Re: Prime James J. Jeffries vs Jack Johnson
Lots of revisionism and false info here.
First of all.....the real reason Jeffries retired was that he saw the great black hwts on the horizon and he realized he could not continue to avoid them. There was a huge push from periodicals of that time, Boxing Gazette for one, that Johnson deserved a title shot. Fleischer wrote about this extensively.
Lots of controversy regarding his bout with Hart. Hart closed strongly but Johnson dominated the first 15. What those that diss Johnson miss is that Johnson was beating up white fighters during a time where blacks were lynched as a daily event. do you think it was easy for him to train or fight in that environment?
Obrien was an all time great lt heavy and was rated the best for well over 50 years at that weight. Over a short distance it's no surprise that he would make a good showing as he danced about the ring doing everything he could not to be hit. Similar to Dempseys fights with Meehan in this regard.
Smith stated in an interview that the Ketchel KD of Johnson was faked. He was at ringside and worked in the Johnson camp so he would be the best to know. Johnson dominated that fight as well.
Johnsons fight with Moran was one sided. Johnson dominated.
Bottom line is Jeffries himself stated that Johnson was a great fighter and that he could not have beaten him even in his prime. Fleischer who knew both men personally as friends and saw them fight live from ringside choose Johnson as the greater fighter.