Yeah, You're spot on about the first three heavies. Machen interests me the most and has my high estimation for the way he rebounded from the Johansson disaster and in 1960 mounted so fearless and interesting a challenge to the pre-title Liston.Ive just skipped through this Phantom,will look at it later. But as II think you may remember the same guys as me how about the ones farther back? In the floyd Patterson era
1. Eddie Machen. Would no doubt have been a cruiser today. Maybe much more "boxer/puncher" than monster. Patterson beat him later in their lives but Cus Damato wouldn't let him fight him as a champion.
2. Zora Folley. Another small one. Another boxer/puncher.
3. Cleveland Williams. For that era a big guy. Sonny Liston himself said he would have knocked out Patterson. Im not so sure. Good fight though.
Then you had the ones a little bit earlier. The scourge of British heavyweights Nino Valdes. It was said Rocky Marciano avoided him. Big guy but he struggled with Brian London,who was no Marciano.
You've got Shavers. Good choice. But correct me if Im wrong wasn't he beat by the Colorado heavyweight who boxed Ali in Dublin and also Jerry Quarry,who would have been UNDISPUTED cruiserweight champion if around today? Then you've got Chuvalo,who beat Quarry.
Johnson was/is one of my all time favorite technicians...and he would have had a feast vs the low caliber heavies of today...perhaps disadvantaged only by a size differential. Johnson was wise to concentrate on light heavy where he finally came through and became champion.Also Harold Johnson beat Machen AND Valdes. And he wasn't a cruiser,but would also have beat those of today.
Most interesting Phantom. Expected nothing less from you. Your comparison of Machen and Folley I found particularly so. I agree with most of it. We saw both in the UK. On TV I watched,as quite a young person,Folley knock out Henry Cooper after being outpointed by him. Then years later when I suspect he wasn't the same boxer,almost knock Brian London out before being outhussled by him. Machen boxed here once,stopping London. Brian did quite well against Americans usually,but I believe he was outclassed here. Never actually saw the fight,but would have liked to. Just one of many I missed,including Willie Pastramis British campaign.Yeah, You're spot on about the first three heavies. Machen interests me the most and has my high estimation for the way he rebounded from the Johansson disaster and in 1960 mounted so fearless and interesting a challenge to the pre-title Liston.
Folley won and drew with Machen and you might conclude that he was the better of the two, and maybe vs one another, he might have been, but I don't think so. Machen had more balls, was tougher and was a more "outside the box" type of fighter.....as proven vs their common opponent, Liston.
Even given Patterson's well known propensity for hitting the canvas, I'm not convinced of Williams chances vs Floyd.
I don't think Marciano had any fear of Valdez. there was several reasons why a match never occurred between the two, but Rocky was nearing the end of his career, and due to his physical attributes and style, was slowing down and nearing retirement...and besides, I think he took on the most worthy challenger in Moore.
The Colorado heavyweight Alvin "Blue" Lewis, you're referring to? He fought Ali in Dublin, but he was from Detroit, and never fought Shavers. He was an interesting guy anyway, and in Buenos Aires, he was dq'ed vs Oscar Bonavena after having decked Ringo several times...a most fishy affair, if you ask me.
Yes, I believe 100% that Quarry would have won some kind of title, in cruiser or the abysmally bad heavyweight division if he were around today. That ko loss to Chuvalo was, in my opinion, a fluke...and it beats the shit out of me why they were never rematched...I think Quarry would have avenged that loss with a clear decision over the Canadian tough guy.
First person I thought of.harry wills fit here ?
His fight with Brian London can be seen on you tube. Brian was no Marciano,but gave Valdes a good fight. Valdez did dessertoy all the rest of the British heavys of the day,none of whom were much more than cruiserweights except possibly Dick Richardson. He would have had a fair size advantage over Marciano if they had fought.i think all the great answers
more controversial but nino valdez? now since he has got more video and exposure over the years and in his prime, ive got to say not as impressed as was once told. i heard of the great cuban valdez as some bogey man that marciano ran from. he seemed so hitable and could never work on the outside, he wasnt even that big a danger on the inside. but then again a guy of that hieght and athleticism in the 50's seems a rare occurance
Only not a monster because of his lack of size Jeff. Another who would have been a cruiser today. The only one who I think would stand a chance with him today would be Usyk. He'd have knocked Mike Perez and Marco Huck out.Probably not a monster, but Jerry Quarry gave some great fighters a run. He's also buried less than 50 feet away from my grandfather.