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Thread: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

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    Default 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    Here’s 12 men whose greatness goes largely unrecognized. They were contenders and even champions, and with a break or two could have been household names.

    #1: Charley Burley

    Born: Sept. 6, 1917

    Died: Oct. 16, 1992

    Record: *83-12-2 (50 KOs)

    Charley Burley may have been more than the most underrated fighter who ever lived. According to the great Archie Moore (whom Burley beat in a 1944 middleweight bout) and the great trainer Eddie Futch, Burley was pound for pound the greatest fighter ever.

    He was almost certainly the greatest fighter never to win a title. At his induction into the Ring Magazine Boxing Hall of Fame in 1983, Bert Randolph Sugar quipped, "They should record on his plaque all the guys who ducked him." Burley is thought to be at least one of the inspirations for the character Troy Maxson in August Wilson’s 1985 play "Fences."

    #2: Ezzard Charles

    Born:*July 7, 1921

    Died:*May 28, 1975

    Nickname: Cincinnati Cobra

    Record: 95-15-1 (52 KOs)

    Charles was probably the greatest light-heavyweight who ever fought, but he couldn’t escape bad luck. He beat Archie Moore three times, but never got a shot at the 175-pound light-heavyweight title. Moving up to the heavyweights, he usually faced bigger men. In 1948, he knocked out a contender named Sam Baroudi, who later died of accumulated injuries.

    Charles nearly quit the ring.

    A year later, though, he kick-started his career as a heavyweight and had the misfortune of winning the title in 1950 from his boyhood idol, Joe Louis, and wept in his dressing room after the fight.

    Four years later after losing the title, he fought again and lost twice to Rocky Marciano. (Referee Ruby Goldstein later said he came close to stopping the second bout and awarding it to Charles.) *

    In his mid-30s, Charles was financially strapped and took what he could get. He lost 13 of his last 23, and then turned to clownish wrestling matches, becoming one of the inspirations for Rod Serling’s "Requiem for a Heavyweight."

    In 1968, Charles was diagnosed with ALS — Lou Gehrig’s Disease. At a fundraiser, Rocky Marciano called Charles "the bravest man I ever fought." (Joe Louis and Jersey Joe Walcott also attended.)


    #3: Bob Foster

    Born:*Dec. 15, 1938

    Died:*Nov. 21, 2015

    Nickname: The Deputy Sheriff

    Record: 56-8-1 (46 KOs)

    Bob Foster should have been a little bigger or a little smaller. He was lean — 6-foot3 — and lethal. Twice, he put on a few extra pounds and tried to make a transition to heavyweight, but unfortunately took on two of the greatest, Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, and was knocked out both times. *

    Despite his brain-numbing power, Foster was never a big gate attraction in the United States, but he was hugely popular in South Africa, where he became the first black fighter to not only face but beat a white boxer.

    #4: Floyd Patterson

    Born: Jan. 4 1935

    Died: May 11, 2006

    Nickname: The Gentleman Boxer

    Record: 55-8-1 (40 KOs)

    Patterson gave away weight, height and reach to most of his opponents, yet his achievements were impressive.

    When he knocked Archie Moore out to win the heavyweight title in 1956, Patterson was 21, the youngest man to win the crown. (Mike Tyson eclipsed that in 1986 at age 20). *

    When he knocked out Ingemar Johansson senseless — literally — in 1960, Patterson became the first man to win back the heavyweight title.

    Essentially a light-heavyweight in a heavyweight’s world, Patterson came back from every defeat, winning nine of his last 10 fights, but losing his last to Muhammad Ali in 1972.**


    #5:James Jefferies

    Born: April 15, 1875

    Died: March 3, 1953

    Nickname: The Boilermaker

    Record: 19-1-2 plus one no contest (14 KOs)

    This from Paul Beston’s superb chronicle of the heavyweight division, "The Boxing Kings": "Men of Jefferies’ generation considered him the greatest fighter of all time. But he didn’t capture the national imagination as John L. [Sullivan] or, in a different way [Gentleman Jim] Corbett had."

    Jefferies retired after knocking out two former champs, Corbett and "Ruby Bob" Fitzsimmons. Promoter Tex Rickard dangled $75,000 to fight the first black heavyweight champ, Jack Johnson, as "The Great White Hope." Five years retired and weighing more than 300 pounds, Jefferies should have stayed on the farm. Johnson won by a knockout in the 15th round, and most ringside observers thought he won every frame.


    #6: Gene Tunney

    Born:*May 25, 1897

    Died: Nov. 7, 1978

    Nickname: The Fighting Marine

    Record: 65-1 with 17 decided in his favor by newspaper writers
    History remembers Jack Dempsey as the great boxing hero of the 1920s. His conqueror, Gene Tunney, is scarcely remembered at all.
    But Tunney, small for a heavyweight at just 190 pounds, was the better fighter. He beat Dempsey twice, and the decisions weren’t close.

    The famous "long count" in their 1927 rematch — the most controversial moment in boxing history — still haunts his rep. Dempsey scored a legitimate knockdown, but broke the rules when he hovered over Tunney instead of going to a neutral corner. When the ref continued his count, Tunney sprang up at nine and dominated the rest of the fight.


    #7: Jerry Quarry

    Nickname: The Bellflower (Calif.) Bomber

    Record: 53-9-4 (32 KOs)

    "Irish Jerry" Quarry was always a bridesmaid. At just six feet and about 196 pounds, he usually gave up height and weight, and had the misfortune to fight in an era of many great heavyweights. From 1963 to 1983, he fought a virtual who’s who of the heavyweight division, including Muhammad Ali (twice), Joe Frazier (twice), and Floyd Patterson (twice).

    #8: Marcel Cerdan

    Nickname: The Moroccan Bomber

    Record: 113-4 (66 KOs)

    Not many fighters could claim a Nobel Prize-winning author and a world-famous chanteuse among their fan base, but Marcel Cerdan was admired by fellow Algerian Albert Camus and the boxer was flying to New York to see his lover, French cabaret singer Edith Piaf, when he was killed in a plane crash.

    He was only 33, and the boxing world was denied his rematch with Jake LaMotta, who won the first fight and the middleweight title by stopping Cerdan in the 10th round after he dislocated his shoulder.

    #9: Tony Zale

    What kind of a world do we live in where a fighter wins two out of three title bouts and the guy who lost twice becomes famous? In Hollywoodland, that’s where. And it helps if the guy who lost the two of three is played by Paul Newman in the Rocky Graziano bio-pic "Somebody Up There Likes Me."

    Anthony Florian Zaleski lived up to his "Man of Steel" nickname in an era of outstanding competition. His three fights with Rocky G. were awesome, particularly the third in 1948 when Zale knocked the Rock unconscious.


    #10: Michael Spinks

    Nickname: Jinx
    Record: 31-1 (21 KOs)
    *
    Michael Spinks’ greatness falls between the cracks. He became the first light-heavyweight champ to take the heavyweight belt in 1985.
    Spinks won all his 32 fights except one, but unfortunately, that’s the one everyone remembers — a spectacular first-round knockout at the gloves of Mike Tyson in 1988. Otherwise, we’d remember Spinks as one of the greatest fighters of the decade with his trip-hammer right, the "Spinks Jinx."

    #11: Kid Gavilan

    Nickname: The Cuban Hawk
    Record: 108-30-5 (28 KOs)
    Gerardo Gonzalez — gavilan is Spanish for sparrowhawk — was one of the first prominent Latin fighters. He had some tough losses to the best, including *Sugar Ray Robinson. He won the welterweight championship in 1951, but never made the transition to middleweight.
    The Kid was never much of a puncher — just 28 KOs in 143 bouts — but he could box and he could take it. *And he was one of the few men to have never been knocked down in more than 100 professional fights.


    #12: Wladimir Klitschko … or Vitali Klitschko

    The Ukranian brothers are huge (about 6-foot-6 each) and dominated heavyweight boxing for two decades. Older brother Vitali has a jaw-dropping 87 percent knockout rate, and lost just two fights, both to British champ Lennox Lewis and both by injury. *He’s the only man to have been recognized as heavyweight champ by at least one boxing body in three decades (1980s, 1990s, 2000s).

    A *super-heavyweight gold medalist in 1996, Wladimir had not only strong knockout ability but fast moves and won the heavyweight title twice. (One boxing site recapped a fight as "An Analysis of the Surgeon at Work.")

    Their mother made them promise never to fight each other, so they never did.

    https://www.stadiumtalk.com/s/most-u...ulthomepage-uk
    Do not let success go to your head and do not let failure get to your heart.

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    Strange to have 12 of the most highly rated boxers ever for this list. When I saw the title I expected stories about guys I had barely heard of, and why I needed to know more about them.

    Also, I didn’t read all of it but Vitali didn’t lose twice to LL, that inaccuracy jumped out immediately

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    James Buddy McGirt.
    Remember reality is an illusion caused by a lack of alcohol .

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    Herol Graham who was just unlucky to be ducked by Hagler, lose to Kalambay when he lost his trainer, body snatcher by a point deducted by the ref, Jackson's lucky punch, robbery in Italy by Kalambay after he knocked him down twice, and Brewer when he had knocked him down away from home and was 106 years old.
    Do not let success go to your head and do not let failure get to your heart.

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    Colin Jones
    Remember reality is an illusion caused by a lack of alcohol .

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    Ezzard Charles underrated? He is considered the best LHW ever to most boxing experts.

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    Quote Originally Posted by powerpuncher View Post
    Ezzard Charles underrated? He is considered the best LHW ever to most boxing experts.
    Some say it is Archie Moore but I agree with you.
    Do not let success go to your head and do not let failure get to your heart.

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    MIGUEL HAPPY LORA....reigned as the WBC bantamweight champion of the world from 1985 to 1988. Defensive wizard. Top ten defensive wizards! EASILY!

    Bigger man George, bigger punch!

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    Marlon Starling.
    The legend of Drederick Tatum!Hidden Content

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    Quote Originally Posted by Master View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by powerpuncher View Post
    Ezzard Charles underrated? He is considered the best LHW ever to most boxing experts.
    Some say it is Archie Moore but I agree with you.
    Who? I’ve never seen anybody say that. Moore might not even be top 5. Actually, he most likely isn’t top 5.

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    Harry Greb is underrated, Floyd Patterson and Ezzard Charles are not.

    Two boxers from the past 40 years who deserve more recognition are Steve Collins and Dariusz Michelzewski.

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    Quote Originally Posted by powerpuncher View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Master View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by powerpuncher View Post
    Ezzard Charles underrated? He is considered the best LHW ever to most boxing experts.
    Some say it is Archie Moore but I agree with you.
    Who? I’ve never seen anybody say that. Moore might not even be top 5. Actually, he most likely isn’t top 5.
    Most books I have read have Archie number 1 and certainly in the top 5.
    Do not let success go to your head and do not let failure get to your heart.

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    i like billy petrolle. he really dared you to hit him, and when you punched, he punched. he turned boxing him into a game of chance. and boxing really is a game of chance ultimately.

    that sounds a little crazy but he had an advantage here actually. his head was always moving. really hard to hit. that is because he would repeatedly lean his upper body over his front leg which is the stance you will naturally end up in after throwing your right hand with a weight transfer. kind of like throwing a right hand without throwing a right hand if you can imagine. it looked like he was just sticking his head out there for you to hit, but actually he could punch off this motion, so if you tried to hit him, he always could hit you. would you try to hit him? that is an interesting dilemma. billy petrolle was essentially a human mouse trap.

    it helped that, since he held his hands low, his arms were always free to punch. when you have to keep your hands up to block, you always have to switch back between blocking and punching, which in my opinion can be a little excessive. you might even say overthinking. head moves. hands punch. simple.
    Last edited by Yuzo; 12-11-2018 at 05:11 PM.

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    This smells a bit like a copy and paste job, Master ...... you naughty boy

    I definitely don't agree with that list very much! Gene Tunney, Floyd Patterson - in fact nearly all of them - are legends of the sport. Jeffries was unbeaten during his prime and is still famous a hundred years later!

    The two most 'obscure' guys, Quarry and Burley, are most certainly well known to boxing fans and aficionados, and none of these people are genuinely underrated.

    If we want to talk about underrated 'fighters', what about names like Khosai Galaxy, Bennie Brisco or Pinklon Thomas?

    Or, fighters who were underrated as far as their boxing skills go?

    Buddy McGirt and Marlon Starling have already been mentioned, and they are good calls. I would add Mike McCallum to that. Roberto Duran had very underrated skills and smarts in the ring.

    One of the most underrated 'boxers' in my opinion was Tommy Hearns.

    Certainly not underrated as a fighter' a genuine legend ..... but as a pro he is famous for blitzing people, for spectacular knockouts and for devastating hitting - but he was a master boxer.

    He never got outboxed in his career, he finessed Virgil Hill and many other famous technicians, and was the only man to outbox and outsmart Ray Leonard (twice!)

    Massively underrated as a pure boxer
    If God wanted us to be vegetarians, why are animals made of meat ?

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    Default Re: 12 Most Underrated Boxers in Sweet Science History

    Great call on Briscoe. Crazy to think Galaxy and a few others from Thailand were blazing trails for kickboxers and Muay thai to cross over to boxing long before mma-ufc blew up. Then again maybe he just followed Tex Cobbs pro Karate trail . Galaxy is a guy you wish boxing could 'have back' to see him share the tests and have the world wide exposure lighter divisions know today. He ran up insane title defenses and then inexplicably just decided to retire on his own terms as champion after a decade long undefeated streak.

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