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Old 07-17-2012, 08:40 PM   #39
Dominating a decade
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Default Re: Who Do You Rate Higher: Jack Dempsey or Jack Johnson ??

Mcvey says:

For the record. Is it your contention that Johnson was prime when he lost to Klondike,Choynski,Hart ,and Griffin?
Ok, I’ll play along:

As a group, I would say Choynski, Hart, Klondike, and Griffin were better than most of the fighters Johnson gave title matches to, save perhaps Willard who KO’d Johnson. To answer you question, I think you have to examine wether or not Johnson’s opponents were in their primes too.

1 ) I’m not sure when Klondike’s prime was. His first listed match was 1898, and he Ko’d Johnson in 1899. I would say based on that, Klondike was far more of a novice than Johnson was, though in 1899. Johnson’s first listed fight was 1894. You could say Johnson lacked some top level experience going into this match. Klondike beat Johnson in match for the colored title, when Johnson apparently quit like a dog without injury, and failed to come out next round.

2 ) Choynski produced a ten count. The fight took place in Johnson’s home town, and by 1901, Choysnki’s best days were behind him when the fight took place. For the record, Johnson first recorded match was in 1894. He had 24+ recorded matches before he was sparked in 3 rounds vs. Choynski, so calling Johnson a green novice is a bit of a stretch.

Both Klondike and Choynski had some power. Chins do not improve greatly as a career progresses. Post 1905-1915 did Johnson give a title shot to 175+ pound fighter in his prime or near prime with skills and power? I think not.

3 ) Griffin best days were most certainly behind him in 1901, yet he defeated Johnson, and drew with him.

4) The Hart match in 1905 was a high stakes, elimination match, with the winner being billed for a title shot with Jeffries. Johnson did very little in the 2nd half of the fight, and lost it. Neither guy was pre or post prime here.

Summary: Klondike was green. Choysnki past his best. Griffin way outside of his prime. Hart was in his prime.

And finally, if you think Johnson wasn’t in his prime until post 1905 that is your opinion. Just admit Johnson would not likely to defeat Jeffries when Jeffries was champion from 1899-1905.
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