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Old 08-09-2007, 07:06 PM   #1
Bad_Intentions
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Default John L Sullivan in the 1920's

how would sullivan have done as a heavyweight in the 1920's?

which fighter do you have in mind that beats him?

discuss.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

John L Sullivan absolutely rips through, most if not all eras. He is probably more succesful in later eras because his fights are not secret and stopped, so he can fight out in the open, and are better recorded.

One thing is for sure, if he fought in the 20s there were some great matchups to be had. I can see Sullivan absolutely demolishing old versions of Langford, Johnson, Jeanette and McVey on the way up and probably even Wills. All would have been great fights. I cant see any of the the likes of Fulton, Moran, McCarthy and others standing in his way either. So, when Dempsey won the title from Willard, I would see a John L vs dempsey matchup as being one of the biggest of all time between two of the biggest punchers ever. I think a prime John L is a little to tough for Dempsey and wins a war. After a great Trilogy, i expect both to be worn out and damaged goods and Tunney probably causes the upset against an aged John L Sullivan.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

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Originally Posted by Boilermaker
John L Sullivan absolutely rips through, most if not all eras. He is probably more succesful in later eras because his fights are not secret and stopped, so he can fight out in the open, and are better recorded.

One thing is for sure, if he fought in the 20s there were some great matchups to be had. I can see Sullivan absolutely demolishing old versions of Langford, Johnson, Jeanette and McVey on the way up and probably even Wills. All would have been great fights. I cant see any of the the likes of Fulton, Moran, McCarthy and others standing in his way either. So, when Dempsey won the title from Willard, I would see a John L vs dempsey matchup as being one of the biggest of all time between two of the biggest punchers ever. I think a prime John L is a little to tough for Dempsey and wins a war. After a great Trilogy, i expect both to be worn out and damaged goods and Tunney probably causes the upset against an aged John L Sullivan.
In 1958 on the centennial of Sullivan's birth, they expanded the post Gillette Friday Night Fight post fight show they had up in the twin cities and brought in an old codger who was close to a hundred and had seen Sullivan fight back in the 1880's to discuss Sullivan. His opinion basically agreed with the one you gave above. He saw Sullivan as beating all later champions.
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:54 AM   #4
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

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Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
In 1958 on the centennial of Sullivan's birth, they expanded the post Gillette Friday Night Fight post fight show they had up in the twin cities and brought in an old codger who was close to a hundred and had seen Sullivan fight back in the 1880's to discuss Sullivan. His opinion basically agreed with the one you gave above. He saw Sullivan as beating all later champions.
I would have loved to see that interview. I am not sure that i personally think he would beat all later champions, but he very well could do and i have no qualms if he is rated as no 1 by anyone, even if i disagree. Many people dont realise just what a good knockout artist he was. In any era, he creates Tyson like euphoria, although he does seem to have proved his chin and stamina a lot better than Tyson. We can only imagine a lot about John L, but if you judge his performance against contemporaries and descriptions, he has probably demonstrated the knockout ability of tyson (see his string of early kos), The stamina of marciano (see the Paddy Ryan fight he dug deep to win), the heart and toughness of Ali (Look what it took to finally make him fall when he took a massive beating from corbett yet still lasted so long). If that is correct (and there is no reason why it isnt), that would be a pretty devastating fighter if he reemerged in modern boxing.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

I get the idea that his raw athletic talent could be polished into a great champion in any era.
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Old 08-10-2007, 09:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

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Originally Posted by janitor
I get the idea that his raw athletic talent could be polished into a great champion in any era.
that's what i think as well.
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Old 08-10-2007, 03:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

I am going to go further and say that I think Sullivan was among the major league heavyweight hitters along with Dempsey, Louis, Marciano, tyson etc.
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

I agree,john L was a hard as a rock guy,from a brutally tough era and time,i can easily see him destroying most fighters in most eras,id say he was a total monster.

If you look at the guys build from over one hundred years back,its obvious he was a huge powerful man,imagine him with modern training and everything else a modern fighter can get now,and he would if he did not go soft be a huge danger to any heavyweight who ever walked into he ring.
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Old 08-10-2007, 04:28 PM   #9
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

I'm about 60% through Adam Pollack's superb survey of Sullivan's career. It seems to me that, in native talent, JohnL was quite comparable to those fellows who are most commonly considered top-15 AT Heavyweights.

Supposing the Sullivan was born in year 1900 . . . . well, 1920 through 1924, I think he would have handled most of the field pretty well. (Maybe a few years previously the Miske who gave Dempsey great fights in medium length bouts might have troubled Sullivan, too. I've read the suggestion that perhaps, by the time Miske challenged Dempsey for the title, he was too sick to go for a points win, and had to try for a quick KO. I think that makes some sense. So I think the Miske of 1920 would have played to Sullivan's strength, as well).
I don't really know enough about Wills to speculate how he'd have done against either Sullivan or Dempsey. I have a very vague idea, not worth much, that they both should be favored against Wills. Is Sullivan bigger/stronger in the 1920's than he was in the 1880's? If Wills can't tie him up Sullivan will almost surely blow him out.
Sullivan/Dempsey would be like nuclear fusion . . . Hard to call, I slightly favor Dempsey.
I think Tunney catches Sullivan as he's starting to loose drive and discipline. But the Kilrain fight showed Sullivan still had it in him to get serious and work if he felt he really had to. So I think Sullivan gets through either Sharkey or a less-than-prime-Dempsey (or Godfrey or anyone else) to earn a rematch with Gene; and that John L gives Tunney his hardest fight since Gene dropped the American LtHvy championship to Greb. Don't know how it would turn out; if it were a ten-rounder, I think Gene would be glad for the brevity. (If the 1920's Sullivan is bigger than the 1880's Sullivan -- well, on the one hand, he may then be slower, easier to stay away from; on the other hand, he'd be very hard to control inside).
After the Tunney-rematch I expect complacency to set in; eventually a good fighter will be there at the right time to convince John to retire.
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boilermaker
John L Sullivan absolutely rips through, most if not all eras. He is probably more succesful in later eras because his fights are not secret and stopped, so he can fight out in the open, and are better recorded.

One thing is for sure, if he fought in the 20s there were some great matchups to be had. I can see Sullivan absolutely demolishing old versions of Langford, Johnson, Jeanette and McVey on the way up and probably even Wills. All would have been great fights. I cant see any of the the likes of Fulton, Moran, McCarthy and others standing in his way either. So, when Dempsey won the title from Willard, I would see a John L vs dempsey matchup as being one of the biggest of all time between two of the biggest punchers ever. I think a prime John L is a little to tough for Dempsey and wins a war. After a great Trilogy, i expect both to be worn out and damaged goods and Tunney probably causes the upset against an aged John L Sullivan.
George Godfrey buries Sullivan as a revenge for all the black fighters John L ducked.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

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Originally Posted by mcvey
George Godfrey buries Sullivan as a revenge for all the black fighters John L ducked.
Thing is though,had he took on a black man,and had he got beat,i very much doubt the black guy would have got out of the ring alive,and any black people in the audience may have also got beat up maybe even killed,i dont doubt he kept away from one or two,but i bet it was not because he was scared of them,i doubt John L was scared of a man alive to be honest.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

He'd do well until he got to Dempsey.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:45 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by tobkhan
It wasn´t because he was scared but he was the greatest racist of all hw champions.
You knew him then did you?,or did you get this from the net?,were not all white people back then a lot like that,it was hardly a fair era,i think its got seriously over enlarged over the century,just a bad time to be a non white in white csociety.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:46 PM   #14
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

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Originally Posted by guilalah
I'm about 60% through Adam Pollack's superb survey of Sullivan's career. It seems to me that, in native talent, JohnL was quite comparable to those fellows who are most commonly considered top-15 AT Heavyweights.

Supposing the Sullivan was born in year 1900 . . . . well, 1920 through 1924, I think he would have handled most of the field pretty well. (Maybe a few years previously the Miske who gave Dempsey great fights in medium length bouts might have troubled Sullivan, too. I've read the suggestion that perhaps, by the time Miske challenged Dempsey for the title, he was too sick to go for a points win, and had to try for a quick KO. I think that makes some sense. So I think the Miske of 1920 would have played to Sullivan's strength, as well).
I don't really know enough about Wills to speculate how he'd have done against either Sullivan or Dempsey. I have a very vague idea, not worth much, that they both should be favored against Wills. Is Sullivan bigger/stronger in the 1920's than he was in the 1880's? If Wills can't tie him up Sullivan will almost surely blow him out.
Sullivan/Dempsey would be like nuclear fusion . . . Hard to call, I slightly favor Dempsey.
I think Tunney catches Sullivan as he's starting to loose drive and discipline. But the Kilrain fight showed Sullivan still had it in him to get serious and work if he felt he really had to. So I think Sullivan gets through either Sharkey or a less-than-prime-Dempsey (or Godfrey or anyone else) to earn a rematch with Gene; and that John L gives Tunney his hardest fight since Gene dropped the American LtHvy championship to Greb. Don't know how it would turn out; if it were a ten-rounder, I think Gene would be glad for the brevity. (If the 1920's Sullivan is bigger than the 1880's Sullivan -- well, on the one hand, he may then be slower, easier to stay away from; on the other hand, he'd be very hard to control inside).
After the Tunney-rematch I expect complacency to set in; eventually a good fighter will be there at the right time to convince John to retire.
Interesting post,have you sen the pics of the Kilrain fight ,?Muldoonsuppossedly had to threaten Sullivan with a baseball bat to get him in shape,he reversed John L ,s slide into a booze ridden haze,yet if you look at the pictures ,Sullivan has a roll of lard hanging over his tights,he was undoubtedly a very tough hard man,butI dont see him doing much in the 20s,in fact I doubt he could have beaten Jeanette,Mcvey or a prime Langford,Dempsey would be too fat ,too mobile ,and give him too much movement in general I feel,Charley Mitchell gave him fits ,how long do you think he would last with Dempsey?Corbett slaughtered Mitchell.Sullivan was wise not to fight Jackson ,imo he would have got the boxing lesson Corbett gave him a bit earlier.
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Old 08-10-2007, 07:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: John L Sullivan in the 1920's

na, my man corbett wasn't that racist tho. he fought peter jackson to a draw.

as well as jeffries, he wasn't that racist, he also fought a couple of blacks.
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