Originally Posted by janitor
The short answer is no.
He simply drew the Langford line and the money line.
There are three scenarios in it when a champion fails to meet tha top balck challenger:
A. Champion has a stance that he will not meet a black contender in principle.
B. Champion wishes to avoid a dangerous challenger who happens to be black.
C. Champion either has no viable black contender, or is unable to reach suitable terms with one.
I would define champions who took position A as having drawn the colour line, while I would judge Johnson to be a mixture of B and C.
As the two posts above mine have said Johnson , as he began to decline through his lifestyle ,and lack of training, did not pursue a fight with Langford, who had improved since his one sided thrashing in 1906. Langford would have been his most dangerous challenger,and to beat him,he would have needed to be in the sort of shape he had not been since he fought Jeffries in 1910.
Lets be clear Johnson many times stated in print he would defend against anybody who could come up with his price ,$30,000, the amount Burns received for defending against him back in 1908.
Johnson signed at least three times to fight Jeannette, but the fight was vetoed by the authorities.
Johnson stated he would fight Langford at the NSC in London, but their derisory offer of £3000 meant the fight never happened there.
Curley and Coffroth ,the two leading promoters in the US at the time, both stated," two coloured fighters do not draw".
There are newspaper articles saying there were big offers for Johnson to fight Langford in France, and Australia.
How serious they were is a moot point .
On December the 19th 1913, Johnson defended his title against Battling Jim Johnson, the next day Langford fought Jeannette also in Paris.
How much did Langford get for the fight?
The most vociferous haters of Jack Johnson say Langford is a certainty to have beaten Johnson after 1910 .
I disagree.The heaviest weight we have for Langford for 1910 is 170lbs in Sept when he beat Jeannette.
In April of that year he scaled 166lbs for a fight with Jim Barry.
.At the beginning of 1910 Langford lost to Fireman Jim Flynn, a man Johnson toyed with twice.
I can't see Langford with a realistic chance of beating Johnson in 1910.
1911 .In April ,scaling 161lbs Langford drew with Mcvey,a man Johnson thrashed three times.
In August weighing 180lbs Langford stopped Jack O Brien, haters of Johnson say O Brien was past his best when he managed a draw with Johnson over 6 rds, well that was in 1909 two years earlier, I doubt he had improved.
In September weighing 178 Langford beat Joe Jeannette great result.
December, scaling 170 Langford lost to McVey, not so great.
1913 Langford drew with McVey, and Colin Bell .
September Langford scaled 185lbs for John Lester Johnson.
Weighing 199.5 Langfrod drew with Jeannette
November Langford lost to Gun Boat Smith some thought he deserved the win.
Clay Moyle undoubtedly has more insight into this fight.
Langford rounded out 1913 by beating Jeannette, Sam weighed 185.75 .
1914 May. Langford drew with the emerging Harry Wills ,Langford weighed 187lbs
August, Langford drew with Battling Jim Johnson.
October Langford drew with Jeannette.
Langford was 199.5lbs.
My tortuous point is Langford's fluctuations in weight,and his unpredictable results indicate that.
1. He himself was not guaranteed to be in the kind of shape needed to challenge Johnson for his title.
2. He was no certainty to win that title, if given the opportunity.
Did Johnson draw the colour line? No imo, I believe he drew the $$$$ line.