How good was Peter Jackson?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by PeterD, Nov 9, 2019 at 11:44 AM.


  1. PeterD

    PeterD Member Full Member

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    Currently reading Peter Jackson by Bob Petersen.

    I know that authors need to add a bit of hyperbole to their subjects at times but it is claimed that Jackson could have beaten Sullivan and Corbett. Indeed Corbett dodged Jackson for years after they had had one fight that ended in a no decision after many rounds.

    Maybe it is me but I am just not seeing his greatness, what I see is a fighter who thought he was the number 1 challenger for Corbett's title so took himself out of the ring for a period of 6 years while waiting for the title shot and spent the time blowing his money and drinking to excess. When he eventually did fight again, James J Jeffries destroyed the shell of what he had been.

    What am I missing?
     
  2. Eye of Timaeus

    Eye of Timaeus Member Full Member

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    He did J.R.R.Tolkien proud. The man is a legend.
     
  3. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    He is a bit of an enigma to be honest.

    It is fair to say that he was probably the best heavyweight in the world at some point.

    Sullivan was ready to be taken any time after the Killrain fight, and I think that Jackson was a bit better than Corbett.

    Some contemporary observers thought that he was the best ever, thought we cannot uphold this view based upon his resume.
     
  4. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Member Full Member

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    As good as a prime James J. Corbett who was soon to become heavyweight champion. What else can you say about a guy who fought 130 years ago and before there was any film. Anyway, that's a pretty good resume in itself. The Jeffries fight means zero since Jackson was apparently in ill health.
     
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  5. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    He was probably at least slightly better than Corbett!
     
  6. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti The Ad Wolgast of Googling Stuff Full Member

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    I don't think his fight with Corbett flatters either, and he had a lot of trouble in a short fight with Goddard.

    He probably was the best in the world at some point, but I don't think it's entirely clear his standing is above that of Corbett.

    I now think Harry Wills was probably better, but I've gone back and forth on that.
     
  7. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    He was better than Slavin, equal to Goddard and Corbett by results and better than anybody else he fought near his peak years, so he was definitely good, how good is a matter of opinion.
     
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  8. McGrain

    McGrain Diamond Dog Staff Member

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    I'm not 100% on this, but memory says he fought Corbett with an injury - ankle I think. It was something mad too, like he was thrown from a horse or a buggy being drawn by a horse. He may not have been heavily affected on fight night but his training was seriously impaired.

    That's my memory of it anyway. I think he was probably better than Corbett, marginally.

    That said, memory also says that Jackson was the keener of the two on stopping the fight and calling it a draw.
     
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  9. Mendoza

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

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    Peter Jackson wasn't American or based in the UK as such he's a bit underexposed. How good was he? George Siler, a legendary referee who was in the ring with a who's who said Peter Jackson was better than Jack Johnson by long odds. Jackson was tall for his time, fast, accurate, and had a good punch.

    He made Fitz look really bad in sparring. His wins over Slavin, E Smith, and Maher, are better than Sulivan's best three wins. He probably would have beaten Sullivan post 1885. The press liked him.

    Corbett listed his best fighters later in life. He had Jeffries at 1A and Jackson at 1B.
     
  10. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Just seen this thread and told myself what your post would be.My prediction was spot on!
    Siler's actual quote in his book Inside Facts Of Pugilism page 111, is as follows.
    "Of the black heavyweights Jackson was by long odds the best that ever put up his hands in this or any other country.
    He probably didn't have much on Johnson as a scientific boxer,but as a scientific hard hitting fighter,he towered away over Jack".

    How many major fights of Jacksons did Siler see? Possibly 4/5 including the sad debacle against Jeffries.I don't think he ever refereed him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019 at 4:56 AM
  11. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Jackson's win over virtual amateur Maher in an exhibition is meaningless in value and the 1895 Jackson couldn't even defeat Farnan not to mind Sullivan. It was 1888 before that debate becomes real.
     
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  12. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    If Sullivan had granted Jackson a title shot, the timing would have been perfect for Jackson.

    Jackson was coming into his prime, just as Sullivan was ripe to be taken.

    I would even go as far as to say that a Jackson victory would have been the more probable outcome.

    Perhaps Jackson is the missing lineal champion.
     
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  13. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    Sullivan was a physical marvel with a short prime .. after 1883 he started to become a serious alcoholic and by 84 he was damaged goods but still good enough to beat most fighters . Jackson was probably the best heavyweight fighter from about 1885 to 1892 but was either avoided entirely as is the case w Sullivan or forced to fight under unfair conditions like a finish fight while injured against Corbett .. by all accounts he was a terrific specimen .. men who saw him like Fitz and Choynski called him a marvel .. he clearly began to fall apart when he saw he was never getting a rematch w Corbett ... a mere shell fought Jeffries, highly inactive , sickly and 37 or so .. basically the first M of Q era heavyweight to be terribly screwed out of a fair chance at the title but far from the last ..
     
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  14. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Not this early, they didn't. At least according to Pollack. Even a few years later they were split on the subject.
     
  15. mattdonnellon

    mattdonnellon Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Jackson's prime was short like Sullivan as he too succumbed to alcohol. In 1885 he twice was beaten by Farnan, himself no great shakes. He took 30 rounds to defeat the average Tom Lees-a middleweight- in 1886 and didn't hit his stride until he beat Godfrey in August of 1888. I think he was the best heavyweight in the world from that point up to his victory over Slavin in April 1892, a 4 year span. Even in that time, Goddard and Corbett fought on level terms with him. A resume of Slavin, Ed Smith, Cardiff, Godfrey, McAuliffe is impressive, more so than Corbett who had Sullivan, Kilraine, Choynski, McCaffrey...
     
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