Originally Posted by Seamus
Burt, please respond to reality here.
Here are those top-raters when he fought them on the way to the title.
Carl Morris - loser of 6 or his previous 8 when Dempsey "flattened him"
Gunboat Smith - had won 1 of his previous 12 fights. Repeat ONE of his previous TWELVE fights.
Levinksy - lost 2 out of 3 coming in. a decent win over light heavy but a guy who could not hang with Greb... which was proven repeatedly.
Billy Miske - the only time Dempsey "flattened" Miske was after the title run, at a time Miske when was gravely ill (I know he would rebound but he was deathly ill here) and Dempsey still finished him off with an unnecessary foul blow.
I always considered the counter balance to Dempsey's underwhelming title reign to be his rise to challenge the title, his string of early stoppages including some big name fighters. However, upon even cursory examination, it was just a combination of barnstorming and cherry picking some formerly name fighters who were on losing streaks. As far as Willard, he was the guy Dempsey had to fight and he went in and did a great job. I think it's a bit overrated (Willard was old, innactive and over-confident) but it's what Dempsey had to do. Past that, none of his championship defenses overshadow in importance his ducks of Greb and Wills.
S, worthy adversary, you cite the records of some of Dempsey's opponents.
As I cited before Dempsey beat whoever he fought from 1917 til 1923. Were they the best bunch of HWs that an Ali fought ? No sir. But as I insist, Dempsey when he was at his peak would have risen to any occasion
the situation demanded. He was that "unique" a heavyweight fighter for all the eras...Lithe, strong, savage on the attack with a" kill me or I'll kill you"
attiutude that captured the attention of millions of boxing adherents..,.