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Old 01-27-2013, 04:23 PM   #1
McGrain
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Default "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ketch."

This is interesting, it is form the Miami News, 1925. The opinion of this writer is that Greb is one of the greatest fighters that ever lived, but hasn't caught Fitz or Ketchel at the weight most modern observers seem to view as his best. This has become my way of thinking also. But I think this article also seems to indicate that these two are ranked higher p4p than Greb also?

There's other cool stuff, Ketchel-Johnson and Ketchel-Langford regarded as a fix, the huge regard for Ketchel's mw competition (I agree with this too) and Demspey's possible duck of Greb.

Anyway, here are some highlights:

"Greb must surely be listed as one of the truly great middleweights. His record at this poundage is below that of Bob Fitzsimmons. It is not quite so sensational as that of Stanley Ketchel. Yet it is but a little below either of those when al-around performances are considered.

Fitzsimmons stands alone. He was sometimes scarcely more than a middle, as the type is scaled today, when he whipped the best heavyweights of his period, bar one - Jeffries. And Fitz scaled but 168 in the last memorable battle between the two. That is but eight pounds more than Harry Greb weighted when he recently thrashed MIckey Walker.

Let it be added that Fiz whipped one of the greatest middleweight champins when he stopped Jack Dempsey, the nonpareil, in 13 rounds. Dempsey was on the down grade, 'tis true. But few who witnessed the Cornishman's display doubted he would have taken the wonderful Dempsey even in the latter's prime.

Undoubtedly second place must be afforded to Stanley Ketchel. This picturesque ring type defeated more talented middleweights than has Harry Greb, on reason being there were more of this brand to be found a few years back.

Greb excepting Jack Dillon and Bob Moha has never been called upon to face such as Joe Tomas, Billy Papke, Willlie Lewis, Hugo Kelly, Tony Caponi, Frank Klaus, Mike Sulivan - that is as middleweights. Nor has he turned in a performance quite as impressive as Ketchel's famous KO of Jack O'Brien.

Greb has shown more brilliantly against the heavies than did Ketchel. Ketchel fought but two realy big men - Jack Johnson and Sam Langford. And these may well be scratched for neither was strictly "on the level." Johnson admitted his affair with Ketchel was a "Frame."

As has been said, Greb did better against the big men than Ketchel. And while little more than a middleweight, he has been amazingly successful. He has whipped Tom Gibbons, Billy Miske, Bill Brennan, Willie Meehan, Bat Levinsky, Gunboat Smith, Charley Weinert, Bartley Madden and Gene Tunney.

Fitzsimmons alone has excelled Harry Greb's achievements in te matter of winning from bigger, stronger fellows. And Greb resembles Fitz in another way. Fitz fought and whipped a heavyweight champion (Corbett) for the championship. Greb was wiling to essay such a task but was never accorded the opportunity. He repeatedly challenged Dempsey, but the latter passed the offer up...Willie Meehan twicce obtained decisions over Dempsey in four round bouts. Meehan was a clown though Dempsey never saw anything funny about him. Meehan was too much of a puzzle to afford any good humour to Jack.

Greb's style would have been just the tactics to confuse Dempsey. Harry's is the most unregulation technique the ring has ever witnessed. He shoots blows from any and all angles.

Greb is one of the real marvels of the ring. No doubt about that."
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:39 PM   #2
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

It can be argued that Greb's middleweight ledger (actually under 160lbs) is inferior to those men but despite Fitz having the greater P4P achievement on paper, Greb's quantity, as well as quality, see him as the best P4P fighter of the three.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:40 PM   #3
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

Certainly on my list, a lock in fact.

I think it's interesting that in 1925 a major newspaper would publish a contrary opinion though. Of course, this guy could just be a bit of a header. Some nice work overall though.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

Firstly, it is just an opinion piece by one man done at the end of Greb's career. It seems a real phenomenon that fighter's legacy appreciates over the first couple decades of their retirement. Even the opinion relatively recent guys like Lennox Lewis, Carlos Monzon, Larry Holmes..etc. rose significantly in the years after they retired.

The way he crafts the parameters of his argument makes the case for Ketchel plausible because he it doesn't reward Greb's venture into the LHW and HW divisions, something he had to do because he was getting frozen out of the middles. Also, he is more impressed with the powerbroker than human tornado. I don't think a KO of an aging Jack O'Brien is near as good as beating Gene Tunney to a pulp, or even the best versions of Miske and Gibbons.

Stil, interesting piece. And Greb is still the greater fighter in a pound for pound sense, no way around it....
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:48 PM   #5
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

I think the article is well balanced and backed up with points we could all feasibly argue today.

Saying that only read your quotes from it above thus far
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

Awesome stuff. Who is the source of the article?...what were his credentials? He sounds reasonable....But still...Who is this guy???
Bob Edgren also claimed after seeing them all (middleweights)
, that Fitzsimmons was the best middleweight of all time for basically the same reasons this article does...IMO...Fitz, Greb and Ketchel fall into the top spots nicely of the old timers. Good stuff! Cheers.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:50 PM   #7
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
Firstly, it is just an opinion piece by one man done at the end of Greb's career. It seems a real phenomenon that fighter's legacy appreciates over the first couple decades of their retirement. Even the opinion relatively recent guys like Lennox Lewis, Carlos Monzon, Larry Holmes..etc. rose significantly in the years after they retired.

The way he crafts the parameters of his argument makes the case for Ketchel plausible because he it doesn't reward Greb's venture into the LHW and HW divisions, something he had to do because he was getting frozen out of the middles. Also, he is more impressed with the powerbroker than human tornado. I don't think a KO of an aging Jack O'Brien is near as good as beating Gene Tunney to a pulp, or even the best versions of Miske and Gibbons.

Stil, interesting piece. And Greb is still the greater fighter in a pound for pound sense, no way around it....
Nail. The. Head. Hit. The. On.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:51 PM   #8
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

Nah, Seaums, it's not "just an opinion piece", or it is and it isn't, but that's never really true of 1920's journalism which was usually extremely conservative. This would have gone through two desks at least, sports and editorial I guess and both would have ok'd it. No way to know who they were though. Could have been experts or known absolutely **** all. But. This isn't just one guys opinion, it was passed by other people before it hit print.

Not that this makes it necessarily more or less valid, but this wasn't an internet editorial policy where maybe a guy does not even look at the article before it goes up.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

That's true but the sports writer might've had clout. He might've been the best sports guy there.

Sorry, what's the publication again? Anything else from this writer that night show us where he stood on all things pugilistic?
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

Miami News.

I think the proof is in the pudding personally. I have a more extended version of it here but even in the bits i've posted you can see he knows the sport, whose who, who was who back then. He knows some details of some fights that leads me to believe he knows his stuff a little bit.

Could be that he just nicked it all though.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:56 PM   #11
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

Interesting ^^^^
It was generally considered that east coast newspapermen considered Greb better than Ketchel...and the west coast newspapermen picked Ketchel...
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:03 PM   #12
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

This was probably written by someone who had actually seen Greb live or maybe even on film. More valid than those of us who haven't.
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

Miami News wasn't a major publication. Does it list the name of the author, and was he on the staff of that paper, or it was a syndicated write-up?
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

It depends upon your definition of major I suppose.

From Wiki:

"During the Florida land boom of the 1920s, The Miami Herald was the largest newspaper in the world as measured by lines of advertising."
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Old 01-28-2013, 03:55 AM   #15
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Default Re: "Greb one of the truly great middles...his record at this weight below Fitz & Ket

Very interesting read thanks for posting
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