Generational Bias and Marciano

By Ted Sares on December 4, 2013
Generational Bias and Marciano
He was a great fighter who did what he had to do against everyone put in from of him.

Rocky fought at a disciplined 183-188 for the most part which places him in the middle of the cruiserweight limit…

“If we compare either the fight itself or each of the two men (Floyd and De La Hoya) involved with the glory days of pugilist masters like Ray Robinson and the almost unbelievable fights he had, we are going way too far with the hype… Look at the facts, Robinson had over two hundred fights as a pro—over twice as many as both Oscar and Floyd combined. And Ray was never once legitimately KO’d. Fighters were just tougher back in Robbie’s day. It’s that simple.”-–James Slater (ESB)

“The latest is the greatest.”—Anonymous

I greatly admire Rocky Marciano for any number of reasons, not least of which is that he was close to being from my era and my generation. That he was an Italian doesn’t hurt much either. He was a great fighter who did what he had to do against everyone put in from of him. Of course, looking through the prism of nostalgia makes everything seem better and I like to play out old-school memories just like other old-timers. However, I also try to be analytical and rigorously objective when making comparisons between the past and the present—and that’s where the issue of generational prejudice comes in (some call it “era” prejudice). And that’s where comparisons between The Rock and modern fighters come in as well.

Cruiserweight Division

The cruiserweight division was first established by the WBC in 1979 to accommodate smaller heavyweights who could not compete with the growing size of fighters. In fact, during the 1970s it became fairly standard that heavyweight boxers weighed between 220 pounds and 230 pounds. Many boxing officials felt that requiring men weighing between 176 pounds and 190 pounds to fight much larger men was unfair. The trend in growing size has continued to the point where many call the current crop of large heavyweights “The New Norm.” Within this context, should The Rock be compared to more recent heavyweights in the mold of Ali, Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, or the Klitschkos?  Well, in the opinion of many (including me), he simply was not big enough.

Rocky fought at a disciplined 183-188 for the most part which places him in the middle of the cruiserweight limit. Thus a more accurate, albeit retrospective, gage is to use the Theory of Relativity and compare Rocky to the likes of the following representative list of fighters who at one time or another fought or fight at cruiserweight (175-200 pounds). More to the point, how would Marciano have done against men like Marvin Camel, Lee Roy Murphy, Carlos De Leon, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Ralf Rocchigiani, Orlin Norris, Fabrice Tiozzo, Vassily Jirov, and James Toney—or Evander Holyfield (when he was cruiserweight champion) or the Dariusz Michalczewski of 1994?

The List

Yoan Pablo Hernandez
Krzysztof Wlodarczyk
Ola Afolabi
Ilunga Makuba
Mateusz Masternak
Thabiso Mchunu
Dmytro Kucher
Danny Green
Denis Lebedev
O’Neil Bell
Firat Arslan
Giacobbe Fragomeni
S.T. Gordon
Enzo Maccarinelli
Arthur Williams
Kenny Keene
Orlin Norris
Vadim Tokarev
Jean Marc Mormeck
Chisanda Mutti
Tony Mundine
Dwight Muhammad Qawi
Ralf Rocchigiani
Carl Thompson
James Toney
Piet Crous
Carlos De Leon
Marco Huck
Emmanuel Nwodo
Steve Cunningham
Bert Cooper
Rico Hoye
Grigory Drozd
Pietro Aurino
Johnathon Banks
BJ Flores
Felix Cora Jr.
Valery Brudov
Wayne Braithwaite
Guillermo Jones
Vassily Jirov
Rydell Booker
Anaclet Wamba
Johnny Nelson
Ricky Parkey
Mate Parlov
Marvin Camel
Ossie Ocasio
Boone Pultz
Johnny DuPlooy
Henry Tillman
Eddie Taylor
Alonzo Ratliff
Eddie Mustafa Muhammad
Bash Ali
Marc Randazzo
Torsten May
Glenn McCrory
Adolpho Washington
Gary Mason
Chris Byrd
Alfred Cole
Imamu Mayfield

In short, when I compare Marciano to top cruiserweights, I am comparing apples to apples except for the difference in era. I try to take into account all essential variables such as number of fights, era (for example, the ‘70s were a great time for heavyweights), stamina, amateur pedigree, training techniques and methodology, records, style, chin, KO percentages, skill-sets, entire body of work, prime body of work, dominance, quality of opposition, management, etc. When this is done, myth tends to get stripped away from the facts. When this is done, generational prejudice is largely removed from the equation.

And when this is done, Rocky Marciano quickly becomes the greatest cruiserweight in history—while still being ONE OF THE great heavyweights.

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  1. JESSE KAELLIS 03:23pm, 12/15/2013

    Speed kills. Styles make fights. The bigger they are the harder they fall. Being knowledgeable in boxing is just a matter of memorizing a bunch of old cliches. Dempsey lost to a light-heavyweight of no particular blazing speed. Twice.

  2. beaujack 03:02pm, 12/15/2013

    Reading the posts to this thread I’m struck by the fact that the “cruiserweight” Jack Dempsey is in the Bermuda Triangle, thus seldom mentioned. I was fortunate too see Marciano KO Carmine Vingo at MSG in 1949, also saw Rocky after train at Grossinger’s NY, and his power was awesome for a heavyweight of ANY size, but the fact remains that during Marciano’s title reign, a poll of hundreds of veteran boxing writers who saw the prime Dempsey fight until 1954 when the poll was conducted chose Jack Dempsey as the greatest heavyweight they had ever seen ,and almost to the man chose Dempsey to have beaten Rocky Marciano, both at their bests…Dempsey hit so much faster than Rocky who truly missed half his punches, and speed KILLS in boxing…And by the way what nature gives in weight, it takes away in speed and dexterity…I truly believe that a Dempsey along with the trip-hammer punching Joe Louis, both who feasted on much bigger men, would have certainly have feasted on the “big boys” of today…Again “speed kills”...

  3. Eric 06:21am, 12/13/2013

    Rex Layne was barely a cruiserweight by today’s standards. Rex was 6’1” and only weighed about 193-194lbs when he fought Marciano. Marciano only fought two top heavyweights who weighed over 200lbs, one was a 37 year old Joe Louis and the other was a bloated 205lb Don Cockell.  I’m a great admirer of Marciano and he certainly goes down as one of the greatest fighters of all time, but to think he could defeat top level heavyweights that stand 6’5”-6’7” and weigh 240-250lbs is absurd. Buddy Baer, Abe Simon, and even a Gerry Cooney aren’t on the same level as Lennox Lewis or the Klit brothers. To tell you the truth even a Buddy Baer or a Gerry Cooney had they fought Marciano would have had a shot given their tremendous size advantage. Styles make fights and even a light punching Primo Carnera’s size would present a problem for the much smaller Marciano. Would Marciano lose to the ponderous Carnera? Hardly, however, the tremendous size difference would pose a problem. Now think about a fighter just as tall as Carnera and nearly as heavy, but instead give that fighter athletic skill, punching power, agility, etc. No contest. Sorry but Marciano doesn’t compete with Lewis or the Klits, that is just ridiculous. Marciano’s size would have presented him with a problem back in the Ali era even. Truth is, Marciano was lucky enough to come along when the heavyweights on the scene were of a smaller species in general. Dempsey and Louis fought some pretty big men, but Marciano probably only fought a handful of opponents who were above 6’3 in height. A lot of people bring up that Marciano took out the 6’3”-6’4” Carmine Vingo but fail to report Vingo only weighed 187lbs. Marciano never took on anyone even remotely being as large as the Klits and he certainly never took on a talented big heavyweight.

  4. Mike Silver 09:44pm, 12/12/2013

    Tex Hassler has it right. Marciano would have seen the giants of today as just a bigger target and much easier to reach than the slick Walcott or Ezzard Charles. The Rock’s power was incredible—he hit as hard as any 220 pound heavyweight, and a 220 pound heavyweight who can punch generates enough power to hurt anyone of any size. Also, the phony cruiserweight division was not created by the notorious WBC to “accommodate small heavyweights”—that is naive. It was created to give this criminal organization another excuse to charge a sanctioning fee! They don’t give a damn about boxing safety. The fighters mentioned, such as Leroy Murphy, De Leon, Qawi etc. were light heavyweights. Marciano was a genuine heavyweight-a 187 pound non-stop punching machine. Cruiserweight class? Marciano was in a class by himself. It’s a disgrace to mention the rest of those names in the same breath with the Rock.

  5. JESSE KAELLIS 06:49pm, 12/12/2013

    This was in 1990. I was hanging out with Les Fabri, a friend and a guy I sparred with. We are at Caesars and it’s Foreman and some other boxing guy, not a boxer, but a guy like Larry Merchant, or something, only smarter. But I can’t remember. This was in the sports book and Tyson was still viable then. He hadn’t gone off to the pokey yet, but I believe he had lost to Douglas. The question? Who wins? Marciano or Tyson. I spoke up, “Who’s time? Does Tyson go back in time or does Marciano magically appear from the dead, and fight Tyson today?” And I pointed out that the way Marciano cut in some fights, these days they may have stopped it. And Foreman said, “Good point.”
    They ask me who wins? “Tyson.” “Who will this group pick?” I look around and it’s all these middle aged white guys, “Marciano.” So I got it right and I got the free Caesars beach towel, and Fabri wanted it so I sold it to him for 20 bucks. Zero losses is a powerful legacy. That’s why it matters so much to Mayweather. Guys just keep coming back to that with Marciano. HE NEVER LOST! He came close at least once. And regardless of the quality who he fought. As far as ducking under the guys belt line? I don’t think you could do that nowadays. Try that with Foreman. He’d punch you right on the crown of your head. Foreman would have knocked out Marciano anyway. Too big and powerful. Smarter than he seemed and he didn’t mind fighting a little bit dirty. The consummate bully.

  6. Ted 05:37pm, 12/12/2013

    Thanks Tex and Monte for your fine posts

  7. Tex Hassler 04:44pm, 12/12/2013

    Marciano was not only tough he was a smart fighter. He could take away the other man’s reach, slip punches and get inside like few men ever could. If fact the taller fighters would have a hard time jabbing Rocky. Ali was surprized in the gym that he could not jab an old worn out Marciano.
    If Ali could not do it Klitschko certainly could not do it either. Ali had a longer reach and a better jab than Klitschko ever has or will have. Marciano would come in low almost with his chest touching the canvas. He would get to Klitschko’s body with far harder punches than his size indicates.
    Rex Laynes height and size did not help him neither did it help Joe Louis against Marciano.

  8. Monte Cox 10:06am, 12/12/2013

    I like Marciano over Holyfield for a number of reasons (at heavyweight) including his stamina, whereas Evander faded in a number of big 12 round fights (Foreman, Holmes, Bowe 1 and 3, Moorer), he kept his punch to the late rounds which gives him more opportunities in a 15 round fight, etc. But I do not think Marciano would beat the likes of Lennox Lewis who would have a 60 pound weight advantage and was just too big, he could box and hit hard for his size even. Nor do I think he matches up head to head with Tyson. Marciano may have been physically and mentally tougher but Tyson has 30-35 pounds in weight, greater speed, strength and better overall skill;, combinhation punching. The fight would never last long enough for toughness to be a factor IMHO. Marciano would cruise through the cruiserweights listed though.

  9. JESSE KAELLIS 04:15pm, 12/06/2013

    Thank you—the honor is mine. This a nice thread where people are minding their manners.

  10. Ted 04:02pm, 12/06/2013

    Good stuff Jesse. Honored to have you as a poster.

  11. JESSE KAELLIS 03:08pm, 12/06/2013

    Yes, I did write Early Out.

  12. Ted 09:06am, 12/06/2013

    Jesse, did you write “Early Out?”

  13. Ted 08:31pm, 12/05/2013

    Thanks for your posts gents. Fun thread

  14. Clarence George 06:59pm, 12/05/2013

    Ha!  Yes, thank you, Jenny, and forgive my obtuseness.

    Cool John:  Agreed—Louis-Conn and especially Johnson-Ketchel are good examples.

  15. Ted 06:54pm, 12/05/2013

    Spinks had an exit plan that did not include Holy. It was all about take the money and run. Problem was, his late promoter f—ked and that matter is still being litigated.

  16. Eric 06:21pm, 12/05/2013

    @Ted…..We never really saw a “peak” Holyfield at 190lbs. Holyfield probably could’ve made 190lbs the rest of his career if he wasn’t so ambitous, and he definitely could’ve made 200lbs.  Holyfield made his “big” mark in the heavyweight division despite his frame. Have to agree with you that IF Michael Spinks had dropped back down to cruiserweight after beating Holmes and fought Holyfield, Spinks would have come out victorious. Was always curious as to why Spinks didn’t try to drop down and fight Holyfield somewhere in ‘87-‘88. Surely the fight could’ve been billed as a “Superfight,” and at that point in time, Spinks would lay claim to three world titles. Holyfield definitely looked “safer” than giant Gerry Cooney or Mike Tyson at that time.

  17. Ted 05:41pm, 12/05/2013

    Eric , Spinks beats Holy under heavyweight but not at heavyweight

  18. John aka L.L. Cool John 04:11pm, 12/05/2013

    Thanks, Jenny, for the clarification.

  19. Eric 03:36pm, 12/05/2013

    Michael Spinks vs Evander Holyfield at heavyweight or cruiserweight circa 1987-1988? Another tough call IMO. After 1990, it is Holyfield all the way, however.

  20. Jenny Craig 03:32pm, 12/05/2013

    Clarence George , LL Cool John meant that if his wife went over a certain limit she would not get a penny.

  21. Eric 02:58pm, 12/05/2013

    If the cruiserweight version of Holyfield met Marciano, I’ve no doubt that Marciano would have won. Holyfield “peaked” at heavyweight and not at cruiserweight. A past his prime Qawi gave Holyfield all he could handle in their first fight. I think Qawi should have remained a light heavy but the cruisers were such a “weak” division that he was able to become a two-time world champ. Other than Qawi, Holyfield didn’t beat anyone of note at 190lbs. Marciano vs Holyfield at heavyweight? Tough call, I couldn’t say either way but I might lean towards Holyfield. Who knows on that one, but it would have been a great fight.

  22. John aka L.L. Cool John 02:53pm, 12/05/2013

    As was Jack Johnson/Stanley Ketchel.

  23. John aka L.L. Cool John 02:41pm, 12/05/2013

    CG: Louis/Conn was another good example.

  24. Clarence George 02:05pm, 12/05/2013

    Not sure I understand that, Cool John…but it made me laugh.

  25. Eric 02:03pm, 12/05/2013

    @Eric J….. Remember hearing a story about how there was talk of a proposed matchup between Sugar Ray Robinson and then heavyweight champion Floyd Patterson. Cus D’Amato said that it would be suicide for Robinson to take on Patterson. Floyd was heavyweight champ but Floyd like Ezzard Charles and Gene Tunney were probably never really “true” heavyweights. Actually the 5’11” Robinson was just about the same height as Floyd. Patterson scaled about 182-185lbs for many of his early title matches if I’m not mistaken, so it isn’t if Robinson would have been taking on a huge heavyweight. Joey Maxim,  was a “naturally” bigger man than Floyd and Robinson was beating Maxim before the heat got the better of him. Robinson might have had a shot at Patterson.

  26. John aka L.L. Cool John 01:48pm, 12/05/2013

    CG: Weight means everything to me! So much so, in fact, I had my attorney include it in my pre-nup.

  27. John aka L.L. Cool John 01:38pm, 12/05/2013

    Walter: Lol on the Boone Pultz/Rocky comparison.

  28. Clarence George 01:37pm, 12/05/2013

    If I may, Eric J.:  It’s not that weight doesn’t mean anything…it just doesn’t mean everything.

  29. Eric Jorgensen 12:56pm, 12/05/2013

    Fellas, if the discussion is, what if we brought Marciano to 2013, trained him up for a year, had him hit the weights, generally eat and prepare the way modern athletes do, and THEN send him in against the Klitschkos @ 215, 220 or so, then it becomes interesting.  Now we have a fight.  In fact, in that case, I like the Rock.

    But, with respect, I think it is highly unrealistic to think you could lift Marciano right out of 1956 and put him in against one of the Klits @ 185 lbs. 

    If weight doesn’t mean anything, why not match Wlad against Sugar Ray Robinson?

     

  30. Walter Mondale 12:37pm, 12/05/2013

    I know Boone Pultz. Boone is a friend of mine. Rocky you are no Boone Pultz!

  31. Ted 12:33pm, 12/05/2013

    Eric, from a history point of view and based on what I have reviewed and read, I’d say Tunney is the most underrated of all, Christ, he beats Dempsey twice and 3-1-1 against Greb. If I’m ranking all-time greats, he comes up near the top..

    Now then, one could argue that you could use the same generational bias when comparing The Rock and Tunney.  Different eras.

    And so it goes. Could Tunney at 6’0” handle a coordinated monster at 6’ 7”?  Could the Rock? That is the question.

  32. Ted 06:10am, 12/05/2013

    John aka L.L. Cool John has the beat

  33. nicolas 05:20am, 12/05/2013

    Under 200 pounds I have Rocky Marciano at number three, ahead of him being Joe Louis and Evander Holyfield respectively. Originally the Cruiserweight division was under 190, and there I would have Marciano at number one. At the time the cruiserweight division came about, Larry Holmes was the real champ and he was around 210-215. 220 and above was not the norm of a great heavyweight, look even at Mike Tyson in those days of the mid to late 80’s. the two fights that really changed the heavyweight landscape were the Liston-Patterson fights, where Liston outweighed Patterson by nearly 30 pounds, and some twenty years ago when Ridick Bowe defeated Evander, though with more difficulties.Evander in that first fight weighed less than 210, either 208 or 206, Bowe over 230. Will they get bigger?

  34. JESSE KAELLIS 09:33pm, 12/04/2013

    There are a lot of things wrong with boxing, starting at the amateur level and the amateurs are important because that feeds the pro game. Locally here, here in BC and Western Canada there are people working to make changes in amateur boxing, changes that will bring back logical and fair scoring and remove a lot of the politics that is rampant in Boxing BC, Canada. This new organization is called Comsport and they are promoting mixed ProAm cards, allowing amateurs to fight without headgear, fight without shirts, and fight more than once a day. I had three fights in one day once. I believe that reform has to start at the grassroots level, and as well, cultivating fans should logically start at the amateur level. The fighters, their families, friends, communities. Other than that, people have always talked about the demise of boxing, at various times in the history of the sport. Sometimes it flowers for inexplicable reasons, like in the 80’s. Of course, in retrospect you can see why the late seventies and early eighties were such a golden age for boxing. Anyway, boxing will never die, no matter how hard anybody tries to kill it, through greed or otherwise wrongheadedness. Thank you for respecting me; my career was very modest.

  35. John aka L.L. Cool John 09:10pm, 12/04/2013

    Eric: I don’t see boxing bouncing back as a major sport either. I understand your point on titles and weight classes but, in my opinion,  the lack of popularity in boxing stems from the sport being corrupt over the years with bad decisions and unscrupulous promoters. If I were a sponsor, I wouldn’t advertise on a boxing venue.

  36. Eric 06:47pm, 12/04/2013

    My bad Jesse. You’re absolutely right. I’m not the one “cutting weight.” The fighters SHOULD dictate what the weight classes should be, but good luck with that one.  I’m not taking the punches but I can tell you from a fan’s point of view that all the additional titles and too many weight classes are one of the main reasons for boxing losing its popularity. Tough way to make a living and I see your point but I can’t see boxing ever bouncing back as a “major sport” if it continues to have so many “world champions.” There is only one Super Bowl champ, and one World Series champ, maybe boxing could get back on par with baseball and football and have one “world champ” for 8 weight classes. Just my .02 worth.

  37. JESSE KAELLIS 05:31pm, 12/04/2013

    I wouldn’t monkey around too much with the lower weight divisions. Six pounds can mean a lot to a little guy like me. I fought at the amateur lightweight limit of 132 lbs. Too bad they didn’t have a junior lightweight limit of 130 lbs like they do in the pros. Because I could have made that weight and been even more powerful. More weight classes mean more champions! More titles, more money! But it’s the fighter that makes the class. There are like three cruiserweights that I can even recognize on that list. Maybe five.

  38. Eric 05:20pm, 12/04/2013

    I know it would be borderline blasphemy, but maybe boxing needs to revise the “traditional” weight classes.  Hate to say this but the weight classes in MMA (maybe because they were instituted far more recently) are probably more suitable by today’s standard. The light heavyweight division in MMA is 186-205lbs, which is really what a “true” light heavyweight should be in boxing as well. Dump the “cruiserweight” label and dump all those other junior and super weight classes and tinker with the weights of the “original eight” by adding a couple or so pounds. Even a 220lb fighter is considered on the small size for a heavyweight in present day boxing. Back in the “golden era for heavyweights” aka the Seventies, a 220lb fighter was above average, especially for a top-notch top tier fighter. Remember how people remarked how big Gerry Cooney was back in the day. Cooney would be about an average sized or slightly “taller” than average sized heavyweight but still on the “light” side.

  39. JESSE KAELLIS 05:08pm, 12/04/2013

    Sometimes they were referred to as JUNIOR heavyweights.

  40. Ted 03:50pm, 12/04/2013

    Yes, a prime Holy would have been a tough fight for him indeed. Never heard about that Archie Moore thing but Weil was slippery,  slick. and savvy.

  41. Graeme Barrow 03:48pm, 12/04/2013

    Thanks Ted. Agree. Only Holyfield would have had a chance with him.
    What are your views on the claims that Al Weill kept Rocky away from Moore until he was even older, and kept him away from Nino Valdes altogether?

    Compliments of the season and all the best for Xmas etc.
    Cheers – Graeme.

  42. Ted 03:42pm, 12/04/2013

    My real point here is that Rocky was a wonderful heavyweight and would have been an immortal Cruiserweight, BUT, he would not have been able to beat the big boys (so well pointed out by Eric).

    I’ll debate that with anyone—-anyone.

  43. Ted 03:29pm, 12/04/2013

    L.L. They got started in 1979.

  44. Ted 03:28pm, 12/04/2013

    GTC, Be careful Remember, light heavyweights are not cruiserweights, but I see what you are saying here. So, can they beat the big boys?

  45. Eric 03:16pm, 12/04/2013

    I’m sure Frazier could’ve easily dropped a pound or two and made the cruiserweight limit. Frazier would be damn near unbeatable at a 200lb limit. He wouldn’t have to worry about a Foreman or an Ali at 200 & under.

  46. John aka L.L. Cool John 03:05pm, 12/04/2013

    I’d like to add Michael Moorer’s name to the fantasy cruiserweight division.

  47. John aka L.L. Cool John 03:00pm, 12/04/2013

    Great fantasy division, George. Too bad there was never any money fighting as a cruiserweight. I’ve followed boxing since 1970 and, sadly, can only name a handful of cruiserweight champs.

  48. John aka L.L. Cool John 02:54pm, 12/04/2013

    Good points, Eric ... I agree with you. Marciano vs. Quarry would have been a real barnburner.

  49. George Thomas Clark 02:51pm, 12/04/2013

    We can add a few more names to the cruiserweight tournament: Dempsey, Tunney, Langford, Ezzard Charles, Jersey Joe Walcott and, as noted, Quarry.  Put those guys in with Holyfield and Qawi, throw in a Michael Spinks who outgrows 175 but decides not to stay about 200, and you have an extraordinary division.

  50. Eric 02:28pm, 12/04/2013

    @John aka L.L. Cool John…. If we could only swap Jerry Quarry and Rocky Marciano and put them in each other’s respective eras. I think Quarry would’ve been champ if he had fought in Marciano’s era sans Marciano. I’m not so sure if Rocky would’ve been champ if he had to fight in Quarry’s era, however.  I would favor Rocky over Jerry, but it wouldn’t be an easy fight, and if the “right” Jerry showed up, who knows?

  51. Eric 01:40pm, 12/04/2013

    I’m realistic “old school.” teehee.

  52. Eric 01:37pm, 12/04/2013

    I totally AGREE with EVERYTHING you wrote,  Mr. Sares!! I’m not Italian but Marciano has always been my favorite fighter and not just my favorite heavyweight. However, asking even an EXTRAORDINARY STRONG AND FIT fighter like Marciano to compete against “talented” fighters that are anywhere between 7-10 inches taller, outreach him by a foot or more, and outweigh him by 60lbs is asking a lot. Without a doubt, Marciano would be a dominant albeit small cruiserweight in today’s world. Marciano is arguably the fittest fighter to ever step into the ring and quite possibly P4P one of the strongest, but I just don’t see him competing with a Lennox Lewis, or one of the Klits. I think Gene Tunney possibly had the style to give Marciano fits in a “dream” fight. Dempsey, Tunney, Johnson (ugh), Louis have all been mentioned as great “cruiserweights.”

  53. Ted 01:35pm, 12/04/2013

    Agreed.

  54. John aka L.L. Cool John 01:24pm, 12/04/2013

    Jerry Quarry as a heavyweight was one tough hombre. He would have made one hell of a cruiserweight!

  55. Ted 12:56pm, 12/04/2013

    Eric Jorgensen , and how would your cruiserweight fare against the Klits, Holmes, Foreman, Bowe, Lewis, etc. ?

  56. Ted 12:49pm, 12/04/2013

    Un momento amigos. The Cleveland Browns of the 50’s were awesome and monsters with guys like Groza, Motley, and Graham. Today’s Alabama or Ohio State College team would run them off the field.
    Same with old time basketball and baseball teams. Mikan or Dolph Shays would be run off the court.

    Things evolve. People get bigger and stronger in every endeavor. Why should boxing be different?

    The technology today and gym equipment in a first class training gym blows the socks off what they had back in the day.

  57. Eric Jorgensen 12:41pm, 12/04/2013

    I think the fighters in the conversation for greatest cruiserweight of all-time are (in chronological order):  Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Joe Louis, and Rocky Marciano. 

    My instinct is that Dempsey v. Louis would decide the all-time champ, but I am nevertheless happy to concede that Marciano might beat either one.

  58. cnorkusjr 12:27pm, 12/04/2013

    Ted, you make a strong point in the evaluation of weight classes from back then to now, but a few heavies that Rocky fought were Don Cockell and Lee Savold. Well over 200+ lbs. He did rather well with them. Other decent heavies that Rocky didn’t fight or avoided was Bob Baker,Billy Gilliam,Coley Wallace, Charley Powell and Nino Valdes each weighing over 200+ and a good size. Personally I think he would have taken all them to task, maybe having a bit more difficulty with a young Valdes. I know a lot of “what if ” fans would easily have him take on guys like Holmes and Lennox Lewis, but the truth be told, your statement, a “heavier weight class had to be established” was right on.
    If any boxer could beat anybody who fought, they would be at the top of the all-time best list. You have to take in the account the weight changes over the years.

  59. John aka L.L. Cool John 10:10am, 12/04/2013

    I can’t envision Rocky Marciano fighting Boone Pultz.

  60. John aka L.L. Cool John 10:05am, 12/04/2013

    Comparison like these are interesting to debate, but nothing is ever accomplished. FYI: In 1954, Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile with a time of 3:59. Currently, the record is 3:43—a full 16 seconds off that mark. In 1903, Barney Oldfield drove at a record breaking speed of 60 mph on a one-mile oval track. Hell, I can shatter that record with my Toyota Avalon! Am I a better competitor than Oldfield? Here’s my point: Marciano fought the best fighters of his era, and his record speaks for itself. End of discussion!

  61. Ted 09:36am, 12/04/2013

    Prov, this time I went back in time——all the waaaaay back to 1979. Easy boundary to work with, especially for a “hater” like me. LOL

  62. Ted 09:34am, 12/04/2013

    Tux, I don’t do Dempsey or Jack Johnson, but I get your point,

  63. Ted 09:31am, 12/04/2013

    Mike, you got it. The key is “one of the…” I have Louis, Ali, Holmes, Foreman, and Lewis in front of him. Depending on how Vitali finishes, I might put him in front of him as well. The size difference between Vitali and The Rock is just a bit much to overcome not to mention VK’s athleticism. I just cannot see the Rock backing him up, though Chisora might have shown the blueprint.  Vitali vs Marciano would be a bloodbath.

  64. Don from Prov 08:20am, 12/04/2013

    Obviously, you are a hater of old school and old timers—


    I don’t know, but you are probably twenty years old at the most

  65. nwo 08:14am, 12/04/2013

    and robinson fought a loooot of bums! FACT! people thought deym robinson is like untouchable and so on how the guy cant be hit and so on and so forth

    just like chavez sr.. geeez could somebody please tell me how many are great fighters in his resume.. and his biggest win?

    the biases stems from ethnicity and no one can dispute that!

    be real..

    americans and mexicans will always get the upper hand regardless

  66. Mike Casey 08:03am, 12/04/2013

    If one chooses to acknowledge the cruiserweights, the conclusion here is actually spot on and still recognizes Rocky as one of the great heavyweights.

  67. Ted 07:40am, 12/04/2013

    wtf! Why?

  68. dollarbond 07:33am, 12/04/2013

    Well,  you certainly did it in an original way.  Theory of relativity and era bias are keen ways to approach an article like this.  That said, I disagree with your conclusion.

  69. Ted 07:17am, 12/04/2013

    “beluga caviar to canned tuna”—here we go again! Where is Freud when you need him?

  70. Clarence George 05:37am, 12/04/2013

    Ted, you mischievous iconoclast!  Seeking to roil the waters, is it?

    Well, let me say this about that:  I have never, do not now, and never will consider Rocky Marciano a cruiserweight, a Johnny-come-lately division I never cared for.  Rocky was a heavyweight.  More specifically, he was Heavyweight Champion of the World at a time when that title was still the ultimate accolade.  Indeed, among the greatest of them all (fourth on my own list).  I have no problem putting him in the ring with Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali, Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Frazier…but Yoan Pablo Hernandez?!  Jeez, one may as well compare beluga caviar to canned tuna!

    I’m thoroughly discombobulated, Ted.  I expect you to make it up to me by shipping with all dispatch that highly prized Martine Beswick photo you’re always drooling over.

  71. tuxtucis 05:06am, 12/04/2013

    Well, Rocky Marciano would have destroyed near all of your list…
    The only exception is Holyfield…Toney and Haye too would gave him some fits…
    But I’m not sure Marciano is the greatest cruiser of all-time…Dempsey and Jack Johnson too were under 200lbs…

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