View Full Version : Fighting styles from the 30's vs Now!


MaxBaer
02-26-2012, 02:46 AM
I am a big fan of some of the fighters of the 30's and 40's like Max Baer, Braddock, Louis, Robinson etc. It seems to me though except for some of the Black fighters like Louis and Robinson these guys had very awkward and robotic movements. Defense seemed very poor compared to today's standards. Wondering why this is so? When did the style of boxing change and how did it change? Does anyone know?

nomadman
02-26-2012, 08:51 AM
A couple of observations:

- Fighters from the thirties seemed to circle in a much tighter radius than today's fighters. Almost like they were in orbit around each other.

- The general stance seemed a bit lower, with the fighter more crouched over.

- Fighters fought on the inside a lot more without clinching. It was not unusual to see them lock horns and work away without either fighter trying to spoil the action.

- Top fighters tended to throw more looping haymaker style shots from the outside as opposed to straight shots.

Not saying any of the above is better or worse than today, just my observations.

ellobo
02-26-2012, 12:26 PM
I am a big fan of some of the fighters of the 30's and 40's like Max Baer, Braddock, Louis, Robinson etc. It seems to me though except for some of the Black fighters like Louis and Robinson these guys had very awkward and robotic movements. Defense seemed very poor compared to today's standards. Wondering why this is so? When did the style of boxing change and how did it change? Does anyone know?

Are you implying that you enjoy watching this older style more as well?

Barn
02-26-2012, 12:53 PM
I honestly think around the Tunney and Louis time period boxing changed quite a bit and it hasn't changed much since then.

Barn
02-26-2012, 12:56 PM
A couple of observations:

- Fighters from the thirties seemed to circle in a much tighter radius than today's fighters. Almost like they were in orbit around each other.

- The general stance seemed a bit lower, with the fighter more crouched over.

- Fighters fought on the inside a lot more without clinching. It was not unusual to see them lock horns and work away without either fighter trying to spoil the action.

- Top fighters tended to throw more looping haymaker style shots from the outside as opposed to straight shots.

Not saying any of the above is better or worse than today, just my observations.
Those are good observations, I'd add as well there was a lot of jumping movements, either backward for defence or leaping punches involved during the 30's. Not so much by the top fighters though.

nomadman
02-26-2012, 03:10 PM
Those are good observations, I'd add as well there was a lot of jumping movements, either backward for defence or leaping punches involved during the 30's. Not so much by the top fighters though.

I dunno, it seems like the other way round to me. Guys nowadays can be too jittery, they leap back after getting hit with anything, even jabs, instead of standing their ground. Holyfield more or less made an art of the bouncing stance, but there seems like quite a lot of useless foot movement involved with a lot of heavies today. It gets them out of danger, but it wastes energy and leaves them no room for counter shots. Look at someone like Huck from last night. In the opening rounds he was overreacting to everything Povetkin threw and he didn't really need to. Povetkin to a degree as well.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dXS5ptpTCug" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Compare that to Louis vs Baer where both fighters have their feet planted to the canvas most of the bout, and hardly ever move out of each other's range of punching.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/C5zkE4BkMgg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Of course there are exceptions. Galento leapt in with everything and was just generally a bit of a wild man. Wlad on the other hand plants his feet very much like an old school guy, maintaining his distance as much as possible. On the whole though, I think the above two examples are representative of many of the fighters from their respective time periods.

Barn
02-26-2012, 03:16 PM
I dunno, it seems like the other way round to me. Guys nowadays can be too jittery, they leap back after getting hit with anything, even jabs, instead of standing their ground. Holyfield more or less made an art of the bouncing stance, but there seems like quite a lot of useless foot movement involved with a lot of heavies today. It gets them out of danger, but it wastes energy and leaves them no room for counter shots. Look at someone like Huck from last night. In the opening rounds he was overreacting to everything Povetkin threw and he didn't really need to. Povetkin to a degree as well.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dXS5ptpTCug" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Compare that to Louis vs Baer where both fighters have their feet planted to the canvas most of the bout, and hardly ever move out of each other's range of punching.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/C5zkE4BkMgg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Of course there are exceptions. Galento leapt in with everything and was just generally a bit of a wild man. Wlad on the other hand plants his feet very much like an old school guy, maintaining his distance as much as possible. On the whole though, I think the above two examples are representative of many of the fighters from their respective time periods.
Huck is absolutely hucking terrible though.

I guess it is a two way street. I think I got caught up more with the 10's and 20's in the jumping thing.

nomadman
02-26-2012, 05:05 PM
Huck is absolutely hucking terrible though.

I guess it is a two way street. I think I got caught up more with the 10's and 20's in the jumping thing.

I picked that fight because it was recent, but it's not like Huck is the only one that does it. Adamek, Povetkin, most obviously Holyfield, and there are plenty more examples in the lower weights as well. It almost seems as if most modern fighters are on the end of a bungee cord tied about both their wastes. Get hit, bounce away, get drawn back again. I'm not really sure when this started to happen. I can't recall too many heavies from before the nineties doing it, skipping away from shots sure, but not the weird bungee cord thing after they get hit.

Scott9945
02-26-2012, 09:54 PM
The quality of film back then doesn't always flatter the fighters. You'd probably be more impressed if you were watching it in HD. Of course that is just speculation.

nomadman
02-27-2012, 06:53 PM
The quality of film back then doesn't always flatter the fighters. You'd probably be more impressed if you were watching it in HD. Of course that is just speculation.

Someone posted a HD video highlight of Robinson vs Basilio. It did indeed make a lot of difference to the viewing experience. I'll see if I can find it.

EDIT: here it is

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/Ql2jscsVcjE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

them_apples
02-27-2012, 09:51 PM
not knocking Ali, but he introduced a lot of Slap/whip hookers. In all honestly its a faster punch but it's wider arch kind of defeats the purpose. Before then Everyone threw with body weight. By slap hook I might turn the body a fraction before the punch as opposed to the same time, giving that whip effect.

I know around during the 70's certain Boxers started developing that "smooth" style of punching as well. Frazier, very "smooth" in the shoulders, if he missed it was rather his arm that went whipping past not his body stumbling like Dempsey or someone like Max Baer. I'm not really sure whats a harder shot. It looks like the old-oldschool type of punch is sort of impractical and energy wasting though.

Then as the 90's hit the scene, Boxers sort of combined both. Chavez, Whitaker etc very clean punchers.

Now a day we have a mixture of both. Mayweather throws those slapping left hooks, Cotto is a very clean puncher. Margarito throws bombs straight old school but they look very effortless and lobbed which I think helps with his whole "12 round fighter" game plan.

I think realistically some of these punching styles had pros and cons but in the newer era boxers chose the safe route. Like Frazier might have been able to dig and do a lot of damage, but you won't see anyone these days willing to mix it up like that in order to land those types of shots.

Also I'd like to point out so many boxers these days can't seem to shake the amateur style. It doesn't always seem like a fight anymore. Amir Khan looks straight out of the Am's.

overall, from about the 70's to the current day, A whole lot hasn't changed.

them_apples
02-27-2012, 09:55 PM
I dunno, it seems like the other way round to me. Guys nowadays can be too jittery, they leap back after getting hit with anything, even jabs, instead of standing their ground. Holyfield more or less made an art of the bouncing stance, but there seems like quite a lot of useless foot movement involved with a lot of heavies today. It gets them out of danger, but it wastes energy and leaves them no room for counter shots. Look at someone like Huck from last night. In the opening rounds he was overreacting to everything Povetkin threw and he didn't really need to. Povetkin to a degree as well.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/dXS5ptpTCug" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Compare that to Louis vs Baer where both fighters have their feet planted to the canvas most of the bout, and hardly ever move out of each other's range of punching.

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/C5zkE4BkMgg" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Of course there are exceptions. Galento leapt in with everything and was just generally a bit of a wild man. Wlad on the other hand plants his feet very much like an old school guy, maintaining his distance as much as possible. On the whole though, I think the above two examples are representative of many of the fighters from their respective time periods.

so in other words they fought back then. By being a good fighter you got a shot. Now a days if you lose you know you won't even get a shot.