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Yet another Old versus New thread...

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  • Yet another Old versus New thread...

    I want to make a case for why not all sports evolve... Ill make it simple. Today in the NFL if we ignored differences in size and strength, and looked at a quarterback, lets compare ohhhhhh Kenny Stabler to One of the Manning Brothers. Stabler, like most in his day had to depend on cunning, sort of street smarts along with an instinct to not get clobbered. Given some attributes like a decent arm, and some pluck... a guy could go pretty far back then.

    A guy like manning by comparison: Most QB's today have to be very book smart... memorizing play after play, on a very sophisticated level. Most guys have to be able to avoid a much more organized attack, bigger, faster guys attacking, etc... So to say that despite greatness the QB today is an evolved athlete, makes sense. Especially if we now bring in size and strength of a qb today. To be this good it starts at the college level where there is now massive money involved in football programs compared to back when... Money buys the best... In football it started in the 1980's when Arthur Jones developed circuit training (Nautilus) for football players so they could exhaust muscles in 1/4th of a workout instead of 3/4th of a workout... meaning that scrimiging and developing other skills could happen at an accelarated rate... Players were getting stronger faster and smarter.

    Meanwhile in boxing... Pretty much amatuer game rules. Something that coaches were complaining about circa the mid eighteen hundreds and before... Same critiscisms... Professional fighhters need to hit harder and learn more elements that just trying to throw more punches on target. Boxing has even tried to make the ammy game look better, making it harder for punchers... hence we have 12 rounders for championship fights, not 15 rounders....

    So we see in the marque division guys JUST learning to fight who are 30 years old... REally? How does that work regarding a prime, and a learning curve where one fights long enough to get experience? and ten rounders? at 30 years old? and the amount of times these guys are fighting a year?

    I will say this... In the middle divisions we still see talent. The fight with the Argentinian at 154, was what a boxing match usually looked like back when fighters actually hit each other often... Spense and Bud... Porter... these guys have talent, they cannot come in overweight and slow.

    But even when we get to Canelo and Bivol... as ThemApples pointed out... the strategies are rudimentary, the guys make many mistakes you do not see back when, and they do not have the punch output of the guys back when.

    Boxing is not evolving in any way that I can see....
    Last edited by billeau2; 05-15-2022, 06:30 PM.

  • #2
    Good points. And your post also proves that newer isn't always better. Like with your football comparison, old school quarterbacks had tougher defenses to deal with in terms of there being more penalties called these days to protect QBs. How would Tom Brady or Peyton Manning do against, say, the 1976 Oakland Raiders or the 1986 New York Giants? Would be interesting to find out. Kind of like how we compare modern fighters to ones of the past that were hungrier and dealt with tougher conditions, for the most part anyway. And yeah, boxing is still pretty much the same. It's still about hitting, not getting hit and punching someone until they fall.
    billeau2 likes this.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by billeau2 View Post
      Boxing is not evolving in any way that I can see....
      I agree... at least not over the past 70-80 years or so!

      Now if we go back to the real old times, like pre WW1, I believe we can all agree, that gloved boxing was more or less in it's infancy... at least skill-wise.

      It seems to me, that boxing made great strides between the two wars - and once we get to the late 30s/early 40s (with Louis, Pep, SRR), I believe the sport had fully "evolved" (for lack of a better word). I see no noticeable improvement, skill-wise, since then.

      billeau2 likes this.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bundana View Post

        I agree... at least not over the past 70-80 years or so!

        Now if we go back to the real old times, like pre WW1, I believe we can all agree, that gloved boxing was more or less in it's infancy... at least skill-wise.

        It seems to me, that boxing made great strides between the two wars - and once we get to the late 30s/early 40s (with Louis, Pep, SRR), I believe the sport had fully "evolved" (for lack of a better word). I see no noticeable improvement, skill-wise, since then.
        One thing to be aware of was how different boxing was with fitted gloves, and using essentially a paradigm derived from fencing. A muffler was the first term for a truly padded glove... It is very important because once you put in padding that does not cake to the hand, you change the way power is generated. You cannot really have the same connection to the target when padding stays in place on impact. Modern power is derived from swinging the arms through body mechanics hard enough that gross force is generated through speed and weight placement. With bare knuckle and a small fitted glove power is dependent on pounds per a square inch... hitting the target accurately while grounded. Very little swinging force need be applied when done properly. This is why the old KO blow was the right lead. Held like a piston, it was aimed at the chin point. When contacted properly the weight coming forwards, the punch extended to its natural piston range, what hit the person was essentially the weight of the punch, with a small, concentrated area of impact.

        A jab is essentially a lead that one turns over. This turning gives the punch more gross power through pronation of the wrist... this gross power is needed to make up for the direct connection of the lead which concentrated the pounds per a square inch, compared to a larger glove.

        I only mention this because it is huge... essentially the two styles are different ways entirely of generating punching power. To get a crude idea of this imagine a fencers foil with a sharpened tip and a large watermelon. To get the tip into a target on the watermelon one does not have to madly draw the sword back and thrust as hard as they can... Instead one aims, and transfers weight from the back to the front, while extending the point, with the best shot being the one catching the target just at full exstension.

        Now imagine a blunt blade, like a machette, To get that blade into the melon one cannot rely on the same body dynamics. One must generate a lot of force swinging the arm and aggressively stepping forwards into the melon/target.

        Two different animals really.

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        • #5
          I'm not a believer in the evolution of boxing. I respect Bundana tremendously but I am going to have to disagree.

          In my opinion boxers of any particular era fight the way they do because the audience of that particular era demands it, if, demand can mean like market demand not so much a direct plea from the public.

          Easy examples are lesser defense eras go hand-in-hand with audiences that expect hyper macho-ism at all times.

          More in depth examples would a guy like Floyd Mayweather, who is in demand to this day despite being well past his prime, well into retired years, and most of his more popular end of his career did not feature a crown pleasing style, but, Floyd fought a self protective style to ensure a long career and so we're treated to Floyd vs Floyd's Sparring Partner sometime soon....this isn't even hyperbole.

          If skill can be in high demand in any form boxing fans are treated to skill. When brutality is in high demand fans see brutality. I do not believe at any point in time mankind stopped creating humans who are better at moving than they are relying on toughness and of course cavemen have always existed even in the most skilled eras. The waxing and waning of what we call boxing skills today is controlled by the demands of customers and little else. Even calling them skills in this scope is not very fair.

          There was once an era when moving away from a punch rather than blocking it was skill-less coward nonsense and real man's defense was blocks and parries and such. So in that era it is unfair to say a guy who is very good at blocking but has horrible head movement is unskilled. He can't, really, use head movement. It's passe, pansy stuff. If the excuse works for whites ducking blacks cause racism doe then it should work for skills too.

          Guys fight to honor Apollo, then guys fight to get paid. Either way there is an obvious corruption of motives and no one in sport really fights because they hate the other, or are defending their home and such nonsense that causes real fighting. Trained, usually from a young age, since forever. They're all highly skilled.

          billeau2 likes this.

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          • #6
            Different eras, different styles, different unwritten rules. Impossible to compare. The Great Nash watched an Ali fight about a year ago, no idea which one, but Ali caught the guys punches in both gloves about 100 times during the fight, something which does not happen today. So one could argue, if Ali can't catch the guys punches in both gloves, what does he do? You can only fight in your era, within your own eras rules and ways, anything else is just guess work and bias, and that's just a fact. Nash out.

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            • #7
              Things only get better if we try and improve them. Boxing as a business has improved for fighters, but as fighters they have declined.

              1) don’t confuse style for skill (new school style) most new school fighters fight like amateurs and have no real concept what a knockout artist is. Boxing was a trade before

              2) the world was a harder place back then, we know this because of grandparents. But even a general grasp of history will tell you why.

              3) media has changed boxing, in the 30s it was really a circle of real fighters competing with eachother on a regular basis, with television hosting higher profile fights for bigger purses.

              4) nothing in the game of boxing is geared towards improving fighters. Conditioning has not improved. Fighters get tired very fast now. Strength and conditioning coaches don’t understand boxing so the numbers they come up with are useless.

              it would take pages to explain everything

              totally agree about the part where fighters today are just beginning to show the savvy of a pro at the tail end of their careers.
              Last edited by them_apples; 05-16-2022, 01:29 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Marchegiano View Post
                I'm not a believer in the evolution of boxing. I respect Bundana tremendously but I am going to have to disagree.

                In my opinion boxers of any particular era fight the way they do because the audience of that particular era demands it, if, demand can mean like market demand not so much a direct plea from the public.

                Easy examples are lesser defense eras go hand-in-hand with audiences that expect hyper macho-ism at all times.

                More in depth examples would a guy like Floyd Mayweather, who is in demand to this day despite being well past his prime, well into retired years, and most of his more popular end of his career did not feature a crown pleasing style, but, Floyd fought a self protective style to ensure a long career and so we're treated to Floyd vs Floyd's Sparring Partner sometime soon....this isn't even hyperbole.

                If skill can be in high demand in any form boxing fans are treated to skill. When brutality is in high demand fans see brutality. I do not believe at any point in time mankind stopped creating humans who are better at moving than they are relying on toughness and of course cavemen have always existed even in the most skilled eras. The waxing and waning of what we call boxing skills today is controlled by the demands of customers and little else. Even calling them skills in this scope is not very fair.

                There was once an era when moving away from a punch rather than blocking it was skill-less coward nonsense and real man's defense was blocks and parries and such. So in that era it is unfair to say a guy who is very good at blocking but has horrible head movement is unskilled. He can't, really, use head movement. It's passe, pansy stuff. If the excuse works for whites ducking blacks cause racism doe then it should work for skills too.

                Guys fight to honor Apollo, then guys fight to get paid. Either way there is an obvious corruption of motives and no one in sport really fights because they hate the other, or are defending their home and such nonsense that causes real fighting. Trained, usually from a young age, since forever. They're all highly skilled.
                very interesting point about the public demand, aka social temperature deciding how fighters fight.

                the part about the blocking only fighter….

                theres a good quote “all the styles work, just only for certain fighters” couldn’t be more true. Use it with conviction and it will work.

                This are very far out intangibles you brought up, but very likely hold some weight

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by them_apples View Post
                  Things only get better if we try and improve them. Boxing as a business has improved for fighters, but as fighters they have declined.

                  1) don't confuse style for skill (new school style) most new school fighters fight like amateurs and have no real concept what a knockout artist is. Boxing was a trade before

                  2) the world was a harder place back then, we know this because of grandparents. But even a general grasp of history will tell you why.

                  3) media has changed boxing, in the 30s it was really a circle of real fighters competing with eachother on a regular basis, with television hosting higher profile fights for bigger purses.

                  4) nothing in the game of boxing is geared towards improving fighters. Conditioning has not improved. Fighters get tired very fast now. Strength and conditioning coaches don't understand boxing so the numbers they come up with are useless.

                  it would take pages to explain everything

                  totally agree about the part where fighters today are just beginning to show the savvy of a pro at the tail end of their careers.
                  Some interesting points - to which I have two questions:

                  Modern fighters having no real concept what a knockout artist is? What exactly do you mean by this??

                  And the thing about fighters getting tired very fast now... I take it, you mean compared to the good old days, where boxers were better conditioned? How about if we compare now with the busy 1920s... do you think that, generally speaking, today's boxers gas out faster than the boxers from back then? And if so, what evidence do we have for this being the case?


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bundana View Post

                    Some interesting points - to which I have two questions:

                    Modern fighters having no real concept what a knockout artist is? What exactly do you mean by this??

                    And the thing about fighters getting tired very fast now... I take it, you mean compared to the good old days, where boxers were better conditioned? How about if we compare now with the busy 1920s... do you think that, generally speaking, today's boxers gas out faster than the boxers from back then? And if so, what evidence do we have for this being the case?

                    Reckon pacing/lack of vid makes that very hard to find out in any direction but I do have an idea to offer that makes both sides a bit correct.


                    I think we can look to MMA for an answer to that.


                    No time limit fights like the Gracies used to get for their MMA matches make for very slowly paced fights. Royce vs Gracie Hunter, hell Royce vs loads of dudes, but I'm pretty sure Sakuraba took Gracie the longest.

                    That time Don Frye fought Takayama-son they gassed real quick. They also just grabbed one another by the neck and pounded rights into each other's heads.


                    Now, I get, size, but let's pretend Frye isn't a roid monster and they are the same size. This is of course a guess, but I think it's a good guess, chances are if Gracie and Gracie Hunter didn't 'rassle for 90 mins and just grabbed one another by the neck with their left and piston punched one another with their right they too would have gassed way too early to fight for 90 minutes.

                    Older fights, longer limits, slower pacing, gassing is far more gradual which gives the surface illusion of better stamina. Dude went 86 rounds, sounds real rough, but if you include the fact that 10 of those rounds featured nothing but steps and flopping to end the round, not so much.

                    In my opinion.

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