Convicted Artist Magazine

Feb 28th
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jake-la-motta-joe-louisWhen I think of all the old time fighters that we love to watch, I wonder how they would have fared nowadays.  Sure, it would be hard to tell, given how they would have responded to modern training, nutrition, and fight schedules.  It also depends on how "old time" we are talking.  I made a quick list of a couple fighters I think would fare well nowadays, and a couple who would not do as well.  It may not be who you think.


Jake La Motta
He would have probably been a Junior Middleweight, and been moved more carefully, but what Jake brought to the table still translates.  Willingness to face anyone... an iron chin, and not much power.  Fighters like that guarantee rounds, and action, which guarantees TV ratings.  He also knew fundamentals, which a lot of short tough sluggers nowadays do not.  His chin would have been more tested by modern punching, but any man who Sugar Ray Robinson could not floor in 63 rounds, would have trouble withstanding Canelo Alvarez.  La Motta would have certainly had losses, but he did then, too... and his longevity would have even been easier to achieve now.

Joe Louis
Professional, steady, and able to take advantage of any mistake his opponents made.  That would do well nowadays.  He also found ways to win difficult fights.  Louis would have been a Cruiserweight now, but can you see the sloppy champions like O'Neill Bell, Lateef Kayode, or Guillermo Jones being able to hang with the craftiness of a Joe Louis?  He had defensive lapses, but still within the framework of a modern style of defense, and timing, that would translate very well into today's boxing world


Jack Johnson
Yes, his natural talents would have been re-honed well for modern boxing, but he is just too old-time to translate well.  What he did brilliantly was clinch for long periods of time, and punch within the clinches.. two things which are now illegal.  In an era when even the better opponents fought with arms extended and winging shots, his mastery was light years ahead of them... yet nowadays, he would be DQ'd for employing most of his best methods.  His natural punching ability and chin, as well as his ability to parry and move, would have still guaranteed him some success.  However, he would be far from the dominate fighter he was 100 years ago.

Jack Dempsey
The ultimate brawler would be fun to watch in any era.  Especially one like Dempsey who was a durable, murderous puncher, but if you look at the craft.. you'll see a lot of holes.  Let's just say it would not have taken an entire career to reach a Gene Tunney type who could simply outbox Dempsey.  The Manassa Mauler would have had several defeats at the hands of slick boxers in today's game, and probably would have had an Oliver McCall-like career.

Chris Strait

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Very good info in this article. I’ll get into carrying out more of some of this. Appreciate the knowledge.
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