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Old 10-19-2012, 05:51 PM   #1
Seamus
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Default Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

One of the transcendent greats, in my opinion. Meaning he can be judged across eras with little need for compensation or adjustment. How would he have done against the 1940's lightweights, Laguna, Buchanan & Duran? Go ahead and extrapolate up to Whitaker if you please. Where does he rank as a lightweight? As a P4P all time great?

There needs to be more discussion of this great fighter.
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Old 10-19-2012, 05:57 PM   #2
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

He sat a top what I suspect was the deepest era of arguably the deepest division in the sport's history. He beat all types and styles. He showed the power, chin and heart to do great things without being the best boxer defensive artist of his era. Arguably #1 at LW, arguably top 10 all time p4p.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

Nat Fleischer who saw them all had the Old Master #1, followed by Benny Leonard...Amazing fighter able to fight 45 rounds past his peak...In a 15 round fight I have Benny Leonard # 1, followed by Joe Gans...Jack Britton the amazing WW champion with 340 or so bouts without being kod trained as a youngster with Joe Gans, and sparred with Gans and later of course was floored by Benny Leonard picked Leonard over Gans, for what it's worth...Two great LW champs ,both lauding over the greatest LW contenders in history...
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:12 PM   #4
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

Since I started trying to do lists, I've shuffled him around too much to say anything definitive, like I was certain about even my own opinion. LW Top 3 lock for me (could be any of 1-3 and be very agreeable with me), p4p top 20 lock (6-15 somewhere, I'd prefer, in the same territory I have my two other LW top 3 locks) with no one in sight to challenge either of these positions.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:14 PM   #5
Aaron Contreras
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

Top-15 or 20, all time, for sure. I'll never forget what Bert Sugar said about him. "...Gans used the ring as his own private laboratory."


Here's a great writeup on him. You should take to reading it.

Joe Gans, The Old Master
Was He The Greatest of Them All?


By Monte D. Cox

[Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:16 PM   #6
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain View Post
He sat a top what I suspect was the deepest era of arguably the deepest division in the sport's history. He beat all types and styles. He showed the power, chin and heart to do great things without being the best boxer defensive artist of his era. Arguably #1 at LW, arguably top 10 all time p4p.
This.
IMO the best ever at LW and my number 6 all time P4P.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

#9 p4p.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

Brilliant boxer, potentially a top 5 guy if you rank constancy and domination higher than weight jumping; his influence on pop culture should not be dismissed. Think about the Old Master next time you bring home the bacon.
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Old 10-19-2012, 06:58 PM   #9
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
One of the transcendent greats, in my opinion. Meaning he can be judged across eras with little need for compensation or adjustment. How would he have done against the 1940's lightweights, Laguna, Buchanan & Duran? Go ahead and extrapolate up to Whitaker if you please. Where does he rank as a lightweight? As a P4P all time great?

There needs to be more discussion of this great fighter.
No 2. Just behind Leonard.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain View Post
He sat a top what I suspect was the deepest era of arguably the deepest division in the sport's history.
With all do respect, I don't know how you can substantiate that claim. Here's a list of how many matches there were per year from boxrec. I've highlighted the years Gans was active.

1872 36
1873 18
1874 18
1875 17
1876 26
1877 52
1878 51
1879 68
1880 42
1881 51
1882 142
1883 176
1884 344
1885 379
1886 815
1887 728
1888 635
1889 838
1890 890
1891 864
1892 950
1893 869
1894 900
1895 1333
1896 1472
1897 2055
1898 2301
1899 2825
1900 3533
1901 1666
1902 2921
1903 2724
1904 2747
1905 2579
1906 2957
1907 2851
1908 3531

1909 4089
1910 5947
1911 7086
1912 7065
1913 6804
1914 6874
1915 8553
1916 9229
1917 8175
1918 5474
1919 11517
1920 16155
1921 17812
1922 20474
1923 21344
1924 22256
1925 21107
1926 21619
1927 24286
1928 27262
1929 28469
1930 30928
1931 31182
1932 26160
1933 24473
1934 22159
1935 18848
1936 16492
1937 19958
1938 16825
1939 15413
1940 14626
1941 11524
1942 11088
1943 11498
1944 14909
1945 16289
1946 29688
1947 29299
1948 24324

At the best year of Gans career there were only 3500 bouts. In 1931 you have 31,000. The talent pools just aren't the same. In Gans' time boxing isn't even legal in many states of the US, or countries in Europe. The numbers show a gradual rise all through the 1890s and early part of the 20th century suggesting a greater degree of depth and professionalism. He's a step or two beyond the amateurish bare knuckle fighters, and he probably had a great fighting physique for any era; but technique-wise I think he gets beat by a lot of guys from the twenties, thirties, and forties. Even if he is from a weaker era he's probably still great but I just wouldn't want to place him ahead of Roberto Duran, Benny Leonard, Tony Canzoneri, Henry Armstrong, Jimmy McLarnin, Lou Ambers, Carlos Ortiz, Pernell Whitaker, etc who fought in what I consider tougher eras.

Last edited by OvidsExile; 10-20-2012 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

I'm sorry but using Boxrec to illustrate how many fights took place in the world is utterly ridiculous.

Even Jack Johnson, one of the most infamous fighters in history, has an incomplete Boxrec record. Nowadays, even a club fighter has all his fights recorded.

My own investigations into Jimmy Carroll, one of the premier lightweights of the pre-Gans era reveals just how ridiculous his 4-4-3 record really is. Carroll was likely one of the most active fighters of his generation and may have fought better than one-hundred - more - bouts in England before he even went to America, where even still his boxrec record is woefully inaccurate. Senya has uncovered unrecorded fights for Gans himself.

Boxrec is a tremendous source, but with all due respect, if you think you can use it to illustrate activity levels in even the United States for that era you are woefully mistaken. As a record of professional fights elsewhere, it is almost entirely useless for that time.
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Old 10-20-2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

I think Leonard beat better Lw's than Gans did. Infact I think Leonard beat better LW's than anyone did.

I have him number 6 at LW. By that I mean he makes my third tier of LW greatness and there are 3 guys I'd pick to beat him (Whittaker, Armstrong, Williams).
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:13 AM   #13
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

I think that he is a lock for a position as a top 3 all time lightweight, and has a good case for the #1 slot. I personaly have him at #1.

The division that he dominated might have been the best of any weight class in any period.
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Old 10-20-2012, 10:49 AM   #14
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
One of the transcendent greats, in my opinion. Meaning he can be judged across eras with little need for compensation or adjustment. How would he have done against the 1940's lightweights, Laguna, Buchanan & Duran? Go ahead and extrapolate up to Whitaker if you please. Where does he rank as a lightweight? As a P4P all time great?

There needs to be more discussion of this great fighter.
Gans was an early verison of a boxer puncher, but he had some issues with pressure fighters. He should rate among the top 10 lightweights.

I would pick Gans over Laguna, and Buchanan, but not Duran. I think Whitaker would win a decsion over Gans.
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Old 10-20-2012, 11:13 AM   #15
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Default Re: Where Do You Rank Joe Gans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrain View Post
I'm sorry but using Boxrec to illustrate how many fights took place in the world is utterly ridiculous.

Even Jack Johnson, one of the most infamous fighters in history, has an incomplete Boxrec record. Nowadays, even a club fighter has all his fights recorded.

My own investigations into Jimmy Carroll, one of the premier lightweights of the pre-Gans era reveals just how ridiculous his 4-4-3 record really is. Carroll was likely one of the most active fighters of his generation and may have fought better than one-hundred - more - bouts in England before he even went to America, where even still his boxrec record is woefully inaccurate. Senya has uncovered unrecorded fights for Gans himself.

Boxrec is a tremendous source, but with all due respect, if you think you can use it to illustrate activity levels in even the United States for that era you are woefully mistaken. As a record of professional fights elsewhere, it is almost entirely useless for that time.
I agree with this, and i've often called boxing aft the turn of the century a semi professional sport. In fact its illegality is what makes those numbers questionable; its like **** statistic in that the reported numbers only scratch the surface. To think that every illegal bout is resourced is crazy. Is every coke filled, stripper inundated bachelor party broken up by the police? Of course not. Gans is a prime example (and I think he's the second best looking guy from that era after Langford), as he not only had many more fights than listed, but I think a few Battle Royales.
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