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Old 01-25-2010, 04:58 AM   #1
bodhi
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HomocideHanks thread on Tommy Burns just remembered me that many hw champs are terribly overlooked. Now I thouhgt I make a thread to discuss these overlooked champs and make a case for them to be ranked in the Top20 or even Top15.

I picked the following but you can add others if you like (from the 80s on there were too many champs so I would just cut it off there):
- Marvin Hart
- Tommy Burns
- Jess Willard
- Jack Sharkey
- James Braddock
- Ernie Terrell
- Jimmy Ellis
- Leon Spinks
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:23 AM   #2
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Leon Spinks was the worst of that list. Terell is below Hart. Ellis is also below Hart. Willard is above Terell, but below Burns, Braddock, Sharkey. Hart is below Willard.

-Burns
-Braddock
-Sharkey
-Willard
-Hart
-Terrell
-Ellis
-Spinks

Sharkey, for all his talent, should be number one on the list. However, he was so inconsistant, its hard to genuinely place him at #1, but then again so was Braddock, however the Cinderella Man was consistant when it counted. Pound for pound Burns trumps them all, as he fought the best from middleweight to heavyweight.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:26 AM   #3
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Tommy Burns was a beast. even on film he looks pretty good IMO. Lovely right hand.
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Old 01-25-2010, 08:30 AM   #4
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its a shame there isnt that much film of him in existence.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:28 AM   #5
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Jack Sharkey is the number 1 for me. Not sure how I'd place the rest.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:29 PM   #6
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Braddock's an interesting call. His cinderella story against Max Baer is epic. Although he got a bunch of awful losses in his record.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:51 PM   #7
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My take (To-day!)
Sharkey
Burns
Ellis
Hart
Willard
Braddock
Terrell
Spinks
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:30 PM   #8
bodhi
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All people giving me lists ... haven't you read my thread-starting post. I want you to make a case for these fighters to be ranked inside the Top20 at heavyweight. It's probably easiest for Sharkey and hardest for Spinks but nevertheless it should make for some interesting arguments.
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:36 PM   #9
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I dont have a top 20 but I rate Sharkey above Schmeling based on their h2h, rate him over Carnera, Baer, Loughran. probably over Charles and Walcott so I guess he is pretty well a top 20 guy. Think Dempsey, Loughran, Schmeling 1, Wills, Godfrey fights.
ps Dont think Risko, Schmeling 2, Carnera 2 etc!
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdonnellon View Post
I dont have a top 20 but I rate Sharkey above Schmeling based on their h2h, rate him over Carnera, Baer, Loughran. probably over Charles and Walcott so I guess he is pretty well a top 20 guy. Think Dempsey, Loughran, Schmeling 1, Wills, Godfrey fights.
ps Dont think Risko, Schmeling 2, Carnera 2 etc!
Really? You rank Sharkey above Schmeling, Charles and Walcott? Wow, I hear that rarely. Personally, I can't see any of those inside the Top20 but I'd like to see the arguments, if there are any.

To Sharkey and Schmeling:
The first fight was over after 4 rounds. According to ring side observers Sharkey was better up to then but you can't tell how it would turn out over 15. The second fight was a robbery according to most ringside observers and Schmeling should have won it. I don't see how you can rank Sharkey above Schmeling knowing this
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:17 PM   #11
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Willard has a solid case for top 20. Of all world champions, i think that his legacy is the one that has deteriorated. The career of virtually all world champions follow the same path. Improving performances up until the time they win the title, in their peak performance followed by a lack of desire from this point, where they lose focus. Sometimes the very best maintain it and defend regularly, maintaining this level, but this is reasobably rare.

Willard was at is best when he beat Jack Johnson, who was quite likely the greatest fighter who had ever lived when this happened. It is often forgotten, that Willard was considered an absolute beast when he won this title and easily was thought of as the dominant world champion. There was no thought that others were better fighters, even though greats like Langford, Dempsey, Wills etc were around at various stages of their careers.

Willard was bigger than any champ before, and with it, presumably he was stronger. His power was such that it had killed a man in the ring. He was a modern Superheavyweiht with skills. Today, people forget about this, but he was a Vitali Klitchsko clone, only he had far bigger reach and size advantages than Vitali. And much, much better stamina. Even today, against the Superheavys, he is one of only 2 old time champs that stack up as a modern superheavy. But he has much more movement than the current champs and much better stamina. In comparison to say, Lennox Lewis who is almost certainly top 10, he has similar size reach stamina. Both keep the fighter away with straight punches and like to fight at a distance. Both have huge straight right hands. Lewis seems to have a tighter defence but Willard has undisputedly far better stamina. I am not sure if Willard necesserally has a far better chin, as Lewis has taken big shots before, but he certainly seems to have shown better heart and desire on the occassions where that chin was actually cracked. Sadly, Willard is written off as being unskilled, mostly because in his most commonly viewed fight, he ran into a first round splattering by an undisputable all time great. Dont forget also, after the savage beating he took from Dempsey, it took incredible heart and courage to step back in the ring and actually chase a Dempsey rematch. Age and inactivity, of course meant it was never to be.

A decent portion of people actually considered Willard the greatest of all time. He was bigger than any champ who came before and simply seen as a phenonem. YOu cant beat the evolution of the species! He was bigger and stronger. Even today, he outsizes nearly all champs in front of him. Of the lineal champions to this day, Only Carnera, Bowe, Lewis, and the Klits can match his size. Carnera was simply not as good or dominant as Willard, The Klits havent even really became World champs yet (due to not fighting each other). If you subscribe to the bigger is better theory, then Willard must be to top 15 and maybe better. Head to head, if the Klits are unstoppable monsters, so is Willard!

In fact, one of the hallmarks of a great champion is that they take the title from a great champion (usually an aging one) and it takes another great champion (usually a younger more focussed one. Willard is absolutely no exception and in Johnson and Dempsey, he has probably the greatest "pair" of guys to start and end his run ever.

Looking over the years, it is completely forgotten today, that if you look at newspaper articles from that time, the consensus was that Willard was an unstoppable monster and was as dominant a champion as we have seen. One that simply could not be beaten. Not very many people can really say this either. Certainly no more than 15 or 20.

Forget about the Dempsey loss, that means nothing due to loss of focus and inactivity. It wasnt the real Willard (like with Tunney and Dempsey).

Jess Willard is the most underated champion today and has a case for a top 10 and may better position. He is definitely top 15!







....Note: I am not necessarilly sure that i rate Willard top 15 but he definitely has a case.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodhi View Post
Really? You rank Sharkey above Schmeling, Charles and Walcott? Wow, I hear that rarely. Personally, I can't see any of those inside the Top20 but I'd like to see the arguments, if there are any.

To Sharkey and Schmeling:
The first fight was over after 4 rounds. According to ring side observers Sharkey was better up to then but you can't tell how it would turn out over 15. The second fight was a robbery according to most ringside observers and Schmeling should have won it. I don't see how you can rank Sharkey above Schmeling knowing this
Your view is the generally held view. I base my opinion on the first fight mainly. You dont have to rely on ringside reports, film of the first fight is easily available and IMO Jack hands him a boxing lesson. We dont know of course how it would have turnred out for sure but after watching the film it takes a massive leap of faith to see Max winning. The second fight was a snooze fest and while I havent seen much of it I accept that most had Schmeling winning. I think Jack of the first fight beats this Max easily or indeed Sharkey of the Wills, Godfrey, Loughran, Dempsey, Carnera 1 would also win. In arguing for Sharkey, I am talking about a peak Sharkey of many fights while accepting that he had too many bad nights to be top 20 on total resumee alone but on ability and his better fights he is a handful for anyone on the top 15-25 all-time.
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Old 01-25-2010, 06:13 PM   #13
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Willard was rated high in his time and he beat Moran as easily as Johnson but his resumee is weak with losses to McMahon and Gunboat(who has a better resumee anyway) with points wins over Pelkey and he edged out a young McCarthy. Thats about it, hardly top 15-20?
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheGreatA View Post
Jack Sharkey is the number 1 for me. Not sure how I'd place the rest.
Million dollar body, ten cent mind.

He could box beautifully, execute a game plan, and was strong.

The next night out, he would lose it and fall prey to seemingly inferior opponents.
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:18 AM   #15
bodhi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdonnellon View Post
Your view is the generally held view. I base my opinion on the first fight mainly. You dont have to rely on ringside reports, film of the first fight is easily available and IMO Jack hands him a boxing lesson. We dont know of course how it would have turnred out for sure but after watching the film it takes a massive leap of faith to see Max winning. The second fight was a snooze fest and while I havent seen much of it I accept that most had Schmeling winning. I think Jack of the first fight beats this Max easily or indeed Sharkey of the Wills, Godfrey, Loughran, Dempsey, Carnera 1 would also win. In arguing for Sharkey, I am talking about a peak Sharkey of many fights while accepting that he had too many bad nights to be top 20 on total resumee alone but on ability and his better fights he is a handful for anyone on the top 15-25 all-time.
Well, Iīve seen both and I just canīt agree with you. Four rounds donīt tell you much. Would you have thought Lewis would win after the first four against Vitali? Not me.
At their very best I agree Sharkey is better than Schmeling. He is up there with Walcott for me as fighters who could/should have ended up as Top5 hws by talent alone.
But you donīt rank fighters like that. It ignores too much of their careers and life. Or at least I donīt do it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdonnellon View Post
Willard was rated high in his time and he beat Moran as easily as Johnson but his resumee is weak with losses to McMahon and Gunboat(who has a better resumee anyway) with points wins over Pelkey and he edged out a young McCarthy. Thats about it, hardly top 15-20?
Thatīs why I included Gunboat Smith. He is very overlooked.
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