Re: Packey McFarland
If we go by when he became the best lightweight out there head-to-head, then, probably, Freddie Welsh bout on July 4, 1908, whish proved that Packey could do good in long-distance bouts, not just the short ones. Although some writers still doubted he could win over Nelson or Wolgast in a 45-round fight, but admitted in a 10-round or shorter bout neither of the two would have a chance.
Ray Bronson 20-round draw? McFarland finished much the stronger of the two, although not being able to finish his opponent, who weakened considerably somewhere around the 15th round and held a lot, trying to survive, may count against Packey's chances.
20-round draw with Welsh? McFarland forced the fight in every round and finished much the stronger of the two.
20-round bout with Tommy Murphy? Many were disappointed with his chances after this bout also, as usual claiming Packey didn't show the punch necessary to become a champion. He won practically every round, but claimed he injured his right wrist around the 13th round, and was generally not feeling well during his training there and during the fight. Both fought furiously till the end, although both were tired.
All in all, I don't think the long-distance would be that much of a disadvantage for Packey if he could persuade either Nelson or Wolgast to drop the condition of weighing in at 133 pounds ringside.
As for the punch, he said in some interviews that once he gets a championship fight, he'd not try to save his hands in that one. It's not like Nelson or Wolgast were big punchers themselves.