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Old 07-24-2012, 05:50 PM   #61
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
I have Dokes at 47, Dempsey at 48 and Chagaev at 49.

I pretty much consider Ruslan a finished work as he is really on the downside of his career.
Did his career have a upside ?
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:25 PM   #62
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

Firstly, ChrisP, thanks for such a civilized and explanatory post.


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Originally Posted by ChrisPontius View Post
I think Dempsey was way ahead of his time. He was the first heavyweight with a bob-and-weave style who came forward explosively and in bursts. He invented that style, he didn't learn it from an 18th century racist version of Cus d'Amato.


And yes, he looks very impressive on film.


But here is my beef. His accomplishments aren't as impressive as his moves on film. A great fighter, yes. But to me he didn't prove himself to be worthy of a top10 spot. Let me explain why. Look at the other three great HW swarmers/punchers: Frazier, Marciano and Tyson.


Frazier: cleaned out the division '65-'73. He beat the best fighter of the era before him (Ali), and the best fighter of the era after him (Ali). Only lost to Foreman and Ali.


Marciano: Tore through the heavyweight division like a knife through butter. Cleaned up all opponents between '48 and '56. Fought all significant boxers of his era and gave rematches to avenge his close wins. Still holds the record KO% against rated opposition and in title defenses to this day, more than half a century later.


Tyson: Like Marciano he destroyed the heavyweight division and unified the titles. He is the only one to ever knock out Larry Holmes, despite the latter continuing his heavyweight campaign until well in his 50's. Tyson does have a losing record against the best of his time: 1-3. For a swarmer he also has great longivity, being ranked in the top10 from 1986 to 2003, the exception being when he was incarcerated.


Dempsey: His strings of wins between '17 and '19 is very impressive. However, his title reign can only be described as lacklustre, being inactive up to three full years and having heavyweight title fights over 10 rounds (which has never happened before or has, since). He never fought two of the three best opponents of his time (Wills & Greb) and lost twice to the third (Tunney). He was at the twilight of his career by that time, but the fact remains he never proved himself to be Tunney's superior. On his way up, he never fought Langford/Mcvey/Jeannette/Johnson. Yes, I think he'd have whooped them, but he never proved it.


So, compared to the other great swarmers, I think he doesn't stack up well. He's a top15 heavyweight for sure. Lower top10 on a good day, but that's as far as I'd go.

I think there are weaknesses in the records all of these fighters you mention, if you're looking for them.


Tyson getting KO'd by Douglas is a shocking result.

Frazier in his prime was steered away from the WBA tournament, that featured most of the top fighters of 1967 - '68. He beat the eventual finalists later on but it could be seen as a mark against him that he was able to pick and choose his own moment .... but I prefer to call it smart management. The defences against Zyglewicz, Daniels and Stander are pretty godamn awful.

Marciano faced very few contenders who held the significant physical advantages over him. Walcott was about 5'11 or 6 foot tops. Charles and Moore was more like light-heavies. Joe Louis was washed-up.

It's simply a matter of perspective whether Dempsey's failures tip him above or below one, two or three of the above fighters. It's quite subjective.

Quote:



Regarding him being scared of blacks: I can't remember saying that, but I might have during my younger, more aggressive years. I admit that that's harsh. But remember that I'm a product of my environment, and the environment at ESB '04-'07 was that Dempsey was this fearless monster who'd beat everyone during his prime. Well here are the facts:


1. In 1916, Lester Johnson broke Dempsey's ribs and by all accounts, gave him hell.


2. He never fought a black man after that.


3. He avoided the #1 contender for longer than any other boxing champion every has, any weight class. That contender happens to be black.


4. During a 4-round exhibition, Jeanette is a late-minute substitute and enters the ring to Dempsey's surprise. His reaction was to walk out of the ring while being booed and according to a writer, "Giving boxing a black eye". This judgment was made by the writer and the crowd, despite being a heavily racist time in Dempsey's favor.


Now, I think Dempsey was smart to not take that fight. He shouldn't have. But would the (by this board then claimed) 'ardest man have walked out on an exhibition against a 38 year old opponent? You can imagine my reaction to this.

fair enough.

I would respond.

1. To be fair to Dempsey, it was he who perpetuated the story that John Lester Johnson gave him hell or even beat him.

2. I think it's irrelevant that he never fought a black man after that.

3. The Wills thing has been well covered. I suspect Wills managed to avoid a lot of the #2 and #3 contenders - who happened to be white. If Wills' skin colour caused him to be avoided, I doubt it can all be down to fear on Dempsey's part.

4. I think it was Dempsey's manager told him to leave the ring when Jeanette tried to ambush him. It's an interesting story but it shouldn't be used against Dempsey.


Quote:
I hope that clears things up.


Peace,

CP

Yes, thanks again for addressing my previous comments.

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Old 07-24-2012, 06:31 PM   #63
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

Surely its less damaging to be KOed by Douglas than to be KOed by losing record Fireman Flynn in 1 round? Or decisioned by ex flyweight Meehan
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:46 PM   #64
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPontius View Post
I think Dempsey was way ahead of his time. He was the first heavyweight with a bob-and-weave style who came forward explosively and in bursts. He invented that style, he didn't learn it from an 18th century racist version of Cus d'Amato.

And yes, he looks very impressive on film.

But here is my beef. His accomplishments aren't as impressive as his moves on film. A great fighter, yes. But to me he didn't prove himself to be worthy of a top10 spot. Let me explain why. Look at the other three great HW swarmers/punchers: Frazier, Marciano and Tyson.

Frazier: cleaned out the division '65-'73. He beat the best fighter of the era before him (Ali), and the best fighter of the era after him (Ali). Only lost to Foreman and Ali.

Marciano: Tore through the heavyweight division like a knife through butter. Cleaned up all opponents between '48 and '56. Fought all significant boxers of his era and gave rematches to avenge his close wins. Still holds the record KO% against rated opposition and in title defenses to this day, more than half a century later.

Tyson: Like Marciano he destroyed the heavyweight division and unified the titles. He is the only one to ever knock out Larry Holmes, despite the latter continuing his heavyweight campaign until well in his 50's. Tyson does have a losing record against the best of his time: 1-3. For a swarmer he also has great longivity, being ranked in the top10 from 1986 to 2003, the exception being when he was incarcerated.

Dempsey: His strings of wins between '17 and '19 is very impressive. However, his title reign can only be described as lacklustre, being inactive up to three full years and having heavyweight title fights over 10 rounds (which has never happened before or has, since). He never fought two of the three best opponents of his time (Wills & Greb) and lost twice to the third (Tunney). He was at the twilight of his career by that time, but the fact remains he never proved himself to be Tunney's superior. On his way up, he never fought Langford/Mcvey/Jeannette/Johnson. Yes, I think he'd have whooped them, but he never proved it.

So, compared to the other great swarmers, I think he doesn't stack up well. He's a top15 heavyweight for sure. Lower top10 on a good day, but that's as far as I'd go.

Regarding him being scared of blacks: I can't remember saying that, but I might have during my younger, more aggressive years. I admit that that's harsh. But remember that I'm a product of my environment, and the environment at ESB '04-'07 was that Dempsey was this fearless monster who'd beat everyone during his prime. Well here are the facts:

1. In 1916, Lester Johnson broke Dempsey's ribs and by all accounts, gave him hell.

2. He never fought a black man after that.

3. He avoided the #1 contender for longer than any other boxing champion every has, any weight class. That contender happens to be black.

4. During a 4-round exhibition, Jeanette is a late-minute substitute and enters the ring to Dempsey's surprise. His reaction was to walk out of the ring while being booed and according to a writer, "Giving boxing a black eye". This judgment was made by the writer and the crowd, despite being a heavily racist time in Dempsey's favor.

Now, I think Dempsey was smart to not take that fight. He shouldn't have. But would the (by this board then claimed) 'ardest man have walked out on an exhibition against a 38 year old opponent? You can imagine my reaction to this.

I hope that clears things up.

Peace,
CP
I agree up to the point of how impressive he looks on film. His defense is, for the most part, spotty. The bob and weave is great for a young fighter but it uses a lot of energy, draining stamina and output in fighters who aren't so young. And one misstep leaves the practitioner, no matter what is age, wide open. And despite all this maneuvering, Dempsey was still a sucker for right hand's and too often lost his cool and turned a boxing match into barroom brawl. Sure, you can make a good highlight reel of him but his work as a totality is blemished.

All that said, he had a great punch and a stout chin, which in the end is the recipe for a very successful heavyweight. Those attributes carried him far.
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Old 07-24-2012, 06:52 PM   #65
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

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Originally Posted by Pachilles View Post
Surely its less damaging to be KOed by Douglas than to be KOed by losing record Fireman Flynn in 1 round? Or decisioned by ex flyweight Meehan

I think Dempsey improved a lot after losing to Flynn. He was at least a dozen fights away from begining to make his strides as a serious contender.
I don't know if Flynn had a losing record or not.

Dempsey also holds a 1st round KO win over Flynn.


Meehan was a decent boxer over the short distance. He beat Jack dillon, drew with a prime Billy Miske, beat an aging Sam Langford. In short bouts only. I seriously doubt whether Meehan could have gone 10 or 15 rounds with Dempsey.

Dempsey has these blemishes on his record. No one denies that.
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:57 PM   #66
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

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Originally Posted by mcvey View Post
Chris ,we disagree on Dempsey, but you always present a reasoned argument so I am happy to differ from you.
Thanks mate.

Quote:
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Firstly, ChrisP, thanks for such a civilized and explanatory post.
Thanks, I don't really disagree with any of your points.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:57 PM   #67
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

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I have to agree with McGrain here. Look at Muhammad Ali. In the past few days we have had threads in which the biggest wins of his career were attributed to Mafia involvement ,Dick Saddler poisoning Foreman, and another thread in which Ali lost a theoretical match up with Doink the clown.

Read the last part of that sentence again.

"Doink the clown"

I don't know who Doink the clown is, but anyone who would get into the ring with a name like that must be tough.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:00 PM   #68
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

Wills should definitely rank above Dempsey.

Dempsey has embarrasing loses and never beat anyone so great. He was inactive during half of his reign. Didn't fight the two best contenders of his era.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:02 PM   #69
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

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They were both tremendous fighters. Tommy Gibbons was a great fighter, imo. Maybe Billy Miske was too.
"a great fighter. Maybe Billy Miske was too"

You can't prove it off his record. About the time he was fighting Dempsey, he was losing twice to Kid Norfolk (once by official decision), twice to Harry Greb, and also to Battling Levinsky.

Miske seems to have been a good, solid contender, but a bit short of the top men of his time.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:10 PM   #70
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

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Originally Posted by edward morbius View Post
"a great fighter. Maybe Billy Miske was too"

You can't prove it off his record. About the time he was fighting Dempsey, he was losing twice to Kid Norfolk (once by official decision), twice to Harry Greb, and also to Battling Levinsky.

Miske seems to have been a good, solid contender, but a bit short of the top men of his time.
After fighting the Dempsey the last time, he beat Brennan twice (KOing him once), KO'd Meehan and Fulton each in 1, and beat Gibbons, also.

Earlier victories over Levinsky, Dillon and Morris were pretty damn good, too.

He was right behind Dempsey, Wills and Greb in my opinion.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:13 PM   #71
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

Thanks for the excellent discussion fellows.

I thought ChrisPontius & SuzieQ gave the anti-Dempsey critiques fairly and well.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:14 PM   #72
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

Miske was to Gibbons what Tunney was to Greb.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:16 PM   #73
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

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After fighting the Dempsey the last time, he beat Brennan twice (KOing him once), KO'd Meehan and Fulton each in 1, and beat Gibbons, also.

Earlier victories over Levinsky, Dillon and Morris were pretty damn good, too.

He was right behind Dempsey, Wills and Greb in my opinion.

Do you consider him a better fighter than Norfolk?

And wasn't the victory over Gibbons on a foul, and didn't Gibbons soon reverse that with an official decision.

On what basis do you consider Miske better than Gibbons?
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:20 PM   #74
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

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****ing hell.

"Harry Wills, the huge fighting nig*ger, appears to be a different kind of man to Jack Johnson : but all the same it is very unlikely that he or any other coo*n will ever get the chance to strut and crow as champion of the world"

You don't see passionate journalism like that in USA Today.
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Old 07-25-2012, 02:27 PM   #75
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Default Re: Should Harry Wills be rated above Jack Dempsey?

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Do you consider him a better fighter than Norfolk?

And wasn't the victory over Gibbons on a foul, and didn't Gibbons soon reverse that with an official decision.

On what basis do you consider Miske better than Gibbons?
I'll admit that Miske impresses me on his record, always has. Norfolk definitely had his number, but then again, Miske was not afraid to fight him, which is more than we can say about some white fighters (nod/wink). I had thought that Miske beat Gibbons earlier in his career but checking on boxrec I see that was a draw.

I am getting Moyle's book later this summer. That should flesh out things for me.
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