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#1
Old 07-16-2009, 11:29 AM
Gettin Jiggy
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Default Do you belive Jack Johnson is overrated?

does any1 think the great jack johnson is overrated?

held wins over mcvey, langford, ketchel, jeffries, fitzsimmons, and others.

discuss
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#2
Old 07-16-2009, 11:41 AM
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I've watched alot of Johnson on video, he was clearly head and shoulders ahead of the competition of his day. He moved well, had a good defence, power in both hands, speed, good chin. He was alot bigger and heavier than most of his contempories though (6,2 and 210 pounds at his best was huge for the day 'the Galveston Giant' was his nickname!) and you know what they say about 'a good big un'.

Many of the films are jerky but his combinations look pretty dazzling and he was good at tying up opponents and catching their shots with his gloves. I'm sure I once read that even Louis's trainer 'Chappy' Blackburn admitted that Louis would not have beaten Johnson. Says alot really.

I dont like to speculate about how he would have done in different eras but think that upto the Liston/Ali/Foreman times he would have had a fair chance against any heavyweight.
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#3
Old 07-16-2009, 12:30 PM
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he's overrated by some, but isnt every fighter
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#4
Old 07-16-2009, 12:55 PM
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Johnson is vastly underated
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#5
Old 07-16-2009, 01:27 PM
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I feel he is pretty underrated to be honest.

In my mind Johnson is greatest defensive heavyweight of all time. In recent years some revisionists have tried to downplay Johnson’s defensive capabilities, which is an injustice to both the man and those who saw him fight. The key to understanding the defensive mastery of men like Johnson, Joe Gans, and George Dixon comes in their ability to block an opponent's leads. That is where the old masters like Johnson truly shined. You have to jab to get inside and to set up your punches and they could block and pick off an opponent's jabs and counter. Trainer Eddie Futch said, that Ken Norton gave Ali 3 very tough fights because he knew how to block a jab with an open glove and counter-jab.

Another key factor is that although Johnson fought often and with only 5 ounce gloves, his defensive skills kept his face largely unmarked. This demonstrates his effectiveness as a defensive fighter.

John Durant wrote in The Heavyweight Champions of Johnson, “He was a genius in the ring. He was a flawless boxer with an almost perfect defense, and he could hit hard with either hand. A superb counter puncher, he was never off balance, always in position to hit, and he was a master of the art of feinting."

Jack Dempsey said of Johnson, “He was the greatest catcher of punches that ever lived (glove blocker). And he could fight all night. He was a combination of Jim Corbett and Louis. I’m glad I didn’t have to fight him.”

Some boxing experts and fans have questioned the quality of Jack’s chin. But Johnson’s chin is not nearly as bad as some revisionists make it out to be. Prior to the Willard fight he was knocked out only by Klon***e Haynes (Johnson quit after 4 rounds) and then by the wily veteran Joe Choynski both fairly early in his career and before he had reached his pinnacle as a fighter. After the Choynski loss he would not be knocked out again for 14 years. Also while him and Choynski were in jail to get together, Choynski would help Johnson develop as a fighter.

Nat Fleischer rated Johnson as the greatest heavyweight up to the time of his death in 1972. He picked Johnson in a dream fight over Joe Louis. The reason is given in 50 Years at Ringside pp 80-81. Fleischer quotes Johnson as saying that Louis was "always off balance" and to beat a counter-puncher like Schmeling he had to "change his stance." Johnson said a "clever sharp shooter" with a good "right hand" could beat Louis. And that is precisely what happened in the first Schmeling fight. It was because of Johnson's prediction that Nat always thought that Johnson could beat Louis.

Charley Rose who saw both Johnson and Ali fight said, (July 1966 Ring), "Johnson would have caught Clay's jabs like Willie Mays catches a baseball."

''One of those who worked with him during the hot afternoon sparring sessions was a very young Harry Willis. ''I was still growing'' Remembered Willis but I already had a right hand to the body that i thought i could hit anybody with. I was working with Johnson one day and sure enough, I nailed him....I got ****y and in the next round i tried the same thing again. Old Jack reached down and caught my fist like you catch a ball and grinned at his wife who was sitting at the ringside.''

Johnson was preparing for the Fireman Jim Flynn rematch.

Jack Johnson Resume Of Wins
Sam McVea x3
Joe Jeannette x5
Sam Langford
Bob Fitzsimmons
Fireman Jim Flynn x2
Tommy Burns
Stanley Ketchel
James J Jeffries

Now looking at his resume of wins, thats up there as one of best resumes of all time. Although Johnson had weight alot of weight on Langford and Ketchel.

But would of always been interesting if Johnson had give Langford his rematch, something which he had no interest in doing, due to a high risk little reward.

Jack Johnson: Tribute Video from Cox's Corner on Vimeo.


Last edited by .SOUTHPAW16BF.; 07-16-2009 at 01:30 PM.
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#6
Old 07-16-2009, 02:05 PM
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I think Johnson was years ahead of his time.
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#7
Old 07-16-2009, 02:21 PM
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The win over Jim Jeffries really shouldn't mean much, neither should the win over Fitzsimmons. Jeffries was a man in his mid-30's who hadn't fought in years and had bloated to up to 300 lbs when he made his desperate attempt at regaining the title. Fitzsimmons was well over 40 years old and offered very little resistance although few bring this up as a great win for Johnson so it's not really "overrated".

Jeannette, McVea and Langford were somewhat young and not as experienced as they would go onto become although they were not as inexperienced as their records would indicate (in the case of McVea and Jeannette). Jeannette had already made Langford quit by the time he fought Johnson and McVea, even at 20 years of age, was like the Tyson of his day.

Johnson does have some underrated wins over the lesser known names of his day such as Klon***e Haines, George Gardner, Denver Ed Martin, Black Bill, Sandy Ferguson, Frank Childs, Sailor Burke and others. He fought everyone as a contender but avoided fighting the best as the champion.

I do rate his abilities quite highly. He may have fought from the clinch a lot more than any of today's fighters or even the mid-1900's boxers, but people might miss some of his "magic" due to the poor quality film. He had a really good uppercut from the clinch.


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#8
Old 07-16-2009, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .SOUTHPAW16BF. View Post
I feel he is pretty underrated to be honest.

In my mind Johnson is greatest defensive heavyweight of all time. In recent years some revisionists have tried to downplay Johnson’s defensive capabilities, which is an injustice to both the man and those who saw him fight. The key to understanding the defensive mastery of men like Johnson, Joe Gans, and George Dixon comes in their ability to block an opponent's leads. That is where the old masters like Johnson truly shined. You have to jab to get inside and to set up your punches and they could block and pick off an opponent's jabs and counter. Trainer Eddie Futch said, that Ken Norton gave Ali 3 very tough fights because he knew how to block a jab with an open glove and counter-jab.

Another key factor is that although Johnson fought often and with only 5 ounce gloves, his defensive skills kept his face largely unmarked. This demonstrates his effectiveness as a defensive fighter.

John Durant wrote in The Heavyweight Champions of Johnson, “He was a genius in the ring. He was a flawless boxer with an almost perfect defense, and he could hit hard with either hand. A superb counter puncher, he was never off balance, always in position to hit, and he was a master of the art of feinting."

Jack Dempsey said of Johnson, “He was the greatest catcher of punches that ever lived (glove blocker). And he could fight all night. He was a combination of Jim Corbett and Louis. I’m glad I didn’t have to fight him.”

Some boxing experts and fans have questioned the quality of Jack’s chin. But Johnson’s chin is not nearly as bad as some revisionists make it out to be. Prior to the Willard fight he was knocked out only by Klon***e Haynes (Johnson quit after 4 rounds) and then by the wily veteran Joe Choynski both fairly early in his career and before he had reached his pinnacle as a fighter. After the Choynski loss he would not be knocked out again for 14 years. Also while him and Choynski were in jail to get together, Choynski would help Johnson develop as a fighter.

Nat Fleischer rated Johnson as the greatest heavyweight up to the time of his death in 1972. He picked Johnson in a dream fight over Joe Louis. The reason is given in 50 Years at Ringside pp 80-81. Fleischer quotes Johnson as saying that Louis was "always off balance" and to beat a counter-puncher like Schmeling he had to "change his stance." Johnson said a "clever sharp shooter" with a good "right hand" could beat Louis. And that is precisely what happened in the first Schmeling fight. It was because of Johnson's prediction that Nat always thought that Johnson could beat Louis.

Charley Rose who saw both Johnson and Ali fight said, (July 1966 Ring), "Johnson would have caught Clay's jabs like Willie Mays catches a baseball."

''One of those who worked with him during the hot afternoon sparring sessions was a very young Harry Willis. ''I was still growing'' Remembered Willis but I already had a right hand to the body that i thought i could hit anybody with. I was working with Johnson one day and sure enough, I nailed him....I got ****y and in the next round i tried the same thing again. Old Jack reached down and caught my fist like you catch a ball and grinned at his wife who was sitting at the ringside.''

Johnson was preparing for the Fireman Jim Flynn rematch.

Jack Johnson Resume Of Wins
Sam McVea x3
Joe Jeannette x5
Sam Langford
Bob Fitzsimmons
Fireman Jim Flynn x2
Tommy Burns
Stanley Ketchel
James J Jeffries

Now looking at his resume of wins, thats up there as one of best resumes of all time. Although Johnson had weight alot of weight on Langford and Ketchel.

But would of always been interesting if Johnson had give Langford his rematch, something which he had no interest in doing, due to a high risk little reward.

Jack Johnson: Tribute Video from Cox's Corner on Vimeo.

great post SOUTHPAW16BF
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#9
Old 07-16-2009, 05:51 PM
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Johnson did have some good wins as a contender coming up: McVea, Jeannette, Haines, Martin, Ferguson, etc, and generally fought the best around. He did also beat Langford, although Sam was barely a light-middle at the time.

His title run tends to get overrated, however. His best wins as champion were the six-year inactive Jim Jeffries who had to lose 100lbs in training for it, and middleweight Stanley Ketchel - how many heavyweight champions would not have beaten the reigning middleweight champion of their day?

Both of those fights were forgivable given the big money involved, but other that that he mainly defended against a motley crew of journeymen, whilst drawing the colour line as egregiously as any white fighter. Langford in particular chased him all over the world and couldn't get Johnson in the ring for love nor money.

Lower top ten is arguable, but the current IBRO rating of #3 is overrating him, imo.
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#10
Old 07-16-2009, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kid McCoy View Post
Johnson did have some good wins as a contender coming up: McVea, Jeannette, Haines, Martin, Ferguson, etc, and generally fought the best around. He did also beat Langford, although Sam was barely a light-middle at the time.

His title run tends to get overrated, however. His best wins as champion were the six-year inactive Jim Jeffries who had to lose 100lbs in training for it, and middleweight Stanley Ketchel - how many heavyweight champions would not have beaten the reigning middleweight champion of their day?

Both of those fights were forgivable given the big money involved, but other that that he mainly defended against a motley crew of journeymen, whilst drawing the colour line as egregiously as any white fighter. Langford in particular chased him all over the world and couldn't get Johnson in the ring for love nor money.

Lower top ten is arguable, but the current IBRO rating of #3 is overrating him, imo.
You make some good points there Mr McCoy
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