Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?
Childs apparently weighed about 165 for Byers, but okay he weighed 173 for Dunkhorst.
So let's call him a lightheavy (but a heavy by the standards of the day)--but how good was he?
He fought four top middle to heavies in his career--Dan Creedan, Joe Choynski, Denver Ed Martin, and Jack Johnson. He went 0-7. Creedan stopped him. Choynski stopped him. And Johnson stopped him. Martin outpointed him twice.
He seems to have been in the same ballpark as Fitz and Choynski for weight, but not in class. If Jeff is to be criticized for not fighting someone, I wonder why it isn't Choynski who ko'd both Childs and Johnson, and later beat Childs again, and fought a draw with Jeffries.
Childs' best win was over the welter Joe Walcott, but plenty of big men beat him. Walcott did beat Choynski, though.
Other than that--Armstrong, Butler, Byers, Everett, Russell
All trial horses. Yes, Jeff went 10 rounds with Armstrong, and the criticism of him not being able to stop Armstrong was so intense that he almost lost a shot at Fitz's title.
Still, I think it is hard to figure out who the best of these fighters are.
Childs--beat Armstrong 3 times, but lost twice to Martin, and was ko'd by Choynski and Johnson. Drew with Griffin.
Griffin--actually the most consistent. Was ko'd by Martin, but drew with Childs, and defeated Johnson. In three 20 round fights with Johnson, Griffin never lost, while Childs lost both his fights to Johnson.
Martin--defeated Childs twice and stopped Griffin, but won only one of three from Armstrong and was stopped twice.
Armstrong--lost three times to Childs, but ko'd Martin twice-including in 1903-also drew with Choynski and ko'd Paddy Slavin twice.
I think it is anyone's guess who is the best of these four, but there is no reason to consider any of them as good as Choynski.
It does seem inconsistent to criticize Jeff for fighting Choynski and Fitz, but then argue he should have fought Childs.