View Full Version : Would Pep Be No1 ATG If He'd Won The Series With Saddler?


mickey malone
01-23-2010, 06:11 AM
Despite losing to Saddler in 3 out of 4 meetings, i think it's fair to say that Willie Pep should be regarded as the greater fighter..
My reasons being is that Willie was 4 years older but boxed professionally for 15 years longer, compiling an amazing record of 229-11-1 (65KO)
Although there was a 5 year break during this time, Pep's career spanned an incredible 26 years, having his last bout at age 44..

I'm not fully up to steam, regarding the 3 defeats to Saddler but I know their first fight was a 4th round KO, with Pep winning the return, then there was another 2 fights, one in which Pep was forced to retire with a shoulder injury and the other fight which i'm not quite sure about..
I know that many considered Saddler to be a dirty fighter, and i wonder if this may have played a role at any time.. Both fighters met in their primes & although Pep beat a lot of guys Sandy couldn't, Saddler was the one to come out on top at the end of their fight series..

Why was this?...

I'd be interested to hear from anyone with info... Regards mm

CCobra
01-23-2010, 06:20 AM
Both Pep and Robinson are two deserving candidates for P4P greatest. SRR takes it for me, but Pep isn't fae behind.

Marcov
01-23-2010, 06:37 AM
I find it amazing that Pep was in a plane crash a year and 9 months before the first Saddler bout and had a bad broken leg and broke his back in two places.

Pep though not realy old(28) when he met Saddler, he perhaps was old from wear and tear, or old in the ring if you will. Besides the plane crash that left other passengers dead, and him severely injured, he also had 136 pro bouts by the time they met that first time. Lighter fighters generally age quicker and 136(only lost once) bouts are alot for smaller men even for that era.

The_Demon
01-23-2010, 07:11 AM
i know less than you about all this but as you mentioned pep was clearly a more skilled fighter than saddler-which makes me think saddlers dirty fighting style was the reason he beat pep 3 out of 4 times

would pep be considred the GOAT if he had beaten saddler in all their fights,im not so sure,i still think ray robinson would hold that spot-well that would be the general consensus anyway

GJC
01-23-2010, 08:52 AM
I think that the fact that Pep even fought after the plane crash let alone beat someone of the quality of Saddler was a testemant to his greatness.
The series of fights got more dirty with each fight, the first ended pretty quick the second was a rough fight which Pep won. Pep was winning the 3rd fight too until he dislocated his shoulder and the 4th should probably have seen both disqualified. Saddler was the rougher tougher stronger man but Pep certainly wasn't shy using the black arts on Saddler, with hindsight he would have been better not to get involved.
It was just fate that threw together two such great fighters together but much as I'm a Pep man it is a little unfair to say that Saddler only beat him because it was post plane crash. Saddler was a fantastic fighter and is very unlucky that he gets almost grudging credit for beating Pep.

1SILVA
01-23-2010, 09:22 AM
I think that the fact that Pep even fought after the plane crash let alone beat someone of the quality of Saddler was a testemant to his greatness.
The series of fights got more dirty with each fight, the first ended pretty quick the second was a rough fight which Pep won. Pep was winning the 3rd fight too until he dislocated his shoulder and the 4th should probably have seen both disqualified. Saddler was the rougher tougher stronger man but Pep certainly wasn't shy using the black arts on Saddler, with hindsight he would have been better not to get involved.
It was just fate that threw together two such great fighters together but much as I'm a Pep man it is a little unfair to say that Saddler only beat him because it was post plane crash. Saddler was a fantastic fighter and is very unlucky that he gets almost grudging credit for beating Pep.

Agree with your assessment. Saddler never gets his due as an ATG. Saddler was a great fighter with a tremendous record.

mickey malone
01-23-2010, 10:50 AM
Agree with your assessment. Saddler never gets his due as an ATG. Saddler was a great fighter with a tremendous record.
Me too.. This is where GJC comes in handy, he was in his mid 50's when these guys were fighting!

He amassed 162 fights in just under 12 years scoring over 100 KO victories..
Saddler had his own share of bad luck also.. He had to retire at age 30 after seriously injuring his eye in a car crash and had this not have happened, would have probably gone on to be even greater..

TheGreatA
01-23-2010, 11:14 AM
The plane crash can't be overlooked as Pep suffered a badly broken back and a broken leg and actually took the company to court for permanent damage.

Most observers at the time felt that Pep never got back into form. He especially had trouble going to the later rounds, he just didn't have the legs to move around for 15 rounds anymore.

Not that Pep was a shot fighter by any means, he was still a great fighter and continued beating good opposition in impressive fashion, although he never again could capture the form he showed previous to the plane crash when he was dominating and KO'ing hall of famers, title holders and top contenders.

It's safe to say that Pep overlooked Saddler in their first bout. He admitted that after seeing Humberto Sierra, a man Pep had KO'd years previously, knock down and easily win a decision against Saddler, he thought Saddler would be easy pickings. Instead he was caught and KO'd in the third and fourth rounds after winning the first two rounds of the bout. The outcome was such a shock that initially people thought Pep had taken a dive but eventually accepted Saddler's victory.

Few thought Pep could come back from such a humiliating loss but Pep proved his greatness by decisively winning against Saddler in the rematch after being cut and stunned many times during the fight. Keep in mind that this was not Pep at his very best, yet he proved he was able to beat Saddler who was stylistically a difficult match-up for him.

Saddler was not discouraged by the loss and showed his best form in going through the division to earn another shot at Pep. Saddler was able to knock down Pep early but was outboxed and after 7 rounds Pep had a decisive lead. However Pep had to quit due to a dislocated shoulder, seemingly from an armlock Saddler had Pep in.

A fourth fight was immediately made and it turned out to be a farce and a disgrace. Pep was leading on points but retired on his stool due to a bad cut over his eye which hindered his vision.

One thing that has to be taken into account is that while Saddler beat Pep in the series, Pep beat several men that had the better of Saddler.

Humberto Sierra knocked down and beat Saddler, Pep knocked him out.
Paddy DeMarco went 2-1 against Saddler, Pep won a clear decision over DeMarco.
Charley Riley gave Saddler big trouble as can be seen on film, Pep knocked Riley out.
Pep beat Armand Savoie clearly, Saddler was DQ'd against Savoie for illegal tactics (which he used in almost all of his bouts). One has to wonder whether Saddler could compete in a stricter era if his usual style, which consisted of mostly hitting & holding, is basically illegal.

Pep had the better title reign in my opinion and was much more consistent in his prime. He defended his title against the best opposition available, while Saddler was content on fighting non-title bouts, often losing them to inferior opponents. Perhaps his crude style did not work as well as Pep's boxing except against Willie Pep himself. Pep defended his title 9 times in 6 years while Saddler defended his title only 4 times in 8 years.

After Saddler beat Pep, Pep was never truly relevant anymore. His legs were shot and he lost to many inferior fighters.

Does anyone rate those fighters above Willie Pep? Of course not.
Does anyone rate Paddy DeMarco who won the series over Saddler? Of course not.

Pep was simply the greater fighter for me.

GJC
01-23-2010, 11:24 AM
Me too.. This is where GJC comes in handy, he was in his mid 50's when these guys were fighting!



Yes having just retired when Willie Pep made his pro debut......

Mickey re-arrange these two words to make a well known phrase or saying lol.

Will say that Pep was the guy who sort of turned me on to the artistry in the game rather than just enjoying someone get KO'd.
It was a fantastic era to be a kid who was getting into boxing to be growing up in, we had the Rock, Archie Moore, Willie Pep, SRR and Kid Gavilan etc.
Which is why I will hold my hand up to probably shamefully overating Rocky,Archie and Willie. For some reason was never keen on Gavilan although I concede he was a great fighter I always just felt SRR was lending him the Welterweight title lol

GJC
01-23-2010, 11:25 AM
The plane crash can't be overlooked as Pep suffered a badly broken back and a broken leg and actually took the company to court for permanent damage.

Most observers at the time felt that Pep never got back into form. He especially had trouble going to the later rounds, he just didn't have the legs to move around for 15 rounds anymore.

Not that Pep was a shot fighter by any means, he was still a great fighter and continued beating good opposition in impressive fashion, although he never again could capture the form he showed previous to the plane crash when he was dominating and KO'ing hall of famers, title holders and top contenders.

It's safe to say that Pep overlooked Saddler in their first bout. He admitted that after seeing Humberto Sierra, a man Pep had KO'd years previously, knock down and easily win a decision against Saddler, he thought Saddler would be easy pickings. Instead he was caught and KO'd in the third and fourth rounds after winning the first two rounds of the bout. The outcome was such a shock that initially people thought Pep had taken a dive but eventually accepted Saddler's victory.

Few thought Pep could come back from such a humiliating loss but Pep proved his greatness by decisively winning against Saddler in the rematch after being cut and stunned many times during the fight. Keep in mind that this was not Pep at his very best, yet he proved he was able to beat Saddler who was stylistically a difficult match-up for him.

Saddler was not discouraged by the loss and showed his best form in going through the division to earn another shot at Pep. Saddler was able to knock down Pep early but was outboxed and after 7 rounds Pep had a decisive lead. However Pep had to quit due to a dislocated shoulder, seemingly from an armlock Saddler had Pep in.

A fourth fight was immediately made and it turned out to be a farce and a disgrace. Pep was leading on points but retired on his stool due to a bad cut over his eye which hindered his vision.

One thing that has to be taken into account is that while Saddler beat Pep in the series, Pep beat several men that had the better of Saddler.

Humberto Sierra knocked down and beat Saddler, Pep knocked him out.
Paddy DeMarco went 2-1 against Saddler, Pep won a clear decision over DeMarco.
Charley Riley gave Saddler big trouble as can be seen on film, Pep knocked Riley out.
Pep beat Armand Savoie clearly, Saddler was DQ'd against Savoie for illegal tactics (which he used in almost all of his bouts). One has to wonder whether Saddler could compete in a stricter era if his usual style, which consisted of mostly hitting & holding, is basically illegal.

Pep had the better title reign in my opinion and was much more consistent in his prime. He defended his title against the best opposition available, while Saddler was content on fighting non-title bouts, often losing them to inferior opponents. Perhaps his crude style did not work as well as Pep's boxing except against Willie Pep himself. Pep defended his title 9 times in 6 years while Saddler defended his title only 4 times in 8 years.

After Saddler beat Pep, Pep was never truly relevant anymore. His legs were shot and he lost to many inferior fighters.

Does anyone rate those fighters above Willie Pep? Of course not.
Does anyone rate Paddy DeMarco who won the series over Saddler? Of course not.

Pep was simply the greater fighter for me.
Good assessment, I always kind of felt that Saddler was Pep's Norton so to speak.

1SILVA
01-23-2010, 01:22 PM
Good assessment, I always kind of felt that Saddler was Pep's Norton so to speak.

Sandy saddler held two world titles at the same time(126 and 130) and retired with both titles still in his possession. He is vastly underrated. Ko'd the great Flash Elorde in one of Saddler's final bouts.

GJC
01-23-2010, 01:31 PM
Sandy saddler held two world titles at the same time(126 and 130) and retired with both titles still in his possession. He is vastly underrated. Ko'd the great Flash Elorde in one of Saddler's final bouts.
Didn't mean it in a kind of equals way meant that I think that Saddler might always have had Pep's number so to speak even if they had fought at Pep's peak.
No I do feel for Saddler, to beat a man 3 out of 4 times and be a great fighter in your own right and to always be sort of remembered as the guy who fought Willie Pep does him a major diservice

TheGreatA
01-23-2010, 01:33 PM
Sandy saddler held two world titles at the same time(126 and 130) and retired with both titles still in his possession. He is vastly underrated. Ko'd the great Flash Elorde in one of Saddler's final bouts.

Then again he rarely defended those titles against top opposition. He was beaten many times in non-title bouts.

Also the second Flash Elorde fight includes some of the most impressive use of the head in order to open up a cut which ended the bout.

GJC
01-23-2010, 01:37 PM
Also the second Flash Elorde fight includes some of the most impressive use of the head in order to open up a cut which ended the bout.

To be fair he didn't use the laces though which makes it a restrained Saddler performance lol

mickey malone
01-23-2010, 01:46 PM
QUOTE:GREATA

One thing that has to be taken into account is that while Saddler beat Pep in the series, Pep beat several men that had the better of Saddler.

Humberto Sierra knocked down and beat Saddler, Pep knocked him out.
Paddy DeMarco went 2-1 against Saddler, Pep won a clear decision over DeMarco.
Charley Riley gave Saddler big trouble as can be seen on film, Pep knocked Riley out.
Pep beat Armand Savoie clearly, Saddler was DQ'd against Savoie for illegal tactics (which he used in almost all of his bouts). One has to wonder whether Saddler could compete in a stricter era if his usual style, which consisted of mostly hitting & holding, is basically illegal.

Jock Leslie and Phil Terranova can also be added to that list..

1SILVA
01-23-2010, 01:50 PM
Then again he rarely defended those titles against top opposition. He was beaten many times in non-title bouts.

Also the second Flash Elorde fight includes some of the most impressive use of the head in order to open up a cut which ended the bout.

Never understood how they allowed fighters back then to have so many non title fights. Saddler, like Hopkins, Eusebio Pedroza and Fritzie Zivic, was allowed to get away with foul tactics throughout his entire career.

Method Checker
01-23-2010, 02:54 PM
Even if he won every bout of the series, I wouldn't rate him number one. I believe that spot belongs to Robinson. He might go up a notch on some people's all-time great lists, though. I have him around number 5 or 6, right now.

Pep was in that plane crash and that took a lot out of his prime, but I'm not gonna necessarily blame that for him losing 3 out of 4 times. Saddler was a dirty fighter. Referees allowed a whole lot of dirty tactics, at the time. Some of the stuff that fighters did back then would've got them a point deducted or even disqualified, in today's game.

In the end, they each have the claim of winning over the other.