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Old 11-29-2012, 07:19 PM   #16
he grant
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

I think Langford was the better pound for pound fighter but Wills was likely the better heavyweight based on size and style ... to Sam's credit he did manage a few wins via the KO route but as a whole the series was really dominated by the much larger Wills .. I like Jeannette next followed by McVey who in his own right is highly under rated by many as some sort of brute slugger when in fact he had a terrific jab and could box quite well ..

I also find the way Wills is dismissed by Dempsey apologists as just another big , slow guy to be way off ... he clearly demonstrated far more skill against far better opposition than any other Dempsey opponent prior to Jack's two best, Sharkey and Tunney ... still, this is another conversation and one that has been talked to death on a weekly basis ..
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

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I think Langford was the better pound for pound fighter but Wills was likely the better heavyweight based on size and style ... to Sam's credit he did manage a few wins via the KO route but as a whole the series was really dominated by the much larger Wills .. I like Jeannette next followed by McVey who in his own right is highly under rated by many as some sort of brute slugger when in fact he had a terrific jab and could box quite well ..

I also find the way Wills is dismissed by Dempsey apologists as just another big , slow guy to be way off ... he clearly demonstrated far more skill against far better opposition than any other Dempsey opponent prior to Jack's two best, Sharkey and Tunney ... still, this is another conversation and one that has been talked to death on a weekly basis ..
It would be nice to see prime film on Wills. Remember how perspective changed when the board saw prime versions of Langford vs Jeannette!

Was Wills a big, but slow puncher, or was he a bit more than that? A film from 1914-1920 I think would help us answer that question. I do think Wills had a suspect chin vs punchers, and wasn't very tough as he quit quickly vs Battling Johnson.


One thing to keep in mind. Don't measure Langford, Jeanette or Mcvey by their chronological age. These three fought hard wars with each other, and took tremendous punishment.

To put in a modern context, Frazier and Ali took a lot out of each other.

Langford, McVey, and Jeanette all meet each other in their primes and had more than just three hard matches.

I still think Wills beat faded versions of Langford, McVey and Jeanette. But Wills avoided Godfrey, and that was his fault.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:02 PM   #18
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Wills is often underestimated. Particularly his speed and strength. You dont get nicknamed the panther being slow. If you are fortunate enough to see his fight with Firpo you will see a very big (for the time) athletic heavyweight manhandle the bull, something dempsey couldnt dream of.

Last edited by Lord Tywin; 11-29-2012 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:45 PM   #19
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

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Wills is often underestimated. Particularly his speed and strength. You dont get nicknamed the oanther being slow. If you are fortunate enough to see his fight with Firpo you will see an a very big (for the time) athletic heavyweight manhandle the bull, something dempsey couldnt dream of.
Does the footage exist ? I never saw it ..
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Old 11-29-2012, 10:10 PM   #20
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Film of it was discovered earlier this year. Wills buckles Firpo's knees with a jab and a moment later drops him flat on his back with a right hand over the top (and on the break).

In the clinches he tied Firpo up like Firpo was a lightweight, walked him around the ring, and banged away at his flanks. Wills was apparently a deadly body puncher in the clinches.

Wills was already past his prime by that point.

Last edited by Lord Tywin; 11-29-2012 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 11-29-2012, 11:30 PM   #21
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

I don't know. I can't base my opinion on these fighters without footage. There is just not enough footage on these guys. That is the main reason it boggles my mind to hear people say how great they were.
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:16 AM   #22
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

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I would say Langford was greater than Wills, and Langford got the better of Wills before he aged..
He certainly didn't
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:16 AM   #23
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

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Film of it was discovered earlier this year. Wills buckles Firpo's knees with a jab and a moment later drops him flat on his back with a right hand over the top (and on the break).

In the clinches he tied Firpo up like Firpo was a lightweight, walked him around the ring, and banged away at his flanks. Wills was apparently a deadly body puncher in the clinches.

Wills was already past his prime by that point.

Wow--I have to see that one. Who has the film /dvd? Papers of that fight said there was a lot of wrestling, and neither man looked great.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:22 AM   #24
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

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I would say Langford was greater than Wills, and Langford got the better of Wills before he aged - Mendoza


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He certainly didn't
Bt 1914, Langford was on the decline. In the first four fights between Wills and Langford ( 1914-1916 ) , Sam won two via KO, and lost two via decsion. I think KO wins are a bit better than decsions, hence my statement I think is valid.
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:41 AM   #25
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

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Bt 1914, Langford was on the decline. In the first four fights between Wills and Langford ( 1914-1916 ) , Sam won two via KO, and lost two via decsion. I think KO wins are a bit better than decsions, hence my statement I think is valid.
No, in the first 4 fights Langford only won the second fight, 3 wins for Wills (the first an SD the other 2 he dominated). Langford scored a KO in the 5th fight, a fight where Wills had won every previous round in. Wills won the 6th andd 7th fights handily shortly after the 5th fight both also in 1916
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:49 AM   #26
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

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PowerPuncherNo, in the first 4 fights Langford only won the second fight, 3 wins for Wills (the first an SD the other 2 he dominated). Langford scored a KO in the 5th fight, a fight where Wills had won every previous round in. Wills won the 6th andd 7th fights handily shortly after the 5th fight both also in 1916
Langford Ko'd Wills in 1914 ( 2nd fight ) and and 1916 ( 5th fight )
[/quote]

To make a correction, the first five fights were 2-2-1. Wills won twice via decision, and Langford twice via 10 count KO. Based on this, I think Langford who was slightly past his prime to past his prime from 1914-1916, got the better of Wills from 1914-1916. Fair enough?
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Old 11-30-2012, 07:02 AM   #27
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

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Langford Ko'd Wills in 1914 ( 2nd fight ) and and 1916 ( 5th fight )


To make a correction, the first five fights were 2-2-1. Wills won twice via decision, and Langford twice via 10 count KO. Based on this, I think Langford who was slightly past his prime to past his prime from 1914-1916, got the better of Wills from 1914-1916. Fair enough?
Although boxrec has the first fight a draw, more newspaper reports had the first fight to Wills than Langford.

A win's a win for me, I suppose a dominating win is better than a close win, but if 1 man wins every round it's as dominating as much as a KO pretty much.

And why only count the first 5? When the 6th and 7th were only months after the 5th?

Wills also was pre-prime himself in 1914 and not as experienced if you take a glance at his record it bears this out
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Old 11-30-2012, 06:45 PM   #28
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

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Film of it was discovered earlier this year. Wills buckles Firpo's knees with a jab and a moment later drops him flat on his back with a right hand over the top (and on the break).

In the clinches he tied Firpo up like Firpo was a lightweight, walked him around the ring, and banged away at his flanks. Wills was apparently a deadly body puncher in the clinches.

Wills was already past his prime by that point.
This is the most interesting post so far.

There have always been a few indicators that Wills had serious power, but the footage that you have described would well and truly seal the matter.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:58 PM   #29
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Some would quibble with the knockdown because it was kind of on the break but for me the real indication of his power was the jab that buckles Firpos knees a few seconds before and sends Firpo reeling back a few steps. When you consider how big and strong Firpo was thats impressive.

The thing that caught my eye was how easily Wills dealt with Firpo in the clinches. Wills was a very big, very strong, athletic heavyweight. Really a pre-cursor to the modern heavyweights.
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Old 12-01-2012, 05:42 AM   #30
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Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

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Film of it was discovered earlier this year. Wills buckles Firpo's knees with a jab and a moment later drops him flat on his back with a right hand over the top (and on the break).

In the clinches he tied Firpo up like Firpo was a lightweight, walked him around the ring, and banged away at his flanks. Wills was apparently a deadly body puncher in the clinches.

Wills was already past his prime by that point.
Ahh didn't see this before, interesting, have you seen the film? That's a monumental film find if true

And Wills does have several bodyshot KO's for the record. He seemed to like hitting on the break too by the sounds of it

You're not writing a book on Greb by any chance?
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