Originally Posted by srehm1
hey, it's true, wilson may not have felt the need to avenge those fights. he may have been willing to let them slide because they weren't huge beatings. losses sure but very close fights. he might have figured the issue was settled with the one fight. I would have liked to see him avenge them because there have always been some questions there regarding those two fights especially. Were they in his head? was he worried about losing even worse in a rematch-those kinds of things.
I love Wilson. I'm one of his biggest supporters here and I usually come out both guns blazing to defend him when our resident sh!t stirrer is running loose in this forum. So it's not like I have any reason to detract from his great career.
As far as top-10 fighter rankings-It doesn't matter to me who has who at number one and why. It's pretty clear on this site who is the #1 fighter of all time. those who have wilson at #1 are the minority for sure-although i have a great respect for those who i know rank wilson that high like BS25 or 2,5,10. i do think wilson is deserving of his high ranking. I have him in my holy trinity but he has always been sort of the junior partner for me. again his era comes into play. He never suffered a bad loss. some close one's sure but that is part of that era. jonathan wensink fotiu gillies nystrom gassoff etc they lost few fights because the era was weaker. less great fighters fighting much less. lower fight totals, shorter careers. Wilson has the benefit of being ranked according to 9 years in the league. probert had almost twice as long a career and fought in a high volume era. wilson in his 16th season would have been subject to the same break downs and struggles that probert did. people ranking probert on his last few years are missing the point any way. probert's first 9 seasons are very comparable to wilson's-even more so if you consider how much more he fought against some all time comp in that time. plus the fact that he never let a loss go in that time. the first domi loss was slight but because it was domi and the way he threw it in probert's face-the fight became a huge deal and the rematch picked up so much hype. i imagine wilson would have let that kind of loss go-but probert was another animal entirely. probert put together a far greater card than wilson, was the undisputed champ-not just the best fighter for a particular season. he has a few fights that may go down as top-10 fights of all time as well as putting together 2 of the top-5 best seasons ever. i don't think wilson could ever claim anything close to that. Not to mention being considered the gold standard that other fighters are compared to-to this day.
i do agree that wilson and many others from his era would have done fine in probert's era. I don't necessarily count that when i rank a fighter. to me, it's about performance and accomplishment. what did they do? who did they beat? how did they beat them? were they the best? did they beat the best? were they the best for a good stretch of time? these kinds of factors come into play when i try to rate these fighters. wilson might have been able to beat probert in a straight up fight-who knows? but probert's accomplishments far outweigh the accomplishments of mr. wilson in my eyes.
they do have some common opponents but i never saw wilson take out semenko the way probie did. i never saw wilson send mcgill flying backwards from a tko punch the way probert did. wilson never engaged in an all time style fight with mcsorley the way probert did-sh!i i gave probert the win in his only fight with mcclelland-i gave mcclelland an edge win against wilson in their only go.
i've said it before and i'll say it again but wilson fotiu gillies etc would have absolutely had their hands full against fighters from probert's era. obviously this is just my opinion but it's not the size or strength of that later era that makes me think this but the many more pure fighters with so many more versatile styles we would see from toe to toe style guys to machine gun rapid fire punchers to power punchers to technical greats and stamina guys to straight up southpaws-that era had it all in spades and is the reason why those fighters lost more fights in their careers. when you're fighting theses kinds of fighters all the time, night in and night out-you will lose more no doubt. not only that but there was a huge step up in the competitiveness of the second or third tier type fighters as well.
so, to sum up my long winded post-the era they fought in has to come into play when ranking these guys. having few losses is a great accomplishment-but i don't think you jump up stan jonathan
ahead of guys like brown or probert. jonathan has maybe 3 losses in his career but he barely finds a spot in my top-25-and I'm a Bruins fan, born and bred in boston! same for wensink with his few losses. It was good they fought when they did because it would have been far different for them had they played into the late 80's or even the 90's. Imagine wilson doing his thing in '93 or '94? we would have been treated to some great fights for sure. more losses, but some great bouts no doubt about that.
I respect your opinion regarding Probert and Wilson but I guess we just see things different.
To me, Wilson was a very different dude who had the sweetest right uppercut in the business. He was virtually unbeatable when he dropped the gloves and his power(John Hilworth), chin, defense and technical skills made him an elite fighter and in my opinion the All-Time best fighter in the NHL.
His intelligence and skillset, IMO, would transcend to any ERA. When you bring up common opponents, to me this only proves this out. You mentioned McClellan and Semenko, by the way you failed to mention that Semenko laid a beating on Probert in the first fight, but how about other common foes:
- A win for Wilson and a Win, Loss and Two Draws for Probert.
- Three Wins for Wilson (No Video on 2) and a Loss for Probert.
- Two Wins for Wilson and Three Wins for Probert.
- Two Wins for Wilson and a Draw for Probert.
- Two Wins, a Loss & Two Draws for Wilson and a Win & Draw for Probert
Semenko- Win for Wilson and a Win and Loss for Probert
McClelland- A Loss for Wilson and a Win and Draw for Probert.
Gillies- A Win and Draw for Wilson and a Non-Fight for Probert.
McSorley- A Win for Wilson and Three Wins and a Draw for Probert.
- Two Wins for Wilson and Two Wins and Two Losses for Probert.
If I was choosing a fighter based on popularity, entertainment and as one of my all-time favorites then it would be no contest, its Probert. But that's not what I'm doing here.
When you focused on Wilson's lack of avenging loses as a point to being champion, you also mentioned that this was Probert's forte. For me this is not a factor other than it being something that I would like to see and a characteristic that I would want in my team enforcer. But when I'm evaluating a fighter and his performance,
I rate the actual fights and only the fights.
In the case with Wilson, I believe it was irrelevent to him but in the case with Probert, yes he was motivated to take revenge in avenging loses. The most notable avenging loses were of course Domi, Crowder, Ewen etc. But what has not come up in our conversations, is the loses that were not avenged by Probert.
To mention a few, how about Chris Simon
(Bad Loss)? How about Chris Tamer
(TKO Loss)? Sandy McCarthy
? Tony Twist
? Joey Kocur
? Darren McCarty
? Reed Low
? Peter Worrell
? Dave Morrisette(TKO Loss)?
Avenging the loses does not effect my opinion in the evaluation process, but the loss itself does.
As you stated, Probert played 16 Seasons in the NHL to 9 for Wilson. Wilson retired with back problems, so at the time of his departure his level of fighting was in peak form.
In the case with Probert, as you mentioned, his first nine years were his best but even in those years, his winning percentage was still not equal to Wilson, though very close.
However it is in the last 7 years of Probert's career where his numbers started to diminish. About 60% of his career losses were incurred during this period.
Over 40% in his last 4 years in the league. Does this factor into my decision to put Wilson at #1? Yes its a factor because Wilson was able to keep his numbers in tack.
Had Behn Wilson
continued on and played another 7 years, I might be saying different things right now. But we can't go by "What If's", we all know where that leads!
In summary, these are two great fighters any way you slice it. Recognizing Wilson's great fighting skills should in no way demean the tremendous accomplishments and memories of Bob Probert
As I've stated many times, Bob Probert
is one of my all-time favorites.
I can not say the same for Behn Wilson
but that doesn't mean I can't recognize his tremendous fighting ability!