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Now here is a thought that crossed my mind, and one that I am sure Bill1234 will bitterly dispute :)

Old Nat Fleischer's 1971 list of the 10 great heavyweight champions lists Marciano as #10:

1. Jack Johnson, 2. Jim Jeffries, 3. Bob Fitzsimmons, 4. Jack Dempsey, 5. James J. Corbett, 6. Joe Louis, 7. Sam Langford, 8. Gene Tunney, 9. Max Schmeling, 10. Rocky Marciano.

Now, I sincerely believe that this list - much as Bert Sugar's ridiculous placement of Ezzard Charles in the Top 5 of his own list - is blatantly influenced by ossification and the heroes of his youth. I mean, really - Jeffries, Firzimmons, and Corbett ahead of JOE LOUIS?

However, Marciano ranks as #10. This is before the conclusion of Joe Frazier's reign; in fact, "The Fight of the Century" was that very year. This was before Ali became a two and then three time champion. This was before Larry Holmes. Yeah, Fleischer overvalued the century heavyweights, but Marciano barely even made his list!

It says a lot about what a man who was an experienced commentator thought about the virtues of Marciano's reign as heavyweight champ.
 

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He had a ton of boxing knowledge and great history. He saw the likes of Corbett in person. But he has a very biased list. He disliked Liston with a passion. That would be a good "pioneer" list if Marciano, Louis, Tunney, and Schmelling weren't in there.
 

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Now here is a thought that crossed my mind, and one that I am sure Bill1234 will bitterly dispute :)

Old Nat Fleischer's 1971 list of the 10 great heavyweight champions lists Marciano as #10:

1. Jack Johnson, 2. Jim Jeffries, 3. Bob Fitzsimmons, 4. Jack Dempsey, 5. James J. Corbett, 6. Joe Louis, 7. Sam Langford, 8. Gene Tunney, 9. Max Schmeling, 10. Rocky Marciano.

Now, I sincerely believe that this list - much as Bert Sugar's ridiculous placement of Ezzard Charles in the Top 5 of his own list - is blatantly influenced by ossification and the heroes of his youth. I mean, really - Jeffries, Firzimmons, and Corbett ahead of JOE LOUIS?

However, Marciano ranks as #10. This is before the conclusion of Joe Frazier's reign; in fact, "The Fight of the Century" was that very year. This was before Ali became a two and then three time champion. This was before Larry Holmes. Yeah, Fleischer overvalued the century heavyweights, but Marciano barely even made his list!

It says a lot about what a man who was an experienced commentator thought about the virtues of Marciano's reign as heavyweight champ.
I agree that Nat Fleischer was very biased. I have a different opinion about his list though. Marciano deserved to be higher on the list. My list is quite different, I have not even put it together as a top 10, but as a top 6.

1) Rocky Marciano
2) John L. Sullivan
3) Jack Dempsey
4) Jack Johnson
5) Muhammad Ali
6) Joe Louis

What do you think of the list that I made for the top 6 heavyweights of all time?
 
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