Originally Posted by Mendoza
Smith was a definite white hope. The cyber boxing zone reports:
Smith was lean, quick and crafty - and a sizzling hitter; He was a very good boxer who moved well and hit sharply with both hands; Slightly larger than a light heavyweight, he hit like a heavyweight
Smith is often listed as a white hope but he is not one of them. He was not a direct product of the white hope tournaments like say Morris, McCarthy or Pelkey.
Among those he defeated during his career were Jess Willard, Sam Langford, Battling Levinsky, Carl Morris, Frank Moran, "Fireman" Jim Flynn, "Bombardier" Billy Wells, Jim Stewart, Jim Savage, Tony Ross and George "Boer" Rodel
He won the White Heavyweight Championship in 1914 when he knocked out Arthur Pelkey; Six months later he lost the title to Georges Carpentier on an "ill-called" foul
I am not questioning Smiths credentials. I will however suggest that he vascilated when offers to fight Johnson were put on the table while Willard grabed his offer with both hands.
There you have it. While I agree that Johnson shrewdly picked and choose his white hopes , you have to admit that Smith was too good for Johnson to risk. If it were Moran, Ross, Willard, or Flynn who beat Smith, then Johnson might have given Gunboat Smith a title shot. As it was it was Smith who defeat these white hopes . Johnson picked the losers that Smith beat. The history is there for us to read.
Your logic is misguided. You are saying-
"Fighters A, B, and C were active during Johnsons title reign and he did not fight them therfore I conclude that he avoided them
I am not saying he didnt necisarily but the real story is inevitably much more complex than that. Politics always came into play and there are wranglings and machinations.
One fact which dose stand out is that Johnson efectively held the title hostage demanding cash advances har greater than previous champions had. The guys who got to fight him were often those whose backers could come up with these advances. Johnson was ofered far more for fighting Fireman Flyn than he was for fighting Sam Langford for example.