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#1
Old 01-22-2012, 10:13 AM
Barn
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Default Lightweight Resumes.

This is just a thread where I'm evaluating the careers of LW's in detail and marking down my findings in here.

Benny Leonard.

Before fighting for the title Benny lost his first notable contest against Johnny Dundee and his second against Johnny Kilbane. However he came back with wins against good fighters Frankie Callahan, HOF Rocky Kansas(who was much more experienced during this fight with quality wins such as Ad Wolgast) and a draw against Hall of Famer Johnny Dundee who was also an experienced pugilist with wins over Willie Ritchie etc.

Leonard's first taste of battling for the title was in 1916 aged 20, when he fought the elusive Freddie Welsh the current titleholder and HOF. However this was a non-official bout and Leonard would only receive the title if he won by knockout. He did decision Welsh but, it wasn't enough to win the title

Around 4 months later, Leonard lost a newspaper decision to Welsh. After this bout Welsh would defend his title officially for the second time, winning a 15 points decision over Charley White. He also defended his title notably against Battling Nelson sandwiched between losing 6 times.

Leonard beat a mixture of good and great fighters such as Willie Ritchie and Frankie Callahan. Leonard then received a title shot from Welsh who was coming off 3 losses. Leonard won by technical knockout in 9 in the last noteworthy fight of Welsh' career. After winning the title aged 21 Leonard TKO'd Kilbane, former FW Champ (HOF) who was coming off a win over Freddie Welsh, when Welsh still had the title. In fact this fight was 4 weeks before Welsh lost the title to Leonard.

Now Leonard had won the title from a declining but, still great when motivated Welsh, he wasn't focussed on defending it too much for now. Only stopping Leo Johnson in 1 round. A fighter who despite having lots of wins was quite frankly a bum. Leonard made up for this however by twice unofficially decisioning the current Welterweight Champion(HOF) Jack Britton later a few fights later.

Instead of pursuing further title defences he drew with Ted Kid Lewis (HOF) for the WW title. Won newspaper decisions against Dundee the future FW, LWW champion and HOF. Defeated former LW champion Willie Ritchie by TKO8 who was by this time an experienced veteran who was a tough prospect as a former champion.

Around 2 years after winning the title he made his second defence against George Erne who had a losing record and must have only received a title shot by divine intervention coupled with a newspaper win over contender George KO Chaney.

As you would expect Leonard won this fight handily. Went on to NWS Dundee twice and won against gatekeeper Welterweight Soldier Bartfield.
Made a third defence against Jimmy Duffy who was an alright fighter I suppose but, nowhere near world class. However this fight was shadowed by contoversy as Duffy seemed to be unwilling to try. After this Benny defeated a host of reasonable fighters such as very good contender Charley White until defending against Joe Welling.

Welling had lost to Lew Tendler one fight before but had also recently beat Dundee and KO Chaney. Leonard won this bout by stoppage in the 14th.

Straight after this Leonard dived straight into another title defence against Ritchie Mitchell. Mitchell was on a nice little streak drawing against Dundee, beating good contenders like Bartfield and Joe Welling. His only loss coming before these once again being against Lew Tendler. Leonard stopped Mitchell abruptly ending his little roll.

Now is when the good stuff happens. Leonard won a Newspaper decison against Rocky Kansas. Kansas then scored an upset win over Tendler granting him a shot at Leonard's title which Leonard won by 15 round points decision. Once again defended his title against Kansas by stoppage. However Leonard could only lose his title in this match via stoppage in this bout as it was a No Decision. Kansas would become a lightweight Champion after Leonard retired.

After losing a WW title bid in controversial circumstances to his old nemisis Jack Britton, he then defended his title via 12 round NWS over the crafty Lew Tendler a Hall of Famer who is one of the greatest southpaws, and greatest fighters never able to win a title.

Went on to fight and beat in non title bouts a few good contenders such as Ever Hammer and Pinky Mithcell who were on unbeaten runs against some good fighters. He then solidified his dominance over Tendler in an official title bout which he won by 15 round points decision.

Leonard fought 3 more times before retiring. He then came back 7 years later winning against mediocre opposition before having his 20 or so win streak ended by future ATG Jimmy McLarlin.

Overall, not a bad reign. However something that greatly disappoints me is the fact Leonard routinely either weighed in over-weight or refused to weigh. Against Pinky Mithcell, Charley White for example. However he holds strong wins against champions and ATG's whether they be NWS or otherwise. Notable wins include in summary,

- Freddie Welsh (LW Champ, HOF)
- Rocky Kansas (LW Champ, HOF)
- Johnny Dundee (FW,JWW Champ, HOF.)
- Willie Ritchie (LW Champ, HOF)
- Jack Britton (WW Champ HOF)
- Lew Tendler (HOF)

In summary -

Won title vs Freddie Welsh.
Defended against Leo Johnson.
Drew for WW title against Kid Lewis.
Defended against George Erne.
Defended against Jimmy Duffy (Suspicious) at catchweight of 140.
Defended against Joe Welling.
Defended vs Rocky Kansas
Lost WW Title Challenge vs Jack Britton via contraversial DQ.
Defended against Lew Tendler via NWS12.
Defended via TKO8 in an NWS against Kansas (Could only lose title via stoppage)
Defended once again vs Lew Tendler officIal W15.
Retired while holding title.

Defended title 6 times (8 counting NWS) in a stacked era. Also defeated numerous good contenders, HOF, former champions in non title bout. All in all excellent resume, great longelivity and dominance. Quite good accomplishments.

Excellent fighter, stay tuned for my summary on Joe Gans!

Last edited by Barn; 01-24-2012 at 11:13 AM.
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#2
Old 01-22-2012, 10:56 AM
IronDanHamza
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Just look at that resume.

There is simply no one in Lightweight History that can equal that resume.
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#3
Old 01-22-2012, 11:00 AM
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Looking forward to one on Ortiz if you get round to it
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#4
Old 01-22-2012, 11:00 AM
Barn
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Originally Posted by IronDanHamza View Post
Just look at that resume.

There is simply no one in Lightweight History that can equal that resume.
I'm gonna find out when I do the same thing for Duran, Ortiz, and Gans!

This was actually a great way to learn. Now I know quite a bit more about Leonard and the fighters he faced just taking the time to write a little essay. Only thing that's hard about it is having it make sense as you're just typing things as you learn them so it's a bit jumbled and requires a fair bit of editing.
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#5
Old 01-22-2012, 11:01 AM
Barn
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Originally Posted by The_Demon View Post
Looking forward to one on Ortiz if you get round to it
I'm definitely leaving the Duran one until last. Undecided whether to do Oritz or Gans next.

Not going to bother with Whitaker as those 4 are in a different LW league IMO.
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#6
Old 01-22-2012, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Barnburner View Post
I'm definitely leaving the Duran one until last. Undecided whether to do Oritz or Gans next.

Not going to bother with Whitaker as those 4 are in a different LW league IMO.
Yeah id agree with that,plus Whitakers record is more transparent in comparison to the others,even when compared to Duran,whos impressive work at Lightweight is often overlooked by some,due to his achievements above 135
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:37 PM
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For my money Leonard has the best resume at 135. But I've read many historians who claim Gans fought the best comp.
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#8
Old 01-22-2012, 05:18 PM
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For my money Leonard has the best resume at 135. But I've read many historians who claim Gans fought the best comp.
I can't see how.
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Old 01-22-2012, 05:30 PM
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I can't see how.
I don't personally see it either but I've been meaning to study up more on his comp. It's not out of the question, but I think my mind is set on Leonard regardless. His resume is simply unbelievable.
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#10
Old 01-22-2012, 05:46 PM
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I'm definitely leaving the Duran one until last. Undecided whether to do Oritz or Gans next.

Not going to bother with Whitaker as those 4 are in a different LW league IMO.

I'll be looking forward to it. I would like to see a Duran one.
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