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Thread: Old timers on film...

  1. #1

    Old timers on film...

    Which of the great fighters were you most and least impressed with after watching them on film? Lets start by splitting them into two catagories 1950-1930 and pre 1930.
    Aside from the obvious Louis, Robinson, Armstrong etc I would have to say Ike Williams and Beau Jack, Lloyd Marshall vs Mills, Billy Conn vs Louis although he doesn't look nearly as good v Bettina, Tony Zale vs Graziano and Freddie Steele vs Lesnevich were all standouts. On the least impressive side I would say Charley Burley didn't quite live up to expectations. Don't get me wrong he looked slick, almost unhittable but when compared to Robinson's films he doesn't look anywhere near as good. Might be a diferent story if we had his fights v Moore and Williams.
    From the real old timers I would say that Jem Driscoll v Spike Robson, Joe Gans v Herman, Mickey Walker vs Milligan, Sam Langford v Flynn, Jimmy Wilde v Symonds and Jack Dempsey vs Willard all looked spectacular. On the downside I think that Fitzsimmons and Corbett really look poor in their fight. Allowances have to made for the picture quality but even so, as great as I'm sure these two were the film does them no favours.

  2. #2
    I say lets part the pre 1930, into 1920's, and pre 1920 as the film of the 1920's has improve a LOT when compare to a fight film of say 1906 or so.

  3. #3
    I was pretty impress with Corbett in his fight with Fitz. The film was in slow mo. but he look good in 4 of the 5 rounds I had.

    Gans and Nelson, were impressive, great fight. OF couse, I think Gans look better vs Herman, but Nelson was a better fighter than Herman.

    Tommy Burns vs O Brien, both fighters were pretty impressive fighters in there film title fight. Burns is better than I thought he was.

    I not 2 sure on Ted Kid Lewis, as I have him vs Ratner, and he was way pass his best.

    Jim Jeffies was impressive in that highlight of Jack Sharkey, if one conisders the rules of the day, in allowing them to be thown around in the clichs like Jeff did to Sharkey. He also look decent vs Rulhan.

    Johnson looks good vs Flyn, Burns, Willard, Moran, and Ketchal.

    Moran looks good vs Nelson. He relly drop Nelson a bunch of times, for the ko there.

    Ketchal on what little there is, is not 2 impressive, he looks like he has no defense vs Papke, and of couse Johnson out weight him.

    Les Darcy I am pretty impress with as a fighter, highly underrated.

  4. #4


    The most obvious of pre-thirties fighters to look unimpressive (to such an extent that it gave anti-old timers considerable fuel for argument) was stanley ketchel. I cant help feeling a little disapointed that this seemingly crude brawler knocked out jack o'brien - a boxer held in very high regard in old school circles - twice.
    Of the thirties, im most impressed by barney ross and the flyweight great benny lynch. Barney could through multi-punch combos at great speed, and seemed to bring the best out of his opponents also. Lynch (particularly against jackie brown) is the most impressive ive ever seen at flyweight.

  5. #5
    Kid Achilles

    Re: Ketchel.

    Ketchel didn't look good in the footage I've seen of him but he sure managed some great victories and moments in the sport. I think it was his relentlessness, durability, heavy hands, and killer instinct that made him so formidable. He was supposedly an outright sociopath in the ring who had no regards for the lives of his opponent, and was freakishly strong. Great strength+ punching power+ great durability+ killer instinct = a tough fight for any middleweight.

    Look at how well Samuel Peter did against Wladimir Klitschko in spite of being several skill classes beneath him, and Peter didn't even have Ketchel's killer instinct, just strength, power, and durablity. Guys who are truly tenacious and who have an iron chin are as rare in the sport as the grandmasters of the craft but every once in awhile strength beats skill.

    Remember that the winner of a boxing match is ultimately the guy who imposes his will on the other through ANY means they can get away with, not who boxes the smoothest or looks the most impressive on film.

    Kevin McBride looked like an absolute novice (and not even an athletic nocie) but his timing was better than Tyson's, and he had the determination, strength and sound strategy to beat the superior athlete. I don't think anyone who watched both men on the bags, sparring, or skipping rope would pick McBride but he was the better man that night because he imposed his will on Mike. Tyson had everything in his favor but the most important, the intangibles. Timing, composure, grit, and the will to succeed. Stanley Ketchel was a guy who had those intangibles, and a lot of power, going for him.

  6. #6
    Roberto Aqui


    Nelson/Wolgast is one of the finest fights in history, an unsung classic that matches up favorably with any fight ever.

  7. #7

    early video tape

    When you watch Joe Louis vrs Ezzard Charles,
    you can really sense how good Louis really was,even though he was past his prime and reflexes were slower in that fight.
    That fight was shown on television in 1950 before
    live close circuit where you had to pay to see,I believe.
    Its probably the close ups,most of those older fights look like they were filmed from the balcony.

  8. #8

    Re: early video tape

    I agree that the fight was interesting because even thought Louis lost most of the rounds, he was very competitive in almost all of them. I had so often read that he was murdered when he simply lost to a younger, more active fighter ...however, it was now way near an Ali/Holmes senario.

  9. #9

    Louis vrs Charles

    Up until I actually saw that fight on video tape,I always heard that Charles easly handled Louis,but Louis was really messing Charles up in the first few rounds,Charles eye was closed and face swollen.Then Louis just lost steam at some point.

  10. #10


    the greatest fight ever filmed was the nelson wolgast fight- bar none. perod.nuff said

  11. #11

    Re: fights

    I had always been very impressed with Terry McGovern from all that I have read about him and after watching him fight, I still am very impressed.

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