Respect Harry "Kid" Matthews

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by The Undefeated Lachbuster, Dec 1, 2019.


  1. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Chase didn't need his A game, he won comfortably without it despite what you implied.
    Mathews with a 4 lbs weight advantage got a majority decision over Hostak in Mathews home town.With a 6 pounds pull in the weights, he got a draw in the rematch,also in Mathews home town.
    I didn't come on here to diss him, I posted a response to correct your many inaccurate assertions about his wins.
    1.Charles wasn't ranked,and he was washed up .He was tossed out of the ring in his next fight for holding.His performance was described as pitiful.
    2.Marshall was 37 and washed up, having his last fight .He'd lost his previous 2 fights by ko .
    3.Layne was damaged goods ,he'd recently been beaten up and floored 3 times by a nobody.
    4.Muscato was37, and washed up ,having his last fight.He had lost his last 6 ,3 by ko.
    5.Nardico was never a ranked heavyweight .
    I'm sure you made this thread in good faith ,but you didn't do enough research about it and it plainly shows.
    Instead of getting snotty about it you should be gratified you've learnt something you didn't know.I always am .
    That's unless you aspire to being another Rhas Al Guhly who will never know anything because he can't be told anything ,or admit to being wrong! You're a hell of a lot better than that!
    Don't let yourself down. Hopefully Kasimir Kid can enlighten us both more on this subject.
     
  2. The Undefeated Lachbuster

    The Undefeated Lachbuster Idealism must not be staunched by safety Full Member

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    That comment was a good place to end it, but just as an FYI, Charles was ranked within the top 10 in 1955

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    Dont worry, i have no intention of becoming the next Rah's lol
     
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  3. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    N.B. Charles was ranked no 10 in the December issue of 1955 The Ring ,but after the magazine had gone to press, on the 29th of December to be precise, he was ko'd by Young Jack Johnson.Then in May 1956 beaten byWayne Bethea and in July by Pat McMurtry, he fought Mathews in August of that year and held no ranking .
     
  4. Chuck1052

    Chuck1052 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Jack Hurley didn't manage Harry "Kid" Matthews until 1949. In other words, Hurley wasn't managing Matthews when the latter fought Al Hostak (two times), Jack Chase or Eddie Booker.

    I personally believe that Matthews was a capable fighter. There is not any way that Matthews could have such a boxing record if he wasn't one, with or without Hurley as his manager.

    - Chuck Johnston
     
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  5. ray fritz

    ray fritz Active Member Full Member

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    I cant get down on Hurley.you use the word shwerd ,McVEY everything you say about the man is a downer.on chase the point is got into the ring with Jack Im sorry but that's the point.Any man that steps in the as many time as has a set of them
    .Just getting in the ring take COURAGE. Ive got to respect any man win lose or draw. Not down him like YOU do.
    I try respect anyone,everyone
     
  6. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    QUOTE="ray fritz, post: 20197060, member: 119870"]I cant get down on Hurley.you use the word shwerd ,McVEY everything you say about the man is a downer.on chase the point is got into the ring with Jack Im sorry but that's the point.Any man that steps in the as many time as has a set of them
    .Just getting in the ring take COURAGE. Ive got to respect any man win lose or draw. Not down him like YOU do.

    I try respect anyone,everyone[/QUOTE]
    I respect every fighter who gets in the ring ,that's why I never use the term bum.
    I never questioned Mathews courage.
    Jack Hurley is widely considered a great manager and an excellent trainer.
    Please point out any inaccuracies in my posts, which parts of it are not true? All I've done is take issue with inaccuracies in the OP's posts which he made in good faith . If you can find anything not true in mine ,I will be the first to say thank you for correcting me .I patiently await for your reply.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  7. Gazelle Punch

    Gazelle Punch Active Member Full Member

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    I think if Matthews had a better chin he def would of had a little more success. Good speed good foot work. Not strong but could have made good with the other attributes. Never championship material at HW but decent fighter over all.
     
  8. Jason Thomas

    Jason Thomas Member Full Member

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    It wasn't directed at me, but some of this seems one sided.

    Chase didn't bring his A game? Has anyone seen a film of the fight? Just seems putting out a totally negative spin based on one ringside opinion.

    Yes, Seattle was at the time Matthews' home town or at least base of operations, but it was also Hostak's home town and base of operations. Both were born in other places. Hostak in Minneapolis. Matthews in Boise. Matthews was 19 years old when he had the fights with Hostak. There can't be all that many fighters who defeated such a worthy opponent before their 20th birthday.

    Matthews was not yet 21 when he lost to Chase and Booker.

    I agree with your #1 and #2

    Layne was coming off three straight KO wins and would score a win over Charles in his next fight. He would end the year ranked #2 at heavyweight.

    Muscato was 27, but was losing fights, albeit to good men.

    Nardico was a ranked light-heavyweight. Fair enough that he wasn't a ranked heavyweight. Certainly Matthews spent most of his career at middle and light-heavy. He shares that with Tommy Gibbons who like Matthews had few wins against actual top-rated heavyweights. It is interesting how differently the two are evaluated as heavyweight contenders.

    Matthews has a strong statistical record. He fought 19 years and over 100 fights and lost only to five men. He had just turned 17 when he lost to a man with 146 recorded fights and a strong winning record. He other losses were to a champion and three men who ranked at their best within the top five. Chase and Booker defeated him before he turned 21. His only losses after his 21st birthday up to his retirement were to an undefeated heavyweight champion and to a European and British Empire champion. Looking through the records, it appears he had about 25 fights against men ranked at one time or another in the Ring Magazine annual rankings and won 18 of them. He was rated in three different divisions over a decade's time.

    I think it valid that he wasn't as good as the statistical record implies, but dismissing him as a fraud seems unfair also.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  9. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    The OP said it was Chase's fault if he didn't bring his A game ,I pointed he didnt need to since, according to the the ringside report that said he won it without even swinging into high gear.
    Jack Chase, Denver, today held a victory over the cagey Harry Matthews, Seattle, without even swinging into high gear in their bout at Legion Stadium last night. Chase and Matthews dodged each other and hedged for 10 rounds with Chase finally bagging the decision. Chase, 157 1/2, smashed Matthews to the canvas for a one count in the 9th and moved on to capture the 10th. Matthews, 161, landed a few jabs at Chase but Chase took the bout by forcing the fight throughout." -United Press
    Retrieved from ‘
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    Those aren't my words they are the boxing writers. You're right Muscato was 27, I got him mixed up with 37 years old Marshall, Muscato had lost his last 6 fights and retired after the Mathews loss.
    Layne had won his last 3 fights ,over third raters, in his fight before that, also over a third rater he was floored 3 times and outpointed.
    His win over Charles is widely seen as a robbery.
    Mathews had fights against men who at one time of another were ranked .How many did he win over those who were ranked when he actually fought them?
    Bottom line not a fraud , he was a decent fighter, but no great.
    When was Mathews ranked as a heavyweight?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  10. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Im not sure I get the negativity here in regards to Matthews. He was a good fighter, a natural light heavyweight, who was a highly rated contender. Pretending he was “exposed” or protected is ridiculous. How was he exposed when he stepped up? The examples here are Marciano, Chase, and Booker. He didnt have to fight any of those guys so the idea that he was protected when he was going after three highly rated guys he could have easily avoided seems counterproductive to that argument. People are discounting his win over Marshall because Marahall was over the hill. Fair enough but in so doing you need to discount his losses to Booker and Chase. He took both of those fights with no training while he was in the service simply to make a few bucks for his family. Chase lost to worse fighters in his career than Matthews so trying to say one was categorically better than the other off that fight is unrealistic. Marciano was the smart fight to take financially for Matthews and Hurley. Its true Hurley didnt like Matthews chances against Maxim (I do, he certainly had a better chance of beating Maxim than Marciano in hindsight) but these guys dont make decisions based on what some guy sitting in his recliner thinks 70 years later. They have bills to pay and mouths to feed. Hurley parlayed his war against the establishment into a more lucrative fight for his fighter, exactly what a good manager is supposed to do. Marciano wasnt champion and there was a lot of interest publicly around both guys so what difference does it make that a top HW contender fought a top LHW contender and, shocker, won?? Was Matthews a great fighter? No, but he certainly deserves respect. He had an interesting and successful career that was hampered by a war and initial mismanagement. He wasnt some fraud by any stretch. I personally think stylistically and given his attributes he had an even chance of beating Maxim. I give him more credit than Hurley in that regard. But even if he’d beaten Maxim and won the title it likely wouldnt have been worth as much financially as they were able to get out of the Marciano and by extension the ****ell fights and ultimately. At that point in his career, thats what mattered to Matthews. Not some faux idea of legacy and a championship that still in that era was less highly regarded than MW or HW.
     
  11. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    The Booker and Chase fights were early in his career,not when he was with Hurley.
    As a middleweight Mathews could have fought contemporaries like ;Richards,Moore,Garcia,Belloise,Burley,Apostoli,Lamotta,Basora.I don't know why those fights didn't happen.
    Nor why ,as a ranked light heavy he never faced ,Pompey,Barone,Moore,Johnson,Turpin,Lamotta,Harrison,Slade, ,or Satterfield. Mathews wasn't a fraud ,he was good enough to beat Nardico and Murphy, but neither was he some guy who was denied the breaks to cement him as an ATG. Hurley split Mathews purses 50/50 he went for the $$$.
     
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  12. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Member Full Member

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    Good discussion. I can offer a few points of clarification.

    Matthews was actually born on December 9, 1921. Hurley shaved a year off Harry's age when Jack took over his management in 1949 to make him appear younger. So Harry was 22 when he fought both Chase and Booker in 1943.

    Matthews joined the army shortly after his draw with Al Hostak on Nov. 6, 1942. He fought both Chase and Booker while he was on furlough during the summer of 1943. He had done no boxing while in the army. To the best of my knowledge, both Chase and Booker were civilians at the time and maybe even for the duration of World War II. In Chase's case, he had a few run-ins with the law which likely were factors in disqualifying him for service. Booker was probably exempted because of the eye issues he was having at the time. Matthews took the Chase fight without any training because he was married and starting a family. He probably would have had two weeks to get ready for Booker. At the time, he was being managed by George Blake, so it was six years before he would benefit from his association with Jack Hurley. These things need to be taken into account when evaluating the significance of the Chase and Booker losses on his career ranking.

    As far as Muscato and Marshall go, both were shot, and both their fights with Matthews were the last of their careers. Muscato had even been banned from fighting in either New Jersey or New York, I forget which.

    The Murphy and Nardico fights were the most important wins for Matthews as far as national recognition. The fact that Murphy received the title shot against Maxim instead of Matthews was the lever which allowed Hurley to claim Maxim was ducking Harry. Hurley raised a fuss and talked his way into a heavyweight shot for Matthews against Marciano. To find out exactly how that came about, you'll have to read Volume Three of the Hurley trilogy because the confluence of events that went into making the Matthews-Marciano fight happen is too complicated to go into here.

    Rex Layne was unranked as a heavyweight (at least in the Ring), at the time he fought Matthews. It wasn't until the end of 1952 -- after Matthews had lost to Marciano, Rocky had defeated Walcott and Layne had come back to win a decision over Charles -- that Layne regained a ranking as high as No. 2 in the Ring ratings.

    When Matthews approached Hurley in 1949, he had already been a pro fighter for 12 years. He was not some wide-eyed kid with visions of sugar plums dancing in his head. He had a good record on paper, but had nothing to show for it in terms of financial remuneration. He was discouraged and ready to chuck the whole business, but his wife had read about Hurley in a magazine and convinced Harry to make the trip from Seattle to Chicago where Hurley lived and ask him to manage him. The point is that Matthews had been through the mill and the idea of becoming a champion was not even a remote consideration for him. All he had in mind was to get a financial return on all the time and energy he had put into learning his craft as a boxer. When financial success came as a result of his association with Hurley, he was thrilled. I can personally vouch for this because I asked him point blank whether he regretted Hurley going after the Marciano fight instead of accepting a title shot with Maxim. His response was "Absolutely not, I was the fighter and he was the manager." The occasion was a VBA picnic in Estacada, Oregon honoring Al Hostak and Harry Matthews on July 19, 1997. I was lucky enough to be seated next to Harry during lunch.

    Anyway, the statement that Hurley was a "bad manager" is woefully inaccurate. The best person to judge the performance of a manager is the fighter himself. In the Matthews-Hurley case, the best evidence of how Harry felt about Jack occurred at the time of Hurley's death. Matthews was unable to make the trip to the funeral from Seattle to Fargo, but he sent the family an elaborate flower arrangement with a pair of boxing gloves in the center. The card was signed from "your friend Harry (Kid ) Matthews." Harry also phoned Hurley's brother Hank and offered his condolences: "I've made over $200,00, thanks to nobody but your brother."

    I could go on and on about this, but I encourage those participating in this thread to pay close attention to the comments of McVey, Chuck, and Klompton 2. They address most of the inaccuracies which have appeared in this thread.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  13. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    This comment follows the same false narrative that many of these "he ducked so and so" or he "was protected" arguments follow in that they incorrectly assume that fighters, not promoters, make the fights. Show me Matthews was offered fights against Burley, LaMotta, Basora, Turpin etc and we can begin the discussion. Saying "he could have fought x, y, z" ignores the simple fact that fighters fight, they dont go out and actively arrange matches except in very rare and unique circumstances such as Rademacher-Patterson where Pete Rademacher went out and essentially worked as a one man show to arrange that fight by garnering financial backing that it made it difficult for anyone to ignore. It also ignores the fact (a common narrative among WW2 era fighters who were supposedly ducked or protected) that Matthews was essentially out of the game for four years during the war barring a two week period in 1943 when he fought Booker and Chase with little notice while on furlough. And again, the idea that a guy would fight Hostak twice, Booker and Chase with no training and on short notice, and Marciano who was undefeated and had knocked out almost everyone he had faced yet he was protected defies logic. Do you think a guy who would fight Chase and Booker on short notice wouldnt take a big money fight against a guy like Jake LaMotta, Turpin, etc? Some of the other names you threw out as people he supposedly avoided werent anything special to begin with. Beating Bob Murphy was a damn sight more impressive than a wins over Pompey, Barone would have been. Im not sure which Richards you refer to because if its Ron Richards I dont know why he would be brought up. He never fought in the USA and Matthews never fought in Australia and frankly, outside of Lesnevich (who was never unbeatable), Richards didnt do anything in the division worthy of him being held up as some sort of example of a fighter that was avoided. The above also ignores the simple geography of the time period. Another thing thats often ignored when discussing how fighter A supposedly ducked fighter B in the first part of the 20th century. For the first five years of his career Matthews fought exclusively in the Pacific Northwest. Outside of Hostak and Steele (who basically retired just after Matthews fourth or fifth fight) who exactly was Matthews supposed to fight to increase his reputation at home? Where were all of the offers flooding in from to have him travel to New York, Pennsylvania, California, much less Australia, because again, his business is fighting, not matchmaking. So no, none of this adds up with reality.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  14. Mendoza

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

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    That's not it Lachbuster. Mcvey dislikes Marciano, and jumps on any chance he has to discredit him. He once said Rocky lacked one punch KO power, Need I say more?

    Ad nausea he'll do the same to Corbett, Jeffries, Tunney, or Klitschko.

    As for Matthews himself, he was a solid boxer with good skills on offense and defense. Rocky took him out in round two with a double left hook. The quick and conclusive ending does not detract from Rocky at all. It adds to his legacy. If you haven't seen the KO, you should. Mathews had a fine round one. He just could take Rocky's power.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
  15. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Great discussion. I'm curious if any of the above interlocutors have read the pertinent sections from Ochs trilogy. I'm not quite there yet and given my work schedule won't get to it until after the holidays.
     


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