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Old 11-25-2012, 06:06 AM   #181
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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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.


you cheated, but it's still funny
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:10 AM   #182
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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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.
Hitler was never a professional athlete was he?
Anyway, who said he was a scum bag?
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Old 11-25-2012, 06:53 AM   #183
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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Who formed this consensus ?
Provide sources please.



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.



I'm not sure.
the most indepth research I've seen into this era is by MattD so he's my source.

I'm not criticising the manager, that's their job. I'm criticising a fighter who hides behind his management rather than chase the legacy defining fight. They're in it for money so it's their choice, but from a legacy point of view they're open to criticism.

Well it's the lack of surity that makes this thread worthwhile and debatable
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:50 AM   #184
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

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the most indepth research I've seen into this era is by MattD so he's my source.
What does he say about this consensus ?
Who are the men who formed the consensus ?


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I'm not criticising the manager, that's their job. I'm criticising a fighter who hides behind his management rather than chase the legacy defining fight. They're in it for money so it's their choice, but from a legacy point of view they're open to criticism.
This use of the word "legacy" and the concept is peculiar to recent years, and ESB classic forum in particular. (I remember Lennox Lewis used to say "legacy" a lot, then everyone on here starts saying it.)

Million dollar gates and unrivalled interest in boxing were Jack Dempsey's career legacy.

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Well it's the lack of surity that makes this thread worthwhile and debatable
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:36 PM   #185
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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.
I saw the Lombardi Packers (for non-Americans, an NFL team which won five championships in the 1960's) live from the stands, so if I say they would wipe the field with any modern team, my opinion is just so much more valuable than guys who only can watch them on film.

"silent movie images"

Shown at proper projection speeds, silent film footage is quite good. Stock footage from the silent era was used in movies and TV into the 1960's with most viewers none the wiser. Film grain is sometimes noticable, but otherwise the black and white image fits in pretty well with b/w film taken decades later, as does the movement.

Dempsey is well represented on film, and the irony of this position is that he looks good on film. Film is his best defense that the high rating of him back in the day was within reason. It is the cold, hard facts of his record which raise the severe issues.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:40 PM   #186
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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 Unforgiven View Post
What does he say about this consensus ?
Who are the men who formed the consensus ?




This use of the word "legacy" and the concept is peculiar to recent years, and ESB classic forum in particular. (I remember Lennox Lewis used to say "legacy" a lot, then everyone on here starts saying it.)

Million dollar gates and unrivalled interest in boxing were Jack Dempsey's career legacy.



Ask him. His ratings have posted on this sight in previous years.

Well this thread isn't asking who had better earning potential, it's asking whether wills has a case for being ranked above Dempsey.
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Old 11-25-2012, 12:50 PM   #187
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

The problem with falling back on the "consensus" that Dempsey was better

1--much of it is from the white press, or filtered through the white press, and any sentient person would have to doubt their even-handedness on racial issues

2--we really don't know how many of the "experts" actually saw Wills in his prime.

3--Little film exists of Wills. None in his prime.

4--The cold facts in the record book do NOT show a massive gap between these two men in achievement or consistency.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:00 PM   #188
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

Exactly ed, you nailed it.

They were the top two for about 7 years in a row. Beat a fair share of the eras heavyweight contenders.

There's no film to distinguish and that's why I give jack a slight edge. Wills is one place lower. Both in the lower reaches of my top 15.
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Old 11-25-2012, 01:14 PM   #189
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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 edward morbius View Post
The problem with falling back on the "consensus" that Dempsey was better

1--much of it is from the white press, or filtered through the white press, and any sentient person would have to doubt their even-handedness on racial issues

2--we really don't know how many of the "experts" actually saw Wills in his prime.

3--Little film exists of Wills. None in his prime.

4--The cold facts in the record book do NOT show a massive gap between these two men in achievement or consistency.

1 - I disagree a bit with that. This is the same white press who made Peter Jackson, Jack Johnson, Sam Langford into mythical giants of greatness, often at the expense of popular white contemporary fighters.

2 - this is true. Still, it's a greater number than the number of us who have seen Wills.

3 - true.

4 - true again. But records 'on paper' are often deceptive.

I agree, we shouldn't follow a consensus as to who was better. But it seems to lead to a conclusion that Harry Wills isn't as easy to rate in comparison to other greats.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:38 PM   #190
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

Langford, Johnson and Jeanette picked Dempsey to beat Wills. Langford would know Wills better than anyone in the ring. Three of the greatest black hwts from that time pick Dempsey. Langford stated Dempsey was the greatest hwt he had ever seen. The greatest boxing historian from that time picked Dempsey to win. One of the greatest boxing trainers of all time from that era thought Dempsey would win. What more do you want? They were there at that time watching both men in action which we cannot do today.

There are many newspaper accounts of Wills fights where it is obvious the writers attended the bouts so of course those at that time watched him in action. Fleischer wrote extensively about first hand accounts of many of these bouts as one example.

Most of Dempseys filmed bouts have been heavily edited. It's very hard even corrected for speed to pick up the finer points of what Dempsey is doing in the ring. You can pick up things here and there but you need to watch many times over and know what you are looking for. The herky jerky movements are similar to other silent film footage from that time....slowing them down just makes it a bit less jerky but not in any way smooth motion.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:42 PM   #191
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

Most boxing experts picked Tyson over Holyfield, too. Not to mention Tyson over Douglas. And Robinson over Turpin and Liston over Ali and Foreman over Ali and Baer over Braddock and Lewis over Rahamn and Klitschko over Sanders and Louis over Schmeling and so on and so on and so on. Hatton was a heavy favourite to win last night.

Surely you understand that it doesn't really matter, in the end, what these people say about Dempsey and his #1 contender? Seven years is enough to make a fight happen.
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Old 11-25-2012, 04:58 PM   #192
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

Problem is....they were in a much better position to pick a winner accurately than YOU. They were experts, you are not. They knew both men, you did not. They saw both men live in action..you cannot. Could they all be wrong, possibly, but they are far more likely to be right than some non entity like yourself dreaming and imagining how each may have fought one another.
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:00 PM   #193
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

I think you missed the point Houdini...
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:21 PM   #194
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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
Problem is....they were in a much better position to pick a winner accurately than YOU. They were experts, you are not. They knew both men, you did not. They saw both men live in action..you cannot. Could they all be wrong, possibly, but they are far more likely to be right than some non entity like yourself dreaming and imagining how each may have fought one another.
Did you even read his post?
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Old 11-25-2012, 05:30 PM   #195
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Default Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?

Certainly and responded appropriately. It does matter what was written by the experts of the day. History matters. Rewriting history 90 years after the fact is where the problem exists.
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