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Old 07-20-2011, 06:27 AM   #16
bodhi
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Default Re: Benny Leonard v Julio Caesar Chavez at lightweight

Chavez was great, Leonard was greater. Chavez was very, very good in what he did and his body-punching was great, his defence a bit underrated. Leonard on the other hand was a boxing wizard, great technical skills, great movement, ring intelligence and good power. Like Robinson or Charles, the complete package.
Chavez could be outboxed and the fighter he fought who comes closest in terms of skill and greatness to Leonard who Chavez fought was Whitaker. And Sweet Pea beat him. But there are a few things to consider. The fight was at welterweight, which was not Chavez best weight, JCC might have been slightly past it - heard it a few times, donīt think thatīs the case though - and Whitaker was a southpaw. Although at welterweight Whitaker didnīt move as much as he did as a lightweight, he often stayed in the pocket and "slugged" it out with Chavez.
Now while there would be definitly a better Chavez in against Leonard than against Whitaker Leonard would move much more than Whitaker did, thus Chavez likely wouldnīt score as many body punches as against Whitaker - and he scored quite a few in there - and not tire Leonard out nor break him down like he did Taylor. And Leonard had quite a bit more power. Enough power to even keep Chavez honest.
I think Leonard dominates in the beginning, moves, keeps Chavez at the end of his jab, scores some nice punches while Chavez only sometimes getīs close enough to go to work on the inside where Leonard would hold his own but would eat some good body shots. After the midrounds I think those little spurts on the inside get longer and occur more often. However, times running out for Chavez and he loses a decision after 15. He would be game, give a good effort but in the end he lost too many early rounds for the score card beeing really close. Something like 10-5 or 11-4 in rounds I suppose.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: Benny Leonard v Julio Caesar Chavez at lightweight

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Chavez was great, Leonard was greater. Chavez was very, very good in what he did and his body-punching was great, his defence a bit underrated. Leonard on the other hand was a boxing wizard, great technical skills, great movement, ring intelligence and good power. Like Robinson or Charles, the complete package.
Chavez could be outboxed and the fighter he fought who comes closest in terms of skill and greatness to Leonard who Chavez fought was Whitaker. And Sweet Pea beat him. But there are a few things to consider. The fight was at welterweight, which was not Chavez best weight, JCC might have been slightly past it - heard it a few times, donīt think thatīs the case though - and Whitaker was a southpaw. Although at welterweight Whitaker didnīt move as much as he did as a lightweight, he often stayed in the pocket and "slugged" it out with Chavez.
Now while there would be definitely a better Chavez in against Leonard than against Whitaker Leonard would move much more than Whitaker did, thus Chavez likely wouldnīt score as many body punches as against Whitaker - and he scored quite a few in there - and not tire Leonard out nor break him down like he did Taylor. And Leonard had quite a bit more power. Enough power to even keep Chavez honest.
I think Leonard dominates in the beginning, moves, keeps Chavez at the end of his jab, scores some nice punches while Chavez only sometimes getīs close enough to go to work on the inside where Leonard would hold his own but would eat some good body shots. After the midrounds I think those little spurts on the inside get longer and occur more often. However, times running out for Chavez and he loses a decision after 15. He would be game, give a good effort but in the end he lost too many early rounds for the score card being really close. Something like 10-5 or 11-4 in rounds I suppose.
Good post.

On film, we see southpaw Tendler repeatedly hammering away at Benny's torso with big lefts wearing five ounce gloves, huge body shots to no avail.

Let's make it clear just how dangerous Benny was when he chose to go for the kill. In 168 career bouts, Freddie Welsh was stopped once, when Leonard decked him thrice in round nine to take the title. In 170 matches, Rocky Kansas was stopped three times. Benny did it in eight. He had Britton down and on the brink of a knockout when he seemingly got himself disqualified on purpose. In Benny's first title defense, the challenger was the great black veteran featherweight contender Leo Johnson. (No color line for Benny.) Leo was then 24 and near his peak. In 142 bouts, he had only been defeated twice, and stopped once, when 18 years old, by Abe Attell in five rounds. On September 21, 1917, "Bennah" crushed Johnson in less than two minutes. These were the only two times in 187 career bouts that Leo Johnson was taken out.

In 79 bouts, HOFer Willie Ritchie was stopped twice. The first time was in his 1906 debut, when he was 15. The second time was when Benny took him out in eight on April 28, 1919, ending Ritchie's days as a top performer at barely 28 years of age. Leonard was one of four to stop Frankie Britt in 161 fights, and also one of four to stop Charley White in White's 172 outings. (Charley knocked Benny out of the ring in round five, and paid dearly for that indiscretion in round nine, getting bounced five times before being counted out for the only time in his career.) In 118 bouts, 23 year old Mel Coogan had only sustained three losses, and never been stopped. Benny trashed him inside of two, sending him to the deck three times. It would take five years and 60 more fights before Coogan was stopped again.

After a rough start to his career, 29 year old Joe Welling went 90 bouts without getting stopped on his way to a title shot, then got halted by Benny in 14, Leonard's first defense under the Walker law. Overall, Welling would get stopped 4 times in 113 matches, the first two times in his fourth and fifth bouts, the last when he was 31 and shopworn, and by Leonard. In over 90 bouts, 28 year old ATG HOF FW Johnny Kilbane had only been stopped by a claimed foul blow when he was 19. He'd ended Abe Attell's reign over 20 rounds, and gotten the best of Welsh two months before taking on Benny. Johnny got trashed in three rounds. Nobody else would take Kilbane out until Criqui retired him six years later. When he chose to, Leonard was absolutely capable of knocking down or taking out somebody who nobody else could drop or force a halt against.

Soldier Bartfield was an extremely rare specimen who could spot a peak Greb over 20 pounds and still give Harry hell, actually putting the Windmill on the deck twice. He competed on even terms with Walker, Britton, Mike Gibbons, Ted 'Kid' Lewis, Papke, Bogash, Italian Joe Gans, Willie 'KO' Brennan, Ratner, and anybody else willing to mix it up with him, usually on multiple occasions. There's only one man on Bartfield's record who could consistently spot the Soldier anywhere from ten to over a dozen pounds and still dominate him. Benny did it 4X, three in 1919 alone. JCC is not taking Benny out. He'll have to do it over the distance.

Leonard may very well have also been the best WW in the world while ruling the roost at 135. Britton couldn't best him until that final match when Benny got himself DQed, and Lewis could only manage a draw when they clashed
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:55 PM   #18
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Default Re: Benny Leonard v Julio Caesar Chavez at lightweight

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Good post.

On film, we see southpaw Tendler repeatedly hammering away at Benny's torso with big lefts wearing five ounce gloves, huge body shots to no avail.

Let's make it clear just how dangerous Benny was when he chose to go for the kill. In 168 career bouts, Freddie Welsh was stopped once, when Leonard decked him thrice in round nine to take the title. In 170 matches, Rocky Kansas was stopped three times. Benny did it in eight. He had Britton down and on the brink of a knockout when he seemingly got himself disqualified on purpose. In Benny's first title defense, the challenger was the great black veteran featherweight contender Leo Johnson. (No color line for Benny.) Leo was then 24 and near his peak. In 142 bouts, he had only been defeated twice, and stopped once, when 18 years old, by Abe Attell in five rounds. On September 21, 1917, "Bennah" crushed Johnson in less than two minutes. These were the only two times in 187 career bouts that Leo Johnson was taken out.

In 79 bouts, HOFer Willie Ritchie was stopped twice. The first time was in his 1906 debut, when he was 15. The second time was when Benny took him out in eight on April 28, 1919, ending Ritchie's days as a top performer at barely 28 years of age. Leonard was one of four to stop Frankie Britt in 161 fights, and also one of four to stop Charley White in White's 172 outings. (Charley knocked Benny out of the ring in round five, and paid dearly for that indiscretion in round nine, getting bounced five times before being counted out for the only time in his career.) In 118 bouts, 23 year old Mel Coogan had only sustained three losses, and never been stopped. Benny trashed him inside of two, sending him to the deck three times. It would take five years and 60 more fights before Coogan was stopped again.

After a rough start to his career, 29 year old Joe Welling went 90 bouts without getting stopped on his way to a title shot, then got halted by Benny in 14, Leonard's first defense under the Walker law. Overall, Welling would get stopped 4 times in 113 matches, the first two times in his fourth and fifth bouts, the last when he was 31 and shopworn, and by Leonard. In over 90 bouts, 28 year old ATG HOF FW Johnny Kilbane had only been stopped by a claimed foul blow when he was 19. He'd ended Abe Attell's reign over 20 rounds, and gotten the best of Welsh two months before taking on Benny. Johnny got trashed in three rounds. Nobody else would take Kilbane out until Criqui retired him six years later. When he chose to, Leonard was absolutely capable of knocking down or taking out somebody who nobody else could drop or force a halt against.

Soldier Bartfield was an extremely rare specimen who could spot a peak Greb over 20 pounds and still give Harry hell, actually putting the Windmill on the deck twice. He competed on even terms with Walker, Britton, Mike Gibbons, Ted 'Kid' Lewis, Papke, Bogash, Italian Joe Gans, Willie 'KO' Brennan, Ratner, and anybody else willing to mix it up with him, usually on multiple occasions. There's only one man on Bartfield's record who could consistently spot the Soldier anywhere from ten to over a dozen pounds and still dominate him. Benny did it 4X, three in 1919 alone. JCC is not taking Benny out. He'll have to do it over the distance.

Leonard may very well have also been the best WW in the world while ruling the roost at 135. Britton couldn't best him until that final match when Benny got himself DQed, and Lewis could only manage a draw when they clashed
D,what you have posted about the "great Benna" is much appreciated by me. He was as DOMINATE a lightweight as Ray Robinson was as a Welterweight, and he beat the greatest class of 135 pounders in history.
I recall the day my dad read of Leonard's death April 18,1947,refereeing a fight at St.Nicks Arena, he wept over the news of Leonard's premature passing. When I attended Stillman's gym ,soon after, an old-timer told me when Benny Leonard would spar in the ring, other fighters would stop their training just to watch the great Benny Leonard. He was held in awe by everyone in boxing. It was said by contemporaries of the prime Leonard that he "carried' many fighters so he could get a rematch, so dominate was he in the ring.
As a sidenote- As a youngster, I and my dad met the 50ish Soldier Bartfield in my uncle's restaurant, and Bartfield told us that while he and Benny Leonard fought an exhibition for the troops in World War 1, Leonard told the bigger Bartfield, "hey take it easy, it is only an exhibition" !
As I have posted before Bartfield while playing around with me in a clinch
tattooed my ribs, until my dad pulled Bartfield away from me. Soldier was
unable to take it easy it seems. Cheers D.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:00 AM   #19
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Default Re: Benny Leonard v Julio Caesar Chavez at lightweight

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D, what you have posted about the "great Benna" is much appreciated by me. He was as DOMINATE a lightweight as Ray Robinson was as a Welterweight, and he beat the greatest class of 135 pounders in history.
I recall the day my dad read of Leonard's death April 18,1947, refereeing a fight at St.Nicks Arena, he wept over the news of Leonard's premature passing. When I attended Stillman's gym, soon after, an old-timer told me when Benny Leonard would spar in the ring, other fighters would stop their training just to watch the great Benny Leonard. He was held in awe by everyone in boxing. It was said by contemporaries of the prime Leonard that he "carried" many fighters so he could get a rematch, so dominate was he in the ring.
As a side note- As a youngster, I and my dad met the 50ish Soldier Bartfield in my uncle's restaurant, and Bartfield told us that while he and Benny Leonard fought an exhibition for the troops in World War 1, Leonard told the bigger Bartfield, "hey take it easy, it is only an exhibition" !
As I have posted before Bartfield while playing around with me in a clinch
tattooed my ribs, until my dad pulled Bartfield away from me. Soldier was
unable to take it easy it seems. Cheers D.
Thanks Burt. Although the story of your experience with Bartfield is by now very familiar, I don't recall you previously sharing that tidbit about him telling you and your father about the exhibition with Benny.

Carrying fighters was then a common practice that Walker, among others, readily admitted to. Dempsey was required to carry Jimmy Darcy in 1922. Take away the cuffs, then if Benny had the same temperament Tommy Gibbons developed in freely using his power, Leonard might even have set the knockout record Moore eventually broke. (Of course the same could be said for Langford and Gans.) Bennah went the distance no less than 139 times, usually against vastly outclassed opposition, but the caliber of some of his knockout victims, and the ease with which he could quickly annihilate them, like the aforementioned Leo Johnson, Kilbane and Britt (in five rounds) give some indication of how deadly he could be.

Also, it must not be forgotten that he walked away prematurely as champion at just age 28 in 1925, because his mother wanted him to. If he'd continued as long as possible, he might have held that title for well over a decade. (Who do you think eventually dethrones an aging Benny, Burt? We know Kansas couldn't. I don't see immediate successor Goodrich doing it. Mandell? McLarnin? Canzi? Singer? Berg? Chocolate?)

I just reviewed Heywood Broun's classic essay on Benny, "The Orthodox Champion," always a quality read as you well know, and something which is compulsory material for anybody looking for an introduction to Leonard's boxing. The man was a living pugilism manual, and if he'd survived long enough to complete and publish one, such a guide might have supplanted the classic college texts by Walsh and Haislet as the definitive instructional literature on the art.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:39 AM   #20
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Default Re: Benny Leonard v Julio Caesar Chavez at lightweight

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Thanks Burt. Although the story of your experience with Bartfield is by now very familiar, I don't recall you previously sharing that tidbit about him telling you and your father about the exhibition with Benny.

Carrying fighters was then a common practice that Walker, among others, readily admitted to. Dempsey was required to carry Jimmy Darcy in 1922. Take away the cuffs, then if Benny had the same temperament Tommy Gibbons developed in freely using his power, Leonard might even have set the knockout record Moore eventually broke. (Of course the same could be said for Langford and Gans.) Bennah went the distance no less than 139 times, usually against vastly outclassed opposition, but the caliber of some of his knockout victims, and the ease with which he could quickly annihilate them, like the aforementioned Leo Johnson, Kilbane and Britt (in five rounds) give some indication of how deadly he could be.

Also, it must not be forgotten that he walked away prematurely as champion at just age 28 in 1925, because his mother wanted him to. If he'd continued as long as possible, he might have held that title for well over a decade. (Who do you think eventually dethrones an aging Benny, Burt? We know Kansas couldn't. I don't see immediate successor Goodrich doing it. Mandell? McLarnin? Canzi? Singer? Berg? Chocolate?)

I just reviewed Heywood Broun's classic essay on Benny, "The Orthodox Champion," always a quality read as you well know, and something which is compulsory material for anybody looking for an introduction to Leonard's boxing. The man was a living pugilism manual, and if he'd survived long enough to complete and publish one, such a guide might have supplanted the classic college texts by Walsh and Haislet as the definitive instructional literature on the art.
No D,i never mentioned the story that Soldier Bartfield related to my dad
before,as He was very vocal and said many things that afternoon in 1946-7. I think that he brought up this incident about Leonard and he boxing the exhibition for the doughboys tells me of the high regard he had for Benny Leonard,for he never once mentioned the name Harry Greb who Bartfield fought many times. My Uncle had a luncheonette in a Quonset hut which served a complex of Quonset huts that the Government provided for
GIs mustered out of the service at the end of World War 2. Soldier
Bartfield worked for the NYC Dep't of Parks, tending to the grounds of the complex. If only I knew about Harry Greb then as I do now, i would have barraged Bartfield with so many questions. Soon after this incident my dad took me to a bout where Soldier Bartfield's nephew Danny Bartfield fought
the main event. Danny Bartfield was a rising lightweight star but suffered from broken bones in his weak hands. Retired very early. Yes Leonard flattened Leo Johnson and another Harlem fighter Eddie Dorsey,one after another...
Just before Benny Leonard retired in 1925,he was almost signed to fight
the Welterweight Champion Mickey Walker for the WW title, but Leonard's ailing mother begged him to retire,which he did. i recall in the early 1940s at MSG,Leonard would get big ovations when he was introduced befoire the Friday Night's main events. A great, great fighter in the same league as the best fighter I ever saw Ray Robinson. But Leonard at 5ft6" did not have the great advantage that Robinson at 5ft11"height had over his opponents.
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Old 07-21-2011, 04:22 AM   #21
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Default Re: Benny Leonard v Julio Caesar Chavez at lightweight

Oh, man Leonard-Walker would have been a great fight.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:05 AM   #22
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Default Re: Benny Leonard v Julio Caesar Chavez at lightweight

Leonard would completely outclass Julio. Benny just had a little too much of everything for Chavez to overcome.
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