Originally Posted by he grant
I think Langford was the better pound for pound fighter but Wills was likely the better heavyweight based on size and style ... to Sam's credit he did manage a few wins via the KO route but as a whole the series was really dominated by the much larger Wills .. I like Jeannette next followed by McVey who in his own right is highly under rated by many as some sort of brute slugger when in fact he had a terrific jab and could box quite well ..
I also find the way Wills is dismissed by Dempsey apologists as just another big , slow guy to be way off ... he clearly demonstrated far more skill against far better opposition than any other Dempsey opponent prior to Jack's two best, Sharkey and Tunney ... still, this is another conversation and one that has been talked to death on a weekly basis ..
It would be nice to see prime film on Wills. Remember how perspective changed when the board saw prime versions of Langford vs Jeannette!
Was Wills a big, but slow puncher, or was he a bit more than that? A film from 1914-1920 I think would help us answer that question. I do think Wills had a suspect chin vs punchers, and wasn't very tough as he quit quickly vs Battling Johnson.
One thing to keep in mind. Don't measure Langford, Jeanette or Mcvey by their chronological age. These three fought hard wars with each other, and took tremendous punishment.
To put in a modern context, Frazier and Ali took a lot out of each other.
Langford, McVey, and Jeanette all meet each other in their primes and had more than just three hard matches.
I still think Wills beat faded versions of Langford, McVey and Jeanette. But Wills avoided Godfrey, and that was his fault.