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Laszlo Papp: how far could he have gone in the pro game?

2506 Views 20 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Luf
He had already established his legacy as one of the amateur game's goats compiling a record of 301-6-12 and becoming the first 3 times olympic gold medallist.

As he turned pro he went unbeaten in his first 29 fights defeating men such as Jones, Christensen, Mueller and Folledo. He was forced into retirement by the communist government ruling Hungary.

How far could he have gone in that era as a professional? Fullmer, Giardello, Tiger, Griffith, Benvenuti, could he have beaten these guys and secured a legacy as a MW great?

Or would he have failed to delivery as so many promising amateurs do?
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I was talking to @Flea Man about it the other day, who has a quality article on the man on the front page (check it out if you haven't already).

I don't think he would have won a title at that stage of his career, he was in his late 30s and had been through a lot of tough fights in a long career so I don't think he would have beaten Tiger had he got a shot. He would have made a fine contender though, even more so if he was able to turn earlier in his career.
I haven't seen the article! I usually come straight to the forum pages!

I'm not sure where I lie on the matter. I need to deliberate upon it further but you're right, he had already had a very long career and had injured his hands a few times to boot.
I think he could have done a lot more in his active years as a pro. The 14 month layoff really hurts his career imo. If he could have had some fights in the 14 months after his 3rd pro fight he would have been at a much better standing for his last few fights.
definitely. it's not like high activity was uncommon back then either.
Reading this thread reminded me of an incident, l:

Boxing teams in a gym have distinct personalities, some gregarious 'n outgoing, some focused on the work, but Eastern Euros are like a police state, suspicious 'n tight-lipped.

So, one day at Wild Card a new Eastern Euro heavy came to train 'n I watched him spar; 'n his coach gave me a big wave 'n smile, which was so outta character, I kept lookin' around, sure it was meant for someone else.

He pointed at me to the other members of his team, 'n they were all smiles and waving. Think Charles Bronsons turned to Roberto Benignis.

After the sparring session, the coach came over 'n gave me a bear hug, "Laszlo!"

He'd mistaken me for Laszlo Papp, the great Hungarian Olympian. Soon as he learned I wasn't, the Iron Curtain slammed shut.
quality :good
defintiely a lost talent to the pro game :good
@lufcrazy my next 'flashback' will be up some point this evening :good
I'll be sure to read it mate :good
thanks for the info lads, i hadnt actually heard of him... im not too clued up on amateur side of things from times past, aside from the cuban fighters who ive watched and read alot on, and the legend dick mctaggart, ive not got alot of knowledge on many other amateur greats... gonna check him out now...
I stumbled across him because I saw him in the hof despite a very thin resume. however the legend that is @Flea Man has wrote a quality article on the man :good
I only pretty vaguely have an idea of Papp obviously his amateur achievements and was certainly on the right track in the pro game. Its more a travesty that he was denied the opportunity to display how good he might have been. I think the communists revoked his licence in fear that if he did lose in some big matches it might cause them so embarrassment
wouldn't surprise me as he was on the decline.
did he make much money as an amateur?

If he'd had have turned after the second olympics, I wonder if he'd have got to be pro champion?
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