07-22-2012, 05:33 AM
East Side VIP
Join Date: Jun 2006
Re: Who Do You Rate Higher: Jack Dempsey or Jack Johnson ??
Originally Posted by Mendoza
Ok, Iíll 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 KOíd Johnson. To answer you question, I think you have to examine wether or not Johnsonís opponents were in their primes too.
1 ) Iím not sure when Klondikeís prime was. His first listed match was 1898, and he Koíd Johnson in 1899. I would say based on that, Klondike was far more of a novice than Johnson was, though in 1899. Johnsonís 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 Johnsonís home town, and by 1901, Choysnkiís 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 wasnít 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.
This has been emphatically refuted by Adam Pollack's primary sourced next day newspaper accounts of the fight.
Johnson was stopped in the 5th rd, after having Klondike on the floor at the start of the fight. According to famous referee George Siler who was ringside Johnson was half starved , he was also just 21 years old.