Nice. I love how Schmeling alphabetized the fighters!
Nice. I love how Schmeling alphabetized the fighters!
Dempsey will always remain an incomplete to me in his all time judgement as a fighter...too many unanswered questions...his prime was too short, his reign far too inactive.
He won the title from a 37 year old, highly inactive fighter who is in no one's top 15 all time great heavyweights.
He was stunned by Carpentier, fairly beaten up by Brennan, almost KO'ed by Firpo.
He was incredibly inactive as champion. He never reached what should have been his prime.
He might be the greatest media creation of all time....
The beating he gave Willard, the punches thrown, the power and the intensity remain frightening to this day.
He bounced back in a second and soon easily destroyed Carpentier.
He came from behind on a night when he obviously left his best fight in chorus girls beds to flatten Brennan late, showing great heart and late round one punch power.
The beating he gave Firpo was legendary.
Dempsey showed me most in his last two fights who he might have been. He was past his best, fighting on semi-shot legs, taking a beating against a prime, excellent Sharkey on perhaps Jack's best night when he started to turn it around and then flattened him with one shot.
He almost KO'd a prime, excellent Tunney.
Those two fights showed me a few things. The man had an exceptional heart. He never quit. Even way past his best he had moments of exceptional reflexes and power. Tremendous recooperative powers.
There can be little doubt that a huge part of the man was very hard. I was talking the other night about this over a beer with DeLisa and we both agree he lived through some serious shit. That upbringing, almost quaint when briefly reflected upon is sobering if closely examined.
On the road, solo, from the age 16. The hobo life of violent men existing on the fringes of society, filled with starving, poverty and the survival of the fittess. Risking your life riding the rails, ducking watchmen armed with clubs and intending to leave you for dead. Entering mining towns alone, filled with men who thought nothing of beating on or killing some young kid that rubbed them the wrong way. Hundreds of no holds bared street fights, night after night, year after year against hardcore men from similar backgrounds. Pimping for Maxine. Bouncing at cathouses and saloons. It might sound cute in a romantized biography or in an old John Ford flick complete with musicals but the reality was far closer to "Unforgiven".
That was the world that spawned Dempsey, the guy who pounded a bloodied and broken Willard and crushed Sharkey when he turned his head. I doubt the thought of not doing so never even entered the man's mind. That was his world. Ask no favors, take no prisoners. He was one real tough son of a bitch.
I'm most amazed about how this creature evolved into a gentleman after his ring career ended instead of reverting back to the life he knew before the fame. His growth as a human being facinates me most of all. No reports of Dempsey beating his wife or being arrested or drunken street fights. You would think he grew up in a white collar world, went to collage and got a job on Wall Street.
Him vs Louis, in the ring, most likely they split ten fights 5 and 5 based on who caught who first. Dempsey had the better chin but Joe had the power to KO anyone. Both had great speed. In the street I'd pick him over any of them, hands down, including Sullivan. He'd have made Tyson cry.
Who knows the story of the Galento sparring session? When did it happen? Dempsey must have been pretty old by that time.
Last edited by HE Grant; 05-13-2006 at 09:23 PM.
wow did old dempsey really flatten galento? galento was a big man with a granite chin.
shows how deadly a puncher dempsey was
wow did old dempsey really flatten galento? galento was a big man with a granite chin.
shows how deadly a puncher dempsey was
the facinting part to me also, was his charcter very well stated above- i think anybody who knows of some of the stuff outlined above of what he went trough and ended up as -was somebody of integrity and character. the galento thung was around 32,-34 . ill get more on this when i get home--galento wanted dempsey to manage him and arcel to train him- but tony wasnt living up to his bargain as far as traing hard-maybe being alittle too high and mighty-so at some oint dempsey gets in the ring with him-kos him out cold-dempsey says get another manager,arcel-get another trainer- and walk out of stillmans on that day-or at least dempsey did-arcel trained more than one guy at once often.
I think one thing Dempsey is under-rated in is his body punching. On film he levels some guys with very short hooks to the body-the one with which he floors Sharkey with in round 4 (?) is so short, amazing.
The guy had very well developed back and shoulder muscles. The definition of 'lean, fast twitch' muscle mass. At 190 lbs he had not one ounce of fat on him.
In the small amount of reading I have done. It suprizes me ,how may boxers and writers described Dempey as being so lean and so fit . These would have been a hard group to impress . They say he had muscles everywhere .
If you really look there are some amazing photos around that show how impressive his build was for 1919. He was long and lanky. He had exceptional muscle tone in his shoulders and back. He was built like a better version of Holyfield without the juice. He was easily close to 6'2, and today would have been a ripped 220 .
I think all of this debate on dempsey is great. It keeps alive the legend of Dempsey and thats great for young kids on the up. Ive given the books on Dempsey to young guys and it never fails to interest them. Even in prison when they showed the "Dempsey" movie all the guys of all colors and nationalities loved it and were inspired by Jacks life. Nice to see the legend of the Mauler live on.
I will say off the bat that I am not a huge Dempsey fan. I think his story is over-played and over-dramatized. Most guys who fought back them had similar backgrounds and similar upbringings--many worse than Dempsey--if that is possible. There were literally thousands of fighters in his day that had ridden the rods and survived the "hobo jungles"--he was nothing special in that vein. It made for good copy when he became a star and it still makes for good copy today--people eat it up. Now, Jack certainly deserves credit for rising to the heights he did, and I do give him credit for becoming the man he did. He always seemed to me to be a decent, well intentioned "good man". But when I see him being written about as if he were unbeatable, I just cringe. Was he really that good? Marciano in one round?
I have stated before and I will state again, I find it difficult to name Dempsey as one of the greatest ever(in terms of pure fighting) when he didn't even fight the best man of his day--Harry Wills. I do not want to start a debate about why the fight never happened, and I will not insinuate that Dempsey was afraid--or anything of the sort. However, before we jump off the deep end and name this guy as the "greatest" ever--let's try and look at this with a bit more objectivity.
He never fought Wills. He was hit and hurt by the ordinary Bill Brennan, he struggled with a 183 pound Tommy Gibbons, he was hurt by Carpentier(who himself was dramatically over-rated), he was almost knocked out by the lumbering Firpo and he was terribly inactive as a champion. I just do not see how this adds up to the greatest ever.
That's why he gets an incomplete by me Kevin...too inactive as champ and not fighting Wills, the other best fighter of his day and a bigger man who fought tougher competition...
Well said, KSmith ... and I agree wholeheartedly. Ducking the best available competition is not, in my book, a measure of "greatness." And Wills wasn't the only one. I would refer doubters to Page 2 of Dempsey: By the man himself, as told to Bob Considine and Bill Slocum (Simon & Schuster Inc., 1959). Here's the direct quote:
"Others have written about my 'killer instinct', my 'fighting heart'; some even say I was the greatest fighter of my century. They were impressed by my courage in the ring. I was small as heavyweights go and usually fought giants, so they called me 'Jack the Giant Killer.' They said I feared no man.
"The hell I feared no man! There was one man – he was even smaller than me – I wouldn't fight because I knew he would flatten me. I was afraid of Sam Langford."
The fact remains that whether by economic design or personal choice, Dempsey carefully avoided facing any of the top black fighters of his day – and admitted to being afraid of the best of them.
Last edited by writehooks; 05-14-2006 at 12:04 AM.
HeGrant and KSmith
Now i have no argument on your posts as in fact they very much match my own thoughts. From my point of view its about what in fact a fighter did and how good was the competition that was available at the time and how he performed against them. Could Dempsey have done the same against better competition probably, but for me probably is not enough for me anyway to place him above the fighters who in my opinion took on and mostly beat better competition. Because going back on my previous post i see nothing in Dempsey's competition bar the Tunney fights that would given major problems to Ezzard Charles, Archie Moore and and a few others let alone who most regard as the more elite HWs. There fore much as i want in my heart for Jack to be a top all time five HW. To place him there in spite of him being one of my favourite HWs i feel would be cheating other fighters who i just feel proved themselves against in my opinion better opposition.
Yes i do know some experts who claim Jack was a top 5 fighter but me i like to make my own mind up as to how i see a fighter. Because lets not beat about the bush here. If the so called experts were that good at judging fighters then i would expect them to get about 70% of the fights we have today right. You only have to look at our forecasts on here myself included in spite of following boxing for over 50 years the best i can do is get about half right.
Yes i agree again it would been nice if Dempsey had after he won the title stayed in shape for a few years and took on more fights. But again i can understand that after fighting the whole of his life just to live that once he had a little money he wanted a little bit more out of life then fighting.
Last edited by wildhawke11; 05-14-2006 at 12:37 AM.
Sure, pick all the marginal lowpoints you can and call it objective. I would agree that perhaps some overrate Dempsey, but don't some overrate more than just Dempsey?Originally Posted by KSmith9116
Using the Smith method:
Ali was dropped by Banks and severely hurt by Cooper, clowned against Frazier, was busted up against Norton, struggled against Wepner and Young, and was terribly controversial in many of his greatest wins. I just do not see how this adds up to the greatest ever!
Just to chime in, I wouldn't call Bill Brennan an 'ordinary' fighter. He was a hard punching, fairly skilled boxer who at his peak was a top HW contender.
Mr.writehooks-probably Terorrfied-mortified,at Least.
Dempsey one-punch KO'd the man who made Wills foul out to avoid being stopped. Throw in all of the age-related, inactivity-related, and whatever-related qualifications for Wills' poor performance against Sharkey that you want, but the fact remains that Jack beat the man who beat the man after said beating. If you're going to hold Wills over Dempsey's head, you have to be fair and include that result in the equation.
As for the "staggering" by Carpentier, that's mostly a load of malarky. Dempsey was carrying the guy for the crowd's entertainment and got caught by the best punch from a pretty decent righthanded hitter (check his record), but all that punch did was make him take half a sidestep, even though Georges was going nutzoid in an effort to kill him. He (Dempsey) was hurt about as badly as Foreman was by Ken Lacusta, and the nearly immediate result was just about the same, as well: Dempsey and Foreman farted, and Carpentier and Lacusta went away. Compare that performance with the hell that Carpentier gave a prime Tunney a few years later.
"Almost KO'd by Firpo"? If you mean caught a decent shot and then shoved out of the ring, only to return and be totally unaffected by the rampaging Firpo for the remaining half minute or so of the round, then that's a rather strange definition of "almost KO'd." Yep, Luis Angel was a hell of a hitter -- amateur stylist or not --, and he knocked out some damned tough men, but he couldn't take advantage of an "almost KO'd" Dempsey for what reason . . . ? Could it be because Dempsey's chin was close to granite and even when buzzed, he was more dangerous than 99% of all the other men who've ever stepped into the ring? Actually, with Jack's devil-may-care attitude towards footwork and defense (both of which he had plenty of when he chose to use them) in this instance, I think the Firpo fight argues in favor of Dempsey's solid whiskers. Notice how the "unbeatable" Wills had to go the full twelve against Firpo after he was slaughtered by Dempsey.
As Robert said before me, you can take moments from any fighter's career and build an argument that you've already chosen in your mind, but aside from the post-Willard inactivity, there's very little substance in the muck that's being tossed against Dempsey. Was he the greatest ever? Hell, I don't know. But I do know that after a couple of decades of intensive bashing (including the then well-regarded Sport Magazine calling him the "most overrated" beloved champion), I don't find it onerous in the least to allow for a bit of glorifying of the old guy, called by non-fan Flash Gordon "the most important figure in the history of boxing." PeteLeo.
P.S. Please, please give the "staggered by Carpentier" wishful thinking a rest. PL.
Brennan is hard to assess by his record since his ties to organized crime were so strong. You have to assume that a hefty percentage of his fights were pre-arranged.Originally Posted by hagler04
However, anyone who has watched the clips of him against Dempsey and even Firpo could see at a glance that K.O. Bill Brennan was a helluva fighter. Far from 'ordinary.'
Roberto, your point is incomplete because Ali fought everyone and answered the questions the points you highlighted raised. He proved his chin against the best punchers of any era, Foreman, Frazier, Shavers and Liston. The best of the era. The poor performances you refer to were in a few of his "Many" title defenses over an extended period...not one of five fights in seven years...in addition he was past his prime then. Dempsey gets an incomplete because he did not fight the best and once he won the title he no longer stayed a fighter. He was a celebrity who occasionally fought.
Pete: There is no way to spin the facts: Sharkey, in his prime, defeated a 37 year old Harry Wills. Not the Sharkey that was destroyed in three rounds at 35 by Louis, bounced around like a rubber ball but the best Sharey there was. While I give Sharkey credit for fighting Wills, lets keep it in perspective.
Your other points are classic revisionist history. Carpentier clearly tagged and staggered Dempsey. The footage clearly shows it. Dempsey also immediately recovered and crushed George. Firpo had Dempsey on the deck three times. Two were flash knockdowns. No doubt Jack, got right up , clear headed, ready to kill. The third only luck prevented from him losing the title as he was helped back into the ring and should have been disqualified. Again, Dempsey immediately recovered and flattened Firpo who I agree was extremely dangerous due to his size, strength, determination for that particular fight and great power.
I do agree with Roberto's point that any fighter can have his lesser moments spun to distort facts. However, the reason that Dempsey is a bit more vulnerable to this than say an Ali or a Louis is because of the same points I keep getting back to; namely how he did not fight Wills and his overall inactivity as champion.
Dempsey remains the all time debatable champ. There is no doubt he was a hell of a fighter. His power, chin, heart, hand speed were exceptional without question. Just how high he rates will always be open to debate.
My Point?Originally Posted by HE Grant
I was using the Smith method so your point is pointless, but I must admit that you defend Ali better than he was able to his last few years!
Jack Dempsey MADE boxing the major sport in the United States. He was electric and explosive and became a legend. Debating his fighting qualities is gonna be tuff for his doubters when guys like Arcel, Mickey Walker, Max Schmeling, Benny Leonard and so many others rate him so highly. He should have fought Wills and its sad he didnt. We all know now it was politics. Wills had his opportunities to press the issue but he didnt fare well and his prime ran out. Its happened to others just as and more worthy.
But Dempsey arrived and grabbed the moment and hes a legend now. Thats a big deal.
Remember this also. He came back from being out of shape and inactive to ko Jack Sharkey and almost take out Gene Tunney. Sharkey was the victor over Godfrey and Wills and a future champ. Dempsey koed a man who beat Max Schmeling then in his prime. Its to be remembered that a aged Max Schmeling koed Joe Louis. We all know a prime Gene Tunney might just be a man who could beat anybody, especially slow moving sluggers like Marciano and Louis. Tunney was that good. Yet the over the hill Mauler almost koed him.
Im impressed by this stuff. Lets face it, Dempsey like a handful of other all time greats was special and always will be.
Mr. Leo I thought was on the mark; imo.He knows his history and even Robinson got beat. Dempsey was very hard to hit and a "killer" when hurt. He was a great fighter- justhow great is anybody's guess but he was great enough for me.
Dempsey should have been DQ'd because a couple of pissed off sportswriters shoved him off of their typewriters (that's how they covered big fights back then)? This, of course, begs the point that if Dempsey was so "close" to being KO'd, why couldn't a bull like Firpo do the job with the time left to him?
I didn't say that Sharkey beat the best Wills (in fact, I said to toss in the age, inactivity, etc. arguments), but if you're going to harp on Wills as being some big albatross around Dempsey's neck (even though Harry refused matches with guys Dempsey did fight), then the loss to Sharkey has to be a part of the scenario. Sharkey beat an old Wills, and an OLD Dempsey beat the best Sharkey. Interesting.
The Carpentier "staggering"? It's a joke. One half-second in the midst of a classic ass-kicking by Dempsey. Foreman was staggered worse by Lacusta, Frazier by non-puncher Bugner, Louis by Conn, Ali by Spinks, Holyfield by Cooper, Holmes by Weaver, Liston by Marshall, Chuvalo by Bonavena, and on and on. If that were the worst Dempsey ever looked in a fight, his chin rep would be alongside Ali's.
It seems that some people's definition of "revisionism" is aimed squarely at those who go back and actually watch the films rather than simply repeating shaggy dog stories passed along the grapevine for decades. PeteLeo.
Mr. Rocky ; that Tunney was just fantastic, GREAT!.Perhaps as unbeatalble as anyone, and Dempsey almost took him out. One cannot dismiss the opinions of the people you had named. Wasn't Tunney something in the Heeney bout !
Pete are you using the Mayorga method ? He said that he beat Forrest, Forrest beat Mosley, Mosley beat De La Hoya so he'd beat Oscar? Worked out right?
You are revising history although it changes from post to post. In one post he never hurt Jack, in another only for a minute. Call it as it was...Carpentier unloaded his Sunday punch and it nailed Dempsey high but very hard. Jack was cleary rocked , he stumbled a bit, Carpentier attempted to maximize the advantage but Jack quickly weathered it. Capentier busted his mitt and his moment was brief. Dempsey himself, in both bio's that he was involved with said Carpentier hurt him. I guess you know better.
Dempsey should have been DQ'd against Firpo because being assisted into the ring was the rules. Understand the concept. He was knocked out of the ring. If he could not return within ten seconds, he loses. He would not have made it if he was not pushed back in. Simple facts Pete. Read the many newspaper accounts the day after the fight screaming about it.It's become a faded memory today but it was a big controversy then.
Roberto your logic is incomplete. You may have attempted a method but used an insufficent example. One guy fought everyone another did not. That's why he remains a beloved but highly debated figure. You really don't have many debates going on about Ali ducking opposition do you ? Keep it apples to apples.
Here's what one of the pissed off sportswriters had to say about Dempsey being knocked out of the ring " About Dempsy impromptu sprawl into the pressrow .
He wasnt punched out he was pushed! You here silly yearns about how the press saved Dempsey title that day NOT TRUE . He was not unconscious and when he grabbed the middle rope to get back in jack lawrence gave his bustle a little shove. The second round a punch or two and the wild bull of the pampas faded away like ferdnand of the disney classic
He said he would match his trained ring eyes with any mans and thats how it happend.
More than 20 yrs of watching fights and the man was in his lap hard too argue
Hype Igoe should be a H.O.F. for stories like these.
Nonsense. I used an insufficient method to make a point. Ali never gave Jones, Foreman, or Young rematches, so just saying one guy fought everyone is an example of insufficiency.Originally Posted by HE Grant
Every great has a few warts, the debate revolves around objectivity and subjectivity of the way we see the fighters. Many are very subjective, yet others are uniformly objective.
You blame Dempsey for Wills, but don't blame Wills. You are completely subjective. Facts are that neither fighter is to blame. It was just the way it was back then and both tried to make the fight, but it wouldn't come off.
Look how long it took Tyson to face Lewis and that bout was ended up being made with Tyson assigned bodyguards 24/7 to track him and was practically carried into the ring and had a dozen security guards standing between Tyson and Lewis to prevent a prefight DQ. Liston/Patterson took years to make. The DM/Jones bout never did come to term.
Last edited by Roberto Aqui; 05-14-2006 at 05:38 PM.
Hype Igoe one of the pissed off sports writer reports .DEMPSEY was not punched out, but pushed I quote " I bet my ring eyes against any mans thats the way it was". When Jack grabbed the middle rope to get back in , Jack Lawrence gave his bustle a little shove. He was not unconscious.
Round two a couple of punches , and the wild bull of the pampas faded away . Like Ferdnand of the Disney classic.
Hype was there Hard to argue with him
HYPE IGOE H.O.F.
Robero: There is a reoccuring theme to your theories which I strongly disagre with...
At least Ali fought Jones, Foreman and Young...Dempsey never stepped in the ring with his number one contender for seven years. You think that's the same?
You use the same type of logic to downgrade Johnson on an all time basis... always leaving out that he fought and defeated Langford, McVey, Jeannette before he won the title...
Now you say Dempsey and Wills equally share the blame that Wills was denied a title bout...what a crock of shit. Do you actually believe this? At any time Dempsey could have put his foot down and made the fight. How did Wills have such authority...
Tell me more Roberto...
There are a number of noted boxing writers AND boxing people
who are forgotten for the most part. The cynical part of me
believes that the selectors realize that living inductees to a
boxing hall of fame are a must in order to attract a crowd.
- Chuck Johnston