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Old 12-01-2011, 09:27 PM   #16
Senya13
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

Fitz didn't win no NZ championship, he simply participated in an exhibition show staged by Mace and Miller, facing several local (Timaru, NZ) amateur boxers, in June and September 1882. He didn't box with Herbert Slade, bur rather his younger brother (about whose weight we don't know, he was likely not a heavyweight). Dooley likely weighed 170-175 pounds.
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:25 PM   #17
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

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Originally Posted by Senya13 View Post
Fitz didn't win no NZ championship, he simply participated in an exhibition show staged by Mace and Miller, facing several local (Timaru, NZ) amateur boxers, in June and September 1882. He didn't box with Herbert Slade, bur rather his younger brother (about whose weight we don't know, he was likely not a heavyweight). Dooley likely weighed 170-175 pounds.
What about the tournament in 1881?

It is true that the NZ "Championship" was the tournament you referred to, but isnt it equally true that this was billed as a New Zealand champion, and there was no other claimants?

The Slade's brother story is common place, but there is no real evidence to support this. There are a few pretty clear early accounts mentioning the Slade fight, including from Fitzsimmons himself. I think it possible that Fitz Also beat Herbert's brother, and it also likely that Slade would deny such a loss as well. This was not uncommon and not that difficult. For example, last night i read an article about Tom Lees and how his only loss was to Peter Jackson. This is all well and good, except for the fact that it was not his only loss. I think people underestimate the marketing function of the media. The Slade fight was identified by Fitz quite early, but was not really used as a marketing tool. I think this adds to its credibility.

I agree with the most likely weight of Dooley, but i have a vague recollection of him being referred to as a middleweight in those early days, which would place him at at 150-160. I could be wrong though.

By the way senya, do you have any info at all about Slade's younger brother and his career (other than the Fitz fight)?
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Old 12-01-2011, 10:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

Sullivan was definitely the most popular. But if one looks really close at the times and weighs the consensus it becomes pretty clear why it was Jack Dempsey who was called "Nonpareil". Nonpareil meaning "without equal".
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Old 12-01-2011, 11:57 PM   #19
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

There's no evidence of Fitzsimmons participating in any tournaments or exhibitions in 1881. The story goes that he won one tournament and then another 1 year later, but as Adam has pointed out, they were two exhibition tournaments only 3 months apart. No New Zealand championship was mentioned whatsoever by primary sources (next-day local newspapers).

It would have made the news if Fitz faced Herbert Slade on those nights. The only mentions of Fitz (although his name is not given in the newspaper, but it's likely him):

1882-06-14 The Timaru Herald (page 3)
"A couple of amateurs then took the stage, and had a friendly bout, one of them showing a very creditable degree of skill and coolness."

1882-06-15 The Timaru Herald (page 2)
"The boxing exhibitions by Messrs Mace and Edmonds and mace and Miller were interesting, and a good deal of interest was taken in contests with the gloves between three amateurs. Two of these appeared the first night, and now one of them beat a new-comer, and then his former antagonist. Mace acted as judge, and presented the winner with a meerschaum pipe."

1882-09-14 The Timaru Herald (page 2)
"A number of amateurs, four couples, then put on the gloves, but their performances were more amusing than interesting as exhibitions of skill, one or two good boxers among them being matched with poor players. Among these was a younger brother of Slade. ... This evening there will be some wrestling matches in addition to the boxing, fresh local competitors are to come forward with the gloves, and the winners of the matches last night will box off."

1882-09-15 The Timaru Herald (page 2)
"Slade and a younger cousin of his gave a short exhibition of wrestling, in which the youngster showed much cleverness in avoiding the grips of the elder and more experienced athlete. Some contests between amateurs filled up the programme of the evening, which was cut rather short on account of the poor attendance."
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Old 12-02-2011, 01:19 AM   #20
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

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From Fitz' own mouth in 1909. I really think we need something a bit more concrete than what you have provided, if we are going to basically call up an all time great with nothing to gain, and basically say he is lying. Also, the articles that you posted dont really seem to match the description of the tournament that Fitz referred to.

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And that is Fitz in 1909 in a little more detail about the early days. Note particularly his weight at 130lbs. And the fact that the Jem Mace tours were two years approximately apart.

Thanks for the excellent reports though.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:59 AM   #21
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

Everybody lies. (C) House MD

Big deal!

Jem Mace's combination was in Timaru two times, in June and September 1882.

1882-06-13 The Timaru Herald (page 2)
Theatre Royal.--We remind those of our readers who take an interest in matters pugilistic, that the Mace Combination Company are to make their first appearance in Timaru this evening at the Theatre Royal.

That'd make their second visit to be in 1884. Herbert Slade was in USA in 1883-1884.

And if we assume that 1882 was Mace's second visit to Timaru (and local journalist is unaware of this), that means he was in New Zealand in 1880, but a search among New Zealand newspapers (searchable at Papers Past site) in 1880 has nothing on Mace's visit that year.

The only mention of his name I was able to find was

1880-09-13 Nelson (NZ) Evening Mail wrote about Mace and Miller being "en route to Adelaide, where they purpose exhibiting their powers."

Certainly it would have made it to one of NZ newspapers that Mace had a tournament somewhere. His visit in 1882 was mentioned in many newspapers there. But even if it went unnoticed somehow, still on both of his visits to Timaru in 1882 there is no mention of Herbert Slade meeting any of those amateurs, but there is an explicit reference to Slade's younger brother participating in those matches. You do the math.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:34 AM   #22
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

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We know that Mace was a Melbourne Resident in November 1879.


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And we also know that Jem Mace was a guest on the Orient Steamshio, in June 1880, until it set sail (to New Zealand?) Interestingly, his last cbz listed exhibition was in March 1880.

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By August, Mace had made a quick visit to South Australia.

All this means that any 1880 tour of NZ had to happen between March 1880 to June 1880 or lat June 1880 to August 1880. Both dates possibly match in with Fiotzsimmons 17 years old comment. Still, the small window of opportunity is not good for the myth. But it is interesrting that Jem's coverage went from large, to virtually non existent, in the Australian papers at the time.

Most of 1881 seems possible as well, but not August 1881, when he was definitely in melbourne when sued for refusing to honour a promise of marriage. It also seems likely that he was looking after his hotel for most of 1881 also.

I think that Fitzys word should be given the benefit of the doubt, but i do admit that there is still some doubt.
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Old 12-02-2011, 07:56 AM   #23
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

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Originally Posted by Surf-Bat View Post
Sullivan was definitely the most popular. But if one looks really close at the times and weighs the consensus it becomes pretty clear why it was Jack Dempsey who was called "Nonpareil". Nonpareil meaning "without equal".
And to get this back on track, in all seriousness, the non pareil wasnt really as impressive as Sullivan, atl east not in 86. Sullivan had never been tested and dominated every fighter. The non pareil despite some good results drew with Joey Hayes in 1884, and struggled with Jack Fogarty. Still, i would think about the Leblanche win as maybe Lifting Dempsey over the top of Sullivan. I am not so sure that this tops the thrashinf of an old Paddy Ryan and Herald. Higher level of competition admittedly, but he didnt win in as impressive a manner. it is a hard call, what do others think?
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:24 PM   #24
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

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In November 1880, Mace and Family boarded a boat in New Zealand, Timaru. It is possible that there was another Mace In Timaru (though none was mentioned in newspapers) who travelled by boat on this date, but it also seems possible (maybe even likely?) that this was Jem Mace. Do australian papers place him anywhere else at this time, or are they strangely silent about him?

There are very few mentions of boxing in the newspaper at timaru in 1880. This advertisement of Foley v Hicken is one, but note there is no fight report. Remember also that according to CBZ Mace and Foley ran a boxing school together at this time. were they business partners and was Mace involved behind the scenes. Probably not (of course) but it is possible.

It looks bad that the Mace tournament wasnt mentioned, in 1980 in the local papers, but the sport of boxing wasnt mentioned as a whole, including the results of the Australian Champion meeting Larry Foley. It is not likely that a Fitz vs Slade 1980 fight is going to be mentioned, unfortunately.
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:47 AM   #25
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

Np definitely
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:51 AM   #26
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

Okay, if we go with the non pareil, is it only 1886 that he takes over from Sullivan or do we say a year earlier?
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Old 12-03-2011, 02:52 AM   #27
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

This Mace family sailed from Wellington, not from Timaru. North Island, not South. Why would Mace stage a New Zealand tournament in Timaru of all places, anyway? Or visit Timaru with a combination without visiting other cities (Auckland, in particular). And if he did, then how would young Fitzsimmons know about that tournament? Small local boxing events were rarely mentioned in non-local newspapers, and when they were, it was days/weeks after the event had taken place. How would Fitzsimmons get to another city, money, parent's agreement, etc?
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:51 AM   #28
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

Fitz definitely lied. His accounts of his stoppage loss to Jim Hall seemed to differ over the years IIRC, and he constantly talked himself up (justifiable)

An arrogant bullshitter from what I've read.
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Old 12-03-2011, 05:55 AM   #29
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

From 86 seems fair. Up until then sullivan was in a class of his own imo.
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Old 12-04-2011, 03:46 PM   #30
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Default Re: Timeline of the Pound for Pound Greatest Fighter.

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Originally Posted by Senya13 View Post
This Mace family sailed from Wellington, not from Timaru. North Island, not South. Why would Mace stage a New Zealand tournament in Timaru of all places, anyway? Or visit Timaru with a combination without visiting other cities (Auckland, in particular). And if he did, then how would young Fitzsimmons know about that tournament? Small local boxing events were rarely mentioned in non-local newspapers, and when they were, it was days/weeks after the event had taken place. How would Fitzsimmons get to another city, money, parent's agreement, etc?
My last post seemed on rereading to indicate Mace Sailing as a fact. I should have noted that the paper read ****burn, Mace and family. I acknowledge that it could be someone else. but this is nt as likely as it would seem. As Mace was not a name (other than Jem) which was really in the papers in NZ around this time period. In fact, i cant recall another making the print other than this one. I acknowledge that the use of the word Family is hard to rationale, did Mace have one at this time especially since he was soon sued by a lady for breach of promise to be married. But still it is also coincidental, that when Fitz claims Mace to have been in Timaru, we have mace not in the Australian press (the year before he was in it every day virtually), and we have him possibly listed in NZ. It is also interesting that Joe Coburn (****burn misspelt?) fought Herbert Slade in 1883, so Mace was obviosuly likely to be traveling with this person

You ask why he would go to Timaru with a tour. I ask why not. He was a gypsy originally, and a fight promoter. The way this usually works is to start somewhere and stop off 2 or 300kms down the road, a day or two later and do things again. I imagine he started in christchurch and worked his way down, meeting Fitz in Timaru, or maybe he just travelled to Timaru, who knows. It doesnt seem to have been a long tour if it happened.

Dont get me wrong, you have definitely cast some possible doubt on Fitz story, but nothing has proved it wrong. And this is surprising. If Fitz had claimed 1979 then you would have proved him wrong, but that just doesnt work here. And even if you think he is embellishing himself, why would he want to use Slade and his early fights to do this. By this time that this was written, he had already beaten far more impressive fighters and beating Slade adds little to his legacy. If he was going to make something up, surely it would have resulted in him beating Jem Mace, who was much higher ranked!

Lying about Hall (not that i think Fitz did) is a different story because it does add to his legacy.
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