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By 1930s, I really mean the times following Gene Tunney's retirement to the start of WW2, which I think make for a neat, tidy era.

1. Joe Louis: Well, duh :laugh: Who else was going to head up this list? Louis was not just the dominant champ of the 1930s - if you consider how infrequently past champs fought, he was the first truly dominant heavyweight champion period.

He kayoed Paulino Uzcudun and Kingfish Levinsky, as well as former champs Max Baer and Primo Carnera on his way to the title. Right there he knocked off four of the world's best heavyweights in only his second year as a pro fighter. After taking the title from Braddock, he defeated John Henry Lewis, Billy Conn, Arturo Godoy twice, Tony Galento, and avenged his sole defeat to Max Schmeling in spectacular fashion. This was the period of the pre-war Joe Louis, where his legend was built. He rules the era like a colossus.

2. Max Baer: Ah, "Madcap" Maxie Baer, the underachieving clown prince of heavyweight boxing. He was a brilliant talent - Jack Dempsey thought so - and we saw a glimpse of what Baer could have done if he had been as dedicated as Louis after he pulled himself back together from the Frankie Campbell tragedy. He beat Paulino Uzcudun and Tuffy Griffiths, and stopped Max Schmeling and Primo Carnera. There ought to be no doubt in anyone's mind that the only reason Baer lost the fight with Jim Braddock is that he didn't want to win it; after becoming champ, it seems very much like whatever fire that was in Baer's belly went completely out.

The bottom line, however, is that while Baer did nothing of note after he got the title, he did some pretty impressive things before winning it, and that is why I think of him as #2.

3. Max Schmeling: I often muse on what would have happened if Schmeling had not been completely ripped off in the original "we wuz robbed!" stinker, rigged decision in his rematch with Jack Sharkey. Regardless of what the record books say, he beat Sharkey twice, and it's hard for me to see him losing to Primo Carnera. If Schmelin had enjoyed a decent title reign - and one he clearly deserved - he would be the #2 on this list. Alas...

On top of beating Sharkey, he scored two wins and a draw against Paulino Uzcudun, and of course his famous stoppage of the comer Joe Louis. In the prime of Schmeling's career, his only losses were to Louis, Baer, and Steve Hamas.

4. Primo Carnera: Surprised to see Primo Carnera here? Don't be. The guy didn't win all his fights because of the mob - and I've always felt that allegations that Carnera relied on rigged decisions to be wildly overstated. To even win the title in the first place, he had to knock out Jack Sharkey, something Schmeling couldn't do. His win against Paulino Uzcudun was legitimate; his win over Tommy Loughran was not. Against this, he was stopped by Baer and Louis.

5. Jim Braddock: The number 5 slot was strictly between Braddock and Sharkey; that Braddock carries it says more about Sharkey than Braddock. Contrary to what the film would have you believe, the only truly formidable fighter he met on his way back to the title was John Henry Lewis, and Lewis was a true light heavyweight and the smaller man. To top it off, Braddock lost the title in his first defende, and no one really doubts that a focused, motivated Baer would have destroyed him. Still, the guy had character and guts, and compared to our #6 ...

6. Jack Sharkey: Well, where to start. Before the period in question, a young Sharkey was knocked out by an old Jack Dempsey. As noted, he lost two fights to Max Schmeling (or that is what the record books ought to say). He was knocked out by Primo Carnera and Joe Louis, and outpointed by Kingfish Levinsky. His only really good win was over Tommy Loughran, but that has to be balanced against losing the rematch. Like Braddock and Baer, he lost the title on his first defense. Unlike Braddock and Baer, he should never have won it in the first place, and has a string of high profile defeats to his name.
 

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From the start of the 1900's to the early 1980's was a very talented heavyweight division with multiple ATG's fighting. From the 20's-early 80's was the modern ATG division. The late 80's is when it started to slip. By 2005 it was done.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
From the start of the 1900's to the early 1980's was a very talented heavyweight division with multiple ATG's fighting. From the 20's-early 80's was the modern ATG division. The late 80's is when it started to slip. By 2005 it was done.
Actually, I don't think so. I mean, for one thing, it depends on how you define "ATG" - great heavyweight or great light heavyweight? Ezzard Charles and Archie Moore, for example, were basically light heavyweights who moved up and did well because the heavies were so much smaller that the line was blurrier than it is today, in the age of the super heavy. In the above example, two of the men considered major challengers for Louis were light heavies: John Henry Lewis and Billy Conn. Baer and Carnera were both beaten by a light heavy all-time great, Tommy Loughran.

I do think the current era is worse than even the so-called "Lost Generation of Heavyweights," but that is because we don't even have a Larry Holmes to whup their underachieving, boring arses back to Moscow :cheeky4:

However, the plain thing is that what a heavyweight was changed markedly with the championship of Sonny Liston, the first of the modern big men. Comparing Liston to Schmeling or Tunney or even his contemporaries like Patterson is sort of like apples and oranges.
 

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Actually, I don't think so. I mean, for one thing, it depends on how you define "ATG" - great heavyweight or great light heavyweight? Ezzard Charles and Archie Moore, for example, were basically light heavyweights who moved up and did well because the heavies were so much smaller that the line was blurrier than it is today, in the age of the super heavy. In the above example, two of the men considered major challengers for Louis were light heavies: John Henry Lewis and Billy Conn. Baer and Carnera were both beaten by a light heavy all-time great, Tommy Loughran.

I do think the current era is worse than even the so-called "Lost Generation of Heavyweights," but that is because we don't even have a Larry Holmes to whup their underachieving, boring arses back to Moscow :cheeky4:

However, the plain thing is that what a heavyweight was changed markedly with the championship of Sonny Liston, the first of the modern big men. Comparing Liston to Schmeling or Tunney or even his contemporaries like Patterson is sort of like apples and oranges.
They weren't so small back in the day, it's just the smaller guys were more talented and chopped the big guys down. Guys such as Baer and Jeffries weren't small. Neither was Willard or Buddy Baer. Lou Nova was also a very big man.

Here are some stats of the top 10 back in 1935 and recently:

1. Jim Braddock 6'3
2. Joe Louis 6'2
3. Max Schmelling
4. Primo Carnera 6'5
5. Charley Retzlaff 6'3
6. Tommy Loughran 6'0
7. Eddie Mader 6'1
8. Hank Hankinson 6'4
9. Ray Impellitiere 6'8
10. Max Baer 6'2 (he was really champ but I don't know who the #10 guy was)

Average: 6'3

and here are the ratings from 2005:

1. Chris Byrd 6'0
2. Hasim Rahman 6'3
3. James Toney 5'10
4. Lamon Brewster 6'2
5. John Ruiz 6'2
6. Monte Barret 6'3
7. Calvin Brock 6'2
8. Wladimir Klitschko 6'7
9. Sam Peter 6'1
10. Nikolai Valuev 7'0

Average: 6'3

They are the same, but the 2005 ratings had Valuev which added to the height.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That's height, which is basically the same as saying these guys were tall and skinny. They routinely weighed in under 200lbs; sometimes routinely under 190. In fact, that was one of the things about Louis at the time: he was a big-but-fearsome heavyweight.

A sampling of Joe Louis's fights:

Louis vs. Carnera - 196/260

Louis vs. Schemling I - 198/192

Louis vs. Godoy I - 199/202


And now for comparison, a heavyweight of the '50s - your boy Marciano:

Marciano vs. Louis - 184/213 (Louis was, of course, old and well past his prime)

Marciano vs. Walcott I - 184/196

Marciano vs. Charles I - 184/192


And we all know weights for any period prior to Sonny Liston and thereafter would look pretty much the same. It is after Liston that heavyweight title fights consistently feature two men, both of whom weigh over 200 pounds. The weights start to spiral from there, and it's not just because they are fat.

Furthermore, I find the notion that the fighters of yesteryear were so much more "skilled" than modern fighters. On average tougher, definitely. But not more skilled. If you looked around at the first half of the 20th Century, many of those guys were developing the techniques that we consider standard today. They had the brilliance to cook those tricks up, and I'm not taking that away from them. However, modern fighters are the beneficiary of the time-perfected version of those techniques. This is yet another reason why I see the comparisons as being one of apples and oranges.

Bottom line: the further apart two eras are, particularly in the unlimited weight class of the heavies, the harder it is to reach any useful purpose in comparing them.

And besides, I started the thread to start a discussion of the 1930s heavyweight champs, not on how they stack up with the moderns :rolleyes: How about some of that?
 

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That's height, which is basically the same as saying these guys were tall and skinny. They routinely weighed in under 200lbs; sometimes routinely under 190. In fact, that was one of the things about Louis at the time: he was a big-but-fearsome heavyweight.

A sampling of Joe Louis's fights:

Louis vs. Carnera - 196/260

Louis vs. Schemling I - 198/192

Louis vs. Godoy I - 199/202


And now for comparison, a heavyweight of the '50s - your boy Marciano:

Marciano vs. Louis - 184/213 (Louis was, of course, old and well past his prime)

Marciano vs. Walcott I - 184/196

Marciano vs. Charles I - 184/192


And we all know weights for any period prior to Sonny Liston and thereafter would look pretty much the same. It is after Liston that heavyweight title fights consistently feature two men, both of whom weigh over 200 pounds. The weights start to spiral from there, and it's not just because they are fat.

Furthermore, I find the notion that the fighters of yesteryear were so much more "skilled" than modern fighters. On average tougher, definitely. But not more skilled. If you looked around at the first half of the 20th Century, many of those guys were developing the techniques that we consider standard today. They had the brilliance to cook those tricks up, and I'm not taking that away from them. However, modern fighters are the beneficiary of the time-perfected version of those techniques. This is yet another reason why I see the comparisons as being one of apples and oranges.

Bottom line: the further apart two eras are, particularly in the unlimited weight class of the heavies, the harder it is to reach any useful purpose in comparing them.

And besides, I started the thread to start a discussion of the 1930s heavyweight champs, not on how they stack up with the moderns :rolleyes: How about some of that?
The technique has changed very little, if at all since the late 20's. By then it had been perfected. Those men weren't under 200. Many of them were in the 230's. It is just many of the greats that were around 200.

Ok, you're right, I'm sorry I got this off topic.
 

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One thing that I notice about the generations of boxers is there are alot of champions after a great champion retires, that it is hard to really tell who the real champion is until another great comes along, and the 30s was no exception. If you are wondering what I mean by generations, I mean the passing the championship on by fighting until one of the champions retire. Like the first generation was inbetween 1882 and 1905; and ended in James J. Jeffries retiring.

This was the third generation when in 1928, Gene Tunney retired. It started off with Max Schmeling in 1930. I will just make a list for you here.

Max Schmeling 1930-1932
Jack Sharkey 1932- 1933
Primo Carnera 1933-1934
Max Baer 1934-1935
James Braddock 1935-1937
Joe Louis 1937-1949
Ezzard Charles 1950-1951
Joe Walcott 1951-1952
Rocky Marciano 1952-1956.

As you can see the 3rd Generation did not end after Joe Louis retired in 1949, because in order for Ezzard Charles to become a Universal Heavyweight Champion, he had to beat Joe Louis, which he did so by a 15 round Unanimous Decision by dragging Louis out of retirement. And the 3rd Generation went on until Rocky Marciano decided to retire in 1956.

But if you look up at the list at the beginning of the 30s before 1937, nobody was champion for more than three years, because all of the fighters were not as good as the old legends of the 1920s, like Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney. So they scrambled to find an absolute champion, passing the championship off time after time again, winning the first match, but losing the next title defense. Louis was the great that came along, and he held the title for longer than any man has ever held a boxing title.

LOL I forgot the point that I was going to make, but I hope that somebody learned something today.
 

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By 1930s, I really mean the times following Gene Tunney's retirement to the start of WW2, which I think make for a neat, tidy era.

1. Joe Louis: Well, duh :laugh: Who else was going to head up this list? Louis was not just the dominant champ of the 1930s - if you consider how infrequently past champs fought, he was the first truly dominant heavyweight champion period.

He kayoed Paulino Uzcudun and Kingfish Levinsky, as well as former champs Max Baer and Primo Carnera on his way to the title. Right there he knocked off four of the world's best heavyweights in only his second year as a pro fighter. After taking the title from Braddock, he defeated John Henry Lewis, Billy Conn, Arturo Godoy twice, Tony Galento, and avenged his sole defeat to Max Schmeling in spectacular fashion. This was the period of the pre-war Joe Louis, where his legend was built. He rules the era like a colossus.

2. Max Baer: Ah, "Madcap" Maxie Baer, the underachieving clown prince of heavyweight boxing. He was a brilliant talent - Jack Dempsey thought so - and we saw a glimpse of what Baer could have done if he had been as dedicated as Louis after he pulled himself back together from the Frankie Campbell tragedy. He beat Paulino Uzcudun and Tuffy Griffiths, and stopped Max Schmeling and Primo Carnera. There ought to be no doubt in anyone's mind that the only reason Baer lost the fight with Jim Braddock is that he didn't want to win it; after becoming champ, it seems very much like whatever fire that was in Baer's belly went completely out.

The bottom line, however, is that while Baer did nothing of note after he got the title, he did some pretty impressive things before winning it, and that is why I think of him as #2.

3. Max Schmeling: I often muse on what would have happened if Schmeling had not been completely ripped off in the original "we wuz robbed!" stinker, rigged decision in his rematch with Jack Sharkey. Regardless of what the record books say, he beat Sharkey twice, and it's hard for me to see him losing to Primo Carnera. If Schmelin had enjoyed a decent title reign - and one he clearly deserved - he would be the #2 on this list. Alas...

On top of beating Sharkey, he scored two wins and a draw against Paulino Uzcudun, and of course his famous stoppage of the comer Joe Louis. In the prime of Schmeling's career, his only losses were to Louis, Baer, and Steve Hamas.

4. Primo Carnera: Surprised to see Primo Carnera here? Don't be. The guy didn't win all his fights because of the mob - and I've always felt that allegations that Carnera relied on rigged decisions to be wildly overstated. To even win the title in the first place, he had to knock out Jack Sharkey, something Schmeling couldn't do. His win against Paulino Uzcudun was legitimate; his win over Tommy Loughran was not. Against this, he was stopped by Baer and Louis.

5. Jim Braddock: The number 5 slot was strictly between Braddock and Sharkey; that Braddock carries it says more about Sharkey than Braddock. Contrary to what the film would have you believe, the only truly formidable fighter he met on his way back to the title was John Henry Lewis, and Lewis was a true light heavyweight and the smaller man. To top it off, Braddock lost the title in his first defende, and no one really doubts that a focused, motivated Baer would have destroyed him. Still, the guy had character and guts, and compared to our #6 ...

6. Jack Sharkey: Well, where to start. Before the period in question, a young Sharkey was knocked out by an old Jack Dempsey. As noted, he lost two fights to Max Schmeling (or that is what the record books ought to say). He was knocked out by Primo Carnera and Joe Louis, and outpointed by Kingfish Levinsky. His only really good win was over Tommy Loughran, but that has to be balanced against losing the rematch. Like Braddock and Baer, he lost the title on his first defense. Unlike Braddock and Baer, he should never have won it in the first place, and has a string of high profile defeats to his name.
You are very wrong about Joe Louis being the very first dominant heavyweight champion period. The very first truly dominant heavyweight champion without a doubt was the first universal heavyweight champion of the world; the great John L. Sullivan. Sullivan won the title from the fellow irishman Paddy Ryan by knocking him out in the sixth round, and many bouts were to follow until he retired after being beaten by Gentleman Jim Corbett in 1892. John L. Sullivan fought and knocked out all comers (with an exception from the colorline and the fight that never happened between him and Peter Jackson.) You may say that Sullivan did not have that many fights after beating Ryan, but the reality of it was that Sullivan had many many more fights than it is recorded, and many experts report that John L. Sullivan has been estimated to have knocked out more than 500 men, although the only recorded bouts go up in numbers a little past 40. John L. Sullivan, along with being the very first Universal Heavyweight Champion, he was also the first dominant heavyweight champion.

I just thought that it would be important to fix that little mistake that you made.
 

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I just thought that it would be important to fix that little mistake that you made.
It's not a mistake, it's an opinion. You argue a case for Sullivan, and I'd never deny his place in building the foundation for professional boxing today. However, going around the country and fighting anyone who would come out and take the challenge isn't what I think of when I think "boxing champion." It's more like a Toughman Champion. I've always thought that Sullivan, who began as a bareknuckler and ended as a Marquis of Queensbury guy, comes from a different era. Boxing as a sport, an event, and a business was very different from what it would be even by Dempsey's time, let alone Louis's time or later.
 

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It's not a mistake, it's an opinion. You argue a case for Sullivan, and I'd never deny his place in building the foundation for professional boxing today. However, going around the country and fighting anyone who would come out and take the challenge isn't what I think of when I think "boxing champion." It's more like a Toughman Champion. I've always thought that Sullivan, who began as a bareknuckler and ended as a Marquis of Queensbury guy, comes from a different era. Boxing as a sport, an event, and a business was very different from what it would be even by Dempsey's time, let alone Louis's time or later.
Boxing was always boxing, it is always the same sport, it just has some more rules to it. There is no doubt that Sullivan DOMINATED as a heavyweight champion.
 

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They weren't so small back in the day, it's just the smaller guys were more talented and chopped the big guys down. Guys such as Baer and Jeffries weren't small. Neither was Willard or Buddy Baer. Lou Nova was also a very big man.

Here are some stats of the top 10 back in 1935 and recently:

1. Jim Braddock 6'3
2. Joe Louis 6'2
3. Max Schmelling
4. Primo Carnera 6'5
5. Charley Retzlaff 6'3
6. Tommy Loughran 6'0
7. Eddie Mader 6'1
8. Hank Hankinson 6'4
9. Ray Impellitiere 6'8
10. Max Baer 6'2 (he was really champ but I don't know who the #10 guy was)

Average: 6'3

and here are the ratings from 2005:

1. Chris Byrd 6'0
2. Hasim Rahman 6'3
3. James Toney 5'10
4. Lamon Brewster 6'2
5. John Ruiz 6'2
6. Monte Barret 6'3
7. Calvin Brock 6'2
8. Wladimir Klitschko 6'7
9. Sam Peter 6'1
10. Nikolai Valuev 7'0

Average: 6'3

They are the same, but the 2005 ratings had Valuev which added to the height.
Valuev was 7'3"
 
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