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Old 06-04-2014, 10:37 AM   #1
Npower
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Default Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

.....Saying its not fair to judge him on the loss to Johnson.

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Old 06-04-2014, 10:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

Good article. I agree with the ten dominating champions. There is a good case for making them the top ten heavyweights.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

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.....Saying its not fair to judge him on the loss to Johnson.

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No it isn't fair to judge him on that performance,or lack of it.
He was the dominant champion when he retired, but he refused to fight black challengers two of whom were better than several of the men he defended against. Jeffries had around 18 months to prepare for the Johnson fight and was down to weight relatively early.Problem was he was making so much money in vaudeville on the strength of his projected comeback that he was reluctant to leave it. Jeffries went on two back to back tours and made an absolute fortune.

He would have been better taking a couple of warmup fights to prepare himself for Johnson, but of course he may have looked so bad his challenge would have been dead in the water.
His choice .

Jeffries was 35 when he challenged Johnson and had been retired for nearly 6 years ,Johnson was 32.

Ali was 38 when he challenged Holmes,and had been retired for 2 years.Holmes was 30.

I feel Jeffries disadvantages are somewhat overstated ,he was down to weight about a year before he fought Johnson and he was sparring nightly on his vaudeville tours. However no doubt in his prime he would have made a totally different fight.

The other difference I see is Ali defended against all comers regardless of race or creed.Jeffries as champion would not defend aganst Martin,McVey or Johnson.
Ali was 38 and had been retired for 2 years , Holmes was 30.
One thing about Jeffries he was one tough SOB, had a chin of concrete.

Last edited by mcvey; 06-04-2014 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

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Originally Posted by mcvey View Post

He would have been better taking a couple of warmup fights to prepare himself for Johnson, but of course he may have looked so bad his challenge would have been dead in the water.
His choice .
Yeah, I think money figures into this big. Jeffries needed cash, and if he looked bad tuning up, that could have blown a sure thing payday.
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

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Originally Posted by mcvey View Post
No it isn't fair to judge him on that performance,or lack of it.
He was the dominant champion when he retired, but he refused to fight black challengers two of whom were better than several of the men he defended against. Jeffries had around 18 months to prepare for the Johnson fight and was down to weight relatively early.Problem was he was making so much money in vaudeville on the strength of his projected comeback that he was reluctant to leave it. Jeffries went on two back to back tours and made an absolute fortune.

He would have been better taking a couple of warmup fights to prepare himself for Johnson, but of course he may have looked so bad his challenge would have been dead in the water.
His choice .

Jeffries was 35 when he challenged Johnson and had been retired for nearly 6 years ,Johnson was 32.

Ali was 38 when he challenged Holmes,and had been retired for 2 years.Holmes was 30.

I feel Jeffries disadvantages are somewhat overstated ,he was down to weight about a year before he fought Johnson and he was sparring nightly on his vaudeville tours. However no doubt in his prime he would have made a totally different fight.

The other difference I see is Ali defended against all comers regardless of race or creed.Jeffries as champion would not defend aganst Martin,McVey or Johnson.
Ali was 38 and had been retired for 2 years , Holmes was 30.
One thing about Jeffries he was one tough SOB, had a chin of concrete.
What do you make of Gunboat Smith's various contentions from In This Corner that Jeffries was relying on Johnson to lay down and that was the agreed upon plan until the fight was moved out of San Fran... and that Jeffries was so poor in sparring that Ketchel was going to KO Jim during the introductions to save the pride of the White Race?
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Old 06-04-2014, 02:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

I had no idea he lost the weight ~ a year before the fight. It was listed as over 100 lbs.!

But both Johnson & Jeffries had said the other would beat him their prime, Jeffries said he would never win in a million years...Anyway he was a shell when he fought Johnson. Just as Johnson would have easily defeated Willard in his prime, & in fact was winning through 20 rounds, his endurance just did not hold up.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
What do you make of Gunboat Smith's various contentions from In This Corner that Jeffries was relying on Johnson to lay down and that was the agreed upon plan until the fight was moved out of San Fran... and that Jeffries was so poor in sparring that Ketchel was going to KO Jim during the introductions to save the pride of the White Race?
I would rather think that Jeffries and Johnson were playing straight but Smith was very definite in his accusations.
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Old 06-04-2014, 03:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

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I had no idea he lost the weight ~ a year before the fight. It was listed as over 100 lbs.!

But both Johnson & Jeffries had said the other would beat him their prime, Jeffries said he would never win in a million years...Anyway he was a shell when he fought Johnson. Just as Johnson would have easily defeated Willard in his prime, & in fact was winning through 20 rounds, his endurance just did not hold up.
A hundred pounds is an exaggeration ,I think it was more like 80lbs.

On returning from Carlsbad on 19th October 1909 Jeffries scaled 236lbs

That's only 9 lbs more than he did for the fight 9 months later.

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.That's 9 months before the fight.

Below an interview with Jeffries published on Oct 22nd 1909.


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Below a 23rd of October 1909 article remarking on Jeffries splendid condition.
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Below, Jeffries posts a forfeit to bind the fight on 22nd of July 1909 a year before the fight.Jeffries had gone into secret training earlier, having instructed Sam Berger to negotiate the best deal he could.

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Old 06-04-2014, 05:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

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Jeffries was 35 when he challenged Johnson and had been retired for nearly 6 years ,Johnson was 32.

Ali was 38 when he challenged Holmes,and had been retired for 2 years.Holmes was 30.
Yeah and were their conditions the same? I mean Ali had more fights and didn't enjoy the same size advantage Jeffries did when he was active (not as frequently or in the same scale anyway). Of course Jeffries was no cutie, fought 20 rds and the fights were more brutal.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

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Good article. I agree with the ten dominating champions. There is a good case for making them the top ten heavyweights.
The argument about the "dominating champions" is a sound one, though I would have included Sullivan on the list.

It is such a rare accomplishment, that it has to receive a certain level of recognition, either back then or today.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:39 PM   #11
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

He clearly should not be judged on that fight, a six year layoff is too much time gone to retain previous form. Even if he did lose weight long before the bout occurred such a massive weight drop is bound to be disadvantous to someone. Jeffries was 35 but blowing up to a 300 pound man on his farm, and coming back after six years is just too many obstacles to overcome. Plus to be honest I think those that knew Jeffries best believed his heart was never in the comeback. Unless your totally committed to what you want to do you're not going to be successful. Someone like George Foreman wanted to come back Jeffires was dragged into coming back.
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

A huge part of why Jeffries is often poorly defined y the Johnson loss is the ugly, condescending racism he expressed to Johnson as champion and in the timeline leading up to the 1910 bout. Jeffries could hide behind being a man of his time but he was crude and nasty when dealing w Johnson, not shaking is hand, not even looking at him at contract signings, ect .. he really came at it from an ugly position, showed Johnson no respect as a fighter or even a human being, relished the adulation of a highly racist group of supporters , ect .. secondly, he not only got thrashed, the photos that exist of him in training like some chubby elephant in tights seem to have been the primary image of him out there .. I was happy Adam managed to find photos that show what an impressive physical specimen Jeffries was in his day .. lastly, he was such a sour puss following the loss .. bitter and ugly, not a kind word for his conquerer to his face .. Jefferies in many ways got what he deserved ...
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Old 06-04-2014, 10:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

Judging Jeffires on the Johnson fight is no different or worse than judging Johnson on the Willard fight. I think we all know the outcomes would be different or at least a lot closer had they been in their primes.

Jeffries must have thought a lot of himself coming back after 5 years, losing 80+lbs and no tune-up at the age of 35 and fighting a 15 rounder a prime fight would be a different fight
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:25 PM   #14
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

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Judging Jeffires on the Johnson fight is no different or worse than judging Johnson on the Willard fight.
Or judging Willard on the Dempsey fight.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:07 AM   #15
edward morbius
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Default Re: Boxing news article about james j jeffries.

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Originally Posted by Seamus View Post
What do you make of Gunboat Smith's various contentions from In This Corner that Jeffries was relying on Johnson to lay down and that was the agreed upon plan until the fight was moved out of San Fran... and that Jeffries was so poor in sparring that Ketchel was going to KO Jim during the introductions to save the pride of the White Race?
Smith seemed to be relying on hearsay. I would wonder myself why Johnson would have to keep his word on throwing the fight if it was held in San Francisco. All he had to do was fight once he got into the ring regardless of where the fight was being held. I would think Jeffries would be aware of that from the get go.

What is lacking here is any one being quoted who would likely have been on the inside of a fix. Why would a sparring partner like Armstrong been given this sort of information?
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