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#1
Old 02-05-2013, 11:56 PM
rightsideup
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Default do you think the jack johnson jess willard fight was fixed?

jack claimed it was. What are your thoughts?
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#2
Old 02-06-2013, 12:05 AM
Scott9945
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Johnson was a proud man with a big ego. He just got old during the late rounds in the Cuban heat and lost to an inferior opponent. I never bought into the Johnson taking a dive theory.
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#3
Old 02-06-2013, 05:12 AM
Sugarj
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I don't know, I've always sat on the fence on this one.

Johnson claimed that he threw the fight in order to receive a pardon and cash to allow him back into the USA to see his ill Mother. The reason he claimed that he left it 26 rounds was because the envelope didn't show up till round 25. After his wife received the envelope (which Johnson claimed turned out to be empty) he threw the fight in the next round.

Johnson swore to the above on the the grave of his Mother years later. A pretty classless thing to do if it wasn't true!

A few other thoughts:

1) In the mid rounds Johnson hit Willard with some superb combinations, driving him across the ring. If he had agreed to throw the fight, he was in danger of knocking Willard out!

2) The punch that Willard hit Johnson with to knock him out did look pretty useful!

However....

3) Johnson was clearly not 'out' as he held his hand to shield his eyes as he was counted out.

4) Would Johnson's wife be so stupid to accept an empty envelope? Or not to check it's contents?

Also.....

5) Johnson was 37 at the time (which was considered ancient for a world class boxer back then) and a little podgy. A fight set for 45 rounds in the Cuban heat could exhaust anyone......and Johnson was pretty active in some of those rounds.


I honestly don't know! But I think long term losing the title to Willard was probably best for Johnson. Dempsey was only a few years away, and I wouldn't have wanted to be a near 40 year old facing prime Dempsey.......
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#4
Old 02-06-2013, 05:24 AM
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It was legit imo, Johnson was out of shape and passed it, he started well enough but was running out of steam. He could probably have gotten up but I think he was done and had little enough left. Maybe in his own head he convinced himself that because he could have gotten up that it was a dive, but imo he just sort of gave up. I thinks it was a case of down, hurt and exhausted against a guy that wasn't going to wilt any time soon ... a sort of to hell with this I've had enough kinda thing.
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#5
Old 02-06-2013, 09:14 AM
Ray Corso
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He dove!........ it had nothing to do with boxing titles it was all about the "man act" and being able to live back in the states! Jack would kick the crap out of Jess if he was 60yrs old!! Look up the spar sessions of him at 50+ years old! He gave exhibitions all the time and was killed going to a boxing event. He was racing his car on a back highway, screamin' down the road! That guy was a nut but he could box his azz off!! Ray
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#6
Old 02-06-2013, 09:36 AM
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I've never seen the fight but many people, including JJ himself claim that it was. Not quite sure about the legitimacy of it all though. JJ was by this stage in his career, nearing the end and in that intense heat, tiring, a slap could knock someone over. Especially after over 20 rounds.
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#7
Old 02-06-2013, 11:12 AM
joseph5620
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rightsideup View Post
jack claimed it was. What are your thoughts?
No. Scheduling the fight for 45 rounds was the real "fix". Johnson was old, not in the best of shape, and inactive. Willard only needed to outlast (while losing) Johnson. But the Johnson loss was legit IMO.
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