Did James J Jeffries beat Frank Childs?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by BitPlayerVesti, Aug 19, 2019.


  1. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    If the fight happened, and I am not saying that it did, then the following would be the case:

    A. That it took place very early in their careers, when they were both local level fighters.
    B. That it generated a very small media footprint.
    C. That the only surviving evidence of the fight, was the two sources unearthed by Adam Pollack
    D. That it would not have a particularly big bearing on the career of either fighter.

    So yes, it is perfectly possible that Jeffries would never have mentioned it, and the surviving evidence would be too weak for any historian or biographer today to commit to it.

    I vote that we simply say that we don't know, until/unless more evidence emerges.
     
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  2. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    He mentioned fighting Griffin early in his career ,I don't see why he wouldn't mention Childs at some point ?
    ps I've edited my last post it was a bit raw,sorry.
     
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  3. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti The Ad Wolgast of Googling Stuff Full Member

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    If it was an preliminary fight, it would have been more likely to have slipped under the radar, and harder to find now.
     
  4. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti The Ad Wolgast of Googling Stuff Full Member

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    It would have taken place before Childs was Colored champion
     
  5. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    The bottom line is that we don't know based on the current evidence.

    The evidence is very weak, but still too strong to be dismissed.

    I find it hard to take a strong position either way!

    What I will say is that if it did happen, it would change next to nothing.

    This fight that might have been, is a historical curiosity, that would have been of little interest at the time, but is fascinating today!
     
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  6. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Yes but seeing as how he became colored champ and Jeffries became worlds champion I think the spotlight would have lit on it at some point.
     
  7. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Jeffries has a strong claim to the Colored Heavyweight Championship!
     
  8. Jason Thomas

    Jason Thomas Member Full Member

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    Pollack has this to say on page 22:

    "It is possible that Jeff did box Childs, who often fought in the Los Angeles area, as well as Cotton, who was later listed as a Los Angeles heavyweight."

    So Pollack found info on Cotton. My reaction would be that probably Cotton and George Griffin were in fact fighters of that era who have largely slipped through the historical cracks. It strikes me as odd for anyone to make up names of guys who don't exist for publicity. If they don't exist why would anyone be expected to be impressed with Jeff beating them?

    I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that George Griffin is actually Hank. George supposedly went out in 11 seconds. Hank is credited with lasting 14 to 17 rounds. I think it more likely George was an obscure heavy of the era.

    Pollack also has this to say about Jeff's silence about a Childs fight:

    "it would be curious for Jeffries never to mention such a bout."

    Still, I can think of a reason for Jeff to mention the Hank Griffin fight but overlook Childs. In three fights Griffin beat Jack Johnson once and drew with him twice. Jeff had a strong motive for mentioning that he KO'd Griffin. Childs? Johnson handled Childs so it wouldn't mean much in a comparison of Jeff and Johnson if Jeff also beat him.

    As for Childs being colored champion, that title might not have been on Jeff's radar. It was a publicity matter for black fighters fighting each other, with Childs himself continuing to claim the title despite losing to Byers.
     
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  9. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    He has a strong claim to the White Championship!
     
  10. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    I've always felt that the fight didn't happen No strong reason really except that Childs was a name fighter, much more so than Griffin, who's fame is greatly based on retrospection.
     
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  11. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Me too, I cant believe it would have been off the radar all these years.
     
  12. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Childs was never all that highly regarded.

    Jeffries was not under pressure to defend against Childs, in the same way that he was to defend against say Denver Ed Martin.

    It is quite conceivable, if not necessarily likely, that the fight happened, and was simply forgotten!
     
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  13. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Can't agree that Childs wasn't highly regarded, the win over LeBlanche made him a name and Joe McAuliffe was touted as an opponent as far back as 1893.
     
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  14. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Jeffries rightly got a lot of stick for not fighting Martin, Johnson, and McVea.

    As far as I can tell, nobody really cared whether he fought Childs or Byers!
     
  15. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Oh, you are 100% correct on that but my point is that Childs was a name fighter from 1893 so a Jeffries fight/win over Frank just wouldn't go under the radar.
     
    Tonto62 likes this.


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