Originally Posted by mcvey
He didn't put Hart away ,and I think he tried early on .
Hart was durable ,and Johnson may have decided to settle for a points decision, when the Kentuckian would not play ball.
Johnson did not try to stop O Brien , there was no incentive to do so, his title was safe as it was a no dec and only a 6 rounder.
Johnson was fighting Battling Jim with broken arm so I think we might excuse him for not getting a stoppage.
Johnson tried to stop Willard but ,at 37 and not in shape, he couldn't do it.
Willard had a great chin ,according to Gunboat Smith ,who landed his Sunday punch on him twice with no discernable effect.
Johnson seldom went for the ko anyway, he was content to make his opponents miss, look foolish, but no, his power was not in Liston's league.
I haven't made a pick yet , just sorting the wheat from the chaff.
You and I have been over this time and again.
Johnson tired and let Hart do the leading according to all accounts. Hart's aggression definitely displeased Johnson in what was a VERY important fight for him. If he had a Sunday shot, that was the time to use it. And he would have been fighting for the title much earlier.
In the O'Brien affair, you are very selective in choice of source materials. I tend to quote the NYT rendition because it contains the details we see repeated in other articles. O'Brien was jabbing Johnson silly and even groggy a few times, reddening his face and frustrating him. You cite other sources, if I remember correctly. Johnson hurt O'Brien once but could not follow up. Other fighters, some great and some not and almost all smaller than Johnson, had stopped O'Brien in under 6. Ketchel turned the trick in 3 in his next fight, Langford not long after that. Also, O'Brien was very near the end of his long career and should have been ripe for the picking.
In the Battling Jim fight, there are those who claim Johnson's arm was broken early but most say it happened right at the end. He was simply being schooled by a more motivated, aggressive fighter. Again, the NYT article states the crowd booed the decision lustily.
I am looking forward to Adam's book on Johnson to see which sources he endorses. It should be good reading and perhaps he can find some light amidst the murky, and sometimes contradictory, source materials.