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Old 06-03-2011, 12:58 AM   #651
burt bienstock
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Default Re: How good was Dempsey's title reign?

Originally Posted by klompton View Post
I have that report as well as others. The fight was considered a travesty and not just because Brennan was grossly out of shape (which was highly unusual for him, moreso for the fact that at 206 he was only ten pounds max over his best fighting weight) or because he fought so poorly. They also talk about how at times when the action began to heat up on both sides one or the other or both fighters would back off and slow down again. Regardless, Brennan had fought Miske, a prime Miske in fact, several times and was never in anything like trouble he supposedly had with Miske. In fact, all of their early fights, when both were healthy and in their primes, were closely contested and disputed fights. One of two things or a combination of two things took place in this fight: 1. Brennan either threw the fight or at least didnt try his best (which I think is at least partly indicated by his lack of condition) or 2. He was so shot after getting dropped and outpointed by Johnson and having been badly injured in his fight with Firpo that he had absolutely no punch resistence and no business being anywhere near a ring. Either way neither one bodes very well for those arguing that this is somehow a high water achievement for Miske. I would pose the question that if a dying man (and Miske was certainly dying at this point in his career) was more fit to be in the ring than a guy who was supposedly so shot that he was beaten, and beaten badly, by the dying man thats pretty sad. I mean honestly, thats worse, and about as significant a win as Holyfield fight and beating Brian Nielson.

My personal estimation of his career is that his 1918 loss to Dempsey signalled the beginning of the end of his career as a serious contender. When Greb beat him in 1919 that pretty much solidified it and by the time he lost to Levinsky in 1919 he didnt need to be considered a contender anymore (That fight was filmed for those keeping score). It was after this fight that he retired due to his Kidney ailment and only returned when his automobile dealership went belly up and lawsuits forced him back into the ring to try to pay off his debts. He certainly hadnt done anything to earn a shot at Dempsey in a minimum of two years and I would argue longer. Dempsey knew he was sick, he admitted this several times and the thing that gets me about this is that he attacked Miske with vicious body punches. "I wanted to get it over with and get him out of there" he said in an interview I have with him. Kind of cold IMO. By this time, as Ive stated several times it was fairly well known within boxing circles that Miske was seriously ill. Sportwriters had written about it on and off since 1919 and, again, discussed it fairly heavily during the buildup to the 1920 Dempsey fight. Its no stretch to assume that fighters (who were a pretty tight nit group in those days) were willing to play ball to help Miske out. Even if they didnt conciously how hard are you going to try to kill the guy across from you who you know is dying? Especially when he was as well liked in the community as Miske. Which is another thing that makes me think people were willing to be sympathetic to him. Ive never read a bad word written about the guy from ANYONE in regards to his person.
True Dempsey put everything in his punches to end the bout as soon as possible knowing that Miske was a sick man,and needed the payday. No different really when an almost blind friend of Joe Louis, John Henry Lewis
needed one last payday in 1939,and Louis accomodated J H Lewis ,and blitzed
Lewis in the very first round and flattened Jh Lewis for his only ko loss in 117 bouts.
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