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Old 11-24-2012, 12:13 PM   #166
mcvey
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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Speaking of which, where is Pachilles these days ?
Quien Sabe?
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:45 PM   #167
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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List of Wills' notable victories:

Luis Firpo
Jeff Clark
Kid Norfolk
Sam Langford
Gunboat Smith
Fred Fulton
Joe Jeanette
Sam McVey
Battling Jim Johnson

List of Dempsey's notable victories:
Luis Firpo
Tommy Gibbons
Georges Carpentier
Bill Brennan
Billy Miske
Jess Willard
Gunboat Smith
Battling Levinsky
Fred Fulton

Good lists but I'd add

Dempsey

Sharkey
Carl Morris


Wills

Bill Tate
Weinert
Denver Ed Martin
John Lester Johnson

Is this a good list of notable wins for each man? (Wills and Dempsey.)

Black or white, only then we can see who is really greater..
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:46 PM   #168
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

On the original question

Wills was not generally viewed in his own day as being on quite the same level as Johnson and Langford from the previous generation. His biggest name opposition--Langford, McVea, Jeannette--had seen better days.

My take on criticisms of Wills

Norfolk was a lightheavy--all these old champs feasted on lightheavies. Dempsey is credited with Gibbons, Carpentier, Levinsky, etc. Norfolk is thus certainly a decent scalp in the context of the time.

Tate "loss"--This seems a reach. Tate was apparently dropped for the count in the first round but Wills was DQ'd for hitting on the break. Dempsey's tactics were not scrutinized so closely in the Willard or Firpo fights. Not a valid issue.

Best opponents past it--fair point regarding Langford, Jeannette, McVea--but, of course, nothing Wills could help. Willard, it could be pointed out, was also past it.

Wills did not look good against Firpo--The white press, many of whom apparently were literally on Rickard's payroll, wrote it up this way. Wills apparently dominated a dull fight. Some thought he carried Firpo. He was already 35.

Fulton--Dempsey got Fulton with the first punch. It is hard to top that, but Wills utterly destroyed Fulton in three quick rounds.

Sharkey--the best pro-Dempsey point, but Wills was an ancient 37, much older than Dempsey fought to.

Common opponents--They shared 8 opponents. Wills went 9-1 with 4 ko's. Dempsey went 7-2-3 with 5 ko's. Wills did better against J L Johnson (three decision victories versus a draw for Dempsey) and Meehan whom Wills outpointed in his only try. Dempsey did much better against Sharkey. The rest are pretty much even to me. Firpo went the distance with Wills, but came closer to defeating Dempsey when he knocked him out of the ring.

I don't see the common opponents giving either much of an edge.

Bottom line--I think both men should be rated behind earlier champions Johnson and Jeffries, and were by plenty of experts in their own day. Nat Fleischer and Tex Rickard both rated Dempsey behind Jeffries. Nat rated Johnson at the top. Wills seems to have been generally considered a notch below Johnson and Langford.

The fact that they didn't fight each other leaves a hole in both their careers. Wills has the argument that this was not at all through any fault of his own. Dempsey has extenuating circumstances, but it is not clear to me that he went the extra mile to make this fight happen. Had he, and had he beaten Wills, even a past it Wills of 1924 to 1926, he would rank several notches higher for me.

I would rank both somewhere between 10 and 15 with Wills a place higher.

Last edited by edward morbius; 11-26-2012 at 04:09 AM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:57 PM   #169
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

Dempsey was rated top 4 all time for 60 years or more. Wills has never been rated top 4 all time by anyone anywhere at any time. Not even top 10. At least by no boxing historian, writer or trainer of note. Those are the facts and end of story unless your keen on changing boxing history that is.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:22 PM   #170
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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Dempsey was rated top 4 all time for 60 years or more. Wills has never been rated top 4 all time by anyone anywhere at any time. Not even top 10. At least by no boxing historian, writer or trainer of note. Those are the facts and end of story unless your keen on changing boxing history that is.

The issue is more whether Dempsey should ever have been rated that highly,

Wills, as I posted, was generally rated below Johnson and Langford.

For all that, other than falling back on old opinions (and perhaps selected opinions by the white press--Jack Britton thought Wills would beat Dempsey--how often is he quoted?) you offer no analysis. What fights prove to you that Dempsey would win and why?
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:35 PM   #171
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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Speaking of which, where is Pachilles these days ?
whats up Clay Aiken?
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:39 PM   #172
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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Originally Posted by HOUDINI View Post
Dempsey was rated top 4 all time for 60 years or more. Wills has never been rated top 4 all time by anyone anywhere at any time. Not even top 10. At least by no boxing historian, writer or trainer of note. Those are the facts and end of story unless your keen on changing boxing history that is.
it's an interesting point. wills has been re-evaluted, which happens. were those historians around now, more information and more objectively they may rate wills and dempsey differently.

people shit on tyson for being overrated based on the savage and conclusive nature of his wins....the exact same can be said of dempsey. i don't rank in retrospect the win over fulton or willard as much at all. i wouldn't rank 100 wins over old farmers. but if i were there, in person, i may well be mesmerized by his speed and furiousity and forget it was jess ****ing willard he were fighting

we now have the advantage of context to put wins into perspective.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:07 PM   #173
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

No we don't. The only people who can objectively and accurately determine how great Dempsey was are no longer living. They were the experts from that time who saw him flesh and blood fighting live in the ring. Watching silent movie images of him does not do Dempsey or his skills justice. those that did see him rate him right up there with Louis...that's pretty darn great. This is why you cannot rewrite history that is so well and conclusively documented.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:10 PM   #174
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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No we don't. The only people who can objectively and accurately determine how great Dempsey was are no longer living. They were the experts from that time who saw him flesh and blood fighting live in the ring. Watching silent movie images of him does not do Dempsey or his skills justice. those that did see him rate him right up there with Louis...that's pretty darn great. This is why you cannot rewrite history that is so well and conclusively documented.
So, using this logic, the only people who can accurately determine how much of a scumbag Adolf Hitler was are just about extinct. In another 20 years he will be a regular Mother Theresa.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:22 PM   #175
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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I doubt everyone was, nor that they even had a consensus top 5.
The title was valued just as highly as ever. It certainly retained its meaning.




Well, you brought up 'hiding behind management'. I pointed out that managers existed to decide all the decisions such as when, who, where and if to fight ...

As for this notion of "pugilistic greatness", you must understand that 99% of great fighters became great largely due to the way they were managed.



Well, he was rated highly at the time. It's just as nostalgic to talk up Wills and it is to talk up Dempsey.
I don't see an awful lot of scrutiny of his record, to be honest.
I'm not saying you haven't, but I've noticed that a lot of the postors who have used Wills as a yardstick of the era against Dempsey, seem to give Wills an easier ride or simply don't have a clue.

Both great fighters, imo.
Yeah jeannete, Langford, McVey and smith were consensus top 5. They even had a white champ during this period such was the shoddiness of his post Jeffries defences.

I don't care about business decisions, I care about boxing greatness.

Wills has unquestionably he better resume.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:39 PM   #176
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

Idiotic. Those that were writing about Hitler in the early 40's predominately felt he was a "scumbag". Invading, unprovoked, most of the European continent won't get anyone good press. Although today I am sure you could find a book or two that will praise Hitler. That's the danger of revisionism. Dempsey for those who saw him live, not fans like you but experts..trainers, writers and Historians put him right up there with Joe Louis. Today Louis is rated universally top 2 all time. Yes Dempsey was that good. You want to rewrite the history of all those expert opinions? Are you an all time great trainer or known published boxing historian? If not I suggest you take a back seat.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:43 PM   #177
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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Idiotic. Those that were writing about Hitler in the early 40's predominately felt he was a "scumbag". Invading, unprovoked, most of the European continent won't get anyone good press. Although today I am sure you could find a book or two that will praise Hitler.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:50 AM   #178
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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whats up Clay Aiken?
I had to google it.
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Old 11-25-2012, 02:59 AM   #179
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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Yeah jeannete, Langford, McVey and smith were consensus top 5. They even had a white champ during this period such was the shoddiness of his post Jeffries defences.
Who formed this consensus ?
Provide sources please.

Quote:
I don't care about business decisions, I care about boxing greatness.
You talked about a fighter "hiding behind management". If you don't care about business decisions don't criticize them.

As I've already explained "boxing greatness" is largely the result of good management anyway.

Quote:
Wills has unquestionably he better resume.
I'm not sure.
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Old 11-25-2012, 03:03 AM   #180
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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Originally Posted by HOUDINI View Post
Idiotic. Those that were writing about Hitler in the early 40's predominately felt he was a "scumbag". Invading, unprovoked, most of the European continent won't get anyone good press. Although today I am sure you could find a book or two that will praise Hitler. That's the danger of revisionism. Dempsey for those who saw him live, not fans like you but experts..trainers, writers and Historians put him right up there with Joe Louis. Today Louis is rated universally top 2 all time. Yes Dempsey was that good. You want to rewrite the history of all those expert opinions? Are you an all time great trainer or known published boxing historian? If not I suggest you take a back seat.
I didn't find a book written today that praised Adolph. But I did find a couple guys from Dempsey's era who did.... Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford.

Once again, either my wit is too sharp or your intellect too dull to understand my import. This time you win. Your dullardness weakens my efforts to enlighten.

Whiskey cures the night.
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