Boxing  

Forum Home Boxing Forum European British Classic Aussie MMA Training
Go Back   Boxing News 24 Forum > Boxing > Classic Boxing Forum


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-28-2012, 06:17 PM   #1
mattdonnellon
Belt holder
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,908
vCash: 1000
Default Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Much chat about Wills lately brought me to wonder was he, peak for peak, a better fighter than Langford, McVea or Jeannette?
Recent consensus seems to lead that way, esp with McVea and Joe, but I'm not so sure. Thoughts?
mattdonnellon is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old 11-28-2012, 06:27 PM   #2
lufcrazy
requiescat in pace
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: England, Up North
Posts: 22,619
vCash: 330
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Without footage it's hard to tell who was better but wills was certainly more consistent, however he fought in a slightly weaker era.

Results seem to suggest he hit his prime as they left theirs so it's a very debatable subject and certainly not an open and shut case.

I do think wills is greater though but better is very hard to say.
lufcrazy is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 04:27 AM   #3
mattdonnellon
Belt holder
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,908
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

McVea and Langford seem to have handled Wills pretty well in their first few fights with him and I'm not sure how green he was.
Lufcrazy probably is right in saying they lacked Wills consistancy but not by much, they generally only lost to one another.
None of them got to test themselves against eneough of the top whites to get a better benchmark and we're left with their own series as our best guide and I for one am wary of a lot of their multiple contests.
Another point of interest might be were they in fact that far ahead of the top white contenders as we-myself included- assume?
mattdonnellon is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 04:32 AM   #4
McGrain
Diamond Dog
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 37,084
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Unknown.

He was bigger though and his reputation seems to have been in excess of both McVey and Jeanette's. Interesting that we can see Jeanette running like a scared kid from Killer Sam on film but that none of the meetings between Wills and Langford - even those when he has a waft of greenery as you say Matt - give the impression that Wills was terrified or even neccessarily out-classed. My guess on a "best for best" basis, though it is a guess, I want to stress this:

Wills
Langford
Jeanette
McVey
McGrain is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 04:47 AM   #5
mcvey
P4P King
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Garden Of England
Posts: 21,366
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdonnellon View Post
Much chat about Wills lately brought me to wonder was he, peak for peak, a better fighter than Langford, McVea or Jeannette?
Recent consensus seems to lead that way, esp with McVea and Joe, but I'm not so sure. Thoughts?
Nice to see you back.
I put Wills behind Langford and about the same as the other two ,difficult to gauge.
Some of their contests appear to have been glorified sparring sessions,and Langford was often out of shape.
1. Langford
After that I am less confident.
mcvey is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 06:30 AM   #6
Webbiano
Belt holder
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: England
Posts: 2,780
vCash: 500
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

In terms of greatness, Wills is going to be above all 3, 9 times out of 10 on an ATG list.
However I'll have to reiterate what has already been said in terms of H2H that it's simply to hard to tell. I'd have Langford and Wills at 1/2 then Jeannette and McVea at 3/4. It would certainly have been great to have a round robin tournament between the 4.
Webbiano is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 09:03 AM   #7
mattdonnellon
Belt holder
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,908
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Webbiano View Post
In terms of greatness, Wills is going to be above all 3, 9 times out of 10 on an ATG list.
However I'll have to reiterate what has already been said in terms of H2H that it's simply to hard to tell. I'd have Langford and Wills at 1/2 then Jeannette and McVea at 3/4. It would certainly have been great to have a round robin tournament between the 4.
I think that's the kernel of what I'm trying to get at, I can't see why Wills is considered greater now that the other fellows as a given. They are the three best wins on his resumee without a doubt and he also lost to two of them and drew several times with the other.
In the rest of their careers they all stack up fairly even IMO with Harry. I know that we believe that if he could have gotten the fights he wanted he might have a much better CV but surely we can't ascribe greatness to someone on the basis of what might have been?
mattdonnellon is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 09:17 AM   #8
Cmoyle
Contender
ESB Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 580
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

So far as Langford was concerned I don't believe that Wills himself thought he was in Langford's class. Here's an excerpt from page 295 of my book about him:

"Wills always maintained that Sam was the best fighter he ever fought.

'He was a real professional, the kind of fighter you'd like to be but know that no matter how hard you try you'll never make it. Sam never made a mistake, he always held command and when he knocked me out in New Orleans in 1916, I thought I had been killed." (The News Sentinel, 2 September 1922)

Wills thought Langford was without equal when it came to punching power.

'Talk about hitting! Well, I've met some hard punchers in my time and all I can say is that the hardest blows any of them ever landed one me were like a slap in the face from a woman compared with those bone-crushing wallops of Langford. They seemed to go right through you.

When Sam hit you in the body you'd kind of look around half expecting to see his glove sticking out of your back. When he hit you on the chin, well, when that happened you didn't that at all until they brought you back to life again."
Cmoyle is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 10:14 AM   #9
PowerPuncher
P4P King
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 20,610
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Hard to say but I think he probably was, I mean he beat everyone who'd fight him from 1912-1926, must say something? I think he probably suffers from been effectively while not being exciting. Even in the fights he lost to Langford though he was outboxing him
PowerPuncher is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 10:37 AM   #10
McGrain
Diamond Dog
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 37,084
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Although that may be partly debatable, PP, I think you've hit the nail on the head as far as comparisons between Wills and McVey/Jeanette go. Langford's superiority over Wills is at best entirely less clear and at worst entirely debatable. It's awkward making such direct, short-sighted comparisons and drawing concrete conclusions but as you say, we also have Wills overall record to agument this.

So I draw the conclusion that Wills is the superior of McVey and Jeanette.
McGrain is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 11:50 AM   #11
lufcrazy
requiescat in pace
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: England, Up North
Posts: 22,619
vCash: 330
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Yeah whilst their h2h series are a bit hard to gauge regarding relative primes, their respective achievements aren't that difficult to compare.

Wills spent about 7 years in the top two of the division albeit a slightly weaker division .
lufcrazy is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #12
PowerPuncher
P4P King
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 20,610
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

1 thing Wills does seem to get criticised for unfairly as I see it is splitting his early series with Langford/Jeanette/Mcvey, while been fairly green and unexperienced only 3 years into his career going into the deep end against 3 top contenders who were slightly past prime with far more experience.

Looking at it more closely:

The Langford Series - (1914) probably edges the first (SD win), gets knocked out in the rematch:

These are in 1914, Langford is 31, Wills 25.

1915 - Wills wins easily, this seems like either a big improvement in Wills performance or a fast decline in the 32yo Langford

1916 - Wills wins 3 decisions seemingly wide decision, while Langford KO's Wills once in a fight Wills was by all accounts dominating.

1917 onwards Wills wins every decision

The Jeanette Series

1913-1914 (34-35yo version) draws the first, probably edging the second (SD win), a close edge in the beggining of their meetings

1919 (39) - Wills dominates

The McVey Series

1914-1915 (30-31yo at the time) loses the first 2 and was dominated in the second but bounces back later in '15 to beat McVey

1918 (34yo) - a 3 year gap, Wills wins twice, although Mcvey still KDs him in 1 bout

1920 (36yo) - probably mutually staged for cash

I think the criticism for his early losses/draws/close fights is very harsh, Langford doesn't get anything like the criticism for his losses much nearer to his prime.

The idea that Langford/Jeanette/McVey were a all shot when Wills started beating them doesn't bare out with their performances against other contenders, in Wills himself, Battling Jim Johnson, Kid Norfolk, Jeff Clark, George Godfrey, Bill Tate, John Lester Johnson.

They did all drop in ranking and ability after 1917 though, with Wills and Fulton beating Langford and Langford no longer being competitive against the best but still good enough to knock out many pretenders after that.

I'm sure someone will make an argument that he didn't prove decisive over Jeanette/Mcvey, but at this stage Langford was typically beating those 2 time and again so that was the real fight

I do think these are disingenuous criticisms to denigrate Wills, typically from Dempsey apologists who want to marginalise Wills
PowerPuncher is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 04:49 PM   #13
Webbiano
Belt holder
ESB Addict
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: England
Posts: 2,780
vCash: 500
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdonnellon View Post
I think that's the kernel of what I'm trying to get at, I can't see why Wills is considered greater now that the other fellows as a given. They are the three best wins on his resumee without a doubt and he also lost to two of them and drew several times with the other.
In the rest of their careers they all stack up fairly even IMO with Harry. I know that we believe that if he could have gotten the fights he wanted he might have a much better CV but surely we can't ascribe greatness to someone on the basis of what might have been?
You would have fought so, but this forum is mad crazy on Holmes, who consiststantley avoided the top contenders of his time throughout his reign as champ, yet ESB assumes he wins these fights against Pinklon Thomas, Greg Page and Michael Dokes so he gets some kind of free pass for it.
Webbiano is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 06:25 PM   #14
janitor
P4P King
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 21,088
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

My take is that he was superior to McVea and Jeanette, but inferior to Langford.
janitor is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Old 11-29-2012, 07:17 PM   #15
Mendoza
Dominating a decade
East Side VIP
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 14,104
vCash: 1000
Default Re: Was Wills better than McVea, Jeannette or Langford?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattdonnellon View Post
Much chat about Wills lately brought me to wonder was he, peak for peak, a better fighter than Langford, McVea or Jeannette?
Recent consensus seems to lead that way, esp with McVea and Joe, but I'm not so sure. Thoughts?
I would say Langford was greater than Wills, and Langford got the better of Wills before he aged.

I do think Wills was better than McVey. Jeanette vs Wills is a close one.
Mendoza is offline  Top
Reply With Quote
Reply

Boxing News 24 Forum > Boxing > Classic Boxing Forum

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump





All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Boxing News 24 Forum 2013