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Old 11-29-2007, 01:34 PM   #1
ChrisPontius
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Default Question to those who rank Dempsey high

I think we can agree that Dempsey's beaten title opponents aren't very impressive. Willard was 37, overweight, inactive for nearly 3 years and has very little boxing skill which is clear on film. Miske was sick and nearing the end of his career, though he had already beaten him. Gibbons was a lightheavyweight, had a padded record, losses to a middleweight, lost nearly every time he stepped up. Firpo was a wild swinger who had no clue how to box but nearly knocked Dempsey out in an exciting slugfest. Sharkey was Dempsey's best opponent thusfar, and it was noticeable because he outboxed Dempsey handily and stunned him, untill he got fouled and went down in the hope to get a DQ win, something very common those days. Carpentier was a washed up lightheavy who shook up Dempsey. Brennan was good but he lost plenty to Miske, Greb (middleweight) and most of his wins, again, come against nobodies. He shook up Dempsey.


Now. Most of the people who rank him in the top5 say "But Dempseys best work came before winning the title!".

Here's an article in the Washington Post, after Dempsey beat Fulton:

"It took Jack Dempsey, until a few months ago an unheard of boxer, only 23 seconds this evening to take his place at the top of the pugilistic ladder as the man most likely to gain the heavy weight championship of the world. He achieved this by knocking out Fred Fulton in the first round of their scheduled eight-round battle here with a right to the jaw. Fulton, looked on as the most formidable rival of Jess Willard, was relegated to the pugilistic scrapheap by the punch."

Notice it says "untill a few months ago an unheard of boxer". This was only a year before he fought Willard! So if all this great work came before winning the title, why was he still unheard of?



I have been accused several times of historic revisionism the last days on my criticism of Dempsey. But i think it's the other way around. It appears that Dempsey was unheard of merely a year before fighting for the title. He destroyes Willard in exciting fashion, and all of a sudden his normally reported first round knockout loss to Flynn must have been a fix, Fulton was outstanding etc (despite being knocked out 6 times in 8 years, even Moorer, Patterson or Williams got knocked out less often). All of a sudden Dempsey was unable to fight Wills because of the color line. What's left out is that Carpentier had no trouble fighting Jeanette and Jeanette even received the decision. What's left out is that Dempsey was booed and "gave boxing a black eye" (a quote from a newspaper report) when he walked out off the ring when he saw Jeanette, a colored fighter, in it. Apparantly the public had no trouble at all with watching it or they wouldn't have called it a "shame".




As Dempsey became popular, incredibly popular, his myth grew to unprecedented proportions, but a lot of facts about his mediocre opposition, controversial wins against Firpo and Sharkey, etc, seem to be lost today.
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
I think we can agree that Dempsey's beaten title opponents aren't very impressive. Willard was 37, overweight, inactive for nearly 3 years and has very little boxing skill which is clear on film. Miske was sick and nearing the end of his career, though he had already beaten him. Gibbons was a lightheavyweight, had a padded record, losses to a middleweight, lost nearly every time he stepped up. Firpo was a wild swinger who had no clue how to box but nearly knocked Dempsey out in an exciting slugfest. Sharkey was Dempsey's best opponent thusfar, and it was noticeable because he outboxed Dempsey handily and stunned him, untill he got fouled and went down in the hope to get a DQ win, something very common those days. Carpentier was a washed up lightheavy who shook up Dempsey. Brennan was good but he lost plenty to Miske, Greb (middleweight) and most of his wins, again, come against nobodies. He shook up Dempsey.


Now. Most of the people who rank him in the top5 say "But Dempseys best work came before winning the title!".

Here's an article in the Washington Post, after Dempsey beat Fulton:

"It took Jack Dempsey, until a few months ago an unheard of boxer, only 23 seconds this evening to take his place at the top of the pugilistic ladder as the man most likely to gain the heavy weight championship of the world. He achieved this by knocking out Fred Fulton in the first round of their scheduled eight-round battle here with a right to the jaw. Fulton, looked on as the most formidable rival of Jess Willard, was relegated to the pugilistic scrapheap by the punch."

Notice it says "untill a few months ago an unheard of boxer". This was only a year before he fought Willard! So if all this great work came before winning the title, why was he still unheard of?



I have been accused several times of historic revisionism the last days on my criticism of Dempsey. But i think it's the other way around. It appears that Dempsey was unheard of merely a year before fighting for the title. He destroyes Willard in exciting fashion, and all of a sudden his normally reported first round knockout loss to Flynn must have been a fix, Fulton was outstanding etc (despite being knocked out 6 times in 8 years, even Moorer, Patterson or Williams got knocked out less often). All of a sudden Dempsey was unable to fight Wills because of the color line. What's left out is that Carpentier had no trouble fighting Jeanette and Jeanette even received the decision. What's left out is that Dempsey was booed and "gave boxing a black eye" (a quote from a newspaper report) when he walked out off the ring when he saw Jeanette, a colored fighter, in it. Apparantly the public had no trouble at all with watching it or they wouldn't have called it a "shame".




As Dempsey became popular, incredibly popular, his myth grew to unprecedented proportions, but a lot of facts about his mediocre opposition, controversial wins against Firpo and Sharkey, etc, seem to be lost today.
Excellent work Chris. It should also be noted that most of Dempsey's 25 first round KO's came against men who either never fought in a pro fight, or had losing records.
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:48 PM   #3
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

I already said Gibbons had something like 10 fights vs hall of famers in 106 fights, hardly padded. And no he did not lose when he stepped up. he was 2-2 vs Greb according to newspaper decisions, and beat Carpeinter and Miske. Hardly padded when u have 10 fights vs hall of famers.

But anyway Dempsey has been criticised alot over the past few weeks and here we go again
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Old 11-29-2007, 01:57 PM   #4
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. magoo
Excellent work Chris. It should also be noted that most of Dempsey's 25 first round KO's came against men who either never fought in a pro fight, or had losing records.
Please tell me that you dont actualy think that a man from the 20s with a 0-0-0 record on boxrec is fighting his pro debut.

In this period sombody could get to the level of comonwealth champion without having a recorded fight on boxrec. If you dont know this you are not ready to contribut to this thread yet.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
I think we can agree that Dempsey's beaten title opponents aren't very impressive. Willard was 37, overweight, inactive for nearly 3 years and has very little boxing skill which is clear on film. Miske was sick and nearing the end of his career, though he had already beaten him. Gibbons was a lightheavyweight, had a padded record, losses to a middleweight, lost nearly every time he stepped up. Firpo was a wild swinger who had no clue how to box but nearly knocked Dempsey out in an exciting slugfest. Sharkey was Dempsey's best opponent thusfar, and it was noticeable because he outboxed Dempsey handily and stunned him, untill he got fouled and went down in the hope to get a DQ win, something very common those days. Carpentier was a washed up lightheavy who shook up Dempsey. Brennan was good but he lost plenty to Miske, Greb (middleweight) and most of his wins, again, come against nobodies. He shook up Dempsey.


Now. Most of the people who rank him in the top5 say "But Dempseys best work came before winning the title!".

Here's an article in the Washington Post, after Dempsey beat Fulton:

"It took Jack Dempsey, until a few months ago an unheard of boxer, only 23 seconds this evening to take his place at the top of the pugilistic ladder as the man most likely to gain the heavy weight championship of the world. He achieved this by knocking out Fred Fulton in the first round of their scheduled eight-round battle here with a right to the jaw. Fulton, looked on as the most formidable rival of Jess Willard, was relegated to the pugilistic scrapheap by the punch."

Notice it says "untill a few months ago an unheard of boxer". This was only a year before he fought Willard! So if all this great work came before winning the title, why was he still unheard of?



I have been accused several times of historic revisionism the last days on my criticism of Dempsey. But i think it's the other way around. It appears that Dempsey was unheard of merely a year before fighting for the title. He destroyes Willard in exciting fashion, and all of a sudden his normally reported first round knockout loss to Flynn must have been a fix, Fulton was outstanding etc (despite being knocked out 6 times in 8 years, even Moorer, Patterson or Williams got knocked out less often). All of a sudden Dempsey was unable to fight Wills because of the color line. What's left out is that Carpentier had no trouble fighting Jeanette and Jeanette even received the decision. What's left out is that Dempsey was booed and "gave boxing a black eye" (a quote from a newspaper report) when he walked out off the ring when he saw Jeanette, a colored fighter, in it. Apparantly the public had no trouble at all with watching it or they wouldn't have called it a "shame".




As Dempsey became popular, incredibly popular, his myth grew to unprecedented proportions, but a lot of facts about his mediocre opposition, controversial wins against Firpo and Sharkey, etc, seem to be lost today.
" Carpentier was a washed up lightheavy who shook up Dempsey. "

So? He was a Euro chamo after all. Not a great heavy but still a decent defense. Carpeinter was just one year older then Dempsey, how was he washed up? And how come u don't mention that Conn, a much lighter hitter then Carpeinter shook and staggered Louis several times for example? Didn't Bob Foster shook Ali? Dempsey was never in danger of losing that fight.

You fail to mention that Dempsey was completely washed up vs Sharkey given his age, period of incactivity and that he wasn't the same anymore. Sharkey hit him low plenty too, so he did the same thing. Big deal
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
I think we can agree that Dempsey's beaten title opponents aren't very impressive.
Erm.

Actualy I dont agree.

Quote:
Willard was 37, overweight, inactive for nearly 3 years and has very little boxing skill which is clear on film.
I wonder what you would say about George Foreman if the only record of him was a film from this period.

He would look even worse than Willard.

Quote:
Miske was sick and nearing the end of his career, though he had already beaten him.
He did go on to post a few wins over name fighters after this including Brenan. Although gravley ill he was not a dead man walking.

Quote:
Gibbons was a lightheavyweight, had a padded record, losses to a middleweight, lost nearly every time he stepped up.
You need to go back and revisit his career.

Quote:
Firpo was a wild swinger who had no clue how to box
This coming from sombody trying to build up Oscar Bonavena.

Quote:
Sharkey was Dempsey's best opponent thusfar, and it was noticeable because he outboxed Dempsey handily and stunned him, untill he got fouled and went down in the hope to get a DQ win, something very common those days.
Sharkey was knocked out cleanly. He is hardly going to try for a DG win by taking a dive in a fight he is wining. Get reall.

Quote:
Carpentier was a washed up lightheavy who shook up Dempsey.
Brennan was good but he lost plenty to Miske, Greb (middleweight) and most of his wins, again, come against nobodies. He shook up Dempsey.
Both of these guys are a damn sight better than the people Joe Frazier and George Foreman defended their titles against sucesfully.

Quote:
Now. Most of the people who rank him in the top5 say "But Dempseys best work came before winning the title!".

Here's an article in the Washington Post, after Dempsey beat Fulton:

"It took Jack Dempsey, until a few months ago an unheard of boxer, only 23 seconds this evening to take his place at the top of the pugilistic ladder as the man most likely to gain the heavy weight championship of the world. He achieved this by knocking out Fred Fulton in the first round of their scheduled eight-round battle here with a right to the jaw. Fulton, looked on as the most formidable rival of Jess Willard, was relegated to the pugilistic scrapheap by the punch."
So he has just knocked out the best contender in the world in 18 seconds.

Quote:
Notice it says "untill a few months ago an unheard of boxer". This was only a year before he fought Willard! So if all this great work came before winning the title, why was he still unheard of?
I can show you other newspaper acounts that say after the Brennan fight that Dempsey is the outstanding challenger allong with Fulton.

I dont want to be disrespectfull to you here but your knowledge of the period is poor, your grasp of the historical sources is poor and you are atempting a clossal historical revision based on this. you also show verry little sign of wanting to improve your knowledge of the period or grasp of the contemporary resources.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
Please tell me that you dont actualy think that a man from the 20s with a 0-0-0 record on boxrec is fighting his pro debut.

In this period sombody could get to the level of comonwealth champion without having a recorded fight on boxrec. If you dont know this you are not ready to contribut to this thread yet.
Believe me, I'm well aware of the fact that early fighter's records are not always accurate due to questionable documentation of the period. The problem is, we can't automatically credit fighters as having more bouts without any solid evidence. We can only go by whats available. Here are the reasons:

A. We don't know how many fights a man actually had.

B. We don't know for sure IF he even had more bouts.

C. We don't know who they were against, or if these invisible opponents were even registered professionals, perhaps explaining why they weren't recorded.

D. We don't know the true outcome. And I speculate that there may have been a reason why some fights don't appear on certain records.

That being said, why don't you tell me exactly how many fights some of these tomatoes had, and against who, along with the outcomes?
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

mr maggo,

nobody says these 25 first round ko's came vs all time greats
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

Quote:
Originally Posted by dmt
mr maggo,

nobody says these 25 first round ko's came vs all time greats
Agreed, but it is commonly mentioned that one of his legacies is the all time claim to having the most heavyweight first round KO's. Everytime, I mention George Foreman having the highest win/KO percentage of any lineal champion, Janitor is the first to point out that his recorded is littered with tomato cans. I'm only returning the favor, and frankly I feel my argument is just as valid.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

Quote:
ChrisPontius]I think we can agree that Dempsey's beaten title opponents aren't very impressive.
I think we can agree that Dempsey basically beat shit.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:29 PM   #11
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

Ok, now you're just being a cunt. Did Dempsey rape your great grandmother or something? How much time do you devote to doing everything you can to try to destroy Dempsey's reputation and status on internet forums? It's getting old, every argument you come up with will be contered, and it will just keep going on and on and no one will ever win so what's the ****ing point? I rate Dempsey at 3, many other smart people who know their boxing as good or better than you rate him in their top 5. Again I ask, what's the point? I could spend an hour fact checking and coming up arguments against yours but it won't matter because you just won't let it the **** go. I'm done with this, I consider Dempsey one of the greatest fighters of all time and that's that, so **** off.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:36 PM   #12
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
Please tell me that you dont actualy think that a man from the 20s with a 0-0-0 record on boxrec is fighting his pro debut.

In this period sombody could get to the level of comonwealth champion without having a recorded fight on boxrec. If you dont know this you are not ready to contribut to this thread yet.
Unless you can find me a commonwealth champion with no recorded fights before that, i find this hard to believe.

I mean let's face it, plenty of Dempsey's and Fulton's opponents had records like 5-10-0, 10-3-0, etc. So clearly, even obscure, unknown fighters do have known records. Yet potential commonwealth champions are all 0-0? Sorry but this is speculation at best. The guys were bums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
I wonder what you would say about George Foreman if the only record of him was a film from this period.

He would look even worse than Willard.
I will go even further and say that with all film of him he looks horrible. His defense is wide open and his balance is shit. BUT he proved his ability by easily destroying Frazier, who had beaten Ali, and Norton (dito). Willard did not do such thing. He got the living shit beat out of him by a 37 year old Johnson and would've lost a shutout decision under normal rules.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
He did go on to post a few wins over name fighters after this including Brenan. Although gravley ill he was not a dead man walking.
But he had fought him twice before. Safe choice of opponent, especially considering his illness.

[quote=janitor]

Educate me, then. Did he not go 2-2 against a middleweight (one of those wins when he was green)? Carpentier was over the hill. Norfolk is his best win, but this came after the Dempsey fight, not before. His only win before that was Miske and a shitload of tomato cans. And he was a lightheavyweight and went the distance with this supposed killing machine. Not what i would call impressive.


Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
This coming from sombody trying to build up Oscar Bonavena.
What do you mean? I have recently said that i don't think very highly of Bonavena and that the main reason he's being ranked highly is because he lost to Ali and Frazier. He's a top50 hw at best. However, he is still better than Firpo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
Sharkey was knocked out cleanly. He is hardly going to try for a DG win by taking a dive in a fight he is wining. Get reall.
No one knows if he was knocked out cleanly or not. He got hit low, complained to the ref, then got his in the face, went down, and stayed down GRABBING HIS NUTS. Doesn't that tell you that he was hurt somewhere else than the legal punch? That he was opting for a DQ win? Carnera may have done the same against Godfrey, although the low blow was not clearly visible there.
The fact that he was winning does not change that. He could probably live with being fouled and stopped while ahead on points, probably expecting a rematch due to the controversy. Of course, Dempsey would have nothing of rematches in case of a controversial win. Firpo found out about that, too.


Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
Both of these guys are a damn sight better than the people Joe Frazier and George Foreman defended their titles against sucesfully.
Brennan and Carpentier are better than Quarry, Ellis, Ali, Norton and Ali? Get real.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janitor
I can show you other newspaper acounts that say after the Brennan fight that Dempsey is the outstanding challenger allong with Fulton.

I dont want to be disrespectfull to you here but your knowledge of the period is poor, your grasp of the historical sources is poor and you are atempting a clossal historical revision based on this. you also show verry little sign of wanting to improve your knowledge of the period or grasp of the contemporary resources.
This just goes to show you how badly spread information was back then. One source has Dempsey as an excellent challenger for the title, while the Washington Post had not even heard of him 5 months later. No wonder he could get away so easily with fighting soft opposition: barely anyone knew who were the top fighters anyway. No ring magazine, no boxrec, no ESB, no television, only mouth-to-mouth "Hey have you heard it, Dempsey destroyed this 6'6 250lb master boxing monster at his peak"-information.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:38 PM   #13
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. magoo
I think we can agree that Dempsey basically beat shit.
I wouldn't go that far, i just don't think he's top5 material unless you rank on historic impact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmomer
Ok, now you're just being a cunt. Did Dempsey rape your great grandmother or something? How much time do you devote to doing everything you can to try to destroy Dempsey's reputation and status on internet forums? It's getting old, every argument you come up with will be contered, and it will just keep going on and on and no one will ever win so what's the ****ing point? I rate Dempsey at 3, many other smart people who know their boxing as good or better than you rate him in their top 5. Again I ask, what's the point? I could spend an hour fact checking and coming up arguments against yours but it won't matter because you just won't let it the **** go. I'm done with this, I consider Dempsey one of the greatest fighters of all time and that's that, so **** off.
Nope, Dempsey drew the color line against my grandmother, who was still green at that point.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:43 PM   #14
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Default Re: Question to those who rank Dempsey high

[quote=mr. magoo]Believe me, I'm well aware of the fact that early fighter's records are not always accurate due to questionable documentation of the period. The problem is, we can't automatically credit fighters as having more bouts without any solid evidence. We can only go by whats available. [quote]

OK

I have encountered cases where fighters with a 0-0-0 record on boxrec held the British title and I have encountered cases where contemporary newspaper acounts suggest them to be at least a fringe contender.

So these guys with 0-0-0 records could be pro debuters, or they could be fringe contenders or they could be anything in between.

As you say we just dont know.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:49 PM   #15
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[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
Unless you can find me a commonwealth champion with no recorded fights before that, i find this hard to believe.
Look at Jimmy Wilde's record. He beat a few of them.

Quote:
I mean let's face it, plenty of Dempsey's and Fulton's opponents had records like 5-10-0, 10-3-0, etc. So clearly, even obscure, unknown fighters do have known records.
In many ways 5-10-0 is more damaging in this context than 0-0-0. Even so it is your fights against better known oponents that get recorded so even a verry good fighter can have a loosing record on paper. Jeff Clark had a loosing record on boxrec untill recently and he was arguably the best middleweight of the period.

Quote:
Yet potential commonwealth champions are all 0-0? Sorry but this is speculation at best. The guys were bums.
Could be bums, could be fringe contenders. We just dont know.

Quote:
I will go even further and say that with all film of him he looks horrible. His defense is wide open and his balance is shit. BUT he proved his ability by easily destroying Frazier, who had beaten Ali, and Norton (dito). Willard did not do such thing. He got the living shit beat out of him by a 37 year old Johnson and would've lost a shutout decision under normal rules.
So you accept in principle that Willard might be better than the available footage suggests. That is a start.

Quote:
But he had fought him twice before. Safe choice of opponent, especially considering his illness.
[quote=janitor]

Dempseys first fight with Miske was close so there was a bit of a case of unfinished business. Miske himself said that he was in good condition and he had no excuses to offer.

Quote:
Educate me, then. Did he not go 2-2 against a middleweight (one of those wins when he was green)? Carpentier was over the hill. Norfolk is his best win, but this came after the Dempsey fight, not before.
Dosnt matter if it came after the Dempsey fight he still won. Gibbons was the No2 contender going into his fight with Dempsey. Yes he did loose to Harry Greb but so did virtualy everybody of that period from heavyweight downwards.

Gibbons only loss to a non Hall of Famer was against Miske by DQ.

Quote:
His only win before that was Miske and a shitload of tomato cans. And he was a lightheavyweight and went the distance with this supposed killing machine. Not what i would call impressive.
Gibbons was a top defensive fighter of his era who was only knocked out in his last profesional fight. There is no disgrace in being taken the distence by a fighter like this. Evander Holyfield lost his title to a lesser light heavyweight.

And as for Gibbons just fighting tomatoe cans I suggest you take a proper look.

Quote:
What do you mean? I have recently said that i don't think very highly of Bonavena and that the main reason he's being ranked highly is because he lost to Ali and Frazier. He's a top50 hw at best. However, he is still better than Firpo.
How?

Even with the benefit of modern camera technology.

Quote:
No one knows if he was knocked out cleanly or not. He got hit low, complained to the ref, then got his in the face, went down, and stayed down GRABBING HIS NUTS. Doesn't that tell you that he was hurt somewhere else than the legal punch? That he was opting for a DQ win?
The fight was a foul fest with lots of low blows landed by both parties.

If Sharkey grabed his nuts while lying on the canvas that means verry little.

Quote:
The fact that he was winning does not change that. He could probably live with being fouled and stopped while ahead on points, probably expecting a rematch due to the controversy.
He was in a final eliminator fight for a shot at the title.

It is a bit of a stretch to suggest that he would feign a foul when he was ahead on the score cards hoping to win by DQ.

Quote:
Of course, Dempsey would have nothing of rematches in case of a controversial win. Firpo found out about that, too.
He rematched Miske twice.

In fact he gave title shots to two former oponents.

Quote:
Brennan and Carpentier are better than Quarry, Ellis, Ali, Norton and Ali? Get real.
they were a damn site better than Stander and Roman. Lets not forgett that in a hurry.

Quote:
This just goes to show you how badly spread information was back then. One source has Dempsey as an excellent challenger for the title, while the Washington Post had not even heard of him 5 months later.
Then you might question the wisdom of scouring the newspapers for a single sentence that suports your position.

Last edited by janitor; 11-29-2007 at 03:08 PM.
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Boxing News 24 Forum 2013