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Old 07-11-2007, 09:22 AM   #16
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

I don't know that Dempsey gets bashed for it. I have only been around this forum for a little less than a couple of months now, but it looks as though most around here have Dempsey in their top ten lists.

I have stated on this forum, a few times, that I don't think Dempsey belongs in the top ten because he didn't face Wills. I also don't think Wills should make it, because they didn't meet. I know it may not have been entirely their faults for not fighting. It is not a punishment, I just can't reward them when it never happened. In their era, the only way to have found out who the best heavyweight in the world was for them to fight each other.

I don't rank Jeffries in the top ten either. I do rate Dempsey higher than Jeffries.

I have Johnson in my top 5.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:08 PM   #17
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Wills did not take fights with other top contenders like Harry Greb, Tommy Gibbons and Billy Miske so he did not clearly prove himself to be the most deserving challenger. People seem to overlook this sometimes.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:12 PM   #18
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Johnson was not the clear top challenger for much of Jeffries reign so for a good part of Jeffries reign there was no issue regarding Johnson.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:18 PM   #19
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by C. M. Clay II
It really baffles me. Many here make a big deal about Dempsey not fighting harry Wills and he suffers in the all-time rankings (some even rate Wills over him), but almost no one even mentions Jim Jeffries blatantly ducking Johnson when Jeffries was in his prime, and many even rank Jeffries over Johnson ! Why?

Dempsey didn't duck Wills, he tried to get a fight between him and Wills twice and both times it fell through because of mitigating circumstances, and the politics of the time. Dempsey even went to a contract signing and he and Wills both signed a contract to fight. Dempsey tried the best he could, but when he realized it would be near impossible to go over, he abandoned the idea, but he did give it his best shot. Harry Wills even said later that it wasn't Dempsey's fault he didn't get the title shot.

However, Jeffries drew the color line like no other. Johnson was more highly thought of in 1904 than Wills was in 1925, but Jeffries avoided Jack like the plague. even prominent newspapers like The Police Gazette, which was the Ring magazine of it's day wrote articles stating it's ignorance of the reason for Jeffries drawing the color line. Jeffries kept saying that same dumb line over and over again, "I'll never put my title on a line against a black. Never have, never will." When you are fighting guys like Jack Munroe and Jack Finnegan, then the color line thing becomes kind of tired, don't you think? Even Jeffries trainer Bob Delaney admitted that Jeffries was terrified of Johnson during his title reign, and avoided even coming into contact with him whenever he could.

So which sounds worse?
If Jeffries were "terrified" of Johnson, why would he come out of retirement five years with no tune-ups to take on a much better version of Johnson than the one that had been around while he was on top? And the "when you're fighting guys like Jack Monroe and Jack Finnegan" thing is extremely misleading; it isn't guys "like" them, it is them, insofar as undeserving challengers for Jeffries' title go- all his other title defenses were against very legitimate challengers.

While Jeffries was chamipon, Johnson was stopped by Klondike Hanes, blasted out by Joe Choynski, and outpointed by Hank Griffin(note that Jeffries himself faced two of those men, with much better results). Johnson didn't really come into his peak years until about 1906. He would have been a worthy challenger, yes, but he wasn't an overwhelming #1 who was pressing for a title shot Jeffries' entire reign and was denied it- that's a big exaggeration.

On the other hand(although I personally don't much hold this against Dempsey, since, as you say, Dempsey was willing to make the fight and it was mainly due to forces beyond his control that it did not happen), Wills had only one loss in 53 fights during Dempsey's title reign, and that was a DQ for decking Big Bill Tate with a shot on the break. He beat Tate several times around then, and was beating anyone and everyone he got in there with, including Langford, Jeanette, McVey, Martin, Firpo, etc., and was the uncontested #1 contender for over half a decade. It really is a crime he never got a title shot(although not one of Dempsey's doing).
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Old 07-12-2007, 02:08 AM   #20
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marciano Frazier
If Jeffries were "terrified" of Johnson, why would he come out of retirement five years with no tune-ups to take on a much better version of Johnson than the one that had been around while he was on top? And the "when you're fighting guys like Jack Monroe and Jack Finnegan" thing is extremely misleading; it isn't guys "like" them, it is them, insofar as undeserving challengers for Jeffries' title go- all his other title defenses were against very legitimate challengers.
Jack Johnson and other black contenders were definetely more deserving than Jack Munroe and Jack Finnegan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marciano Frazier
While Jeffries was chamipon, Johnson was stopped by Klondike Hanes, blasted out by Joe Choynski, and outpointed by Hank Griffin(note that Jeffries himself faced two of those men, with much better results). Johnson didn't really come into his peak years until about 1906. He would have been a worthy challenger, yes, but he wasn't an overwhelming #1 who was pressing for a title shot Jeffries' entire reign and was denied it- that's a big exaggeration.
The Haines fight was a robbery. Johnson ko'd Haines and Haines was down for more than two minutes, but the referee gave him a slow count. Also Johnson was green against Choynski. By 1904, Johnson had much improved and was in his prime. Johnson was clearly the logical challenger by 1904 for Jeffries title.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marciano Frazier
On the other hand(although I personally don't much hold this against Dempsey, since, as you say, Dempsey was willing to make the fight and it was mainly due to forces beyond his control that it did not happen), Wills had only one loss in 53 fights during Dempsey's title reign, and that was a DQ for decking Big Bill Tate with a shot on the break. He beat Tate several times around then, and was beating anyone and everyone he got in there with, including Langford, Jeanette, McVey, Martin, Firpo, etc., and was the uncontested #1 contender for over half a decade. It really is a crime he never got a title shot(although not one of Dempsey's doing).
I agree.
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:34 AM   #21
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by C. M. Clay II
Jack Johnson and other black contenders were definetely more deserving than Jack Munroe and Jack Finnegan.
As I said in the section you just quoted, Munroe and Finnegan were the only undeserving challengers Jeffries faced in his seven title defenses. Other than them, his defenses were against Sharkey, Corbett, Fitzsimmons, Ruhlin, and Corbett again- all very much legitimate challengers. Most every champion takes on one or two relatively easy opponents in between major fights at some point. On a similar vein, for example, Pinklon Thomas and Michael Dokes were much more deserving of title shots at Larry Holmes than, say, Marvis Frazier or David Bey, but it's rarely claimed that therefore Holmes was flagrantly ducking Thomas and Dokes and their being denied title shots is comparable to Wills' situation.


Quote:
The Haines fight was a robbery. Johnson ko'd Haines and Haines was down for more than two minutes, but the referee gave him a slow count. Also Johnson was green against Choynski. By 1904, Johnson had much improved and was in his prime. Johnson was clearly the logical challenger by 1904 for Jeffries title.
I agree Johnson was green against Choynski- that's more or less my point. The Choynski and Griffin fights took place about halfway through Jeffries' title reign. If Johnson was still suffering losses to contenders at this time, it's difficult to argue that he was an impending terror who Jeffries was avoiding at all costs- he was just another member of the pack, more or less.
I agree that Johnson was improving through Jeffries' title reign and would legitimately have been the #1 contender and logical challenger for the championship in 1904. However, this is only in the last few months before Jeffries' retirement. There have been numerous instances through history in which a given fighter had a brief or moderatse run at #1 contender while someone was champion without getting a shot; for example, Chris Byrd was the widely-recognized #1 challenger for Lennox Lewis' title in his last year-and-a-half or so as champion, but Lewis opted to fight a washed-up Tyson and an undeserving Kirk Johnson(who was replaced by the equally-undeserving Vitali after suffering an injury) instead. No one claims, though, that that is then comparable to Wills not receiving a title shot after being the pretty clear-cut #1 challenger for about seven or eight years.
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:02 PM   #22
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marciano Frazier
As I said in the section you just quoted, Munroe and Finnegan were the only undeserving challengers Jeffries faced in his seven title defenses. Other than them, his defenses were against Sharkey, Corbett, Fitzsimmons, Ruhlin, and Corbett again- all very much legitimate challengers. Most every champion takes on one or two relatively easy opponents in between major fights at some point. On a similar vein, for example, Pinklon Thomas and Michael Dokes were much more deserving of title shots at Larry Holmes than, say, Marvis Frazier or David Bey, but it's rarely claimed that therefore Holmes was flagrantly ducking Thomas and Dokes and their being denied title shots is comparable to Wills' situation.
Terrible example. Larry Holmes was fighting four times a year, so lesser opponents are going to be more expected in that situation. Jeffries defended only once or twice a year, so he had no excuse for not fighting the best opponents all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marciano Frazier
I agree Johnson was green against Choynski- that's more or less my point. The Choynski and Griffin fights took place about halfway through Jeffries' title reign. If Johnson was still suffering losses to contenders at this time, it's difficult to argue that he was an impending terror who Jeffries was avoiding at all costs- he was just another member of the pack, more or less.
I agree that Johnson was improving through Jeffries' title reign and would legitimately have been the #1 contender and logical challenger for the championship in 1904. However, this is only in the last few months before Jeffries' retirement. There have been numerous instances through history in which a given fighter had a brief or moderatse run at #1 contender while someone was champion without getting a shot; for example, Chris Byrd was the widely-recognized #1 challenger for Lennox Lewis' title in his last year-and-a-half or so as champion, but Lewis opted to fight a washed-up Tyson and an undeserving Kirk Johnson(who was replaced by the equally-undeserving Vitali after suffering an injury) instead. No one claims, though, that that is then comparable to Wills not receiving a title shot after being the pretty clear-cut #1 challenger for about seven or eight years.
Jack Munroe had losses during Jeffries reign as well, so how did he get a title shot? So did Gus Ruhlin. Point is Johnson in 1904 was far and away the best heavyweight contender in the world and instead of taking him on, Jeffries fought a stiff in Munroe, and then retired before Johnson could get to him.
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Old 07-12-2007, 12:59 PM   #23
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marciano Frazier
There have been numerous instances through history in which a given fighter had a brief or moderatse run at #1 contender while someone was champion without getting a shot; for example, Chris Byrd was the widely-recognized #1 challenger for Lennox Lewis' title in his last year-and-a-half or so as champion, but Lewis opted to fight a washed-up Tyson and an undeserving Kirk Johnson
Bad comparison.

The media demand for a Jeffries Johnson title fight was huge. Johnson had cleaned out the division and everybody knew that he was the outstanding challenger.

Think Calzaghe Kesler only more intense.
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:01 PM   #24
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marciano Frazier
I agree that Johnson was improving through Jeffries' title reign and would legitimately have been the #1 contender and logical challenger for the championship in 1904.
the calls for Jeffries to meet Johnson began earlier than that, around the time he beat Denver Ed Martin for the coloured heavyweight title. They became particularly vocal after the McVea fights and the Martin rematch.
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Old 07-12-2007, 03:47 PM   #25
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by C. M. Clay II
Terrible example. Larry Holmes was fighting four times a year, so lesser opponents are going to be more expected in that situation. Jeffries defended only once or twice a year, so he had no excuse for not fighting the best opponents all the time.



Jack Munroe had losses during Jeffries reign as well, so how did he get a title shot? So did Gus Ruhlin. Point is Johnson in 1904 was far and away the best heavyweight contender in the world and instead of taking him on, Jeffries fought a stiff in Munroe, and then retired before Johnson could get to him.
In fairness, Munroe had not lost since 1900, had a draw with Hank
Griffen, which was as good as Johnson had done in several tries,
had knocked out old Peter Maher, and had won a newspaper nod
over a slipping Tom Sharkey. He had some credentials as a
contender.

More importantly, Munroe had fought an exhibition with Jeffries
in which he had knocked Jeffries down in the fourth round, the
first recorded time of Jeffries being off his feet, and the local
press and spectators had credited Munroe with getting the
best of the champion. Given Munroe had a decent record on his own
and given this exhibition, Jeffries definitely did have some unfinished
business with Munroe.

I think no question Johnson was the top contender by 1904, but
Munroe was not simply dragged out of nowhere for this fight.
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Old 07-12-2007, 04:04 PM   #26
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

The exhibition with Munroe was on December 19, 1903.
It was listed as a exhibition loss for Jeffries and an
exhibition win for Munroe in the Old Ring Record Book.
Off Gilbert Odd's description, Munroe did well in the first
three rounds--Jeffries later claimed he had carried Munroe.
In the fourth Jeffries went all out to knockout Munroe,
whom he expected to run, but ran into a right which put
him on his knees. He got up and went after Munroe but
Munroe stood his ground and slugged it out with the
champion to the bell, getting the best of it according to the
ringside press.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:51 PM   #27
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OLD FOGEY
In fairness, Munroe had not lost since 1900, had a draw with Hank
Griffen, which was as good as Johnson had done in several tries,
had knocked out old Peter Maher, and had won a newspaper nod
over a slipping Tom Sharkey. He had some credentials as a
contender.

More importantly, Munroe had fought an exhibition with Jeffries
in which he had knocked Jeffries down in the fourth round, the
first recorded time of Jeffries being off his feet, and the local
press and spectators had credited Munroe with getting the
best of the champion. Given Munroe had a decent record on his own
and given this exhibition, Jeffries definitely did have some unfinished
business with Munroe.

I think no question Johnson was the top contender by 1904, but
Munroe was not simply dragged out of nowhere for this fight.
Alright, but he could have fought Johnson after, around 1905. Imagine if Marciano retired after fighting Don ****ell and never fought Moore? Or Lewis retiring and never fighting Tyson? Moore was considered a huge threat to Marciano and so Marciano had to silence the critics by proving he was the best. Same thing with Lewis and Mike Tyson. Jeffries never did this.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:03 PM   #28
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

I can deal with Lewis not fighting Tyson. At that Time, Tyson did not do any thing of important of earning a shot vs Lewis. It was not like Tyson was tearing thown the divsion. He was fighing Has Beens and no bodys at the time. Tyson got that shot because of his name.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:24 PM   #29
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Quote:
Originally Posted by C. M. Clay II
Alright, but he could have fought Johnson after, around 1905. Imagine if Marciano retired after fighting Don ****ell and never fought Moore? Or Lewis retiring and never fighting Tyson? Moore was considered a huge threat to Marciano and so Marciano had to silence the critics by proving he was the best. Same thing with Lewis and Mike Tyson. Jeffries never did this.
I agree. I only wanted to point out why he fought Munroe and that Munroe would probably have been considered a man he had to fight after the exhibition--I can't imagine a champion losing an exhibition and not giving his conqueror an immediate shot--but Jeffries should have fought Johnson as soon as he got done with Munroe. Had Jeffries fought and beaten Johnson, his record would have made him a strong candidate for the #1 rated heavyweight ever.

As is, as you pointed out, without a victory over Johnson in 1904 or 1905, it is hard to put him in the same class as Ali, Louis, Marciano, or Lewis.
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Old 07-12-2007, 11:27 PM   #30
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Default Re: Why Does Dempsey Get Bashed For Not Fighting Wills, but not Jeffries for Johnson?

Lets say Jeff DOES fight and BEAT Johnson in 1905, . I still dont see how it can be rank over Ali imo.
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