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Old 01-20-2013, 09:45 PM   #181
Rex Tickard
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Originally Posted by Nightcrawler View Post
how many of the HOF famers were heavyweights or in their prime?
They all were considered HW contenders, and they all were considered in or near their primes.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:54 PM   #182
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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They all were considered HW contenders, and they all were considered in or near their primes.

That is either intellectual dishonesty or willful ignorance.
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Old 01-20-2013, 10:49 PM   #183
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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That is either intellectual dishonesty or willful ignorance.
Which ones weren't considered rated HWs?

Outside of maybe Willard, which ones could be argued as past their primes?
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:07 PM   #184
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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A "big win" over Fulton? You mean the chicken who cried foul while fouling himself because the fix was in for the April Fulton-Morris affair?
You've actually found proof that the first Fulton-Morris fight was fixed? Or are you simply choosing to give credence to one of multiple descriptions of that fight? There are other reports that suggest Fulton "quit" (fouled out) after being outfought.

You also neglected to acknowledge that the Fulton fight was specifically deemed as an eliminator between two of Willard's foremost challengers.


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Here are some sample quotes from a Seattle Daily Times article, 1919 after he was beaten by novice Ole Anderson, giving evidence to continuing decline and/or inability to make it at the elite level. "Pertaining to the claim of foul that Carl Morris, joke heavyweight, put up on the stomach clout that Ole Anderson gave him..., let it be said that this claim of "foul" is nothing new on the part of the faint-hearted heavyweight who was well thumped... Great part of the life of the Sapulpa quince has been given over to receiving or losing decisions on fouls."

Here is another one, from the Salt Lake Telegram from 1917...
"Wonder if big Carl Morris can really fight? If he can it's a remarkable thing that in every fight he goes into there's trouble about fouls. A couple months back there was that business with Fred Fulton. Morris kept hitting Fulton below the belt and Fulton socked him back- also below the belt. Now comes Morris with a cry that in his recent fight with Tob McMahon .. referee Kennedy kept warning him that he must not his low, and said referee declared that Morris must have thought that McMahon wore his belt for a collar..."
And on the flipside, there are other, contradicting reports that tout him as a genuine prospect and contender.

"Morris isn't a clever boxer yet, of course, but he has everything to make a good fighter and he is improving fast. He thinks quickly, and it's easy for him to learn. That's where he is better than most of the other big fellows.

...Morris is strong and he hits hard. He is quick on his feet and quick with his hands, and he's game and willing and confident."
-Joe Jeanette, June 11, 1911

"Carl Morris, the Oklahoma giant who is to meet Tom McMahon tomorrow night at Duquesne Garden, showed his real class yesterday when he worked out four rounds with clever Buck Crouse at the Oakland gym. The bout was one of the fastest ever staged at a workout and showed Morris to be the fastest of all big fellows who have showed their wares in this city."
-Pittsburgh Press, Feb. 28, 1915

"He is Carl Morris, the original 'white hope,' the first man groomed to bring the heavy-weight title back to the white race.

...Morris is trying to come back. He has had a few bouts in the southwest and critics who have seen him declare that he has lost his awkwardness and is much better than formerly."
-Miami News, March 2, 1917

"But if Morris knocks out Fulton or defeats him decisively he will have a claim to a match with Willard that the public will back up. So Willard is pulling for Fulton to win. But the fight fans would relish a battle between Morris and Willard at that. It ought to mean an air full of fists if the two enemies meet."
-Desert News, March 10, 1917


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I don't find Morris to be some great threat. Before the Dempsey losses, there were consecutive losses to Miske (a very good fighter), Fulton and McMahon and shortly before that another NWD loss to Coffey.
But in between, he also had a reportedly impressive performance against two-time title challenger Moran, and had beaten Fulton, Levinsky, Smith, and Pelkey just prior to that. And the losses you listed were all to other legit contenders (McMahon had also beaten Willard, and Willard had received criticism in the press for refusing to rematch him). Even if Morris wasn't the best available contender, he was still in the mix.


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No matter how you slice it, he was losing more than he was winning and he was trying to get his work done by either fouling or claiming foul.
If he really was such a dirty, spoiling fighter, Dempsey should get even more credit for taking on such a high risk, low reward opponent.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:39 PM   #185
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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You've actually found proof that the first Fulton-Morris fight was fixed? Or are you simply choosing to give credence to one of multiple descriptions of that fight? There are other reports that suggest Fulton "quit" (fouled out) after being outfought.

You also neglected to acknowledge that the Fulton fight was specifically deemed as an eliminator between two of Willard's foremost challengers.




And on the flipside, there are other, contradicting reports that tout him as a genuine prospect and contender.

"Morris isn't a clever boxer yet, of course, but he has everything to make a good fighter and he is improving fast. He thinks quickly, and it's easy for him to learn. That's where he is better than most of the other big fellows.

...Morris is strong and he hits hard. He is quick on his feet and quick with his hands, and he's game and willing and confident."
-Joe Jeanette, June 11, 1911

"Carl Morris, the Oklahoma giant who is to meet Tom McMahon tomorrow night at Duquesne Garden, showed his real class yesterday when he worked out four rounds with clever Buck Crouse at the Oakland gym. The bout was one of the fastest ever staged at a workout and showed Morris to be the fastest of all big fellows who have showed their wares in this city."
-Pittsburgh Press, Feb. 28, 1915

"He is Carl Morris, the original 'white hope,' the first man groomed to bring the heavy-weight title back to the white race.

...Morris is trying to come back. He has had a few bouts in the southwest and critics who have seen him declare that he has lost his awkwardness and is much better than formerly."
-Miami News, March 2, 1917

"But if Morris knocks out Fulton or defeats him decisively he will have a claim to a match with Willard that the public will back up. So Willard is pulling for Fulton to win. But the fight fans would relish a battle between Morris and Willard at that. It ought to mean an air full of fists if the two enemies meet."
-Desert News, March 10, 1917




But in between, he also had a reportedly impressive performance against two-time title challenger Moran, and had beaten Fulton, Levinsky, Smith, and Pelkey just prior to that. And the losses you listed were all to other legit contenders (McMahon had also beaten Willard, and Willard had received criticism in the press for refusing to rematch him). Even if Morris wasn't the best available contender, he was still in the mix.




If he really was such a dirty, spoiling fighter, Dempsey should get even more credit for taking on such a high risk, low reward opponent.

The news reports I have read on him from 1917 and 1918 are very unkind to him, even the Miami News clip above refers to him trying to make a comeback. His heyday was the white hope era. By the time Dempsey got to him his record shows he was on the downside. The reviews from those years and beyond reaffirm this.

February 23, 1918, Tulsa World
"There was a time a time when Carl looked like a rival to Jess Willard but that time has passed."

April 20, 1918, Grand Forks Herald
"Carl served as a rather handy punching bag for the rest of the heavies whereon other heavyweights could register their punch and punishing ability. Morris, though a joke as a boxer was game..."

Here is what the Picayune had to say in advance of the match...
"Morris is not considered to stand a ghost of chance, and the match really is considered more of a Dempsey performance. What little betting has been done is based on the number of rounds Morris will or will not go."

Not exactly ringing endorsements of Morris at this stage of his career. A good bit of matchmaking for Dempsey, tho. He liked 'em big and slow. Big, slow and shot is even better.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:34 AM   #186
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

For the sake of arguement what if Dempsey had fought and knocked out Greb? How would that win be viewed? He beat great fighter but would he get credit for beating a good heavyweight?

Or that he beat a great smaller man etc?
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:40 AM   #187
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

Miske and Fulton were good wins. I don't think Dempsey had an outstanding run to the title, but it was more than enough to get a shot.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:08 AM   #188
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Miske and Fulton were good wins. I don't think Dempsey had an outstanding run to the title, but it was more than enough to get a shot.
Of course - but enough, in conjunction with his lackluster title reign, to be endorsed so greatly?
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:32 AM   #189
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

No his greatness is owing purely to his destructive run and his ability in outboxing both miske and gibbons.

I think he's top 15 material but too many have come since for him to still be top 10.

His title run did it's job. His title capture is the stuff of legend and up until Hollywood he was a worthy champ. Throw in Greb and Wills and I think he's a consensus top 5 even today.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:45 AM   #190
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

To me, Dempsey's legacy is greatly due to him being the real white hope in a time where people were extremely dissatisfied with that oaf, Willard. Dempsey - after the draft dodging controversy - fit the bill perfectly; a good looking, regular sized heavyweight with an all-American, brawling style. Naturally, he was cut some extra slack.

Johnson was slightly but clearly greater, even if their title reigns were equally mediocre (perhaps Johnson's was worse) - at least Johnson expressed superiority over Jeanette and McVey.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:47 AM   #191
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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To me, Dempsey's legacy is greatly due to him being the real white hope in a time where people were extremely dissatisfied with that oaf, Willard. Dempsey - after the draft dodging controversy - fit the bill perfectly; a good looking, regular sized heavyweight with an all-American, brawling style. Naturally, he was cut some extra slack.

Johnson was slightly but clearly greater, even if their title reigns were equally mediocre (perhaps Johnson's was worse) - at least Johnson expressed superiority over Jeanette and McVey.
add langford to that list johnson's pre-title wins more than make up a HOF career.
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:57 AM   #192
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Yeah, Langford was a bit small though. I wouldn't brag about a 1966 Carlos Monzon on Ali's record personally.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:04 AM   #193
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Yeah, Langford was a bit small though. I wouldn't brag about a 1966 Carlos Monzon on Ali's record personally.
fair enough in the end, johnson's pre-title resume is likely a chunk better than dempsey's career. langford is gravy on top of that
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:21 AM   #194
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Default Re: Dempsey's vaunted run to the Title

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Jack Dempsey is given a lot of credit for his incredible run to the title in 1917-1919. Let's have a look see at the numbers behind this run, starting after Dempsey was KO'd by Jim Flynn (who was coming off 5 straight losses) and losing in 4 to fistic artist Willie Meehan. I'm sticking to the blowouts that built his legend and allowed him to compile the 1st round KO stat that is so oft repeated.
Why ?

Also, records from that time are incomplete. We can't state with much certainly the half-dozen previous fights of any of those opponents, so you're wasting your time and fooling yourself with all that boxrec-inspired stat stuff.

I can't think of any fighter who scored loads of 1st round KOs over the best available opposition anyway, so it's not surprising that Dempsey racked up most of his early KOs against has-beens and journeymen.
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Old 01-21-2013, 08:36 AM   #195
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Is this really the stuff of legends? Or is this more akin to a Butterbean style barnstorming effort, sprinkled with some cynical matchmaking based on shot "name fighters"?
Compare it to other heavyweight legends, if you are in much doubt.

You are absolutely right to identify the factor of good matchmaking and barnstorming in helping create Dempsey's reputation. But guess what ? Most, almost all, the great fighters, especially at heavyweight, were moved the same way. They were all to some degree the product of clever matchmaking, good management.
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