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Old 11-15-2012, 02:37 PM   #4
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Default Re: Prime James J. Jeffries vs Jack Johnson

Just saw this post on another forum.

Well, look at their records. Johnson lost his first fight to a lightweight. Well, Johnson was just a teen, so we can excuse him, but he never faced the best primed heavies during the time he held his title. The best part of his career was when he held the colored title, but even then he could still be beat.

Who was the best prime heavy Johnson ever beat? Should be an easy question, but it's surprisingly weak once you study up. At anyrate, Jeffries only had 21 fights when he retired, and he had beat black contenders Bob Armstrong and Hank Griffin in their primes. He also beat HOFer Peter Jackson, but Jackson was reported to have TB and died a few years later. Jeffrey's did beat a prime Sharkey, Corbett, and Fitz, all HOFers and drew with a prime Choynski when Jeff was just a novice.

It would take exceptional modern boxing or KO skills to beat a prime Jeff. Johnson was a good grappler, but an inconsistant boxer and lacked big KO power. He'd give Jeff a tough fight in the beginning, but as the rounds wore on Johnson would fade and be KOed. Johnson relied on his size advantage against smallish middle types. Jeff was a solid 220 lber and as strong or stronger than Johnson, negating Johnson's grappling strength.

If Johnson had just faced a few of the best when he held the title, perhaps he might have proved to be Jeff's equal. Johnson chose not to face the best.
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