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Old 02-05-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
mcvey
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Default Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

Duke Mullins who trained Jack Johnson to fight Peter Felix, Bill Lang ,and Tommy Burns,and Sam Langford for his Aussie fights with Sam McVey, had this to say about who would win in a bout between them.

"My opinion is that Langford had an even money chance with Johnson up to the year before Johnson became champion.

As Langfordís weight increased his pace lessened, whereas Johnson improved out of sight in pace and skill after he fought Langford in 1906.

I think that if Langford had been Johnsonís opponent on the memorable Boxing Day of 1908 there would not have been any need for police intervention. Johnson no doubt would have given the little fellow a beating but I think Langford was too tough to be put down for 10 seconds". Mullins is sitting on Johnson's right in the picture,Bill Lang on his left.

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Old 02-05-2013, 10:16 AM   #2
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

Duke 'McMustache' Mullins
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:37 AM   #3
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

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Originally Posted by PowerPuncher View Post
Duke 'McMustache' Mullins
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:15 AM   #4
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

"Duke Mullins who trained Jack Johnson to fight Peter Felix, Bil Lang ,and Tommy Burns,and Sam Langford for his Aussie fights with Sam McVey, had this to say about who would win in a bout between them.

"My opinion is that Langford had an even money chance with Johnson up to the year before Johnson became champion.

As Langford’s weight increased his pace lessened, whereas Johnson improved out of sight in pace and skill after he fought Langford in 1906.

I think that if Langford had been Johnson’s opponent on the memorable Boxing Day of 1908 there would not have been any need for police intervention. Johnson no doubt would have given the little fellow a beating but I think Langford was too tough to be put down for 10 seconds".

Parts of the above don't seem quite right to me. Did you quote the above verbatim, and if so, what was the source. I have Mullin's memoirs on file at home and will need to dig them out. Here is what I put in my book about Langford:

"Mullins said that Johnson was never anxious to talk about Langford and
normally changed the subject quickly whenever Sam’s name
was brought up. However, one day when dismissing Langford
from a conversation, Johnson said there were dozens of easy
money white men for him to meet without having to fight a
tough guy like Langford. While Johnson told Duke that he felt
Joe Jeannette was the toughest man he ever saw, he admitted
to him that Langford was the most dangerous. Duke’s own
opinion was that Sam had an even-money chance with Johnson
before Jack became champion, but that as Sam’s weight
increased and he lost some of his speed, he would have had a
tough time dethroning Johnson. By Mullins way of thinking,
Johnson was the greatest fighter the world had ever known."
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmoyle View Post
"Duke Mullins who trained Jack Johnson to fight Peter Felix, Bil Lang ,and Tommy Burns,and Sam Langford for his Aussie fights with Sam McVey, had this to say about who would win in a bout between them.

"My opinion is that Langford had an even money chance with Johnson up to the year before Johnson became champion.

As Langfordís weight increased his pace lessened, whereas Johnson improved out of sight in pace and skill after he fought Langford in 1906.

I think that if Langford had been Johnsonís opponent on the memorable Boxing Day of 1908 there would not have been any need for police intervention. Johnson no doubt would have given the little fellow a beating but I think Langford was too tough to be put down for 10 seconds".

Parts of the above don't seem quite right to me. Did you quote the above verbatim, and if so, what was the source. I have Mullin's memoirs on file at home and will need to dig them out. Here is what I put in my book about Langford:

"Mullins said that Johnson was never anxious to talk about Langford and
normally changed the subject quickly whenever Samís name
was brought up. However, one day when dismissing Langford
from a conversation, Johnson said there were dozens of easy
money white men for him to meet without having to fight a
tough guy like Langford. While Johnson told Duke that he felt
Joe Jeannette was the toughest man he ever saw, he admitted
to him that Langford was the most dangerous. Dukeís own
opinion was that Sam had an even-money chance with Johnson
before Jack became champion, but that as Samís weight
increased and he lost some of his speed, he would have had a
tough time dethroning Johnson. By Mullins way of thinking,
Johnson was the greatest fighter the world had ever known."
I copied it verbatim from.
"My opinion is " onwards. What doesn't seem quite right? Here is the source.

I think you should recognize it since it was you who posted it on CBZ.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:43 PM   #6
Cmoyle
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

This is the part that I didn't remember:

"As Langford’s weight increased his pace lessened, whereas Johnson improved out of sight in pace and skill after he fought Langford in 1906."

I didn't say it wasn't accurate, just that I didn't recall what you'd posted as being entirely the way I remembered it without consulting the article I had at home. But, if that's what I posted on CBZ that must be what it said.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

Interesting as he trained both , was he the only trainer they have in common
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

"Interesting as he trained both , was he the only trainer they have in common "

Yes, so far as I know.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

That is an amazing picture. Thanks, McVey!
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

An excerpt from my Langford book concerning Mullins, Johnson and Langford:

When Johnson arrived in Australia he immediately obtained the services of an Australian boxing trainer named Duke Mullins. Duke had trained Johnson when he had visited
the country in early 1907. Then he had faced thirty-seven year old black Australian heavyweight Peter Felix and an inexperienced Australian heavyweight named Bill Lang.

The Aussie trainer and Johnson had hit it off and, prior to his return to the States, Johnson had promised Mullins that when he eventually fought for the title he would send for him to assist with his preparation. Neither could have predicted that the title fight would be fought on Mullin’s native soil. In his memoirs, published many years later, Mullins said that while he found Johnson to be very prideful, he also was good mannered and courteous. Mullins came to know him as a great big inoffensive boy who loved his mother, loved life, and had a wholesome regard for his fellow men.” In Mullins’ view Johnson appeared a bully only when repaying people for the insults they heaped upon him.

Commenting on Johnson’s attitude towards women, Mullins advised that while Johnson had an eye for beauty, he was too tactful to say anything in front of a third party. Early on, Jack told Duke how he respected the cleverness of Abe Attell— the great American featherweight, who was also known for his good looks. Another fighter he spoke to Duke about was Sam McVea, who Jack said was the ugliest fighter ever born. Duke shared that information to further illustrate how carefully Johnson discussed women he observed when the pair were together. Often, when he saw a pretty girl, Jack would stick an elbow in Duke’s side and say, “Duke, wasn’t that Abe Attell a wonderful fighter?” If on the other hand a shapely woman with a much less attractive face crossed their paths, Johnson would say something along the lines of, “Duke couldn’t that Sam McVea take punishment like a glutton?”

It was a private joke between the pair. Others in their company were simply left to wonder why Johnson chose to comment so frequently about Attell and McVea. In the weeks leading up to the fight with Burns, Johnson seethed with anger whenever he read the comments the champion was handing out to the press. Burns would talk about the colored man having a yellow streak. Johnson promised Duke that he’d punish Burns badly for his insults when they finally met in the ring.

On December 26, 1908, Johnson and Mullins were in the dressing room preparing for the bout when Johnson asked where Burns was “housed.” Mullins told him not to worry
about Burns.

“Worry about him,” Johnson replied, “why I know a few middleweights who could beat him.” Langford was no doubt one of the middleweights Johnson was referring to. Once, while training Johnson for the bout with Burns, Duke had asked him how he thought Little Sam would do against Burns.

"It wouldn’t be a match, Langford would finish him off in no time,” was Jack’s reply.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:14 PM   #11
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cmoyle View Post
"Interesting as he trained both , was he the only trainer they have in common "

Yes, so far as I know.
His opinions must carry a certain amount of weight especially if he was viewed as a skilled/ knowledgeable trainer of his time . I am sure I have read on here and I think in books when the question of Johnson not giving Langford a shot at his tittle that Langford had increased in experience/weight thus seeming to add to Langford chances. But this statement puts forward the very logical argument that the smaller man may well give up some of his speed advantage after gaining some weight
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:48 PM   #12
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Butt View Post
Interesting as he trained both , was he the only trainer they have in common
Good point.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Trainer Duke Mullins Gives Johnson The Nod Over Langford After 1908

Quote:
Originally Posted by rantcatrat View Post
That is an amazing picture. Thanks, McVey!
The thanks are entirely due to Mr Clay Moyle ,who originally posted it on CBZ and includes it in his very well received biography of Sam Langford.
An excerpt of which he has kindly reproduced here.
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