What was the character of Jim Jefferies?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Tockah, Jan 21, 2023.

  1. choklab

    choklab cocoon of horror Full Member

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    it wasn’t just Jeffries though, Johnson did not behave the way Society in general felt was acceptable at that time.

    That’s the way things were then. An unequal society to begin with. Johnson was already judged harshly because of those times. Then the way Johnson lived and went on seriously clashed with the times he lived in. Making him a villain by the standard of the day.
     
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  2. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

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    There is a lot more to that statement you are making but I am simply focusing on Jeffries who showed him zero respect as a man and as a fighter and paid the price for his arrogance ..
     
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  3. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Sure, it was scripted as I prefaced.

    I can’t remember the line exactly verbatim - but I took it as Jeffries stating that he beat men that were better than Joe Louis himself - NOT that he beat men that were better than the men Joe Louis beat. I could be wrong though.

    Either way and notwithstanding whose words they were, I personally contest both positions, particularly the first one.

    But I understand the point of the “old guard” still perhaps being held in higher esteem than the “then”, current crop.

    In all possibility, they were Jeff’s sentiments, - sounding very personalised - either gleaned from discussions with the script writers or input directly by Jeff himself -

    He did read as arrogant in his day, certainly not self deprecating and deferential like Jack Dempsey who might’ve at least been afforded some credit in the scripting and by Jeffries himself if the SAME question had been posed re The Manassa Mauler.

    Jeff avoided Johnson, came back and got whipped by Johnson. After Johnson lost the title, the colour line was drawn with a vengeance for many years. Louis being the first black fighter to get a shot since Johnson.

    Rather a loaded question to insert into a movie during Louis’ reign as Champ I would think. Go figure.

    Finally, Jeff only cleaned out his division ONLY in respect of white challengers. Not a single black fighter on his list of defences - the most significant omission being Johnson.
     
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  4. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict Full Member

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    He upset certain white quarters of the community Choc, not all.

    At least in the realm of sporting endeavour, many deferred to best vs best, skin tone notwithstanding.

    Jeffries relied on a colour line that was not wholly embraced and certainly considered to be becoming outdated if not already outdated. Jeffries was not necessarily acting completely within the context of his times.
     
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  5. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict Full Member

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    D&D? Unchartered waters for me, I’m drowning on that subject.

    All I can say is, in one of those Fight Night games, my sons “roided” up Jake Lamotta beat the living sh*t out of my “clean” Sonny Liston -

    I was not impressed. I thought my just being the Ugly Bear made me a shoo in. I didn’t quit though - but I did get KTFO. :(
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2023
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  6. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Excellent post,Mcvey.

    Reading up about "Mr Jeff" his biggest asset in the ring was his sheer physical strength. I read that shortly before his fight for Bob Fitzimmons' title he lifted Bob off his feet like he weighed practically nothing! I wonder if Bob was intimidated by that?
     
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  7. Melankomas

    Melankomas Member Full Member

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    He was probably used to it lmao.
     
  8. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Being used to what,Melankomas?
     
  9. Melankomas

    Melankomas Member Full Member

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    Being used to being small compared to his opponent. Fitzsimmons was outweighed by his opponent more often than not, especially at heavyweight. So I doubt it really got to him.
     
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  10. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    I see what you mean. I agree.
     
  11. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Hey Stevie

    In Adam Pollack's book on Jeffries, Jim didn't pick up Bob but actually shoved him across the room when discussing what tactics would be allowed on "breaking". I've read Jeffries own first-hand account of the incident, (at as it was presented in a separate article) and it corroborated the description in Adam's book. In Jeffries own first-hand account, he did state that while he could see that his strength shocked Bob, he didn't believe that it intimidated or instilled any fear in Bob.
     
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  12. Pugguy

    Pugguy Boxing Addict Full Member

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    As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been re-reading Peter Heller's IN THIS CORNER.

    In his IV with Gunboat Smith, Smith claimed that the "fix" was in (for Jeffries to win) when the Johnson-Jeffries fight was originally scheduled to be held in San Fran. After it was moved to Reno, Smith claimed that Johnson drove out to Jeffries place the night before the fight and more or less told Jeff that it was every man for himself, meaning no fix.

    Smith claimed that to be the reason why Jeffries didn't sleep the night before the fight - Johnson's "revelation" causing Jeff to instead pace and fret all night.

    But then, on the drive back Smith also claimed that Johnson encountered Sam Langford walking on the side of the road and that Johnson deliberately spun his wheels to flick dirt/mud up at Sam. Sounds a bit much to have all happened on the night before the fight.

    It seems the Gunner was quite the raconteur. He also said, as it the fight turned out, Johnson carried Jeffries and could've knocked him out as early as round 1.

    We do know Jeffries didn't sleep the night before and virtually had a breakdown before the fight even began. More conventionally, I would put that down to Jeffries' feeling the reality of the match hit him as it drew ever closer - and possibly Jeffries increasing realization during his training camp as to how far gone he really was. Of course, he would've also felt the enormous pressure of the white race on his shoulders any which way.

    It's interesting to note also that Jeffries apparently did a lot less sparring than his team had hoped for and advised him to do. Again, conventional wisdom might suggest that Jeffries was progressively divorcing him from the reality of the fight - possibly in proportion to it sinking in that he was going to likely lose no matter what his preparations. Pure speculation I know, but interesting to ponder.

    I would be curious if there were any other sources (besides Smith) claiming that any type of a "fix" was originally planned for.

    @mcvey and @janitor - do you guys know anything much else about this claim made by Smith?
     
  13. Stevie G

    Stevie G Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Thanks for shedding light on that,Pugguy.
     
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  14. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Armstrong was an employee of Jeffries.Are there any pictures of them together outside of a boxing context?
    At a social event, or at each others homes? Jeffries routinely used the terms **** and ****** ,in doing so he was following the norms of the white society of the day, but let's not pretend he was some enlightened " renaissance man".He was a bigot and his bigotry is well documented.
     
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  15. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Bob Fitzsimmons also said Johnson could have stopped Jeffries anytime he wanted to.
     
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