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Old 08-29-2007, 09:54 PM   #1
Russell
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Default Jeffries - How far gone?

How far gone was the ol' Boilermaker when he lost for the first time against Johnson?

He was older, but not unbelievably old looking at any number of HW's over the years, especially today.

He looked, at least physically, to be quite fit.

He did have some serious, serious injuries over the course of his career, though. The beating he took at the hands of Fitz before beating him was legendary.

Then again, I can think of very few if any fighters who had shorter careers than Jeffries. Did that preserve him in any number of ways when he came back against Johnson?

Thoughts?
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:45 AM   #2
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

I agree with what Flabby Gut said and would just like to add that it's not always about being in physical shape, but also mentally in shape.
Jeffries probably just lost his intensity. He no longer had that eye of the tiger in there, and once you lose that, it's goodnight sweet prince.
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Old 08-30-2007, 03:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

Totally and completely gone. Johnson beat a complete shell. Jeff just took the fight for the money (way too much to turn down at any age) and because of the public pressure. NO ONE can come back after 5-6 years off and in their first fight back take on a prime and sharp champion and expect to have a ghost of a chance in a lengthy fight (scheduled for 45 rounds - Jeff almost lasted 15). Jeff looked really old to me in the training footage - not only his body, but he didn't look sharp at all. Compare his body there to the photos of him in his prime and you'll see the difference. The fight was a total joke and Johnson seemed to be the only one who realized it going in.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

The bottom line is we don't know.

While it is highly likley that Jeffries was a shell we don't have any other comeback fights to judge him by.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:43 AM   #5
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell
How far gone was the ol' Boilermaker when he lost for the first time against Johnson?

He was older, but not unbelievably old looking at any number of HW's over the years, especially today.

He looked, at least physically, to be quite fit.

He did have some serious, serious injuries over the course of his career, though. The beating he took at the hands of Fitz before beating him was legendary.

Then again, I can think of very few if any fighters who had shorter careers than Jeffries. Did that preserve him in any number of ways when he came back against Johnson?

Thoughts?
Jeffries was the original "hollow shell",Im a big Johnson fan ,butJeffries had nothing,he had been out of the game for years ,had to take off 100lbs of lard,even an iron constitution like his couldnt take it,he was overawed by the circumstances he found himself in,couldnt sleep refused to meet the press,complained that he was the betting favourite,neither his mind nor his body were right to meet the best man in the world at that time,Johnson was in the condition of his life and telegraphed his brother Claude "put every cent you own on me to win",John L Sullivan visited Jeffries training camp, asked about Jeff,s condition he said "Jeffries will take punishment",Jim Corbett was loudest at running down Johnson but neglected to attend his training sessions,when he saw the shape Jack was in fell silent,physically Jeffries looked the part,but his endurance ,stamina and even his mighty strength were very diminished ,Johnson handled Jeff easily in the clinches.racism was the cause of the fight ,and it got got Jeffries a royal arse whipping.
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Old 08-30-2007, 05:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

The evidence suggests, all Jeffries could do in training was lose the weight, so he did look OK walking into the ring, but from the accounts I have read, Jeffries was far from convinced he could win.

This fight though was the end for Johnson as well, his lifestyle caught up with him post Jeffires and his performances post 1910 were sporadic and poor.

Last edited by TBooze; 08-30-2007 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBooze
This fight though was the end for Johnson as well, his lifestyle caught up with him post Jeffires and his performance post 1910 were sporadic and poor.
Good observation.

Johnson esentialy went into the tank post Jeffries.

I think that after this date he would have been ready to be taken by Sam Langford.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

As much as I like Langford's style and hate Johnson's, Sam was way too small to deal with Johnson's impenetrable defense - the height, reach, and size differentials were simply too much, even if Johnson was diminished.

As for Jeff - name anyone in boxing history who took 6 years off and then came back and fought the champ in their first fight back and was successful. I'd say impossible. Name anyone in sports history. To rest is to rust and anyone who is an elite athlete at anything knows this. Boxing history has proven it over and over and over again.

Pick something you do well, any sport. Don't do it for six years. Then try to do it against the person who is your top competition, only they keep doing it consistently during that time you took off. See how well you do against them.
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Old 08-30-2007, 01:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by apollack
As much as I like Langford's style and hate Johnson's, Sam was way too small to deal with Johnson's impenetrable defense - the height, reach, and size differentials were simply too much, even if Johnson was diminished.

As for Jeff - name anyone in boxing history who took 6 years off and then came back and fought the champ in their first fight back and was successful. I'd say impossible. Name anyone in sports history. To rest is to rust and anyone who is an elite athlete at anything knows this. Boxing history has proven it over and over and over again.

Pick something you do well, any sport. Don't do it for six years. Then try to do it against the person who is your top competition, only they keep doing it consistently during that time you took off. See how well you do against them.
Well said. Jeffries was too far gone to come back. If anything can be said about Jeffries vs Johnson its that history focuses too much on the racialy charged part of the fight, and not enough on the fight itself.

The fight was a bit boring, slow, and not the blow out one would assume from selected highlight clips. It seems like in-activity, advanced age and heat got to Jeffries. The first four rounds of the fight were even 2-2. I watched them. Johnson won the 5th big, the two drew in the 6th though Johnson was cut. Then the rest of the fight was mostly Johnson's except in rounds 9 and 10 when Jeffries rallied and hurt Johnson with body shots. By the 11th round to finish, Jeffries was running on empty. It was at this time when Johnson decided to up the pace and finish the job. The ending was sudden and shocking as Jeffries took everything Johnson had eariler. Jeffries showed some spark comming off his stool, then but suddenly collpased from a huge upper cut followed by three quick lefts. Dehydration could have been an issue. Beleive it or not, I see no water bottles being used in the film in either corner on a hot summer day.

The point history misses is Johnson had a superior corner advantage. Jeffries corner was run by Corbett. The advise Corbett gave him, and the verbal shots Corbett fired at Johnson fulled Johnson. The camp Corbett ran was awfull and full of has been fighters. Johnson's camps was full of younger sparring partners. Johnson hired Jeffries old trainer Billy Delaney for his corner. A man who was very familar with Jeffries. To put into context Jeffries was not only fighting age, in-activity, he was up agaisnt a corner who knew him very well.
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Old 08-31-2007, 05:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by apollack
As much as I like Langford's style and hate Johnson's, Sam was way too small to deal with Johnson's impenetrable defense - the height, reach, and size differentials were simply too much, even if Johnson was diminished.
Depends just how far diminished Johnson was when they fought. I tend to think that Sam Langford would have got him before Jess Willard did given a chance.

Johnson was actualy sectioned breifly after the Jeffries fight. By the time of the Flyn fight he was said to have visibly deteriorated and was contemplating retirment. After that it was down down down.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:00 AM   #11
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

36 years old off for 5-6 years, had to lose 100 lbs, no tune up, you tell me, WAS HE OFF?
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:47 AM   #12
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendoza
Well said. Jeffries was too far gone to come back. If anything can be said about Jeffries vs Johnson its that history focuses too much on the racialy charged part of the fight, and not enough on the fight itself.

The fight was a bit boring, slow, and not the blow out one would assume from selected highlight clips. It seems like in-activity, advanced age and heat got to Jeffries. The first four rounds of the fight were even 2-2. I watched them. Johnson won the 5th big, the two drew in the 6th though Johnson was cut. Then the rest of the fight was mostly Johnson's except in rounds 9 and 10 when Jeffries rallied and hurt Johnson with body shots. By the 11th round to finish, Jeffries was running on empty. It was at this time when Johnson decided to up the pace and finish the job. The ending was sudden and shocking as Jeffries took everything Johnson had eariler. Jeffries showed some spark comming off his stool, then but suddenly collpased from a huge upper cut followed by three quick lefts. Dehydration could have been an issue. Beleive it or not, I see no water bottles being used in the film in either corner on a hot summer day.

The point history misses is Johnson had a superior corner advantage. Jeffries corner was run by Corbett. The advise Corbett gave him, and the verbal shots Corbett fired at Johnson fulled Johnson. The camp Corbett ran was awfull and full of has been fighters. Johnson's camps was full of younger sparring partners. Johnson hired Jeffries old trainer Billy Delaney for his corner. A man who was very familar with Jeffries. To put into context Jeffries was not only fighting age, in-activity, he was up agaisnt a corner who knew him very well.
Johnson sustained a cut lip in training ,which Jeffries reopened,the running banter Johnson had with Corbett was as one sided as the fight,after landing a sequence of unanswered blows ,Jack turned to Corbett and said "did you happen to catch that little uppercut there Jim?" Johnson was cruel that day but who can blame him?the tune played over and over that day was "All c***s look alike to me",Johnson was arrogant ,preening and conceited,but never lacked courage,he had many death threats prior to the fight,and knew full well that the vast majority of the crowd hated his guts,it took a brave man to even enter the ring that afternoon.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:07 AM   #13
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

Jeff was pretty gone in the 7 rounds I have. I belive Johnson won all 7. One of the most one sided fights I seen imo.
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Old 09-01-2007, 09:45 AM   #14
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcvey
Johnson sustained a cut lip in training ,which Jeffries reopened,the running banter Johnson had with Corbett was as one sided as the fight,after landing a sequence of unanswered blows ,Jack turned to Corbett and said "did you happen to catch that little uppercut there Jim?" Johnson was cruel that day but who can blame him?the tune played over and over that day was "All c***s look alike to me",Johnson was arrogant ,preening and conceited,but never lacked courage,he had many death threats prior to the fight,and knew full well that the vast majority of the crowd hated his guts,it took a brave man to even enter the ring that afternoon.

Johnson could afford to be outlandish because he had an entourage of security people at the Jeffries fight. At the end of the fight, at least 20 of Johnson's security people and cornerman stormed the ring to make sure someone did not try to do something stupid.

Outside the ring, Johnson enjoyed protection from the mob. In Chicago Jack had a swinging night club where one could dance, gamble, and mix with prostitutes. The police ignored his place because they were paid off. To say that Johnson had his share of friends in Chicago is true. In fact there are films of Johnsonís welcome home in the streets of Chicago. Johnson seemed to interact very well with a mostly white crowd.

What Johnson could not avoid was the USA federal government who used the Mann Act law to rail road him.
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Old 09-01-2007, 10:16 AM   #15
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
The bottom line is we don't know.

While it is highly likley that Jeffries was a shell we don't have any other comeback fights to judge him by.
This is the most important subject concerning the fight.

Had Jeffries, who we all know was not the same fighter in 1910, had demonstrated some ability vs. a fellow contender of the day, the worth of Johnson's signature victory would go up ten-fold. We did not know where we were with Jeffries, and after all the hyper-bowl from the papers, people started getting realistic when Johnson won so easily.

Rocky Marciano's win over Joe Louis has recently gained some deserved respect over the years due to Louis showing his faded but still effective ability vs. other capable men.

Jeffries had gotten himself in good shape, for his age that is. As poor quality as the film is of Sharkey II and Ruhlin, it's clear to Ted Spoon that Jeffries strength, speed, subtle movements and wind had all greatly suffered due to the lay off and the un-healthy, extreme weight shedding.

Finally, with regards to the fight, Johnson had Jeffries on a leash the whole time. Much is made of the initial 2-2 scoring and Johnson's cut lip. Johnson was just taking his time and made sure the 'white race' got to witness a slow execution of their boy.
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