In this corner, from now, “recency bias.” In that corner, from a long time ago, “nostalgia.”


It’s all sports fans. Everything the best guy of there generation is the best ever


True. Its the same for everything. Every generation thinks it's special. This generation for example:the most spineless,gutless and whinging generation of them all has the audacity to claim it's the greatest.


This feels most accurate. In general, I tend to avoid cross-era comparisons because it seems pointless.


First off plenty of people argue Lebron is the GOAT over Jordan (side note I find it hysterical when people argue Lebron, who was one of the best Ohio football recruits in recent memory, couldn’t handle the physicality of the NBA in the 80s/90s like Jordan, who didn’t even weight train until 1990) Also as many people have pointed out fighting is less a linear improvement over the years like other sports due to both the nature of the sport and other elite athletes gravitating to other sports that pay better. The main culprit for people thinking that older champions are better is actually the fact that the 4 belt era has made it far far easier to become a world champion and thus some champions are categorically worse than other champions. For example saying Canelo beats SRL at 168 shouldn’t be that controversial, saying that Caleb plant would do anything against SRL is ridiculous. Saying GGG vs Hagler would be a great fight is correct, while saying Benavidez vs Hagler is anything other than a slaughter is silly.


Perhaps it has more to do with the sort of boxing communities I've lurked in before, but the impression I get is r/boxing is the only boxing community I know which has a tendency to rate contemporary fighters at the expense of old-timers (eg calling those who favour little known old-school greats 'hipsters') and there is/was literally a poster here who based their identity around hating Harry Greb like what the hell lol. Elsewhere it is more or less uncontroversial that modern day boxing suffers from a shrinking talent pool, too many belts, too many weight classes, inactivity et c which resulted in quality fighters rarely facing another quality fighter and in general just lacking the environment for a modern elite boxer to build up a resume comparable to old-time greats. As for those who actually know what they are talking about boxing technique has not dramatically evolved since the 30s, the elites from back then are mostly using techniques still relevant to modern boxing. The only notable change I feel is the high guard becoming more common because gloves have gotten bigger to make high guard feasible, most ye olde greats kept their hands lower to guard the body because they just slip and roll off headshots instead. If anything as a whole technique has actually become worse, in-fighting as a whole has almost disappeared and your average level pro just puts up a stationary high guard when they defend instead of using footwork, slips and rolls. It is inevitable with the shrinking talent pool and trainers with the knowhow just dying and not passing down their knowledge to someone willing to train the next generation. As for 'who would win' mythical match-ups nobody actually knows, there are a load of opinions but in the end there is no way to definitively prove one way or another anyway.


you make one post hating on harry greb and suddenly it’s all you’re about


To be fair you run around with ‘harry greb sucks ass’ in your flair.


you’ve got me there


Not to take away from your well thought out and written post, but it's a debate that'll never end because we will never have an answer. It's literally just speculative and opinion. Especially when boxing like many other sports have elements of pure luck and subjective opinions of judges etc.


Mentions 'European football', means worldwide except for 1 country football, name drops an Argentinian..... jesus wept 🤣


European football.. Argentina vs Brazil 🧐


I guess I could have said Gridiron football and association football but no-one would have any idea what I was talking about...




Imagine Deontay Wilder time traveling to 1989 and giving Mike Tyson strains of his his own future Tyson weed. Mike wouldn't know where the fuck he is. Wilder would easily send him to the shadow realm.


Taking a tangible like the 100m sprint where no other variables change shows that sport science does improve athletes &probably to what degree. It's just a case of weighting those evolvements against socio-economic factors. we're only ever really considering ~100 years of any given sport so the last 20 or so years might contain 1.2/5 of the best from that era.


Funny because specifically sprinting performance changes have been shown to be a result of technological changes such as shoes and surface, not improvement in the athletes.


Is this not considered scientific advancements though?


Running is NOTHING like a psychological sport like fighting. It’s not even in same dam universe, food makes everyone bigger now, bigger means nothing. Usyk lost to Shawn Porter as a teenager and just made Joshua look like a novice twice, fat Andy smoked him and he’s 6 foot. Wilder took 10 rounds to KO tons of bums who were former LhWs and Cruiserweights. Fighting isn’t a sport like all sports, it’s a fight at the end of the day. Ask anyone who’s been in a war or KOed and tell me it’s a sport like track or basketball. Boxing techniques been figured out forever now, Floyd mastered a bunch of em. These guys aren’t better now purely cause the best athletes go to other sports and the past had the best and the toughest to figure out who rose to the top.


I agree with you, boxing is a bit different. The skill level of fighters between 2-3 generations is comparable. If today's fighters have better training methods then yesterday's fighters had tremendous heart and drive and a natural environment. Prior to 60s They had the ability to go 100 plus fights in the pro circle. Crazy talents and archetypes have existed in all eras. Sugar Ray Robinson Sugar Ray Leonard Roy Jones Jr. Loma Crawford All are from different eras but have mesmerizing fighting skills. We had a comparable Floyd in Pernell. We had a comparable GGG in Hagler. We had a comparable Joyce in Tua. There's not much to evolve in boxing. MMA is different though as there are multiple aspects to it. However the archetypes in boxing more or less remain the same but every now and then we will have freaks like Loma and RJJ.


I agree with you. I think the problem with all the sports nerds that post online is they don't think... if that great from 30 years ago had his career now what would he be like with current training, nutrition, and recovery methods compared to decades ago? They they act like that person would be exactly the same 😒. I'm more into basketball and the Larry Bird wasn't athletic and wouldn't be a great player opinions make me want throw my phone, computer, and modem all into a garbage can When luka doncic was drafted the knock against him was he's not the most athletic and yet in the NBA nobody can guard him. Why? Cuz he just knows how to play better than most that's why lol


Great hands and size and the ability to shoot from anywhere and great passing make up for a lot of “athleticism.”


Sigh. There's a difference between something being an unpopular opinion and just being an ongoing debate.


Tldr. Also there is a thread like this every week. It's not as niche an opinion as you think


Ray Robinson not beating Canelo is one thing (although I’ve honestly never seen anyone say that), but I don’t think it’s crazy to think two 6’7 240-250 lb men who were highly skilled, fast for their size and among the hardest punchers in history would’ve been able to beat Ali. It’s the equivalent of a good Ali sized heavyweight fighting a 175 lber or something, at a certain point size matters


Ali weighed 6 pounds less against frazier than usyk at heavyweight, how would he be too small?


Not that I think Ali is too small, but I’d argue that Usyk’s style is more suited for fighting HWs taller than him than Ali.


I don’t think Usyk would’ve beat thé Klitschkos which is the example he gave


Usyk would beat Wladimir, he played with him in sparring. Vitali might beat Usyk though


That was preparing for either Fury or AJ so he was a good 4-5 years past his prime at that point, plus that’s sparring


I think the heavyweight era is the exception to the rule. Historically for the rest of the classes your potential "boxing pool" is more important. At least for the past 50 years of modern training and drugs. The heavyweight era is unique in that the average competitor weight and size has increased, and so too the champion size has increased. Quite significantly to the point where the class has basically moved up several 'weight classes", averaged over champs height and weight. For all other weight classes coming in 20 or 40lbs overweight would be considered seriously dangerous for the opponent. Skilled enough fighters can prove to be an exception to the rule, but at the end of the day they are outliers. It's an uphill battle to be just large against giants.


Nah, fuck all that noise. Andy Ruiz and Tyson Fury both became heavyweight champions because of their enthusiastic adoption of modern sports science and a highly advanced understanding of nutrition and I won't have some whiney boomer who misses "the good old days" tell me otherwise.


Andy Ruiz and his highly advanced understanding of the taco bell menu.


I agree. I don’t care what argument someone has unless they produce NEW EVIDENCE aka DOCUMENTATION in better quality than existed at the time. We must remember how poor the quality of the footage is of OLD fighters. With slightly more modern fighters the answer is yes bc everyone is all about hyping up anything current.


Sports medicine does make a difference but there are other considerations to take account for. Boxing at the heavier weights has a decreased talent pool due to the ballooning contracts available in safer sports, particularly basketball which is now lucrative at many levels of play below the NBA which is obviously the most lucrative of all. It has only been 20 years since MJ retired but now small role players make more than MJs biggest contract. Tysons earnings from the sport were way more than MJs. Steph Curry is about the same age as Fury but has made twice as much. This is just from the sport, not including endorsements. The big guys are abandoning boxing. The best HW today is Fury and his best win by far in his career is an almost 40 year old Klitschko who had been inactive for 2 years prior. Boxing has fallen


Computers aren't the only reason that we put today's chess players above other chess players.


FYI in football most fans agree that Cristiano Ronaldo would be better than Pele or Maradona, because of modern medicine and approach to training,so this argument isn't exclusive for boxing and chess fans


All sports fans have a mindset that their era was the best era and their era's players was the best sport's best ever players.Boxing of course is no different. This may be a more unpopular opinion,but I don't think a sport (or at least most sports) don't "evolve" or change that much of a sport's history.Sure certain trends and playstyles become more prevalent than others and rules change a significant amount,but the idea that a sport completely changes to the point that it's a different game sounds ludicrous.Going to boxing,sure it's changed alot of a few millennium,but the avenues and skill sets you need to win a boxing match (and be a good boxer) haven't changed and never changed. Me personally,I rank boxers (like I do all athletes) based on their individual talent and whether or not they were able to defeat their best competition.


Any sports where there is objectivity - running / swimming / weightlifting / high jump etc etc show without any doubt that today’s athletes are better. To think some fighter from 1910 is top 3 all-time p4p because ‘those guys fought every other week’ is pure nostalgia.


OP, I agree with you. ​


Correct. Most people watching are ignorant and think they are living through some golden age. LOL. Danny Garcia? C'mon man. There are people here who would tell you shit heavyweights of the mid 2000s would beat great heavyweights of the 70s. They ain't got a clue, bruv.


New Boxers don’t even hold a candle to old ones. Sport hasn’t evolved, it’s got easier and we get softer as time goes on. The Hw Division all the Athletes get put into Basketball or football as Teens cause free college and big guarenteed. The others go to Hockey, Baseball too. No parent gonna put kids in Boxing now outside poor communities usually. Back in the day a lot of best athletes went to Boxing cause most money and glory.


Lol at it got easier. Fuck that.


Must be a casual. It’s way easier now and not even close. Look at all the bums today who are paid millions. Journeyman from 70s/80s/90s would beat up Joshua and half these overrated HWs like Whyte. Weight means nothing , everyone weighs more cause food and supplements now. Look at all these average guys who are praised. Boxing has been figured out forever; that’s why Floyd can still win at old age. It’s not an evolving sport, outside the science and supplements. You got a handful of punches, and can only use hands and refs will break you up. It’s not rocket science, today Boxers are pure crap to the past..talent and mentally.


You will inevitably get people who go too far on both sides of the argument. Some people say that because of “modern training methods” today’s fighters are at an advantage, and others who look at the past through nostalgia goggles and believe that greats of the past would sweep through the fighters of today like a knife through butter. Both sides of the argument are wrong unless you’re talking about Roberto Duran, who would obviously beat everyone from Lightweight to Light Heavyweight today in an afternoon with one hand tied behind his back.


I think it's the opposite. You mention Jack Dempsey, who in today's sport would be a small cruiserweight - he fought many opponents for a heavyweight title when they were light-heavyweights/super-middleweights. When there were no judges and newspapers used to score the fights. I mean you could stand over a rising opponent and smack them back down, which would be a DQ today. The sport is a lot more regulated when SRR/Ali were active, most fans are fine with their ability/ranking.


It is not overestimating. it's a basic rule of evolution. If you have two players, equally great in skill, and one gets better recovery, better training facilities and programs and better nutrition then they will be better. Using your example, millions of people come and go through the ranks in NBA. It's a sport that's constantly growing as population grows which means consistently more competition but the same number of teams and players in the league. This means scientifically the players that join the NBA will continue to be better over time (as they have to be the best to join the NBA). If you got Kobe, chucked him into a basketball game 50 years ago, he would dominate. Same as if you put Floyd against the welterweight championship 50 years ago. Evolution occurs in EVERYTHING. Supplements, sleep, equipment, facilities, food, exercise, strength, etc. All these are basically additional strengths that an already elite genetically gifted athlete will get vs someone from an older Era. It doesn't take away from their giftedness, it's just not comparable.


Think it is the opposite, actually.


I can absolutely see how MMA and football (soccer) are better than they were 30 years ago. They have evolved. I cannot fathom how anyone who takes a big picture long term view of boxing thinks boxing today is technically better than it used to be. If you actually look at it thoroughly it's clearly not. Boxing quality has not only not improved, it has regressed. Boxing until the 1970s and early 80s was the best paying sport in the world by far. Then sports orgs like NBA and NFL exploded in terms of finance. Big athletes (and not just form the US, NBA has scores of athletes from all over the world) suddenly wanted to play basketball. So great big athletes stopped doing boxing. This has hurt the HW division in terms of athletes quality. It's why you see guys like AJ and Wikder starting boxing late. We're already seeing something similar with football (soccer) now too in lighter weight classes. Boxers fight far less nowadays. This might be better for health but the trade off is boxers get less chance to improve technically. Boxers do not get better ultimately in the gym, they only get to implement things by fighting. That's how they improve. Unless they stay amateur a long time (Like Loma) and have 100s of amateur fights, they are going to be technically poorer by fighting less. Great trainers are also almost extinct. There are only a handful left. Most boxing coaches today are PTs with boxing mitts. They have zero clue how to teach things or implement strong strategy. It's just "my guy can throw a 1-2-3 better than yours". We can see this today because Boxers could do things far better previously than they can now. Infighting today is poor and rarely happens. Things like crossguard almost nobody knows how to do. It's not like these things have been replaced by new systems. Consider things like Beek-A-Boo style and the Philly Shell. They are not modern inventions. They were invented by older generations of coaches. What have modern coaches invented over the last 15 years? Anyone?? Also even when people say "sports sCiEnCe iS bEtTeR" this fails to account for the fact very little sports science is boxing specific. AJ has for example the best sports scientists working with him. He still ends up sucking in air in some fights. And the big thing with all this BS is that _fighters in older days were in better shape because they **fought more** and **fought over 15 rounds**_. So it's questionable even if boxers today are in better shape. People trying to counter these points on here before have failed to come up with any sort of good points. They simply resort to ad hominen responses or say silly things like "Sports have moved on so there". That means nothing except you've made a generalisation and have not been watching boxing for a long time.


AJ started boxing the same age Holmes and foreman did. Wilder started younger then Norton, Marciano, mercer, Lyle, and Witherspoon did.


Right so 8 or 9 fighters out of how many HW champions? Exception simply proves the rule.