Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by SuzieQ49, May 13, 2019.
where do you rate him all time?
Top 10 All-Time. Featherweight GOAT.
I have him at no. 3 p4p, below SRR and Henry Armstrong and above Muhammad Ali and Joe Louis.
And yeah, no. 1 at Featherweight without a shadow of a doubt.
the guy averaged a fight every 6 weeks for 26 years, even after being in a plane crash that broke his back, sternum, etc., and put him basically in a full body cast …. enough said … old school, hard core … Fought SRR late night in a barn for cash … he said he thought he was going to die in that fight but hung tough … shoe in top 10
#1 at Featherweight and top 10 all-time but not quite top 5.
The GOAT at Featherweight and #9 P4P.
Saddler is at #13
Both fair appraisals. I have him very high p4p but as long as he's top 10 you won't here any complaint from me.
Certainly top ten, possibly top five.
I believe I’d have 7 or 8 all-time pound for pound.
Yeah, what was I thinking ... the guy who beat the other guy 3 out of 4 is better?
#1 at Feather...met him and had a chance to talk to him...nice guy...it was an honor! Asked him about the Jackie Graves fight in 1946.
Did he say much about the fight? My favorite boxing scribe of past years, Don Riley of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, is the one who apparently fabricated the story of Pep winning the third round against Graves without throwing a punch, I say fabricated because the official Pioneer scribe for the fight wrote a round by round account in the paper and had the third full of punching by both men.
It's not that simple though. Pep was involved in a plane crash at the age of 24 (4 years into his reign). He fractured two vertebrae, broke his left leg and was paralyzed from waist down. Had to spend 5 months in a body cast. These injuries were considered career-ending, especially in the 40s. Pep came back and continued his reign as the featherweight champion. 2 years into his comeback, he fought Sandy Saddler and was stopped. Pep wasn't at his best after the accident. Pep lost his title and regained it 3 months later by outboxing a prime Sandy Saddler. Reigned for another 18 months before losing to Saddler in their third fight. Pep was up on all cards by a wide margin when he retired on his stool due to a dislocated shoulder. They fought again a year later where Pep was once again forced to retire on his stool due to a severe cut on his right eye. Pep was once again winning the fight on the cards. 2/3 judges had Pep ahead. That's the end of their rivalry, 3-1 Saddler.
Head to head matchups aside, Pep is a greater featherweight than Saddler. How many great featherweights did Saddler beat? 1- Willie Pep. Pep beat Saddler and another great featherweight (IBHOF member) Chalky Wright (4 times). Also add wins over former featherweight champions Sal Bartolo (3 times), Jackie Wilson (2 times) and Phil Terranova. Terranova is 1-0 against Saddler. Bartolo was the NBA champ when Pep beat him the first time (unification fight). Manuel Ortiz (Top 5 all-time Bantamweight) moved up and challenged Pep. Pep sent him back to 118. Let's talk about dominance and consistency. Before losing his title to Saddler, Pep's record was 134-1-1 (62 wins - L - 72 wins). His only loss came at lightweight when he challenged Sammy Angott. Saddler's longest win streak- 26 wins. Saddler lost to inferior fighters while he was in his prime- Humberto Sierra (Pep beat him), Del Flanagan, and Chico Rosa. Pep was more consistent, a more dominant champion, and a more skilled fighter.
Saddler's entire reign was 4 years and 8 months (title frozen for 2 years when Saddler was drafted). Willie Pep's combined reign lasted 7 years and 6 months. Saddler defended his title 3 times, Pep defended 9 times. Pep also beat better contenders as a champion (title defences or non-title bouts).