Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?
Like everybody else I'd love to see that Wills-Firpo film.
Back to the question I posed I feel Langford the better fighter of the two based on overall career but also on his wins over Harry when I think it is reasonable to feel that both were near eneough peak to credit the fights. Sam was often out of shape in these days and only got it to-gether for the bigger fights and his 14 round KO contest with Wills seems to have been one mighty clash. I accept that even in those years 1914-16'ish Harry was winning as many if not more than Sam but Langford seemed to pull out the big one and from reports used his craft, power and especially his superior bottle to offset Harry's superior physical assets, youth, considerable boxing skills and dare I say it, his dirtier tactics.
McVey is the one that interests me, I feel he edged Jeannette in their series and he scored two early wins v's Wills who did come to dominate a fading McVey later(and sooner?) but Sam's career stands up two.
He was fighting superior opponents right from the start of his career, and not just superior to Harry's early opponents but perhaps any other heavyweight in history. He did OK with the other Sam, got the better of the then formidable Ed Martin and acquitted himself well against a peak Johnson. He rarely lost to any but the best and I think he stands as a match for Wills, only the strengh of Langford and Johnson stopped him been a champion.