LAST week I caused a bit of a stir with my thoughts on my all-time greatest fighter but I am pleased to say that, overall, “Old Mongoose” Archie Moore was a popular choice. There was also a large percentage that went for my second choice, Sugar Ray Robinson, while we also had fans saying that today’s leader, Floyd Mayweather Jnr, is in fact the greatest of them all.
But it’s not about today’s fighters meeting yesterday’s fighters, or the training regimes, or the diet. Due to modern technology, it’s likely that the present day is superior. What it is about is what the fighters did in their era, to reach the top, to prove they were the best, and how they stayed there. Today’s fighters will look at a video of their opponent, change their mind if he looks too dangerous, and when they go for a world title – because there are so many – they will look for an easier option.
I’m not saying that’s wrong, it’s common sense, but in the days of Moore and Robinson there was, generally, just one world champion per division. There were also only eight different weight categories with usually at least half-a-stone between one division and the next. They fought for 15 rounds. Today’s fighters might be fitter – in the same way that today’s runners are faster – but that doesn’t mean they are greater. Everything today is just that little bit easier – more titles, more divisions, more money, more ways to train.
Why Archie Moore is The Best Ever