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Old 11-14-2007, 09:39 AM   #1
McGrain
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Default Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

But is that fair? I think Jackson compares pretty favouably with Wills. He sounds, to me, like a better all rounder, a puncher who could most assuradley box, and if film exsisted of his war with Corbett it's possible we'd talk about Manilla a whole lot less.

Some good wins too, over guys like Godfrey, Maher, Slavin etc, as well as being widely ducked by the usual suspect (ranked white guys).

Anyone else think Jackson should be seen (at least) as Wills equal? What do you gents make of him more generally?
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

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Originally Posted by McGrain
But is that fair? I think Jackson compares pretty favouably with Wills. He sounds, to me, like a better all rounder, a puncher who could most assuradley box, and if film exsisted of his war with Corbett it's possible we'd talk about Manilla a whole lot less.

Some good wins too, over guys like Godfrey, Maher, Slavin etc, as well as being widely ducked by the usual suspect (ranked white guys).

Anyone else think Jackson should be seen (at least) as Wills equal? What do you gents make of him more generally?
There is no film of Peter Jackson in the ring. There is very little film on most of his oppoents too.

Wills is only on film as an older fighter, though there is quite a bit of film on the fighters he meet.

The general consensus was Jackson was thought of to be better than Wills up to the 1940's or so, which is about the same time those who were famialr with Jackson began to pass.

I have them rated pretty clsoe to each other in the low 20's.
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Old 11-14-2007, 10:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

Very compelling topic, it's certainly one that will generate alot of opinion. It's ironic that you've brought this up, actually as I've rarely considered exactly where abouts to place Jackson on my all time list. Resume-wise his is pretty impressive, both are fairly similar in this regard and abililty wise there's not that much to choose between 'em. I need to give this one some thought over the rest of the week and try to come up with a fair rating over for Jackson in comparision to the others who make my Top 20-25. I'll take a sift through some early-period boxing articles I've got at home. (Head-to-head, resume, physical attributes, skil, legacy etc will be be taken into account)


I've currently got Willis at around #18, so certainly it'd be unrealistic to place Jackson miles away from that. I'll return with a more substantial answer at some point.
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Old 11-14-2007, 01:38 PM   #4
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

It is a difficult comparison.

Wills has one of the finest resumes of any heavyweight but was not particularly highly regarded in his time relative to Jackson.

Jackson at his peak was deemed to be almost unbeatable yet today it is hard to asses the importance of his biggest wins.
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Old 11-14-2007, 04:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

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Originally Posted by Mendoza
There is no film of Peter Jackson in the ring. There is very little film on most of his oppoents too.

Wills is only on film as an older fighter, though there is quite a bit of film on the fighters he meet.

The general consensus was Jackson was thought of to be better than Wills up to the 1940's or so, which is about the same time those who were famialr with Jackson began to pass.

I have them rated pretty clsoe to each other in the low 20's.
I think they both might be a little overated,due to the race thing ,no offence intended to anyone ,but I sometimes get the feeling that if you were a black fighter in the first half of the last century ,you get rated retrospectively ,so to speak.its easy to say ,"well he didnt get the breaks ,or his manage ment was ****.white guys avoided him etc ,and Im sure a lot of it is true but evry black boxer from 1900 to say 1935 wasnt a potential Joe Louis.I think of the little I know ,Jackson was the better man but maybe we put them both a little high ?
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:22 PM   #6
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

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Im sure a lot of it is true but evry black boxer from 1900 to say 1935 wasnt a potential Joe Louis.I think of the little I know ,Jackson was the better man but maybe we put them both a little high ?
In Jacksons case the praise is not retrospective.

Some of his contemporaries were saying that he was the best ever.
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Old 11-14-2007, 05:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

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Originally Posted by janitor
In Jacksons case the praise is not retrospective.

Some of his contemporaries were saying that he was the best ever.
Well he would probably have beaten Sullivan given the chance,I think you know what I mean Janitor,Im not just talking about these two ,some of the middles too are talked about as p4p guyssome may have been but all of them?
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Old 11-14-2007, 07:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

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Well he would probably have beaten Sullivan given the chance,I think you know what I mean Janitor,Im not just talking about these two ,some of the middles too are talked about as p4p guyssome may have been but all of them?
You are quite right to say that some of the shafted black fighters of history are built up to be bigger than they were because they got shafted.

On the flip side of the coin some who were highly regarded in their day are virtualy forgotten today like Jeff Clark.
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

I don't see why lack of film would be an issue. It seems highly unrealistic to think Peter Jackson would look as good on film as more modern fighters given all the advancements in sports and the fact that modern athletes consistently outperform their predecessors in terms of measured performance. However, looking at his accomplishments in his own era would be a good idea. The failure of highly ranked white fighters to face him raises questions as to how he would have done against his contemporaries.
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Old 11-17-2007, 11:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

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Originally Posted by Cojimar 1945
I don't see why lack of film would be an issue. It seems highly unrealistic to think Peter Jackson would look as good on film as more modern fighters given all the advancements in sports and the fact that modern athletes consistently outperform their predecessors in terms of measured performance. However, looking at his accomplishments in his own era would be a good idea. The failure of highly ranked white fighters to face him raises questions as to how he would have done against his contemporaries.
Jackson sounds good. News reads say he had fast hands, straight punches, and good timing. If Jackson was filmed, I think he would surprise.
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

No doubt Jackson's abilities were impressive in that era but this does not mean he come close to the heavyweights that followed him. For example the world's fastest men in the 1940s had times that are not impressive by today's standards.
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Old 11-17-2007, 07:22 PM   #12
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

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Originally Posted by Cojimar 1945
No doubt Jackson's abilities were impressive in that era but this does not mean he come close to the heavyweights that followed him. For example the world's fastest men in the 1940s had times that are not impressive by today's standards.
Some early fighters look good on flim. Take Joe Gans for example. I get the feeling that Jackson was a pound for pound type of talent based on the way he is described, which is similar to Gans.
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Old 11-19-2007, 04:48 AM   #13
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

This is an interesting and tough question.

I like Peter Jackson, he is one of my favourites. But, he is so hard to know where to rank. I am not as convinced as others that he would have necessarilly beat John L Sullivan, particularly in his prime. I am also uncertain of the Jim Corbett rematch. As much as i would want jackson to win that, he did seem to deteriorate after their famous draw, so it isnt fait accompli that he was better than gentleman Jim. Still, there is no doubt that he was one of the greatest of his time.

Wills also is very hard to rate. He was beaten by Langford early, although he eventually bettered and older langford. He was a good solid contender and should have got a shot at Dempsey but he was never really quite as dominant as some people try to suggest now. Going by contemporaries Jackson was thought of as the better fighter.

I tend to agree. I think Jackson shades Wills and i also think that he is good enough to stop him in a very close and good fight, probably to knock him out. In an all time sense, while there isnt too much between them, i think that Jackson should be at least 9 or 10 places above Wills, maybe more. In fact, since ratings are subjective, there is a reasonable argument to place Peter Jackson as a top 10 fighter or better. I dont really think there is any argument to do the same for Wills.
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Old 11-19-2007, 04:53 AM   #14
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

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I am also uncertain of the Jim Corbett rematch. As much as i would want jackson to win that, he did seem to deteriorate after their famous draw, so it isnt fait accompli that he was better than gentleman Jim.
To be fair to Jackson he fought Corbett with an injured ankle and a severe cold.

A fully functional Jackson might have done better.
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Old 11-19-2007, 05:23 AM   #15
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Default Re: Harry Wills is almost always rated above Peter Jackson on HW lists...

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Originally Posted by janitor
To be fair to Jackson he fought Corbett with an injured ankle and a severe cold.

A fully functional Jackson might have done better.
Yeah, i have heard that. I havent looked into it in great detail, how bad was the ankle and cold?

Not that long after the corbett fight, Jackson started to deteriorate due to alcoholism and other factors. He certainly had a chance to beat corbett in any rematch, but the longer corbett waited the smaller that chance was.
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