Re: harry greb
I wrote this ages ago as to why he was the GOAT. I'll copy and paste:
Who did he beat?
In total 19 HALL OF FAMERS!
In his 299 fights, victories included:
- Tommy Loughran
- Gene Tunney
- Tiger Flowers
- Tommy Burns
- Mickey Walker
- Maxie Rosenbloom
- Kid Norfolk
- Tommy Gibbons
- Mike McTigue
- Jack Dillon
- Gunboat Smith (a legit heavyweight whom Greb KO'd in 1)
- Battling Levinskey
- Bill Brenan
The list goes on and on! It seems every great fighters in his era, 160lbs or above, has at least one L on their record from the great Harry Greb.
He was the first and only man to beat the light-heavyweight legend - Gene Tunney. Who outboxed Dempsey twice.
During his career he won the middleweight and light-heavyweight belt, defending both well against top competition and coming out on top the majority of the time.
Probably only Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali could challenge Greb in terms of resume, beating other greats in their greatness. Not only did he beat these great fighters but he beat some of them multiple times, sometimes even 6 or more times.
I don't take record too seriously seeing as it's just a number and doesn't exactly tell you who someone beat, how they beat them e.c.t. However it is an important aspect of ranking a fighter.
Greb's record stands at
104 Wins, only 8 Losses and 3 draws. And if you include Newspaper Decisions, Greb has a further 157 victories.
As for his losses - one or more of the losses to Tunney in rematches are contested, many believe Greb got the better of Gene. His final fight with Tiger Flowers caused disruption in the crowds because of Greb being awarded a loss, not to mention a controversial DQ against Kid Norfolk.
Greb squeezed 299 fights into only a 13 year career. And in 1917 alone, Greb fought 37 times. Very impressive!!
Just how much natural talent and ability did Greb have?
Well the following fighters, who fought the best, all claim Harry Greb was the best they ever saw...
In reality, every great fighter Greb fought, who was asked about it, named him as the greatest fighter that they fought and the greatest they had ever seen.
Was he fast? Dempsey said he was quicker than Benny Leonard - a lightweight.
Was he tough? Well, in 299 fights he was knocked out twice - once when he quit due to breaking his forearm and the second a fluke KO loss very early in his career.
His stamina is stuff of legend. Throwing punches from the opening to closing bell, he was a swarmer supreme who gave slow, lumbering punchers hell trying to find the target, and smooth, boxers fits trying to keep range without getting overwhelmed.
Greb was once described as a "cross between a wildcat and a hornet's nest."
His punching power has been called into question, however during one stage of his career after damaging his leg and jepodising his movement, Greb took to punching and brawling and actually amounted an impressive streak of knockdowns and knockouts before his leg recovered and he went back to moving as quick as he could, throwing as much as he could, as fast as he could. In reality he never loaded up punches - just threw them as much as as fast as possible to overwhelm his opponent.
VS SUGAR RAY ROBINSON
Many rank Sugar Ray Robinson as the greatest fighter of all times. Briefly, I'll convice you Greb is better...
Head-to-Head: What styles gave Robinson trouble? The LaMotta's, the Fullmer's, the Basilio's. All swarming, inside fighting tough guys. Does anyone swarm and fight inside like Greb? No way. Greb would take away Ray's power and movement - IMO Greb beats him 2/3 in a trilogy.
Success at lightheavyweight: Both were established middleweight fighters, both started at welterweight. However although both cemented their legacy as great middleweights, Harry was better P4P (weight jumping) by owning the light-heavyweight division (and becoming a decent contender at heavyweight also), beating the best their and claiming the title - something Robinson couldn't do.
I also think in general the resume and record of Greb slightly overshadows Robinson's. Anyway, could you imagine Robinson giving Jack Dempsey a beating in sparring? I can't. But Greb did - twice!!