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Old 11-15-2008, 09:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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A Partial Eclipse of the Sonny

When I first started following boxing as a preteen back in the late 1950s, Floyd Patterson held the heavyweight crown, but Sonny Liston was the dominant force. Even back then, you knew that once Floyd stopped fighting guys like Rademacher, London, and McNeeley and faced Liston, the Bear was going to walk away with the crown.

Given the protective instincts of Cus D'Amato and the promotional battles of the era, guys like Henry Cooper, Zora Folley, Cleveland Williams, and Eddie Machen never got a shot at the Patterson. And with the exception of Cooper, they were also unable to prevail against Liston.

So this new simulation is what you might call a "what if" endeavor. What if Patteson was compelled to fight the top contenders? What if Liston wasn't on the scene? Could Floyd hold on to his title or would the heavyweight division be a replay of the pre-Joe Lous days in the 1930s?

Without exaggeration, this is something that I've thought about for nearly fifty years. So what better way to resolve my questions than to run my own simulation.

Here are two major changes to the reality of that period. The simulation begins January 1, 1957 and ends September 25, 1962 (when Liston takes the title from Patterson).

1) An all-powerful boxing organization, the Universal Boxing Organization (UBO), has been formed and mandates that all titles must be defended at least four times a year. Moroever, at least once a year, the top contender must get a title shot. All other defenses must be against boxers ranked among the top five in the world. A draw results in a vacant title.

2) Liston was inactive during 1957 as the result of being convicted for assaulting a police officer which put him behind bars for nine months. I'm changing the situation. In the sim, Sonny went before a real hanging judge and was sentenced to five years. So he's out of circulation until the start of 1962.

I'm including roughly fifty heavyweights from the period, and the simulation will be blended with real events. That's to say some of the non-championship fights will be simulated while actual results will also shape events. For my point of departure, I'll be using the 1957 rankings in The Ring but will be making the needed adjustments as I progress through the simulation.

There's the potential (not necessarily the promise) of a few surprises. First, Marciano could make a comeback! At the start of the simualtion, he'd be thirty-three, past his prime, and possessing a coating of ring rust.

Second, there's this brash 1960 Olympic gold medalist from Louisville named Cassius Clay. He'd be at the tailend of the simulation, but depending on how things play out, he might be fighting for the title two years earlier than he did in reality.

We might even see a Clay-Marciano match! Cassisus fighting pre-prime and Rocky entering the ring post-prime.

Once again these are possibilities--not promises!

Finally, I'm bring back our pal from the Teophilo Stevenson simulation, Skip Bailey, to give us an accounting of what will be taking place. Skip is twenty years younger and is writing for World Boxing Review.

I hope to get this up and running in a week or so. But before I do, I'd like to see your comments/suggestions.

Please feel free to share your thoughts!!!!
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds great Prof just a shame you cant squeeze Sonny in their somewhere as he one of my favourite boxers by far.

Perhaps he could be given special permission to fight from jail a couple of times ala James Scott?
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Old 11-15-2008, 09:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This should be great. I think you set the standard with the Teofilo thread so I have high expectations. I'm looking forward to this.

Before starting my universe I had some thoughts of leavin Tyson out of it just to see how things could have turned out in the mid eightys.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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We're starting off with a shamefully bad pun. I love it.
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Old 11-15-2008, 10:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bear View Post
We're starting off with a shamefully bad pun. I love it.
...and that from the king of bad puns.

Professor, this sounds like a very fun universe.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bigMatt View Post
...and that from the king of bad puns.

Professor, this sounds like a very fun universe.
Guilty. I've been called this before, and with some frequency.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Guilty. I've been called this before, and with some frequency.
Some are hard to bear, actually.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Nice!
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Old 11-15-2008, 12:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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UNIVERSAL BOXING ORGANIZATION

Heavyweight Division Rankings
January 1957


Floyd Patterson, Champion

1-Tommy Jackson

2-Archie Moore

3-Harold Carter

4-Eddie Machen

5-Willie Pastrano

6-Bob Baker

7-Bob Satterfield

8-Ingemar Johansson

9-John Holman

10-Zora Folley

11-Joe Erskine

12-Wayne Bethea

13-Johnny Summerlin

14-Nino Valdes

15-Pat McMurtry

16-Ezzard Charles

17-Henry Cooper

18-Franco Cavicchi

19-Joe Bygraves

20-Heinz Neuhaus
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:13 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I love the detail and knowledge that goes into some of these ' What if ' threads. Some of the guys in this forum really know what they're on about when it comes to boxing and it works as great inspiration for creating your own universes. Im really looking forward to seeing how this one turns out, ive only been looking at the forums posts for about a week now and i feel like ive found a hidden gem.

Ok, soapbox moment over.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Professor, I have done a great deal of research over the years on Liston, and have always considered him to be one of the greats of all time, and I have also often wondered what would have happened if Sonny had not been forced to fight with the cuffs on, as so many fighters of that era were.

I am certainly looking forward to how this one plays out.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Cut and Shoot Roy Harris is offended at not being in the rankings.
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Old 11-15-2008, 02:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Cut and Shoot Roy Harris is offended at not being in the rankings.
How do you think Yvon Durelle feels? Or Yolande Pompey?

Last edited by bigMatt; 11-15-2008 at 02:50 PM.
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:29 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Don't blame me!

I took these rankings from The Ring, February 1957. Durelle was ranked as a light heavy at the time as was Pompey--they fought between divisions, and I'll try to work them into the mix as things progress.

RE: Roy Harris--he hasn't cut & shot yet! As I work through 1957, I'll be simming some of his bouts to see if he can "shoot" his way into a title match next year (1958).
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Old 11-15-2008, 04:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Don't blame me!

I took these rankings from The Ring, February 1957. Durelle was ranked as a light heavy at the time as was Pompey--they fought between divisions, and I'll try to work them into the mix as things progress.

RE: Roy Harris--he hasn't cut & shot yet! As I work through 1957, I'll be simming some of his bouts to see if he can "shoot" his way into a title match next year (1958).
Not blaming.

I have a bunch of old ring mags - nothing from 1957 although I have a couple from 55, one from 54, and several from 1959. So I started thumbing through them in anticipation of your uni and Durelle stuck out right away. Yeah, he was a Cruiser but he fought his share of heavies. Looks like he really hit his stride by the middle of 1957 - before that he lost several fights to lesser heavies - probably why he wasn't ranked in the top 20.
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Old 11-15-2008, 05:26 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Not blaming.

I have a bunch of old ring mags - nothing from 1957 although I have a couple from 55, one from 54, and several from 1959. So I started thumbing through them in anticipation of your uni and Durelle stuck out right away. Yeah, he was a Cruiser but he fought his share of heavies. Looks like he really hit his stride by the middle of 1957 - before that he lost several fights to lesser heavies - probably why he wasn't ranked in the top 20.
Just checked my old copy of The Ring. Pompey was ranked number four light heavy at the start of 1957, but Durelle didn't make the top fifteen--he was in the next grouping, Class A. I bought a bio on him over twenty-five years ago when visiting Canada. Real interesting guy! Don't know what happened to the darn book.

One of the many interesting things about this era was you had some pretty decent guys in the light heavyweight ranks--Pompey, Pastrano, Durelle, Harold Johnson, etc. who could move up in weight and not give too much up---Patterson was pretty light by today's heavyweight standards.

BTW, as I'm going through this old ring, even Willi Besmanoff is listed as a light heavy---he's number six!!!

Thanks for offering some comments at this early part of the sim. I hope you'll continue to contribute in the future.

I've already simmed my first fight---Ingemar Johansson vs a very old Ezzard Charles--intresting matchup. I want to sim a few more and then post at some point this weekend.
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Old 11-15-2008, 06:10 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I didn't expect you to be starting on something new so soon after finishing the Teo dynasty, professor. What a great surprise. Looking forward to it.
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Old 11-15-2008, 11:59 PM   #18 (permalink)
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WORLD BOXING Review
JANUARY 1957


BAILEY’S BEAT
by Skip Bailey
A new year and a new governing body- the Universal Boxing Organization (UBO). UBO president Hans Reuter appears to be in full control as the organization begins its maiden voyage in 1957.

You can expect more title bouts under the organization’s four-fight rule which mandates that every division championship must be defended at least four times a year. Reuter has already told several champs that either they put their belt on the line by March or lose their crown.

The title matches should also be more interesting. Number one contenders must get at least one title shot a year, and belt holders can only fight boxers ranked in the organization’s top five tier.

Patterson-Jackson Title Match Moved Up To March

Already heavyweight champ Floyd Patterson and his protective handler Cus D’Amato have felt Reuter’s clout. Patterson won the vacant title last November when he knocked out reigning light heavy boss Archie Moore in five rounds.

D’Amato wanted to take some time for Floyd’s next defense and was looking for a June title bout against number one contender Tommy “Hurricane” Jackson. Reuter informed Cus that was too far away. The bout was moved up to March 16th and will be held in New York’s Madison Square Garden.

Moore Must Make A Move!

Meanwhile, light heavy champ Moore has been pressured to defend his crown or have his belt stripped away. Archie has been trying to pick up the heavyweight title and has been paying little attention to the light heavyweight division. In the past two years, he’s only defended his title twice. Six months ago he stopped Yolande Pompey in ten. Since then he’s been battling in the heavyweight ranks.

Reuter has put the Old Mongoose on short notice. He must put the title on the line no later than March 30th.


Heavyweight Hotline

Johansson Decisions Charles

European champion Ingemar Johansson scored aneasy ten round decision over former world champ Ezzard Charles. Ingo had Ezzard down a total of seven times in the contest. Referee Ruby Goldstein could face suspension for letting the bout go the distance. By the end of the eighth round Charles was already down three times, his eye was almost swollen shut, and Johansson had opened a nasty gash under Ezzard’s puffy orb. Charles was decked another four times in the final two rounds.

Come on Ruby, you’re gonna get a guy killed some day!!!

Charles, who will soon turn thirty-six, gave up nearly twelve years to his opponent and appeared to be a mere shell of his former self. Ezzard hasn’t looked impressive since his first fight with Rocky Marciano three years ago. If he doesn’t retire he should be forced to do so by the UBO.

Although he dominated Charles, Ingo received mixed reviews for his effort. He has some kind of powerful right, but he’s a little too passive in the ring. It was shades of Helsinki 1952 all over again with Johansson sort of doing nothing at times, just waiting to unload the right cross.

Johansson’s still young at twenty-four, and with his power, he could wear the heavyweight crown some day. But he needs to build a fire in his belly if he’s going to make his way to the top!


Liston Draws Prison Term

Charles “Sonny” Liston, perhaps the best fighter in the division, was recently sentenced to five years for assaulting a St. Louis police officer. Liston, who has had several brushes with the law in the past, could get parole after two years if he behaves, but for Sonny, that’s a mighty big if! With Liston on ice for at least the next twenty-four months, Patterson and the top contenders for the title are no doubt breathing a sigh of relief.


Carter and Machen To Meet Next Month

The UBO has given it's final approval for next month's ten round bout between Harold Carter and Eddie Machen in Los Angeles. Carter is ranked number three and Machen is right behind him in the fourth spot. The winner is most likely to get a title shot if Patterson defeats Jackson in March.

Both fighters are young and talented. Carter is currently 21-2-2 and holds wins over Bob Satterfield and Johnny Summerlin. Machen is undefeated in twenty fights and is an excellent boxer/puncher. Either could give Floyd a tough night in a title fight.

The Grapevine: With Archie Moore under the UBO gun to either defend or vacate the light heavy title, look for Harold Johnson start watching his weight....Keep a close watch on Roy Harris. The Cut and Shoot slugger has been tearing up Texas and should crack the top ten by year's end.

See you next month!






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Last edited by professordp; 11-16-2008 at 12:10 AM.
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Old 11-16-2008, 12:05 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Skip Bailey

Those who followed the Teophilo Stevenson sim are familiar with Skip. He sure looks a lot younger! Well this sim takes place twenty years earlier. Heck, we all looked a lot younger twenty years ago!

If you want to learn about Skip's personal history, you should go to page one of the Stevenson simulation.

BTW, I am not Skip Bailey---that's not my picture! He's just my alter ego.
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Old 11-16-2008, 08:38 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Great start, will be following, although I'm not even remotely familiar with that period. The only gripe I have is with Skip's pic, the old one was just dead on perfect, the younger one doesn't remind me of Skip at all, it just seems like some average joe to me. Maybe I'll just have to let it grow on me a little.
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