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#1
Old 06-12-2009, 02:08 AM
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#2
Old 06-12-2009, 02:15 AM
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Very good article, but not fair. Good critique of his bad fights/mistakes without appropriate credit for great fights/awesomeness.
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:50 AM
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good article.

can anybody reccomend me which jack dempsey fights to watch? i would be interested in getting to know more about him.

thanks
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:02 PM
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Good article. Not sure about his conclusion tho. Because guys were better boxers than him they should be rated ahead of him? p4p I'd rate Tunney ahead of him, and I'd rate Louis ahead of him no questions asked. He's neck and neck with a guy like Frazier however, a fighter who had just as many shortcomings as Dempsey did.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:06 PM
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While doing my rankings on HWs I actually had a lot of the same questions regarding Dempsey's level of competition as well.

I wish Lotierzo had gone into a bit more detail on the fighters Dempsey faced because apart from Willard, Tunney, Carpentier, Gibbons, Firpo, Levinsky, and Gunboat I don't know much about them. I think an article comparing the levels of competition across various decades would be very useful in figuring out a proper all-time HW ranking.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:14 PM
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The general consensus is that boxing as a whole was as competitive as it's ever been during the 1920's. Personally I think this is obvious from watching film, strangely not many people on this board agree.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:23 PM
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Richie I would suggest 3 fights. First, Dempsey vs. Willard. It's the fight that made Dempsey famous, the fight where he won the title. Dempsey is 180 pounds and unleashes the most devastating combination I've ever seen, ending with the hardest left hook pfp I've ever seen. He caves in the side of his opponents face.

Second, I'd watch a sparring video of Dempsey vs. Bill Tate. You get to see a completely different version of Dempsey, fighting from a very deep crouch with tremendous aggression. It's a fantastic video.

Third, maybe check out Dempsey Gibbons. It's way, way less entertaining than the first two, but it shows Dempsey defeating a highly skilled technical fighter.

Dempsey Firpo is exciting but you won't learn too much about Dempsey the fighter as it's pretty hectic.

The Tunney fights are great, but as a Dempsey fan I wouldn't suggest judging dempsey based solely on those fights.
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:37 PM
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If I had to rate the credible opponents Dempsey beat, it would look like this:

'A' level wins:
Fulton, Sharkey
'A-' level wins:
Willie Meehan, Battling Levinsky, Jess Willard, Tommy Gibbons, Luis Angel Firpo
'B' level wins:
Gunboat Smith (x2), Carl Morris (x3), Bill Brennan (x2), Billy Miske (x2), Georges Carpentier
'B-' level wins:
Andre Anderson

Sharkey is the best fighter he ever beat, period. BUT, he didn't really beat him. He fouled him the whole night, the ref did nothing, Sharkey finally went to complain, and BOOM, it was over. So as far as impressive wins goes, Fred Fulton is top of the list. That's right, Fulton, not a 37 year old 3-year layoff Jess Willard.

Also, Willie Meehan appears on this list of people, but lets keep in mind Dempsey only beat Meehan 1 out of 5 times, officially losing to him twice.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:03 PM
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I'm wondering how you rank the A, A-, B, B-.

Could you use heavies from the 90s or 2000s and rank them using those rankings so I could figure out where they stand?

I've also always thought of Willard as a lucky champ who outlasted an old and out of shape Johnson for the title then fought a few stiffs but never actually was anything outside of a low top 10 for his time guy.

Oh, and thanks for mentioning Fulton. I just checked out his record and was quite surprised. He was a very good fighter I had never heard of.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d9rat View Post
I'm wondering how you rank the A, A-, B, B-.

Could you use heavies from the 90s or 2000s and rank them using those rankings so I could figure out where they stand?

I've also always thought of Willard as a lucky champ who outlasted an old and out of shape Johnson for the title then fought a few stiffs but never actually was anything outside of a low top 10 for his time guy.

Oh, and thanks for mentioning Fulton. I just checked out his record and was quite surprised. He was a very good fighter I had never heard of.
Here's one for Mike Tyson:

'A' level wins:
None
'A-' level wins:
Trevor Berbick, Tony Tucker, Larry Holmes, Michael Spinks, Frank Bruno (x2), Donovan 'Razor' Ruddock (x2)
'B' level wins:
Marvis Frazier, James 'Bonecrusher' Smith, Pinklon Thomas, Tony Tubbs, Carl Williams, Alex Stewart, Bruce Seldon, Brian Nielsen, Andrew Golota
'B-' level wins:
Jesse Ferguson, Jose Ribalta, Alonzo Ratliff, Tyrell Biggs, Buster Mathis Jr., Francois Botha, Lou Savarese, Clifford Etienne (half credit), Orlin Norris (half credit)

Trevor Berbick is really B+, but A- for me just means between A and B, but neither of the two.

--------

As for the Jack Johnson vs Jess Willard fight, that fight is about as valid as Dempsey vs Fireman Jim Flynn. It took took place AFTER Johnson was already convicted of the Mann Act. Johnson was supposed to go to prison, he shouldn't have been fighting at all. He flees the country and is not hunted? Gee, I wonder why? (Because he agreed to relinquish the title if that went over anyone's head) Between 1912-07-04 and 1920-11-25 Jack Johnson did not fight in America. When he came back, he went to prison for the 1.5 year sentence he was supposed to serve back in 1913. While in prison, he fought 4 bouts (against nobodies) from 1920-11-25 to 1921-05-28. He got out of prison in July of 1921. Now 43 years old, you'd think the man would not longer be considered a threat and they'd allow him to get fights in the US right? It takes 2 years after his last fight in jail before he fights again, and it's in Cuba. He doesn't get a fight in the US again until he's 48 years old. He loses the fight, and it's the first fight he's lost in 11 years (last losing to Willard).

The man really didn't legitimately lose a fight from 1901 to 1926:

Robbed against Hart in the same fashion De La Hoya was robbed against Trinidad (ie, same reasoning behind the robbery, the real winner didn't force the action)

DQed against Jeannette in the 2nd round, a man he'd officially beat 3 times afterward, although already getting the best of him in 2 no decisions prior to this. Johnson was DQed for his antics, not because he was in trouble and got himself DQed to save himself.

And then there was of course Willard, with dubious circumstances involving the fight, not to mention the video footage of it looking like a fix anyways. Johnson himself said he took a dive. This is the same Johnson who said Max Schmeling would KO Joe Louis, and explained exactly how it would happen. Who could claim this man's word meant nothing?

I don't really know why Johnson fled and came back, it would seem he would have been better off just going to prison immediately. Then again, promises were probably made that weren't kept which caused him to change his mind. All we really know is, the powers that be REALLY wanted Johnson out of the lime light of the sport, and were willing to go to any length to get the job done. They wanted to take his title but they wanted to make it seem legitimate, so they made a deal for his freedom. He took the deal.
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