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Old 02-01-2008, 05:32 AM   #16
Jack Dempsey
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
Carnera looks a bit better on film than Willard - until he gets hit ! Carnera couldn't take it too well.
Also, though I dont believe every word of it, the rumours that Carnera's fights were fixed probably have some basis in truth.
True, he will always have the whiff of 'fix' attached to his career
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:16 AM   #17
ChrisPontius
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

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Originally Posted by RafaelGonzal
Primo Carnera was worse
I disagree. Most people remember Carnera for being destroyed by Baer, but forget that he outboxed Baer for most of those other rounds and might have been bothered by an ankle injury. Be that as it is, he still has a good resume with wins over:

Uzcudun 2x
Young Stribling
Levinsky
Lasky
Schaaf
Sharkey
Godfrey
Loughran

Those are pretty good fighters.

How can that rank over Willard's resume? He barely has any good wins pre-title - probably Carl Morris who lost most of the time he stepped up. Then he beats Johnson, beats a journeyman Moran over a mere 10 rounds (i think it should count against a champion when they have joke of fights like that), then does **** all for 3 years and get knocked out.

Especially if you take into account that Johnson was 37 years old, fat and unfocused yet still would've won if it went over 15 or even 20 rounds but lost to a younger, better conditioned challenger pure on endurance, not on boxing skill, then you should conclude that Willard cannot be ranked over Carnera.

Anyway, i think Leon Spinks is worse.
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:34 AM   #18
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

If Leon Spinks was worse that doesn't say much for Ali !
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:54 AM   #19
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

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Originally Posted by Carmelo Modica
Jess Willard, like Jack Johnson and Primo Carnera, had size and not much else. They are overrated, not underrated. I don't think they belong in any top 100 list. They were champions for a while, but that doesn't make them great. They lost as soon as good competition came along. In the same weight division, size doesn't matter. If anything, the bigger guys are slower. In any case, Willard and Carnera lost similarly to smaller, faster fighters. But I think Carnera was better. As big as he was, he did have some speed, more than Willard for sure.
Jack Johnson is often highly rated. You'd rate him down with Willard and Carnera ?
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:58 AM   #20
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

No Willard was not the worst.

He was better than the following lineal champions: Jimmy Braddock, and Leon Spinks. About even Hart, Briggs, and Burns.

I think Willard was better than the following alphabet or regional champions: Savold, Ellis, Damiani, Bentt, Seldon, Botha, and Valuev.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:02 AM   #21
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

I agree with Chris that Primo was better than generally rated(tho the Stribling win was probably a fix). Willard's best performance pre-title was his ND affair v McCarty which he shaded but he has little else in his resume. Both Moran and Morris were overated. Both i think were better than Braddock. Hart and Burns, Spinks and Briggs are the benchmarks for them.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:08 AM   #22
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

Depending on the rules, I suppose, but I think Ellis beats Jess in a decision fight. Think McMahon, Gunboat Smith.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:09 AM   #23
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

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Originally Posted by mattdonnellon
I agree with Chris that Primo was better than generally rated(tho the Stribling win was probably a fix). Willard's best performance pre-title was his ND affair v McCarty which he shaded but he has little else in his resume. Both Moran and Morris were overated. Both i think were better than Braddock. Hart and Burns, Spinks and Briggs are the benchmarks for them.
I not sure how good or bad Hart really was. I never seen a historian feature him, nor have I ever seen Marvin Hart on flim.

Hart defeated fighters like Maher, Root, J Johnson, Ruhlin, Ferguson, Stift, and Creedon. He had draws with Choynski, O'Brien and Gardiner. Granted some of those guys were past their primes, but the names look good on his resume.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:33 AM   #24
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

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Originally Posted by Sonny's jab
If Leon Spinks was worse that doesn't say much for Ali !
Ali was fading badly in the late 70's and indeed, the Ali who lost to Spinks was a pretty mediocre fighter. All he had was his heart and his durability.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:34 AM   #25
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

Shannon Briggs
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:35 AM   #26
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
I disagree. Most people remember Carnera for being destroyed by Baer, but forget that he outboxed Baer for most of those other rounds and might have been bothered by an ankle injury. Be that as it is, he still has a good resume with wins over:

Uzcudun 2x
Young Stribling
Levinsky
Lasky
Schaaf
Sharkey
Godfrey
Loughran

Those are pretty good fighters.

How can that rank over Willard's resume? He barely has any good wins pre-title - probably Carl Morris who lost most of the time he stepped up. Then he beats Johnson, beats a journeyman Moran over a mere 10 rounds (i think it should count against a champion when they have joke of fights like that), then does **** all for 3 years and get knocked out.

Especially if you take into account that Johnson was 37 years old, fat and unfocused yet still would've won if it went over 15 or even 20 rounds but lost to a younger, better conditioned challenger pure on endurance, not on boxing skill, then you should conclude that Willard cannot be ranked over Carnera.

Anyway, i think Leon Spinks is worse.



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Old 02-01-2008, 08:39 AM   #27
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

Willard got the best of Luther McCarty (according to the New York Times), supposedly the best of the so-called Great White Hopes. He handily decisioned Carl Morris (winning 8-1-1 in rounds), proving that he could dominate a top contender of equal size and greater experience, and Frank Moran (who had previously given Jack Johnson 20 hectic rounds in their Paris title fight). When he had his comeback match at age 41, he took out number two ranked 30-2 Floyd Johnson in eleven rounds with a shot that pried The Auburn Bulldog (who was coming off a 12 round win over Fred Fulton) completely off the deck. His right uppercut also killed Bull Young. He made Arthur Pelkey's main event debut an unsuccessful one.

Jess Willard headlined at MSG five times in his career, and performed well enough to prevail five times, producing three of those outings in 1912 alone. Big Jess could hardly have been as unimpressive as more recent accounts suggest he was, since he drew well enough each time to be brought back to the same metropolitan venue.

His modern reputation suffers primarily because the bookends of his reign are Jack Johnson's uncharacteristically aggressive display against him over the first 15 rounds in Havana, the wire services photograph which Johnson used to claim that he took a dive in round 26, the sensational nature of the peak Dempsey's massacre of him in Toledo, the 1940 cinematic release of that bout titled, "Birth of a Champion," on the occasion of the interstate boxing film transport ban repeal, and Jess's own candid admission to the New York press before his title defense against Moran that he didn't really care for boxing.

Nearly everybody would have looked bad against Dempsey and Johnson when Willard faced them.

Careful scrutiny of the Willard/Moran movie film reveals that Jess could be quick and graceful on his feet, block and slip punches well, and was able to beat the slower Moran to the punch repeatedly with his superior speed. Willard could duck, slip and counter off the ropes very effectively, use his height to ride out his opponent's punches to the head, and actually box effectively while moving straight backwards against shorter adversaries. Willard was far better over ten rounds in dealing with Moran than Johnson was in Paris. All Jess had to do to retain his title was finish on his feet, yet much to his credit, he did enough to take the newspaper decison.

Blame Jack Johnson's conduct for the fact that Sam Langford and Harry Wills did not get title shots during Willard's reign. I do not believe that either Wills or Langford could have dethroned Jess in MSG any more than Moran. Only a peak Dempsey had the ability to take his title in a situation where a championship could only change hands on a stoppage.

As it happened in Toledo, Dempsey was getting concerned about whether or not he could last twelve rounds if he failed to take Willard out. He had nearly wrenched his left arm out of it's socket in round one (much as Liston would claim decades later in losing the title). Jess was continuing on, the temperature was around 110 degrees under a blistering sun in stifling air, and Willard previously outlasted Johnson in similar conditions at the Havana Race Track. Would Toledo Dempsey have prevailed over Havana Jess?


The worst undisputed heavyweight champion in terms of achievement was probably Leon Spinks, whose best nontitle wins were a decision over 27-0-0 Italian HW Champion Alfio Righetti (in Righetti's only appearance outside Italy), which qualified Leon for his shot at Ali, his knockout win against Evangelista (with the best combination he ever delivered), and the late round stoppage of a then streaking Bernado Mercado which qualified Leon for his shot at Holmes. (Leon's decision "win" over Jesse Burnett was such a flagrant robbery that Burnett got the shot at S.T. Gordon's CW Title, while Leon had to wait four more years before Qawi repelled him.)

The least capable undisputed heavyweight champion in terms of ability? I tend to lean towards Jimmy Braddock. I greatly admire him for having made the most of what ability he did possess. But by his own admission, the best performance of his career may have been over the first four rounds against Louis. He could take a tremendous punch, and had previously gotten off the deck to win. Jimmy had decent skills, and was a good counterpuncher with a vicious right hand. However, arthritis did compromise his ability to consistently load up. He displayed good mobility and a fine jab at times. But Tommy Loughran outboxed him in an embarrassingly one sided LHW title challenge, and Max Baer clowned away the HW title to Braddock as much as Jimmy won it.

Braddock went about his business seriously, which earned and deserved the respect of Depression era sports fans. He did not surrender the most valuable prize in sports with a mid round "No mas" like Carnera, nor did he clown it away like Baer, or forfeit it due to a lack of aggression like Schmeling did to Sharkey, or take a suspected dive in a bout he was winning handily, like Sharkey did against Carnera. He went after the most feared heavyweight of the early 1930s with purpose in becoming champion, and insisted on getting carried out on his shield in acquitting himself honorably against a young and devastatingly hungry challenger. This was no underachiever, but a worthy icon of Depression era America.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:44 AM   #28
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisPontius
Ali was fading badly in the late 70's and indeed, the Ali who lost to Spinks was a pretty mediocre fighter. All he had was his heart and his durability.
I agree.
He was still champion though.
Most of Ali's performances after '74, and many in the early 70s, aren't very impressive at all. Some of them are almost embarrassing to watch.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:48 AM   #29
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

MARVIN HART-TRUE HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION-part 1
By Matt Donnellon
This article attempts to redress the lack of information on this great fighter of the first decade of the twentieth century and tries to evaluate his true position in pugilistic history.
Marvin Hart was born on September 16th 1896 in Jefferson County, near Louisville, Kentucky. His father Samuel was born in Pennsylvania and was noted for his strength and fearlessness. His mother was a Kentuckian and she too was tall and muscular. Marvin soon found that he excelled at wrestling and fighting. He was also an excellent footballer and played left end for the Louisville Athletic club football team. Finishing school at eighteen, the youngster started learning his trade as a plumber. He was to be twenty-three before he entered the profession that made him famous.

Marvin never boxed formally as an amateur but a Professor Gearhardt, at that time physical instructor at the Young Men’s Hebrew Association, had been giving him boxing lessons. Hart was challenged to a bout with a local named Joseph Eichenberger. Marvin enlisted another local boxer, Charles Slusher to train the now twenty three year old while Eichenberger sought the help of William Schiller. Schiller, however knocked out his protégé in sparring, prompting his retirement and Schiller took his place against young Hart.

The date of this debut is uncertain, usually been listed as December 12th 1899 but listed as January 17th 1900 in the only contempory record that I found. Hart weighed only 158 to his opponents 190 for the scheduled twenty rounder. The result is not in question, a six round KO win for the aspiring champion. He repeated the dose a month later, this time in four stanzas.

Next up was Charles Meisner who had a reputation that, while in the regular army, he had whipped all the soldiers that thought they could fight. He fell in one and “Australian Tommy” Williams went the same way, in two.

Marvin stuck to his home patch of Louisville for the rest of the year and closed it out with 5 stoppage wins over Louis Seifker, Harry Rogers, Kid Hubert (twice), and Peter Trainor. Hubert and Hart boxed at 156 pounds in their first clash at the Nonpareil Athletic Club, Lexington with Hart the winner on a sixth round disqualification.

A step up in class was required and came in the form of Al Weinig. Al stood 6 feet 1 inch and tipped in at around 190 pounds. He had wins over Jim Daly, Dick O’Brien, and “Doc” Payne and would follow up the Hart fight by beating Dick Moore, Jim Scanlon, Dan Creedon, Billy Stift, John Willie, Jim Jeffords and Jack McCormack. After a tough battle during which Weinig had the best of the early fighting, at the Music Hall, the man from Buffalo hit the mat three times in round eleven of the scheduled twelve and was counted out on the last visit.

The Kentucky man was on a roll and the useful “Australian” Jimmy Ryan went out in eight a month later. Ryan boasted a draw with Jack Root, about whom more anon. Next came another step up, in the form of another conqueror of Jimmy Ryan, Tommy West. Billy Stift, Joe Walcott, Dick Moore, Charlie Stevenson, Jack Bonner, George Byers, Billy Hanrahan, Frank Craig, “Doc” Payne and Philadelphia Jack O’Brien had all fallen to the little man from Wales.

The bout took place at the Southern Athletic Club and West, despite weighing only 158 to his opponents 165 was the betting favorite. He was coming off a middleweight title loss to the great Tommy Ryan and hoped to garner a quick win. It was not to be, and from the thirteenth on, West was down numerous times before referee Tim Hurst brought proceedings to a halt in round 16 of a mooted 20.
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Old 02-01-2008, 08:49 AM   #30
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Default Re: Was Willard the worst ?

Still, even though he was faded, Ali still should not have lost to a 7-0 fighter. Joe Louis or Lewis never let that happen to them at 37 right?

Last edited by Robbi; 01-22-2007 at 10:42 PM.
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