Are bums of the Klitschko era better than top fighters of Ali's era?

Let's make a comparison like it has never been made before.

Let's compare two fighters: An unnamed fighter from today (2013, Klitschko era) and an unnamed fighter from the 1970s (Ali era), who got a title shot against Muhammad Ali.

 

Let's call them Boxer Nineteen Seventy and Boxer Twenty Ten.

Boxer Nineteen Seventy has beaten the following 17 opponents at real heavyweight 200×2 when he got a title shot against Muhammad Ali:

#Fight result of Boxer Nineteen SeventyOpponent's record at bout
01 WKO72-5
02 WKO63-1
03 WKO317-4
04 WKO26-10
05 WKO724-20
06 WKO816-10
07 WKO313-19
08 WKO26-9
09 WKO410-13
10 WKO23-5
11 WKO314-3
12 WDEC1016-8
13 WKO38-15
14 WDEC1022-13
15 WKO716-9
16 WKO925-7
17 WDEC107-6

Fistic Statistic [#4088.1]

Additionally Boxer Nineteen Seventy has beaten the following cruiser opponents sub-200 before his match with Muhammad Ali:

#Fight result of Boxer Nineteen SeventyOpponent's record at bout
01 WKO51-1
02 WDEC65-6
03 WKO37-0
04 WKO65-2
05 WKO95-2
06 WKO31-0
07 WKO218-6
08 WKO44-2
09 LKO812-2
10 WDEC1021-20
11 WKO522-16
12 WKO712-3
13 WDEC1027-18

Fistic Statistic [#4088.2]

Please note the loss against one of his better opponents (12-2).

 

All in all a rather doubtful record and not too good to be considered a worthy challenger of Muhammad Ali, right?

Wait, it gets worse, since the records of his opponents (second column) contain a lot of non-heavyweight opponents, too.

Take for example the third fight (= WKO3 win against the 17-4 opponent). "17-4" This sounds somewhat OK, but this 17-4 record consists of barely any real heavyweight 200×2 fights.

In other words the…

  • heavyweight worthiness
  • heavyweight experience
  • heavyweight background

…of this 17-4 opponent is far less than nowadays when you fight a 17-4 opponent at heavyweight.

 

OK, now let's check Boxer Twenty Ten. A modern boxer. A sparring partner of Wladimir Klitschko.

 

He has currently the following record:

#Fight result of Boxer Twenty TenOpponent's record at bout
01 WKO22-2
02 WKO11-0
03 WKO11-1
04 WKO13-5
05 WKO16-15
06 WKO11-2
07 WKO13-4
08 WKO12-0
09 WKO17-1
10 WKO34-7
11 WKO14-2
12 WKO19-0
13 WKO417-20
14 WKO111-38
15 WKO215-6
16 WKO16-6
17 WKO246-15
18 WKO220-11
19 WKO317-3
20 WKO111-1
21 WKO423-10
22 WKO110-2
23 WKO329-10
24 WKO123-5
25 WKO214-0
26 WKO313-0
27 WKO215-8

Fistic Statistic [#4088.3]

 

So the at-a-glance pre-titlefight records of both boxers look like this:

[...] Read more »

Let's compare Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman to Wladimir Klitschko vs Jean-Marc Mormeck

In my article Muhammad Ali’s heavyweight record in a nutshell I described how modern fans would view the opponents of Ali, would Ali fight in our times.

Let's make another comparison. Let's compare Ali's hallmark fight against ·George Foreman to Wlad's stay busy fight against ·Jean-Marc Mormeck.

The fight Klitschko vs Mormeck has been called…

  • "an embarrassing and pathetic mismatch"
  • "an absurd mismatch"
  • "a gross mismatch"
  • "a disgusting mismatch"
  • "a stay busy fight"
  • and Mormeck has been called "a fat bum when Wlad fought him"
  • (all original quotes)

Yet Mormeck had won 6 cruiserweight championships, which during the era of Muhammad Ali would be considered "6 world heavyweight titles".

Due to a change in the definition of "heavyweight" we have nowadays the bizarre situation, that what we call "cruiserweight", has been called "heavyweight" in Ali's times. And what was called "heavyweight" in Ali's times would run as "cruiserweight" now, since borderline boxers (around 210 lbs) like Ken Norton (median fighting weight 209 lbs) or Joe Frazier (median fighting weight 205 lbs) would fight other borderline boxers under the promotion "cruiserweight".

Mormeck would be heavyweight champ back then, and Ali's opponents like Joe Frazier would be probably nothing more than cruiserweight champs nowadays.

Even more important: Cruisers nowadays undergo an artificial weight loss days (sometimes hours) before the weigh-in, and then at fight night they weigh 10-30 lbs more. Therefore a lot of Mormeck's fights would not only have been called "heavyweight" in Ali's times, but they actually were heavyweight even in our times. Or did you think that the world cruiserweight title fight Jean-Marc Mormeck vs O'Neil Bell was really 198 lbs vs 198 lbs?

 

So what would a bout Mormeck vs Ali mean?

It would mean that Ali would have fought one of the best opponents he has ever faced. In fact Muhammad Ali never won against someone at real heavyweight 200×2 who had been a 6x championship winner and a unified champion.

Additionally Mormeck would have been one of the heaviest (heavier than Sonny Liston, Joe Frazier and Ken Norton, and only 1 lbs lighter than George Foreman's average fighting weight in the 1970s) and possibly the most athletic guy Muhammad Ali ever KO'ed.

Take a look at this visual comparison:

[...] Read more »

Muhammad Ali's opponents in the eyes of modern fans -OR- Ali's bum of the month club

Modern fans and good-old-time nostalgists love dissing Klitschko's opponents.

Every time a new opponent is announced they typically respond by:

  • "Who is that? Never heard of this guy! This heavyweight era sucks."
  • "Whom has he beaten? Why does he get a title shot? Very poor talent pool in this era."

 

I already gave an overview of Ali's record at Muhammad Ali’s heavyweight record in a nutshell, hence it's time to analyze Muhammad Ali's opponents one by one.

Let's check one by one how worthy they were.

Let's write what today's fans would write about Ali's opponents would it be not Ali but Klitschko who would have to face them.

How would modern fans react would Klitschko fight exactly the same opponents that Muhammad Ali fought.

[...] Read more »

Muhammad Ali's legendary status is based mainly on his luck in rematches

ALI WAS REALLY LUCKY when it comes to rematches.

In fact, one could say that the ONLY reason why Ali is a household name is because he was so "rematch lucky".

Just imagine the following hypothetical scenario, in which Cassius Clay (aka Muhammad Ali) had less luck:

  1. Ali loses to Frazier (as he did in their first fight) but would never rematch Frazier.
  2. Ali loses to Ken Norton (as he did in their first fight) but would never rematch Norton.
  3. Ali loses to Leon Spinks (as he did in their first fight) but would never rematch Spinks.
  4. Ali wins against Sonny Liston but then loses in the rematch instead of winning by a ridiculous gift stoppage.
  5. Ali wins against Foreman, gives Foreman a rematch and (very likely) loses the rematch
  6. Foreman annihilates Ken Norton and Joe Frazier (as he indeed did, KO2 and KO2)
  7. Leon Spinks ends his career with a bummy record of 26-16 (= Spinks' record without the Ali rematch)

 

It would be completely and utterly clear for anybody, that Ali is merely a B level boxer, who has hardly ever beaten convincingly a top opponent and who has the greatest difficulties "against such tomato cans like Norton, Frazier or Spinks", whereas Foreman is clearly the top dog of the 1970s having beaten all bigger names.

It's only because Ali was lucky enough to be given a rematch against Frazier, Norton and Spinks to avenge his losses.

And it's only because Ali REFUSED to give Foreman a rematch so that Ali's aura of superiority could continue to shine.

Ali was simply lucky he didn't live in times of countless TV channels, governing bodies and boxing promoters like is the case nowadays.

And it's exactly the non-rematching of Wladimir Klitschko vs Ross Puritty and Wladimir Klitschko vs Corrie Sanders and of Vitali Klitschko vs Chris Byrd that feeds AliFants and Klitschko haters to this very day.

Ali's rematching is _THE_ major reason for Ali's resume being considered a top resume. Without his rematches he would have a completely different level of resume with a far worse Win-Fight-ratio and far less world titles won.

 

What would have happened with Ali in our times?

Would Ali live in our times (= the times of competing TV networks and competing belt organizations) and let's say Don King had 4 belt holders (Norton, Frazier, Liston, Spinks) it would be extremely difficult for Ali to stage a rematch.

When Don King had 4 belt holders at the same time…

  • Rahman
  • Ruiz
  • Byrd
  • Brewster

…not one unification bout was staged among them.

Why?

Because 4 champs generate more money.

And 5 to 10 world championships per year generate more money than 2 or 3.

Additionally each of these 4 champs would have to have different mandatory opponents.

Additionally each of these 4 champs would possibly be broadcast by different TV networks.

That's how complicated things are nowadays.

And guess what: although the situation was more rematch friendly back in Ali's days (the further you go back in time the rematch friendlier it was), it took Ali 13(!) fights before he finally could avenge his first career loss to Frazier.

 

Muhammad Ali was lucky

Not only was Ali lucky that the rematches happened, but also the way how they went.

The rematch Ali vs Norton was a SD split decision.

The rematch Ali vs Frazier was a narrow UD decision (8-4, 7-4, 6-5), with many nowadays fans giving the edge to Frazier.

The rematch against Leon Spinks was actually forbidden by the rules of the WBC. Spinks (as the WBC belt holder) was ordered by the WBC to not rematch Muhammad Ali, but to face the WBC mandatory. Only because Spinks chose to drop his WBC belt, Ali got his rematch.

The rematch against Sonny Liston is the most contested KO in boxing history. That's all you need to know. A disgrace inside the ring (the referee didn't even start to count) and outside the ring (Sonny Liston's wife and son were kidnapped by Muhammad Ali's Muslim friends).

 

Summary

So there you have it. Slight changes in the way things had fallen into place and Ali's record would have been far far worse.

Past boxers were 15-rounders. Past boxers fought more often.

Here is what I recently read on a boxing site:

"The golden age of boxing used to be 15-rounders, on top of that, boxers don't have the luxury of fighting with months interval. Imagine how much punishment, weak and tear they took in their body. They fight week in, week out and fighters used to have 100+, 15-rounds fights while in the modern day, a fighter has 50+ fights (almost half) and it’s already a big achievement… so today’s boxing really can’t be compared to as it was before."

It's one nonsense after the other, yet such lies are repeated so often, that boxing fans started to believe that our era is worse than previous eras.

Such statements are pure delusion uttered by good-old-time nostalgists, so it's necessary to analyze the 3 statements here:

  • The Golden Age of boxing used to be 15-rounders
  • Fighters used to have 100+, 15-rounds fights
  • Fighters used to fight more often than nowadays

 

15-rounder heavyweight boxing eras

The aforementioned Golden Age of boxing means roughly the Ali's era[?], which consists of his fights (61 fights against 50 opponents) and his opponents fights (approximately 2600 fights).

Let's add to the mix George Foreman's era (3300+ fights), Sonny Liston's era (1900+ fights), Rocky Marciano's era (2000+ fights), Joe Louis' era (4100+ fights). Heck, let's add all eras of all heavyweight world champs. Let's see how many 13+ rounders there were.

When we add up

  • ALL fights of ALL champs
  • plus ALL fights of ALL the champs' opponents

(which adds up to approximately 70000 unique fights) it turns out that approximately 1600 fights (= 2%) were 13+ rounders.

Let me get this straight:

[...] Read more »

Statistical analysis of heavyweight world championship records -OR- Joe Louis, Wladimir Klitschko, Muhammad Ali: Who has the best world title record?

WHAT WOULD HAPPEN if Wladimir Klitschko decided to call out a 174 lbs opponent for his next heavyweight world championship fight (= an opponent who is 60 lbs lighter than his current opponents)?

 

What would happen if Wladimir Klitschko called out 34-11 guy (who has lost 2 of his last 3 fights, including a loss to an opponent who was 11-2 and 191 lbs)?

 

What would happen if the next world championship opponent earned his title fight by beating three bums[?] (6-8, 13-4, 16-27)?

 

What would happen if Vitali Klitschko decided to call out a 37-30 opponent (= bum[?]) for his next world championship fight?

 

What would happen if Wladimir Klitschko decided to stage a world championship against a 197 lbs boxer who had only 7 fights (of which only 2 had been real heavyweight fights 200×2)?

Or if Wladimir Klitschko decided to lose all his muscles, go all the way down to 197 lbs and then fight another 197 lbs opponent?

Or even go down to 185 lbs to stage a world championship against another 185 lbs (who never had and never will have a single real heavyweight fight 200×2)?

 

Simple. Fans would get upset, cancel their PPV subscriptions or lose their interest in boxing altogether.

Or they would laugh and accuse Klitschko of cherry-picking and the division of being "the greatest joke in history"

 

Yet, exactly such opponents and circumstances HAPPENED and are USED AS A PROOF of the GREATNESS of past eras.

Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier all fought exactly such opponents in exactly such world championship fights.

  • Joe Louis vs ·Jim Braddock (197 lbs vs 197 lbs) (world heavyweight title 1937)
  • Joe Louis vs ·Tony Musto (37-30 whole career) (World heavyweight title 1941)
  • Joe Louis vs ·Billy Conn 174 lbs (Unification(!) world heavyweight title 1937)
  • Rocky Marciano 184 lbs vs ·Roland LaStarza 185 lbs (World heavyweight title 1953)
  • Muhammad Ali vs ·Leon Spinks 197 lbs, 7-0 at bout, 26-17 whole career (WBA+WBC world heavyweight title 1978)
  • Muhammad Ali vs ·George Chuvalo, 34-11 at bout, coming off a loss to a 11-2, 191 lbs guy (world heavyweight title 1966)
  • Joe Frazier vs Dave Zyglewicz, who earned his title fight by beating Pedro Sanchez (6-8), Bob Felstein (13-4), Willie Johnson (16-27) and Levi Forte (18-19) (world heavyweight title 1969)

 

The same fans and experts who declare that "Joe Louis still holds the record for most heavyweight championships won" (which includes world title opponents like mentioned above) have no problems to declare that the current heavyweight division (which excludes such title opponents like mentioned above) is weak.

The same fans who complain about a "dire Klitschko era" have no problem to declare Ali's era to be "The golden Age", yet half of Ali's opponents wouldn't be allowed nowadays or would be a proof of how Klitschko sucks.

The same experts who calculated that "Rocky Marciano is the heavyweight champ with the highest KO'ratio" would turn away from the TV sets if Klitschko's KO victims would be a median 190 lbs.

The same fans who mention that "Rocky Marciano is the only heavyweight champ who retired undefeated (49-0)" would be very upset if Wladimir Klitschko chose 40 of his 49 opponents to be cruisers (200 lbs and below) or chose 49 of his 49 opponents to be cruisers, former cruisers and bums (yes, that's Marciano's record in a nutshell).

 

The same fans who measure Wladimir Klitschko against previous oh-so-great champs would be appalled if Wladimir Klitschko actually fought opponents like those champs fought.

-and-

It's a no-brainer that Joe Louis can hold such records because included in his 26 title wins are opponents like Billy Conn 174 lbs and bums like Tony Musto (37-30).

 

Just take a deep look at this picture:


Heavyweight world title (1906)
172 lbs vs 163 lbs

_THAT_ was a heavyweight world title fight back then.

Such guys (Tommy Burns 160+ lbs vs Philadelphia Jack O'Brien 170+ lbs), both massively smaller than even the referee, are seriously compared to Vitali Klitschko and Lennox Lewis and such world titles are seriously compared to Klitschko's and Lennox Lewis' world titles.

And, believe it or not, exactly this Tommy Burns from that picture is compared to Wladimir Klitschko because "Tommy Burns holds the record for the most (8) consecutive KOs in world title bouts" (all without exception against cruiser-bums like Jewey Smith 22-22 and/or in round #13), while "Klitschko managed to score only 5 in a row".

Klitschko would never want to box or KO such opponents.

Fans would never want to watch Klitschko box or KO such opponents.

It would be even against the current heavyweight rules for Klitschko to box or KO such opponents.

And it would be a proof of the terrible state of the current heavyweight boxing division to box or KO such opponents.

Yet records and streaks against such opponents are being compared to records and streaks of modern world champs.

In other words:

What would now be considered a proof of a terrible state of the division,
is being used as proof of the glory and the achievements of past divisions.

 

I am sorry, but I refuse to compare Tommy Burns to Mike Tyson, to Larry Holmes or even to Muhammad Ali. We have to apply some common sense here:

Either we exclude bums[?] and sub-200 fights to have some common ground for comparisons.

Or we leave bums and sub-200 fights on the record
and then compare Joe Louis to ·Sugar Ray Robinson and Nikolay Valuev to ·Floyd Mayweather Jr
and don't call it "heavyweight toplist" or "heavyweight titles"
but "boxing toplist", "p4p toplist" or "boxing titles"

-and-

The statement
"Joe Louis has XX world title wins and Wlad has only YY world title wins, nah na-na-nah nah"
is equivalent to
"Oscar de la Hoya was world champ in six divisions and Wlad only in one, nah na-na-nah nah".

Apples and oranges.

 

See also:
Boxing eras (1) The best heavyweight era of all time -OR- Is Roy Jones Jr. a better cruiser than Rocky Marciano?
Boxing eras (2) Current heavyweights are fat and out of shape -OR- Ali and the mystery of the six-pack

 

Did Muhammad Ali also face bums in world championship fights? Even worse!

You don't even have to go as far back as Joe Louis. Of Ali's 25 world title fights 10(!) were against bums and/or sub-200 opponents, e.g.

  • Muhammad Ali vs ·Leon Spinks (26-17) 197 lbs (WBA world heavyweight title 1978)
  • or Muhammad Ali vs ·Henry Cooper (40-14) 188 lbs (World Heavyweight title 1966)

(Of the remaining 15 fights (against non-bums, 200+ lbs) 4 were against handicaps (Joe Frazier was blind on his left eye, Cleveland Williams had his intestines removed after a gun shooting and Sonny Liston had an inflammated shoulder), but that's another story.)

 

Similar fights happened during Larry Holmes' era where we had to witness world championship fights like

  • Larry Holmes vs Mike Weaver (41-18) 202 lbs (WBC heavyweight title 1979)
  • Larry Holmes vs Ossie Ocasio (23-13) (WBC heavyweight title 1979)
  • Larry Holmes vs David Bey (18-11) (IBF heavyweight title 1985)

 

Such fights _ARE_ included when fans or TV shows mention "the longest streaks", "the longest reigns" or "the most championships won".

So please, could we finally have some statistics WITHOUT bums and WITHOUT cruisers (or even and sub-cruisers)?

Could we please compare apples to apples? Unpadded heavyweight records to unpadded heavyweight records?

Yes, finally an objective comparison has arrived:

 

Let's make a fair Heavyweight world championship comparison, shall we?

So far there have been approximately 80 heavyweight world champs (since 18xx).

Most of them won only 2 or 1 title fights ("One hit wonders") or even ZERO (e.g. Ken Norton, who was appointed world champ without winning it in the ring).

Once we exclude such "2nd and 3rd tier champs" we are left with the following "top of the crop":

[...] Read more »

Height and weight are irrelevant at heavyweight boxing -OR- Joe Louis vs Primo Carnera, Abe Simon, Buddy Baer

Haters of modern boxing have many crazy ideas about previous eras but the following 2 are the most common:

 

(#1) "Previous heavyweight eras featured higher quality opponents."

The MAIN reason for this statement is that in previous eras "heavyweight division" was defined differently, thus it included what we call now "cruiserweight" and even "light heavyweight".

In Ali's times the heavyweight division started at 176 lbs, which is lower than the current FEMALE heavyweight division.

Thus to have a legitimate assessment of the quality of opponents throughout eras one would have to include the current era's cruiserweights OR (what I do in this blog here) exclude previous era's cruiserweights.

See Boxing eras (2) Current heavyweights are fat and out of shape -OR- Ali and the mystery of the six-pack

 

The second most frequent nonsense is the following:

(#2) "Height And Weight Are Irrelevant" ( the HAWAI myth), "therefore past champs would have no trouble with the current supersized champs".

Sometimes this HAWAI myth is described in different words:

    • "Size is not everything"
    • "Weight is not everything"
    • "Bigger is not better!"
    • "You are obsessed with size"
    • "You make the mistake of equating size with quality"

 

This HAWAI myth is uttered whenever someone compares ancient fighters (like Muhammad Ali) to nowadays champs (like the Klitschkos). Then good-old-time nostalgists pat each other on their backs and mumble "HAWAI! HAWAI! Ali has no problems with the Klitschkos 'cause weight ain't nothing to Ali".

 

Angelo Dundee: "Muhammad Ali would KO the Klitschkos"

Take for example what Angelo Dundee (the trainer of Cassius Clay aka Cassius X aka Muhammad Ali) has to say about a hypothetical clash between "Muhammad Ali vs Wladimir Klitschko" or "Vitali Klitschko vs Muhammad Ali".

Let's listen how Angelo Dundee spins the truth:

Q: "How would Ali do today, with the huge Klitschko brothers?"

Angelo Dundee: "He would’ve stopped both of them. See, Ali looked great against big guys – Cleveland Williams I’ll give you as an example, a huge guy. Another guy, most people haven’t seen the fight, a guy named Duke Sabedong from early in Muhammad’s career. He was like 6'6". Ali's speed would have overcome both Klitschko brothers."

 

What you read here IS PART OF THE mythology bubble that is so dear to AliFants. Because

It's utter nonsense what Dundee fabricated here. Yet such falsehoods FEED AliFants (and all the disciples of of the 1970s cult) to this very day.

And you have to realize that Angelo Dundee (by artificially increasing Clay/Ali's merits) increases his own merits (and maybe the numbers on his own bank account) ("He speaks for no one but his bank account").

Who wins?
Klitschko or Muhammad A-li?
The one who spins!
Angelo Dun-dee!

 

 

Larry Holmes: "Size doesn't matter"

Let's see how Larry Holmes reacts when asked about the Klitschkos: [...] Read more »

Wladimir Klitschko only wins by outweighing his opponents

One of the most bizarre arguments against Wladimir Klitschko that he wins only by out-talling or out-weighing his opponents.

First of all, complaining about body features in a contact sport is ridiculous. If someone has, say, long arms and strong pectoral muscles then it's idiotic to blame him for

  • starting a career in martial arts
  • benefiting from his long arms
  • using his muscles
  • having longer arms and more muscles than his opponent

If someone wouldn't have certain body features he wouldn't be in the boxing business in the first place.

 

Second of all: If you don't like body features to out-dominate the opponent's body features, then watch sub-heavyweight divisions. There is an upper weight limit in lower divisions and therefore all boxers are approximately same-sized.

But accusing a heavyweight boxer of being heavy is like accusing a featherweight of being too light.

The heavyweight division is the only division where it's explicitly allowed to outweigh your opponents by an unlimited amount of pounds, hence complaining about a boxer for being as heavy as he is, is complaining about the core definition of "heavyweight division".

 

Height and reach advantages of a boxer

Let me start off with a general remark about the height and reach of a boxer:

Very often the exact height and reach figures are unknown (or wrong), even for famous boxers. Hence arguing with height and reach is often very unreliable.

Take for example Wladimir Klitschko vs Paea Wolfgramm.

Klitschko and Wolfgramm met both at the Olympic Games 1996 (gold medal finals) and in the professional boxing ring, therefore Wolfgramm's height is both listed at Olympic websites (and therefore WikiPedia) and at BoxRec.

But, wait, what is that?

[...] Read more »

Wladimir Klitschko sucks because he didn't avenge his losses

Wladimir Klitschko had three losses in his career, of which he only avenged one.

The mere fact that two losses are unavenged is used as a proof of a lack of quality.

"ATGs (all time greats) like Lennox Lewis", so the Klitschko haters say, "avenge their losses".

Thus Klitschko's aspiration for the "ATG Olympus" has to be denied.

Let's analyze this "Unavenged losses"-myth closer:

 

"Wladimir Klitschko sucks because he didn't avenge his losses"

A short glance at record of ATGs exposes this myth for what it is:

A blatant lie: [...] Read more »

Useless boxing statistics -OR- Evan Fields is the greatest world champion

SOMETIMES BOXING FANS, TV reporters and "experts" mention a, what I call, "bombastic statistic". That's a figure that sounds good but is pretty useless in assessing quality.

It's similar to a bombastic statement like "As a child I started to read and write earlier than John F. Kennedy" or "I could use forks and knives earlier than Albert Einstein".

It has some value as an anecdote but is only of limited use as an actual achievement.

 

Comparing walk-ins and hair cuts

Let's check some examples of bombastic statistics of boxing:

  • Number of times you became a world champion
    Usually Evan Fields is introduced [...] Read more »