View Full Version : sam langford the most underated heavyweight of all time


SuzieQ49
04-05-2006, 01:31 AM
where do you rate this pitbull all time on ur heavyweight list? i notice many modern fans dont include him in there top 20 which is ridiculous when u look at his record and see who he beat

Verstyle
04-05-2006, 01:33 AM
wasnt that the short guy that was like 5'6

RockyMarcianofan00
04-05-2006, 01:33 AM
where do you rate this pitbull all time on ur heavyweight list? i notice many modern fans dont include him in there top 20 which is ridiculous when u look at his record and see who he beat
his record looks pretty good but he's got alot of losses and draws but next to his wins they seem insignifacant

Piggu
04-05-2006, 01:37 AM
Freddie Steele= The most under-rated Middleweight Champion of All-Time.

Verstyle
04-05-2006, 01:39 AM
Freddie Steele= The most under-rated Middleweight Champion of All-Time.


maaaaaaaaaybe cause he fought the same ppl over and over again :rolleyes:

Verstyle
04-05-2006, 01:40 AM
and the ko percentage is pretty low also

sleazyfellow
04-05-2006, 01:45 AM
the reason hes not rated so high is cause theres not many fight films of the guy..he also took dives in fights just like gans did, so almost everything about this guy is a mystery...like how good he accually could of been if the fights werent fixed..but one thing did happen he lost his ass to jack johnson big time...but then again there was a big weight diffrence between the two.

Dempsey 1919
04-05-2006, 01:46 AM
where do you rate this pitbull all time on ur heavyweight list? i notice many modern fans dont include him in there top 20 which is ridiculous when u look at his record and see who he beat

nope. he's maybe a close second to charley liston.

mokele
04-05-2006, 02:25 AM
Langford remains an enigma, a relatively small man at somewhere between 5'6" and 5'8" who could fight anywhere from middleweight through heavyweight. I have to include him on my list of all-time greats pound for pound, but can't seem to find the right division for him. Realistically he was just too small to be an all-time great heavyweight, although his results put him close to the level of Harry Wills and George Godfrey. He fought Jack Johnson in 1906:

http://boxrec.com/date_search.php?yyyy=1906&mm=04&dd=26

weighing only 156 lbs. and went the distance. Johnson never fought him again.

Langford did well against 2 other outstanding negro heavyweights of his era, Joe Jeannette and Sam McVey, in spite of a substantial disadvntage in both height and weight. McVey beat almost everyone else he faced in the early part of the 20th century, and a good portion of his losses were to Langford. Harry Wills got the better of Langford the great majority of the time but lost a couple of notable fights to him.

It's hard to see Langford as anywhere in the top 30 heavyweights of all time due to his many losses to Harry Wills and his losses to the likes of Fred Fulton and Bill Tate. Wills eventually got Langford's number, beating him something like 7 or 8 times in a row in the late teens and early 1920s. Bill Tate was a much better fighter than his record would suggest but was dominated by Joe Jeannette, but could handle Langford.

In any case, Langford was sort of like a smaller version of what James Toney is today, a blown-up middleweight who could hold his own with world class heavyweights.

Kid Achilles
04-05-2006, 03:02 AM
Langford beat better heavyweights than Toney though.

SuzieQ49
04-05-2006, 11:58 AM
It's hard to see Langford as anywhere in the top 30 heavyweights of all time due to his many losses to Harry Wills and his losses to the likes of Fred Fulton and Bill Tate. Wills eventually got Langford's number, beating him something like 7 or 8 times in a row in the late teens and early 1920s. Bill Tate was a much better fighter than his record would suggest but was dominated by Joe Jeannette, but could handle Langford.


woaa woa woa langford was far past his prime when he lost those fights



take a look at langfords prime 1908-1913


- the fact a past his prime langford beat harry wills twice is a testament to langford



jack johnson ducked sam langford during his title years, did u guys know that?

did u also know johnson ducked sam mcvey and joe jeanette, two guys langford beat?


langford beat 3 top 25 heavyweights of all time joe jeanette, sam mcvey, harry wills

SuzieQ49
04-05-2006, 12:00 PM
langford dominated jack johnsons era, not jack johnson

smasher
04-05-2006, 12:03 PM
jack johnson ducked sam langford during his title years, did u guys know that?
Well....did he duck him because he feared him or more plausibly there was no financial interest in two blacks competing for the heavyweight championship.

By most accounts I've read, Johnson deservedly defeated Langford when they fought.

SuzieQ49
04-05-2006, 12:15 PM
in 1906 when langford was only 156lb! thats right a junior middleweight.

- johnson totally ducked langford from 1908-1915.


when langford reached his heavyweight prime, johnson avoided fighting him.



a 185lb prime langford is a lot better than a 156lb langford. what 156lb do u know that can be competitive with top heavyweights?

smasher
04-05-2006, 12:23 PM
in 1906 when langford was only 156lb! thats right a junior middleweight.

- johnson totally ducked langford from 1908-1915.


when langford reached his heavyweight prime, johnson avoided fighting him.



a 185lb prime langford is a lot better than a 156lb langford. what 156lb do u know that can be competitive with top heavyweights?
I'm well aware of what Langford weighed for their fight, my point is this. What happened in that fight that suddenly made Johnson afraid to rematch against Langford? The fact that he gained 20 lbs?

In those times you made your money by the live gate and as Johnson was a businessman it was more profitable to fight Jeffries or Ketchell than a Langford fight which wouldn't have drawn near as big a gate.

Yogi
04-05-2006, 01:03 PM
Well....did he duck him because he feared him or more plausibly there was no financial interest in two blacks competing for the heavyweight championship.

Nothing to do with money, Smasher, as on multiple ocassions Johnson was offered huge sums of money to defend against Langford in both London and especially, Australia.

When he first won the title Johnson expressed a willingness to fight all comers, but when Langford first put for a challenge in 1909, Johnson had a slight change of mind...

Promoters tried matching them up right after Johnson was finished his business with Jeffries in 1910, the fight was negotiated in London, yet Johnson changed his mind and refused the $20,000 offered to him (an offer was also presented to Johnson in 1914).

In 1911, Johnson signed with Hugh McIntosh and made a big fuss saying that he would fight anybody in the world for a purse of $30,000. A couple of months later (in early 1912) that amount was offered to him to fight Langford in Australia, and yet again, Johnson refused to sign.

A couple of months after that, McIntosh upped the anty and this time offered Johnson $40,000 to fight Langford in Australia, which of course...well, you know.

A huge sum of money (I've heard from $60,000 to $100,000) was offered to Johnson in late 1912/early 1913 to defend his title three times in Australia, with Langford, McVey, and Jeannette as the challengers. Again, you know the story.

And so on, and so on, and so on...MANY different offers were presented to Johnson to fight Langford in both Australia, England and even France during the end of his reign, and Johnson refused every single one of them...It couldn't have been a money issue either, because the promoters met and even exceeded his financial demands. It's also worth noting that the $30,000 that Johnson asked for/demanded in 1911 was the exact purse he recieved when he lost his title to Willard.

smasher
04-05-2006, 01:07 PM
Nothing to do with money, Smasher, as on multiple ocassions Johnson was offered huge sums of money to defend against Langford in both London and especially, Australia.

When he first won the title Johnson expressed a willingness to fight all comers, but when Langford first put for a challenge in 1909, Johnson had a slight change of mind...

Promoters tried matching them up right after Johnson was finished his business with Jeffries in 1910, the fight was negotiated in London, yet Johnson changed his mind and refused the $20,000 offered to him (an offer was also presented to Johnson in 1914).

In 1911, Johnson signed with Hugh McIntosh and made a big fuss saying that he would fight anybody in the world for a purse of $30,000. A couple of months later (in early 1912) that amount was offered to him to fight Langford in Australia, and yet again, Johnson refused to sign.

A couple of months after that, McIntosh upped the anty and this time offered Johnson $40,000 to fight Langford in Australia, which of course...well, you know.

A huge sum of money (I've heard from $60,000 to $100,000) was offered to Johnson in late 1912/early 1913 to defend his title three times in Australia, with Langford, McVey, and Jeannette as the challengers. Again, you know the story.

And so on, and so on, and so on...MANY different offers were presented to Johnson to fight Langford in both Australia, England and even France during the end of his reign, and Johnson refused every single one of them...It couldn't have been a money issue either, because the promoters met and even exceeded his financial demands. It's also worth noting that the $30,000 that Johnson asked for/demanded in 1911 was the exact purse he recieved when he lost his title to Willard.
Oh yeah...well Langford ducked Duane Bobick lol

Yogi
04-05-2006, 01:16 PM
Oh yeah...well Langford ducked Duane Bobick lol

Well, of course...Bobick was a beast!

I'm trying to find some info on how much Johnson made for the fight with Jeffries for comparisions sake. I found out that he was initially offered $25,000 for that fight, but it didn't say he agreed to those terms, so I don't think that's what he made...Might've been paid a percentage of the gate, maybe a 'winner's purse', or something like that.

Kid Achilles
04-05-2006, 01:24 PM
This is interesting stuff Yogi. I always thought it was for financial reasons that he ducked McVey, Langford, and Jeanette but I had no idea the demand for a Langford rematch was so high. Very interesting.

smasher
04-05-2006, 01:24 PM
Well, of course...Bobick was a beast!

I'm trying to find some info on how much Johnson made for the fight with Jeffries for comparisions sake. I found out that he was initially offered $25,000 for that fight, but it didn't say he agreed to those terms, so I don't think that's what he made...Might've been paid a percentage of the gate, maybe a 'winner's purse', or something like that.Actually I just went back to 'Unforgivable Blackness" and read about the Macintosh offer as well as the offer of the fight in London. Johnson made some excuse about Langford not being worthy due to him losing 4 fights in 2 years as well as being beaten by Gunboat Smith blah blah blah. I've got "In the Ring and Out" Johnson's autobiography but his accounts are pretty slanted and that's what I was remembering about the money aspect, as that was his excuse. Anyway I'm sure Johnson-Langford would have been a much better fight than any of Johnson's other defences.

I do believe they did sign but Tex Record accidentally used the wrong date making the contract null and void....haha

Yogi
04-05-2006, 01:41 PM
This is interesting stuff Yogi. I always thought it was for financial reasons that he ducked McVey, Langford, and Jeanette but I had no idea the demand for a Langford rematch was so high. Very interesting.

Oh, it was in demand, Kid, just not really demanded in the states...But McIntosh REALLY tried hard to get that fight in Australia and was willing to pay out the big dough (at the time) for it to happen. Promoters in London also tried matching them up on at least a couple occasions, as did Paris on at least one occasion...

Johnson versus Jeanette & McVey weren't in as much demand as Johnson/Langford, but still, quite a few offers were made to Johnson to fight them guys overseas (including that big money offer for Johnson to fight/defend against all three of them in Australia).

But of course, Johnson came out with that infamous & fairly well known statement in 1913, and I quote;

"I won't box any of those coloured boys now. I have had a hard time to get a chance. I gave Langford, Jeannette and those boys a chance before I was champ. I'll retire still the only coloured heavyweight champion of the world."

Yogi
04-05-2006, 01:48 PM
Smasher, I can't find anything concrete on how much Johnson made for the fight with Jeffries, although it seems that they were fighting for a total purse of $101,000, with the winner to get 75% of that (it looks like Jeffries also had a guaranteed purse added on to that, though)...

If that was the case, Johnson made just over $75,000 for it.

Kid Achilles
04-05-2006, 02:20 PM
Yogi, do you happen to know how much money that ($75,000) would equate to today with inflation and everything? I'm sure it'd be a few million at least.

Yogi
04-05-2006, 02:25 PM
Yogi, do you happen to know how much money that ($75,000) would equate to today with inflation and everything? I'm sure it'd be a few million at least.

Yeah, and it's really not that much according to the inflation calculator...

$1,539,778.98

But that was still a HUGE sum of money during that time and in comparision to what other fighters were making up to that point.

SuzieQ49
04-05-2006, 02:52 PM
good stuff yogi, good stuff.


what does everyone think about langfords WIN resume? pretty impressive huh?

even a blind langford was beating very good fighters in the late teens-early 20s

SuzieQ49
04-05-2006, 02:52 PM
btw,


anyone see langford on film that they want to comment on him?



i just ordered


sam mcvey- jim johnson

langford-flynn

Yogi
04-05-2006, 02:55 PM
what does everyone think about langfords WIN resume? pretty impressive huh?

His win resume, the contemporary fight reports of his, contemporary opinions of him, and the video footage that's still available...it all equals ELITE ALL-TIME GREATNESS to me, and he may very well have been the p4p greatest two-fisted fighter of all-time...

At least that's my opinion on Tuesdays, Thurdays, and Saturdays.

GunStar
04-05-2006, 03:15 PM
Langford beat better heavyweights than Toney though.Wlad has a great resume. :rolleyes:

GunStar
04-05-2006, 03:20 PM
His win resume, the contemporary fight reports of his, contemporary opinions of him, and the video footage that's still available...it all equals ELITE ALL-TIME GREATNESS to me, and he may very well have been the p4p greatest two-fisted fighter of all-time...

At least that's my opinion on Tuesdays, Thurdays, and Saturdays.I've read the old article about Langford, I guess you agree with that article. I will never put Langford in my top 10 P4P list.

Anyway I know you think he was the greatest of all time, but he really wasn't. He lost too many times in his prime.

Yogi
04-05-2006, 03:39 PM
I've read the old article about Langford, I guess you agree with that article. I will never put Langford in my top 10 P4P list.

Anyway I know you think he was the greatest of all time, but he really wasn't. He lost too many times in his prime.

What old article?

I've read a ****load of different articles on Langford, both contemporary and modern writings of him. I've also seen the two fights that are available of him nowadays and for the most part, yes I do agree with what is written about Langford, although I don't see the defensive genius that is often written about (from what I see, his defensive skills are based largely on him having great reflexes, which he does posses...kept his hands pretty low, though, and he does take some punches).

And when would you define his prime as being?

Would you agree with most opinions that state his prime was from about 1908 to about 1913, which IS when he was getting the most attention as a serious threat to the champions like Ketchel and Johnson (that's according to the papers of the time)?

If so, you can see he didn't lose that many during his "prime", and even when he did lose to someone he was coming back & gaining revenge in quick time.

GunStar
04-05-2006, 04:02 PM
What old article?

If I remembered it, I would've mention it, I forgot.

tommyhearns804
04-05-2006, 10:48 PM
Sam Langford wasn't a heavyweight.Why would anybody have him in their top anything?He was a 170 pound or maybe even smaller figher who fought in the early days of boxing when people weren't as nearly skilled as they became later.
You can't even say he was good for a 170 pounder because as i said you can't compare people from his time to people now.Smaller gloves,limited skills,and only a few of his fights were taped.You don't know how good he was or could of been you have just heard how great he was.

Dempsey 1919
04-06-2006, 12:03 AM
Sam Langford wasn't a heavyweight.Why would anybody have him in their top anything?He was a 170 pound or maybe even smaller figher who fought in the early days of boxing when people weren't as nearly skilled as they became later.
You can't even say he was good for a 170 pounder because as i said you can't compare people from his time to people now.Smaller gloves,limited skills,and only a few of his fights were taped.You don't know how good he was or could of been you have just heard how great he was.

he was pretty good. he usually fought and beat guy alot bigger than him. he's a top 25 hw in my book. :)

SuzieQ49
04-06-2006, 01:09 AM
"Firstly, I think that Harry Wills' series with Sam Langford proved that if you fought Sam enough he would eventually clean your clock. People often point to Harry's two KO losses to Langford as some sort of negative point that he had no chin or couldn't take it. That is pure crap in my mind. Langford could knock anyman out--and again if you fought him enough times, he WOULD knock you out. It was that simple in my mind. That being said, Sam was taking a good beating in both of those KO wins prior to landing the big punch that brought home the bacon. I think Harry deserves credit to the high heavens for fighting Sam as he did. The guy, even as a semi blind, pudgy version of his old self, was no walk in the park.
I have always felt that Sam's prime was 1907-1913. After that you can begin to see some *****s in the armor. During those 6 or seven odd years however, he fought something like 94 fights and was defeated only twice(officially), by Gunboat Smith(for whom he was not in shape and pulling to) in 1913 and Sam McVey(which many said was a bad decision) in 1911 Sam knocked out Smith in three rounds less than a year later and defeated McVey four times in 1912. The guy was just a monster.
Jeanette and Wills first met in 1913, which I think still fell in Jeanette's prime. This guy didn't loose much during the early teen years--he didn't lose much period. In fact the only guy to officially beat him from 1910 until the close of his career nearly a decade later was--well you guessed it--Sam langford. Jeannette was a guy who a great longevity to his career and was competitive until he hung them up. Wills' bouts with him 1913 and 1914 were certainly legit.
McVey is also interesting that his career as a competitive fighter was very long. He was probably nearing the end of his prime when he began sqauring off with Harry in 1914 and 1915, but still, not many guys would have beaten him then.
IMO Harry was not green when he began matching up with these three great fighters, but was certainly not a very experienced battler. he had nary 3 years under his belt and that is not a great deal when you begin to fight ten year plus veterans who happen to be some of the best of their generation and perhaps all time. I think Harry was willing to take his lumps against these guys and learned a great deal from them. You can see it in the record as he begins to improve in each outing against the trio. Sure they were getting older, but so too was Harry getting better and more skilled. I think Wills hit his prime along about 1916 and remained in his finest form until about 1923. After that I think inactivity and age began to erode his reflexes and skill. " - boxing historian kevin smith



"Langford had a very long prime IMO 1907-1913, or six years of prime fighting. He was at his best, again IMO in 1910-1911. That is when I feel he really had it all together and was not yet showing any kind of wear and tear----but had seen it all by then. Johnson, well his true physical prime may have been before he even won the title at age 30, but for argument's sake lets take the Johnson of 1908. With both in their prime, I truly think that you would have to have a series of bout to determine the winner. I think it would be that close, each time. Johnson was the better defensive fighter, but Sam was the better offensive guy. Now, I think strength would be important. If Jack could tie sam up in knots, he could frustrate him to no end, but if not, he would be in for a long night. In a finish fight, I think Sam was just too tough. he fought better comp than Johnson, plain and simple in my opinion. He also fought, and stayed competitive over a longer period of time. That counts for something in my book. Sam could knock out big men. he proved that time and again. But Johnson was no ordinary big man. He was a master at counterpunching and could feint men into mistakes that would usually cost them. Both men could move well, back to front, and both men could punch in combination.

For me it would come down to Johnson's strength, versus Langford's. Sam was a come forward kind of guy, who could overwhelm even the largest of fighters. If Jack had the moxy and pure strength to thwart and offset that, I think he could out box Sam--but not as one sided as some would think. Don't let it be said that Sam could not box. He was a fine boxer and could work behind a jab if he so chose. He outjabbed Gans when they fought and set up a good deal of his knockouts with a telephone jab.

The weight difference would certainly favor Johnson but not by more than 20 pounds. Langford, at his best would be around 175, Johnson 190-195. That is prime, tip top shape for each man. Fifteen to twenty pounds for old Sam was not that big a deal. It would favor Johnson, no doubt, but I think height more than weight would be a major advantage for Sam. Much is made of his reach but a good deal of that reach was a broad, broad set of shoulders. Still Sam was usually the shorter man when matching up with larger men, so it was a shortcoming that his style developed around. As his record demonstrates, he seems to have dealt with it just fine.

I could go on and on but let me say this. I think Langford is live money against anyone in history. I feel the same about Johnson. However, I think I lean towards Sam here. He was just the whole package, and again, he proved it again and again for 25 some odd years. I do think that if they fought ten times, Johnson would win his share, but in a one time, for all the money match, I would place my ducets on Sam Langford. "- Kevin Smith


i suggest getting kevin's book

"Caramel Colored Kings Volume 2: The History of the Black Prizefighter 1870-1930."

LondonRingRules
04-06-2006, 08:15 PM
Sam Langford wasn't a heavyweight.Why would anybody have him in their top anything?He was a 170 pound or maybe even smaller figher who fought in the early days of boxing when people weren't as nearly skilled as they became later.
You can't even say he was good for a 170 pounder because as i said you can't compare people from his time to people now.Smaller gloves,limited skills,and only a few of his fights were taped.You don't know how good he was or could of been you have just heard how great he was.
** I'll tell you this, tapes show that Ali often looked mediocre when he weren't stinkin' up the place.

You know nothing of boxing. Sam was not the most skilled fighter, merely the most dangerous 160-180 lber who ever lived, and he had a style with a method that allowed him to fight his last 100 fights half or almost completely blind. Sam would have been known as the greatest heavyweight ever had Jack Johnson not ducked him for every year Johnson, and then Willard held the title.

leff
04-07-2006, 08:30 PM
i think i have the common problem with rating langford........i just dont know enough about him.................feel free to enlighten me