Who was the greater fighter out of Jack Johnson and James Jeffries?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by KeedCubano, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. ironchamp

    ironchamp Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Jeffries didn't have parkinsons, he was simply retired and fat. He got back in shape and while he was not in his prime and clearly on the decline it is very likely that he could have beaten a lesser fighter the day he fought Johnson.

    IMHO he simply just lost to a man who would have beaten him pre retirement if he had given him a shot.
     
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  2. kolchak65

    kolchak65 New Member Full Member

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    Johnson. I'm quite confident on this one.
     
  3. PhillyPhan69

    PhillyPhan69 Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Johnson for me, but not widely enough to argue someone who sees it differently
     
  4. Greb & Papke 707

    Greb & Papke 707 Member Full Member

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    I’m gonna try to not let my own bias interfere with my decision because I think Jack Johnson gets wildly overrated, but that being said he was certainly a match for any form of Jeffries...Jeff had a much better championship run but Johnson had a much better resume, both at there best, depending on rules I’d say it’s pretty close but I favor Jeff slightly because of his stamina, either way they’re definitely the two best heavyweights pre Dempsey. As for who was the greater of the two, I’d say it’s 6 one way a half dozen the other, if you say Jeffries I can’t argue nor can I if you say Johnson, both great fighters
     
  5. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Active Member Full Member

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    Johnson's stamina at 37 years of age against Willard was far more impressive than Jeffries' stamina at 35 against Johnson himself. I don't see that Jeffries has any advantage in that regard.
     
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  6. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Active Member Full Member

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  7. Greb & Papke 707

    Greb & Papke 707 Member Full Member

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    Jeffries stamina at his peak was legendary, he may have legitimately had the best stamina and durability of any heavyweight according to multiple sources and contemporaries of the time
     
  8. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Active Member Full Member

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    I guess our opinions are fixed. I hope to meet you again in a future discussion on another topic! Stay sturdy!
     
  9. ETM

    ETM I thought I did enough to win. Full Member

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    What are some of the things you think a prime Jefferies could do to offset Johnson's style?
     
  10. Balder

    Balder Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Jeffires would win in the clinch, and wear him down. He was also busier than Johnson. Johnson would try to hold and slow the fight down, then he would wear his man out in the clinches and hit on the break. That will not work against Jim. Jefrries would swing coming in, and be be the one wearing Johnson out in the clinches. That leaves Johnson out of his element. He would eventualley have to stand and trade. Jeffries had a better chin, and was a busier puncher.

    I see no way Johnson can win. It is a long fight, and Johnson would get his hits in. But he does not throw enough to stop Jeffires. Jim is an upgraded version of Willard. He would also be against someone as big as he was ( Johnson fought smaller fighters).

    Johnsons, one or two shot power punches will not stop Jeffries. not in his prime.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2021
  11. Fergy

    Fergy Boxing Junkie banned Full Member

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    Jack Johnson for me, no question at all.
     
  12. Balder

    Balder Well-Known Member Full Member

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    How could Johnson win? That is the question.
     
  13. DanDaly

    DanDaly Active Member Full Member

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    Depends how I'm feeling on the day I get asked this question. Jeffries looks better on paper but Johnson handled him with absolute ease (not prime at all) and it's hard to picture Jeffries turning it the opposite way being a few years younger. Jeffries drew the color line and struggled with nearly 40 year old men. Johnson has a weak title reign with low quality opposition.

    I say Johnson but I wouldn't be surprised if Jeffries beat him or still got beat to hell in his prime.
     
  14. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Boxing Hagiographer Full Member

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    This seemed like a good thread idea.
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    Overall the reports suggest a pretty good consensus that Jeffries was the deserved winner.
     
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  15. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti Boxing Hagiographer Full Member

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    Men? Who near 40 did he struggle with other than Fitz?

    He slaughtered the rest of his older opponents.