Johnson was 4-1-2. Choynski was a veteran of more than 60 fights. It was a mismatch in terms of skill. Choynski did not knock Johnson cold. Johnson did not beat the count, but he was not out cold. And the knock out itself was a bit suspicious.
Had the O'Brien-Ketchel contest you mention been six rounds, O'Brien would have been entitled to a clear victory, as he dominated Ketchel through the first eight rounds. Had O'Brien-Johnson been 10 rounds, how then would O'Brien have done? Johnson, clearly out of shape and uninspired, reached him a few times and once had him reeling. Was it only a matter of time? Likely. Don't dismiss O'Brien so easily. He was a tricky boxer.
Since Ketchel and Johnson had agreed to a decision finish, Johnson was not expecting Ketchel to let go like that. And when Ketchel changed the terms of the deal, Johnson ended it right then and there - which it looked like he could have done anytime he decided to.
We have enough film to judge Johnson's abilities. Your argument is not compelling in the least.
Originally Posted by Seamus
Unfortunately, this is heart of most arguments for Johnson's greatness...
I prefer the following facts...
Limited and otherwise average Hart did enough to beat him.
Little Choynkski knocked him cold.
Little, pitty-patter O'Brien fought him to a draw (whilst Ketchell and Langford KTFO of O'Brien)
Jim Johnson fought him to a draw and depending on your source might have deserved a knock out.
Tiny, booze-soaked Ketchell caught the defensive master with a haymaker and downed him.
Claims of his greatness often refer to his beating Jeanette. How many fighters in the last 100 years get credit for beating an absolute novice over and over, essentially as record padding?
and more, and more...
There are enough red flags to warrant heavy skepticism regarding the lofty heights to which Johnson enthusiasts have vaulted him.