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Old 09-30-2009, 05:49 PM   #1
janitor
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Default If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

Lets say that Harry Greb had not died on the operating table and had continued his boxing career.

I think we would all agree that his best days were behind him but this does not mean that he could not have gone on to be involved in significant fights or gain significant wins.

On a side note I suspect that this is one fighter who was always going to stay on for too long. I think he would have found it almost impossible to stay away from the fight game and would have continued fighting past the point where he was able to compete at world level with tragic results.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

He might've pushed for a title fight rematch with Walker after Walker beat Flowers for the title.
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

I just see a slide, perhaps retires in 27 or 28, or takes the Ezzard Charles route of the late 50's.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

He would have never fought again seeing as how a month before he died he had one of his eyes removed and replaced with a glass eye. He would not have been allowed to fight, nor could he have fought with a glass eye. For all intents and purposes Harry was retired when he died.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

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Originally Posted by klompton View Post
He would have never fought again seeing as how a month before he died he had one of his eyes removed and replaced with a glass eye. He would not have been allowed to fight, nor could he have fought with a glass eye. For all intents and purposes Harry was retired when he died.
I have heard stories of boxers with glass eyes continuing to fight.

"Blinks" McCloskey was not so called for nothing.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:30 PM   #6
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

Reportedly, his blind eye was surgically removed and replaced with a glass one in September 1926. It might be more apropos to ask how long he might have continued if he had been able to retire with two good eyes.

In any event, it was observed during his match against Walker that his legs didn't seem to be quite what they were when he was younger, and he was losing ground to Tunney as his series with Gene progressed. Also, he had an ambition to challenge Dempsey for the heavyweight title himself, an aspiration which went by the boards as Tunney took command of their rivalry and secured that shot for himself.

What I'd really like to know is how much he made betting on Gene to take Dempsey's title. From what Walker indicated in his autobiography, Tunney's upset could have resulted in the largest payoff Harry ever got out of boxing.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

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He would have never fought again seeing as how a month before he died he had one of his eyes removed and replaced with a glass eye. He would not have been allowed to fight, nor could he have fought with a glass eye. For all intents and purposes Harry was retired when he died.
All signs point to the theory that Harry Greb had officially retired (at least to his friends) the moment he decided to get the glass eye. His bad eye was beginning to rot in his head and he had to undergo the operation.

However, he did not want the news to go public at that point because of his plans of a boxing business foray. An active fighter has a shinier name than a "retired" fighter quickly lurching quickly to oblivion. So he had some phony bluster about fighting again before the operation while the real intentions of the operation was covered up until after his death.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

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I have heard stories of boxers with glass eyes continuing to fight.

"Blinks" McCloskey was not so called for nothing.
For somebody of Harry's stature, this might have been a bit too much to pull off. With his style, how long would it have been before it popped off in mid-ring, during competition, or even in sparring? (When I was a kid, we found out that a girl in my gym class had a glass eye when it dropped out while she was jumping on a trampoline. Greb may have found it a challenge to keep it in while simply skipping rope.)
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

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What I'd really like to know is how much he made betting on Gene to take Dempsey's title. From what Walker indicated in his autobiography, Tunney's upset could have resulted in the largest payoff Harry ever got out of boxing.
Greb had first hand experience of being in the ring with both Dempsey and Tunney going into their title fight.

On the stock market they call it "insider trading".
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Old 09-30-2009, 07:28 PM   #10
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

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Greb had first hand experience of being in the ring with both Dempsey and Tunney going into their title fight.

On the stock market they call it "insider trading".
It was incredibly generous of him to try convincing Walker to wager on Gene. That he couldn't get Mickey to believe him leads me to wonder just how much like "insider trading" it was. Persuading bettors that Tunney would win must have been akin to arguing that the price of gold would drop below silver.

Common opponents don't always predict accurately when a pair of former adversaries meet. But Harry's level of ongoing familiarity with Tunney's progress was on a level we don't see in world class competition anymore, and ought not to have been dismissed.
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Old 09-30-2009, 10:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

Greb new the game inside and out for the most part.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:49 AM   #12
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

I often wondered if Greb's death made Tunney think about retiring early.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

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I often wondered if Greb's death made Tunney think about retiring early.
The thought must have played on his mind as he helped carry Greb's casket, but the death of Rickard and retirement of Dempsey was probably also instrumental in sealing his decision to quit. If Jack had been willing to challenge Gene yet again, Tunney might have stuck around for a final million dollar payoff.

Although Gene's choice to retire on top has received much attention, the fact is that he got through the 1929 crash completely intact financially, while Dempsey was hit hard by it. Therefore, it might be more remarkable that it was Jack who stayed retired, despite his concern for his eyesight in a third face off with Tunney.

When Tiger Flowers was going into surgery to have scar tissue removed from his eyes in November 1927 while seeking a rematch with Walker for the MW title, he stopped and asked, "Say, isn't this the same hospital where Harry Greb died?" The doctor replied, "Yes, but you're tougher than he was. You proved that, Tiger." Deacon Flowers wasn't a match for the Reaper either though, and he also left in a casket, also at just 32.
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Old 10-01-2009, 07:55 PM   #14
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

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When Tiger Flowers was going into surgery to have scar tissue removed from his eyes in November 1927 while seeking a rematch with Walker for the MW title, he stopped and asked, "Say, isn't this the same hospital where Harry Greb died?" The doctor replied, "Yes, but you're tougher than he was. You proved that, Tiger." Deacon Flowers wasn't a match for the Reaper either though, and he also left in a casket, also at just 32.

Well that's bullshit. Flowers died in the private hospital of Wilfred Fraalick New York City. Greb died in Atlantic City at the private hospital of Dr. Charles McGivern while being attended by visiting specialist Dr. Berenda Weinberg. It has often been said that the same doctor presided over both deaths. This is not true.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: If Harry Greb had not died on the operating table

Harry would have retired, or suffered a humiliating defeat to a lesser fighter.
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