Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?
"Witherspoon wasn't mediocre"
I should clarify that I posted the CRITERIA allows those mediocre in their time to be rated over those great in their time, and it does. Witherspoon clearly wasn't the force in his time Jeffries was in his.
"He was arguably the #1 heavyweight in the world for a time"
What time? He lost in 1983 to Holmes. He lost in 1984 to Thomas. He was stopped in 1 in 1986 by Bonecrusher Smith. How exactly does he get rated above Holmes, Spinks, or Tyson?--or Thomas or Smith, for that matter?
"Jeffries challengers were for the most part undersized"
Most of Jeff's opponents fell into the 180 to 200 lb range where most top fighters in the pre-Ali era fell. I don't think they were historically that small. Fitz is the kicker--although Adam Pollack has posted that he might have been heavier than his announced weights--but he still was in the same ballpark sizewise as Tommy Gibbons or Billy Conn.
"and over the hill"
Better point, although Fitz rebounded from his loss in 1899 to Jeff to score several of his most impressive ko's, and rebounded from his loss in 1902 to win the lightheavy title. Corbett seems to have been somewhat past it, and Jackson all but finished. This is the norm for young guys on the way up, though, and in fairness, the best men Jeff beat were the best of the era, not just young contenders who themselves were never the best.
"struggled" "had a hard time putting him away"
It is interesting that victories, and in some cases ko victories, are being downplayed in favor of losses. The criticism of Jeff is yeah he won, and beat them all, but he didn't win decisively enough. But very few in history beat them all, and none did it without struggling now and then.
Witherspoon lost many of his major fights even at his peak.
Last edited by edward morbius; 11-27-2012 at 02:24 PM.