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#11
Old 03-24-2010, 08:08 PM
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Anyone know how many top-15 IN-PRIME Heavyweights that Mike Tyson, Vitali Klitschko, and Wlad Klitschko have fought combined.....oh that's right: 0

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#12
Old 03-25-2010, 04:19 AM
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With the exception of Walcott, I wouldn't put any of the guys he beat in my top 15..
As Poet rightly points out, the same can be said for Tyson, the Klits and it's debatable to add Larry Holmes to that list as well..

Did Joe Louis duck anyone?..

I'd say, he's the only HW champ in history to litrerally clean out the top 20, as well as having time to fit in a few fringe contenders too.. A TRUE champion too, one who fought all colours and creeds.. Out of 25 defenses, only Walcott, Arturo Goodoy and Tommy Farr (note: 1 black, 1 white, 1 hispanic) were able to last the distance, while the other 22 were KO'd in a way they'd never been KO'd before..

An argument can be made that it was a weak era, but was Holmes anywhere near as brutally dominant as Louis?.. Scott Frank, Scott Le Deux, Tex Cobb, Leroy Jones can all easily be compared to Tony Galento, Johnny Paycheck, Nathan Mann and Gus Dorazio, in what people often refer to as Louis's bum of the month.. The above four could only manage 25 minutes between them, where as Holmes chewed on his fodder for 30 odd rounds.. I wouldn't describe any of them as bums either, they were all fringe contenders with respectable records..

Louis set about his opponents in a cold, predatory and emotionless way.. A unique android style fear factor, that had never been seen before.. Schmeling, Carnera, Braddock, Lewis and both Baer's, wern't just beaten, they were absolutely destroyed.. Look at the way he was after losing to Schmeling, when you compare it against the way Tyson was after losing to Douglas.. Both defeats were quite similar, but Louis came back to be a much greater fighter..
Speaking of Max and Buddy Baer, had it not been for Louis, they may have been the Klitschko's of their day, and If they were in today's crop, either would be quite capable of upsetting Wlad..

Another sign of greatness is how a fighter performs in top company when he's way past his best.. An old Louis after a long lay-off was still good enough to put in 15 competetive rounds against Ezzard Charles and was easily beating a young Marciano until getting caught with the 'suzzi cue' in the 8th.. I have absolutely no doubts a prime Louis would have totally schooled the Rock.. It should also be noted that an old Louis handily took care of top contenders - Jimmy Bivins, Lee Savold and Cesar Brio..
I also believe, that had the clocks been altered, no way would Dempsey, Johnson or Willard have dared taking on a prime Louis..
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#13
Old 03-25-2010, 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted by mickey malone View Post
With the exception of Walcott, I wouldn't put any of the guys he beat in my top 15..
As Poet rightly points out, the same can be said for Tyson, the Klits and it's debatable to add Larry Holmes to that list as well..

Did Joe Louis duck anyone?..

I'd say, he's the only HW champ in history to litrerally clean out the top 20, as well as having time to fit in a few fringe contenders too.. A TRUE champion too, one who fought all colours and creeds.. Out of 25 defenses, only Walcott, Arturo Goodoy and Tommy Farr (note: 1 black, 1 white, 1 hispanic) were able to last the distance, while the other 22 were KO'd in a way they'd never been KO'd before..

An argument can be made that it was a weak era, but was Holmes anywhere near as brutally dominant as Louis?.. Scott Frank, Scott Le Deux, Tex Cobb, Leroy Jones can all easily be compared to Tony Galento, Johnny Paycheck, Nathan Mann and Gus Dorazio, in what people often refer to as Louis's bum of the month.. The above four could only manage 25 minutes between them, where as Holmes chewed on his fodder for 30 odd rounds.. I wouldn't describe any of them as bums either, they were all fringe contenders with respectable records..

Louis set about his opponents in a cold, predatory and emotionless way.. A unique android style fear factor, that had never been seen before.. Schmeling, Carnera, Braddock, Lewis and both Baer's, wern't just beaten, they were absolutely destroyed.. Look at the way he was after losing to Schmeling, when you compare it against the way Tyson was after losing to Douglas.. Both defeats were quite similar, but Louis came back to be a much greater fighter..
Speaking of Max and Buddy Baer, had it not been for Louis, they may have been the Klitschko's of their day, and If they were in today's crop, either would be quite capable of upsetting Wlad..

Another sign of greatness is how a fighter performs in top company when he's way past his best.. An old Louis after a long lay-off was still good enough to put in 15 competetive rounds against Ezzard Charles and was easily beating a young Marciano until getting caught with the 'suzzi cue' in the 8th.. I have absolutely no doubts a prime Louis would have totally schooled the Rock.. It should also be noted that an old Louis handily took care of top contenders - Jimmy Bivins, Lee Savold and Cesar Brio..
I also believe, that had the clocks been altered, no way would Dempsey, Johnson or Willard have dared taking on a prime Louis..

Great post Mic!!
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#14
Old 03-25-2010, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by mickey malone View Post
An argument can be made that it was a weak era
Great post BTW - just want to touch on one point:

Part of the problem in the period from 1935-1945 was that Joe was kept from being matched up with the top black contenders of the day once he had won the title. We don't really know how good some of those guys were as they never even made it as contenders let alone got a title shot. But take Walcott, who had great longevity, as an example, and he and Louis never fought until 1947 when both were arguably past their best.

So I don't think there was a shortage of talent during this era, just that the colour line was still partially in place throughout that time period, and that Joe's race was tolerated while some of his contemporaries were not.
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#15
Old 03-25-2010, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by EzzardFan View Post
Great post BTW - just want to touch on one point:

Part of the problem in the period from 1935-1945 was that Joe was kept from being matched up with the top black contenders of the day once he had won the title. We don't really know how good some of those guys were as they never even made it as contenders let alone got a title shot. But take Walcott, who had great longevity, as an example, and he and Louis never fought until 1947 when both were arguably past their best.

So I don't think there was a shortage of talent during this era, just that the colour line was still partially in place throughout that time period, and that Joe's race was tolerated while some of his contemporaries were not.
Interesting.. Any examples?
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Old 03-25-2010, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mickey malone View Post
Interesting.. Any examples?
Joe Louis did fight John Henry Lewis in 1939 whilst he was world HW champion, but this was at the end of John Henry Lewis' career when he almost certainly had serious problems with his sight.

The next black guy he fought was Walcott in 1947. This was post-war and the war (and Joe himself) had done a lot to help improve the white peoples perception of black people.

Some great black fighters during the period 1935-1947, although I don't claim they could have beaten Joe Louis:

Elmer Ray
Jimmy Bivins
Tiger Jack Fox
Lee Q Murray
Willie Reddish
Al Gainer (OK fought predominantly LHW but also fought many HWs and fought above 175)
Turkey Thompson
Obie Walker

I've not included Ezzard Charles or Archie Moore as they were strictly LHWs during this period.
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Old 03-25-2010, 10:15 AM
mickey malone
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Originally Posted by EzzardFan View Post
Joe Louis did fight John Henry Lewis in 1939 whilst he was world HW champion, but this was at the end of John Henry Lewis' career when he almost certainly had serious problems with his sight.

The next black guy he fought was Walcott in 1947. This was post-war and the war (and Joe himself) had done a lot to help improve the white peoples perception of black people.

Some great black fighters during the period 1935-1947, although I don't claim they could have beaten Joe Louis:

Elmer Ray
Jimmy Bivins
Tiger Jack Fox
Lee Q Murray
Willie Reddish
Al Gainer (OK fought predominantly LHW but also fought many HWs and fought above 175)
Turkey Thompson
Obie Walker

I've not included Ezzard Charles or Archie Moore as they were strictly LHWs during this period.
Many thanks for the information.. I know nothing on Reddish, Thompson and Walker, so that'll give me something to do later.. Regards mm
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Old 03-25-2010, 11:12 AM
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Joe Louis did fight John Henry Lewis in 1939 whilst he was world HW champion, but this was at the end of John Henry Lewis' career when he almost certainly had serious problems with his sight.

The next black guy he fought was Walcott in 1947. This was post-war and the war (and Joe himself) had done a lot to help improve the white peoples perception of black people.

Some great black fighters during the period 1935-1947, although I don't claim they could have beaten Joe Louis:

Elmer Ray
Jimmy Bivins
Tiger Jack Fox
Lee Q Murray
Willie Reddish
Al Gainer (OK fought predominantly LHW but also fought many HWs and fought above 175)
Turkey Thompson
Obie Walker

I've not included Ezzard Charles or Archie Moore as they were strictly LHWs during this period.
It must be said that Louis had many boxing exhibitions against the best black contenders of the era, and usually had the better of them. These boxing exhibitions were often more like real fights, and Louis had hundreds of them. For example look at how old Louis KO's former world title challenger Pat Valentino in the 8th round of an "exhibition":

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/mr.../Archive-Films

Elmer "Violent" Ray was twice knocked out cold by Louis in such exhibitions. Louis said Bivins was one of the toughest opponents he fought in a boxing exhibition. However Bivins was the top contender when Louis was in the army and thus the fight could never truly have happened. The same goes for Murray and Turkey Thompson. All of them had unfortunate timing.

Early in his career Louis KO'd future top black contender Roscoe Toles in the 6th round of an "exhibition".

Lem Franklin was one of the more impressive contenders of the era, with an impressive knockout record and a KO win over Abe Simon who went onto fight Louis in a charity bout. It was said that he would have gotten a shot at Louis had he gotten past Bob Pastor, former Louis title challenger, but Pastor upset him and KO'd him, and Franklin was never the same again. Later he tragically died in the ring.
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Old 03-25-2010, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by TheGreatA View Post
It must be said that Louis had many boxing exhibitions against the best black contenders of the era, and usually had the better of them. These boxing exhibitions were often more like real fights, and Louis had hundreds of them. For example look at how old Louis KO's former world title challenger Pat Valentino in the 8th round of an "exhibition":

http://www.gettyimages.com/detail/mr.../Archive-Films

Elmer "Violent" Ray was twice knocked out cold by Louis in such exhibitions. Louis said Bivins was one of the toughest opponents he fought in a boxing exhibition. However Bivins was the top contender when Louis was in the army and thus the fight could never truly have happened. The same goes for Murray and Turkey Thompson. All of them had unfortunate timing.

Early in his career Louis KO'd future top black contender Roscoe Toles in the 6th round of an "exhibition".

Lem Franklin was one of the more impressive contenders of the era, with an impressive knockout record and a KO win over Abe Simon who went onto fight Louis in a charity bout. It was said that he would have gotten a shot at Louis had he gotten past Bob Pastor, former Louis title challenger, but Pastor upset him and KO'd him, and Franklin was never the same again. Later he tragically died in the ring.
Thanks for posting that. I think the original issue was whether or not Louis fought in a weak era. I contend that he didn't, and certainly not in comparison the current era, but that any perceived weakness may have been because the more talented contenders were frozen out of the title picture. But I do believe that all said and done Louis was the best heavyweight of his long era, and certainly one of the top three heavyweights of all time.
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