Was John L Sullivan the best pugilist of his time ?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by mr. magoo, Oct 6, 2021.

  1. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    It does actually say something about the era, though, that you have guys like Muldoon, Wilde, Sullivan, and the rest of them setting up a boxing booth (Wilde), or a ring in a bar (Muldoon), or just going in and challenging everybody (Sullivan), and immediately having a bunch of members of the general public step up to try to beat the pro athlete.
     
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  2. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    You could probably argue that Sullivan would have done better in a five on one situation, than any of the grapplers of his day.
     
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  3. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    That sounds like fun actually and certainly interesting
     
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  4. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    Against bad enough opponents, that may be so. Then again, Muldoon can just start tossing them headfirst onto a convenient hard surface.
     
  5. richdanahuff

    richdanahuff Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    The rough and tumble style was as close to MMA type fighting without rules as you could get....it wasn't uncommon for a ear or nose to get bitten off or 1or both eyes gouged out during those fights.....but there never was a baddest man even in that era the geography of the planet, cultures etc.....make that knowledge impossible but there was certainly less of an argument
     
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  6. mr. magoo

    mr. magoo Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Yeah apparently Jeffries did some wrestling in youth.
     
  7. richdanahuff

    richdanahuff Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Catch Wrestling was routine training for boxers in that era wrestlers worked in their training camps you can see picture of Jack Dempseys wrestling skills in picture with tow hold and ankle locks....this was a huge part of their strength and fitness
     
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  8. Greb & Papke 707

    Greb & Papke 707 Active Member Full Member

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    Sure…it’s possible, anyone can get beat on any given day, that being said I don’t think that there were too many men on the planet whoopin John at his best, certainly nobody throwing hands at him…it’s possible that a catch wrestler could hook him or a kickboxer could land a head kick, but keep in mind also a lot of other martial disciplines even 40 to 50 years ago had no live sparring and no cross training, so I’d imagine over 100 years ago it was just as bad if not worse, Sullivan certainly had Aton of live sparring, was in tremendous condition and cross trained in wrestling simply because you had to to compete in LPR, getting hit changes the dynamics of a fight almost instantly and makes some of the best look foolish for a minute while they get there bearings, I personally believe that when John L was at his best that he was legitimately the toughest man in the world
     
  9. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    He also has the advantage that most ground fighting styles either didn't exist, or were in their infancies.

    No BJJ. Judo barely invented or not invented. (And may not have incorporated much ground fighting early anyway.) No freestyle wrestling. No catch, per se; Lancashire wrestling still a more minor English style.
     
  10. Kell Macabe

    Kell Macabe Member Full Member

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    If p4p was a thing back then he would be #1
     
  11. djanders

    djanders Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Re: "Was John L Sullivan the best pugilist of his time ?"

    According to his contemporaries, that's a definite yes! As for Muldoon beating him in wrestling, if Sullivan wanted to punch him with a bad intention on the way in, I think that's the end of Muldoon.
     
  12. cuchulain

    cuchulain Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Holy Mother of Christ, CT ! :eek:

    And I thought Burt Bienstock was a bit long in the tooth !!!
     
  13. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

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    :risas3: