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Thread: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

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    Default Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    Back in the old days, many fighters would get thrown to the wolves very early in their careers. Because of that, they ended up with tons of losses. Some of the best to have ever boxed have tons of early losses. They were resilient and came back from adversity to become great.

    The issue is that with how we view and promote boxing, is this just not beneficial anymore? They promote the “0” so much that it almost seems like it becomes more mentally damaging than it used to. I know that even in MMA where they don’t promote the “0” much it still takes a huge mental toll on many fighters. Is this just cultural? Like these kids come up with the expectation to not lose? Whereas back in the day most fighters would assume they would lose coming up the ranks.

    I hear fans so often saying that fight A isn’t ready for fighter B. While it might be true, couldn’t it be a good experience that would make them better in the future? Or have we lost that mindset? It’s just unfortunate because I would love it if some of these young guns like Haney, R. Garcia, Stevenson, etc could just make fights with some of the big dawgs here and there to see where they are at. I think it would make for some exciting match ups with potential upsets.

    I think one of the biggest issues of it though is that fact that fighters don’t fight near enough anymore. It’s difficult to make these types of fights when there are other ones to be made. I just wish that somehow we could allow fighters to feel alright with losing early in their careers without the fear of losing potential financial benefits.

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    Quote Originally Posted by powerpuncher View Post
    Back in the old days, many fighters would get thrown to the wolves very early in their careers. Because of that, they ended up with tons of losses. Some of the best to have ever boxed have tons of early losses. They were resilient and came back from adversity to become great.

    The issue is that with how we view and promote boxing, is this just not beneficial anymore? They promote the “0” so much that it almost seems like it becomes more mentally damaging than it used to. I know that even in MMA where they don’t promote the “0” much it still takes a huge mental toll on many fighters. Is this just cultural? Like these kids come up with the expectation to not lose? Whereas back in the day most fighters would assume they would lose coming up the ranks.

    I hear fans so often saying that fight A isn’t ready for fighter B. While it might be true, couldn’t it be a good experience that would make them better in the future? Or have we lost that mindset? It’s just unfortunate because I would love it if some of these young guns like Haney, R. Garcia, Stevenson, etc could just make fights with some of the big dawgs here and there to see where they are at. I think it would make for some exciting match ups with potential upsets.

    I think one of the biggest issues of it though is that fact that fighters don’t fight near enough anymore. It’s difficult to make these types of fights when there are other ones to be made. I just wish that somehow we could allow fighters to feel alright with losing early in their careers without the fear of losing potential financial benefits.

    That's a good question, and I'll do my best to answer it. You'll have to excuse any bias that may seem apparent. First, it all depends on which fighters you're referring to from "back in the old days." Depending on who you were, and where you were from, sometimes the fighters would certainly NOT get thrown to the wolves early in their career. In fact, one of the greatest Mexican fighters ever, Julio Cesar Chavez, fought exclusively in Mexico for the first 45 or so fights in his pro career, mostly against forgettable opposition. He was never in danger of losing, given the subsequent greatness of his career. He was mostly definitely NOT thrown to the wolves. He finally did start working his way up the opponent quality ladder, but by that time had amassed such a formidable record that the W-L ledger became something to protect, and that "0" took on a life of its own. At the time of his first loss ever, to Frankie Randall, JCC was 89-0-1, and believe me..... Julio was understandably a totally sore loser in total denial after the fight.

    This is not to take anything away from Julio Cesar. He earned his way to the IBHOF with a long, formidable career. But facts are facts nonetheless.

    By contrast, a contemporary boxer by the name of Azumah Nelson fought none other than Salvador Sanchez in his 14th pro fight, and later he met Wilfredo Gomez in his 21st.

    Speaking of Gomez, he faced and beat Dong Kyun Yum for the WBC super bantam world title in his 17th pro fight, and faced and beat 52-0 Carlos Zarate in his 23rd.

    Fernando Vargas was a great example, as he had faced Yori Boy Campas, Raul Marquez, Winky Wright, Ike Quartey, and Felix Trinidad all by his 21st fight. A man on a mission.

    Miguel Cotto's early opponents don't get much credit, but he was facing some credible, even avoided opposition early on.

    Roberto Duran was brought along a bit slowly in Panama at first, but quickly made up for it by after fighting Hiroshi Kobayashi and Ken Buchanan in his 26th and 29th fights respectively. During his long career he certainly fought a Who's Who of elite fighters, much like JCC.

    De La Hoya had fought some good names by his 20th pro fight.


    There's lots more examples on both sides of the equation, but the fear of losing the "0" is very real today, and has been discussed ad nauseaum. Whatever the reason might be, and that is the source of much speculation and different points of view, it hurts boxing by denying fans of matchups when they should be made. Fights are made to wait, sometimes beyond their expiration date. It's not like we have a shortage of good young fighters coming up. But if we start protecting everybody's "0"s like the gold in Fort Knox, we're going to end up with a bunch of young fighters with undefeated records, never having fought anybody of note, and on a holding pattern while fans are left to rot waiting for the big fights.

    Guys like JMM and BHop lost in their pro debuts and went on to become boxing greats. Must be nice to have that pressure off and concentrate on just being the best fighter you can be, seeking out the best competition.

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    Thanks for the response. In my mind, I was thinking of the the black and white days for the good old days. Although I understand many people in the 80’s and before did some of the same things.

    Some fighters do get established at an early age, but I’m more thinking way back to people like Archie Moore who had to claw his way to greatness. He took tons of losses from good fighters because he wasn’t ready for them.

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    Ok.... if you want to go back to the black and white days. Everything was different back then. Fighters fought a HELL of a lot more times. Records of 180-25 were not uncommon. Archie Moore himself was 55-5-5 when he beat Eddie Cerda in 1943..... then proceeded to lose 4 out of the next 8 fights. Fighters fought more often. They fought for more years. Fans were different. The media coverage was different. Today's "0" worship was non-existent back then.

    I don't see where Moore had to "claw his way to greatness." He just followed the old M.O. of fighting often and for a long time. Win most..... lose a few. Certainly he wasn't "pariah-ed" by fans or press after suffering his first "L". Didn't mean much in the overall scheme of things.

    If anything, most fighters went about their business (career development) in much the same way. Nowadays is where the vast difference occur. You've got your Canelos and JCCs, amassing undefeated records against dismal opposition in their immediate neighborhoods...... and you've got your Vargases and your Gomezes fighting not only credible, but awesome opposition very early on.

    I don't know. Maybe I'm missing the point.

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    There are a hundred and one 'international' titles to be had of course but there's still the beaten path round these parts of British (best belt bar none) Commonwealth, European then World honors. For any young fighter coming through that would or should be the goal. Do some get thrown to the wolves so to speak, yeah they do. Generally speaking though I'd say it's more out of necessity than design. A fighter who has to take a calculated risk to kick the door down because his following/management/ doesn't demand that it's opened for him. A fighter that gets a great opportunity out of the blue etc.

    I don't think there was too much different back in the day. Fighters were still commodities and many people made money off of their backs. Keeping them winning is good for business. I think it just comes down to the old adage, if you go out in the rain, you're gonna get wet. They went out in the rain more often.
    When God said to the both of us "Which one of you wants to be Sugar Ray?" I guess I didnt raise my hand fast enough

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    Back in the black and white era boxing was as big a sport as any in America and there were a lot more fighters and there was only one champion. Promoters could throw any prospect in with anybody they wanted because there were a lot more fighters coming along so if a prospect turned out to be not as good as advertised it didn't matter so much. There was such a queue of guys waiting for a shot at any one of the belts that they were going to be tested against the best many times before they got near a title fight.

    Nowadays the whole promotional model is different. A promoter signs a prospect with potential and nurses him along carefully. They basically partner up with a sanctioning body to ease a careful path to a title to keep everybody making money.

    Back in the day it was all gate money and no TV. Fights had to be good, who was in them was kinda secondary. The profusion of fights, fighters and cards meant a big pool of talent available and a queue of top guys with name recognition and followings waiting for a title fight. Now with so few fighters and fights by comparison and so many belts and everything meaningful on TV it's a different ball game.

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    Young in their pro career or young in age? Sometimes a younger aged fighter needs time to learn and develop or adjust to the pros. Some experienced amateurs get moved quickly. We just saw Akhmadaliev take on unified champ Roman in only his 8th fight. Lomachenko fought Salido in his 2nd fight and lost. A loss doesn't necessarily mean the end. If a fighter has talent they can always bounce back.

    The industry can however effect the progress after a fighter loses. I think the greater the risk, the greater the reward, within reason, you don't won't to put a fighter in over his head to soon. A loss to a more experienced fighter can sometimes be used as a learning curve.

    Competition for me personally, is only about bettering myself. It should never be about viewing yourself as something better than anybody else.
    They live, We sleep

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    My old man raised us with a phrase repeated at the dinner table. 'Adversity builds character'. I think it's also some of a generational thing in the big picture. 20's through maybe 50's 60's ish lets face it we were a tougher meat and potato lot. A lot of fighters were raised and trained in the circumstance and while it sounds like an over simplification, fighting regularly was a way..a necessity..of life and career. Sure you had your playboys and exceptions but in large part you had to scrape and claw for your notoriety and week to week month to month opportunity. As such it was understood and a given that it just won't be your night sometimes. They weren't feverishly 'devastated' and dismissed as a loss and more often than not wanted and needed to do it again making a rivalry. You do learn when you are denied and have to recommit. Today guys are anointed with a single KO or how many followers they have on social media ffs . We're just a different breed. There were high stakes then and huge investment in fighters but today promotion and company has regrettably come level with the fighter. Fighters are faces and force of franchise. I've always thought numbers seriously overrated and misleading. We're constantly bludgeoned with 'the 0'. Be it undefeated or a massive KO percentage. Both are only as impressive as who and the circumstances they came against.
    Last edited by Spicoli; 02-19-2020 at 05:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    Everything there is to say has pretty much already been said. So i'll say this. There are certain young fighters I wouldn't mind watching losing a tough scrap and there are other fighters that can't hold my attention in steamrolling an over-matched opponent. They blame it on the fans and say that if the fighters undefeated they more marketable to justify the baby step exhibition tune up for a tune up for a tune up. I think the UFC has already debunked that when it comes to losses in terms of pay ranking.
    I think many of the young fighters sit around and wait for rivals to get old, fight a completely shot fighter or a guy with a padded record in another country simply because their ego couldn't take the loss. Their handlers know that and still want to make money off the kid. Remember when a faded one lost wonder was bounced around between trains and promoters as a reclamation project. A kid would lose a fight and automatically be sent to a Joe Goossen type trainer and get nurtured for a second career. Now those kids are chopped up and fed to the big money makers in division because half of the coyotes share (as opposed to lions) is better than starving while trying to make a lion out of a coyote.
    They want your @$$ beat because upsets make news. News brings about excitement, excitement brings about ratings. The objective is to bring you up to the tower and tear your @$$ down. And if you don't believe that, you're crazy.

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    i'd like to see some of these guys take the fights when they are there, rather than talking shit on twitter and the fights never happening. i could go the other way as well, with established fighters not wanting to risk a loss to a perceived prospect
    Apply shame. Apply fame. The crook and the flail.

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spicoli View Post
    My old man raised us with a phrase repeated at the dinner table. 'Adversity builds character'. I think it's also some of a generational thing in the big picture. 20's through maybe 50's 60's ish lets face it we were a tougher meat and potato lot. A lot of fighters were raised and trained in the circumstance and while it sounds like an over simplification, fighting regularly was a way..a necessity..of life and career. Sure you had your playboys and exceptions but in large part you had to scrape and claw for your notoriety and week to week month to month opportunity. As such it was understood and a given that it just won't be your night sometimes. They weren't feverishly 'devastated' and dismissed as a loss and more often than not wanted and needed to do it again making a rivalry. You do learn when you are denied and have to recommit. Today guys are anointed with a single KO or how many followers they have on social media ffs . We're just a different breed. There were high stakes then and huge investment in fighters but today promotion and company has regrettably come level with the fighter. Fighters are faces and force of franchise. I've always thought numbers seriously overrated and misleading. We're constantly bludgeoned with 'the 0'. Be it undefeated or a massive KO percentage. Both are only as impressive as who and the circumstances they came against.

    Jake LaMotta fighting SRR twice in three weeks. Back then every week there was a fight that wasn't even a title eliminator which was a better matchup than ninety percent of the alphabet belt fights we get these days. Now we've got Gary Russell Junior fighting hasbeens and neverwases once a year for an alphabet belt for more money than old time fighters could ever dream of.

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    Japanese young fighters match tough early in their career

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kirkland Laing View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Spicoli View Post
    My old man raised us with a phrase repeated at the dinner table. 'Adversity builds character'. I think it's also some of a generational thing in the big picture. 20's through maybe 50's 60's ish lets face it we were a tougher meat and potato lot. A lot of fighters were raised and trained in the circumstance and while it sounds like an over simplification, fighting regularly was a way..a necessity..of life and career. Sure you had your playboys and exceptions but in large part you had to scrape and claw for your notoriety and week to week month to month opportunity. As such it was understood and a given that it just won't be your night sometimes. They weren't feverishly 'devastated' and dismissed as a loss and more often than not wanted and needed to do it again making a rivalry. You do learn when you are denied and have to recommit. Today guys are anointed with a single KO or how many followers they have on social media ffs . We're just a different breed. There were high stakes then and huge investment in fighters but today promotion and company has regrettably come level with the fighter. Fighters are faces and force of franchise. I've always thought numbers seriously overrated and misleading. We're constantly bludgeoned with 'the 0'. Be it undefeated or a massive KO percentage. Both are only as impressive as who and the circumstances they came against.

    Jake LaMotta fighting SRR twice in three weeks. Back then every week there was a fight that wasn't even a title eliminator which was a better matchup than ninety percent of the alphabet belt fights we get these days. Now we've got Gary Russell Junior fighting hasbeens and neverwases once a year for an alphabet belt for more money than old time fighters could ever dream of.
    Russell really ended up a shame. Started with massive promise and talent and now seems to focus on boxing with the frequency of a total lunar eclipse. Yeh and consider LaMotta v Fritzie Zivic, a series of four fights within six months..and both with 'tune ups' in between. Surprised LaMotta still had his eyesight . And the generational thing then Zivic joins the U.S Army a couple months later.

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    Default Re: Is it beneficial anymore for young fighters to fight established fighters?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baal View Post
    Japanese young fighters match tough early in their career
    Good point. Probably because Japanese culture is different.

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