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#21
Old 06-14-2012, 05:02 AM
McGrain
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Liston wins this one, and I think he's the toughest match in history for Tyson. Liston has literally no difficulty with men coming to him and struggles horribly with speed going away from him (but you all know that).

The reason Tyson struggles on occasion with men coming to him (Bonecrusher Smith, Evander Hollyfield) is that he is a one-range fighter - a devastating one, but a one range fighter. He is a mid-range fighter of the highest class and a "bulling" fighter - coming from long to middle range - of very high standard. Now.

Here he is up against a fighter who is literally as adept at nearly all the ranges involved in a fight as he is at the others - that is to say, he does not have a preference at which range the fight is fought. This is due to his underated athleticism and his physical/technical tools in addition to "yeah?" attitude I haven't seen fully explored anywhere in literature or on the forums.

Liston is also a vastly underated ring general. He has made many adjustments in various fights (maybe most impressively in Williams II where he shifts to the front foot in the very first round having constructed a fight plan based on the first fight which differed) to his opponents detriment.

Add all this up and you have battleground that favours Liston. Tyson will come directly to Liston and try to hammer him. My guess is that Liston would spear him with the jab. Yes, Tyson has extraordinary head movement, and yes it is overated. Tyson did not use arbitrary head movement like Jack Dempsey did. Tyson moved in a pattern. In other words, a fighter with a very accurate jab who also had no fear - at all - of the man in the opposite corner could time him. Sonny could time him, Sonny has those things.

His jab was quite slow, I admit. But i've always felt a fast jab was an over-rated commodity generally. From a technically classical stance - which Liston employed - it's a punch that does not take long to get across. I think that an accurate, hard jab, is a better punch than a fast jab which is accurate.

So I see Liston timing Tyson on the way in with the jab and missing with his bigger punches in the first few rounds, but closing the distance with a clatter at the back of that punch. Tyson's best work smothered whilst Liston builds a lead.

A word about punch resistance - I think they have similair resistance to punishment, although Liston was basically impossible to hurt to the body. But I don't think Tyson has that "tide-turning" type of chin. I think that he takes punishment, but the hurt causes his head to drop. We saw it against Hollyfield and Lewis, and to a lesser degree against Douglas. Liston was capable of turning the tide after being hurt, and we saw this agianst Williams, who "hit him so hard all over [my] body" that Sonny became convinced he "didn't have a weak spot", and he went on to KO Williams in 3.

If Tyson slows he will be stopped. If Tyson manages to keep the pace high, he'll lose a wide decision.

Bad match up for Mike.
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#22
Old 06-14-2012, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain View Post
Liston wins this one, and I think he's the toughest match in history for Tyson. Liston has literally no difficulty with men coming to him and struggles horribly with speed going away from him (but you all know that).

The reason Tyson struggles on occasion with men coming to him (Bonecrusher Smith, Evander Hollyfield) is that he is a one-range fighter - a devastating one, but a one range fighter. He is a mid-range fighter of the highest class and a "bulling" fighter - coming from long to middle range - of very high standard. Now.

Here he is up against a fighter who is literally as adept at nearly all the ranges involved in a fight as he is at the others - that is to say, he does not have a preference at which range the fight is fought. This is due to his underated athleticism and his physical/technical tools in addition to "yeah?" attitude I haven't seen fully explored anywhere in literature or on the forums.

Liston is also a vastly underated ring general. He has made many adjustments in various fights (maybe most impressively in Williams II where he shifts to the front foot in the very first round having constructed a fight plan based on the first fight which differed) to his opponents detriment.

Add all this up and you have battleground that favours Liston. Tyson will come directly to Liston and try to hammer him. My guess is that Liston would spear him with the jab. Yes, Tyson has extraordinary head movement, and yes it is overated. Tyson did not use arbitrary head movement like Jack Dempsey did. Tyson moved in a pattern. In other words, a fighter with a very accurate jab who also had no fear - at all - of the man in the opposite corner could time him. Sonny could time him, Sonny has those things.

His jab was quite slow, I admit. But i've always felt a fast jab was an over-rated commodity generally. From a technically classical stance - which Liston employed - it's a punch that does not take long to get across. I think that an accurate, hard jab, is a better punch than a fast jab which is accurate.

So I see Liston timing Tyson on the way in with the jab and missing with his bigger punches in the first few rounds, but closing the distance with a clatter at the back of that punch. Tyson's best work smothered whilst Liston builds a lead.

A word about punch resistance - I think they have similair resistance to punishment, although Liston was basically impossible to hurt to the body. But I don't think Tyson has that "tide-turning" type of chin. I think that he takes punishment, but the hurt causes his head to drop. We saw it against Hollyfield and Lewis, and to a lesser degree against Douglas. Liston was capable of turning the tide after being hurt, and we saw this agianst Williams, who "hit him so hard all over [my] body" that Sonny became convinced he "didn't have a weak spot", and he went on to KO Williams in 3.

If Tyson slows he will be stopped. If Tyson manages to keep the pace high, he'll lose a wide decision.

Bad match up for Mike.

good post except for the last part, yeah we saw Tyson go down during the latter parts of his career, but on his way to the title he never faultered. We also saw Liston get sparked by Ali but I will also say drugs played a role as did Tysons demise. Liston had a few other KO stoppages near the end as well.

This is one of the hardest fights for me to decide. You have points about Liston doing good if you fought him. On the other hand Liston preferred long range because of his 84" reach It gives Tyson room to do his thing. The other thing is, the men he demolished (that fought like Tyson) were also 190 lb light heavyweights like Patterson. Much like Tyson did to Spinks. I'm curious whos style takes over.

I'd probably edge Liston in his prime as well, he seemed a little too tough.
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#23
Old 06-14-2012, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain View Post
Liston wins this one, and I think he's the toughest match in history for Tyson. Liston has literally no difficulty with men coming to him and struggles horribly with speed going away from him (but you all know that).

The reason Tyson struggles on occasion with men coming to him (Bonecrusher Smith, Evander Hollyfield) is that he is a one-range fighter - a devastating one, but a one range fighter. He is a mid-range fighter of the highest class and a "bulling" fighter - coming from long to middle range - of very high standard. Now.

Here he is up against a fighter who is literally as adept at nearly all the ranges involved in a fight as he is at the others - that is to say, he does not have a preference at which range the fight is fought. This is due to his underated athleticism and his physical/technical tools in addition to "yeah?" attitude I haven't seen fully explored anywhere in literature or on the forums.

Liston is also a vastly underated ring general. He has made many adjustments in various fights (maybe most impressively in Williams II where he shifts to the front foot in the very first round having constructed a fight plan based on the first fight which differed) to his opponents detriment.

Add all this up and you have battleground that favours Liston. Tyson will come directly to Liston and try to hammer him. My guess is that Liston would spear him with the jab. Yes, Tyson has extraordinary head movement, and yes it is overated. Tyson did not use arbitrary head movement like Jack Dempsey did. Tyson moved in a pattern. In other words, a fighter with a very accurate jab who also had no fear - at all - of the man in the opposite corner could time him. Sonny could time him, Sonny has those things.

His jab was quite slow, I admit. But i've always felt a fast jab was an over-rated commodity generally. From a technically classical stance - which Liston employed - it's a punch that does not take long to get across. I think that an accurate, hard jab, is a better punch than a fast jab which is accurate.

So I see Liston timing Tyson on the way in with the jab and missing with his bigger punches in the first few rounds, but closing the distance with a clatter at the back of that punch. Tyson's best work smothered whilst Liston builds a lead.

A word about punch resistance - I think they have similair resistance to punishment, although Liston was basically impossible to hurt to the body. But I don't think Tyson has that "tide-turning" type of chin. I think that he takes punishment, but the hurt causes his head to drop. We saw it against Hollyfield and Lewis, and to a lesser degree against Douglas. Liston was capable of turning the tide after being hurt, and we saw this agianst Williams, who "hit him so hard all over [my] body" that Sonny became convinced he "didn't have a weak spot", and he went on to KO Williams in 3.

If Tyson slows he will be stopped. If Tyson manages to keep the pace high, he'll lose a wide decision.

Bad match up for Mike.
Terrific post. I especially like what you say about the jab, I still think speed in an asset, but I would take a slower well timed and strong jab over a lighting fast softer one, over the course of a fight the jab will wear you down, and if the jab is being used not only itself as a tool to break down the opponent but to set up combinations and advances, the effectiveness of the jab from the early rounds on will pay dividends, just like body work.

Of recent memory, Oscar had the finest jab I have seen.
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#24
Old 06-14-2012, 05:56 PM
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One confounding issue here is Liston's size. Liston was huge for his era, and if he fought today would likely put on another 15 or 20 pounds, but I'm assuming he'd fight Tyson at his fighting weight which was more like 220. So I'm not sure how much of his size and strength were just comparative to his era. I'd expect virtually no 220 pound man taller than Tyson to be able to push him around. Yeah, Liston was strong, but I think it would be less than expected if he were actually in the ring with Tyson. Golata, Bonecrusher, and Ruddock come to mind as guys who were physically either bigger or similar to Liston and couldn't move Mike backwards.
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#25
Old 06-14-2012, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Cardinal Buck View Post
One confounding issue here is Liston's size. Liston was huge for his era, and if he fought today would likely put on another 15 or 20 pounds, but I'm assuming he'd fight Tyson at his fighting weight which was more like 220. So I'm not sure how much of his size and strength were just comparative to his era. I'd expect virtually no 220 pound man taller than Tyson to be able to push him around. Yeah, Liston was strong, but I think it would be less than expected if he were actually in the ring with Tyson. Golata, Bonecrusher, and Ruddock come to mind as guys who were physically either bigger or similar to Liston and couldn't move Mike backwards.
An old, faded Liston backed up George Foreman on a regular basis in sparring. George confirms this.

I know it's only sparring but that's how strong and powerful Liston was.
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#26
Old 06-14-2012, 06:30 PM
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Lots of times bullies lose their edge when they are the one geting bullied. Liston would do this to Tyson.
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#27
Old 06-14-2012, 07:44 PM
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^I'm really sick of that analogy. And Liston, like Tyson, unfairly took the bully label as much as any other boxer in history. I guess if they fought, they'd sort of implode into something that could only be described by Xzibit with something along the lines of "Yo dawg, we bullied your bully...."
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#28
Old 06-14-2012, 09:27 PM
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One confounding issue here is Liston's size. Liston was huge for his era, and if he fought today would likely put on another 15 or 20 pounds,
Why would he want to do that?
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#29
Old 06-14-2012, 09:44 PM
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I didn't say he had to and I'm not thinking of a version that does in the matchup. Heavyweights weigh more now. Ibeabuchi was built similarly but weighed more.
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#30
Old 06-15-2012, 09:25 AM
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I didn't say he had to and I'm not thinking of a version that does in the matchup. Heavyweights weigh more now. Ibeabuchi was built similarly but weighed more.
They do weigh more now... and pretty much all of them are out of gas after 9 or 10 rounds. And even with all that extra weight, nobody since Liston other than Shavers (and possibly Foreman, though I think Liston punched harder than George) has punched as hard as the big ugly bear.
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