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Old 02-10-2013, 08:49 AM   #16
PowerPuncher
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Default Re: Harry Wills Articles

Good stuff Boilermaker, I've read some but not all of these before. What the Wills detractors like to brush under the carpet is how well he did against Langford in all those fights, even the ones he lost.

The claims Wills turned down a fight with Tunney are knocked back by Wills himself here, saying Tunney 'wasn't a coward and had common sense staying away from him'.

The story of Wills not blaming Dempsey is clearly not the case. I read Wills sued Dempsey in the early 30s for reneging on the fight contract. Does anyone know anything on this?

The Johnson-Wills sparring is a particularly good story, fairly even handed from Wills although maybe he was a little bit touchy about been given a boxing lesson.

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Originally Posted by janitor View Post
You are surely not seriously trying to say, that there is not a huge emotional component to the debate?
There is a sense of injustice. You're hardly one to make claims of bias on the debate when your position from the offset is as an out and out Dempsey apologist rather than to assess Wills fairly as a seperate entity. Dempsey fans seem to have an agenda to marginalise Wills in order to make Dempsey look better.

These articles for the most part don't even have anything to do with Dempsey, bar one of them. But instead of reading them you just jump into attacking Wills losing any credibility you may have had
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Old 02-10-2013, 08:53 AM   #17
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Default Re: Harry Wills Articles

[quote]
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Originally Posted by PowerPuncher View Post
The claims Wills turned down a fight with Tunney are knocked back by Wills himself here, saying Tunney 'wasn't a coward and had common sense staying away from him'.
Tunney called out Wills very publicaly, and Wills response was muted at best.

Quote:
The story of Wills not blaming Dempsey is clearly not the case. I read Wills sued Dempsey in the early 30s for reneging on the fight contract. Does anyone know anything on this?
It was this which prety much drew a line under negotiations for a title fight.
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:02 AM   #18
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Default Re: Harry Wills Articles

[quote=janitor;14738316]
Quote:
Tunney called out Wills very publicaly, and Wills response was muted at best.
Wills is openly responding above saying Tunney didn't want to fight him, he was hardly given much press exposure generally

Boxers often call boxers out to posture and then don't fight them. The newspapers claiming Tunney wanted the fight could have been paid by promoters. Wills does allude to Tunney been 'built up', promoters. been articles about. Note Tunney never fought a black opponent

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It was this which prety much drew a line under negotiations for a title fight.?
What are you actually claiming here, that Wills law suit against Dempsey IN THE 30s is why Dempsey didn't fight Wills in the 20s now
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Old 02-10-2013, 09:23 AM   #19
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You are surely not seriously trying to say, that there is not a huge emotional component to the debate?
I'm trying to say that Wills beat better fighters than Dempsey and I am the only person on this forum I am aware of who ranks Wills higher.

If there is an emotional component, it certainly doesn't benefit the fighter you are trying to hang it on.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:08 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by PowerPuncher View Post
Wills is openly responding above saying Tunney didn't want to fight him, he was hardly given much press exposure generally

Boxers often call boxers out to posture and then don't fight them. The newspapers claiming Tunney wanted the fight could have been paid by promoters. Wills does allude to Tunney been 'built up', promoters. been articles about. Note Tunney never fought a black opponent
There was a period when it looked like Wills might get his title shot in preference to Tunney. At this point Tunney probably was willing to fight Wills as it was not a given that he would get his title shot, and beating Wills would have made him the top contender.

Wills felt (with some justification) that Rickard was trying to cheat him out of his title shot, by matching him against the most dangerous contenders, until he got the result that he wanted. He therfore sat on his #1 ranking and tried to force a fight with Dempsey.

Quote:
What are you actually claiming here, that Wills law suit against Dempsey IN THE 30s is why Dempsey didn't fight Wills in the 20s now
Wills instigated some sort of proceedingas against Dempsey after the Firpo fight. I assumed that you were reffering to that.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:13 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by PowerPuncher View Post
There is a sense of injustice. You're hardly one to make claims of bias on the debate when your position from the offset is as an out and out Dempsey apologist rather than to assess Wills fairly as a seperate entity. Dempsey fans seem to have an agenda to marginalise Wills in order to make Dempsey look better.
But if you look at the history of our debates on the issue, I am not merely a Dempsey apologist.

To say that I have taken Dempsey's side in the issue would be an oversimplification, because I have brought forward a number of primary sources that were favourable to other side of the debate.
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:21 PM   #22
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Default Re: Harry Wills Articles

[quote=janitor;14739860]
Quote:


There was a period when it looked like Wills might get his title shot in preference to Tunney. At this point Tunney probably was willing to fight Wills as it was not a given that he would get his title shot, and beating Wills would have made him the top contender.

Wills felt (with some justification) that Rickard was trying to cheat him out of his title shot, by matching him against the most dangerous contenders, until he got the result that he wanted. He therfore sat on his #1 ranking and tried to force a fight with Dempsey.


Well Wills is disputing this saying Tunney avoided the fight too

If you believe otherwise you're taking Rickard's and Kearn's words as gospel, in which fact you have to take their statements that Dempsey avoided Wills

[quote=janitor;14739860]
Quote:
Wills instigated some sort of proceedingas against Dempsey after the Firpo fight. I assumed that you were reffering to that.
The case you're referring too is before the Firpo fight, when Wills manager sued Dempsey to enforce

As a Dempsey fan are you saying this is why Dempsey avoided Wills after Firpo? This was before Dempsey signed the contract to face Wills and renegaded on the commitment

The case I'm asking about is a 1930s case that there isn't much information about. It was around 1931-32 if I remember rightly

Again this was never a Dempsey thread, but you've entered it to turn it that way despite everything else

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Originally Posted by janitor View Post
But if you look at the history of our debates on the issue, I am not merely a Dempsey apologist.

To say that I have taken Dempsey's side in the issue would be an oversimplification, because I have brought forward a number of primary sources that were favourable to other side of the debate.
Yes you are a Dempsey apologist, that's your historic position on Wills. That's your only reason for entering this thread, you haven't read the sources and have come in to talk about Dempsey despite this thread having little to do with Jack Dempsey

You very rarely bring any primary sources and when you do they don't usually back up what you're saying
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Old 02-10-2013, 03:57 PM   #23
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Default Re: Harry Wills Articles

[quote]
[quote=PowerPuncher;14739931]
Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor View Post

Wills felt (with some justification) that Rickard was trying to cheat him out of his title shot, by matching him against the most dangerous contenders, until he got the result that he wanted. He therfore sat on his #1 ranking and tried to force a fight with Dempsey.

Well Wills is disputing this saying Tunney avoided the fight too

If you believe otherwise you're taking Rickard's and Kearn's words as gospel, in which fact you have to take their statements that Dempsey avoided Wills
Lets start with the obvious question of who had the most to gain from the fight.

Tunney stood to establish himself as the #1 contender by beating Wills, while Wills would have gained nothing from beating Tunney.

Quote:
The case you're referring too is before the Firpo fight, when Wills manager sued Dempsey to enforce

As a Dempsey fan are you saying this is why Dempsey avoided Wills after Firpo? This was before Dempsey signed the contract to face Wills and renegaded on the commitment
No, I am saying that it is one part of a complex set of circumstances, that you paint as being simple.

Quote:
Again this was never a Dempsey thread, but you've entered it to turn it that way despite everything else
The irony is not lost on me.

I guess that if everybody else gets to do this, then it is only fair that I get my turn.

Quote:
Yes you are a Dempsey apologist, that's your historic position on Wills. That's your only reason for entering this thread, you haven't read the sources and have come in to talk about Dempsey despite this thread having little to do with Jack Dempsey

You very rarely bring any primary sources and when you do they don't usually back up what you're saying
At least I will acknowledge primary sources that do not suport my position, rather than trying to find a reason to dismiss them.

The irony is that in a setting with a more orthodox view on Dempsey, I might have ended up being the person making the case for Wills!
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:07 PM   #24
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[quote=janitor;14740151][quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerPuncher View Post

Lets start with the obvious question of who had the most to gain from the fight.

Tunney stood to establish himself as the #1 contender by beating Wills, while Wills would have gained nothing from beating Tunney.
Wills said , Yet Tunney somehow managed to get the Dempsey's fight without fighting Wills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor View Post
No, I am saying that it is one part of a complex set of circumstances, that you paint as being simple.
Wait you said Wills taking Dempsey to court, made Dempsey . It either was or wasn't part of him deciding to fight Wills or not, make your mind up

I think Dempsey not facing Wills was a mixture of circumstances, mainly being risk and reward for Dempsey and his management. That I don't have a problem with necessarily as long as their is some honesty in it. I suspect most posters here, if given the same situation would pick easier risk reward scenarios, it makes sense from the perspective of human nature. From a sporting/justice perspective it's questionable

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The irony is not lost on me.

I guess that if everybody else gets to do this, then it is only fair that I get my turn.
Okay, a bit off topic though? Did you read any of the articles, you might enjoy the Johnson sparring story

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Originally Posted by janitor View Post
At least I will acknowledge primary sources that do not suport my position, rather than trying to find a reason to dismiss them.

The irony is that in a setting with a more orthodox view on Dempsey, I might have ended up being the person making the case for Wills!
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:21 PM   #25
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[quote]
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Wills said , Yet Tunney somehow managed to get the Dempsey's fight without fighting Wills.
Yes he did, but youy can see what I am saying. With the various wranglings for a Dempsey Wills fight, he would have thought that Wills might be somebody he would have to go through in order to get his title shot.

Quote:
Wait you said Wills taking Dempsey to court, made Dempsey . It either was or wasn't part of him deciding to fight Wills or not, make your mind up
You don't "make up your mind" on this kind of issue. You bring as many lines of evidence to bear as you can, then decide where the balance of probability lies. You never put it more strongly than that.

Quote:
I think Dempsey not facing Wills was a mixture of circumstances, mainly being risk and reward for Dempsey and his management. That I don't have a problem with necessarily as long as their is some honesty in it. I suspect most posters here, if given the same situation would pick easier risk reward scenarios, it makes sense from the perspective of human nature. From a sporting/justice perspective it's questionable
Then we are not actualy that far apart on the issue.

Quote:
Okay, a bit off topic though? Did you read any of the articles, you might enjoy the Johnson sparring story
Thankyou.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:52 AM   #26
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Default Re: Harry Wills Articles

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Originally Posted by janitor View Post
It seems that every few days we have some sort of Dempsey bashing thread on this forum, and by the same token Harry Wills has been built up into more than he was seen as at the time by many.

Jack Dempsey denied Harry Wills his shot at the title, but in doing so he made him a martyr in the eyes of those looking back.
What the wide-eyed Dempsey fetishist sees... "Dempsey bashing"

What the objective scholar of the sport sees... "the proper adjustment of a legacy, something done in every other field of intellectual endeavor."
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:25 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Boilermaker View Post
Chapter 7

This one has wills talking of his early langford fight as well as the easy time he had in his short 4 round move up north.
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]


Chapter 5 is a good one. it Covers Johnson's sparring session with Wills. And it seems Wills didnt like McVey or johnson very much at all.
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
McVey and Johnson were close friends , it follows that Wills would not like McVey since Johnson fired him , for as he put it "not being able to handle the going or stand the pace"
Don Buchan .who ran training camps for Johnson, said Johnson was very easy going on his sparring partners. Johnson had George kid Cotton as a sparring partner for quite a while and continually talked him up to the press. I think Wills had an agenda, but its undeniably fascinating stuff especially his evauluation of McVey as the premier left hooker .
Many thanks for posting B.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:09 PM   #28
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Default Re: Harry Wills Articles

Does anyone else find it ridiculous to say that Wills "ducked" Tunney when you realise that in 1925/26 Wills had been the top contender for 6/7 years and had fought several elimination bouts?

At what point do the "elimination bouts" stop serving the purpose of trying to find an opponent for Dempsey and begin to appear as though they were bouts set up only to eliminate Wills.

Lets get real here, Wills was after a title shot, not a permanent position as Dempsey's gate-keeper.

By the time Tunney emerged as a contender at heavyweight if Wills didnt get a shot then nobody else in line should have either.

If Dempsey is rightly criticized for that then its entirely on him, not some revisionist history.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:19 PM   #29
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Does anyone else find it ridiculous to say that Wills "ducked" Tunney when you realise that in 1925/26 Wills had been the top contender for 6/7 years and had fought several elimination bouts?

At what point do the "elimination bouts" stop serving the purpose of trying to find an opponent for Dempsey and begin to appear as though they were bouts set up only to eliminate Wills.

Lets get real here, Wills was after a title shot, not a permanent position as Dempsey's gate-keeper.

By the time Tunney emerged as a contender at heavyweight if Wills didnt get a shot then nobody else in line should have either.

If Dempsey is rightly criticized for that then its entirely on him, not some revisionist history.
I give a lot of credit to Tunney for pursuing this fight. I don't overly criticize Wills for not taking the fight. He did not need to prove any further that he was Dempsey's best challenger and that Dempsey was yellow coward fraud.
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:49 PM   #30
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I give a lot of credit to Tunney for pursuing this fight. I don't overly criticize Wills for not taking the fight. He did not need to prove any further that he was Dempsey's best challenger and that Dempsey was yellow coward fraud.
I agree with the first two points.

Given that Dempsey was fighting grown men in saloons when he was sixteen, for a" pass the hat round "couple of bucks. I think the underlined statement is not only unjust but absurd.

I have this fleeting mental image of you repeating it face to face to Mr Dempsey when he was prime. It is a very satisfying image.

Last edited by mcvey; 02-11-2013 at 05:54 PM.
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