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Thread: Dempsey V Marciano...

  1. #31
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    I personally think the Hairs are getting split

    a bit too much here.

    Maybe we should simply use the term "puncher".

    Both definitely were.

    Hawk

  2. #32
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    Re: Jack Dempsey VS. Rocky Marciano

    base on film, Marciano had 2 one punch knockouts, Walcott, and Layne. Dempsey has one. Jack Sharkey, and that was a fishy knockout, with the lowblow hook to the jaw combo lol.

    Other wise, Willard, Firpo, and Carp just seem to keep getting up after being floor. Willard down 7 times. Firpo I belive 7 times also. Carp got up once.

  3. #33
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    Re: Jack Dempsey VS. Rocky Marciano

    you are talking of a few films out of dozens never filmed. dempsey was a smart fighter/killer. he took men out the way you are supposed to --catch on the fly,dont let them recover., him em on the way down, finish em.dempsey -and others- comboed and flurried all the time -a rare one punch from dempsey--especially for the kill. too well schooled a puncher/fighter.

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Dempsey had 26 First Round Knockouts, including a 18 second KO over Fred Fulton, who was rated pretty high at the time and another quick KO over Carl Morris.

    Dempsey knocked out Fulton with a right to the jaw.

    Dempsey landed only one blow, a left hook to the solar plexus. Carl went to the canvas writhing and stayed there until the very long count was completed. He had insisted on full payment before the fight. Everyone thought that he had "flopped" and cries of "Fake!," "Police!," and "Jail the big tramp," and the like, were heard.

    Both Dempsey and Rocky had Great power, BUT I too think that Dempsey would have been the better.

  5. #35
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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    yeah-he definate;y had his one punch kos--but he was always going to follow it up, even if the guy is going down--he would not stand there and look at you. the one punch would be enough--but hed still try to hit you--missing so or not--going down-tp follow up

  6. #36
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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    I see this as a great war, but in the end, I think Rocky stops him. Dempsey would do damage early and cut him up perhaps, but I think Rocky simply had the overall better boxing skill, the better conditioning, better punch form, better chin, and was slightly better than Jack on the inside. But who knows - style wise a fantastic and entertaining war.

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    I disagree mildly that Marciano had better conditioning or chin. I disagree strenuously that Marciano had anywhere close to Dempsey's boxing skill or 'punch form.' Dempsey was a lot harder to hit than Marciano was -- and he was a far quicker and more accurate puncher, while carrying every bit as much (if not more) raw power. At least that's the way I see it.

  8. #38
    mike
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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    dempsey was the guy who was tougher, more agailty, harder hitter--no disgrace--my opinion he was the hardest hitter ever--and harder to hit with as munh edurance.--imo

  9. #39
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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    I base my opinion on quality of opposition. It may seem that Dempsey was harder to hit - but not so. Firpo hit him relatively easily and he just threw wild swings. Dempsey never fought guys like Walcott or Charles or Moore, with that level of skill, speed, power, and experience, and manage to chop them down over many rounds. Any one of those three guys alone are ten classes above anyone Dempsey ever fought, other than Tunney. So sure they were going to hit Rocky; they'd of hit Dempsey too. I think the one black guy Dempsey fought gave him serious troubles - Johnson - broke his ribs even. He avoided everyone else. Guys like Meehan, Brennan, Gibbons, Tunney, gave him real troubles, and if those Tunney fights were more than 10 rounds, Jack would have been stopped. The one guy whose style was most similar to Marciano's that Dempsey fought was Jim Flynn, and Jack was knocked out.

    My purpose isn't to denigrate Dempsey, but saying that off of the records, the quality of opposition, marciano did much more with a much higher quality of opponent. I grant that Dempsey was a better short rounds fighter, but over the long haul, marciano was better - the record proves it. Dempsey pretty much was a short rounds fighter. I just don't see dempsey, who was about the same size, stopping rocky in the early rounds, which is what he would have to do. I saw Marciano pretty much attack, go toe to toe with eveyone, fighting them on the inside and out, banging away, wether it was Walcott or Layne or Savold or whomever, and he didn't budge or get rocked. Two times he got decked were flash knockdowns. Marciano only got better as fights went on, and from what I've seen, he had a granite chin, awesome condition, and fairly good defense, with dips and quicker counters than folks have given him credit for. He didn't need smelling salts in the corner the way Dempsey did against Firpo. Who did Dempsey stop late other than Brennan (who was nowhere near the level of opposition of a walcott or charles)? I see Demspey as a swarmer who if he didn't get you early, might not get you. Look at the records. I very much enjoy watching Dempsey, I love his style and skill, but I think Marciano was a class above him.
    Last edited by apollack; 02-03-2007 at 01:04 PM.

  10. #40
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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    My opinion about the above is this: Gibbons, Tunney, Brennan would be very difficult for Marciano to navigate. I firmly believe Dempsey mauls Walcott without being behind due to his own above average speed. I think he takes out Ezz at heavy, especially the one Rocky faced. In short, I think the above assessment is incongruous to determining Dempsey v. Marciano. At best, it isolates sporadic and unrelated events of Dempsey's career from varied points, and crafts them in a way explaining more Dempsey v. Gibbons, Tunney than what that means v. Rocky. Apollack and I depart both regarding the weight given to dissimilar foes as well as the pronouncement of a sweeping generality that Marciano faced foes more capable of winning bouts through skills (ten levels comment)

    I assume Dempsey being as active as a bombed-out 67 Plymouth has been forgotten or glossed over regarding Tunney, and as for the Meehan bouts I would place a wager that there are many fighters who could gain a 4 round verdict in front of home-cooking against Louis, Ali, Marciano, Frazier and whomever else.

    As for fighting 'black guys' I get the distinct impression that it is accepted gospel that 'black guys' were always better than white guys, and that they possess superior skills and abilities regardless of era. The 'black guy' Dempsey faced, he faced while scrawny.

    I also believe firmly Gibbons and Brennan would reside comfortably in Rocky's era, and further that Tunney would have excelled against the crop of contenders milling about in Marciano's time. Fred Fulton I am pretty sure could do well against your odd Rex Layne or Matthews. Tommy Gibbons was a powerful hitter with awesome boxing skills and no amount of era-comparisons can change the fact that he had absolute abilities, and not just timely ones. Gibbons crushed Bat Levinsky while a hale but somewhat incubating Tunney could merely outpoint him, for example.

    Marciano in my opinion was easier to hit, was not as good a boxer and held at best negligible advantages in stamina. The only guy Rocky faced like Dempsey was........... no one. It works in all sorts of directions.

    An argument that fighters of dempsey's era were better out of hand, or that Jack's foes were at least not sliding down to retirement while perhaps true doesn't mean squat unless it is delved into and explained.

    I trust my eyes as well as the accomplishments of each fighter's victims and their victims and conquerors, and my eyes tell me Jack was more versatile, a better inside-outside fighter against the field and had TWO great hands to do damage with. This by no means equates to those advantages making him beat Rocky.. but they do speak to what he did do well. Couple in his own super-human recovery abilities (to say nothing of the Rock's) and we have a bout that isn't defined by Jim Flynn nor Roland LaStarza.
    Last edited by Sharkey; 02-03-2007 at 01:52 PM.

  11. #41
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Quote Originally Posted by apollack
    I base my opinion on quality of opposition. It may seem that Dempsey was harder to hit - but not so. Firpo hit him relatively easily and he just threw wild swings. Dempsey never fought guys like Walcott or Charles or Moore, with that level of skill, speed, power, and experience, and manage to chop them down over many rounds. Any one of those three guys alone are ten classes above anyone Dempsey ever fought, other than Tunney.

    Hmmm, are you saying that Dempsey needed to fight fortyish fighters on their last legs to match Rocky? It's easy to spin an analysis. I hope you understand that one criticisms is the soft opposition of Rocky. I tend to think he came along at the ideal time for his type, sorta like Fitzsimmons or Jack Johnson. He never could have gotten past many prime champs for his title.

    Could Rocky have handled Jess Willard or Tommy Gibbons or Firpo? He never showed he could handle a huge powerful fighter with an iron chin or a pure boxer. Walcott, Moore, and Charles all made the mistake of thinking they could bang with Rocky. Dempsey most assuredly could.

    Could Rocky have handled a hundred or more gloveless fights in bars and mines with no rules as a teen before he ever turned pro? Could Rocky ever KO a HOFer after 20 rounds like Jeffries or Willard could? Could Rocky have taken on the cream of the best of the best and last 300 fights like Langford did? Could Rocky beat as many HOFers as Dempsey did? Should a lack of opportunity to prove these things automatically DQ Rocky from competition?

    I think not. Matches are much more complicated which is why there are upsets all the time. I prefer Dempsey who was a fast starter, a hard swatter who could handle the distance and proved himself under as hard of conditions as any champ in history.

    Rocky is an interesting guy though. Too bad we don't have more of his insight because of his tragic death, but whatever happened to the guy's money? Everyone tiptoes around that issue.

  12. #42
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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    i ahve a huge respect for mr. appocllack-hes is qiute a guy!! ive got the films etc etc and a dozen of opinonns of those who saw both ==in their prime. none of us are stupid enough to actually =realley =say who would have won. a firiend of mine ray arcel--who knew both dempsey and marciano BOTH well- thought dempsey was in a class beyond marciano--and both motivated--dempsey would in the end--destroy marciano. but this is not detrimamant to marciano!!! and arcel was NOT the only one . but ray was some sort of geniuos and he did see alot of marciano--he trained charles-- and of dempsey. sometimes -as he said --just the mnames get in the way of evaluation of men-- but arcel always maintained that dempsey , at his best, was simply in his own class aas a heavyweight --not even louis, or ali, or anyman was that GOOD. in his most objective opinon as he could tell.

  13. #43
    mike
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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    the greatest boxing days of my life--had to do with speaking with ray arcel. --others almost had his credentials and trained almost as mainy champs and top class fighters as he had---before and after. but ray was sooo good and never let emotions overcome the observations he had of his fighters-nor his opponents--his brain was stell trapped he was perhaps - the only true boxing trainer of genious. he .could he be wrong--sure--but so could all of us.thanks

  14. #44
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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    I respect all the opinions here. The reason why it is an interesting discussion is because it would be a great match up if it could happen, particularly because both guys came to fight and could really punch. Both very entertaining fighters. Still, I have to stick to my guns, if for no other reason than that no one else seems to be taking Rocky's side here.

    I just judge fighters on what they did, not what they could have done but did not. Marciano fought the best guys his era had to offer, bar none, and defeated them. Dempsey didn't. And Dempsey's opponents were NOT as good overall as Walcott, Charles, and Moore. Just put their records side by side with the records of Dempsey's opponents - no comparison. You have to be kidding me if you think Brennan and GIbbons were on the level of Walcott, CHarles, adn Moore - just watch the films - they absolutely were not. You can't say what Jack would have done, if he COULD HAVE but didn't. He did not take on Greb, did not take on Wills. Greb was more qualified than Miske, Gibbons, or Brennan - he beat them in no decision bouts I do believe. Both Tunney and Greb might have dethroned him years earlier had he taken them on. Instead Kearns carefully selected his opponents and kept him relatively inactive for most of his championship career, and Dempsey was more than happy with that because he was making great money as a protected fighter. Wills was the other top dog of that era, but Demspey wasn't going to fight him no matter what he claimed. If you look at Dempsey's championship era, he had serious layoffs - I think like 5 years of his championship were inactive, or something like that. Marciano was a guy who fought often, and he fought all the best guys out there, former champions even, and fought them not just once, but twice, and he kept active. Moore - an all time great light heavy who actually weighed more than Rocky when they fought - Charles - a former champ with an excellent record - Walcott - a vastly experienced guy who could box and punch - who had given Louis hell twice - who had actually gotten better with age. Dempsey fought a lot of guys who stood straight up with their heads in the air, no headmovement, a little footwork, stiff guys, or sometimes small guys with weak chins or no strength. Miske had a disease. GIbbons just ran and grabbed, barely threw a punch. Fulton was stiff and straigh up. Comparing their records, I'm just not seeing what you guys see about Dempsey that makes you think he takes Rocky. Willard hadn't fought in like 3 years, only boxing once in like 4 years, took up boxing when he was past age 30, just a big stiff straight up in the air guy who got a 38 year old Johnson when he was slipping. Firpo was another big, stiff, wild brawler with no skill who was fed has beens, stiffs, old guys, and he decked Dempsey like three times and had him woozy with his wild swings and no defense at all. Brennan to me is analagous to Joey Maxim, (Joey probably had more skill), and Charles and Moore beat Maxim. Jim Flynn was no bigger than Marciano but attacked like Rocky did with a low crouch and stopped Dempsey - why didn't he rematch him? Why didn't Dempsey fight Langford? Greb? Wills? George Godfrey? There's others - I'm not saying black fighters are better - but there were a number of very good black fighters out there at that time that Dempsey could have fought but did not. Marciano fought the best of his era -black and white. Excuses, excuses for Dempsey. But Marciano fought serious guys, and you have to give it up to him - the opportunities were there for him to prove his merit, and he took them, and he won. I just think Rocky has EARNED that esteem, more so than Dempsey has. So in a close fight, I go with the guy that has proven it time and again on a consistent basis and against the best out there, as opposed to a guy who did not.

  15. #45
    Roberto Aqui
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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Quote Originally Posted by apollack
    Jim Flynn was no bigger than Marciano but attacked like Rocky did with a low crouch and stopped Dempsey - why didn't he rematch him?.
    He knocked out Flynn in the first round a year later.

    As far as your black fighter thing goes, Langford was past his shelf life by the time Dempsey held the title, and Wills started to lose shortly after they signed to fight. Godfrey was Dempsey's sparring partner and still too green, and the only other black fighter in his prime was Norfolk who was KOed by Wills and Gibbons unless you count Larry Gaines who pretty much stayed in Canada or Europe. Norfolk and Greb were finished with their careers anyways before Dempsey ever fought Tunney.

    Wills was the only prime black heavy who Dempsey should have fought, but we've been over this ad infinitum. Dempsey did try, but the politics and thus $$$ were wrong for the fight.

    Sorry, but I fail to see the superiority of Rocky's comp. Maybe if he had challenged 3 yrs yearlier, you could make the claim, but he did not.

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Those are all good, valid points. However, they still don't truly explain why Dempsey never fought ANY top black contender, nor does it explain why he never fought Greb, nor does it provide a proper excuse for having so many years of total inactivity as champion. I just see Marciano's championship career as far superior.

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    By the Fifties, Vaudeville was dead. PeteLeo.

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Dempsey now is suffering from NOT having faced Harry Greb? Rather than focus on the fact that Dempsey allowed himself to rust due to inactivity, I think it more valuable to judge he (and Rocky btw) on when they were in the ring and delivering their best efforts.

    I certainly can get behind speculations that had Dempsey remained more active as champion his image improves because as a more active fighter he would have been even better.

    Joe Louis faced exactly how many black contenders as champion? One?

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Quote Originally Posted by apollack
    I base my opinion on quality of opposition. It may seem that Dempsey was harder to hit - but not so. Firpo hit him relatively easily and he just threw wild swings. Dempsey never fought guys like Walcott or Charles or Moore, with that level of skill, speed, power, and experience, and manage to chop them down over many rounds. Any one of those three guys alone are ten classes above anyone Dempsey ever fought, other than Tunney. So sure they were going to hit Rocky; they'd of hit Dempsey too. I think the one black guy Dempsey fought gave him serious troubles - Johnson - broke his ribs even. He avoided everyone else. Guys like Meehan, Brennan, Gibbons, Tunney, gave him real troubles, and if those Tunney fights were more than 10 rounds, Jack would have been stopped. The one guy whose style was most similar to Marciano's that Dempsey fought was Jim Flynn, and Jack was knocked out.

    My purpose isn't to denigrate Dempsey, but saying that off of the records, the quality of opposition, marciano did much more with a much higher quality of opponent. I grant that Dempsey was a better short rounds fighter, but over the long haul, marciano was better - the record proves it. Dempsey pretty much was a short rounds fighter. I just don't see dempsey, who was about the same size, stopping rocky in the early rounds, which is what he would have to do. I saw Marciano pretty much attack, go toe to toe with eveyone, fighting them on the inside and out, banging away, wether it was Walcott or Layne or Savold or whomever, and he didn't budge or get rocked. Two times he got decked were flash knockdowns. Marciano only got better as fights went on, and from what I've seen, he had a granite chin, awesome condition, and fairly good defense, with dips and quicker counters than folks have given him credit for. He didn't need smelling salts in the corner the way Dempsey did against Firpo. Who did Dempsey stop late other than Brennan (who was nowhere near the level of opposition of a walcott or charles)? I see Demspey as a swarmer who if he didn't get you early, might not get you. Look at the records. I very much enjoy watching Dempsey, I love his style and skill, but I think Marciano was a class above him.
    I could not have said it better myself. The Rock's chin will see him take Jack's early assaults and Dempsey becoming less and less effective over time.

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Quote Originally Posted by apollack
    Jim Flynn was no bigger than Marciano but attacked like Rocky did with a low crouch and stopped Dempsey - why didn't he rematch him?
    When Dempsey fought Flynn in their 1st match he was said to take a dive for $500. Here's an article by Monte Cox:

    http://coxscorner.tripod.com/dempsey_dive.html


    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkey
    Joe Louis faced exactly how many black contenders as champion? One?
    He fought 2, John Henry Lewis and Jersey Joe Walcott

  21. #51
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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Quote Originally Posted by apollack
    I base my opinion on quality of opposition. It may seem that Dempsey was harder to hit - but not so. Firpo hit him relatively easily and he just threw wild swings. Dempsey never fought guys like Walcott or Charles or Moore, with that level of skill, speed, power, and experience, and manage to chop them down over many rounds. Any one of those three guys alone are ten classes above anyone Dempsey ever fought, other than Tunney. So sure they were going to hit Rocky; they'd of hit Dempsey too. I think the one black guy Dempsey fought gave him serious troubles - Johnson - broke his ribs even. He avoided everyone else. Guys like Meehan, Brennan, Gibbons, Tunney, gave him real troubles, and if those Tunney fights were more than 10 rounds, Jack would have been stopped. The one guy whose style was most similar to Marciano's that Dempsey fought was Jim Flynn, and Jack was knocked out.

    My purpose isn't to denigrate Dempsey, but saying that off of the records, the quality of opposition, marciano did much more with a much higher quality of opponent. I grant that Dempsey was a better short rounds fighter, but over the long haul, marciano was better - the record proves it. Dempsey pretty much was a short rounds fighter. I just don't see dempsey, who was about the same size, stopping rocky in the early rounds, which is what he would have to do. I saw Marciano pretty much attack, go toe to toe with eveyone, fighting them on the inside and out, banging away, wether it was Walcott or Layne or Savold or whomever, and he didn't budge or get rocked. Two times he got decked were flash knockdowns. Marciano only got better as fights went on, and from what I've seen, he had a granite chin, awesome condition, and fairly good defense, with dips and quicker counters than folks have given him credit for. He didn't need smelling salts in the corner the way Dempsey did against Firpo. Who did Dempsey stop late other than Brennan (who was nowhere near the level of opposition of a walcott or charles)? I see Demspey as a swarmer who if he didn't get you early, might not get you. Look at the records. I very much enjoy watching Dempsey, I love his style and skill, but I think Marciano was a class above him.
    Ah, Firpo didn't hit him 'relatively easily,' -- Dempsey ran into one. Happens to everyone and, in particular, it happened to Marciano every time out of the gate. And while we're on the subject of the Firpo fight, Dempsey stepped right into a right hand bomb by a genuine class A right-hand specialist slugger and survived to win in the very next round (we all know the story). Marciano never took a punch from a guy who hit that hard.

    Walcott, Charles and Moore we're great fighters in their day, and none was completely shot when he fought Rocky, but all were past their primes. No question. And Charles and Moore were both natural light-heavyweights. Dempsey's feat of, while past his prime, breaking down and knocking out an in-prime Jack Sharkey, who was red-hot and on his game that night, was more impressive -- as was his knockout of Gene Tunney (heh). The versions of Tunney and Sharkey whom Dempsey fought were, in my view, better than the versions of Walcott, Charles and Moore whom Marciano fought. And while we're comparing light-heavyweights, Tommy Gibbons might have been better than Moore prime-to-prime, moreover, and he was still at the top of his game when he fought Dempsey. Fred Fulton, Billy Miske, Bill Brennan and Carl Morris were all better than Layne or Savold or -- who? Don Cockell? You're kidding yourself if you think Marciano's comp was superior to Dempsey's.

    And, geez, Tunney would have stopped Dempsey in a 15-round fight? Where does THAT come from? When was the last time you watched the 10th round of the rematch? Dempsey was still throwing mean hard shots, and plenty of 'em, at the final bell.

    [By the way, Dempsey fought a number of black fighters other than John Lester Johnson, including Anamas Campbell, George Christian, Battling Johnson, Boston Bearcat and a couple others, I think. ] And you could accuse Marciano of avoiding Bob Baker, Nino Valdes and, earlier, Clarence Henry as easily as you could accuse Dempsey of avoiding Harry Wills.

    In 1915, Jack Johnson was champ and Sam Langford was the number one contender. Willard knocked out Johnson, Fulton knocked out Langford, and Dempsey came along and just KILLED Willard and Fulton. Gibbons beat Kid Norfolk senseless and Dempsey won 12 out of 15 rounds from Gibbons, thoroughly outboxing the boxing master without the need of any last-second heroics (a la Jeffries-Corbett, Louis-Conn or Marciano-Walcott). Joe Jeannette was essentially retired by 1920 and wasn't that the year Sam McVey died? Regardless, both were long past their best by the time Dempsey became champ. In all fairness, it really was Harry Wills who removed Jeannette and McVey from the scene a little earlier-- and you could also say he had as much to do with removing Langford as Fulton did, butother than Wills, whom Dempsey signed to fight twice, who WERE all these great black fighters whom Dempsey supposedly ducked?
    Last edited by Mr E; 02-07-2007 at 03:51 PM.

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Quote Originally Posted by apollack
    I respect all the opinions here. The reason why it is an interesting discussion is because it would be a great match up if it could happen, particularly because both guys came to fight and could really punch. Both very entertaining fighters. Still, I have to stick to my guns, if for no other reason than that no one else seems to be taking Rocky's side here.

    I just judge fighters on what they did, not what they could have done but did not. Marciano fought the best guys his era had to offer, bar none, and defeated them. Dempsey didn't. And Dempsey's opponents were NOT as good overall as Walcott, Charles, and Moore. Just put their records side by side with the records of Dempsey's opponents - no comparison. You have to be kidding me if you think Brennan and GIbbons were on the level of Walcott, CHarles, adn Moore - just watch the films - they absolutely were not. You can't say what Jack would have done, if he COULD HAVE but didn't. He did not take on Greb, did not take on Wills. Greb was more qualified than Miske, Gibbons, or Brennan - he beat them in no decision bouts I do believe. Both Tunney and Greb might have dethroned him years earlier had he taken them on. Instead Kearns carefully selected his opponents and kept him relatively inactive for most of his championship career, and Dempsey was more than happy with that because he was making great money as a protected fighter. Wills was the other top dog of that era, but Demspey wasn't going to fight him no matter what he claimed. If you look at Dempsey's championship era, he had serious layoffs - I think like 5 years of his championship were inactive, or something like that. Marciano was a guy who fought often, and he fought all the best guys out there, former champions even, and fought them not just once, but twice, and he kept active. Moore - an all time great light heavy who actually weighed more than Rocky when they fought - Charles - a former champ with an excellent record - Walcott - a vastly experienced guy who could box and punch - who had given Louis hell twice - who had actually gotten better with age. Dempsey fought a lot of guys who stood straight up with their heads in the air, no headmovement, a little footwork, stiff guys, or sometimes small guys with weak chins or no strength. Miske had a disease. GIbbons just ran and grabbed, barely threw a punch. Fulton was stiff and straigh up. Comparing their records, I'm just not seeing what you guys see about Dempsey that makes you think he takes Rocky. Willard hadn't fought in like 3 years, only boxing once in like 4 years, took up boxing when he was past age 30, just a big stiff straight up in the air guy who got a 38 year old Johnson when he was slipping. Firpo was another big, stiff, wild brawler with no skill who was fed has beens, stiffs, old guys, and he decked Dempsey like three times and had him woozy with his wild swings and no defense at all. Brennan to me is analagous to Joey Maxim, (Joey probably had more skill), and Charles and Moore beat Maxim. Jim Flynn was no bigger than Marciano but attacked like Rocky did with a low crouch and stopped Dempsey - why didn't he rematch him? Why didn't Dempsey fight Langford? Greb? Wills? George Godfrey? There's others - I'm not saying black fighters are better - but there were a number of very good black fighters out there at that time that Dempsey could have fought but did not. Marciano fought the best of his era -black and white. Excuses, excuses for Dempsey. But Marciano fought serious guys, and you have to give it up to him - the opportunities were there for him to prove his merit, and he took them, and he won. I just think Rocky has EARNED that esteem, more so than Dempsey has. So in a close fight, I go with the guy that has proven it time and again on a consistent basis and against the best out there, as opposed to a guy who did not.
    We're moving a little far afield here. In evaluating a 'head-to-head' matchup, 'quality of opposition' provides EVIDENCE of ability, but does not DETERMINE ability. If you believe all that stuff you wrote, then I guess you can drop Dempsey a few spots in your all-time rankings as some sort of historical penalty.

    Head-to-head, though, let's look at what we know.

    Power: Dempsey CRUSHED big, strong, VERY durable fighters in Jess Willard, Carl Morris and Luis Firpo, along with a couple other guys known for having really good chins-- Jack Sharkey, Billy Miske (he may have been sick but he went on a very impressive win streak after the Dempsey fight and Dempsey was the only guy who ever stopped him) and Battling Levinksy -- Dempsey was the first guy to take him out in over 220 fights. He was the only guy to ever knock down Gene Tunney, too, and he kept him there for a quite a while no matter how look at it. None of Marciano's marquee victims was known for his chin-- Walcott, Charles and Moore all suffered many KO losses throughout their careers. Louis was shot, but still tough. Layne was a tough cat and that was Rocky's most impressive KO to my way of thinking.

    Where is the evidence that Marciano was a bigger hitter than Dempsey? Dempsey didn't fight Wills so he gets DQ'd from the category, is that it?

    Chin: Dempsey had 80 recorded fights and probably at least that many unrecorded ones, particularly if you include the so-called 'exhibition' schedule in 1931-1932 and was 'stopped' officially once in an obvious dive. He took the best some really big hitters -- Firpo, K.O. Bill Brennan, Gunboat Smith, Carl Morris, Al Palzer, and Willard had to offer. [I won't include Fulton because I don't think Fulton ever got near him.] The fact that he withstood the 10-round fusilade of punches that Tunney just poured into him in that 1st fight wax-job shows how really tough and durable he was. Marciano took the best from Louis and Walcott, who were solid punchers, even then, plus Harry Kid Matthews, Moore and a few others.

    Nothing there to suggest Marciano took a better shot than Dempsey did. Nothing.

    Stamina: Marciano only seemed really winded toward the end of the 1st Charles fight, but Charles was even more tired. Marciano's stamina was awesome. Dempsey was a demon in training and it showed in the ring -- never got tired until the 1st Tunney fight, in which the fact that Tunney was kicking the living daylights out of him might have had a little something to do with it, too. 10 months later against Sharkey, he had his stamina back-- came on after absorbing an early beating to put Sharkey down and out. Did the same against Tunney, except that he lost his handle on the situation when the ref refused to count him out. But look at that last round again-- Dempsey was still swinging hard and I'm not at all sure he doesn't make it interesting again if that fight goes 15. The only way you can criticize Dempsey's stamina is to harp on the first Tunney fight which, given the layoff and the beating he took, is, IMO, absurd.

    I'll give Marciano an edge in stamina against Dempsey because I give Marciano an edge against EVERYBODY, but that doesn't mean that Dempsey's stamina wasn't exceptional, which it was.

    Speed: Come on. Everyone said Dempsey was lightening quick. Nobody ever said Marciano was. Is this category even in dispute? Anyone???

    Defense: Tunney, Gibbons, Carpentier and Sharkey-- all real sharpshooters, commented on how hard Dempsey was to hit cleanly. Did anyone ever NOT hit Marciano cleanly?

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    Re: Jack Dempsey VS. Rocky Marciano

    Quote Originally Posted by Irishlad69
    You could say rocky was a slugger, but he couldnt always marry his natural power with delivery (the first walcott fight the only obvious exception).
    Marciano tended to rely heavily on volume to grind down his opponents.

    the 1954-55 marciano grinded people down, but that was because marciano was aging and slowing down and he changed his style.


    the prime 1951-52 rocky marciano put guys lights out with 1 punch, ever see the rex layne fight? one right hand knocked layne out cold, sent his teeth flying into the stands. the same layne who had taken bob satterfields best punches.


    mathews, layne, walcott, louis all knocked out by 1-2 punches. that was the prime rocky

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    "Tommy Gibbons might have been better than Moore prime-to-prime, moreover, and he was still at the top of his game when he fought Dempsey"

    first of all no way was gibbons better than moore.



    2nd of all, gibbons was in his prime at 33 when he fought dempsey yet guys coming off huge wins like moore and walcott were not when they fought marciano??? am i missing something



    i agree with applock, marciano beat better quality opposition.



    1. dempsey did not beat tunney

    2. dempseys win over sharkey was more of a foul, very controversial



    dempseys 4 best wins sharkey(controversial), gibbons, fulton, miske are still not better than marcianos 4 best wins louis, charles, moore, walcott


    layne and lastarza on film to me looked better than many of dempseys top white contenders

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    first of all harry wills was much better than valdez,baker, henry and the press was calling out for dempsey to meet wills for 7 years!

    marciano did not duck valdez, baker, or henry. marcianos management did avoid henry in 1951 but marciano was scheduled to fight valdes 3x and valdes lost two eliminaters during this period. baker and henry didnt do enough to earn shots at the title, baker possibly deserved a shot but the press wasnt exactly crying out for marciano to fight baker


    fact is we dont know if dempsey would have beaten wills

    but we all know marciano would have beaten valdez baker henry

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    In their prime and their toughest fights both men had a clear cycle to the way in which they fought.

    Dempsey came out fast, tore through the first part of the fight, settled into his boxing skills in the middle of the fight and conserved himself for coming on strong in the stretch.

    Marciano started slowly, truned it up in the middle of the fight and turned it up further at the end.

    I think it's fair to say that Dempsey would dominate the early part of the fight. The question is could he stop Marciano? I don't think so but he could do plenty of damage in those early rounds. Marciano would have to fight through whatever Dempsey inflicted upon him, not an easy thing to do over 15.

    Marciano would come on and the momentum would swing his way before Dempsey matched him in the championship rounds.

    Overall Jack's defense, speed and better boxing ability would win a narrow decision, but it would be a barnstormer...

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Gene Tunney in 1952 interview re. Dempsey:

    “Jack Dempsey, I’m convinced, was our greatest heavyweight champion. In his prime, when he knocked out Jess Willard to win the title in 1919, he would have taken the four leading heavyweights of today – Jersey Joe Walcott, Rocky Marciano, Harry (Kid) Matthews and Ezzard Charles – and flattened them all in one night.
    “These four men are honest, earnest, capable professionals. If they are not touched with ring genius, neither are they stumblebums. So I do not mean to deprecate them when I say Dempsey would have levelled them all in the same evening as follows: Matthews, two rounds. Charles, two rounds. Walcott, five rounds. Marciano, one round.
    “A total of ten rounds. Even then, I don’t consider I’m giving Dempsey any the best of it. He might have demolished each of the four in less than one round. He was eminently equipped to do it. He had many championship gifts, including a great fighting heart and the ability to absorb a tremendous punch and recuperate astonishingly fast.
    “He learned his trade the hard way against fighters of all sizes, shape and brands from mining camp, deadfall and dance hall to huge arena and stadium.
    “Jack was no wild slugger. He was an extremely clever fusion of fighter and boxer. He fought out of a peculiar weave and bob and was very difficult to hit with a solid punch. In the 20 rounds I fought him – 10 at Philadelphia in 1926 and 10 at Chicago the following year – I never did get a clean shot at his jaw. He was always weaving and bobbing away from the direct line of fire.
    “Dempsey was criticised for not being able to knock out Tommy Gibbons – one of the all-time great boxers. Actually, that fight was one of Jack’s most impressive performances. Unable to reach his clever opponent with a knockout punch, he was still a fine enough combination of fighter and boxer to outscore Tommy all the way.
    “But it was Dempsey the savage puncher, the scowling attacker, who thrilled the sports world. He was a great hitter. His right hand to body or jaw was explosive. Even more devastating was his left hook to liver and jaw. Weaving and bobbing, he feinted opponents into leads, slipped those leads and jolted home his short punches to body and head. He hurt and stunned opponents. He knocked them down and, eventually, kept them down.
    “The most remarkable thing about Dempsey’s fighting make-up was the shortness of his punching. His blows seldom travelled more than six inches to a foot. He had a trick of hooking his left to the body and then to the head in practically the same movement.
    “In his fight with Luis Firpo, Jack floored the huge Argentinian seven times in the first round and twice in the second before knocking him out. Yet, of all the punches he threw, only the last – a right to the jaw – was a long one.
    “All the others were short, murderous jolts and digs to the heart and the kidney and the jaw. This ability of Dempsey to generate such punishing power over a few inches of swing, without seeming leverage, traced from a quick power inherent in his unusual shoulder conformation, with its high and bulging deltoid muscles.
    “Beating Dempsey in his prime probably would have been something beyond them all, including Jack Johnson, Jim Jeffries and Joe Louis. My friend Harry Grayson, sports editor of the Newspaper Enterprise Association, may be right when he says that Louis would go in the first flurry of punches.”

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Quote Originally Posted by apollack
    Those are all good, valid points. However, they still don't truly explain why Dempsey never fought ANY top black contender, nor does it explain why he never fought Greb, nor does it provide a proper excuse for having so many years of total inactivity as champion. I just see Marciano's championship career as far superior.
    Two points: Regarding why Dempsey never fought a black contender, it is easy to forget that, just 9 years before Dempsey became champion, race riots broke out and people were actually killed as a result of that fight between Jeffries and Johnson. I don't think that's the only reason, but I think the fear of a repeat played a role in the decision to keep Wills away from Dempsey. (By the way, I don't think Dempsey was afraid of Wills on a personal level; I don't think Demspey was afraid of anyone.)

    Regarding the years of activity, one must remember that boxing was unregulated in those days, and nobody could force a champion to defend his title. In those days, a heavyweight champion was a god. He could make a ton of money through vaudeville, movies, and personal appearances without ever having to put his title on the line. Dempsey, I suspect, was making plenty of money - why put the title on the line and risk losing it? I recall in 1902/1903, somebody asking Jeffries why he didn't sign for a title defense against Corbett. He said, basically, "I'm making $1,000 a week in vaudeville. Why risk the title for a $20,000 or $30,000 purse?" I suspect that was Dempsey/Kearns mindset, too: "We're making plenty of money now? Why take a chance of blowing the title and missing out on all the dough that comes with being champion?"

    Regarding Greb, was there an outcry for Dempsey to fight Greb? Its not a rhetorical question; I just don't recall anyone calling for that fight.
    Last edited by raylawpc; 03-23-2007 at 11:24 AM.

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmer Ray
    first of all no way was gibbons better than moore.
    Disagree strongly. Gibbons's record was awesome; he's very under-rated. Close call between him and Moore. I give Moore an edge, but a very slight one. And look at Gibbons's record immediately before and after the Dempsey fight-- when had he ever been better? Moore was ageing rapidly at the time he fought Marciano... look what happened to him against Patterson just a few months later.



    1. dempsey did not beat tunney
    Depends on how you look at it, doesn't it?

    2. dempseys win over sharkey was more of a foul, very controversial
    More of a foul??????????? He hit him right on the chin. Sharkey was starting to panic as Dempsey got rolling-- he may have called to the ref looking for a little help, but I've watched that film a million times and the famous "head turn" continues to remain invisible. [Anyone else see it?]



    dempseys 4 best wins sharkey(controversial), gibbons, fulton, miske are still not better than marcianos 4 best wins louis, charles, moore, walcott
    Dempsey's wins were all over guys who were in their prime and at the top of their games. Marciano's were not. [I'd put Firpo on Dempsey's list. Maybe Tunney, too. LOL]

    layne and lastarza on film to me looked better than many of dempseys top
    white contenders
    Geez, not to me. Wow.

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    Re: Dempsey V Marciano...

    Quote Originally Posted by Elmer Ray
    first of all harry wills was much better than valdez,baker, henry and the press was calling out for dempsey to meet wills for 7 years!

    marciano did not duck valdez, baker, or henry. marcianos management did avoid henry in 1951 but marciano was scheduled to fight valdes 3x and valdes lost two eliminaters during this period. baker and henry didnt do enough to earn shots at the title, baker possibly deserved a shot but the press wasnt exactly crying out for marciano to fight baker


    fact is we dont know if dempsey would have beaten wills

    but we all know marciano would have beaten valdez baker henry

    It's as clear to me that Dempsey would have beaten Wills as it is that Marciano would have beaten Valdez, Baker or Henry.

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