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Old 08-02-2012, 11:54 AM   #1
Cmoyle
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Default Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

Came across the following account of this fight in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin:

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Old 08-02-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

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Originally Posted by Cmoyle View Post
Came across the following account of this fight in the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin:

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Nice of you to post this.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:15 AM   #3
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

Hitting on the break and throwing down a middle weight more than once? Johnson wasn't a stranger to such tactics. It appears Johnson 1st knockdown over Burns came from hitting him on the break, and you can see him repeat the cheap shot on film vs. Moran.

in 1909, Johnson was in his prime for sure. But he had issues with O'Brien's jab. Makes you wonder what would happen if Johnson fought a bigger skilled jabber.


The Fight By Rounds
First Round – Johnson rushed, forcing O’Brien to the ropes. O’Brien clinched. O’Brien jabbed Johnson on nose and then repeated. Johnson threw O’Brien to the ground, then dropped him with left to stomach, but he was up in two seconds. O’Brien jabbed two light lefts to face. Johnson is waiting for O’Brien to lead and he laughed as he struck a straight left. O’Brien put in two right lefts on face and then another. Johnson sent straight left to face and repeated it. O’Brien stabbed left to mouth and hooked left to face. Johnson blocked left swing for head and crossed right to jaw. Bell.

Second round – Johnson sent two rights to the body and was warned for hitting on the break. O’Brien jabbed left to face and Johnson missed three rights to body and sent right to head. O’Brien sent light left swing to ear and Johnson shot left to ribs. O’Brien crossed right to jaw. Johnson forgot to smile. O’Brien jabbed left to mouth. Johnson rushed O’Brien to ropes. They clinched and O’Brien jabbed left to eye. Johnson ducked a left swing and then O’Brien sent stiff left to mouth twice. Johnson swung right to chest and then to jaw. Bell.

Third Round – Johnson jabbed left to face and O’Brien sent two lefts to nose. O’Brien hooked left to ear twice and they clinched. O’Brien jabbed left to eye and Johnson whipped left to wind. O’Brien sent left to face and Johnson shot right to ribs. Johnson swung left to chest and stabbed left to face. O’Brien put light left on eye and sent right to heart. Johnson sent right to body and O’Brien hooked left to mouth. O’Brien jabbed left to face and Johnson missed half dozen swings to head. O’Brien sent left to neck and the bell rang as they clinched.

Fourth Round – O’Brien jabbed left to mouth and Johnson swing both hands to head. Johnson swung two lefts to chest and O’Brien jabbed left to face. Johnson missed three lefts for body and O’Brien jabbed left to mouth. Johnson missed a vicious right swing for jaw. Johnson shot right to heart and staggered O’Brien with a right to ear. O’Brien recovered quickly and jabbed a left to face. O’Brien jabbed left to face and swung right to body. Johnson missed two lefts for head and then stood waiting for O’Brien to lead. They were clinched at the bell.

Fifth Round – O’Brien jabbed left to nose and Johnson threw him to the floor. Johnson shot left-hand punches to head and jaw. O’Brien swung left to chest and put light left on face. Johnson was hissed for his tactics. Johnson shot hard right to wind. O’Brien jabbed left to face. They exchanged jabs to head and Johnson missed hard left for wind. O’Brien jabbed two hard lefts to face and then another, Johnson missed right for body and jabbed left to face. O’Brien swung two lefts to head at bell.

Sixth Round – They shook hands gingerly and then clinched. Johnson jabbed left to face and swung right to chest. O’Brien sent hard left to wind. Johnson chased O’Brien around the ring, but missed him. Johnson put light left on face and each swung left to body. Each missed left for body and O’Brien sent left to face. Johnson jabbed left to face and uppercut right to chin. They exchanged right swings to head and O’Brien put left on face. Johnson blocked O’Brien’s lead. They clinched. Johnson jolted two rights to chin. O’Brien jabbed left to face. O’Brien put light left to face at bell.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:38 AM   #4
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

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Originally Posted by Mendoza View Post
Hitting on the break and throwing down a middle weight more than once? Johnson wasn't a stranger to such tactics. It appears Johnson 1st knockdown over Burns came from hitting him on the break, and you can see him repeat the cheap shot on film vs. Moran.

in 1909, Johnson was in his prime for sure. But he had issues with O'Brien's jab. Makes you wonder what would happen if Johnson fought a bigger skilled jabber.


The Fight By Rounds
First Round – Johnson rushed, forcing O’Brien to the ropes. O’Brien clinched. O’Brien jabbed Johnson on nose and then repeated. Johnson threw O’Brien to the ground, then dropped him with left to stomach, but he was up in two seconds. O’Brien jabbed two light lefts to face. Johnson is waiting for O’Brien to lead and he laughed as he struck a straight left. O’Brien put in two right lefts on face and then another. Johnson sent straight left to face and repeated it. O’Brien stabbed left to mouth and hooked left to face. Johnson blocked left swing for head and crossed right to jaw. Bell.

Second round – Johnson sent two rights to the body and was warned for hitting on the break. O’Brien jabbed left to face and Johnson missed three rights to body and sent right to head. O’Brien sent light left swing to ear and Johnson shot left to ribs. O’Brien crossed right to jaw. Johnson forgot to smile. O’Brien jabbed left to mouth. Johnson rushed O’Brien to ropes. They clinched and O’Brien jabbed left to eye. Johnson ducked a left swing and then O’Brien sent stiff left to mouth twice. Johnson swung right to chest and then to jaw. Bell.

Third Round – Johnson jabbed left to face and O’Brien sent two lefts to nose. O’Brien hooked left to ear twice and they clinched. O’Brien jabbed left to eye and Johnson whipped left to wind. O’Brien sent left to face and Johnson shot right to ribs. Johnson swung left to chest and stabbed left to face. O’Brien put light left on eye and sent right to heart. Johnson sent right to body and O’Brien hooked left to mouth. O’Brien jabbed left to face and Johnson missed half dozen swings to head. O’Brien sent left to neck and the bell rang as they clinched.

Fourth Round – O’Brien jabbed left to mouth and Johnson swing both hands to head. Johnson swung two lefts to chest and O’Brien jabbed left to face. Johnson missed three lefts for body and O’Brien jabbed left to mouth. Johnson missed a vicious right swing for jaw. Johnson shot right to heart and staggered O’Brien with a right to ear. O’Brien recovered quickly and jabbed a left to face. O’Brien jabbed left to face and swung right to body. Johnson missed two lefts for head and then stood waiting for O’Brien to lead. They were clinched at the bell.

Fifth Round – O’Brien jabbed left to nose and Johnson threw him to the floor. Johnson shot left-hand punches to head and jaw. O’Brien swung left to chest and put light left on face. Johnson was hissed for his tactics. Johnson shot hard right to wind. O’Brien jabbed left to face. They exchanged jabs to head and Johnson missed hard left for wind. O’Brien jabbed two hard lefts to face and then another, Johnson missed right for body and jabbed left to face. O’Brien swung two lefts to head at bell.

Sixth Round – They shook hands gingerly and then clinched. Johnson jabbed left to face and swung right to chest. O’Brien sent hard left to wind. Johnson chased O’Brien around the ring, but missed him. Johnson put light left on face and each swung left to body. Each missed left for body and O’Brien sent left to face. Johnson jabbed left to face and uppercut right to chin. They exchanged right swings to head and O’Brien put left on face. Johnson blocked O’Brien’s lead. They clinched. Johnson jolted two rights to chin. O’Brien jabbed left to face. O’Brien put light left to face at bell.

Given that Johnson destroyed both Burns and Ketchel, who both beat
O Brien ,this 6 rounder only makes me wonder how long O Brien would have lasted if 1. Johnson was in shape? 2. It was over say 15rds. I note that the report states O Brien scaled 170lbs for the fight.

If correct it shows that O Brien was not a middleweight.
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Old 08-03-2012, 06:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

I don't put much stock in 6 round affairs to be honest, unless they're won by ko/dq
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:08 AM   #6
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

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I don't put much stock in 6 round affairs to be honest, unless they're won by ko/dq
I doubt most posters would,especially if the terms are that, unless the challenger can ko the champ.or, vice versa ,there is no decision rendered.
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Old 08-03-2012, 07:20 AM   #7
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

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I doubt most posters would,especially if the terms are that, unless the challenger can ko the champ.or, vice versa ,there is no decision rendered.
Yeah I mean 6 rounds of boxing isn't enough to determine superiorty when the championship distance is double or more. Anything less than ten rounds I don't really count.

Like when they say meehan won the series or langford beat the best mw in the world - just not enough rounds for me to take any of the fights seriously.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

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I don't put much stock in 6 round affairs to be honest, unless they're won by ko/dq
To deny that it can reveal tendencies in a fighter is just willful ignorance, a favorite past time in these parts. I'm not going to contend that O'Brien was going to beat Johnson over 12 or more rounds, but the match does give a glimpse into an offensive skill set and approach that obviously bothered Johnson.

And at 205, Johnson weighed less than he did against Jeffries so I can pretend he was that far out of shape.
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Old 08-03-2012, 10:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

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To deny that it can reveal tendencies in a fighter is just willful ignorance, a favorite past time in these parts. I'm not going to contend that O'Brien was going to beat Johnson over 12 or more rounds, but the match does give a glimpse into an offensive skill set and approach that obviously bothered Johnson.

And at 205, Johnson weighed less than he did against Jeffries so I can pretend he was that far out of shape.
ofcourse it reveals tendencies. But willful ignorance would suggest a 6 round victory proves supremacy.

As I said, it's not something I put much stock in.

p.s. I don't understand your comment about him being out of shape? His peak fighting condition was against jeffries, other than that I'm not sure what shape he was from thereon after, I just know his activity was appalling, in comparison with Langford.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
To deny that it can reveal tendencies in a fighter is just willful ignorance, a favorite past time in these parts. I'm not going to contend that O'Brien was going to beat Johnson over 12 or more rounds, but the match does give a glimpse into an offensive skill set and approach that obviously bothered Johnson.

And at 205, Johnson weighed less than he did against Jeffries so I can pretend he was that far out of shape.

I don't suggest that Johnson was overweight for this fight ,but he certainly did not train for it,it is on record he was out partying the night before .Weights are often misleading anyway,imo.

For example, Max Baer scaled 209.5lbs for his dismantling of Carnera, exactly a year later weighed 210.5lbs for his miserable showing against Braddock ,for which he did only perfunctory training.

You have some ring experience ,so you will know it isnt just being at the right weight ,timing, stamina/wind are just as much, if not more important.
Johnson knew O Brien did not possess the punch to stop him ,therefore his title was safe,so he took full advantage of the situation to come in disinterest and dissipated, unfair to the paying public, but Johnson never worried too much about giving them value for money.


The fact that a lethargic, ill -trained Johnson could not catch a fleet footed skillful boxer like O Brien in a 6 round bout does not scream out that he was vulnerable to his style .Though he may have found it the most difficult to look good against.

I think most fighters struggled to make an impressive showing against O Brien. Ketchel being an exception.


Marvin Hart was held even twice over 6 rds by O Brien , Choynski was beaten twice by him over 6rds. Burns had to go the 20rds distance twice with him.

Philadelphia Jack was no crowd pleaser , but he was elusive,especially over abbreviated distances.

What emphasis one places on the Johnson/ O Brien fight depends on the individuals objectivity and, [certainly for one poster in particular], his agenda.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:26 AM   #11
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

Is O'Brien the 1909 version of Fat Willie Meehan?

Anyways, I look forward to seeing what Pollack can dig up on this match. The records say it was for the heavyweight title (?), which would make Johnson's performance all the more appalling, especially given the hype and money surrounding the fight. It was apparently the biggest fight in Philly up to that point.

And as far as Johnson being out on the town the night before, that is purely apocryphal, and even if true, just more proof as to what a poor champion Johnson was.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:36 AM   #12
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

as I say. a 6 round fight, meh.
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Old 08-03-2012, 11:51 AM   #13
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

wait did I miss the part where this fight had much significance? It was a 6 round fight for God's sake.. Johnson clearly didn't train for it or put much weight into it.. but still.. scored the only KD of the fight.. Doesn't look good for O'brien if it goes a true HW distance
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:09 PM   #14
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

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wait did I miss the part where this fight had much significance? It was a 6 round fight for God's sake.. Johnson clearly didn't train for it or put much weight into it.. but still.. scored the only KD of the fight.. Doesn't look good for O'brien if it goes a true HW distance
If it was ten round i'd consider it more significant. But it weren't so I don't.
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Old 08-03-2012, 12:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Jack Johnson vs. Phil. Jack O'Brien - May 1909

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wait did I miss the part where this fight had much significance? It was a 6 round fight for God's sake.. Johnson clearly didn't train for it or put much weight into it.. but still.. scored the only KD of the fight.. Doesn't look good for O'brien if it goes a true HW distance
It was a championship fight for the heavyweight crown, right? Just a little significance.

But let's give Johnson a pass.
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