Does Joe Louis' dominance warrant being top 2 ATG HW despite lack of quality? - Boxing Forum
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View Poll Results: Where does Joe Louis rank all time at Heavyweight?
1st 3 21.43%
Top 2 3 21.43%
3-5 4 28.57%
6-10 4 28.57%
Outside top 10 0 0%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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#1
Old 08-17-2016, 02:52 PM
Caught Square
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Default Does Joe Louis' dominance warrant being top 2 ATG HW despite lack of quality?

It seems like most people rank Joe Louis as the number 2 heavyweight of all time behind only Ali, with a decent amount having him number 1.

I used to think he was top 2 but paying more attention to his resume i'm starting to change my mind and say top 10 is more realistic.

Yes, he has a great amount of title defences but a serious lack of quality imo. Obviously not every fight can be top notch but at least 3 top notch opponents sandwiched in between his long reign would make being top 2 more reasonable. This isn't his fault so shouldn't count against him but at the same time should it really boost him just because it's not his fault?

Max Schmeling 2 was highly significant but in reality that was more to do with other issues outside of boxing, he weren't a great fighter by any stretch. Credit for avenging the loss in that fashion.

Light heavyweight Billy Conn he struggled with badly. Credit for the decisive rematch. Same with Walcott but this is probably his best win right at the end of his reign. Then you have guys like Baer and Carnera. I find these names underwhelming except Walcott and the Charles loss for someone to be top 2 HW all time

So my question is are these wins (Walcott, Conn, Baer, Schmeling, etc) combined with his reign enough to warrant being pretty much universally top 2 all time?

With guys like Holmes, Holyfield, Lewis, Foreman in the mix I beg to differ.

Last edited by Caught Square; 08-17-2016 at 02:58 PM.
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#2
Old 08-17-2016, 03:19 PM
Ray Corso
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There are fans who study a fighters record using boxrec and define a man's talents and skills through his record and his opponents achievements or lack of.
Then their are people who know the techniques and methodology that certain fighters employ and they evaluate them off that premise.


Can Lennox Lewis ko Louis if his best punch lands? Yes! Schmeling saw a young Louis was open for an over the jab right, he was right.
If you watch Joe Louis's punching techniques and think if he lands on Lewis's chin that Lennox smiles you need to study harder.

There have been very big men at the Open division that we're not known for power and yet boxing has had 190 pounders that flatten men weighing 235+!

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, rather the size of the fight in the dog"..............

To me Louis is the best technical heavy to this date. I think Holmes and Holyfield are similar in that two handed combinations and body punching is key. They can fall inside vand work although their era preferred to work at arms length.
I hold Ali very high but Ali did many things unorthodox and many techniques he used would not be taught to begin with. He was an oddity on defense and was the fastest moving and punching heavy of all time, still!

I like Louis as the best technical performer.

Ray
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#3
Old 08-17-2016, 03:55 PM
juggernaut666
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ATG is subjective ,What Louis did in HIS era could warrant him anywhere , top 5 is reasonable considering his dominance , its still an era despite relatively weak one ,the sport was still rough around the edges ,not as organized as today .


ATG is different from BEST ever which is ranking someone head to head ,you cant take away ATG status to how someone fared in their own time period !

Last edited by juggernaut666; 08-17-2016 at 04:04 PM.
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#4
Old 08-17-2016, 03:57 PM
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Just to clarify the title I meant lack of quality opponents not lack of quality/skill in Joe Louis as a fighter.
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#5
Old 08-17-2016, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Corso View Post
There are fans who study a fighters record using boxrec and define a man's talents and skills through his record and his opponents achievements or lack of.
Then their are people who know the techniques and methodology that certain fighters employ and they evaluate them off that premise.

I like Louis as the best technical performer.

Ray
Loads of guys have talent but how can you not take resume into account especially when someone is considered a top 2 heavyweight of all time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by juggernaut666 View Post
ATG is subjective ,What Louis did in HIS era could warrant him anywhere , top 5 is reasonable considering his dominance , its still an era despite relatively weak one ,the sport was still rough around the edges ,not as organized as today .


ATG is different from BEST ever which is ranking someone head to head ,you cant take away ATG status to how someone fared in their own time period !
Yeah I can see top 5 for sure but i'm not convinced he is a lock at number 2 as most people seem to have him.
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#6
Old 08-17-2016, 04:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caught Square View Post
Loads of guys have talent but how can you not take resume into account especially when someone is considered a top 2 heavyweight of all time?



Yeah I can see top 5 for sure but i'm not convinced he is a lock at number 2 as most people seem to have him.
ATG to me is ones skills/record and dominance for THAT era ,the variables would include impact on the sport and strength of era all in one ......this theoretically can put Louis in top 2 since other eras werent as strong namely Johnson , Liston , Dempsey and Marcianos ,i think WW2 kind of helps Louis in popularity which i also include though dont rank it over the era itself . Louis wouldn't even be mentioned by me in head to head fights bc hes way down the list but i have him number 3 as ATG status right now which may change when Wlad retires .

Last edited by juggernaut666; 08-17-2016 at 04:23 PM.
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#7
Old 08-17-2016, 08:57 PM
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There is an unreasonable amount of rationality in this thread. Incredibly, I find myself in agreement with almost everything Juggy has said. Incredibly, this does not put me at odds with anything Ray has said.

In one sense Louis was the very greatest heavyweight champ. He ruled long, was beloved by all, and quietly was a great factor in race relations while remaining an immense source of national pride during one of the nation's and world's greatest challenges ever. Who else got to defeat and destroy the champion of the Devil himself, but Joe Louis? No other champion has meant so much to his country when it need an indomitable champion.

I am forced to agree with Ray's assessment of Louis as the most technically perfect heavyweight champ to date, with the qualification, however, that I am assessing only his upper body and including the lower half as it relates to punching power and technique, not mobility. In other words, I believe Louis's mobility was poor, in fact, downright pathetic.

It worked for his era, and I am not faulting the great champ for emulating the relative immobility of everyone else as he was taught. I simply do not believe that footwork would find much success against the more mobile and bigger champs of later eras with the inclusion of Gene Tunney. There is not much difference in their weights. I believe Tunney would handle Louis easily. Those plodding feet are never going to catch Gene solidly, and Louis will be plastered in the face over and over by a ghost.

I feel Johnson would also beat Louis because he was tougher and would grapple with him on the inside and grind him down. Mentally, Johnson would dominate the psychological warfare over slow Joe.

Of course Ali beats him. I do not need to discuss that again.

I would also have to give Liston the edge in a heads up fight. His single blows can do the damage of combinations from Joe, and Sonny puts combinations together, too. Joe is easier to stun and hurt.

Joe cannot beat prime heavyweight Holyfield, either, who is taller heavier and more mobile. Holy is too good at taking extended beatings and doling out his own destructive punishment in the meantime. He outlasts Joe, whether by KO or decision, and it is probably KO.

Holmes has just enough mobility and that powerful jab. No one can tell me his educated right was not better in every way than Schmeling's which dealt Joe the coup de grace.

Foreman simply destroys Louis before he has a chance to do anything.

Dempsey has too much power and foot speed

As far as head to head encounters, Joe is already almost out of the top ten, and look who (pl.) we have not even considered yet.

Still, no champion can ever be more a source of pride and attention from this nation than Joe Louis was. No one can exceed what he meant to a nation experiencing a powerful fear and depression.

None of this is meant to make Louis look like a pushover--he could never be that. Even his feet were highly educated inside. He knew how to small step for angles on the inside. But even if he does know how to cut off the ring (another foot skill), I do not see his slow feet getting the job done against the fleet ones.

Last edited by The Old LefHook; 08-17-2016 at 09:03 PM.
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#8
Old 08-17-2016, 09:43 PM
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Heavyweight is hard to judge simply because most of the divisions were weak asf minus The 70's Golden Age and the 90's. Most era's only have 2-3 decent guys. Personally I have it...

1. Ali
2. Foreman
3. Lewis
4. Louis
5. Holmes

Like it was said I think Louis get's a tremendous amount of credit for beating Hitler's boy. He was pretty much loved like Ali but before Ali. Ali in the 70's mind you, not the 60's with all the racial tension. I give Foreman #2 because he was champion in the two best era's of Heavyweight boxing. Ducking and turning down a fight to me personally qualifies as forfeit. That's why I personally give Lewis credit for Bowe. It's not his fault Bowe knew he'd lose and got rid of his belt so he didn't have to fight him. I just think Lewis fought tougher guys then Holmes. Lewis avenging every defeat being undisputed, and beating Vital who is the best Heavyweight after him who went on to be champion for years, is a true testament to how good Lennox Lewis really was. I know it's a controversial fight but to be that old and still come away with the victory against a young prime Vital is impressive. Sure Lennox was losing but Vital didn't cut up his face by himself.
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#9
Old 08-17-2016, 09:50 PM
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Joe Louis was a sublime punching machine. His footwork was efficient, not poor. Just the bare minimum of movement needed to get his heavy artillery into range and on target at whatever angles were necessary. Nothing more but also nothing less.

Jack Blackburn taught him well. In terms of boxing skill he is right up there with any heavyweight who ever lived.

As far as resume is concerned that is more debatable but he has heavyweight records that still stand to this day. There have been champions in weaker eras who have not been able to surpass those records so that has to count for something.
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Old 08-18-2016, 04:00 AM
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Depends how you define ATG. As you say in terms of resume not so much but he was obviously a great fighter. People want to rank him the highest because of nostalgic feelings and especially because of the fact that he's considered an American hero.
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