View Full Version : Big heavyweights from the past


mokele
04-11-2006, 11:48 PM
I decided to do a little research:

An important recurring question in heavyweight boxing is how good the smaller heavyweights of the past would do against the bigger heavyweights of today. For example, could Jack Dempsey have held his own with Riddick Bowe? Could Gene Tunney have outboxed Lennox Lewis? Could Jack Sharkey have outslicked or outpunched Wladimir Klitschko? Could Joe Louis have beaten Nikolay Valuev? Well, in order to answer such questions it would help considerably to investigate the good, big heavyweights of the past, guys with careers from the 1920s through the 1950s who were tall (6’1” or taller) and heavy (220 lbs. or more at some point in their career). Here’s a start (info from boxrec.com):

Good big men of antiquity (heights in brackets, then career record; roughly in order of career accomplishments):

Jess Willard [6’6”] 27-7 (beating Jack Johnson)
Primo Carnera [6’5”] 87-15
Buddy Baer [6’6”] 48-7
Harry Wills [6’3”] 63-9
George Godfrey [6’3”] 98-20
Luis Angel Firpo [6’2”] 33-6
Fred Fulton [6’4”] 80-16
Abe Simon [6’4”] 36-10
Pat Comiskey [6’3”] 73-12
Joe Baksi [6’1”] 60-9
Bob Baker [6’2”] 51-16
Heinz Neuhaus [6’2”] 43-9
Arthur De Kuh [6’3”] 44-13
Jose Santa [6’8”] 43-17
Eddie Blunt [6’] 37-20 (beat Abe Simon and Buddy Baer)
Harry Bobo [6’4”] 36-9
Hein ten Hoff [6’5”] 32-7
Carl Morris [6’4”] 55-15
Tiny Jim Herman [not listed] 49-27
Elza Thompson [not listed] 27-8
Monte Munn [6’4”] 20-5
Jack Dorval [6’3”] 22-7 (beat Tony Galento)
Eddie Hogan [not listed] 20-6
Victorio Campolo [6’9”] 20-7
Abel Cestac [6’4”] 39-15
Sid Peaks [not listed] 44-19
Bill Wilson [6'3"] 52-26
Chuck Crowell [6’5”] 38-20
Werner Wiegand [not listed] 40-22
Obie Walker [not listed] 26-12
Walter Cobb [6’3”] 26-13
Big Boy Brackey [not listed] 27-14
Johnny Shkor [6’5”] 30-19
Al Hart [6’1”] 29-18
Pat Redmond [6’3”] 23-10
Pat Lester [6’3”] 21-11
Ralph Smith [6’5”] 19-10
Yustin Sirutis [not listed] 19-11
Roberto Roberti [6’1”] 33-21
Long Tom Hawkins [6’5”] 21-16
Johnny Haynes [6’4”] 23-18
Frank Connolly [not listed] 15-7
Robin Tiny Lee [6’7”] 11-5
Big Jim Howell 18-14
Valentin Campolo [6’3”] 12-8
Jim Thompson [6’3”] 15-11 (beat Abe Simon once with 2 losses)
JD Turner [6’3”] 27-31
Bill Hartwell [6’3”] 24-23
Ben Moroz [6’8”] 21-17
Seal Harris [6’3”] 21-22
Sandy McPherson [not listed] 19-28
Big Boy Brown [6’1”] 14-22
Gilbert Stromquist [6’8”] 9-17
Blimp Williams [6’5”] 5-15

Notes:

Walcott was knocked out by Abe Simon: http://boxrec.com/show_display.php?show_id=16222

Joe Baksi : http://www.antekprizering.com/baksijoeexhibit1001.jpeg

This is only a start. If I've left off somebody important don't hesitate to say so.

From making this list, it seems quite clear to me that most of the really good big heavyweights have fought since the 1970s. I more-or-less knew that, but I figured that I would find more good ones from the 1920s through the 1950s than I did. If Primo Carnera was really the best big heavyweight from antiquity, that tells you something, since he would probably struggle to be anywhere close to the top 10 today.

SuzieQ49
04-11-2006, 11:58 PM
Bill Wilson [not listed] 52-26

big bill wilson was 6'3



also johnny shkor is 6'5, not 6'2 like listed under boxrec. boxrec made an error

mokele
04-12-2006, 12:05 AM
big bill wilson was 6'3

also johnny shkor is 6'5, not 6'2 like listed under boxrec. boxrec made an error

Thanks :)

boxrec.com seems to make errors on heights and reaches sometimes. I suppose that their weights are off too here and there. Their ranking system is also way off on some guys. It's hard to figure!

Kid Achilles
04-12-2006, 01:22 AM
You left off Willard (6'6"-6'7") who in my opinion was better than Carnera. I'll take a great chin and a big punch any day over Carnera's superior defensive skill.

mokele
04-12-2006, 01:32 AM
You left off Willard (6'6"-6'7") who in my opinion was better than Carnera. I'll take a great chin and a big punch any day over Carnera's superior defensive skill.

I'll add Willard. I knew that I was forgetting some guys who fought in the teens or else in the late 1950s. I also added a few guys just now such as Elza Thompson, Bob Baker and Obie Walker, who beat George Godfrey. I would guess that some of the negro fighters from the 1930s and 1940s received so little attention that their records are incomplete.

By the way, for a guy who was rumored to have been beaten by a glove with a horseshoe in it (that's what I read in a boxing book) Willard sure lived a long time. He almost made it to his 87th birthday, extremely rare for an ex-boxer. Willard looked badly out of shape in the Dempsey fight, but maybe he looked that way because he was groggy for a good portion of the fight. I remember reading that Willard actually quit on his stool in a fight before he beat Jack Johnson, telling the referee that he was too out of shape and in no condition to continue.

Yep, found it: http://boxrec.com/show_display.php?show_id=435162