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Old 02-26-2014, 03:02 PM   #1
Bummy Davis
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Default Knocking Out Jack Johnson

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[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]One of the best boxers never to win a championship, “Chrysanthemum” Joe Choynski (1868-1943) knocked out a young Jack Johnson in their third round on this date in 1901 and then became Johnson’s trainer and prepared him for his own reign as America’s first black heavyweight champ. Choynski’s father was a Polish immigrant journalist and bookseller in San Francisco who battled anti-Semitism and political corruption. As a boxer, Choynski’s heyday came at the turn of the 20th century: In non-title fights, he fared well against future champions, losing to James Corbett in the 27th round, and fighting a much bigger James Jeffries to a 20-round draw. (Choynski was under six feet tall and weighed only 176, but fought as a heavyweight.) His fight with Jack Johnson took place in Galveston, Texas, and both men were arrested by the Texas Rangers for their unlicensed match (which violated the Jim Crow laws). They spent twenty-three days in jail together, during which time Choynski sparred daily with Johnson and told him, “A man who can move like you should never have to take a punch.” Choynski was inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1998. He ended his career with 55 wins, 39 by knockout, 15 losses, 11 by knockout, and five draws. After retiring, he toured in a production of “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” and consulted on the production of the Jim Corbett biopic, “Gentleman Jim.”
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]“Choynski had a paralyzing punch. His left hand was a corker. He was the hardest puncher in the last fifty years . . . I think his left hook was even more effective than either Dempsey s.” —Jack Johnson
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Knocking Out Jack Johnson

Joe Choynski sure could punch. Multiple fighters he fought claimed he was the hardest puncher of them all. However he lost far too many fights he should of won but he did well against the best compettion. I have heard that Jeffries deserved the nod in their encounter having scored 3 knockdowns and generally outmuscling the smaller man but that their was big money on the contest and that is why a draw was rendered. Has anyone else heard this story.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Knocking Out Jack Johnson

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Joe Choynski sure could punch. Multiple fighters he fought claimed he was the hardest puncher of them all. However he lost far too many fights he should of won but he did well against the best compettion. I have heard that Jeffries deserved the nod in their encounter having scored 3 knockdowns and generally outmuscling the smaller man but that their was big money on the contest and that is why a draw was rendered. Has anyone else heard this story.
The accounts I've seen say there was just the one knockdown, in either the second or the third, and Choynski apparently bounced up unhurt. No one seems to have been particularly unhappy with the decision - as you'd expect Choynski was outmuscled but did the more skillful work, ducking out of trouble and scoring with a straight left.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: Knocking Out Jack Johnson

Recently finished reading the excellent Choynski biography which says jeffries knocked him down twice, 3rd and 15th if I remember right.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:14 PM   #5
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Recently finished reading the excellent Choynski biography which says jeffries knocked him down twice, 3rd and 15th if I remember right.
Looking at the round by round, it says the knockdown in the 3rd was the only one, but it does also mention Choynski slipping to his knees in the 15th. Depends who you ask, no doubt.

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Old 02-27-2014, 01:55 PM   #6
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Looking at the round by round, it says the knockdown in the 3rd was the only one, but it does also mention Choynski slipping to his knees in the 15th. Depends who you ask, no doubt.

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The Choynski biography uses seven different newspapers as a source for the Jeffries fight. It says the only one to refer to it as a slip is the San Francisco Call .... which looks like the one you've put a link for.
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:13 PM   #7
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Default Re: Knocking Out Jack Johnson

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The Choynski biography uses seven different newspapers as a source for the Jeffries fight. It says the only one to refer to it as a slip is the San Francisco Call .... which looks like the one you've put a link for.
Well, I shall raise you an Associated Press report which doesn't mention a 15th round knockdown at all.

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Old 02-27-2014, 05:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Knocking Out Jack Johnson

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Originally Posted by BeerGut View Post
Recently finished reading the excellent Choynski biography which says jeffries knocked him down twice, 3rd and 15th if I remember right.

Choynski was down 2 or 3 times depending on your source.

Last edited by Mendoza; 02-28-2014 at 10:18 AM.
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:12 PM   #9
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Other way around. Choynski was down 2 or 3 times depending on your source.
What's the other way around?
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:30 PM   #10
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Default Re: Knocking Out Jack Johnson

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Recently finished reading the excellent Choynski biography which says jeffries knocked him down twice, 3rd and 15th if I remember right.
This is correct.
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Old 03-01-2014, 05:51 AM   #11
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Default Re: Knocking Out Jack Johnson

Thanks for the clear up, so two knockdowns scored for the boilermaker. I wonder if the verdict was viewed as fair or if their were leanings towards James as the winner.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:03 AM   #12
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Thanks for the clear up, so two knockdowns scored for the boilermaker. I wonder if the verdict was viewed as fair or if their were leanings towards James as the winner.
Going into the fight, Choynski was more well known of the two. Choysnki ran for the second half of the fight with Jeffries forcing the action. If I'm not mistake Jeffries was quoted that he knocked Choynski down three times in Two Fisted Jeff.

You can see the two sparring in 1910. Even in middle age, Choynski is quick as a cat on his feet.
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Old 03-01-2014, 03:15 PM   #13
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This is interesting link and written only last month although it seems to perpetuate some of the jeffries myths.
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Old 03-02-2014, 04:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Knocking Out Jack Johnson

According to dear old Nat Fleischer a Texas judge chastised Choynski for taking advantage of his young opponent’s inexperience. That should be somewhere in the Black Dynamite series.
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Old 03-04-2014, 02:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Knocking Out Jack Johnson

Joe Choynski knocked out Jack Johnson in 3 rounds. It just shows how overrated Jack Johnson was. No matter how hard Joe Choynski could punch he was 160 or so odd pounds most of his career. No middleweight in history should be able to knock out a real heavyweight.

It is funny how most people will still have Johnson high on their all time great heavyweight list because old timers tell them he was great.
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