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Old 10-14-2007, 06:49 PM   #1
mcvey
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Default How does Jeffries fare against the big heavyweights of the recent era?

Jeffries name has been mentioned a lot on this forum lately,Mendoza and I have had some heated skirmishes concerning the respective merits of Jeffries and Johnson.
This isnt a thread trying to tear down Jeffries ,but an attempt to get feed back from posters on his chances against the modern big guys.
Given that Jeffries ,through no fault of his own was usually considerably bigger and stronger than his challengers .plus younger.how do you think he would have done against the bigger power hitters from say the 60s to the Klits Bros?
the Fighters Ive selected are picked for their approximate size matchups to Jeff for example ,over 6 foot and around 215 to 220 lbs,so I have left out Frazier and Tyson.
My selections are Liston around 6 1 212
Foreman around 6 3 224
Lewis 6 5 240 [approx]
Vitaly Klitschko 6 7 240[approx]
Wlad Klitschko6 5 240[appro]

I left out Ali and Holmes too because I want to confine it to power punchers who are also tall.and strong.

Given that Jeffries in his prime was an undeniably magnificently built man 6 2 220 lbs of muscle and bone,celebrated for his strength and durability,he may have been the most durable Champion of all time.
Capable of taking incredible punish ment and keeping going ,,possessing a solid wallop and fast ,for his size feet,a man who held his own in wrestling tryouts with his friend Frank Gotch the wrestling champion.Do you think he could weather the big punches of men his own size or larger,and come back to wear them down?
Or would his take punishment style to come on later work against him when fighting the bigger men?Whats your take on it , jeffries has the advantage of modern training methods ,but perhaps the disadvantage of fighting over 15 rounds instead of 20 25 ,how does he do?
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Old 10-14-2007, 07:33 PM   #2
ChrisPontius
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Default Re: How does Jeffries fare against the big heavyweights of the recent era?

You mean if we'd transport the 1904 Jeffries to the modern era? I think he'd do very poor then. You can't wear opponents out by taking punishment in 15 or 12 rounders against opponents who are of your own size or bigger, also athletically talented and not with one foot into retirement.

But most importantly, the boxing game has just changed too much. It was still half bareknuckle boxing back then and they fought accordingly. They didn't jab, stick and move etc. They threw a punch (not combinations), fell into a clinch, wrestled, threw a few uppercuts and started all over. I think Jeffries would lose to every decent post 20's heavyweight champion under 15 or 12 round rules.

Put it this way: how would you fancy a dancing Ali's chances against Jeffries in a fight till the end with tiny gloves?
I believe champions are very much a result of the rulesets they fight under. Willard is perhaps the best example: he got thoroughly outboxed by Johnson during the first 15 rounds and would've lost to him every time under modern rules (even an old Johnson), but under those rules he prevailed. Jeffries is similar.


On a sidenote, i don't think Jack Johnson would fare much better than Jeffries against modern champs & rulesets. He too had a very primitive style. Compared to the 30's and later on, mind you; for his own day he was great and that's how we should consider them.
In my opinion, both Johnson and Jeffries would lose to Liston, Lewis, Foreman, Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko under modern rules.
I am not too impressed by their power either; they often needed 10++ rounds to put away super middleweights! Which would be their own chance against say a Lewis or a Wladimir.
The only fight of those that they might win is Foreman, who might punch himself out. Johnson might be able to do it similarly to Ali, but Johnson is not as durable as Ali. Ali was tested by several great punchers and passed those tests, Johnson did not face that many big punchers. Same for Jeffries, hard to tell how durable he really is.
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Old 10-14-2007, 07:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: How does Jeffries fare against the big heavyweights of the recent era?

its one of two bring downs that people come up with in regards to Jeffries. I don't think that anyone can say that Fitz, Sharkey, Corbett were not great fighters, however they would be considered super middles, light heavies or cruiserweights now. And even though guys like Spinks and Holyfield and Byrd had success in the big boys division, they did so perhaps by modern training methods and weight gain, though maybe Byrds weight gain was not so modern in obtaining.

But how does Jeffries do against guys naturally his size or bigger?

For starters, I would say that Jeffries himself would be brought along slower and be a better fighter under modern rules himself. He might not be able to be the best after just a few fights, but his skill would be worked on and he would have been brought along with more care and attention. He simply would not be able to rely on being the biggest, strongest person there. I think that he would have to use his athleticism and under rated agility more.

He has a few things going for him.
1. One, I believe that the natural athletic ability is there.
2. His natural best punch, a hook to the body, would be able to land against
opponents his size or taller. And he wouldn't have to search for them or catch them...they would be right there. I really think he could tear into bigger guys with hooks to the body.
3. Though you can say it was never proven vs a big puncher, I do think that Jeffries had one hell of a beard.

There are so many variables, who is to say, head to head, who would win? I would buy a ticket. Who's to say that Jeffries would win for sure, but who's to say he wouldn't?

Vs. Liston. This is the closest opponent to Jeffries in terms of size (Jeff was a little bigger) strength (Jeff was probably a little stronger) and speed (Liston was probably a little faster)
this would, of course be a war. And if anyone thinks that one would easily walk over the other, I think they're mistaken. I think it would come down to will and I think that will belongs to Jeff.

vs. Foreman. Foreman was slightly bigger and just as strong and his chin was probably just as good. If Foreman lands, its over. But that is true for most heavyweights when it comes to George. Jeffries would have to have enhanced is boxing abilities and out box Foreman which is a possibility. It also must be brought up the Foreman v. Lyle fight. If Lyle was able to do what he did, I think that Jeffries had more stamina than Lyle, and more stamina than Foreman. Foreman would tire before Jeffries in my book. Jeffries could take some later rounds when Foreman was tired out. A possibility.

vs. Lewis. Lewis could be reached with a shot and taken out. If Rahman could do this, I think Jeffries could as well. If you believe that Jeff's chin was over rated, then it turns things towards Lewis. However, if it isn't, then he does bring a slightly less than McCall style chin to the party. And Lewis couldn't take McCall out, work rate and the fact that it would just take one well timed shot, might tip the scales for Jeff. Work rate and Stamina, Jeff.

Wlad...see Lewis only more of a chance for Jeffries. Their size advantage would become more of a disadvantage as the fight progressed. Wlad and fighters of his size, can run out of gas. Being tired leads to bad habits (low guard, slower reflexes, and open mouth) if its 15 things work out better for Jeff provided he lasts that long. All of the fighters listed would tire out before
Jeff...with the possible exception of Liston.

Vitali. Like Lewis and Wlad only more so. Also, Vitali was injury prone in a couple of fights. If he could punch out his arm against tiny Byrd, he could do the same thing against Jeffries especially if Jeffries was able to use his strength in the clinches. In a tough fight, Vitali could get tired. I give him the least amount of chances, but he always has a knockout chance.

It's all theory. But I would not write a modern trained Jeffries off. And if anyone says they wouldn't buy a ticket....
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Old 10-15-2007, 06:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: How does Jeffries fare against the big heavyweights of the recent era?

Quote:
Given that Jeffries ,through no fault of his own was usually considerably bigger and stronger than his challengers .plus younger.how do you think he would have done against the bigger power hitters from say the 60s to the Klits Bros?

the Fighters Ive selected are picked for their approximate size matchups to Jeff for example ,over 6 foot and around 215 to 220 lbs,so I have left out Frazier and Tyson.

My selections are Liston around 6 1 212

Foreman around 6 3 224

Lewis 6 5 240 [approx]

Vitaly Klitschko 6 7 240[approx]

Wlad Klitschko6 5 240[appro]
There are two ways to look at this. If Liston, Foreman, Lewis, Vitali Klitschko, and Wladimir Klitschko were in their prime in the old time era, how good would they be? Boxing tactics and skills have evolved with rules changes, equipment changes, nutrition changes, and years of film study.

When rating a fighter it is best to rate the man, not the era. The hard part is figuring out what Lewis and the Klitschko's would be like if they were trained 100 years ago. I think each of them would be lighter, a bit weaker, and more crude by modern standards. In Jeffries era, I think he would get the better of these three in a series of fights, but I'm not saying he runs the table. One reason is each of the three super heavies relies heavily on their jab to set things up, which was not really a big part of boxing in the old time days.

Foreman game would not change too much style wise, since he lacked technique. A puncher is a puncher in any ear. However, Big George’s stamina was rather poor. He'd melt like a snowman in the stuffy non-air conditioned rooms, and out door in the sun fights of the early 1900's, which often went well beyond 15 rounds. I think Jeffries beats Foreman in his era.

Liston was perhaps the first fighter to combine great measureless with a modern boxing technique. However, Sonny's intangibles if a fighter could hang in there were questionable. If Liston had a weakness it was issues with cuts, fouling, and failing to finish some of his tougher opponents who were not intimidated. Liston vs Jeffries seems close to pick em' to me.

The other part of the thread is how would Jeffries look in modern times? Most old timer fighters were on the small side, but could get away with being smaller because there were not skilled super heavyweights around to test them. Jeffries is the lone old timer ( pre Liston ) rated in the top 15 that had modern size. With the advances of nutrition, it is plausible that he would be even bigger and stronger. In his era, Jeffires was about 6’1” ˝ inches, 220 pounds with a 76 ˝ to 77” reach. This is enough to comepte today. How much would these numbers go up if he were born in the modern era? I see him about 6'3", 230-235 pounds in shape, which means he doesn't give up too much weight. 230 vs 250 is not a huge problem when the skills are close. 200 vs 250 is. The other thing to consider is could Jeffries learn the modern style of boxing? I think he could because he was a very good and well cordinated athlete. In a 12 round fight, Jeffries could afford to throw double the amount of punches he did in a 20 or 25 round fight. Jeffries would be champion today, and could certainly beat Lewis, Both K-bros, Foreman and Liston.

Size, power, speed, stamina, durability, and heart are key traits for heavyweights. Jeffries had them. It seems to me that Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko lacked durability vs punchers. Foreman lacked speed, and stamina, and could be hurt by punchers too. Liston lacked speed and maybe some heart. Vitlai Klitschko is harder to peg. He really does not have a major flaw in his game, however he probably wasn’t extra special as the other fighters could be in some areas, and lacks a big win on his resume.

In closing I believe if ( and it’s a big if ) Jeffries could adapt to the modern style, use the jab, and set things up with the hook, or right hand, I think he has the right stuff to beat all of the above fighters in 12 or 15 round matches. It no guarantee, but I think he could beat them. While Lewis, Wlad and Liston hit harder than anyone Jeffries fought, we have to factor in the gloves. Those old 6 oz gloves which could show knuckle imprints lacked the modern safety stuffing. They cut guys up easier too. A lack of gum shields made taking punches on the chin a bit harder. I think Fitzsimmons’ power with the old equipment is close enough to what the best modern punchers hit today.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: How does Jeffries fare against the big heavyweights of the recent era?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendoza
There are two ways to look at this. If Liston, Foreman, Lewis, Vitali Klitschko, and Wladimir Klitschko were in their prime in the old time era, how good would they be? Boxing tactics and skills have evolved with rules changes, equipment changes, nutrition changes, and years of film study.

When rating a fighter it is best to rate the man, not the era. The hard part is figuring out what Lewis and the Klitschko's would be like if they were trained 100 years ago. I think each of them would be lighter, a bit weaker, and more crude by modern standards. In Jeffries era, I think he would get the better of these three in a series of fights, but I'm not saying he runs the table. One reason is each of the three super heavies relies heavily on their jab to set things up, which was not really a big part of boxing in the old time days.

Foreman game would not change too much style wise, since he lacked technique. A puncher is a puncher in any ear. However, Big George’s stamina was rather poor. He'd melt like a snowman in the stuffy non-air conditioned rooms, and out door in the sun fights of the early 1900's, which often went well beyond 15 rounds. I think Jeffries beats Foreman in his era.

Liston was perhaps the first fighter to combine great measureless with a modern boxing technique. However, Sonny's intangibles if a fighter could hang in there were questionable. If Liston had a weakness it was issues with cuts, fouling, and failing to finish some of his tougher opponents who were not intimidated. Liston vs Jeffries seems close to pick em' to me.

The other part of the thread is how would Jeffries look in modern times? Most old timer fighters were on the small side, but could get away with being smaller because there were not skilled super heavyweights around to test them. Jeffries is the lone old timer ( pre Liston ) rated in the top 15 that had modern size. With the advances of nutrition, it is plausible that he would be even bigger and stronger. In his era, Jeffires was about 6’1” ˝ inches, 220 pounds with a 76 ˝ to 77” reach. This is enough to comepte today. How much would these numbers go up if he were born in the modern era? I see him about 6'3", 230-235 pounds in shape, which means he doesn't give up too much weight. 230 vs 250 is not a huge problem when the skills are close. 200 vs 250 is. The other thing to consider is could Jeffries learn the modern style of boxing? I think he could because he was a very good and well cordinated athlete. In a 12 round fight, Jeffries could afford to throw double the amount of punches he did in a 20 or 25 round fight. Jeffries would be champion today, and could certainly beat Lewis, Both K-bros, Foreman and Liston.

Size, power, speed, stamina, durability, and heart are key traits for heavyweights. Jeffries had them. It seems to me that Lewis and Wladimir Klitschko lacked durability vs punchers. Foreman lacked speed, and stamina, and could be hurt by punchers too. Liston lacked speed and maybe some heart. Vitlai Klitschko is harder to peg. He really does not have a major flaw in his game, however he probably wasn’t extra special as the other fighters could be in some areas, and lacks a big win on his resume.

In closing I believe if ( and it’s a big if ) Jeffries could adapt to the modern style, use the jab, and set things up with the hook, or right hand, I think he has the right stuff to beat all of the above fighters in 12 or 15 round matches. It no guarantee, but I think he could beat them. While Lewis, Wlad and Liston hit harder than anyone Jeffries fought, we have to factor in the gloves. Those old 6 oz gloves which could show knuckle imprints lacked the modern safety stuffing. They cut guys up easier too. A lack of gum shields made taking punches on the chin a bit harder. I think Fitzsimmons’ power with the old equipment is close enough to what the best modern punchers hit today.
The question isnt what Lewis or any of the others would do 100 years ago ,but what Jeffries would do against them ,over 15rounds given modern training methods,we are taking his size ,6 2 220lbs as it is,when I say training methods I mean in preparing for the fight,not magically giving him height ,weight and stylistic enhance ments. We can accept that over 15 rounds Jeffires would certainly up his work rate ,not being concerned about conserving energy for the long haul,they wear modern gloves so the playing feild is equal for both parties.If you like you can give Jeffries a year to train behind closed doors ,to adjust to the modern pace and styles of his opponents ,I dont want to load the dice against him,just curious about the forums perception of him.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: How does Jeffries fare against the big heavyweights of the recent era?

I think he would do prety well. He would be faster and more mobile than most of them for a start. An interesting role reversal.
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Old 10-15-2007, 08:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: How does Jeffries fare against the big heavyweights of the recent era?

With the recent revelations about Marion Jones you have to wonder if modern athletes have an unfair advantage, and remember Jones never failed any testing. So what am I saying a Jeffries with an unfair advantage would blast through this current crop in much the same way Tyson did twenty years ago there is no doubt.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:16 AM   #8
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Default Re: How does Jeffries fare against the big heavyweights of the recent era?

deleted by poster

(I thought the initital post hadn't stipulated 15 rounds; however, on a re-re-reading I noticed the very ending of the post had some implication that were looking at a 15-rounder. Apologies).
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