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Ring Mag: 10 Greatest Living Fighters

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Post by hazharrison on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 3:38 pm

Ring Mag came up with a new list:

http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/431305-living-legends-who-is-the-greatest-fighter-alive

10. Larry Holmes
9. Manny Pacquiao
8. Jake LaMotta
7. Floyd Mayweather
6. Julio Cesar Chavez
5. Marvin Hagler
4. Evander Holyfield
3. Pernell Whitaker

They haven't published 1 and 2 yet - any ideas?

Ray Leonard and Duran?

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Post by 88Chris05 on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 4:07 pm

It's been more than six decades and no sign of it yet, but I live in hope that one day the throng of boxing historians and experts who compile these lists will finally realise that La Motta actually wasn't anywhere near as great as he's usually made out to be. The fact that he's on this list when Jofre, Azumah Nelson, Michael Spinks, Hearns, Lennox Lewis, Harada, Jones Jr (can't see them plumping for him and leaving either of Duran or Leonard out), Hopkins, Carlos Ortiz, Napoles and a whole host of others aren't is ridiculous. Yeah, he was the first guy to take the scalp of Robinson. Yeah, he was incredibly tough. Yeah, he lived a wild life. Yeah, they made a great film about him. We get all that. Try looking at his actual overall record a bit more. You'll have a lot less to write, but that fact alone might open your eyes to how grossly he's been overrated for God knows how long now. Just seems like these writers feel they have to include him or give him an overly generous placing for the sake of fitting a guy from the black and white era in.

Done.
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Post by Atila on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 4:28 pm

I'm by no means a La Motta fan, but we just have to accept that the criteria for rating fighters has changed. Those who rate La Motta as a great most probably are older fight fans who rate his overall record and the era that he fought in. Those that don't rate him so highly are most likely younger fight fans who like to pick out two or three 'names' from a fighters record and think that's the be all and end all for rating fighters.

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Post by hazharrison on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 4:39 pm

Atila wrote:I'm by no means a La Motta fan, but we just have to accept that the criteria for rating fighters has changed. Those who rate La Motta as a great most probably are older fight fans who rate his overall record and the era that he fought in. Those that don't rate him so highly are most likely younger fight fans who like to pick out two or three 'names' from a fighters record and think that's the be all and end all for rating fighters.

Think that's it in a nutshell.

He does have some quality names on his record (Zivic, Cerdan, Bell, Williams, Satterfield etc.) and has that giant victory over Robinson.

I think last time they did a list (when the writing staff were of a higher calibre in my opinion) he was ranked between Trinidad and Lewis.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:16 pm

There really is no justification for LaMotta being in a list like this, I wouldn't even have him in the top five living Middleweights; Zivic, Bell and Williams were all career Welterweights who had seen better days when he beat him whilst the Cerdan win doesn't add anything to his legacy considering the circumstances.

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Post by hazharrison on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 10:17 pm

He fought Robinson six times; he won one and some of the others could have gone either way. That's worth a hundred ABC title defences against poor opposition.


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Post by jimdig on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 10:25 pm

Well I just learned something today.I thought LaMotta was dead.

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 10:33 pm

hazharrison wrote:He fought Robinson six times; he won one and some of the others could have gone either way. That's worth a hundred ABC title defences against poor opposition.


Point being what?

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Post by hazharrison on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 1:53 am

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
hazharrison wrote:He fought Robinson six times; he won one and some of the others could have gone either way. That's worth a hundred ABC title defences against poor opposition.


Point being what?

Point being: that may be why he's so highly rated (and rated over the other five living middleweights you suggested should be above him).

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 10:29 am

So he's basically living off one win over Robinson and being the subject of a good film; Hopkins, Hagler, Jones, Valdez and Martinez all rank above him as Middleweights. Then there's the shorter term champions like Benvenuti, Trinidad, McCallum, Nunn and Toney who are overall better boxers than he is.

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 10:43 am

Martinez above La Motta?

Silly comment. Neither better than him in terms of opposition or head to head. Too durable for Martinez La Motta

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 10:58 am

All his durability means is he'd see the final bell but he's outmatched in footspeed and handspeed to such a degree he'd get outboxed. The Billy Fox fight leaves serious question marks over his whole career, I doubt we'll ever know how much influence the mob had on him but I very much doubt it was an isolated incident.

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 11:17 am

Martinez is outmatched in the chin department. By quite some distance

If La Motta can catch up with Sugar Ray he tags Martinez at some point for me. If that first clean shot doesn't put Martinez down it at least changes the course of the fight. La Motta a legend Martinez a mere footnote

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 11:20 am

Beating a legend doesn't make you a legend, winning the title after injuring your opponent by throwing him to the ground and then needing a last minute rally to beat a journeyman does not make a legend. There's also the fact that LaMotta wasn't exactly a big puncher so is unlikely to knock somebody out he can't catch, his status is elevated far too much in comparison to his actual ability.

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 11:26 am

I'm well aware people say his status is elevated and that may or may not be the case

Still got too much for Martinez though who let's face it said his mum wanted him to retire when it was time to fight Golovkin. Wouldn't have lasted ten minutes in the 40's and 50's

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 11:31 am

Wait you're accusing Martinez of ducking and using the 40's and 50's as evidence of that, I forget that we've got a group of world class black boxers around at the moment who are avoided because of their skin colour.

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 11:34 am

Slow down mate you seem to be getting angry again can't you debate calmly and rationally like everyone else? What's the problem

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 11:36 am

You don't have a rebuttal to that do you?

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Post by Herman Jaeger on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 11:38 am

You're mentally ill mate

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Post by 88Chris05 on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 11:49 am

hazharrison wrote:
Atila wrote:I'm by no means a La Motta fan, but we just have to accept that the criteria for rating fighters has changed. Those who rate La Motta as a great most probably are older fight fans who rate his overall record and the era that he fought in. Those that don't rate him so highly are most likely younger fight fans who like to pick out two or three 'names' from a fighters record and think that's the be all and end all for rating fighters.

Think that's it in a nutshell.

I don’t think La Motta’s (in my opinion) inflated rankings that he frequently receives can be put down purely to being a generational thing. Those who do prefer older eras might well rank fighters from La Motta’s days using different criteria to more recent fighters – but that doesn’t explain why fighters like Fullmer and Basilio (not still living, but you get my drift), who fought more or less in the same era as Jake, regularly get ranked way behind him even by those who put extra emphasis on the older guard of fighters.

Ring Magazine’s ’80 Greatest Fighters of the last 80 Years’ in 2002 had La Motta at 52 with Fullmer (who I’d rank ahead of Jake at 160) a whole twenty spots behind at #72. Boxing News’ ‘100 Greatest Fighters’ from 2013 had La Motta at 56, Basilio down at 90 with Fullmer nowhere to be seen. Bert Sugar’s ’100 Greatest’ had La Motta at 27, Basilio at 57 and Fullmer again unranked. The IBRO rated La Motta as the ninth greatest Middleweight ever but had Fullmer way behind at #20. In 2007, ESPN compiled their 50 greatest pound for pounders with La Motta at #28 while Basilio and Fullmer didn’t make the list at all.

I could go on and on. If indeed it’s simply a case of the more mature fans appreciating Jake’s era more, then they’ve got a job on convincing me that what he did in his era is enough to put him ahead of Carmen and Gene at all, never mind to the extent that the historians and publications above seem to largely agree on. It’s not like those lists above were stingy towards or ignorant of great fighters who pre-dated colour TV, either.

A more likely scenario, to me at least, is that even now La Motta’s greater fame / infamy than many of the other fighters I’ve mentioned so far gets confused (maybe subconsciously, maybe not) with greater ability and achievements, and that observers are easily seduced by this eternal link with Robinson, his colourful personality and private life, the Oscars that ‘Raging Bull’ accumulated etc. That’s not to say that La Motta wasn’t a great Middleweight or worthy of great praise from posterity: he was, and he is. But history has been too generous to him, for my money.
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Post by Rowley on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 12:31 pm

The Robinson win is a big factor. As the number of people who actually saw Robbo in anything like his prime diminishes it is easy to forget how highly rated he was by those lucky enough to see him live. Whilst I agree that Jake tends to get a rating he doesn't really warrant on the whole think he obtained a lofty ranking on the back of the Robinson win which has never really been corrected.

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Post by Guest on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 2:07 pm

He's essentially the Danny Williams of the MW division

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Post by hazharrison on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 6:19 pm

Rowley wrote:The Robinson win is a big factor. As the number of people who actually saw Robbo in anything like his prime diminishes it is easy to forget how highly rated he was by those lucky enough to see him live. Whilst I agree that Jake tends to get a rating he doesn't really warrant on the whole think he obtained a lofty ranking on the back of the Robinson win which has never really been corrected.

Not just the win - he pushed Robinson close on umpteen other occasions. For many, that overrides his unnatractive fighting style. He'd certainly rate above Martinez for me - he just has better wins than the Argentine.

I'm not looking to justify his ranking (some of the others look equally curious) but I think he's been done a little bit of a disservice above (possibly due to outranking some of the 606 board's darlings).

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Post by hazharrison on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 6:25 pm

They have Duran at 2. That's worse than LaMotta! Bring back Bill Dettloff!

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Post by milkyboy on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 9:01 pm

He did end robinson's winning streak, and is the only man to beat him at robinson's best weight. Lamotta himself wasn't a welter of course weighing a stone heavier. Bloody catchweights don't you hate them.

He won the fight that Robinson fought lamotta's fight and lost  the others, but it's true he gave him a hard time. Helped by weight in the early fights and in the later ones perhaps by the fact that Robbo was never quite the middle he was as a welter.

On balance, while it's true that we need to judge fighters from that era differently I think lamotta's win over Robinson and his persona and legend lead to an overly favourable position in history but then, when you're the man who beat the man it's understandable that you're going to get some bonus browny points... Unless you're buster Douglas

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Post by Rowley on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 9:05 pm

milkyboy wrote: Unless you're buster Douglas

God how many times have we got to go through this Milky, Robin Givens, Don King, Tyson had not trained, the long count, Gus Tomato had died!!

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Post by milkyboy on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 9:20 pm

My bad rowley, for some reason I always forget Tyson trained on a diet of Charlie and geisha girls.

Gus tomato... Still my joint favourite with wlad being vitali's brother

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Post by Rowley on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 10:01 pm

Gus tomato is 606s Citizen Kane, we set the bar so high, so early. We can only dream of hitting such heights again.

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Post by milkyboy on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 10:18 pm

I'm not a man with regrets. I prefer to live in the moment. And yet occasionally I do ponder 'what if'. 

Had I nurtured the innocent Tyson fan who gave us gus tomato, rather than draw attention to him, perhaps we would have seen more moments of genius from his keyboard. 

But perhaps I did us a service. It's an iconic moment, a one night stand with a beautiful woman forever etched in the memory. Perhaps it was best that way.

Am I lee Harvey Oswald? It troubles me.

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Post by Atila on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 7:07 am

Back on topic, as much as I'm a Hagler fan, I'm not so sure I'd rate him above Chavez. Chavez was in my opinion, a truly great fighter who would have been exceptional in an era.

Also, I'm surprised that so far there hasn't been much rumbling about Mayweather only making the 7th spot. The way some posters have carried on in the past, I expected complaints about how Mayweather didn't make the number one spot.

Duran at number two? I'd have him at number one. I guess Leonard will get the number one spot. That will make Milky happy. Very Happy

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Post by milkyboy on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 7:17 am

I don't want to see Leonard at no 1 Atila. It's beneath him. Nothing less than Diamond super emeritus champion will suffice

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Post by Rowley on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 7:24 am

I always think Roy Jones gets short thrift in these things. Obviously humiliating himself now does him no favours but he was staggeringly good at his best. He is certainly as deserving of a place as some on here. Leonard is rightly top for what my opinion is worth.

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Post by huw on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 7:33 am

Funny how we react to these lists, I see Whitaker at no. 3 and am happy enough to not care about the rest of the list.

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Post by milkyboy on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 7:48 am

Rowley wrote:I always think Roy Jones gets short thrift in these things. Obviously humiliating himself now does him no favours but he was staggeringly good at his best. He is certainly as deserving of a place as some on here. Leonard is rightly top for what my opinion is worth.

I guess there's always the accusation of beating dross, and the PED tainting but he has Toney and Hopkins and a heavyweight title... Albeit a cherry picked one. 

He's certainly a top 10 talent.

What do people think of Evan fields at 4?

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Post by Rowley on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 7:49 am

I know I have made this point before but the heavyweight title is too readily dismissed. Not going to argue Ruiz was top tier or the best heavy in the world, but as I have said previously if the achievement was that easy why has jobody done it since?

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Post by Atila on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 7:50 am

Rowley wrote:I always think Roy Jones gets short thrift in these things. Obviously humiliating himself now does him no favours but he was staggeringly good at his best. He is certainly as deserving of a place as some on here. Leonard is rightly top for what my opinion is worth.
The way Jones's career has finished has obviously counted against him in some peoples eyes (though not mine). If he'd retired after beating Ruiz he'd be rated higher on all time lists.

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Post by Atila on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 7:53 am

Rowley wrote:I know I have made this point before but the heavyweight title is too readily dismissed. Not going to argue Ruiz was top tier or the best heavy in the world, but as I have said previously if the achievement was that easy why has jobody done it since?
Who is jobody? An African fighter?

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Post by Rowley on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 8:26 am

Atila wrote:
Rowley wrote:I know I have made this point before but the heavyweight title is too readily dismissed. Not going to argue Ruiz was top tier or the best heavy in the world, but as I have said previously if the achievement was that easy why has jobody done it since?
Who is jobody? An African fighter?

If you followed the sport a bit more closely you wouldn't need to ask.

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Post by hazharrison on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 10:45 am

Rowley wrote:I know I have made this point before but the heavyweight title is too readily dismissed. Not going to argue Ruiz was top tier or the best heavy in the world, but as I have said previously if the achievement was that easy why has jobody done it since?

James Toney did Rowley (but then popped for a PED). His career at heavyweight eclipsed Roy's.

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Post by milkyboy on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 11:00 am

PED.... Performance enlarging dominos

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Post by Guest on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 11:58 am

HGH - Huge Great Hippo

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Post by 88Chris05 on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 12:05 pm

Yeah, Holyfield at #4 does seem way too lofty a rating for him. It’s arguable whether or not he’s even the fourth greatest living Heavyweight, never mind fourth greatest overall. Obviously as well as his Heavyweight exploits he has the additional bonus of being the greatest Cruiserweight ever, but when your nearest rivals for that accolade are the likes of Carlos De Leon and David Haye there’s only so far the credit stretches.

Mayweather’s a bit low on the other side of the coin. As stunning and consistent as Chavez and his record were, I don’t see any areas where he outdoes Floyd. Personally, if Whitaker is at 3 then Mayweather shouldn’t be any lower than fourth – and in fact, I’d swap them to put Floyd marginally ahead of Pea, much as that pains me.

1) Ray Leonard 2) Duran 3) Mayweather 4) Whitaker 5) Jones 6) Pacquiao 7) Jofre 8) Michael Spinks 9) Chavez 10) Hagler

That’s a very rough attempt by me which would likely be different if I did it again in an hour. Hopkins, Ortiz, Napoles, Harada, Nelson, Holmes, Hearns etc…All of them could nick the last couple of spots on any given day.
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Post by Rowley on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 12:13 pm

hazharrison wrote:
Rowley wrote:I know I have made this point before but the heavyweight title is too readily dismissed. Not going to argue Ruiz was top tier or the best heavy in the world, but as I have said previously if the achievement was that easy why has jobody done it since?

James Toney did Rowley (but then popped for a PED). His career at heavyweight eclipsed Roy's.

He didn't do it then as far as I'm concerned. If you do something by cheating you have not done it.

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Post by huw on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 1:10 pm

88Chris05 wrote:Yeah, Holyfield at #4 does seem way too lofty a rating for him. It’s arguable whether or not he’s even the fourth greatest living Heavyweight, never mind fourth greatest overall. Obviously as well as his Heavyweight exploits he has the additional bonus of being the greatest Cruiserweight ever, but when your nearest rivals for that accolade are the likes of Carlos De Leon and David Haye there’s only so far the credit stretches.

Mayweather’s a bit low on the other side of the coin. As stunning and consistent as Chavez and his record were, I don’t see any areas where he outdoes Floyd. Personally, if Whitaker is at 3 then Mayweather shouldn’t be any lower than fourth – and in fact, I’d swap them to put Floyd marginally ahead of Pea, much as that pains me.

1) Ray Leonard 2) Duran 3) Mayweather 4) Whitaker 5) Jones 6) Pacquiao 7) Jofre 8) Michael Spinks 9) Chavez 10) Hagler

That’s a very rough attempt by me which would likely be different if I did it again in an hour. Hopkins, Ortiz, Napoles, Harada, Nelson, Holmes, Hearns etc…All of them could nick the last couple of spots on any given day.  

The one time I'm happy with a list purely because they had Whitaker so high and you have to try to ruin it. Mayweather wouldn't have been able to do it on coke so for me there is no way he goes past Whitaker.... Although I would have liked to see Mayweather try boxing whilst very drunk, preferably against a sober Lewis but would be happy enough with 'Prime' Tyson.

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Post by hazharrison on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 2:01 pm

88Chris05 wrote:Yeah, Holyfield at #4 does seem way too lofty a rating for him. It’s arguable whether or not he’s even the fourth greatest living Heavyweight, never mind fourth greatest overall. Obviously as well as his Heavyweight exploits he has the additional bonus of being the greatest Cruiserweight ever, but when your nearest rivals for that accolade are the likes of Carlos De Leon and David Haye there’s only so far the credit stretches.

Mayweather’s a bit low on the other side of the coin. As stunning and consistent as Chavez and his record were, I don’t see any areas where he outdoes Floyd. Personally, if Whitaker is at 3 then Mayweather shouldn’t be any lower than fourth – and in fact, I’d swap them to put Floyd marginally ahead of Pea, much as that pains me.

1) Ray Leonard 2) Duran 3) Mayweather 4) Whitaker 5) Jones 6) Pacquiao 7) Jofre 8) Michael Spinks 9) Chavez 10) Hagler

That’s a very rough attempt by me which would likely be different if I did it again in an hour. Hopkins, Ortiz, Napoles, Harada, Nelson, Holmes, Hearns etc…All of them could nick the last couple of spots on any given day.  

Duran should be number one and there's no way I could imagine ranking Jofre over Marvin Hagler or Chavez.

I'd say that looking at the list, they've placed a large emphasis on big wins (perhaps why Leonard made top spot). That would help explain Holyfield and LaMotta.

I'd go:

1. Duran 2. Leonard 3. Whitaker 4. Hagler 5. Chavez 6. Mayweather 7. Jones 8. Pacquiao 9. Holyfield 10. Foreman


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Post by hazharrison on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 2:06 pm

Rowley wrote:
hazharrison wrote:
Rowley wrote:I know I have made this point before but the heavyweight title is too readily dismissed. Not going to argue Ruiz was top tier or the best heavy in the world, but as I have said previously if the achievement was that easy why has jobody done it since?

James Toney did Rowley (but then popped for a PED). His career at heavyweight eclipsed Roy's.

He didn't do it then as far as I'm concerned. If you do something by cheating you have not done it.

If you're not having that one (which I personally think put Roy's feat in perspective) Toney beat a version of Holyfield who was as close to Ruiz in ability (at that particular point) as anyone. Ruiz only had that paper title thanks to a somewhat fortuitous verdict in the rubber match.

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Post by milkyboy on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 2:41 pm

Not sure I really see the point of the Toney, Jones argument. So let's say two guys in however many years have managed it. It's not an extensive list.

Whose record there was better? Bit irrelevant in the circumstances...One went up for one fight, one just got fat and ended up there... He happened to have a great chin and excellent defensive qualities so got away with it. Perhaps that in itself says something of the era. Don't think any of us would argue it's an era to eulogise about.

I presume it's not about who the better fighter was. When the two fighters fought, both in their primes at their best weights, one shut the other out.

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Post by hazharrison on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 2:57 pm

milkyboy wrote:Not sure I really see the point of the Toney, Jones argument. So let's say two guys in however many years have managed it. It's not an extensive list.

Whose record there was better? Bit irrelevant in the circumstances...One went up for one fight, one just got fat and ended up there... He happened to have a great chin and excellent defensive qualities so got away with it. Perhaps that in itself says something of the era. Don't think any of us would argue it's an era to eulogise about.

I presume it's not about who the better fighter was. When the two fighters fought, both in their primes at their best weights, one shut the other out.

Rowley feels that Roy's feat of winning a paper title from Ruiz is underrated - was merely offering the alternative view. Toney did similar.

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Post by Rowley on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 4:17 pm

Using bolt currently had the world 100 metre record at 9.85 seconds I believe. If I get on a motorbike and go it in 8 can I claim the record and the title of fastest man in the world or will folk tell me to sod off and give me no praise as I cheated. Toney did nothing. He cheated.

Diminish Jones' achievement all you wish, two fighters in 120 years remains a fact.

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Post by Atila on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 4:26 pm

88Chris05 wrote:Yeah, Holyfield at #4 does seem way too lofty a rating for him. It’s arguable whether or not he’s even the fourth greatest living Heavyweight, never mind fourth greatest overall. Obviously as well as his Heavyweight exploits he has the additional bonus of being the greatest Cruiserweight ever, but when your nearest rivals for that accolade are the likes of Carlos De Leon and David Haye there’s only so far the credit stretches.

Mayweather’s a bit low on the other side of the coin. As stunning and consistent as Chavez and his record were, I don’t see any areas where he outdoes Floyd. Personally, if Whitaker is at 3 then Mayweather shouldn’t be any lower than fourth – and in fact, I’d swap them to put Floyd marginally ahead of Pea, much as that pains me.

1) Ray Leonard 2) Duran 3) Mayweather 4) Whitaker 5) Jones 6) Pacquiao 7) Jofre 8) Michael Spinks 9) Chavez 10) Hagler

That’s a very rough attempt by me which would likely be different if I did it again in an hour. Hopkins, Ortiz, Napoles, Harada, Nelson, Holmes, Hearns etc…All of them could nick the last couple of spots on any given day.  
Chavez like Jones Jr, is another one who carried on too long and didn't do his legacy any favours. If Chavez had retired at 87-0, I doubt anyone would be saying that he didn't outdo Floyd.

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