EXACTLY - how many chhamps had incredible opposition on the way up - you can pull apart anyone's pre-title opposition - example: we al know how great a fighter Muhammad Ali was right?? Well just as an example, check
Hunsaker was 1-1-8 in last 10
Siler had had only 2 fights and had been stopped already
Esperti had lost his last 3 (2 by KO) and over next 3 years he would lose 10 more and be KO'd 6 more times
Slim Jim was 158lbs vet of 3 fights (2 of which he lost) and came into fight with a broken nose!! - he would go on to establish a stellar 8-25 (ko by 16) record
Fleeman lost 5 of previous 7 and had been ko'd 5 months before
Clark had lost 2 of his last 3
Sabedong had lost 10 of his previous 15
Johnson had lost 6 of his last 8
Miteff had lost 5 of last 7
Besmanoff had won only 2 of his previous 13 and had been stopped back to back in previous 5 months - and would win only 1 of his next 4
Warner had won only 2 of his last 8
Logan was 3-3 in last 6
Moore was 50
Even Doug Jones had only won 2 of his last 6 and he gave Clay one of his toughest pre-title tests
And Henry Cooper had already been KO'd by Johannson and Folley at world level.
Then suddenly after just 19 fights Clay gets his title shot - and these were fights for someone with an unbeaten record, already an Olympic Gold Medalist , already famous across America, who was already super confident and who already knew just how good he was.
By comparison Dempsey toiled in obscurity with no amateur pedigree to speak of, no idea really how good he was, just facing whoever more often than not not knowing much about the opponent, no millionaire group behind him, no Olympic medal, sometimes over matched often outweighed to the point of entering into what would be deemed catchweight bouts, often with little preparation - Clay was already a millionaire - oh and of those oppoents i listed maybe 6 were black incase the usual race card is played
- Dempsey amongst others faced 4 that we know of - Emmanuel Campbell, Boston Bearcat, George Christian, John Lester Johnson - and Dempsey had to go through 73 fights before he got a shot!! Ali didn't even fight 73 fights in his whole career!!?? And those are the fights we know about - estimates put the true figure probably over the hundred mark!!?? and that was by the time he was 24??
I would add also that Clay was never over matched once prior to winning the title and in my opinion the only decent ish form fighters were Henry Cooper and Sonny banks - interestingly the two men who put him on the deck first - weighed against Dempsey fighting amongst others comparative good level opponents for him at that stage in the likes of Anderson, Bert Kenny, Flynn, Meehan, Gunboat, Morris, Brennan, Miske, Pelkey, Fulton, Levinsky etc outweigh greatly anything Clay faced on the way up - these were all seasoned name fighter with bags of experience and reputations of their own