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Old 08-25-2012, 08:56 PM   #1
ZroC

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The styles of Prince Naseem and Roy Jones JR - boxing evolution or devolution?

Just thought I'd get the ball rolling on something different to talk about.

It's been said by certain people that boxing technique has been devolving rather than evolving, while others will claim it is still evolving. Those who say it's evolving will often point to fighting styles like RJJ and Prince Naseem who have show cased rather different fighting styles which most will agree didn't exist in any shape or form pre-1980s boxing. Those who say it's devolving will counter argue by saying these fighting styles are proof of the devolution since they rely heavily on reflex rather than technique.

Clearly, anyone who has been paying attention to boxing in recent years will notice the styles of RJJ and Naseem rubbing off onto many fighters today, even those who can't use it properly. David Haye seems like a very clear example of someone influenced by perhaps both fighters. Obviously I'm not saying this is the only example of evolution but it is a rather blatant influence and often debated one.

So here's some thoughts to mull over?

1. Hamed/RJJ evolution or devolution?

2. In what ways has boxing devolved or evolved and which end is winning?

3. Hamed and RJJ. Why did fighters like this not exist in the past? Was every boxers over the course of 200 years simply so disciplined they turned their noses up at poor technique such as this? Dempsey and Rocky liked to swing their arms about as if they were clubbing their opponents with a big rock in their fists. They couldn't control the weight behind it and often lumbered forward with their heads falling into their opponents chests. If big hitters were more satisfied voiding tech then why did those athletic guys simply pass at being athletic? Did athletic boxers like Hamed and RJJ simply not exist back then?

4. At one point in boxing history near the beginning it must have been a sport where mad men clubbed one another with their fists for pleasure. When in your opinion did boxing reach the apex in terms of technique and what was the lowest point? The sport of boxing was never an uphill ride all the way. It had it's ups and downs constantly. Are the oldest pro boxers now obsolete or lost ancient masters?

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Old 08-25-2012, 08:57 PM   #2
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More food for the brain. Some older footage for show here since it might come in handy for reference, and maybe let people get a closer look at these fighters.

Oldest boxing footage ever. Probably 1850s there about I don't know


Corbett vs Fotzsimmons 1897
Obsolete or superior?



Dempsey vs Willard


Dempsey vs Tunney


Rocky vs Don ****ell


Louis vs Schmeling 2


Niccolino Locche highlights


Rocky KOs Walcott.



And of course some highlights of both Hamed and RJJ to close.




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Old 08-25-2012, 09:10 PM   #3
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No such thing as de-evolution. Only evolution. Evolution doesn't suggest change for the better, it only suggests change.

/biology

Seriously though, there were always successful unorthodox fighters from any era. Look at Marciano who took out such technicians as Charles (though he was past it) and Walcott (both Walcott and Charles were highly skilled, whereas Marciano was anything but textbook). On average, I think the fundamental skill level has decreased a little based on the lack of trainers that know how to teach some of the so called "old school" methods. At the top of the sport, I don't see a massive difference, though there seems to be less significant depth.

I expect there are many people who can speak on this better than I can, though.

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Old 08-25-2012, 09:15 PM   #4
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Well it has a Wiki page so bleh
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devolution_(biology)

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Old 08-25-2012, 09:21 PM   #5
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I don't know why Hamed and Jones are names thrown out there to represent modern boxers. Both are highly unorthodox.

I see one of the big differences between old school and new school having a lot to do with stance. Off center vs center. Saddler, Louis, Burley, Hopkins, vs De La Hoya, Khan, Pacquiao.

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Old 08-25-2012, 09:21 PM   #6
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The styles of RJJ and Hamed were just unique. They were completely separate from the lineage of technique evolution. Same with Ali. Their styles were created by the abilities and personalities of the fighters. No one taught them that and no one could teach them any different because of their success at every level.

When you ask why earlier boxers never fought like that...why they just seem so damn stiff and orthodox in the black and white era...well I have no idea. Apparently Ali invented swag circa 1960.

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Old 08-25-2012, 09:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZroC View Post
Well it has a Wiki page so bleh
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devolution_(biology)
Yes but it's an anitquated notion. It suggests that there is some start and end point when there really isn't. Anyway, it is unimportant.

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Old 08-25-2012, 09:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreshPrince View Post
I don't know why Hamed and Jones are names thrown out there to represent modern boxers. Both are highly unorthodox.

I see one of the big differences between old school and new school having a lot to do with stance. Off center vs center. Saddler, Louis, Burley, Hopkins, vs De La Hoya, Khan, Pacquiao.
That Burley vid illustrated this really well (I think that is what you may be referring to). I've heard it said that the reliance upon gloves for defense has caused a certain amount of regression in the overall quality of fighters. Some cite the way the amateur ranks have developed as the reason for this change. One small problem with this theory is the fact that the Cubans tend to be some of the most technically proficient fighters there are when they are groomed exclusively for the ammies. If you look back at the best fighters from the last 20-30 years, you see most of the fighters have had styles that would translate well and flourish to any era. Whitaker, Duran, Leonard, Hearns, Hagler, McCallum, JCC, Tyson, Bowe, Benitez, Mayweather, Toney, Hopkins and Holyfield all used some so called "old school" techniques which some say are becoming less and less prevalent in boxing. Fighters like Pacquaio, Calzaghe and Roy Jones are notable exceptions but as I said, there are exceptions like this in any era.

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Old 08-25-2012, 09:59 PM   #9
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In terms of fighting prowess, it is very hard to tell and there's no easy answer. In terms of character and personality, a devolution for sure - Naseem may have gotten on a lot of people's nerves, but at the very least he knew not to take himself obscenely seriously the way Jones Jr does. Naseem entertained people with his antics, Jones Jr made them cringe like they were hearing a car alarm scratched across a chalkboard. And still does.

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Old 08-25-2012, 10:26 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JayElectra View Post
No such thing as de-evolution. Only evolution. Evolution doesn't suggest change for the better, it only suggests change.

/biology

Seriously though, there were always successful unorthodox fighters from any era. Look at Marciano who took out such technicians as Charles (though he was past it) and Walcott (both Walcott and Charles were highly skilled, whereas Marciano was anything but textbook). On average, I think the fundamental skill level has decreased a little based on the lack of trainers that know how to teach some of the so called "old school" methods. At the top of the sport, I don't see a massive difference, though there seems to be less significant depth.

I expect there are many people who can speak on this better than I can, though.
exactly. when one "evolves" they lose some attributes as well as gaining them

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