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Old 09-01-2007, 11:27 AM   #16
Mendoza
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

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Originally Posted by Ted Spoon
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.
Not so Mr. Spoon. Johnson's style in most of his filmed fights was cautious to avoid being clipped himself. Johnson preferred to play it safe in all filmed fights vs men who could hit excpet for the Willard fight where he pressed it for an early ending. This included the Jeffries fight. Early on, Jeffries had something left. If you watch an un-edited film you'll see what I am talking about. At the end of round one, Jeffries fires a ferocious hook that missed Johnson by a very small margin that in my opinion would have floored Johnson. Johnson was cautious until Jeffries ran out of gas, and grew old in the ring which happened around round 5.

In almost all cases Johnson only turned into a tiger when he was hurt or his opponent was ready to go. This was his M.O. in the ring. Johnson was not one to press for a knockout, because he knew he did not have the top chin to take it. When matched vs a fighter his size who could hit a bit ( Griffin, McVey, Hart, Jeffries, Moran ) Johnson was never aggressive early. While Johnson did play to the crowd, he mostly did that in certain situations. IE, when he had had his man in a vice like grip, when his opponent was very tired, or was easily out classing a much smaller opponent. But when his man was fresh and could hit, we see a different style from Johnson.
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:06 PM   #17
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

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Originally Posted by Mendoza
Not so Mr. Spoon. Johnson's style in most of his filmed fights was cautious to avoid being clipped himself. Johnson preferred to play it safe in all filmed fights vs men who could hit excpet for the Willard fight where he pressed it for an early ending. This included the Jeffries fight. Early on, Jeffries had something left. If you watch an un-edited film you'll see what I am talking about. At the end of round one, Jeffries fires a ferocious hook that missed Johnson by a very small margin that in my opinion would have floored Johnson. Johnson was cautious until Jeffries ran out of gas, and grew old in the ring which happened around round 5.

In almost all cases Johnson only turned into a tiger when he was hurt or his opponent was ready to go. This was his M.O. in the ring. Johnson was not one to press for a knockout, because he knew he did not have the top chin to take it. When matched vs a fighter his size who could hit a bit ( Griffin, McVey, Hart, Jeffries, Moran ) Johnson was never aggressive early. While Johnson did play to the crowd, he mostly did that in certain situations. IE, when he had had his man in a vice like grip, when his opponent was very tired, or was easily out classing a much smaller opponent. But when his man was fresh and could hit, we see a different style from Johnson.
This is an entirely plausible scenario, but it's a bit of a myth that's Johnson's defensive style was used to mask a constitution weakness.

Johnson came from a meat-grinder of a background and had to flat-out fight at times. He was a physical phenomí with a hefty punch, and had he chose to fight in the trenches, he would have been very successful still. Joe Choynski put it best when he famously said: "A man who moves like you should not have to take a punch" - Johnson had a natural rhythm and harnessed it, Johnson was still ill-taught and Choynski's punching ability is put on the top shelf by his top opponents.

Johnson is clearly focused on diffusing Jeffries early to figure him out, but was always in control. There are times in the fight when Jeffries gets too fresh, so Johnson rips him an uppercut. Johnson would never of let the fight get out of his hands. This is the point.

Johnson went at Willard because he knew in his heart he was not in shape and he had a long time to go. Exactly the same scenario as Jeffries.

Johnson chose when to turn in on in a fight, and Jeffries best bet was an early rush. He broke even.

Johnson's style in the ring was fuelled by a political agenda. The best way to get back at his detractors was to string-out a beating and be-little his opponent and interact with the crowd.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:48 PM   #18
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

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Originally Posted by Ted Spoon
This is an entirely plausible scenario, but it's a bit of a myth that's Johnson's defensive style was used to mask a constitution weakness.

Johnson came from a meat-grinder of a background and had to flat-out fight at times. He was a physical phenomí with a hefty punch, and had he chose to fight in the trenches, he would have been very successful still. Joe Choynski put it best when he famously said: "A man who moves like you should not have to take a punch" - Johnson had a natural rhythm and harnessed it, Johnson was still ill-taught and Choynski's punching ability is put on the top shelf by his top opponents.

Johnson is clearly focused on diffusing Jeffries early to figure him out, but was always in control. There are times in the fight when Jeffries gets too fresh, so Johnson rips him an uppercut. Johnson would never of let the fight get out of his hands. This is the point.

Johnson went at Willard because he knew in his heart he was not in shape and he had a long time to go. Exactly the same scenario as Jeffries.

Johnson chose when to turn in on in a fight, and Jeffries best bet was an early rush. He broke even.

Johnson's style in the ring was fuelled by a political agenda. The best way to get back at his detractors was to string-out a beating and be-little his opponent and interact with the crowd.
Totally agree Johnson wasnt a get you out of there guy,as Gunboat Smith said ,"if you didnt hurt him ,he wouldnt hurt you",Johnson loafed his way to victory,he was in first gear against Jeffries,and it wasnt because he was worried about his chin either.Johnson went for thre finish against Willard,who by the way hit a damn sight harder than the by then washed up 35 year old Jeffries,because inthe stifling Havana heat ,he knew his chances of going the 45 rds were remote,given his age and recent life style.
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Old 09-01-2007, 02:20 PM   #19
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted Spoon
This is an entirely plausible scenario, but it's a bit of a myth that's Johnson's defensive style was used to mask a constitution weakness.

Johnson came from a meat-grinder of a background and had to flat-out fight at times. He was a physical phenomí with a hefty punch, and had he chose to fight in the trenches, he would have been very successful still. Joe Choynski put it best when he famously said: "A man who moves like you should not have to take a punch" - Johnson had a natural rhythm and harnessed it, Johnson was still ill-taught and Choynski's punching ability is put on the top shelf by his top opponents.

Johnson is clearly focused on diffusing Jeffries early to figure him out, but was always in control. There are times in the fight when Jeffries gets too fresh, so Johnson rips him an uppercut. Johnson would never of let the fight get out of his hands. This is the point.

Johnson went at Willard because he knew in his heart he was not in shape and he had a long time to go. Exactly the same scenario as Jeffries.

Johnson chose when to turn in on in a fight, and Jeffries best bet was an early rush. He broke even.

Johnson's style in the ring was fuelled by a political agenda. The best way to get back at his detractors was to string-out a beating and be-little his opponent and interact with the crowd.
Well done. I enjoy reading your posts Ted Spoon, but in this case I have fundamental dis-agreement as I feel Johnson's style was cautious by design to avoid being Ko'd. Johnson had air of caution about him in most of his filmed fights. In some ways he was a bit like Roy Jones or Jersey Joe Walcott. The angle I am looking for is speedy- skilled fighters with good power who did not risk much in terms of exchanges due to suspect durability.

I agree with you that Johnson could hit. Absolutely, and his uppercut was among the best in the history of the division. Yet when I look at Johnson's combined 20 fights vs McVey, Jeanette, Ferguson, Griffin, and Langford I only see 1 KO win. The KO win in this case vs vs a young Sam Mcvey in round 20! Johnson failed to finish several others as well and in most cases he was the bigger man, or the fighter in his prime.

So we have an odd paradox here. On one hand, we have a guy who can punch. On the other hand, he isn't scoring knockouts. While the above names were tough men for sure, the ring reports I read said Johnson was mostly passive vs them, except for Langford who he went after. In fairness to Langford, he wasn't above the middle weight limit when he mixed it with Johnson.

The yellow streak remark directed toward Johnson from some members of the press was undoubtedly seeded in racism; however it is not without some substance. Johnson capitulated vs Klondike, failed to stand and fight vs Hart, and quit due to an injury vs Battling Jim Johnson in a title fight. When the going got tough for him, Johnson was no lion. However, when things were going his way, he most certainly played it safe, and played to the crowd.
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Old 09-01-2007, 04:50 PM   #20
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

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Originally Posted by Mendoza
I feel Johnson's style was cautious by design to avoid being Ko'd. Johnson had air of caution about him in most of his filmed fights. In some ways he was a bit like Roy Jones or Jersey Joe Walcott. The angle I am looking for is speedy- skilled fighters with good power who did not risk much in terms of exchanges due to suspect durability.
If I might make a suggestion perhaps Johnsons style is more rooted in his origins than his physical assets.

When Johnson started fighting contenders he was often sleeping rough and not eating before fights. If there was a bufet after a fight he would pocket about 30 sandwiches.

Under these circumstances the only way he could be efective was to develop a style based around economy of effort. In other words a cautious defensive style. Perhaps these circumstances accidentaly made Johnson the defensive master he ultimately became.

To play devils advocate, perhaps a Johnson brought along from his pro debut would have ended up a slugger.
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:11 PM   #21
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

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Well done. I enjoy reading your posts Ted Spoon, but in this case I have fundamental dis-agreement as I feel Johnson's style was cautious by design to avoid being Ko'd. Johnson had air of caution about him in most of his filmed fights. In some ways he was a bit like Roy Jones or Jersey Joe Walcott. The angle I am looking for is speedy- skilled fighters with good power who did not risk much in terms of exchanges due to suspect durability.

I agree with you that Johnson could hit. Absolutely, and his uppercut was among the best in the history of the division. Yet when I look at Johnson's combined 20 fights vs McVey, Jeanette, Ferguson, Griffin, and Langford I only see 1 KO win. The KO win in this case vs vs a young Sam Mcvey in round 20! Johnson failed to finish several others as well and in most cases he was the bigger man, or the fighter in his prime.

So we have an odd paradox here. On one hand, we have a guy who can punch. On the other hand, he isn't scoring knockouts. While the above names were tough men for sure, the ring reports I read said Johnson was mostly passive vs them, except for Langford who he went after. In fairness to Langford, he wasn't above the middle weight limit when he mixed it with Johnson.

The yellow streak remark directed toward Johnson from some members of the press was undoubtedly seeded in racism; however it is not without some substance. Johnson capitulated vs Klondike, failed to stand and fight vs Hart, and quit due to an injury vs Battling Jim Johnson in a title fight. When the going got tough for him, Johnson was no lion. However, when things were going his way, he most certainly played it safe, and played to the crowd.
I think you are way off the mark implying Johnson had a yellow streak,imo he was a brave man ,I think he had to be to carry on the way he did,like him or loathe him there was no dog in Johnson,against Harty he had the better of the early rounds ,and Hart came on at the end,,Jack was still maturing when he fought Klondike,against Jim Johnson ,Jack broke his arm,a pretty good reason for retiring.Johnson once addressed a KKK meeting ,alone and without protection,does that sound like a coward to you?Jack didnt score many kos stoppages werent important to him,and against White opponents he preferred to make them look silly,as he did against Tony Ross,in the first round Johnson broke ross,s nose,and split his lip,then floored him,but during the next 5 rounds ,[it was a 6 rounder]Johnson slowed up and allowed Ross to finish on his feet.The same with Al Kaufman,Johnson came in to the fight grossly out of shape ,did just enough to win,throwing enough punches to keep Kaufman honest .Johnson was the opposite of someone like Tyson,he would do just enough and no morethat isnt a reflection on his heart ,but his temperament.
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:45 PM   #22
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

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Originally Posted by Mendoza
Well done. I enjoy reading your posts Ted Spoon, but in this case I have fundamental dis-agreement as I feel Johnson's style was cautious by design to avoid being Ko'd. Johnson had air of caution about him in most of his filmed fights. In some ways he was a bit like Roy Jones or Jersey Joe Walcott. The angle I am looking for is speedy- skilled fighters with good power who did not risk much in terms of exchanges due to suspect durability.

I agree with you that Johnson could hit. Absolutely, and his uppercut was among the best in the history of the division. Yet when I look at Johnson's combined 20 fights vs McVey, Jeanette, Ferguson, Griffin, and Langford I only see 1 KO win. The KO win in this case vs vs a young Sam Mcvey in round 20! Johnson failed to finish several others as well and in most cases he was the bigger man, or the fighter in his prime.

So we have an odd paradox here. On one hand, we have a guy who can punch. On the other hand, he isn't scoring knockouts. While the above names were tough men for sure, the ring reports I read said Johnson was mostly passive vs them, except for Langford who he went after. In fairness to Langford, he wasn't above the middle weight limit when he mixed it with Johnson.

The yellow streak remark directed toward Johnson from some members of the press was undoubtedly seeded in racism; however it is not without some substance. Johnson capitulated vs Klondike, failed to stand and fight vs Hart, and quit due to an injury vs Battling Jim Johnson in a title fight. When the going got tough for him, Johnson was no lion. However, when things were going his way, he most certainly played it safe, and played to the crowd.
Likewise on the posting comment, Mendoza.

Johnson was not the toughest fighter, he could get rattled, but he was tough; physically, and 100% mentally.

Johnson's style may have been what it was because it suited his roots, as Janitor so observantly pointed out. Dempsey did not eat often, so it was hit 'em hard n' fast. Johnson rarely ate so it was hit 'em hard n' fast as well, but perhaps down to tougher conditions, he became unhinged at crucial intervals. He was not expected to win vs. Klondike first time - it was a matter of "last a few and you'll get your money".

Dempsey's raw intensity and attacking style was forged by his brother, Bernie and all the street fighting in the mines he had. Johnson came from a background of battle royales and having to conserve your energy to complete the torrid travelling.

Choynski saw it in him, and helped walk him down the right path. He was a naturally intelligent, athletic and a very observant fighter.

Georges Carpentier, the referee for Johnson's title defence against Frank Moran, later commented: "He seems to take a ghoulish pleasure" When referring to his decision to not step up the pace and finish his man, insinuating the common theory that Johnson liked to punish to make a spectacle.

Langford, while at a physical disadvantage still labelled it as the worst beating of his career and McVey refused to fight Johnson for some time after their third battle to which Johnson, purposely again, strung out.

From a young age, Johnson learnt that he had to be smart and tread on the right tiles. As a boy he was bitten by a shark and almost killed by a horse in a ranch - he had some bizarre accidents to say the least that later moulded the economic guy you saw in the ring.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:06 PM   #23
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

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Likewise on the posting comment, Mendoza.

Johnson was not the toughest fighter, he could get rattled, but he was tough; physically, and 100% mentally.

Johnson's style may have been what it was because it suited his roots, as Janitor so observantly pointed out. Dempsey did not eat often, so it was hit 'em hard n' fast. Johnson rarely ate so it was hit 'em hard n' fast as well, but perhaps down to tougher conditions, he became unhinged at crucial intervals. He was not expected to win vs. Klondike first time - it was a matter of "last a few and you'll get your money".

Dempsey's raw intensity and attacking style was forged by his brother, Bernie and all the street fighting in the mines he had. Johnson came from a background of battle royales and having to conserve your energy to complete the torrid travelling.

Choynski saw it in him, and helped walk him down the right path. He was a naturally intelligent, athletic and a very observant fighter.

Georges Carpentier, the referee for Johnson's title defence against Frank Moran, later commented: "He seems to take a ghoulish pleasure" When referring to his decision to not step up the pace and finish his man, insinuating the common theory that Johnson liked to punish to make a spectacle.

Langford, while at a physical disadvantage still labelled it as the worst beating of his career and McVey refused to fight Johnson for some time after their third battle to which Johnson, purposely again, strung out.

From a young age, Johnson learnt that he had to be smart and tread on the right tiles. As a boy he was bitten by a shark and almost killed by a horse in a ranch - he had some bizarre accidents to say the least that later moulded the economic guy you saw in the ring.
Johnsons cruelty might also be a product of his origins.

In battle royales it was common for three or so local fighters to gang up on anoutsider to eliminate him then fight it out among themselves.

Johnson was usualy the outsider.

In one bettle royale he knocked one member of a coalition down and said-

"If you get up I will kill you"

He then proceeded to finish the others off.

Could it be that Johnson's cruelty towards his oponents was intended to inspire fear in future oponents?

In a way Jack Johnson is the opposite of Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson is scary because he will tear you apart in 30 seaconds. Jack Johnson is scary because he will torture you for 20 rounds and put you through a world of pain.
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Old 09-01-2007, 06:23 PM   #24
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

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Johnsons cruelty might also be a product of his origins.

In battle royales it was common for three or so local fighters to gang up on anoutsider to eliminate him then fight it out among themselves.

Johnson was usualy the outsider.

In one bettle royale he knocked one member of a coalition down and said-

"If you get up I will kill you"

He then proceeded to finish the others off.

Could it be that Johnson's cruelty towards his oponents was intended to inspire fear in future oponents?

In a way Jack Johnson is the opposite of Mike Tyson. Mike Tyson is scary because he will tear you apart in 30 seaconds. Jack Johnson is scary because he will torture you for 20 rounds and put you through a world of pain.
I dont know that Johnson allways prolonged fights to torture opponents ,he waltzed through his bout with O Brien,overweight and undertrained ,he allowed Ross and Kaufman to last against him and would have let Ketchel go the distance ,he picked him up a couple of time to prevent him falling "whoa Stanley where you going boy?" ,if ketchel hadnt had a rush of blood to the head,Johnson toyed with Burns and punished him ,but I think he was entitled to,the day before the fight Burns called him a jumped up N****R,and a damned Hyena,,the same with Jeffries ,I dont think Johnson had a lot of animosity to Jeffries personally ,apart from being refused a shot at the title for years Johnson was answering the massive white crowd who sat there hoping to see him thrashed ,just because he was a different colour,Johnson did give Langford agoing over but they disliked each other intensely,Jack was more sporting towards Jeanette whom he liked.
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Old 09-02-2007, 08:39 AM   #25
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Default Re: Jeffries - How far gone?

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Originally Posted by janitor
If I might make a suggestion perhaps Johnsons style is more rooted in his origins than his physical assets.

When Johnson started fighting contenders he was often sleeping rough and not eating before fights. If there was a bufet after a fight he would pocket about 30 sandwiches.

Under these circumstances the only way he could be efective was to develop a style based around economy of effort. In other words a cautious defensive style. Perhaps these circumstances accidentaly made Johnson the defensive master he ultimately became.

To play devils advocate, perhaps a Johnson brought along from his pro debut would have ended up a slugger.
I can buy into some of this, but in truth a man needs to eat about a half of what he does in modern times to function well. Beleive it or not, the food 50, and 100 years ago were loaded with better nutrition. This is especially true of vegetables, meat and fish.

Regarding Johnsonís style, most fighters pick the best style for them. Johnson was one of the smarter heavyweight champions. He spoke a few languages. He was his own business man. And in the ring he new what would work best for him. Johnsonís style is rooted in three tiers.

1 ) He learned the concept and importance of defense and clinching from his battle royal days.

2 ) He learned to be cautious because could be undone by big punches. In most cases Johnson's natural atheletism advantage over his opponents meant he didn't have to take it unless he wanted to. We see this cautious nature in the filmed fights.

3 ) He learned the art of the uppercut from Griffin, and how to strike quick blows from Peter Jackson's old trainer.

These three life experiences formed a fusion of his ring skills and style preferences that began to peak in the mid 1900ís and stayed with Johnson for the rest of his career.

Issuing taunts and playing to the crowd worked to Johnsonís advantages because he could be a frustrating fighter to hit. Angry fighters lose their stamina and focus far quicker then relaxed and focused fighters. Johnson had a way with words that worked well on his opponents. Johnson would put the vice grips and taunt his man. Lean on him, then sneak in some in-fighting blows and re-set. It wasnít always crowd pleasing pugilism, but it worked in his era vs the opponents he meet for the most part.
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