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Old 07-14-2009, 03:49 AM   #1
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Default Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

These are the guys that i see as contenders. How do you guys see the order?

Joe Goddard – Won the title in 1890 and his 4 title defences included Peter Jackson, Mick Dooley, and Joe Choynski. He did not lose the title and relinquished it to go overseas to fight for the world title. He was a world class fighter during his reign.

Frank Paddy Slavin – his one round demolition of Mick Dooley won him the title. Although he never defended it, he was a world class fighter and did not loss another fight against world class fighters until four years later when Peter Jackson knocked him out.

Peter Jackson – Won the title in 1886 by ko ing Tom Lees, who had beaten Bill Farnan. Jackson would not lose another fight until his virtual retirement in 1892, This makes a 6 year title reign.

Sam Langford – Sam won the title at his second attempt from McVey, but he did go on to ko him twice and assert his superiority. Other than the series with McVey his only defence was his 15 round draw with Colin Bell and in 1913 he appeared to relinquish his crown, although I think it is safe to say that at this point in time there were not any real challengers for the crown. Langford’s career is well known, although it should be noted that in 1914 he knocked out Colin Bell in the 4th round and in late 1913 he also beat the former Australian champion Jack Lester.

Sam McVey – Won title in 1911 with a win Unanimous points decision win over Jack Lester who had just beaten the long time Australian champion Bill Lang. McVey immediately defends and beats both Land and Lester in his title defences and also finds time to win the world Coloured championship against Sam Langford. And he did not lose the title until april 1912 when he was beaten on points by Sam Langford. Although McVey would lose his next 3 australian title fights to Langford (two by KO) he would still continue as a major player and only the Harry Wills was able to KO him at this late stage of his career. He is well known.

Bill Farnan – Won the title in 1881 and went undefeated until 1885 when he eventually loss to tom Lees. His defences included a win against Peter Jackson

Bill Lang was roughly 190 lbs and 6 ft 1 “. Prior to winning the title, his only KO loss was a 9th round TKO to the legendary Jack Johnson in early 1907. 1907 to 1911 Bill Lang had 11 title defences including a 12th round KO of a very old bob Fitzsimmons. During this reign he did have 2 losses to Tommy Burns. The first was a a 6th round KO loss, where he did knock Tommy down in the second and also a points loss. After this, he later fought on but was beaten by Sam Lanford (dqd) and Sam McVey among other losses, but it seems his best days were behind him, although he did still have enough left to beat Arthur Pelkey and Bill Squires who were both good fighters.

Les Darcy won the Australian title in February 1916 and had 3 defences that year including 2 ko wins over former champion Dave Smith. Darcy won the title despite being a natural middleweight and although he was one of the countrys most promising fighters ever, he didn’t really do enough to rate too highly at Aust title ATG level.

Jack Johnson won the title in 1945. He would have 6 Title Defences, until 1948. However, quite strangely, during this time he would challenge the legendary Dave Sands for the Australian Light Heavyweight title and get Kod both times. He would also lose two other non title matches on points. Technically, Sands would hold claim to the lineal Australian Title at the point that he won these matches.

Dave Sands 1948 demolition jobs on Australian heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson won him the light heavy championship and also technically the Australian lineal heavyweight Championship. He received official recognition in 1950 when he beat Alf Gallagher and he later defended in 1952 in what was tragically his last fight. He did also have a couple of Heavyweight wins mixed in with his lower weight world title campaining fights. In holding the title from 1948 until his death in 1952, his 4 year uninterrupted reign as Australian champion is very impressive, despite his career promising much more.

Ambrose Palmer beat the tough Jack omally in 1932, weighing just 168 lb. Although Ambrose would sit on his title with his next defence not coming until 1938, he was campaining actively at the lighter weights and at an international level, as well as winning fights against the best local fighters. He did lose a couple, but they were to good fighters not based in Australia. He was a better champion than his number of defences suggest.

Allen Williams. Won in 1955 and had 9 defences with his last being his loss in his last fight to Steve Raduly. He also did have two losses during this time to Non Australian fighters.

Tony Mundine – First won the title in 1972. Although he would lose middleweight fights to world class fighters during this time, he would hold the lineal Australian title and his wins would include a win over Steve Axcel who would go on to claim the Paper Australian title during his absence. Mundine would continue his reign by winning the title in 1977 and he then had 3 defences, the last being in 1981. In reality, he was the best fighter in Australia when he retired in 1984, although he was old and ready for the taking by this time. Still, between 1972 and 1984 he was australias best fighter. This is a record that really takes some beating.

Joe Bugner – Joe was past his best when he won the Australian title in 1995 with a win over vince Cervi. He was still good enough to beat Bob Mirovic and Colin Wilson, Both of whom have until only recently been the two main Australian Title holders. And during the Australian title campain he was at one time world rated (until Bruno knocked him out). It is probably a shame that he didn’t get to Meet Jimmy Thunder during this time, but his reign was still impressive.

Kali Meehan – Kali won the title in 1999 and he had 3 title defences. He is pretty much accepted as the best Australian fighter even today, so despite his inactivity his reign can be said to be coming on to 10 years. He reached world title status, although he has been well beaten
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Old 07-14-2009, 07:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

Quite a distinguished list.

1. Peter Jackson (ahead of Langford because of his level of activity in Australia).
2. Sam Langford
3. Sam McVea
4. Frank Pady Slavin
5. Joe Goddard
6. Joe Bugner
7. Bill Farnan
8. Kali Meehan
9. Les Darcy
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

Mcvey was kod by the real Jack Johnson in 20rds 1904
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:23 PM   #4
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

I can't believe that any Australian heavyweight in history could have beaten the Joe Bugner of 1986-87. Not that Bugner was great, but even at that late stage of his career he was better than anyone Australia ever produced. Just my two cents.
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

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Originally Posted by kenmore View Post
I can't believe that any Australian heavyweight in history could have beaten the Joe Bugner of 1986-87. Not that Bugner was great, but even at that late stage of his career he was better than anyone Australia ever produced. Just my two cents.
Jackson, Slavin and Goddard were on a different level to Bugner.

Even allowing for the difference in era it is hard to imagine him beating them.
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Old 07-14-2009, 02:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

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Originally Posted by janitor View Post
Jackson, Slavin and Goddard were on a different level to Bugner.

Even allowing for the difference in era it is hard to imagine him beating them.
How do you know that guys like Goddard and Slavin could have hung in there with the big heavyweight contenders of today? After all, there is little or no film footage of Goddard and Slavin. Most of their bouts were scheduled for only a few rounds. They were small guys, too: Goddard was only 6' tall and 180 lbs. in his prime.

My guess is that guys from the Sullivan era shouldn't even be compared to modern heavyweights because boxing was conducted so much differently in the 19th century than it is now.

Due to the lack of adequate film footage of the early guys, I think the all-time ratings of heavyweights should begin with the 1910s or 1920s and move forward from there.
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Old 07-14-2009, 05:51 PM   #7
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

Bugner v Bodell or Cooper might be worth a look if you think Slavin or Goddard have no chance with him.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by kenmore View Post
How do you know that guys like Goddard and Slavin could have hung in there with the big heavyweight contenders of today?
There have always been big contenders it is just that in that era they tended not to get to the top.

Even so Peter Jackson and Joe Goddard both beat world class oponents who were of a similar size to Bugner.

Quote:
After all, there is little or no film footage of Goddard and Slavin.
No but that cuts both ways.

The absence of footage dosn't give you grounds for picking a contender who was less highly regarded in his own era over them just because there is footage of him.

Quote:
Most of their bouts were scheduled for only a few rounds.
And one of Jacksons went more than 60.

Quote:
They were small guys, too: Goddard was only 6' tall and 180 lbs. in his prime.
Well Jackson was 6' 1'' 200 lbs and acording to some reports had a 77'' reach. Goddard and Slavin were both bigger than Henry Cooper.

Quote:
My guess is that guys from the Sullivan era shouldn't even be compared to modern heavyweights because boxing was conducted so much differently in the 19th century than it is now.
Perhaps but there is no unwriten law that the modern ruleset is the default setting.

We could with equal justification make Bugner fight under the ruleset of the 1890s.

Quote:
Due to the lack of adequate film footage of the early guys, I think the all-time ratings of heavyweights should begin with the 1910s or 1920s and move forward from there.
Their ring acomplishments still speak for themselves.

Last edited by janitor; 07-14-2009 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

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Originally Posted by janitor View Post
Jackson, Slavin and Goddard were on a different level to Bugner.

Even allowing for the difference in era it is hard to imagine him beating them.
If you count Jackson who was born in the Virgin Islands I suppose you could count Fitzsimmons,and I would put him over any of the others.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:32 PM   #10
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

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Originally Posted by kenmore View Post
How do you know that guys like Goddard and Slavin could have hung in there with the big heavyweight contenders of today? After all, there is little or no film footage of Goddard and Slavin. Most of their bouts were scheduled for only a few rounds. They were small guys, too: Goddard was only 6' tall and 180 lbs. in his prime.

My guess is that guys from the Sullivan era shouldn't even be compared to modern heavyweights because boxing was conducted so much differently in the 19th century than it is now.

Due to the lack of adequate film footage of the early guys, I think the all-time ratings of heavyweights should begin with the 1910s or 1920s and move forward from there.
You may be right, but even just going on the last 30 years, Bugner is not guaranteed to beat every Australian fighter going around.

In 86-87, Bugner started calling himself Aussie Joe and started campaining for a fight with Tyson. Realistically, he would have been an early KO victory, but Tyson was the goal. Bugner had, at his last campain, ended it with a loss to Marvis Frazier (was he better than he is given credit for?) and a loss to Stefan Tangsted (another who may have been better than given credit, although Spinks certainly seems to get no credit for ko ing Tangsted). In 86-87 Bugner started by beating Tillis, Bey and Page, all on decision. None were really players at the time, and all were fringe top 10 contenders at best. They were the closest he ever got to beating a world class opponent during this time. When he finally stepped it up against Bruno, who was a legitimate world class talent, he was comprehensively beaten.

Before he challenged Bruno, Bugner was challenged by but didnt fight Dean Waters. It would have been a decent fight, but i think that realistically Bugner would have won.

"cassius" Craig Peterson was also a very live chance against Bugner. He died young and was improving greatly when he died. Peterson had at one stage earned a victory over Alex Stewart, who was probably about as good as any of the 86-87 Bugner victims, and did have the 3 round points decision over Bert Cooper, who was at about the same level. With Bugner fighting the spoiling fight, as opposed to being a big hitter, it could have been a decent fight.

Jimmy Thunder is another with a fair shot. Thunder was open to getting outboxed or even blown out. But it is unlikely that Bugner blows him out. Thunders best wins were against Tim Witherspoon, Tony Tubbs and Trevor Berbick. Those guys were admittedly older versions of themself, but then again, that is exactly what Joe Bugner was in 86-87. And those guys may have been as good or better than Prime Bugner (when in their prime). I think the odds on this fight would be quite even and maybe even slightly in Thunders favour. Certainly, after the Grimsley KO the press would have (rightly or wrongly) made thunder the favourite and probably also before Thunders loss to Mike 'the bounty' Hunter.

Kali Meehan is another chance. Meehan, in his controversial loss to Lamon Brewster, certainly got closer to a world title than Bugner ever did. Although Prime Bugner, i think it is fair to say, had a slightly better caliber of opponent in front of him when he went for a world title. Meehan was blasted out by both Rahman and Williams, but Bugner is not likely to repeat the feat. When he isnt totally outclassed, Meehan has not been beaten. And Physically he is far bigger than bugner, who may struggle against Meehan in the same way that he struggled against Bruno. Meehan's best wins are DaVarryl Williamson and Jeremy Bates, neither of which are as good as 86-87 Bugners wins, but on the flip side, Meehan outclassed common opponents far better than Bugner (although Bugner was very old by this time). Either way, Meehan has every chance to beat 86-87 Bugner.

All this does not allow for the fact that there have been some great Aussie Light heavy fighters - such as Guy Waters, Jeff Harding, Paul Briggs, Tony Mundine, even Anthony Mundine and Danny Green. These guys were probably higher ranked on the world stage in their divisions than 86-87 Bugner was. And while only Tony Mundine actually fought and won titles at Heavy, history suggests that World Class light heavys can step up to world class heavy level. At Australian title heavy limit, although not tested it would seem almost a given. All of these fighters are chances against Bugner.

Also dont forget that Bob Mirovic, Vince Cervi and Colin wilson all went the distance with old Bugner. It isnt totally inconceivable that each of those and some of the other similar level or better type fighters like Steve Acsell, Appollo Sweet, Garry Wills etc could also but in an above average performance and steal a points decision against Bugner.

Saying all this, i dont think it is totally unreasonable for someone to think that 86-87 Bugner was the best Australian heavy ever.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

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Originally Posted by mattdonnellon View Post
Bugner v Bodell or Cooper might be worth a look if you think Slavin or Goddard have no chance with him.
Bugner was only 21 years when he fought Cooper and Bodell; he was still inexperienced.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:36 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Boilermaker View Post
You may be right, but even just going on the last 30 years, Bugner is not guaranteed to beat every Australian fighter going around.

In 86-87, Bugner started calling himself Aussie Joe and started campaining for a fight with Tyson. Realistically, he would have been an early KO victory, but Tyson was the goal. Bugner had, at his last campain, ended it with a loss to Marvis Frazier (was he better than he is given credit for?) and a loss to Stefan Tangsted (another who may have been better than given credit, although Spinks certainly seems to get no credit for ko ing Tangsted). In 86-87 Bugner started by beating Tillis, Bey and Page, all on decision. None were really players at the time, and all were fringe top 10 contenders at best. They were the closest he ever got to beating a world class opponent during this time. When he finally stepped it up against Bruno, who was a legitimate world class talent, he was comprehensively beaten.

Before he challenged Bruno, Bugner was challenged by but didnt fight Dean Waters. It would have been a decent fight, but i think that realistically Bugner would have won.

"cassius" Craig Peterson was also a very live chance against Bugner. He died young and was improving greatly when he died. Peterson had at one stage earned a victory over Alex Stewart, who was probably about as good as any of the 86-87 Bugner victims, and did have the 3 round points decision over Bert Cooper, who was at about the same level. With Bugner fighting the spoiling fight, as opposed to being a big hitter, it could have been a decent fight.

Jimmy Thunder is another with a fair shot. Thunder was open to getting outboxed or even blown out. But it is unlikely that Bugner blows him out. Thunders best wins were against Tim Witherspoon, Tony Tubbs and Trevor Berbick. Those guys were admittedly older versions of themself, but then again, that is exactly what Joe Bugner was in 86-87. And those guys may have been as good or better than Prime Bugner (when in their prime). I think the odds on this fight would be quite even and maybe even slightly in Thunders favour. Certainly, after the Grimsley KO the press would have (rightly or wrongly) made thunder the favourite and probably also before Thunders loss to Mike 'the bounty' Hunter.

Kali Meehan is another chance. Meehan, in his controversial loss to Lamon Brewster, certainly got closer to a world title than Bugner ever did. Although Prime Bugner, i think it is fair to say, had a slightly better caliber of opponent in front of him when he went for a world title. Meehan was blasted out by both Rahman and Williams, but Bugner is not likely to repeat the feat. When he isnt totally outclassed, Meehan has not been beaten. And Physically he is far bigger than bugner, who may struggle against Meehan in the same way that he struggled against Bruno. Meehan's best wins are DaVarryl Williamson and Jeremy Bates, neither of which are as good as 86-87 Bugners wins, but on the flip side, Meehan outclassed common opponents far better than Bugner (although Bugner was very old by this time). Either way, Meehan has every chance to beat 86-87 Bugner.

All this does not allow for the fact that there have been some great Aussie Light heavy fighters - such as Guy Waters, Jeff Harding, Paul Briggs, Tony Mundine, even Anthony Mundine and Danny Green. These guys were probably higher ranked on the world stage in their divisions than 86-87 Bugner was. And while only Tony Mundine actually fought and won titles at Heavy, history suggests that World Class light heavys can step up to world class heavy level. At Australian title heavy limit, although not tested it would seem almost a given. All of these fighters are chances against Bugner.

Also dont forget that Bob Mirovic, Vince Cervi and Colin wilson all went the distance with old Bugner. It isnt totally inconceivable that each of those and some of the other similar level or better type fighters like Steve Acsell, Appollo Sweet, Garry Wills etc could also but in an above average performance and steal a points decision against Bugner.

Saying all this, i dont think it is totally unreasonable for someone to think that 86-87 Bugner was the best Australian heavy ever.
I agree with you that Meehan, Peterson, and Thunder might have given the 86-87 Bugner very good fights. However I completely disagree with your claim that the lightheavyweights you mention could have troubled Bugner. They were just too small.

As for Cervi, Wilson and Mirovic, they fought Bugner the 1990s, when he was far over the hill. The 1986-87 version of Bugner was vastly superior to the 1990s version.
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Old 07-14-2009, 06:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

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Originally Posted by kenmore View Post
Bugner was only 21 years when he fought Cooper and Bodell; he was still inexperienced.
and it was Coopers last fight while green Joe was having around his 35th fight against the average Bodell and was the European, British and commonwealth champion.
Bugner fought Ali a year and a half later while Jack had allready lost his title to a green 24 fight Danny McAlinden.
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Old 07-14-2009, 08:21 PM   #14
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I agree with you that Meehan, Peterson, and Thunder might have given the 86-87 Bugner very good fights. However I completely disagree with your claim that the lightheavyweights you mention could have troubled Bugner. They were just too small.

As for Cervi, Wilson and Mirovic, they fought Bugner the 1990s, when he was far over the hill. The 1986-87 version of Bugner was vastly superior to the 1990s version.
Well Tony Mundine beat Maile Haumono who weighed over 220lbs! I agree that both Stylistically and size wise that Bugner would start a heavy favourite against the light heavyweights I mentioned. But, it is not out of the question that they coudl beat 1986-87 Bugner who was a good fighter, but not the best version of Bugner ever. I know i would certainly start them all as favourites to beat Cervi, Wilson and Mirovic at any stage of their careers. Remember also that Bugner was a spoiling type of fighter and didnt really have all that big a punch, so he isnt guaranteed to overwhelm them totally with power, like say a Ron Lyle or Earnie shavers might have.
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Old 07-15-2009, 03:14 PM   #15
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Default Re: Greatest 10 Australian heavyweight Champion ever

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Quite a distinguished list.

8. Kali Meehan
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