View Full Version : Johnson-Dempsey


JAB5239
01-04-2012, 03:10 PM
In 1923 Jack Johnson was 45 years old and kicked out Dempsey Challenger Luis Firpo camp as a sparring partner for schooling him. Johnson had been blacklisted at this time but was still trying to get a fight with Dempsey. Had he gotten it could he have won? Would he have at least been competitive?

Terry A
01-04-2012, 03:17 PM
I don't think he (Johnson) would have won Jab. Not even in his prime against Dempsey, although I think we disagree on that. I do, however, think JJ would have been somewhat competitive.

JAB5239
01-04-2012, 03:28 PM
I don't think he (Johnson) would have won Jab. Not even in his prime against Dempsey, although I think we disagree on that. I do, however, think JJ would have been somewhat competitive.

I don't think he wins at that point either. I'm not even sure how competitive. Prime against prime is a different story though.

Good to see you around Terry. Happy new year, hope your holidays were great!

Barnburner
01-04-2012, 03:54 PM
Dempsey batters him to a stoppage in 4 rounds.

JAB5239
01-04-2012, 04:15 PM
Dempsey batters him to a stoppage in 4 rounds.

I think he's a bit more competitive than that but not sure how much. He was toying with Firpo in sparring and was a genuinely clever fighter.

Barnburner
01-04-2012, 04:29 PM
I think he's a bit more competitive than that but not sure how much. He was toying with Firpo in sparring and was a genuinely clever fighter.
A very worn out Wills beat Firpo though. A good boxer is always going to have a great time with the rugged Argentinian.

GJC
01-04-2012, 04:31 PM
If myth is to be believed they did fight in Canada (?). Dempsey KO'd him early according to rumour! Don't buy into it myself but story has been doing the rounds for many a year.
Johnson was a clever fighter but you can't fight out of your time. See it going like Holmes-Tyson, couple of rounds where experience shows up some flaws but youth will out

Barnburner
01-04-2012, 04:32 PM
If myth is to be believed they did fight in Canada (?). Dempsey KO'd him early according to rumour! Don't buy into it myself but story has been doing the rounds for many a year.
Johnson was a clever fighter but you can't fight out of your time. See it going like Holmes-Tyson, couple of rounds where experience shows up some flaws but youth will out
Good analogy. Exactly how I anticipate it.

JAB5239
01-04-2012, 04:53 PM
A very worn out Wills beat Firpo though. A good boxer is always going to have a great time with the rugged Argentinian.

You could very well be right with your analogy, but if I'm not mistaken Wills was still the number one contender. Would have been nice to see Johnson fight some other high profile black contenders around this time considering he wouldn't while he was champion.

Barnburner
01-04-2012, 04:59 PM
You could very well be right with your analogy, but if I'm not mistaken Wills was still the number one contender. Would have been nice to see Johnson fight some other high profile black contenders around this time considering he wouldn't while he was champion.
Yeah but they were all going down the drain as well. Would be a case of too little too late.

joseph5620
01-04-2012, 05:02 PM
In 1923 Jack Johnson was 45 years old and kicked out Dempsey Challenger Luis Firpo camp as a sparring partner for schooling him. Johnson had been blacklisted at this time but was still trying to get a fight with Dempsey. Had he gotten it could he have won? Would he have at least been competitive?

At 45,no. Johnson was done after the Williard fight. Prime Johnson is a different fight.

GJC
01-04-2012, 05:12 PM
You could very well be right with your analogy, but if I'm not mistaken Wills was still the number one contender. Would have been nice to see Johnson fight some other high profile black contenders around this time considering he wouldn't while he was champion.
Johnson gets a lot of justified criticism for not defending against coloured contenders but to be fair he well beat Langford when they fought though Langford certainly deserved a shot. Jeanette and McVea I can't see there would've been an audience for, Johnson certainly had the beating of them. Wills was maybe a little raw during Johnson's reign so working on Langford being risk v reward who else did he duck?

Barnburner
01-04-2012, 05:14 PM
Johnson gets a lot of justified criticism for not defending against coloured contenders but to be fair he well beat Langford when they fought though Langford certainly deserved a shot. Jeanette and McVea I can't see there would've been an audience for, Johnson certainly had the beating of them. Wills was maybe a little raw during Johnson's reign so working on Langford being risk v reward who else did he duck?
Langford was very light and not the fighter he would grow into.

Joe Jeanette and Sam McVey were most definitely more worthy challengers than most if not all on Johnsons championship resume.

JAB5239
01-04-2012, 05:23 PM
Langford was very light and not the fighter he would grow into.

Joe Jeanette and Sam McVey were most definitely more worthy challengers than most if not all on Johnsons championship resume.

As highly as I rank Johnson he deserves the criticism he gets for his championship reign just as Dempsey does in my opinion.

Sugarj
01-04-2012, 05:55 PM
I don't think a 45 year old Johnson would cope well with Dempsey's pace.....let alone his power.

To be honest, even prime for prime I think Johnson would struggle to keep pace with Dempsey over a 15 round or less fight distance. Dempsey's hands were very quick, and he punched well in combination, very difficult for even Johnson's defenses to pick off. Dempsey would I'm sure be awarded the decision even if the fight were close (and it might have been). As for a 45 year old Johnson, I can't see him lasting the distance.

BigStereotype
01-04-2012, 06:05 PM
45 year old Johnson would have been torn apart like a gazelle on the savanna. Prime for prime, I still would pick Dempsey, but it would have been very competitive.

GJC
01-04-2012, 07:43 PM
Joe Jeanette and Sam McVey were most definitely more worthy challengers than most if not all on Johnsons championship resume.
Wouldn't argue that Barn but I would say that Johnson had proved he was the better fighter. So the inevitability of the result plus would a white audience pay to see two black fighters? Can see why Johnson fought others, economics rather than fear.

Barnburner
01-04-2012, 08:32 PM
Wouldn't argue that Barn but I would say that Johnson had proved he was the better fighter. So the inevitability of the result plus would a white audience pay to see two black fighters? Can see why Johnson fought others, economics rather than fear.
He didn't prove it by actually fighting them though did he. That's using triangle theories. So Foreman would never have to have faced Ali for the HW title as he proved he'd beat him by beating Joe Frazier? That logic doesn't work now and I doubt it would pass off as an excuse back then.

The race argument doesn't make sense with the fact he fought Jim Johnson for the HW title who was black. A fight which was stopped for a broken arm on the part of Jack.
Jim Johnson was a fighter Langford, McVey, Wills and Jeanette had beat on numerous occasions.

GJC
01-05-2012, 12:22 AM
He didn't prove it by actually fighting them though did he. That's using triangle theories. So Foreman would never have to have faced Ali for the HW title as he proved he'd beat him by beating Joe Frazier? That logic doesn't work now and I doubt it would pass off as an excuse back then.

The race argument doesn't make sense with the fact he fought Jim Johnson for the HW title who was black. A fight which was stopped for a broken arm on the part of Jack.
Jim Johnson was a fighter Langford, McVey, Wills and Jeanette had beat on numerous occasions.

Not really a triangle theory Barn he had beaten both of them several times before winning the title, a few times for the unfortunately conceived "coloured" title. No doubt in my mind he had their measure. Not saying they wouldn't have been worthier opponents than some he defended against but doubt a white American audience would've shown much interest. Johnson was a very self centred fellow he had little interest in pushing his race forward, he fought for money pure and simple. McVey and Jeanette would've certainly proved harder opponents than Ketchel but not as lucrative. But I dont think for a second he doubted he'd beat them. Jim Johnson was just a live body to throw to the French crowd, I'd liken it to Julius Francis against Tyson. The UK crowd just wanted to see Tyson in the flesh, that fight wouldn't gave drawn flies in Vegas.
It was an unfortunate era but the money for Johnson was in giving white fighters the chance to get the HW title "back" for the white race. Not right but I think that's how it was :(
Whatever the rights or wrongs of Jack Johnson IMO he was the best fighter of his generation black or white.

Mannie Phresh
01-05-2012, 12:25 AM
jons would hold his own for a while but age and dempsey would catch up. dempsey would win. prime for prime johnson whips dempsey.

CarlosG815
01-05-2012, 12:53 AM
Jack Johnson at 45 years old would not be at all competitive against Jack Dempsey. Jack Johnson was broke and bitter looking for a comeback money fight with Dempsey and was always using his mouth to try to bait Dempsey into fighting him.