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Old 10-13-2007, 06:03 PM   #1
Mendoza
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Default Corbett's article on the best fighters.

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Talks about Jackson, Sullivan, Fitz, Jeffries, Mace, Himself, Goddard and others.... A good read.
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Old 10-14-2007, 07:06 AM   #2
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

It is particularly interesting that Corbett considers Jeffries a scientific fighter compared to those who have gone before.

Corbett had personaly shared a ring with-

Jake Kilrain
John L Sullivan
Peter Jackson
Charley Mitchel
Bob Fitzsimmons
Tom Sharkey
Jim Jeffries
Kid McCoy

This makes him a rather usefull witnes.
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Old 10-14-2007, 07:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
It is particularly interesting that Corbett considers Jeffries a scientific fighter compared to those who have gone before.

Corbett had personaly shared a ring with-

Jake Kilrain
John L Sullivan
Peter Jackson
Charley Mitchel
Bob Fitzsimmons
Tom Sharkey
Jim Jeffries
Kid McCoy

This makes him a rather usefull witnes.
The true gem of the article is on the fighter prior to Sullivan. Cross_Trainer would have loved that info.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendoza
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

Talks about Jackson, Sullivan, Fitz, Jeffries, Mace, Himself, Goddard and others.... A good read.
This is certainly fascinating for several reasons. I don't know how valuable his view the old bareknucklers is, but certainly his view of the men of his own era is interesting.
1. Apparently the movie "Gentleman Jim" was accurate in etching him as very egotistical and full of himself. It is interesting how a sparring match with Mace, who had to be pushing 60, proves Corbett's superior skill to Corbett while also proving Mace would always have come up short. I got a kick out of Corbett referring to himself in the third person as the apogee of the evolution of ring science.
2. The insight that neither Sullivan nor Jackson had good left hooks is interesting. I remember Cross-Trainer mentioning that the bareknucklers did not use the hook as one would quickly break one's hand. This might explain why Sullivan and Jackson did not have a hook, but Fitz apparently did develop one.
3. I find his evaluation of Jeffries as better than Sullivan the most substantial viewpoint as he fought both, but note the self-absorbtion of assuming there will never be anyone better. He is already building his era into an all-time "golden age."
4. The article is written in 1910, shortly before the Jeffries-Johnson fight, but Johnson is not mentioned. Interesting. I wonder to what extent Corbett was trying to buck up Jeff's confidence and perhaps shake Johnson's. He would find out a couple of months later that there might be skills in the ring beyond those he had pioneered.

Last edited by OLD FOGEY; 10-15-2007 at 02:14 AM.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:57 AM   #5
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

OLD FOGEY,

Some random things to mention.

Most of Sullivan fights were with Gloves...I think.

Corbett was a bit full of himself for sure, however he also knew a lot about boxing and was a bit more objective when talking about other fighters.

I have some of Jackson's reads. He sounds fantastic. Jackson's trainer was a real master. Corbett did not let Jackson's color get in the way of rating him right after Jeffries.

Jeffries was described as a real puncher by Corbett. Many news reads say the same thing.

Jim Mace was a legand. Without him, skills would have been lost for the next generation.

Jack Johnson legand grew after he beat Jeffries, not before. Burns was viewed as a weaker champion, and Johnson had some up and down performances prior to beating Burns in December 1908. This means not everyone thought Johnson was a great champion. Remember after Johnson won the crown from Burns in December 1908. In 1909 Johnson had a close draw with O'Brien, and was downed by Ketchel. Corbett's article was writen a year after this in mid 1910.

Last edited by Mendoza; 10-14-2007 at 01:59 PM.
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:09 PM   #6
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

Thanks for posting the article, Mendoza.

I can't help but think that this came out during the time that Corbett was training Jeffries for his "comeback" fight against Johnson.

Corbett should have said Jeffries, or it would have made for an interesting camp!
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:26 AM   #7
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

Thanks, Mendoza.

Straight from the mouth of one horse in question, this article confirms to me the standard head-to-head ranking of the great early heavyweight champions:

Jeffries
Fitzsimmons
Corbett
Sullivan

Jeffries combined amazing physical tools with good boxing fundamentals and skill, tremendous heart, endurance, ability to absorb punishment, in addition to a first-class punch, now we learn, with either hand.

No wonder Big Jeff has been respected as one of the greatest ever for a complete century now.

Last edited by Tommy Hearns; 08-03-2006 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 10-15-2007, 11:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

Dose anybody here dispute that Jeffries was better than anybody who had gone before?
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Old 10-15-2007, 12:55 PM   #9
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
Dose anybody here dispute that Jeffries was better than anybody who had gone before?
No.though p4p Fitz gets a shout. Head to head you have to pick Jeffries against any of his predessors,I think.
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Old 10-16-2007, 05:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

Look it, even former champs have their biases, which varied from time to time. John L. Sullivan had a mean hook. Any claim that Corbett invented the hook is total b.s.

John L. Sullivan said that all the talk about the supposed new blows invented by Corbett and Fitzsimmons “makes me sick.” He said that they had not invented anything new, that the punches have existed all along. “Of course it makes good reading, but it is all bombastic talk and nothing more.”
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Old 10-16-2007, 05:41 PM   #11
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

From what I've read, Sullivan was known for his right, not his left.
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Old 10-16-2007, 05:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mendoza
From what I've read, Sullivan was known for his right, not his left.
He only used his left for two things one was picking up his glass ,the other was ,[it rhymes anyway].
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Old 10-16-2007, 05:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

Wrong. That was only after Sullivan broke his left arm in 1887. True, his right was always his best punch, but he had a deadly left too, dropping and knocking people out with it too. Just read or ask someone who has a copy of John L. Sullivan: The Career of the First Gloved Heavyweight Champion.
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Old 10-16-2007, 07:44 PM   #14
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
Dose anybody here dispute that Jeffries was better than anybody who had gone before?
Corbett goes all the way back, so yes, I think I would. Tom Cribb cleaned out the heavyweights from 1805 to 1811, defeating Maddox, Richmond, Gregson, Belcher twice, and Molyneaux twice. Molyneaux was a formidable younger challenger, similar to Johnson. Jeffries refused to defend against Johnson. Cribb certainly has the edge, therefore, as a champion.

The rules were so different who knows about head to head matchups, although Jeffries' tendency to go the distance in gloved fights, four of his twenty fights going twenty or more rounds to a decision, leads me to believe Cribb, who proved he carried his power to the end, would have outlasted him.

Despite Corbett's take on it, I might also have some doubts on Sullivan. Off the record, Sullivan seems to have been a more explosive puncher in his prime than Jeffries. Corbett fought Sullivan well past his best. I wonder what Apollack thinks about a young Sullivan against Jeffries.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Corbett's article on the best fighters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
Corbett goes all the way back, so yes, I think I would. Tom Cribb cleaned out the heavyweights from 1805 to 1811, defeating Maddox, Richmond, Gregson, Belcher twice, and Molyneaux twice. Molyneaux was a formidable younger challenger, similar to Johnson. Jeffries refused to defend against Johnson. Cribb certainly has the edge, therefore, as a champion.

The rules were so different who knows about head to head matchups, although Jeffries' tendency to go the distance in gloved fights, four of his twenty fights going twenty or more rounds to a decision, leads me to believe Cribb, who proved he carried his power to the end, would have outlasted him.

Despite Corbett's take on it, I might also have some doubts on Sullivan. Off the record, Sullivan seems to have been a more explosive puncher in his prime than Jeffries. Corbett fought Sullivan well past his best. I wonder what Apollack thinks about a young Sullivan against Jeffries.
Which class guys did Sullivan really knock out in a gloved fight? IMO, the best four heavies Sullivan fought were Mitchel in 1883, Burke in 1885, McCaffrey in 1885, and Corrbet in 1892.

Sullivan only had one KO in four fights, and it was over a 150 pound Mithcell who also floored him. Corbett, who was not a big puncher also Ko'd Mitchell in three rounds too.

I think Jeffries for sure has a better record of knocking out class opponents.
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