|01-25-2012, 07:05 PM||#1|
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Lightweight Resumes. Joe Gans.
How does Joe Gans resume compare with Ortiz' and Leonards?
Gans first major fight was one against 24 year old former Featherweight Champion of the world Young Griffo. Griffo has also been nominated into the boxing Hall of Fame. Griffo however had since moved up in weight and was now fighting at around 130Ibs. Despite only being 4 years younger than Griffo the experience difference was huge. Griffo despite being heavily experienced was by no means past it. Drawing with George Dixon and Kid Lavigne only a few fights beforehand. This however didn't stop Gans lasting the distance therefore battling to a draw. (It was the stipulation during the time that many fight could only be won by knockout.)
After facing many journeymen, and winning all but 2 of these bouts. Gans' next big challenge awaited. It was none other than his former ring partner Griffo. The Old Master as he would be known years later fought the "Australian Will O' the Wisp." to yet another draw. (This fight under the same stipulation as the last meeting.)
Gans' performances against Griffo had entitled him to a shot at the "Coloured Lightweight Title." However Gans lost this bout by 20 round points decision.
This didn't phase Gans as he went on an unbeaten streak that lasted a total of 26 fights. Included wins against good fighters including Kid McPartland who has challenged Lavigne for the LW title only the year before. Another fighter included in this streak was Wilmington Jack Daly, another fighter who had unsuccessfully challenged Lavigne for his title only 9 months previously.
The unbeaten run was ended up George Elbows McFadden. Who earned his name from both effective uses of the elbows and illegal uses of them too. This bout ended by stoppage and was Gans first knockout loss.
Again, Gans showed his grit by still fighting at a high level and winning. He went on another run which resulted him avenging his Coloured Lightweight Title defeat against Jack Dobbs. Drawing and beating his conqueror McFadden. He also drew with McPartland and Jack Daly in 6 round fights.
This streak of wins had made Gans stand out and the new title holder Frank Erne who had de-throned the HOF Kid Lavigne. Allowed Gans a title shot. Gans however was butted accidentally and asked for the fight to be terminated in the 12th round after his eye was reportedly separated from it's socket.
He then defeated a string of mediocre fighters the good contender Kid Parker and the HOF Young Griffo winning by TKO8 before fighting Terry McGovern in a horribly fixed fight which he lost by KO2. I'm not even going into the details of the McGovern fight unless someone actually wants me to as it's a whole different subject.
This is when the real meaty stuff begins. After losing to McGovern Gans beats former LW challenger Jack Daly again. He then dominated Dobbs again who had recently beaten a slightly green but, very good Young Peter Jackson.
After a few good wins against on form fighters he beat Dobbs twice again. Dominated old rival Elbows. After a few more comme si comme ca victories. He got another title shot against Erne. Erne who was also a former FW Champion and has a spot in the HOF. Was now starting to decline a little (He was by no means shot, just didn't do much after that. Whether that be nature's or Gans doing.) Gans capitalized on this and left nothing to the imagination. Beating the great Erne by knockout in one. Which marked the start of a new Lightweight era.
His first defence came against Elbows again. An average defence. One against an experienced rugged fighter so it was a good initial defence. Gans won this easily as you would expect. His next defence came against Rufe Turner who was a solid contender of the era, he was an alright fighter but, nowhere near the calibre. Gans wins by knockout. After a win against solid contender Jack Bennet in a non-title fight. Gans fought Kid McPartland for the title. He won that as well in case you hadn't already guessed. His next bout, albeit not for the title was against Dave Holly which he won. Although Holly was very very green(19-0 in official contests vs no-one.) he would go onto defeat men such as Langford in a huge upset and Joe Walcott.
His next fight was another defence against the 4 fight veteran(not a typo) Charley Siegler. Who had beaten Elbows McFadden a fighter who had challenged for the title just 4 months earlier which probably gained him his shot. Gans won again as you would expect. (Not gonna lie, Sieger's record is really really ****. However he might have deserved his title shot through the McFadden win alone, or another likelyhood he partook in many unrecorded fights.)
He then defended against Gus Gardner who was coming off 3 losses so who knows what he was doing in with Gans.
Another few non-title fights to keep busy to Gans to a man called Steve Crosby. He was another mediocre fighter who Gans had beaten previously. His next defence came against Buddy King who was another not especially noteworthy fighter but, these guys were the good stock of that era so Gans had no real other options to prove his greatness at this point.
Gans took on the invincible Joe Grim after this fight and decisioned him like every other person who faced Joe Grim in the "good" part of his career. Gans then lost to Jack Blackburn the trainer of Louis in a NWS bout then beat Dave Holly who was by this time more experienced and was coming straight off a win against Jack Blackburn.
The next day, Gans fought the arguable GOAT, Sam Langford. Seeing it was the next day Gans was pretty tired having to go from Philly to Mass. Gans lost this bout and Langford was declared the new Lightweight Champion! However the announcer realised that Langford had infact weighed over the Lightweight limit, resulting in the title being withdrawn. Sam Langford and Gans talked in a bar afterwards, with Gans teaching Sam a thing or two. Langford partly credits his greatness to the wise words Gans spoke to him there.
His next defence came against contender Willie Fitzgerald who was yet another "so-so" kind of fighter and former opponent of Gans.
After this he defeated Jack Blackburn via points decision. Undefeated solid contender Mike Ward. Drew with both Holly and Barbados Joe(most felt Gans won however there was no titles at stake. Walcott also shot himself in the hand after this bout.) His next fight was a title defence against Jimmy Britt who had beaten fighter such as Young Corbett II, Kid Lavigne and Frank Erne. Gans won this via DQ(later admitting it was fixed.) then went on to beat solid Rufe Turner again via NWS.
His next 3 notable yet non-title bouts were against the same opponent. Mike Twin Sullivan, a strong contender in the first fight which was ruled a draw. Enhanced his position for a rematch via beating solid fighter Jimmy Gardner. Before being KO'd by Gans in the rematch. Then being stopped once again in the immediate third fight which Sullivan weighed an astounding 148Ibs for contrary to the LW limit for the first bout.
After defeating Jack Blackburn once again he fought Dave Holly who by now had got his wins against Walcott and Langford before beating former title contender Rufe Turner. Gans won this bout also, and in his next defence won via DQ against the tough HOF BATTLING NELSON!!!!
In his next title bout versus Kid Herman (A fight there is footage of, you should check it out.) Who had drawn with the great Abe Atell and beat a host of solid contenders before this bout. Gans as you would expect won this fight, and by knockout. The next fight against Britt was not fixed, and Gans won this by stoppage against a Britt who one fight beforehand had beaten Battling Nelson via 20 rounds points decision.
The next man who attempted to de-throne Gans was George Memsic who was a solid fighter. He then defeated ****e Robson in a non title bout. Robson had beaten the great George Dixon more than once in the past.
The next battle for the belt came against Rudy Unholz who got his shot by beating Nelson and George Memsic previously. Gans stopped this man who really didn't belong there.
After this Gans contracted TB and was ill for his title fight return with Nelson and was stopped. He was also stopped in the return when he tried to regain his crown. Gans died less than two years later. A tragic end to a great fighter.
In summary: Very dominant, very consistent, good accomplishments. I think this was a weaker era he ruled in when compared to the likes of Benny Leonard or Carlos Ortiz. He fought good contenders and a good few HOF fighters. However I don't think his resume matches up with Leonards.
Frank Erne (FW, LW Champ, HOF)
Battling Nelson (LW Champ, HOF)
Young Griffo (FW Champ, HOF)
Jack Blackburn (HOF Trainer.)
Mike "Twin" Sullivan - (WW Champ.)
Draw vs Joe Walcott (WW Champ, HOF.)
Loses title to shot to Frank Erne. (FW,LW Champ, HOF.)
Wins rematch against Erne. (FW,LW Champ, HOF.)
Defends against Elbows.
Defends against Rufe Turner.
Defends against Kid McPartland
Defends against Charley Sieger.
Defends against Gus Gardner.
Defends against Steve Crosby.
Defends against Buddy King.
Defends against Willie Fitzgerald.
Defends against Jimmy Britt. (Fix)
Defends against Dave Holly.
Defends against Battling Nelson. (LW Champ, HOF.)
Defends against Kid Herman.
Defends against Jimmy Britt.
Defends against George Mesmic.
Defends against Rudy Unholz.
Loses title against Battling Nelson. (LW Champ, HOF.)
Loses title challenge against Battling Nelson. (LW Champ, HOF.)
14 defences holding the title for 6 years (not including the fixed fight.)
As stated earlier. Great Dominance, Great Accomplishments, Great Longlivety, Slightly weaker era.
How does Roberto Duran compare? Find out soon!
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