View Full Version : Grading Jack Johnsons reign


JAB5239
05-16-2011, 07:21 AM
How do you grade Johnsons TITLE REIGN And why?

Tommy Burns - The smallest heavyweight champion in history. Not that Johnson can be blamed for fighting him, but not that impressive just the same.

"Philadelphia" Jack O'Brien - Johnson fought the great light heavyweight champion to a draw in his first defense.

Tony Ross - Was a 11-6-2, had lost 4 of 6 when Jihnson won a 6 round newspaper decision.

Al Kaufman - was 18-1 going into the Johnson fight but ended his career at 21-7.

Stanley Ketchel - Middleweight champions knocks Johnson down only to be knocked out seconds later.

Jim Jeffries - Great former champ who hadn't had a fight in more than 6 years.

Jim Johnson - 17-6-1, fought Johnson to a draw and was roundly booed for the lack of action.

Jim Flynn - Flynn is DQ'd for head butts, but had been on a 10 fight win streak since being stopped by Langford. Was 28-9-14 at time of fight.

Frank Moran - Lost 2 of his last 6 and was 21-6-2. Easy win for Johnson

Jess Willard - Johnson loses title to man many think to be the worst heavyweight champion in history.

It also needs to be taken into account that Johnson Avoided Sam Langford shamelessly.

Barn
05-16-2011, 08:08 AM
I feel it's a C to be honest, I also feel JJ gets horribly over-rated. Call me crazy but, I think it's debatable to even have him in the Top 10 based purely on accomplishments.

joseph5620
05-16-2011, 03:02 PM
How do you grade Johnsons TITLE REIGN And why?

Tommy Burns - The smallest heavyweight champion in history. Not that Johnson can be blamed for fighting him, but not that impressive just the same.

"Philadelphia" Jack O'Brien - Johnson fought the great light heavyweight champion to a draw in his first defense.

Tony Ross - Was a 11-6-2, had lost 4 of 6 when Jihnson won a 6 round newspaper decision.

Al Kaufman - was 18-1 going into the Johnson fight but ended his career at 21-7.

Stanley Ketchel - Middleweight champions knocks Johnson down only to be knocked out seconds later.

Jim Jeffries - Great former champ who hadn't had a fight in more than 6 years.

Jim Johnson - 17-6-1, fought Johnson to a draw and was roundly booed for the lack of action.

Jim Flynn - Flynn is DQ'd for head butts, but had been on a 10 fight win streak since being stopped by Langford. Was 28-9-14 at time of fight.

Frank Moran - Lost 2 of his last 6 and was 21-6-2. Easy win for Johnson

Jess Willard - Johnson loses title to man many think to be the worst heavyweight champion in history.

It also needs to be taken into account that Johnson Avoided Sam Langford shamelessly.









I give Johnson a B-. Avoiding Sam Langford is a factor in his grade as well as his struggles with smaller fighters. As far as the Willard fight, I don't take that into consideration at all. Johnson had everything stacked against him to lose in that fight and was still beating Willard easily for 20 rounds. The fight was ridiculously scheduled for 45 rounds based on the hope that the old fighter would fade. And that's what happened.

IronDanHamza
05-16-2011, 03:32 PM
I feel it's a C to be honest, I also feel JJ gets horribly over-rated. Call me crazy but, I think it's debatable to even have him in the Top 10 based purely on accomplishments.

You're crazy.

:boxing:

Barn
05-16-2011, 04:10 PM
You're crazy.

:boxing:
Do you think his resume is greater than the likes of Lewis, Holmes, Marciano etc?

IronDanHamza
05-16-2011, 05:22 PM
Do you think his resume is greater than the likes of Lewis, Holmes, Marciano etc?

In my opinion? Absolutely.

Firstly, we're just talking about his title reign? Why? We know that he didn't get an oppurtunity to win the World Title much longer than he should have. We know this. Why not take into consideration the other title reigns he had other than the actual one that he had to wait for? We do for Langford.

Why are we chosing to forget his multiple wins over McVea, Jenette, Peter Jackson, Sandy Ferguson? Amongst other solid wins. Yes some of those were very green, but even with their lack of experience, some of them already had sold names on there resume after only 5 or so fights. Obviously things worked differently in the 1900's.

Langford gets credit for some of those names, why doesn't Johnson? Alot of those names went on to do very well and beat excellent fighters.

He ducked Sam Langford, we know this. That was bad. But that doesn't mean we should just discredit his actual win over Langford, green or not. He did beat him.

Fitzsimmons, obviously past his prime but still a solid name for his resume.

This is all before his title reign, a reign in which was atleast decent. No matter how much it's nitpicked. They way it's been nitpicked in this thread you could literally do with almost anyone. Ironically, ESPECIALLY with the names you mentioned (Lewis, Marciano and Holmes)

I don't get why its being nitpicked so much. I mean, we are going to throw his loss to Willard in there? Why? It's obvious what the intentions were in that fight that Joseph did an excellent job in highlighting.

I don't get why were putting the magnifying glass so closely on Johnson for, looking for every little weakness in his resume for some reason. By God could we do the same thing with Larry Holmes for starters, Sonnyboy has already done it to death with Lewis, Marciano we could easily pick apart just like what's been done here.

I'm not even a big fan of Jack Johnson. Infact, I'm not really a fan of his at all. I don't like how he acted outside the ring, personally.

But to say he's argubally not top 10? Absurd in my book.

But that's just me.

joseph5620
05-16-2011, 05:30 PM
In my opinion? Absolutely.

Firstly, we're just talking about his title reign? Why? We know that he didn't get an oppurtunity to win the World Title much longer than he should have. We know this. Why not take into consideration the other title reigns he had other than the actual one that he had to wait for? We do for Langford.
Why are we chosing to forget his multiple wins over McVea, Jenette, Peter Jackson, Sandy Ferguson? Amongst other solid wins. Yes some of those were very green, but even with their lack of experience, some of them already had sold names on there resume after only 5 or so fights. Obviously things worked differently in the 1900's.

Langford gets credit for some of those names, why doesn't Johnson? Alot of those names went on to do very well and beat excellent fighters.

He ducked Sam Langford, we know this. That was bad. But that doesn't mean we should just discredit his actual win over Langford, green or not. He did beat him.

Fitzsimmons, obviously past his prime but still a solid name for his resume.

This is all before his title reign, a reign in which was atleast decent. No matter how much it's nitpicked. They way it's been nitpicked in this thread you could literally do with almost anyone. Ironically, ESPECIALLY with the names you mentioned (Lewis, Marciano and Holmes)

I don't get why its being nitpicked so much. I mean, we are going to throw his loss to Willard in there? Why? It's obvious what the intentions were in that fight that Joseph did an excellent job in highlighting.

I don't get why were putting the magnifying glass so closely on Johnson for, looking for every little weakness in his resume for some reason. By God could we do the same thing with Larry Holmes for starters, Sonnyboy has already done it to death with Lewis, Marciano we could easily pick apart just like what's been done here.

I'm not even a big fan of Jack Johnson. Infact, I'm not really a fan of his at all. I don't like how he acted outside the ring, personally.

But to say he's argubally not top 10? Absurd in my book.

But that's just me.

That's a good point and if we were including his other fights I would grade Johnson much higher than I did. I was only going by Jab's list of opponents.

Barn
05-16-2011, 05:44 PM
In my opinion? Absolutely.

Firstly, we're just talking about his title reign? Why? We know that he didn't get an oppurtunity to win the World Title much longer than he should have. We know this. Why not take into consideration the other title reigns he had other than the actual one that he had to wait for? We do for Langford.

Why are we chosing to forget his multiple wins over McVea, Jenette, Peter Jackson, Sandy Ferguson? Amongst other solid wins. Yes some of those were very green, but even with their lack of experience, some of them already had sold names on there resume after only 5 or so fights. Obviously things worked differently in the 1900's.

Langford gets credit for some of those names, why doesn't Johnson? Alot of those names went on to do very well and beat excellent fighters.

He ducked Sam Langford, we know this. That was bad. But that doesn't mean we should just discredit his actual win over Langford, green or not. He did beat him.

Fitzsimmons, obviously past his prime but still a solid name for his resume.

This is all before his title reign, a reign in which was atleast decent. No matter how much it's nitpicked. They way it's been nitpicked in this thread you could literally do with almost anyone. Ironically, ESPECIALLY with the names you mentioned (Lewis, Marciano and Holmes)

I don't get why its being nitpicked so much. I mean, we are going to throw his loss to Willard in there? Why? It's obvious what the intentions were in that fight that Joseph did an excellent job in highlighting.

I don't get why were putting the magnifying glass so closely on Johnson for, looking for every little weakness in his resume for some reason. By God could we do the same thing with Larry Holmes for starters, Sonnyboy has already done it to death with Lewis, Marciano we could easily pick apart just like what's been done here.

I'm not even a big fan of Jack Johnson. Infact, I'm not really a fan of his at all. I don't like how he acted outside the ring, personally.

But to say he's argubally not top 10? Absurd in my book.

But that's just me.

Langford was fighting miles out of his optimum weightclass and was sometimes still horribly outweighed the same cannot be said for Johnson.

Saying Joe Jeanette was green is arguably the biggest understatement of all time, less than 10 fights in and still Johnson lost on one occasion due to a diqualification? Sam McVey also less than 10 fights into his career sometimes.

He also has unavenged losses to people like Hank Griffin, and didn't follow up his draw with the 168ib Obrien with a victory over him.

Before facing Johnson for the first time who had Jeanette beaten? The same goes for Mr McVey.

Yes, my estimation of Top 10 debatable was a deliberate exaggeration but, he would definitely be in the latter half of mine.

JAB5239
05-16-2011, 05:45 PM
In my opinion? Absolutely.

Firstly, we're just talking about his title reign? Why? We know that he didn't get an oppurtunity to win the World Title much longer than he should have. We know this. Why not take into consideration the other title reigns he had other than the actual one that he had to wait for? We do for Langford.

Why are we chosing to forget his multiple wins over McVea, Jenette, Peter Jackson, Sandy Ferguson? Amongst other solid wins. Yes some of those were very green, but even with their lack of experience, some of them already had sold names on there resume after only 5 or so fights. Obviously things worked differently in the 1900's.

Langford gets credit for some of those names, why doesn't Johnson? Alot of those names went on to do very well and beat excellent fighters.

He ducked Sam Langford, we know this. That was bad. But that doesn't mean we should just discredit his actual win over Langford, green or not. He did beat him.

Fitzsimmons, obviously past his prime but still a solid name for his resume.

This is all before his title reign, a reign in which was atleast decent. No matter how much it's nitpicked. They way it's been nitpicked in this thread you could literally do with almost anyone. Ironically, ESPECIALLY with the names you mentioned (Lewis, Marciano and Holmes)

I don't get why its being nitpicked so much. I mean, we are going to throw his loss to Willard in there? Why? It's obvious what the intentions were in that fight that Joseph did an excellent job in highlighting.

I don't get why were putting the magnifying glass so closely on Johnson for, looking for every little weakness in his resume for some reason. By God could we do the same thing with Larry Holmes for starters, Sonnyboy has already done it to death with Lewis, Marciano we could easily pick apart just like what's been done here.

I'm not even a big fan of Jack Johnson. Infact, I'm not really a fan of his at all. I don't like how he acted outside the ring, personally.

But to say he's argubally not top 10? Absurd in my book.

But that's just me.

I think his title reign is c+ at best. Yet I have him at number 3 or 4 all time because of the rest of his resume.

IronDanHamza
05-16-2011, 06:05 PM
I think his title reign is c+ at best. Yet I have him at number 3 or 4 all time because of the rest of his resume.

That's fair enough.

I give his reign a B to B-.

Including the rest of his resume to that I have him in the top 5 of my HW ranking.

IronDanHamza
05-16-2011, 06:18 PM
Langford was fighting miles out of his optimum weightclass and was sometimes still horribly outweighed the same cannot be said for Johnson.

Saying Joe Jeanette was green is arguably the biggest understatement of all time, less than 10 fights in and still Johnson lost on one occasion due to a diqualification? Sam McVey also less than 10 fights into his career sometimes.

He also has unavenged losses to people like Hank Griffin, and didn't follow up his draw with the 168ib Obrien with a victory over him.

Before facing Johnson for the first time who had Jeanette beaten? The same goes for Mr McVey.

Yes, my estimation of Top 10 debatable was a deliberate exaggeration but, he would definitely be in the latter half of mine.

He still gets little credit time and time again for those fights as opposed to Langford, optimum weight class or not. They went on to do well and beat good fighters, he deserves credit for that. Fighting people that green wasn't exactly the most shocking thing in the world in those times.

Langford fought many fighters who were Green also, many fighters did back then. Most of them get credit for them but it seems Johnson doesn't.

Not for a second am I comparing Johnson and Langford in terms of greatness. It's not comparable. But atleast in recent years it seems to be that Langford is held to a different standard which suprisingly wasn't the case many years ago.

He didn't avenge those loss's, no. But again, I could write you a long list of great fighters that didn't avenge loss's. Henry Armstrong springs to mind. No one highlights that.

If it was an deliberate exaggeration then fair enough. Latter of the Top 10 I would personally disagree with but can understand.

However, not being in the Top 10 is something I simply cannot comprehend, personally.

Barn
05-16-2011, 06:36 PM
Exaggerations are needed to create debate :lol1:

Anyway, those losses were to fighters such as Marvin Hart, Jack Obrien and Hank Griffin. Not exactly world beaters who already had disadvantages against them. Armstrong was very very green for most of his unavenged lossesArmstrong only losses where he did not take wins over opponents at another date were Robinson and Beau Jack two ATG's Chester Slider in his last fight and Reuben Shank. Johnsons final draw with Mr Griffin being 17 fights in and his Hart loss at around 20 fights.

However, his wins against Jim Johnson, Sandy Ferguson etc are good wins that add to his resume.

Yes, Langford beat Greens but, in a 300 fight career I'm sure we can let it slide as it is quite a small fraction and they are not classified as "great wins."

I think it's an agree to disagree situation :lol1:

P.S - I'm not even a JJ hater I actually quite like him.

DarkTerror88
05-16-2011, 09:55 PM
I gave him a C+. And to be honest although he acted a jerk outside the ring, i think he was a badass at the same time

Steak
05-17-2011, 02:48 AM
overrated. His title reign was mediocre since he didnt fight the best out there, and his best wins over Jeanette, McVea and Langford happened when they were pre-prime. McVea was a teenager, Jeaneatte had barely ever been in a boxing ring, and Langford was still a natural welterweight. notice how Johnson never fought them when they were at their best.

those wins look nice on paper, but in reality were not that awesome. what top 10 heavyweight in history wouldnt have beaten a 150lb Langford?

how high you rate him depends on how highly you think of his era. personally, I dont think that HW era was all that special, but others disagree.

my big issue is people that rate Johnson in the top 5, whilst someone like Harry Wills doesnt even get rated in the top 10 by those same people. Wills beat Johnson's best wins, while they were actually prime. Im not necessarily saying Wills should be over Johnson, but for there to be that big of a gap is ridiculous to me, especially considering Wills also beat a number of other good fighters like Fred Fulton, Firp and Weinhart(among others) as well.

RubenSonny
05-17-2011, 04:07 AM
overrated. His title reign was mediocre since he didnt fight the best out there, and his best wins over Jeanette, McVea and Langford happened when they were pre-prime. McVea was a teenager, Jeaneatte had barely ever been in a boxing ring, and Langford was still a natural welterweight. notice how Johnson never fought them when they were at their best.

those wins look nice on paper, but in reality were not that awesome. what top 10 heavyweight in history wouldnt have beaten a 150lb Langford?

how high you rate him depends on how highly you think of his era. personally, I dont think that HW era was all that special, but others disagree.

my big issue is people that rate Johnson in the top 5, whilst someone like Harry Wills doesnt even get rated in the top 10 by those same people. Wills beat Johnson's best wins, while they were actually prime. Im not necessarily saying Wills should be over Johnson, but for there to be that big of a gap is ridiculous to me, especially considering Wills also beat a number of other good fighters like Fred Fulton, Firp and Weinhart(among others) as well.

One of the times he beat Jeanette was in his 14th pro bout, yet you give someone else all the credit in the world for beating an opponent in their 14th pro bout, he also beat him three times after this aswell.

Steak
05-17-2011, 01:08 PM
One of the times he beat Jeanette was in his 14th pro bout, yet you give someone else all the credit in the world for beating an opponent in their 14th pro bout, he also beat him three times after this aswell.
I think we should give Wills just as much credit or more for beating Jeanette when he was closer to his prime. My issue is not with ranking, because everyone has different opinions on the quality of the division, but the fact that Johnson is rated so highly while Wills doesnt even get into the top 10, despite having beaten Johnson's best wins.

And when did Johnson beat Jeannette in his 14th pro bout? the first time they fought was to a draw in 1905, when Johnson already was 20-4-5, when Jeanette was 0-3.
The latest that Johnson fought Jeannette was late in 1906, when Jeannette was 5-3-1. and even that was a draw. I really dont get where youre getting this 14th bout thing from.

now, Im not someone to automatically say 'pre prime!' just because they have a low number of fights. but I think in this case its pretty safe to say that a guy with about a 50% winning percentage(or worse), who had less than 10 fights, and went on to have 109 bouts was pretty damn pre prime.

and thats not even the issue with me. I just want Wills to get as much or more credit for beating Jeannette as Johnson gets. I think its pretty clear Wills beat Jeannette, McVea and Langford when they were closer to prime.

RubenSonny
05-17-2011, 03:37 PM
I think we should give Wills just as much credit or more for beating Jeanette when he was closer to his prime. My issue is not with ranking, because everyone has different opinions on the quality of the division, but the fact that Johnson is rated so highly while Wills doesnt even get into the top 10, despite having beaten Johnson's best wins.

Thats fair enough and a good point.

And when did Johnson beat Jeannette in his 14th pro bout? the first time they fought was to a draw in 1905, when Johnson already was 20-4-5, when Jeanette was 0-3.
The latest that Johnson fought Jeannette was late in 1906, when Jeannette was 5-3-1. and even that was a draw. I really dont get where youre getting this 14th bout thing from.

You made the mistake of only using Jack Johnsons boxrec to look at how many fights Jeannette had.

Ziggy Stardust
05-17-2011, 03:52 PM
You made the mistake of only using Jack Johnsons boxrec to look at how many fights Jeannette had.

Yeah, BoxRec is notoriously incomplete when it comes to pre-1920 fighters. It's quite possible that someone like Jeffries, for instance, had more fights then he's actually listed for.....there's just no way to know for sure.

Poet

RubenSonny
05-17-2011, 04:01 PM
Yeah, BoxRec is notoriously incomplete when it comes to pre-1920 fighters. It's quite possible that someone like Jeffries, for instance, had more fights then he's actually listed for.....there's just no way to know for sure.

Poet

Yeah for sure, I was mostly talking about the fact that they don't show his newspaper decisions, for example if you were to go on Stanley Ketchels boxrec and look at the loss to Sam Langford it will say Sam was 58-6-18 but we know he had far more fights than that. You definately make a good point too, its clear that records are incomplete at that time, and I suspect your on the money about Jeffries, they still provide some pretty good info for that era given how long ago it was when you think about it.

Ziggy Stardust
05-17-2011, 04:11 PM
they still provide some pretty good info for that era given how long ago it was when you think about it.

Oh no doubt.....probably better then anything we could get elsewhere. I just don't have any illusions that it's definitive :)

Poet

Terry A
05-17-2011, 09:58 PM
I feel it's a C to be honest, I also feel JJ gets horribly over-rated. Call me crazy but, I think it's debatable to even have him in the Top 10 based purely on accomplishments.

It's so refreshing to read that. Seems like all I ever read is how great Johnson was, he coulda beat this guy, that guy, two guys, all guys.....

Personally, I could never figure out the love-fest some fellas have towards the guy. I just think some people say his name cause they feel it's fashionable.

I'm going to go back & read the rest of the posts in this thread now....Barnburner's post #2 in this thread side-tracked me. In a good way.

Terry A
05-17-2011, 10:04 PM
overrated. His title reign was mediocre since he didnt fight the best out there, and his best wins over Jeanette, McVea and Langford happened when they were pre-prime. McVea was a teenager, Jeaneatte had barely ever been in a boxing ring, and Langford was still a natural welterweight. notice how Johnson never fought them when they were at their best.

those wins look nice on paper, but in reality were not that awesome. what top 10 heavyweight in history wouldnt have beaten a 150lb Langford?

how high you rate him depends on how highly you think of his era. personally, I dont think that HW era was all that special, but others disagree.

my big issue is people that rate Johnson in the top 5, whilst someone like Harry Wills doesnt even get rated in the top 10 by those same people. Wills beat Johnson's best wins, while they were actually prime. Im not necessarily saying Wills should be over Johnson, but for there to be that big of a gap is ridiculous to me, especially considering Wills also beat a number of other good fighters like Fred Fulton, Firp and Weinhart(among others) as well.


I "green-karma-ed" him AND sent him a friend request.

Scott9945
05-17-2011, 10:12 PM
Yeah, BoxRec is notoriously incomplete when it comes to pre-1920 fighters. It's quite possible that someone like Jeffries, for instance, had more fights then he's actually listed for.....there's just no way to know for sure.

Poet

Boxrec misses lots of stuff way after the 1920's too. When I look back on local fights I watched growing up, I'm shocked by how incomplete the records are. Especially foreign records. When you see guys with supposedly sparse records fighting in main events in major cities, be suspicious.