stated above, perspective is key. Perspective needs time to become useful.

    But it's true, a lot of guys do pick the older or more obscure name just to sound more intellectual.
    CutThroatFade and boranbkk like this.
  10. Twentyman

    Twentyman Ronald Macintosh‘s thumb Full Member

    Apr 20, 2016
    I’ve been doing a part-time psychology degree online for last few years. I was having a bit of a crisis (marriage nearly on rocks+career crossroads) a few years ago and now the dust as settled and i’m happy, yet i’m still lumped with doing this course. 9K later, I’ve finally had the opportunity to put it to good use on this thread haha! It’d have been cheaper splitting up!

  11. RoughD

    RoughD Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jun 29, 2006
  12. Devon Dog

    Devon Dog Member Full Member

    Dec 29, 2017
    My favorite fighter was Nigel Benn he had his flaws ( Could of boxed when he slugged stuff like that) Later on he told about his personal life I forget his flaws and his personal life and only remember Benns best bits

    So the past will always out weigh the present as we rewrite the past in our minds
    ryanm8655 likes this.
  13. jonny v

    jonny v Well-Known Member Full Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    I'm totally the opposite. I remember the cowdells and the sibsons and the daho's The so called nearly men. And mostly very underrated Eggington for me (and if you talk to him) is considered an over achiever already . All these fellas give 110% they never have any favours or leg ups and that deserves remembering.
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  14. jonny v

    jonny v Well-Known Member Full Member

    Apr 24, 2010
    Also imagine the fighters of yesterday with today's modern diet and methods etc. These blokes trained in hob nailed boots on a diet of meat n spuds. Their stamina was far superior because they trained harder (not the smarter fad of today's new wave training methods) they boxed 15+rounds. Fought on with savage injuries. We might think that modern day "men" are bigger and therefore more superior but believe me we'd all melt in the trenches of ww1 and be crying like babies if we had to go hungry on a diet of coal dust and smog. We are nowhere near as tough as humans and we grow weaker every decade
  15. On The Money

    On The Money Dangerous Journeyman Full Member

    Apr 4, 2012
    Just to go back to the op, Pov is competitive in any era. That's not to say he's the champion but he certainly gives whoever is champion a hard fight.

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