Jem Mace — Official World Champ? School Me Please

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Italian Stallion, Sep 12, 2020.


  1. Italian Stallion

    Italian Stallion Member Full Member

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    I'm not up on the rule/general view of pioneers in the sport. If a fighter won a title in the pre-gloved, pre-modern era, did he go down in history as an official world champion? I'm confident I came to the right place because you guys here in the Classic section have expansive knowledge on boxing history. Thanks!
     
  2. Mendoza

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

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    Jim Mace 101. Personally It think Mendoza would have taken him :)

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  3. Italian Stallion

    Italian Stallion Member Full Member

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    So the bare-knuckle & modern eras essentially have their own separate world champion categories?
     
  4. Italian Stallion

    Italian Stallion Member Full Member

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  5. Mendoza

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

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    There was the British Empire Crown. The champion of Australia,, and the Champion of American. Depending on how you view things, John Sullivan was both bare-knuckle and modern gloved champion and the modern era starts with him.

    True pioneers were Dutch Sam, who had wicked uppercut that took the times by surprise, and Daniel Mendoza. Interestingly enough, neither Mace, Sam, or Mendoza were big fighters. They won with skills.

    While Mace and Sam were offensive, Mendoza, for his time, had no equal on defense. He had a high guard and quick feet, avoiding blows by ducking or sidestepping them while shifting and delving his own.

    Mendoza at least by description can be compared to a modern fighter, in my opinion. How good he, Mace, ad Sam were is debatable, but you can say they were all really tough guys, pound for pound talents in their times, and thought nothing of taking on a guy 40 pounds or heavier.
     
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  6. dmt

    dmt Hardest hitting hw ever Full Member

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    I use to have a boxing encyclopedia by a wonderful British author named Gilbert Odd. I believe it contained info on a lot of bareknucle fighters including Mace. Its been 10+ years since i lost the encyclopedia, i might re order it. You could find interesting info in there

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    As far as what i know about him, he was obviously a pioneer. I believe he didn't draw the colour line either and that's something i admire. When/if i re-order the encyclopedia, i would be able to add more info.
     
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  7. Italian Stallion

    Italian Stallion Member Full Member

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    Great insight! So you're avatar is named after that Mendoza, correct :)? If so, good choice!
     
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  8. Mendoza

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

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    Mace worked with Bob Fitzsimmons. Fitz won a tournament of Maces. I believe Mace taught Fitz a thing or two.

    I don't think England had a color bar back then, but they like much of Europe were anti Jewish and picked on the faith. Interestingly enough Mendoza and Sam were both Jews, Sam going to Mendoza's school of boxing because he was picked on. In the history of boxing, the best fighters for whatever reasons often came from the least desirable group in the eyes of the majority population.
     
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  9. Italian Stallion

    Italian Stallion Member Full Member

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    @William Walker
    Btw, is Jim Mace's name etched in boxing history as an official world champ of any kind or any weight class? Technically speaking, do such pioneers as Mace who came before Sullivan not count as champions of the world OR are bare-knuckle and modern simply two separate acknowledged categories of world champions? The way I've always understood it: starting with John L. Sullivan, everyone who follows him went down in boxing history as an official heavyweight world champion. But is Mace an official world champ or not?[/USER]
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  10. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti A Being of Inexplicable Inclinations Full Member

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    Dan Creedon called Jem Mace the cleverest boxer he knew.

    High praise from someone who fought, Bob Fitzsimmons, Kid McCoy, and Joe Choynski and was a major sparring partner for Corbett.

    There's not really any meaning of Official or not, it's not like there was and official governing body recognising champions at the time. I think he had a pretty good claim to world champion, certainly better than many who are included.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  11. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    The World Title was created by unifying the British and American titles.

    It was generally agreed that Jem Mace became the first World Champion, when he defeated Tom Allen, to unify the two title claims.
     
  12. William Walker

    William Walker Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Appreciate the invite, but I really don't know much about boxing that far back. In fact, I never even heard of Mace before just now.
     
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  13. Italian Stallion

    Italian Stallion Member Full Member

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    The thing is though Mace isn't listed as an official world champion in any division. No division has him down on their list of world titleholders...
     
  14. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    That mainly reflects lack of historical knowledge, on the part of the people compiling the lists.
     
  15. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti A Being of Inexplicable Inclinations Full Member

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    What do you think of Denny Harrington's claim to have been world Middleweight champion from beating George Rooke in 1878?