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Old 02-03-2008, 07:34 PM   #1
Russell
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Default Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

I know years after he was a major player he still routinely made people look like idiots in the gym.

Didn't he embarass Firpo in a sparring session?

I know others have been mentioned... Who else did Johnson go against?
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:22 AM   #2
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

After Joe Choynski kayoed Johnson,the two of them did time together for their 'mixed race' fight and sparred while in the joint.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

Ed "Gunboat" Smith said he knocked Johnson out in sparring while Johnson was champion.

I think I read that in Peter Heller's book "In This Corner", a book I borrowed from a library years ago and a book I would really like to get a copy of. One of the best boxing books.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
Ed "Gunboat" Smith said he knocked Johnson out in sparring while Johnson was champion.

I think I read that in Peter Heller's book "In This Corner", a book I borrowed from a library years ago and a book I would really like to get a copy of. One of the best boxing books.

Smith did TKO Johnson in a sparring session. I posted the news report a while back. Johnson was down, and got up badly dazed. Johnson's manager had to save him calling a halt to the session.

The best Johnson sparring partner story is when he was an older man. One day he walked into a gym and asked for the fastest fighter in the house. Then Johnson put on a show at an older age. I do not think he was up against a good pro here, but those who saw it were surprised at the speed and blocking ability that he still had.
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Old 02-04-2008, 12:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

Banana Sam gave him a pasting in sparring around 1916.


Oh no, that was Jack Dempsey. Silly me.
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Old 02-04-2008, 02:45 PM   #6
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories



It transpires that Bill Tate also handled him well enough in sparring (both generally and in the clinches, where he controlled him) despite holding back.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:02 PM   #7
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

Ive always heard he was a great gym fighter. My amazing story about him is over. Hope you enjoyed it.
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Old 02-04-2008, 10:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell
I know years after he was a major player he still routinely made people look like idiots in the gym.

Didn't he embarass Firpo in a sparring session?

I know others have been mentioned... Who else did Johnson go against?
I never heard of him and Firpo sparring, ever. Where did you hear it? I don' t think it happened.
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

Heard about it recently on here, I think.
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Old 02-05-2008, 07:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

He used to use Harry Wills as a sparring partner and handeled him easily.

This was however before Wills first recorded profesional bout.
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:03 AM   #11
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

So Gunboat Smith knocked him out cold but he handled Firpo and Harry Wills?
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:23 AM   #12
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell
So Gunboat Smith knocked him out cold but he handled Firpo and Harry Wills?
Gunboat Smith didnt knoc him out cold he just dumped him on his but. That sort of thing happens all the time in sparring.

The fact that he handeled Wills means little because Wills was just a kid then.

The Firpo incident is more interesting because Johnson was about 40 and Firpo was at his peak. Even after Johnson came out of prison managers knew better than to match their top prospects with him. The only way Johnson could get publicity was by offering to go easy on Firpo in sparring then renaiging on the agreement.
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:26 AM   #13
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

Yeah, but Johnson was well, well past his prime vs. a young, hungry Wills.
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Old 02-05-2008, 08:29 AM   #14
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Default Re: Jack Johnson Sparring Stories

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell
Yeah, but Johnson was well, well past his prime vs. a young, hungry Wills.
Nah

A better analogy would be a slightly faded Johnson against an embryonic Wills.
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