View Full Version : Langford/Jeannette 1- Dec. 1913...

HE Grant
05-25-2006, 06:45 PM
I recently purchased a 93 year old French magazine named Vieau Grand Air on eBay...the cover has Langford and Jeannette, highlighting their December bout from 1913...the article has well over a dozen photos of the two men battling in the ring...truly amazing although they are all shot from about the thirtieth row and are full shots.

However, my point is that it clearly shows and details a Langford KO win in the 13th while most record books, including yours, has him winning a 20 round decision...intersting !!!

05-25-2006, 08:31 PM
HE, Jeannette was knocked down three times for a count of 9 in the 13th round, but the bout went the distance of 20 rounds. Jeannette was saved by the bell in the 13th.

05-25-2006, 11:53 PM
Here’s a recap of the fight by reporter F. Hurdman-Lucas:
“Those who are continually barking that two men of colour never put up a good fight had better creep back into their kennels right now. A few more slams like the one we had on this night and the whole world would worship at the shrine of Pugilisticus. I am prepared to uphold the contention that the Langford-Jeannette battle has been the greatest fillip to the noble art in France since the Harry Lewis-Leo Houc contest. Never have two heavyweights put up such a grand slam as the two above mentioned rivals did on this occasion.

From the world “go” it was apparent that things were going to hum on this night, for even the 1st round seemed too fast and severe to last. Both men went all out from the start, and how they kept up such a lick is just a mystery of the flesh of which Jeannette and Langford alone seem to hold the secret. It has been said of the latter that he was a 10 round fighter, and that after such a distance he fell away into insignifigance. Whence came these opinions heaven only knows. True, Sam was getting a trifle tired when the end arrived on this occasion, but he had not left off punching for 20 rounds, and they were punches, too, no butter pats here.

Although less weighty, Jeannette’s deliveries were perhaps more academical, but they failed to disturb Langford’s equanimity. At long range Joe had a great deal to say with the left, which often reached his opponent’s face and stomach. This last-named portion of Sam’s anatomy stood out in comfortable prominence, by the way, but manager Woodman says that his famous colt’s rotundity amidships is natural, and not at all composed of fat. Be that as it may, Jeannette made many attempts to bury one or the other of his fists in that black bolster, but Sam remained unmoved.

At close quarters, Langford’s boxing was positively deadly, while Jeannette seemed all at sea. It is when at half-arm striking distance that all Sam’s devastating work was accomplished, for he was as unsuccessful at full range as Jeannette was at short ditto.

For the first five rounds, Jeannette actually appeared nervous, a thing that I had never before noticed in him. But now that we have seen Langford in his full war-paint this apparent anxiety is comprehensible. I would sooner face a battery of cannon than the Boston Tar Baby.

As the 13th round was rung in there were many who saw a possible winner in Joe, for the more he goes the better he gets. Not that his blows worried Sam in the least, but they counted as points. The usual tremor reigned in most hearts as the fateful round commenced, for one almost felt that something was in the air. All anxiety was being dispelled when suddenly Langford shot out his right when close up, followed by a formidable left hook. Down went Jeannette, the while Langford lost is footing and fell across his prostrate opponent. Joe sat up and looked round him with glassy eyes until the count of 9 came along. Slowly raising himself, he stood near his corner with back to the ropes for support, as a shower of water reached his quivering body. This action gave rise to loud cries of protest, but these were lost in the excitement of the moment. Another right and left came along, and once more Jeannette was on the boards for the full respite. With that leonine courage that never foresakes him, Joe regained his feet, but was no sooner up than these refused to carry him, and he fell for another count. He was, however, up again, leaning against the ropes when time crept up. Sam was just agout to let go the coup de grace when the gong put the brakes on. It must have sounded good to Jeannette if he really heard it, for it is more than possible that another few seconds would have seen the end of the battle.

Jeannette regained his corner, and with his habitual recuperative powers started off the 14th round as if nothing had happened. He even forced matters, and at the end of the session had well held his own. Cries of “Bravo, Jeannette!” greeted his efforts. Joe actually had the best of his man in the 15th round, and, although Langford was, as was the call all through the fight, by the way, terribly dangerous, Joe took chances, and scored with many hard lefts and a right. Sam’s chief contributions were two – a rat-tat postman’s knock, lefts, and some hard stuff at close quarters.

Throwing purdence to the winds, Jeannette went all out in the 16th round, leaving his jaw open for a left hook in the process. He was positively asking for it in his mad pursuit, and it duly came. For a few seconds his legs shivered, and he tottered. It was but a momentary trouble, however, and his left shot out on time.

Both men appeared strong in the 17th session, albeit Jeannette’s punches carried little sting. Langford’s blows were as weighty as ever, and many must have been the prayer that went up for Joe.

A terrific right swing just grazed Jeannette’s chin and slithered off, thus giving him a life. He was still boxing with his jaw exposed, and it seemed as if nothing but a miracle could prevent a punch paying a visit. Luck favoured him, however, in that Sam was taking a rest. The next two passages were, strangely enough, for Jeannette, for, where he appeared, as is usually the case with him, to be getting fresher, Langford was beginning to feel the strain of his incessant punching. So it was that, with full confidence, Joe sailed into his man with left after left. Each time Langford waded in close, however, there was another tale to tell, for those nasty, crisp jolts and short hooks created deadly havoc. Jeannette opened the 19th round with a series of right uppercuts, and so succussful were these proving that he brought out at least half a dozen more ere Langford could get a punch home. This meeting was entirely in Joe’s favour, and his partisans began to see the glimmer of a draw. But these hopes, frail though they wee, completely broke down in the 20th round.

Going all out for a decisive win, Jeannete seemed to forget that Langford might be doing likewise. Leaving himself totally uncovered, Joe slammed in several lefts and two right upper-cuts, when a fearful left smash on the mouth drew a cascade of blood, and slowed him right up. A left and right on the top of this sent Jeannette to the ropes, where he stood in groggy condition. It seemed once more all over for this fine athlete, but he had retained sufficient lucidity to duch all the mighty rights that were aimed at his jaw, and by judicious clinching, finished this memorable fight on his feet. The applause was deafening, for whereas Langford had shown all present that he is undoubtedly the most redoubtable heavyweight in the world, Jeannette gave one more splendid proof of his toughness.

As Willie Lewis truly said after the battle, “My advice to fighters is, leave Langford alone. He’s all very well to meet once in a lifetime, but no more.” All this makes us wonder what knd of a man must be Gunboat Smith, if reports of his victory over Langford be true. It seems too incredible. Jack Johnson must now meet Langford, or forever forfeit the respect of those who still see in him the rightful world’s titleholder.”

Mikey Capp
05-26-2006, 08:15 AM
Hello Clay,

Thank you for that riveting account of the Joe Jeanette vs Sam Langford by F.Hurdman-Lucas. Outstanding prose and detail I felt like I was right there watching this classic fight.

Sincerely Mikey Capp

HE Grant
05-26-2006, 06:35 PM
cmoyle: Where di you find that incredible article ? How can we read more ?

05-26-2006, 07:05 PM
I'd have to dig through my files at home for the source. While working on my book (or more accurately manuscript for a book) about Sam Langford over the past four years I typed about 95% or more of all the information I was able to lay my hands on in terms of Langford's life and career in chronological order into a master Word document. In most of the cases when I did that I referenced the source in that Word document, but for some reason this wasn't one of those cases.

Recently, I took the huge stack of copies of newspaper articles, magazine/book excerpts, etc. that I had of Sam Langford materials and organized them into manilla folders by year and place them in three file boxes so there is a chance I can find the actual source in the folder for that year. I'll take a look. I know that I had some articles from French boxing magazines around that time period translated for me into English so this may have come from one of those and when I typed it into that Word document I just failed to include the source. In any case, I'm sure I have it, I just have to find it.

The complete manuscript is presently in the hands of a publisher at their request for evaluation purposes. Hopefully, they'll decide they want to publish it. If not, I'll have to decide whether to keep trying to find a publisher, or just go the self-publishing route. What I'm getting to, is that will hopefully end up being the way to get more of this type of information out there for everyone.

HE Grant
05-27-2006, 07:59 AM
Well I say you must be doing a hell of a job. I can't wait to read it. Have you seen the photos I refered to? The problem is that the magazine was in newsprint, about 97 years old, and both fighters look a bit like dark figures. You can make out who is who by their size, stances and builds but it's hard for sharp detail. However, there are two photos that are a must. Contact me and I'll try and get something over to you if it might be of help.

05-27-2006, 10:24 AM
If it's the December 27, 1913 issue of Vie Au Grand Air then I already have it, but thanks. A couple of French boxing magazines from that time period had some fantastic pictures of fighters like Langford, Johnson, McVey, Jeannette, etc. I looked through my notes again to see if I could determine the source of the Hurdman-Lucas recap of that fight between Langford and Jeannette and all I could find was a comment that it came from a well-known English boxing periodical of that time period, argh, I can't believe I didn't reference it by name. I bet it was either 'Boxing', which later became known as 'Boxing News', or the 'Mirror of Life & Boxing World'.

05-27-2006, 10:40 AM
December 27, 1913 – The Winnipeg Tribune published quotes from the Director of French Boxing, Mr. Vienne. Mr. Vienne had proclaimed the fight between Jeannette and Langford as a world’s championship contest. He explained his reasoning for doing so as follows:

‘People say to me, ‘If a world’s boxing championship is organized between two qualified men, why is the winner of the title not entitled to hold if forever?’ I reply, not in words, but with facts, clear and distinct, and then ask the public to judge. The title held by Jack Johnson is held vacant because it is not admissable in sport for a man to legitimately hold all his life, or at least as long as he pleases, a title which he obstinately refuses to defend against qualified aspirants. Nobody can contest that principle. Now, I have repeatedly offered Jack Johnson an opportunity of defending his title in Paris, under the usual conditions of a participation in the receipts, with a guarantee of $25,000, then $30,000. Jack Johnson has always refused.

In an interview Jack Johnson had in Paris with Victor Breyer, then my associate, and later with Leon See, Director of Boxing and Boxers, he made the same public declaration which remains still without denial. ‘I will not box again, ever for a million.’ Since coming to Paris, Jack Johnson refused an engagement to meet with me. He wouldn’t come himself, but his representative came, only to declare to me that Johnson did not wish really to meet a capable adversary in order to maintain his title, but only adversaries of a secondary nature. Under those conditions no one can be expected to submit to Johnson’s fantastic (financial) demands. The sporting public has ever right to rebel and place the title open for public competition that which the holder, because it is too much trouble, does not wish to defend.”

HE Grant
05-27-2006, 10:44 AM
There is little doubt that Johnson was past his best days in 1913...keepin inmind that when he beat Jeffries in 1910 he was closing in on 33 himself. His lifestyle, the instability, living on the run, it all took it's toll. It's quite possible Langford beats him at this time even at his then best but I doubt Jeannette would have.

Roberto Aqui
05-27-2006, 05:28 PM
".......Jack Johnson must now meet Langford, or forever forfeit the respect of those who still see in him the rightful world’s titleholder.”

Amen. That's my independent conclusion when I started to look into history past the myth of Johnson. Langford is truly one of the giants of boxing, probably the most underrated fighter ever. The respect and awe Jeannette and Wills held for him is palpable even almost a century later.

HE Grant
05-27-2006, 09:00 PM
That's only part of your Johnson claims. No need to detail the rest. You've made your opinion stated many times.