Originally Posted by HOUDINI
As per Fleischer who watched both men in training and was at ringside for the fight....Willard was fit as anyone who ever fought for the hwt championship the day he fought Johnson. He absorbed a horrible beating and did not wilt and came back to ko the great champion. Today it's typical to put Wilard down and not appreciate this accomplishment. Not many in boxing history that could absorb that kind of beating the first 20 rounds and come back to win by ko in the 26th.
Unfortunately, Dempsey fought him four years later when he wasn't in such fine form, had fought only one bout in the interim (three years before) and was 37 years old.