Gunboat Smith is not realy a white hope. He was white yes but he would have been part of the boxing scene Johnson or no Johnson.
Johnsons primary motivation was money. He esentialy met the title challengers whose managers could offer him the biggest advance whether they were good bad or indiferent.
Smith confided to friends that he did not want to fight Johnson untill he was a few years older.
Good post Janitor,the picture of Mcarty,with that momentary flash of sun light illuminating the tragic scene is eerie,cornermen clustrered around him,his manager aghast,hands on his head,he was definitely a what might have been.