So here we are, this will take quite a lot of time and I don't even know if I'll finish it, but anyway, this is the first matchup, because I have decided to separate everyone in its own piece.
SUGAR RAY ROBINSON vs VITALI KLITSCHKO
Well, for this first matchup, and since my knowledge about Robinson's career goes little beyond "he's the greatest" I will base this view on him on this article by Lee Wylie, which is a fantastic piece and I recommend it to anyone:
Sugar Ray Robinson breakdown
Quick info about Robinson:
- At 5'11 and with a 72 1/2" reach by Boxrec, Robinson was a huge welterweight. Comparing him with Tim Bradley, which is a reasonably sized welterweight nowadays, Robinson would have 5" height and 3 1/2 inches of reach on him. Those are important advantages, and we will consider Robinson to have more or less the body of a Middleweight, which is reasonable given how he looked when fighting natural middleweights.
- About physical gifts, his oversizing of opponents in lower weight categories might have had something to do with his perceived power and strength. Still, I'm considering Robinson as having, at least, good power, good speed, very good technique, very good ring IQ, very good or great chin (never stopped in like 200 fights)... I guess he would be basically a very gifted fighter in every category.
- There's not much to say about his career. Sugar Ray Robinson is widely considered as the best p4p boxer of all time. Any interesting fact or opinion you guys have about him, please comment.
Quick info about Klitschko:
- No need to break his dimensions down. We all know Vitali is a very big man even compared to modern heavyweights, and he uses that to good effect when he fights.
- He probably has, talking in absolutes, all time great power. His KO ratio talks about an extremely hard puncher. He has also shown to have a really elite chin, sustaining monster shots from the likes of Lennox Lewis or Corrie Sanders.
- Besides his more obvious strengths (power, chin, size) he's got heart and, unlike his brother Wladimir, is not afraid to go into an all-out war, even vs the only truly great boxer he's faced, the extremely dangerous Lennox Lewis.
- I will give Vitali the edge in power, reach, chin, size (though not by as much as against other fighters, see below).
- I will clearly give the edge to Robinson in technique, skills, experience, category of his rivals, speed, reflexes and defense. I don't think any of those categories are even debatable.
Setting up the fight:
Since this is the first fight in the series, I'm going to talk about how I'm transforming the fighters in cases like this one in which one of them is really bigger than the other one. We can shrink Vitali, enlarge Robinson, or have them meet at a middle ground. The latter option is the less desirable since it just complicates things unnecessarily.
So we are going to keep Robinson at, say, 154, which would make him a big Jr. Middleweight which is basically what he was when he fought at the weight. Think Golovkin, just a bit bigger, and then making 154 comfortably. That will be Robinson's size.
Vitali, we shrink him down there, and I'm imagining him, size-wise, like JCC Jr. when he fought at Middleweight. Imagine the size advantage Chávez had over Martínez, I picture Vitali having a bit less of an advantage over Robinson. Why? Because Martínez wasn't a big middleweight and Chávez was a huge one. Since Robinson would be bigger, the difference would be less, but that's the frame we are using to compare.
So, pitting a Maravilla sized robinson (plus some) against a Chávez Jr. sized Vitali, who do you pick?
My own pick:
My pick is quite clear in this one. I'm positive it would be one of Robinson's toughest fights, but still he would be too much for Vitali. Vitali's best assets (chin, power, strength) would frontally collide with some of robinson's best traits too (power, chin, strength) and in the rest of categories Robinson is several steps above.
So I think Vitali could find some success turning it into a brawl, maybe hurting or even dropping Robinson, but over a full fight, the smaller Robinson would be just too good, too fast, too skilled. Too great, after all. As much as I love Vitali, I'm hard pressed giving him many chances because I don't think even himself would be able to knock such a tough fighter as Robinson out.
Please tell me what you think!!!