Tomato Cans

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Tomato Cans

Duggerman
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Which heavyweight champion fought the most tomato cans during his reign, and who fought the least?

Off the top of my head, I say Patterson fought the most tomato cans. He and Cus purposely ducked Sonny Liston for 4-5 years and fought everyone they could find elsewhere, although some of Floyd’s challengers were somewhat decent at best, like Hurricane Jackson and Tom McNeely.

I think that overall, Evander Holyfield fought the least amount of tomato cans. Once Evander made it to the championship level, he stayed there. No matter how many losses, retirements, steroid controversies, etc, Holyfield was almost always within one fight or so from a title shot. He was a top contender from 1990 onward. Even as late as 2011, he would have gotten title opportunities if the Klitschkos didn’t outright refuse to fight him.

Honorable mention to Joe Frazier who generally beat up or fought the top guys, but during his title reign he took easy fights. Terry Daniel was a young college student who tried boxing (Joe even bought him some textbooks) and Ron Stander was far from championship material but Joe fought him anyway. Joe even thought Foreman would be a tomato can. He had never even seen Foreman fight before! He was expecting another easy left hook knockout. George may have been inexperienced at the time but he was strong, as Frazier found out. But honestly I think Joe purposely took easy fights as champ to avoid Ali as punishment for all of his trash talking. He refused to fight him for a few years and by the time they fought again, Joe had already dropped the title.

Ali and Louis both fought great competition but took easy fights sometimes as well. Brian London, Chuck Wepner, and a few others for Ali, and Johnny Paycheck, Lee Savold and other unrecognizable names for Louis.
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Re: Tomato Cans

Sivul
The Klitschkos fought the most cans. Ali fought the best competition overall, followed closely by Holyfield. Larry Holmes' opponents were not cans, but not great legends either.
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Re: Tomato Cans

It's Dale
But "tomato can" is objective. What makes a guy a tomato can? Or a bum? Is it a losing record? There are PLENTY of contenders from each generation that did decent as far as win-loss ratios go but they were labeled bums anyway.

Is a guy who has a good career but loses in his championship fight a bum? For example Bert Cooper had an OK career despite his heavy drug use. He quit in two rounds against Foreman and lost in his one title shot against Holyfield, but other than that he did OK overall.

Is a guy like John Ruiz a bum? He was nothing special as a fighter, got knocked out in 19 seconds by Tua, and went 1-1-1 against old, old Holyfield. But he did win the title, in fact becoming the first Hispanic man to do so. Is he considered a bum?

What about someone like Lee Savold? He was kayod by Marciano and old Louis but did OK otherwise.

How about Jerry Quarry? A tough kid, but he lost most of his big fights and never won the title. Is he a bum?

Tomato cans or bums are really in the eye of the beholder.
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Re: Tomato Cans

Hit Em' Hard
It's Dale wrote
But "tomato can" is objective. What makes a guy a tomato can? Or a bum? Is it a losing record? There are PLENTY of contenders from each generation that did decent as far as win-loss ratios go but they were labeled bums anyway.

Is a guy who has a good career but loses in his championship fight a bum? For example Bert Cooper had an OK career despite his heavy drug use. He quit in two rounds against Foreman and lost in his one title shot against Holyfield, but other than that he did OK overall.

Is a guy like John Ruiz a bum? He was nothing special as a fighter, got knocked out in 19 seconds by Tua, and went 1-1-1 against old, old Holyfield. But he did win the title, in fact becoming the first Hispanic man to do so. Is he considered a bum?

What about someone like Lee Savold? He was kayod by Marciano and old Louis but did OK otherwise.

How about Jerry Quarry? A tough kid, but he lost most of his big fights and never won the title. Is he a bum?

Tomato cans or bums are really in the eye of the beholder.
You have some good challenges there. But a tomato can is someone who is an "easy fight" for a champion or top ranked contender. They don't pose a real threat, or at least no one expects them to.
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Re: Tomato Cans

Evolution
Well I'm going to be totally honest with you Dale and you probably figured this out already - I was a bum.

I was more of a behind the scenes guy but did have a few fights against some familiar names, but I lost each of them and generally fought guys on the way up. I was one of those guys referred to as "puncher's padding."

I didn't make it far. In fact I don't even think I made it to journeyman status. But if I took that deal from Don King I certainly would have made it far, maybe even got a title shot as he promised..
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Re: Tomato Cans

Duggerman
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In reply to this post by Hit Em' Hard
Hit Em' Hard wrote
You have some good challenges there. But a tomato can is someone who is an "easy fight" for a champion or top ranked contender. They don't pose a real threat, or at least no one expects them to.
That sums up how I feel. But it can be a tricky situation. Joe Louis went through his competition so easily and quickly that they were labeled the "Bum of the month" tour. But though some of those guys were bums- Johnny Paycheck comes to mind - most were not. Tony Galento did really well during his career and the only person to knock him out was Joe Louis. Billy Conn was not a bum, neither was Joe Walcott, although his record was a bit mixed.

Larry Holmes made his opposition look easy at times too, but I'll put it this way -- You can't be a horrible, terrible fighter if you're crafty enough to climb the ranks and get a crack at the heavyweight champion. Bert Cooper was mentioned earlier and I agree that he was not a bum. He was tough enough to challenge for the world heavyweight championship and even knocked down the champion!

Butterbean knocked out a lot of guys. But did he make it anywhere near a world title? The only name fighter he fought was Larry Holmes at 52. You could argue Butterbean was a bum. He could punch, sure, but he obviously wouldn't make it to the championship level.

A young Hasim Rahman was considered a bum, too. Lennox Lewis certainly thought so. Why do you think he fought him? He had already beaten everyone, and was just waiting around for a fight with Tyson. So he took a fight with Rahman to keep busy and collect an easy payday, but Rahman surprised him that night in South Africa.
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Re: Tomato Cans

Zorro
But what about someone like Buster Douglas? He was a bum, got a title shot, beat Tyson, then promptly became a bum again. Even though he reached the big stage that night in Tokyo, I still consider that man a bum.
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Re: Tomato Cans

It's Dale
Zorro wrote
But what about someone like Buster Douglas? He was a bum, got a title shot, beat Tyson, then promptly became a bum again. Even though he reached the big stage that night in Tokyo, I still consider that man a bum.
That is precisely the point I'm making. A bum is strictly in the eye of the beholder regardless of their record or the success they did/did not have. A bum to me may not necessarily be a bum to you.
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Re: Tomato Cans

Joe Kingman
Administrator
In reply to this post by Evolution
Evolution wrote
Well I'm going to be totally honest with you Dale and you probably figured this out already - I was a bum.

I was more of a behind the scenes guy but did have a few fights against some familiar names, but I lost each of them and generally fought guys on the way up. I was one of those guys referred to as "puncher's padding."

I didn't make it far. In fact I don't even think I made it to journeyman status. But if I took that deal from Don King I certainly would have made it far, maybe even got a title shot as he promised..
Don't be so hard on yourself. You have to have some talent to even make it to the pros. And you helped train some pretty big names for battle so in some ways boxing history wouldn't have been the same without you.

Don King offered you a deal? Wow. I suppose you'll always wonder how different life would have been if you took it.

-Joe Kingman
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Re: Tomato Cans

Duggerman
Administrator
In reply to this post by Zorro
Zorro wrote
But what about someone like Buster Douglas? He was a bum, got a title shot, beat Tyson, then promptly became a bum again. Even though he reached the big stage that night in Tokyo, I still consider that man a bum.
Buster wasn't a bum; there was just no inkling that he would beat Tyson. Compared to TYSON he was a bum, sure. (Before the fight).
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Re: Tomato Cans

Phantom Punch
In reply to this post by It's Dale
It's Dale wrote
What about someone like Lee Savold? He was kayod by Marciano and old Louis but did OK otherwise.

How about Jerry Quarry? A tough kid, but he lost most of his big fights and never won the title. Is he a bum?
Jerry was no bum. He just had the misfortune of fighting other all-time greats when they were at or near their prime.

I wouldn't nessaritly call Lee Savold a bum either. He was never a top ranked guy but at least top 20 when he fought because Rocky had to beat him on the way up, and Louis had to fight him just to keep busy while he awaited another shot at the title. Basically if you got a fight with Lee Savold and beat him, you were definitely on your way up.