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Old 12-11-2012, 03:30 AM   #1
Vysotsky
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Default Alternate Career History For Ketchel

Let's say he didn't take Papke lightly in their second fight and did to him in their second fight what he did in their 3rd. He planned to fight Tommy Burns after the second Papke fight so lets say he wins the HW crown, then what? He did fight Langford and Johnson but would he have given them Title shots?

Win or lose at HW what could have accomplished at MW had he not died. Fights against Klaus, Carpantier, Dillon, Chip how long could Stanley have held on to the title? He would have turned 30 years old in Sept 1916. I could see Ketchel defending the HW title a couple times before giving Langford or Johnson a shot and losing it then focusing on MW. I do think he could hold on to the title for several more years against guys like the ones listed above.

Lastly, while unlikely i cant help but dream about Greb vs Ketchel. Lets say late 1916 or early 1917 with Ketchel just having turned 30 years old. My default thought is of course Greb wins but Harry would have to swarm one of the sports greatest punchers and while completely different from Greb, Stan is also known for his awkward punching angles with his switches. That could present a riddle for Greb to solve which he may struggle with, perhaps long enough for Ketchel's power to play a decisive role.

For those more familiar with the MW, LHW, HW divisions of those years who would have been likely foes for Stanley and how do you think he would have done against them?
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: Alternate Career History For Ketchel

It's definitely an intruguing notion. Ketchel-Burns was a fight that was all but made when Papke stepped up to ruin it and Ketchel was not viewed as a prohibitive underdog. He may have beaten Burns.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Alternate Career History For Ketchel

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It's definitely an intruguing notion. Ketchel-Burns was a fight that was all but made when Papke stepped up to ruin it and Ketchel was not viewed as a prohibitive underdog. He may have beaten Burns.
Love your articles i have them in my binder of old timey fighter articles. How does his HW run look, if he avoids Johnson and Langford he could probably reign for a while no? Johnson never becomes Champion.

I have no idea what styles Dillon or Chip had. Could he have reigned through the middle part of the decade at MW with Klaus, Carpantier, Dillon, Chip, Gibbons who else? He would have been 32 in 1918.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:53 AM   #4
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Default Re: Alternate Career History For Ketchel

Thanks.

It's very hard to say. If you imagine that Ketchel stays focused he could certainly hang with any middleweights. His style was deeper than is generally given credit for, but he may have been running out of time in terms of the validity of that style on a long enough timeline. Secondly, it's a young man's style - it's not just a matter of the opium and the booze and the bad crowd. It's the terrific beating he took from Papke and the high-voltage style. Nobody with that style lasts long, especially not in that era.

Langford and Johnson would obviously both beat him. The type of man he was means that he wouldn't be staying away from these guys, he would fight them and lose.

Imagining his 1908 form extended through the ages (which wouldn't happen) he could hang with literally anyone in the MW division up to Greb, who would outpoint him.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: Alternate Career History For Ketchel

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Thanks.

It's very hard to say. If you imagine that Ketchel stays focused he could certainly hang with any middleweights. His style was deeper than is generally given credit for, but he may have been running out of time in terms of the validity of that style on a long enough timeline. Secondly, it's a young man's style - it's not just a matter of the opium and the booze and the bad crowd. It's the terrific beating he took from Papke and the high-voltage style. Nobody with that style lasts long, especially not in that era.

Langford and Johnson would obviously both beat him. The type of man he was means that he wouldn't be staying away from these guys, he would fight them and lose.

Imagining his 1908 form extended through the ages (which wouldn't happen) he could hang with literally anyone in the MW division up to Greb, who would outpoint him.
Your comment about his style taking an obvious wear on his physical state is something i thought about but at the same time not everyone is Papke. I dont know about Chip and Dillon's styles but aside from Klaus, Darcy, Smith are there many elite MW's who could step into Ketchel's furnace and endure a war like Papke? If he were to lose through the middle part of the decade wouldn't it have been more likely to a boxer like Mike Gibbons?

Looking over his record earlier i didnt know he had fought Klaus. Have you read any newspaper accounts of their fight or anything from Klaus himself talking about Ketchel?
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: Alternate Career History For Ketchel

Post Johnson he was pretty much phoning it in in comparison to those early days.

Ketchel definitely was prone to being out-boxed, but I don't think that Carpantier would be the man for that particular job. I just don't think he was ever tough enough, if he could break Sullivan he could break Carpantier. A Gibbons bout would be distant dependent. Mike never fought further than 15 rounds, and we see the difference the first real modernisation makes to this match up because 15 rounds is the tipping point. Mike in 1908 gets broke, but in 1916 Ketchel probably gets frustrated in a ten-rounder for at least 2/3.

Packey McFarland, too.

The point is, Ketchel was the perfect fighting machine for his time. Brutally aggressive, an insane puncher, an incredible engine, near-limitless durability and toughness. Gibbons was of his time. Ketchel's story is fascinating because he represents the perfection of a generation whilst also being its last real standard bearer. IMO, even completely modern fighters like Hearns and Hagler would have struggled to beat Ketchel over the 25 round disatnce. But over 12 rounds he'd probably only have fleeting moments, rather like he did against Sullivan.

I rate Ketchel as one of the truly great MW's, and I think he performed the best "clearing out" in the history of the middles. But there is a chance he would have become a man out of time trying to take on these new breed of scientists over shorter distances.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Alternate Career History For Ketchel

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Post Johnson he was pretty much phoning it in in comparison to those early days.

Ketchel definitely was prone to being out-boxed, but I don't think that Carpantier would be the man for that particular job. I just don't think he was ever tough enough, if he could break Sullivan he could break Carpantier. A Gibbons bout would be distant dependent. Mike never fought further than 15 rounds, and we see the difference the first real modernisation makes to this match up because 15 rounds is the tipping point. Mike in 1908 gets broke, but in 1916 Ketchel probably gets frustrated in a ten-rounder for at least 2/3.

Packey McFarland, too.

The point is, Ketchel was the perfect fighting machine for his time. Brutally aggressive, an insane puncher, an incredible engine, near-limitless durability and toughness. Gibbons was of his time. Ketchel's story is fascinating because he represents the perfection of a generation whilst also being its last real standard bearer. IMO, even completely modern fighters like Hearns and Hagler would have struggled to beat Ketchel over the 25 round disatnce. But over 12 rounds he'd probably only have fleeting moments, rather like he did against Sullivan.

I rate Ketchel as one of the truly great MW's, and I think he performed the best "clearing out" in the history of the middles. But there is a chance he would have become a man out of time trying to take on these new breed of scientists over shorter distances.
Thanks man appreciate it. Didn't Carpentier credit Papke as having handed him the worst beating he ever experienced. That says alot considering his Klaus, Tunney, Dempsey fights.

Didnt your article say Ketchel was down 18 times and Thomas 29 in the fight where he stopped Thomas in the 32nd? I cant even imagine the toughness required or how brutal that era would be with 4 ounce horse hair gloves no less. I suspect that even the majority of guys like Hagler known for their chin and toughness wouldnt be able to translate their durability in that pre-teen era.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: Alternate Career History For Ketchel

Haha, not often I see the use of the phrase "pre-teen" on the forum without issuing a ban.

No problem.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:31 AM   #9
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Default Re: Alternate Career History For Ketchel

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Haha, not often I see the use of the phrase "pre-teen" on the forum without issuing a ban.

No problem.
Should have added a 'No Frog Jenkins' to be clear
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Alternate Career History For Ketchel

Somewhat off topic but im curious how much weight you place upon clearing out a division or fighters the Champion missed when pondering all time rankings. SRR for example has a great resume but Burley, Williams, Lytell, Cocoa are guys he should have fought and to a lesser extent Lausse or Marshall compared to Ketchel who arguably did the best job of clearing his rivals?
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: Alternate Career History For Ketchel

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Have you read any newspaper accounts of their fight or anything from Klaus himself talking about Ketchel?
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:11 AM   #12
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Damn thanks man. lol Sounded like a farce.
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:48 AM   #13
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Default Re: Alternate Career History For Ketchel

Ketchel was out of condition. It seems that the fight was postponed twice on his requests, but still he didn't train properly for it. Same way as in 2nd and 4th Papke bouts, where he also was out of condition.
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