Jim Jeffries vs John L. Sullivan

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Senya13, Aug 27, 2008.



  1. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Sullivan’s star waned somewhat as the people who had seen him fight started to die. Jeffries would later suffer the same fate. It is striking that a lot of people who saw Jeffries fight early in his career, compared him unfavourably to Sullivan as a puncher and a finisher.

    I am not a big fan of the "weak era argument", but I think this is one case where it can be justified. I would feel very comfortable in saying that Paddy Ryan and Joe Goss were weaker than the best contenders of both he previous era and the subsequent era.
     
  2. Boilermaker

    Boilermaker Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Although, to be fair to the era, the weak era argument was not one really shared at the time, by many, who saw those from the bareknuckle era often as on par or better than the later era. The Jackson, Corbett, Fitzsimmons, Jeffries era was (probably rightly so) seen as a golden era similar to the 70s, but after that it was pretty much accepted by most that their was a decline in standards. I doubt Paddy Ryan would beat any of the above listed fighters, but he probably would be a top 10 fighter in this era and he might surprise
     
  3. apollack

    apollack Boxing Addict Full Member

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    In every era there are those who insist that he fighters of yesteryear were better, and those who insist that the fighters of today are superior, and then a decade or so passes by, and then folks look back with a new perspective at a certain era and often say something totally different.
     
  4. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Paddy Ryan was a man mountain of distinct and cultured fistic science.

    He had chunks of guys like Tom Sharkey in his stool.
     
  5. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I would have to hold it as a mark against the era that an ageing Joe Goss was able to secure the title. Goss was regarded as a good contender during the title reign of Jem Mace, but clearly not in the class of Jem Mace or Tom King. It see4ms unlikely that he got a lot better after Mace schooled him.

    Now you have to consider that it was seen as a bit of an upset when Ryan beat him. Nobody thought that he would have been a match for Goss prime for prime. Add all this up and you are probably justified in saying that it was a weak era.

    Things did improve over the next few years, with the emergence of fighters like Mitchell, McCaffrey, Godfrey, and Killrain, but you are still left with the sense that they were not as good as Jackson, Goddard, Slavin and Corbett.
     
  6. roughdiamond

    roughdiamond Blue Valentine Full Member

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    Bump.

    I actually think Sullivan wins.
     
  7. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Some discrepancies in those measurements.Jeffries was an even six foot and never weighed near 240lbs when in shape, in fact he never scaled over 220lbs in a title defence. I'd pick Jeffries, but Sullivan would be the puncher in their fight.
     
  8. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    Everyone does not say Fitz hit harder than Sullivan. I actually know of no one who did say that .. Choynski, a murderous puncher said he saw Sullivan live and that Sullivan was a much heavier puncher than he was. I think SUllivanm would have been far and away the hardest hitter Jeffries faced but Jeffries would be far and away the best fighter a prime Sullivan would have fought .. The absolute best Sullivan may have but up an even better battle than Sharkey but it's really pure speculation.
     
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  9. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    I agree .. Jeffries may have been a touch over 6 but the stories of 6'2" are fabricated although in his later title defenses he may have been close to 220 .. he was no speedster ... DeForest (SPPPPPEEEESSSHHH) was no fan of Jeffies at all calling him slow, clumsy and very over rated ..
     
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  10. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Jeffries was never near to Sullivan's level as a finisher.

    Jeffries had to learn the art over the course of his career, while Sullivan just had it!

    We can say that for Sullivan, if nothing else.
     
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  11. Mendoza

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

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    Sullivan said Jeffries would have put it to him. I fail to see Sullivan finish quite a few people in the mid to late 1880's, and the quality of his opponents in general is two notches below Jeffries.

    As for Jeffries speed, Sullivan said it was top notch, and so did the papers of the time.
     
  12. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Sullivan was the bigger puncher, I think we can accept that.
     
  13. Sting like a bean

    Sting like a bean Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I'm prepared to place a full ten dollars on Mr. Jeffries - you heard correctly - to give Mr. Sullivan a thoroughgoing thrashing.
    Now do not mistake me gentlemen, Sullivan was, to be sure, a great man in his heyday, but good sirs, you may depend upon it, there can be but little doubt that the fighters of yore are no match for our modern pugilists, who avail themselves of all the advanced techniques of the present day and all the rejuvenating elixirs that the Men of Science can devise. I fear poor John L will be in for a real hiding.

    One might just as well propose a cross-country race between an oxcart and a motorcar.
     
  14. Sting like a bean

    Sting like a bean Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Whether this is plausible or not (to me) depends very heavily on how deep the talent pool was in Sullivan's day and just how difficult it was in the bare knuckle era to stage frequent bouts without their getting broken up by police.
     
  15. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti The Ad Wolgast of Googling Stuff Full Member

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    I think it's wrong to call Sullivan's era the bareknuckle era.

    There was Paddy Ryan, and later Jem Smith, and a few old boys like Goss and Elliot early on, but gloved bouts seem to have been way way more common, but with bareknuckle having somewhat of a prestige. With Kilrain and Mitchell, I think both just knew they could exploit the LPR rules to drag a faded Sullivan into deep waters, Mitchell fought a few bareknuckle bouts, but I don't get the impression that outside the Sullivan fight he was better suited to bareknuckle, and as far as I know Kilrain's only bareknuckle bout other than Sullivan was with Jem Smith which was due to them both challenging Sullivan to a bareknuckle bout (and being refused).
     
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