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Just looking for some good tales and recommendations on these guys, I know next to nothing at the moment. How would you rank them? What fights should I see? I know the basics about people not fighting them etc. but what are they about?

I know @Teeto is really into this part of boxing history, anyone else?
 

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Bivins could have been the best (if we can include him). His four year unbeaten record was one of the best in history, which included wins over Archie Moore, Lloyd Marshall (another murderers row member, criminally underrated these days), Ezzard Charles, Christaforidis, and Joey Maxim. He earlier spanked Charly Burley too. A few people say that once these other guys got bigger, they all got the better of Bivins in future bouts (Moore beat him 3 times and Charles 4 IIRC), but I'm not so sure. Many of his losses come after the war, where he was beaten unconscious by a group of men. His sister and many observers said he was never the same again in the ring.
@chatty is the man to talk to
 

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Well three of the best guys in the group aren't officially in the group any more. Archie Moore and Ezzard Charles because they eventually got their chance and took it and Jimmy Bivins is normally excluded, for reasons I'm not quite sure of.

Bivins was he number 1 contender at both LHW and HW at the same time after a ridiculous 4 year winning streak that saw him wipe out just about everybody relevant such as Anton Christofiordis, Melio Bettina, Lloyd Marshall, Ezzard Charles, Lee Savold, Joey maxim, Gus Lesnovich, Bob Pastor, Tami Mauriello, Ezzard Charles, Teddy Yarosz and Billy Soose. He had also beaten Charley Burley at middeweight.

He was promised a fight with Joe Louis for the tite but the war broke out and he took a beating of some soldiers that left him unconscious and in intensive care for a few days. They said he wasn't the same afterwards yet he still mustered up a KO victory in a grudge match with personal rival Archie Moore and was apparently robbed blind against Jersey Joe Walcott in an unofficial title eliminator.

I have heard his morale dropped after this and his form is pretty much gone after this fight losing to rivals he had already beaten (with a fair amount of ease) in Moore, Charles, Maxim and Lee Q Murray. Finally fought Louis after both were pretty much done but never really got the chance to fulfil his potential.
 

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Shaun has pretty much copied my post, but i'll let him off as he usually knows his stuf without stealing other people's thoughts ;) :lol:

I assume Bivins was left out because he finally got his shot at Louis like you said, but he was miles past his best.

Should be noted too that Archie Moore was fucking around with Bivins' wife. They hated each other with a passion.

I think that era was the most stacked talent wise boxing has ever seen
 

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You also have Burley who was the main focus of the guys who never got a chance, he gets massive credit for how good he was at welterweight yet hardly ever fought under the limit, his main fights down there being against Zivic (1-1) and a win over Cocoa Kid. Once moving in the direction of middleweight (he tended to box at around LMW for the best part of his career) he scored up wins over Billy Soose and Fritzie Zivic (to win the rivalry) but had to fight his murderers row compatriots a lot in Holman Williams (2-3), Jimmy Bivins (0-1), Archie Moore (1-0), Ezzard Charles (0-2), Cpcpa Kid (1-0-1) Aaron Wade (3-0), Jack Chase (3-0), Bert Lytell (1-1) and Lloyd Marshall (0-1).

So he has a quality record, apparently fighting above his natural weight but spent a lot of his career fighting other coloured and avoided fighters. Won the coloured world championship but never really fought many of the top fighters in and around his weight such as Robinson (famously), Gavilan, LaMotta, Yarosz, Fox, Janiro, Basora etc.

I've just got one of his books of his so I'm sure I'll learn a lot more about him then, maybes he was avoided by the plague, unwilling to make sacrifices for the mob, had a bad promoter/agent/manager or just plain wasn't exciting enough but he never got as many big fights as many in his era did so he's a hard one to rank accordingly.
 

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Burley really started getting his praise once Eddie Futch declared he was the greatest fighter ever. Personally i find him massively overrated. I'd have Bivins, Marshall, and Ezzard and Moore (if we count them) all above him in my all time great list
 

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lloyd Marshall was a quality boxer as well, he was meant to go for Olymipic trials but gave them up to turn pro (for the need of putting food on the table), he had a hitty missy start to his career as he had to fight tough guys like Johnny Romero and Cafferino Garcia but started to make his name with back to back wins over Teddy Yarosz and Lou Brilliard. Lost to fellow MR boxer Eddie Booker but then had some quality wins over Burley, Ezzard charles and Anton Christofiordis (knocking Charles out in 8 after decking him 8 times) before suffering his first stoppage loss against Bivins in what the books say was a great fight.

Again started to be inconsistent losing to Holman and chase but beating LaMotta and Maxim before going to war with Archie, dropping him three times but being outboxed to lose a UD over ten. Gave Charles an opportunity at revenge in an ATG fight, putting Charles on his arse in the first, he only just made the count and was on shaky street a few times before rallying back to stop Marshall in the sixth.

he was considered done from there on out but still mustered up an at the time huge upset over Freddie Mills who would win the European title in his next fight and the world title the following year (Lesnovich didnt want to know about Marshall or Bivins for that matter).
 

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Great stuff, thanks. Got any more info on Bivins getting beat up by those soldiers? Sounds horrendous.
Apparently he had a bad attitude and that didn't go down to well in the army (and I'm guessing being black at the time didn't help), he got jumped and took a massive beat down. Its hard to say how much it effected his form cause he still had some quality wins after, I think the de-motivation of ot getting the Louis fight and getting robbed v Walcott may have done more harm imo.
 

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Shaun has pretty much copied my post, but i'll let him off as he usually knows his stuf without stealing other people's thoughts ;) :lol:

I assume Bivins was left out because he finally got his shot at Louis like you said, but he was miles past his best.

Should be noted too that Archie Moore was fucking around with Bivins' wife. They hated each other with a passion.

I think that era was the most stacked talent wise boxing has ever seen
Just thought I'd add a bit more detail and I only really know much about three of them other than Moore and Charles so I had to get some input in.
 

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If I was to rank them I would prob go:

Charles
Moore
Bivins
Marshall
Holman
Ray
Burley
Cocoa
Lytell
Booker
Chase
Wade

Could easily change with more research though, I don't know to much about the bottom crop of the list.
 

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Just thought I'd add a bit more detail and I only really know much about three of them other than Moore and Charles so I had to get some input in.
:lol: im only messing about mate :good

I know loads on Bivins, Charles and Moore, a bit on Burley, Marshall and Elmer Ray. Not massively clued up on the others.

Interesting you have Ray above Burley tho. Never seen that before
 

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:lol: im only messing about mate :good

I know loads on Bivins, Charles and Moore, a bit on Burley, Marshall and Elmer Ray. Not massively clued up on the others.

Interesting you have Ray above Burley tho. Never seen that before
Yeah the consensus is that Burley was better and I wouldn't argue against it if someone had him above but wins over Charles and Jersey Joe are better than anything burley ever did. Overall Burley has a better record but those two wins are huge.
 

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I'm here late @Lunny sorry, some of the lads like chatty and Vano know loads about this kind of stuff so you seem to have a lot of great info already.

I'll just throw this sentimental-esque tale out there though just in case it hasn't been thrown out there yet, if it has then it's double the greatness.

When I read 'Charley Burley- The Life and Hard Times of an Uncrowned Champion' it quickly became my favourite boxing book of all time, maybe at the time my favourite book of all time. I can't remember stuff word for word but I will have a go at getting the message across effectively. There is a part of the book where the author (amazing researcher) mentions a Charley Burely interview wherein he was asked if he was bitter towards how the boxing industry treated him and the Sugar Ray Robinson situation which is now pretty well documented. He replied 'not really, God asked me and Walker Smith jr ''which one of you wants to be Sugar Ray Robinson?'', I just didn't raise my hand fast enough'
 

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btw, for me Bivins is number one of the Row. Although Burley might be the outright best of them seen as though he was actually at a natural disadvantage in terms of size throughout so much of the achievement littered part of his career. Bivins was always naturally bigger than Burley, and for me Bivins compiled a career which leads me to rank him number one from the row, all things considered. As I say though, purely in terms of how fine a fighter each of them were, reports lead me to believe that Burley may emerge as that man who is above the rest.

Possibly.
 

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btw, for me Bivins is number one of the Row. Although Burley might be the outright best of them seen as though he was actually at a natural disadvantage in terms of size throughout so much of the achievement littered part of his career. Bivins was always naturally bigger than Burley, and for me Bivins compiled a career which leads me to rank him number one from the row, all things considered. As I say though, purely in terms of how fine a fighter each of them were, reports lead me to believe that Burley may emerge as that man who is above the rest.

Possibly.
Yeah, all the old timers tell me Burley was amazing to watch. Its a shame other than Ezzard and Archie that the rest of the footage from every other boxer in the group combined probably only covers an hour. Max
 

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seen as though you're wanting stories and tales @Lunny

do you know about the one about Burley banging out heavy hitting world class heavyweight contender Elmer Ray in the gym? It's more of an urban myth than anything but it's one I subscribe to simply as a nut-hugger of the sport.

Goes something like this-

Burley, really in the times of only eight classic weight divisions a natural welterweight who was forced to ply his trade at 160 because of extortionate circumstances in his paid career, was sparring the well known danger man Elmer 'Violent' Ray. As they were moving round in the ring together, Ray hit Burley with a shot that put him over. As Ray was standing up getting credit from those onlookers present, Burley rose up and gave Ray a nod of approval, then as they moved toward one another to engage in battle again, Burley launched his famous right hand nuke and laid out his man. As he came round, Burley extended his glove of friendship to Ray and gave him a look which almost telepathically communicated to the Violent one, the message was 'don't ever try to take liberties with me again'.

There is also the urban myth that Burley got in the gym for a spar with Curtis 'Hatchetman' Sheppard, and didn't do as well, getting a beating around the body pretty badly, apparently shortly before one of his fights with Ezzard Charles in which he was soundly beaten.
 

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Yeah, all the old timers tell me Burley was amazing to watch. Its a shame other than Ezzard and Archie that the rest of the footage from every other boxer in the group combined probably only covers an hour. Max
yeah it's shit, I really wanna see the rest of that Burley interview online, it defo exists cos there is part of it up there already.
 

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I think when talking about the row we should always remember that Archie Moore was a member of the row, he was lucky to get his title shot later on, far later than was originally warranted, and he capitalised on it. The fact that he reigned for so long after being dodged for so many years just shows how great the lot of the row were
 

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yeah it's shit, I really wanna see the rest of that Burley interview online, it defo exists cos there is part of it up there already.
Yeah, someone will have it in their collection. There's meant to be loads of full fights of Bivins and Marshall kicking about as well so i imagine their is more of the others too but its just getting hold of copies, I can get a few rounds here and there but I want full fights.
 
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