QUOTE (MarzB @ Aug 28 2009, 10:18 AM)
Everyone has general definitions they use in evaluating boxers. So I just wanted to solicit some opinions and post some of my own as to how I categorize boxers and then give them a label.
The scale is
POOR, FAIR, AVERAGE, GOOD, VERY GOOD, EXCELLENT
This is btw assessing their tool kit they bring to the ring in general. We know though that there are times that the more skilled guy whether due to lack of confidence or conditioning will and has lost to the less skilled guy (Froch vs. Taylor is a great example of this).
Poor Fighter- Someone who frankly shouldn't be in the ring. If these boxers make a television broadcast the matchmaker should be called to task. These fighters resembling what you'd see happening in a street fight. Circle and windmill hoping to land a haymaker punch experts. They're probably only on a card to fill a slot and they're on weight. Examples??
I can't think of his name but I saw this recently on the Roy Jones/Lacy undercard. Anyone that saw that please chime in,lol. It was a dude who was a sports columnist by day and it was literally like they threw meat into a lion's cage him being in the ring. Props to him for having the nerve as most people wouldn't but if you saw it you'll know what I'm talking about.
Fair FIGHTHER- This is probably where a decent street fighter would fit in. They know how to throw punches. Thats it. Everything else is improvised.
Average fighter- Now we're getting somewhere. A lot of boxers fit into this category. They have an understanding of the punches, understand some concepts of defense but where they err is they make a lot of glaring mistakes continually. Admiring work too much after delivering punches, conditioning issues, footwork may be at best average. Generally only knows how to fight one style, their style whether thats a slugger or boxer.
Good Fighter- This is another category a lot of guys fit in. First of all a good fighter has a legitimate shot at winning a real recognize title (IBF, WBC, WBO & WBA) where as the average fighter can (and has) win those but their reign will typically be very short. These are guys who either can do multiple things or do one thing EXTREMELY well. A lot of hard punchers (Sam Peter & Edison Miranda come to mind) , very fast quick hand guys generally fit this category.
These guys still have identifiable weaknesses but they can only be exploited by someone that knows how to exploit it. This is a good (no pun) category but also a bad one to be in because you can coast here and just eventually be an "opponent". You will either rise to the next level or sink to the level below as your physical skills start to erode.
Very Good Fighter-This is someone who has sured up their past weaknesses, knows the nuances of the sport like distance, timing,etc. Definitely has the tool kit of all or most boxing punches in their arsenal along with defense. Has fought tough opposition at this level and shined against them. The last part is key because most of the top tier fighters today fit in this category.
EXCELLENT Fighter- The guys here are easy first ballot hall of famers without question. There's something signature about their skillset(during their primes that can still carry over post prime because they were that good) that is identified with them. Whitaker's defense, Roy's speed, Leonard's footwork, Tyson's power, Lennox's and Tommy's jab, Hagler's timing, etc... They can make good fighters look like poor fighters. One requirement IMO to be in this category is that the participant have had to thoroughly DOMINATE someone in that VERY GOOD class.
This is interesting since most fans don't have a measuring stick in order to recognize a current fighter's worth. Most seem to only think that if a guy has superior handspeed he's better than every one. There's also a mistake made when calling a guy talented or skilled. To me, talent refers to the physical attributes a fighter has, power, handspeed, strength, agility, relfexes etc.
Skill comes from hours of practice in the gym, defense, technique, Ring IQ, etc.
All of these factors require evaluation in order to properly asses a fighter. I mean is Jermain Taylor more skilled than Collazo? Taylor has handspeed and power but he generally keeps his dangling by his waist, has little or no head movement, he arc the jab as well as the right hand, and so on.
Going by your list I'll try to give exmples of what I think fits the description of fighters. Poor Fighter
: Generally local clubfighters who don't train full time, aren't really talented and definetly not skilled. Usually called to be the first opponent for a young up and comer, making his pro debut or last minute replacements when other fellow sacrificial lambs drop out. Offer no defense or offense that would bother a fighter with plenty of amateur experience. Usually fall at the first sign of offense. Rarely suffer clean cut KO's since they fall more due to pain and not being able to see the blows coming. They have no reflexes. Fair FIGHTHER
: This is generally a better class of boxer than the poor one, in terms of skill but not by much. These guys are usually given to a propsect for 5 fights between his 5th and 10th. These guys tend to take more risks and have more heart than the Poor Fighter so you usually see them take more punishment. Average Fighter:
The first name that comes to mind is Matt Vanda. He looks pretty schooled but he might make tons of mistakes and his talent level is average. Generally these are guys who train hard and aspire to become something more but don't usually make it to the top 30. Good Fighter:
Usually guys with amateur experience, they have a decent promoter, like Marz said they have skill, talent and understand the sport. Lack of multiple dimensions or talent usually haunt them once they are in the top 20 or 10. Usually the type of guys we will see on TV or that we fans are familiar with. Think Otkay Urkal, Jesse James Leija, Raul Marquez, they were all skilled, had heart and even some talent but never made it to the top and were usually found as WINS in the records of Very Good fighters and Excellent Fighters. They can however, get a couple of good wins against Very Good Fighters and even upset Excellent Fighters, which lead them to HOF status (In an ideal world only the elite would get into the HOF but in boxing they let just about anyone in. Not saying they aren't good, simply saying they aren't elite).Very Good
: Ricky Hatton. The guy is able to beat tons of good fighters in his prime (Juan Urango, Juan Lazcano, Vince Phillips) but has generally met his doom against the excellent fighters of his era. The Very Good fighter however, experiences more success than faiilure during his prime and usually finds himself in the top 10 P4P or at least in the top 20 during their career.
: Of these guys there are only a couple in every generation. Right now we have Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather Jr and Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao. they are the guys who have both talent and skill and know how to use it. Know how to throw every punch in the book, have shown the will to make it through any situation, usually impressing us in the process. Examples: Hopkins in Ecuador or against Echols the 2nd time. Mayweather fighting on after breaking his hand against Henrandez or coming foward and beating Judah up after losing the first 4 rounds (Hey it impressed me) and JMM getting up after a disastrous 1st round against Pacquiao and arguably winning the fight and finally Pacquiao by going to war with Nedal Hussein in the pre Barerra days. Usually suffer only close losses during their prime. They