Boxing Greats That Changed the Sport
Boxing is kicking into high gear at the moment, with Triple G KO’ing everyone in his path. But over the years there have been KO kings – true Kings who are still number one in our hearts. So as we witness the rise of another, it’s nice to take a look back at the ‘best of the best.’ And there’s no debating who sits on top…
There is a reason for the ‘Rocky’ theme here, because it was Rocky Marciano who was and will remain number one in the ring and in our hearts; the heavyweight with the fists of gold whose record (W-L-D), was 49-0. Out of those forty-nine wins, 43 were absolute knock-outs. Great for fans – not so great for his competitors.
Oddly enough (and this is one fan who still can’t understand it unless negativity really has taken over every part of this nation), there are boxing experts who still attempt to knock Rocky down by saying that his record was only because he was a heavyweight in the ‘weakest era’ of heavyweight boxing. But let’s be real, guys. Even though the competition may not have been as ‘glittering’ as it is today, Rocky STILL took down some serious legends.
The names: Joe Louis, Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles and Archie Moore are not names to be taken lightly. Add to this the fact that Marciano was undersized for a heavyweight; at 5’11’’ and under 200 pounds, he didn’t have the size and strength he needed. What power he did have, however, was located in his fists. Is it true that Rocky’s punching power was tested by the U.S. Army, where they discovered that the force of his punch equaled the power of an armor piercing bullet? Who knows? Who cares? I, for one, would never have wanted to be on the receiving end.
The knockout punch is what we all wait for; it’s the edge-of-your-seat grand finale. The KO is beyond vengeance in a way, and is literally the most heroic thing to see. It is the battle between good versus evil, with the good guy (hopefully) winning at all times. This is what Rocky on-screen and Marciano off-screen did quite well.
But Rocky wasn’t all that we remember. There have been some intriguing, amazingly triumphant moments in the world of boxing…
Marvelous Marvin Hagler was a middleweight that brought back street brawling to the ring. He and his competitor always looked as if they were acting out West Side Story without the music, dancing and romance. Although the fighters he fought weren’t exactly big names, Hagler did knock out Tommy Hearns in one of the most brutal match-ups in history.
Julio Cesar Chavez was a dominating force in boxing for thirteen years. The experts called him intelligent, because he could switch from boxing to brawling to street fighting in literally seconds after reading his opponent’s next move. Whereas many boxers have the power, Chavez was known for his speed. He could definitely bob and weave while he utilized that killer right cross and left hook, and barely anyone could determine HIS next move.
“Sugar” Ray will always be a fan favorite – just like Marciano is. Robinson was that fun, more than cute, fighter with quick hands and feet that seemed to go a mile a minute when he was in the ring. The right hook was fearsome and basically did the job. One of the most memorable Sugar Ray fights was against Jake LaMotta. Although not a KO, it is still a highly requested video on YouTube because LaMotta went into the ring looking one way and literally came out looking like a freight train had run over his face. This was the one where the ref stopped the fight because LaMotta was about ready to be killed.
Gorge Foreman will be remembered by some for his grilling techniques, but his real grilling came in the ring. He was the most imposing sight to see for a boxer, and although there was no grace like Sugar Ray or quickness, the power that seemed to surround him was like a wall of stone. And when everyone’s love, Joe Frazier, was KO’ed by Foreman in only two rounds back in 1973, the world knew that Foreman was the one to fear. Not to mention, he never seemed to lose the strength. At 45 years of age he KO’ed Michael Moorer before leaving the spotlight.
And, no…before anyone writes angry mail – I have not forgotten Ali. But even now it seems as if Ali is above everyone else. Legend, Icon – these are the words for ‘The Greatest’ and he deserves his own article all by himself. After all…he is the one that will always remain in fan‘s hearts at the top of the boxing food chain..
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Until Next Time, Everybody,
source: Baret News Wire