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Old 11-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #16
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

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Originally Posted by Unforgiven View Post
Lots of fighters were 'just a contender'. Some of them you would rank over champions. On the whim of the judges Witherspoon could have been champion too, not at all unreasonably. He was denied a rematch at Holmes and then went on to beat the fighter Holmes refused to fight.
If this happened to a fighter back in 1900 I'm sure you'd be the first to glorify it.
Lets say that Withgerspoon had got the nod over Holmes. He would just have lost the title very quickly, and been remembered as the Marvin Hart of that era.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:02 AM   #17
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

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I have Jeffries at #12 and Witherspoon at #14 so it's closeŽ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!"!212!!1!!121!!!!!!"
You have Witherspoon at 14???????????????????????

I just don't get it!
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:03 AM   #18
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

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An open ended question with no criteria on which to rate.

Surely, for greatness and historical importance, it is Jeffries. That requires no supposition or imagination.

Head to head is another question and one rife with complications such as which rule set, would Jeffries get to train under a modern trainer, which gloves, how many rounds... etc.
I'm not asking about a Jeffries versus Witherspoon fight, just who you'd rank higher - as the better, more proven, more impressive fighter.
In strict boxing terms.

I would say that "Greatness" almost always requires imagination. It's all fairytales.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:08 AM   #19
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

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Lets say that Withgerspoon had got the nod over Holmes. He would just have lost the title very quickly, and been remembered as the Marvin Hart of that era.
Marvin Hart never dethroned a Holmes-like champion.

Let's say Witherspoon gets the nod, and then goes on to beat Tillis, Page, and then lose to Thomas (that's at least two fighters who Holmes wouldn't touch at that time).
Or maybe he beats Holmes in a rematch.

He aint losing to Tommy Burns.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:09 AM   #20
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

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I have Jeffries at #12 and Witherspoon at #14 so it's closeŽ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1!"!212!!1!!121!!!!!!"
I'm quite sure they would both fall outside of my top 20.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:51 AM   #21
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

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You have Witherspoon at 14???????????????????????!
no
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:57 AM   #22
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

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Originally Posted by Unforgiven View Post
I'm not asking about a Jeffries versus Witherspoon fight, just who you'd rank higher - as the better, more proven, more impressive fighter.
In strict boxing terms.

I would say that "Greatness" almost always requires imagination. It's all fairytales.
It's only a fairy tale if you remove the concept of greatness from that of the championship, which seems like mental gymnastics to me. And even if you figure in the color line in some deconstruction, I would like to know who the contemporaries thought might offer Jeffries a legitimate challenge during his "real" career.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:12 PM   #23
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

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It's only a fairy tale if you remove the concept of greatness from that of the championship, which seems like mental gymnastics to me. And even if you figure in the color line in some deconstruction, I would like to know who the contemporaries thought might offer Jeffries a legitimate challenge during his "real" career.
Lots of fighters had the championship. Not all were portrayed as great. Some who did not hold the championship are considered great.
(and some postors here have no problem dissolving Witherspoon's "championship" into nothing, incidentally.)
"Greatness" is a romantic notion, and an abstract concept. If it has any substance we should be able to reduce it down to natural terms.
Or else admit that it is the product of hyperbole and fairytales.

I'd rather just ask who was better, more impressive, more proven fighter.
If they were both around today beating up the guys they did, who would be more highly regarded ?
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:24 PM   #24
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

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Originally Posted by Unforgiven View Post
Lots of fighters had the championship. Not all were portrayed as great. Some who did not hold the championship are considered great.
(and some postors here have no problem dissolving Witherspoon's "championship" into nothing, incidentally.)
"Greatness" is a romantic notion, and an abstract concept. If it has any substance we should be able to reduce it down to natural terms.
Or else admit that it is the product of hyperbole and fairytales.

I'd rather just ask who was better, more impressive, more proven fighter.
If they were both around today beating up the guys they did, who would be more highly regarded ?
Jeffries was portrayed as great, practically unbeatable. He erased the division in his own era. Greatness is not an abstract concept when it is attached to a championship regime. We can see he beat all the top contenders, mostly in emphatic fashion. We can point to these results as concrete experiential reality.

What is abstract is imagining the outcome of two elite level fighters who have never fought. It requires a great amount of supposition which is the fertile soil for bias.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:35 PM   #25
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
Jeffries was portrayed as great, practically unbeatable. He erased the division in his own era. Greatness is not an abstract concept when it is attached to a championship regime. We can see he beat all the top contenders, mostly in emphatic fashion. We can point to these results as concrete experiential reality.
I agree.
But there's no harm in delving deeper and asking questions like - how was Jim Corbett, who hadn't won a fight in 6 years considered a top contender ?
I think we could positively come to some conclusions about the era AND about Jeffries' body of work and ability if we honestly try to answer those types of questions.

Quote:
What is abstract is imagining the outcome of two elite level fighters who have never fought. It requires a great amount of supposition which is the fertile soil for bias.
I agree.
I'm not asking for that. I'm asking simply who was better.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:36 PM   #26
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

Also, Witherspoon beat Tubbs.
So you know he was great.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:37 PM   #27
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

I was not impressed with Witherspoon, he was an underachiever and most of his big wins were close decisions, many felt he beat Holmes and that was his 16th fight but he never did really step out and impress. Jeffries was dominant in his era but not sure how far off the 2 decades were.

I do rate Jeffries much higher I am not sure if Tim makes my top 50
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:38 PM   #28
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

There was about a year or so time span where Jeffries could've fought Johnson... but besides that, he pretty much fought the best around.
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:39 PM   #29
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

Did I see someone had Spoon at 14.. Please tell me this was a joke.. If not, can we get him banned from this section and relegated to the General forum? Please?
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:40 PM   #30
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Default Re: Who would you rate higher : Tim Witherspoon or Jim Jeffries ?

I think the major points have been made.

"Jeffries dominated an era, while Witherspoon was just a contender"

Janitor puts his finger on the bottom line here.

In terms of historical greatness, this is no contest.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

What about head to head?

For me it is a meaningless criteria, and becoming more meaningless year by year as the sizes of modern athletes explode.

Probably any ordinary, even losing, modern NFL team could beat the 1960's Packers who won five championships (and whose largest player was 260 lbs) and any ordinary, even losing, NBA team could handle the Celtics of the 1950's & 1960's who won 11 titles in 13 years (and whose tallest regular was Bill Russell, at about 6' 9.5").

A criteria which places mediocrity in one's own time over greatness in the distant past is useless to me.
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