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Old 07-14-2007, 02:38 PM   #9
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Default Re: Anyone Know When (If) Dempsey Saw Langford Fight?

Originally Posted by McGrain
Reading about Jack, i'm quite shocked by the lack of Machismo in his words. He's quite self deprocating. What's your guess as to how he would have fared with Langford?
Peak to peak, I believe Dempsey would have kayoed Langford late. Jack didn't like to fight tall, so he might have had significant trouble with Langford. But styles decide fights, and Langford may have had a good one for Dempsey.

In speaking about his kayo loss to Schmeling, Louis said, "I thought I was hot ****!" Dempsey never believed that about himself. Louis was already a sizable person when he began boxing, but Dempsey, not quite so much. He also probably lost a number of unrecorded fights as Kid Blackie, hardly a background to make somebody overwhelmingly ****y. Sam Langford was a prodigy, but Dempsey had to evolve considerably.

Langford wasn't exactly fearless either, explicitly going on record as not wanting to face Jim Jeffries. Sam and Jack both had the sense to know their limits against top-flight competition prematurely. (Later on, Mickey Walker had the same sense not to commit suicide against Panama Joe Gans. There's bravery, then there's stupidity.)

As self-effacing as Dempsey could be, he made his fear really work in his favor. While I don't think Langford would have been in the least bit afraid of Dempsey, I expect that Jack would be scared ****less of Sam, and that's probably the worst state of mind for Langford to be facing him in. Dempsey was as dangerous as a cornered animal when scared.
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