Best five wins thread. Lineal / Ring Magazine heavyweight champions.

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Mendoza, May 8, 2020.


  1. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    IMO the Choynski that Corbett beat was better than the Sullivan that Corbett beat. Choynski might have been unknown outside of San Francisco but he clearly gave Corbett the tougher fight. Sullivan had the title, but he was there to be taken. That's just how I see it.

    Back To Johnson....

    Is Martin really Johnson's best win? By the time they fought tin 1904, Martin had been Ko'd 3 times, twice by Armstrong, and once by MvCey, The KO's happened in rounds 2, 3, and 1.

    So far MCvey is doing well, based on his win over Martin. By the time McVey first fought Johnson, he just 6 recorded fights and was 18 years old. Mcvey's standing is based on a win over Martin, who might have been skilled, but could not take it at all to the head or body. This is why I think Burns is Johnson best win. IMO, he'd KO Martin too, and decision Mcvey who wasn't very skilled.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  2. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Unlikely.

    Choynski was Sullivan's sparring partner at the time, and he didn't seem to think that he belonged in the same ring!
     
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  3. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I will pen a brief post on each of the fighters that I see as being realistic candidates.

    My objective will be to show people how those wins were perceived at the time.
     
  4. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    The fight that seems to have launched Johnson as a contender was his win over George Gardiner.

    At the time Gardiner only had three looses, all of which he had avenged, and he was installed as a 2/1 favorite, with the odds shifting to 10/4 just before the fight.

    It is also worth noting that Johnson took the fight just ten days after his win over Frank Childs!

    Referee Harry Stuart gave the following to say:

    "Johnson has been fighting only about three years and lacks the generalship and tactics that come with long experience."

    "His lack of Aggressiveness will prevent Johnson from ever reaching the top round of the pugilistic ladder!"

    The San Francisco Chronicle made the following prediction:

    "The colored giant does not figure to win, it is true, but his past performances show that he always made a fight, and concealed in either glove he carries a wallop that means trouble if it lands right."

    As you all know, Johnson won the fight, and then challenged Jeffries and Fitzsimmons. A year later Gardiner would win the light heavyweight title, and Johnson would challenge the winner of Gardiner Fitzsimmons.

    You might or might not consider this fight worth of a spot on your list.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  5. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    Johnson had been fighting since 1894, so this is a case where there press/ref didn't have much facts. I think you did make a case that beating Gardiner could rate among Johnson's top 5. I think Gardiner lost bit too often. Listed weights: Gardiner 155, Johnson 185. Had Johnson, who had a 30 pound advantage finished Gardiner, the win woud have bit
    more luster on it.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  6. Mendoza

    Mendoza Hrgovic = Next Heavyweight champion of the world. Full Member

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    Corbett beat Sullivan in 1892, which was his last fight. I'm talking about Choynski from 1889....that guy.

    I think the 1889 Choysnki beats the 1882 far gone Sullivan.

    Was Choynski Sullivan's sparring partner in 1889? That would be news to me as he was retired for 7 years or so. If you're saying Sullivan was active after losing to Corbett, he might have another unlisted fight or two, though I doubt someone as famous as he was could escape the press from recording it.
     
  7. Jason Thomas

    Jason Thomas Active Member Full Member

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    Corbett might have improved a hell of a lot between the Choynski fights and Sullivan. Probably the three best heavies around other than Corbett were Jackson, Kilrain, and Sullivan. Jackson and Kilrain couldn't beat Corbett either. Sullivan was certainly slipping, and probably slipping badly, but I can't see accepting a win over a 160 or so pounder who was green and stopped 10 times in his career over a win over a man who had been the heavyweight champion for 10 years and whose only loss ever was in this fight to Corbett. For all of his being old and fat, Sullivan still lasted 21 rounds.

    Who gave Corbett the toughest fight is not a criteria I accept. Ted Lowry gave Marciano a tougher fight than Joe Louis, so Lowry is a better win than Louis? I don't buy that logic.

    Anyway on to Johnson.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  8. Jason Thomas

    Jason Thomas Active Member Full Member

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    Johnson

    Jim Jeffries--Jeff was a big man, had been a most dominant champion, and as with Sullivan against Corbett, this was his only loss ever. He certainly wasn't what he had been, but one can at least ask if the fact that Johnson was bigger, stronger, and far more skilled, especially at infighting, than any of Jeff's earlier opponents had something to do with how bad Jeff looked. Jeff certainly is historically the best heavyweight Johnson defeated.

    Sam McVea--another big man. He had KO'd some good fighters like Martin. He was not at his career best, but was already considered a dangerous contender.

    Denver Ed Martin--a big fellow who could box well and was considered a rising contender.

    Tommy Burns--The reason I rate him so low is that those first three were actually bigger than Johnson. On film against Johnson, Burns looks to be a super-middle at most. He is just too small to be considered higher for me.

    Fireman Jim Flynn--others could be picked, but Flynn had some big wins over his career, including over Langford and Dempsey, although both slaughtered him in rematches.

    There are quite a number of men who could be put in that 5th spot, such as Frank Moran, Al Kaufman, George Gardner, etc. And all kinds of names who are either too old, too small, or too green.

    *I rate Johnson the best pre-Louis heavyweight because of his longevity and a resume that is very wide, if in retrospect lacking wins over top men, who, if perhaps past their best or not yet at their best, at fight time would still certainly prove a very tough test.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2020
  9. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    The Jeffries fight is a difficult issue, because we don't have anything else to judge him by.

    It might be that he still had enough left to beat every single white hope, or he might truly have had nothing left.
     
  10. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Choynski has 4 recorded fights before the loss to Corbett ,3 against nobodies, those three have respective records of
    1-0-0,
    0-0-0
    6-7-5
    The other, that no dec,aborted one with Corbett.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
  11. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    We need to say a little about Denver Ed Martin now.

    He is largely forgotten today, but he was highly touted going into the Johnson fight. He was one of the few contenders that people gave a chance of defeating Jeffries, and he went into the fight a betting favorite. He was 6' 4'', and by some accounts had a 20lb weigth advantage over Johnson. Here are some of the things said about Martin before the fight:

    "He is young, almost if not quite ad clever as Ruhlin, can punch harder, is ambitious and thoroughly game. As I said several weeks ago, of all the men looming up on the pugilistic horizon not one has better qualifications for usurping the title than he. The next champion will be a black man, mark the prediction."

    San Francisco Evening Post

    "The Colored Heavyweight championship lies between Denver Ed Martin, the black whirlwind of the coast, and neither will have a clear title until he whips the other."

    Bute Miner

    "Since the start of his career, Martin's strongest card has been his cleverness. Endowed to an unusual extent by nature in respect to size and strength, he is also one of the most skilled men in the profession, big or little."

    Los Angeles Herald

    "Martin has quite a reputation in the east, and will surely go into the fight a favorite over Johnson. Johnson while not as experienced as Martin, has youth and ambition in his favor, and has an idea that he is as good as the best of them."

    Tom McCarey
     
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  12. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Some observations about the fight itself:

    "From the start, realizing that Martin had every physical advantage, Johnson played a waiting game, looking to counter. He assumed a peculiar position, half crouched, and blocked the clever Martin's efforts, in a way that repeatedly evoked cheers from the house."

    "They mixed it like bantems, fought in and out like middleweights, and were lightning fast on their feet. In covering ground rapidly Martin showed himself to be a wonder. His footwork was splendid, his boxing phenomenally stylish, and his appearance in the ring most impressive."

    Los Angeles Herald

    "Denver Ed Martin was the harder hitter, but that did not help him any. Johnson's cleverness was something that he could not solve. His left jabs sailed past Johnson's ear nearly every time."

    National Police Gazette

    Johnson would fight McVea a mere 21 days later!

    Needless to say, I wish this fight had been filmed, because it would show us a new dimension to Johnson!
     
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  13. Jason Thomas

    Jason Thomas Active Member Full Member

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    "we don't have anything else to judge him by"

    Yes, and that is my issue with dismissing Sullivan also. Both Sullivan and Jeffries only suffered one loss and that to a man who might have been the best active heavyweight at the time (Johnson certainly was), and may also have been better than any fighter they ever defeated. Taking the position that more or less anyone could have beaten them is drawing a big conclusion from scant evidence.
     
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  14. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I will now say a few words on Sam McVea.

    Some people dismiss these fights based upon McVea's youth and inexperience, but he was undoubtedly viewed as a top contender.

    "Jeffries now fears no pugilist on earth capable of giving him a battle. There is one man who might have a faint chance of success, and that is Sam McVea, the Oxnard Giant. He weighs in excess of 200lbs, and has a very hard wallop. He is the only kind of man, of whom the champion would stand in the least bit of danger. Punchers like Gardner, Monroe, Sharkey, and Ruhlin, are easy game for the champion."

    San Francisco Evening Post

    "They say there's only two men left who have a chance with Jeffries, that's Sam McVea and myself"

    Jack Johnson

    "There is none at present in the Queensbury game who is possessed of a better physique than McVea. Six feet in height, weight 210 pounds and as hard as nails, with no bad habits and his twenty first birthday yet to greet him."

    Referee Harry Stuart

    I could go on!
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2020
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  15. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    When Johnson defeated Martin the first time he was after beating Armstrong, Childs, Ferguson and Griffin...a vry impressive list, plus he regularly outboxed Ruhlin in sparring. As for the Corbett-Choynski fight they wre virtual amateurs, think Lewis-Bowe in the Olympics, bitter rivals who would go on to be elite fighters. Joe Goddard would soon bounce Choynski around and Hall bested him. No comparison with the great John L at that time.
     


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