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

Discussion in 'Boxing Discussion' started by ZroC, Aug 25, 2012.

  1. ZroC Silver Belt

    ZroC
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    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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    Last edited: Aug 25, 2012
  2. ZroC Silver Belt

    ZroC
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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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  3. JayElectra Paper Belt

    JayElectra
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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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  4. ZroC Silver Belt

    ZroC
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  5. FreshPrince Banned

    FreshPrince
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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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  6. WatchMeDoMe** Banned

    WatchMeDoMe**
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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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  7. JayElectra Paper Belt

    JayElectra
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    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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  8. JayElectra Paper Belt

    JayElectra
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    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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  9. emax Black Belt

    emax
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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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  10. snoop dogg*** Baby Heath goon$quad

    snoop dogg***
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    exactly. when one "evolves" they lose some attributes as well as gaining them
     
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  11. TheScenario Blue Belt

    TheScenario
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    They definitely helped the sport due to the fact that they came along and prospered after Tyson left prominence. It was something that appealed to my generation in college at the time.

    That being said, it was an evolution as far as speed and raw talent.
     
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  12. snoop dogg*** Baby Heath goon$quad

    snoop dogg***
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    RJJ's technique and reaction time was so crisp he could afford to fight like that. its not devolution.
     
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  13. Wow Exuberant** Banned

    Wow Exuberant**
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    That first video from 1844, you can clearly see it has evolved since then, I think I would be able to beat both of those guys, in fact I know I would
     
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  14. ZeekWatson Green Belt

    ZeekWatson
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    Old school boxing is a lot more "manly" -- anyone trying Hamed style dancing and clowning would end up with the crowd throwing bottles and rocks. I just can't see any way the old school crowds would've appreciated that style.
     
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  15. JayElectra Paper Belt

    JayElectra
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    "El Intocable" was extremely well liked in a very "macho" culture. Only had 14 KOs in 117 wins as well. Of course, it is rumoured that he would sneak a smoke in between rounds which makes you a badass by default.



    Apparently Monzon also smoked all the time (even when preparing for fights). He was nicknamed iron lungs by friends if I remember correctly because he still had incredible cardio despite the cigarettes. (I have no source for this)
     
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  16. skeleton monkey** Banned

    skeleton monkey**
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    1. Hard to say, I'll go with devolution.

    2. Fighters tend to be faster... thats about all I got. Technique has gone down

    3. Because Ali wasn't around. Ever since Ali theres been tons of guys trying to imitate his style of fighting and his trash talking

    4.I dunno when Boxing was at its absolute best in terms of talent but I will say that the really old Boxers are obsolete. I think modern Boxers started appearing the 30s but their are fighters from before that, that are pretty 'modern'.

    Its from 1896 iirc
     
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  17. Sunfish Martinez Belt

    Sunfish
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    Ingle taught more than Hamed his unorthodox style. It's just of his pupils, Nas had most talent and is the most extreme example.
     
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  18. mozfonky We oughta be fightin' a bottle of Geritol.

    mozfonky
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    The old timers in many, many films look absolutely atrocious, I mean atrocious as in like a couple kids or girls fighting and they were suppossed to be the best. Dempsey looks terrible in the Willard fight technically, and he looked brilliant in the Tunney fight I watched even though he lost, he didn't look that much different than a modern fighter, and there is sparring footage of him which is impressive too. I've said it a million times but it bears repeating, Dempsey was the singlemost revolutionary figure ever in boxing, black white, asian, it doesn't matter, all of them copy him whether they know it or not. Before him I don't see anyone that impressive honestly.

    The term "devolution" is a term I picked up and use which simply means changing for the worst, I don't know if it's a legitimate word but the meaning is clear. Young folks, and I used to be along with you in thinking Roy was as good as you all think. I don't know everything and neither do any of you, I do know Roy isn't any faster or gifted than other fighters I've seen. As a middleweight are his hands as fast as Camacho? Tyson? Leonard? Even a Prime Hearns? Are his hooks as devastating as Leonards, Robinson's? Is he better a defensive wiz than Benitez? Are his reflexes faster than Camacho's? Or did he just have a style and fought guys who were too easily convinced that they could not beat him even before the bell rang like a Tyson or a Liston? I don't have good answers and I don't think anyone else does either. The sad thing is, he will not place on anyone knowledgable's top ten list. It won't happen.
     
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  19. mozfonky We oughta be fightin' a bottle of Geritol.

    mozfonky
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    Ingle is an interesting guy but he hoards credit from Herol Graham for the style and he is not the kind of guy I would want to be involved with if I were a fighter. When the money thing turned nasty with Hamed he still wanted to collect and worked Hamed's corner even though there was bad blood. In my mind, the older man should have more wisdom and maturity than that and too often with trainers, they take the low road right along with their young knucklehead fighters. Anyway, the Dempsey revolution was a style that had elements that were useful for any human being. The ingle style should be banished, I've said it before it's too unpredictable for both fighters with those lunges, Naseem knocked lots of men out and herol Graham gave great fighters nightmares but both of them took shots because of that unpredictability. Naseem getting knocked down and hurt in many of his fights, Graham being devestatingly kayoed by Jackson and losing to the much sounder Mccallum.
     
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  20. Jayofteror Brown Belt

    Jayofteror
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    It is always best to fight to your strengths. In the case of someone like a Roy Jones, he knew he was fast. He knew he could dodge punches from world class champions with just head movement. Because of his speed, he could fight with his hands down. I am not sure if I would defy his style as evolution, more so I would defy him as a gifted athlete who knew how to use his speed.

    Everyone once in a while a special athlete comes around who defy conventional wisdom. Roy Jones and Haseem were two such athletes.
     
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