Question I've always wondered....

Discussion in 'Boxing Discussion' started by KORUPT xLOxx, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. KORUPT xLOxx

    KORUPT xLOxx Blue Belt

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    Did Dempsey have a lot more power then Jack Johnson? I've always wondered why Jack Johnson could hit Jess with everything including the kitchen sink and yet never really faze Jess at all. Yet Dempsey hit JW with one big punch and he went down and never recovered. Is this is a case of JW being at his peak for Johnson and just not willing to lose that fight along with Johnson being well past his prime. That along with him taking Dempsey lightly and thus surprised by his power. Or did Dempsey simply hit that much harder then Jack Johnson?
     
  2. GlassJaw

    GlassJaw SBC hustler.

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    Alot of factors are involved. Willard was exhausted in the Dempsey fight but it was Johnson who was utterly deheydrated when he lost the belt to Jess. Also take into account the rumors that Dempseys gloves were loaded with plaster.

    No one can say for sure how good ol' Jack was, half the time he was clowning around and playing the defensive to make a fight seem closer than it needed to be. Kinda hard to make the call on your own, as footage is extremely limited.
     
  3. Tam-Tam

    Tam-Tam Management vs Labour

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    Here come the guesstimations...
     
  4. KORUPT xLOxx

    KORUPT xLOxx Blue Belt

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    How could Jess be exhausted in the Dempsey fight when he was down and practically out in the first round? Johnson is one of my all time favorite fighters but it just amazed me that he could destroy the iron chin that was Jefferies yet hit Willard with seemingly the same punches with no effect. Yet in one round Dempsey destroyed Willard and knocked him down and out on his feet with one punch. I've heard those accounts about the gloves and your right about the limited footage of Johnson. It just seems like either Willard was at his peak and johnson past his or Dempsey just hits harder excluding the glove theory which could be true.
     
  5. KORUPT xLOxx

    KORUPT xLOxx Blue Belt

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    I agree Tam but people around here presume who has more power and hit harder all the time. So, why can't you take an educated guess or assumption as I know your an expert. They have a common opponent yet one destroyed a fighter and the other hit him with everything he had with no effect. I realize it's all a guess gaming I'm just looking for educated guess and opinion from people more educated about boxing then me.
     
  6. fightingrabbit

    fightingrabbit Banned Banned

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    eh. I like Dempsey and all, but i wouldnt rule out the plaster/railroad spike argument. The way Dempsey swung in that fight looked like he had something weighted in his gloves. But then again, he swings like that in every fight.

    then again..he was a baaaaaaaad man. Coulda just been his hobo fists of fury.
     
  7. Sharkey

    Sharkey Who finishes 3rd?

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    Here's one;

    Based on their respective results against Nazario, I got a guesstimation saying Whitaker's a harder puncher than Rosario.

    What ya think?
     
  8. Tam-Tam

    Tam-Tam Management vs Labour

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    Seems about right.
     
  9. Mr.pain

    Mr.pain Brown Belt

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  10. TKDhasBin

    TKDhasBin Green Belt

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    The Johnson-Willard fight is still cloaked in controversy......Johnson always claimed that he threw the fight for a bundle of money........Historians and writers of the time attribute Johnson's loss to poor conditioning and taking Willard lightly, but I doubt that is true......Ever heard of an out of shape fighter lasting 26 rounds in the 116 degree Havanna sun ?....Maybe he took Willard lightly....but I doubt it. Something was fishy about that fight. Johnson was talented enough to outbox Willard blind folded......fight smells to high Heaven.

    Interesting that Dempsey crushed Willards cheek bones and shattered some of his ribs......but was never able to duplicate that kind of destruction again in the future against other opponents some of whom he outweighed........like Georges Carpentier. He knocked folks out for sure.......but the bone breaking seems to end after the Willard fight.
     
  11. Sharkey

    Sharkey Who finishes 3rd?

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    Maybe that's because the injuries Willard was said to have after the fight were and have been greatly exaggerated over time, which Willard suggested they were in the immediate days after the fight where he stated that he didn't suffer any broken bones or missing teeth as a result of the fight, which he repeated on a number of interviews (is a guy with a multiple broken jaw or cheek bone even able to grant interviews?) in the days after. Others who were close to him also stated that the injuries Willard recieved were not even close to being nearly as bad as some modern writings make them out to be.
     
  12. TKDhasBin

    TKDhasBin Green Belt

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    Maybe......Probably........

    " I've been a physician in boxing for almost 40 years, and I have never seen such anatomical damage as Jack Dempsey inflicted on Jess Willard. Even in the days of bare knuckle fighting, there is no record of such extensive facial carnage as Willard incurred. To shatter a cheekbone 12 times, you'd have to hit it with a ball peen hammer. What gave Dempsey such power ? Why didn't the bones in his own hands break under the force of his punches ?"..........Ferdie Pacheco from his book- The 12 Greatest Rounds of Boxing- The Untold Stories.

    I know.....I know.....I'm not big on Ferdie either, but in the book he claims to have seen footage (shown to him by Doc Kearns no less) where Dempsey throws a ****l spike to the canvas during the Willard fight and another corner man then covered the spike with a hat......It does seem outlandish. You'd have thought that at least someone in the crowd would've seen it ....followed by a mob running Kearns and Dempsey out of town with pitchforks and torches.......

    Writers did do a number on Willard after the fight......One writer claimed that Willard sat in a train seat repeating to himself over and over ...."I have 100,000 dollars in the bank and a farm".

    Pacheco claims in his book that Willards injuries were......a cheekbone broken in 12 places, a broken nose, a jaw that was broken in 13 places, 2 fractured ribs and 8 avulsed teeth. He then quickly adds that "Reports of his injuries varied and the use of x-rays was primitive at the time".

    Are there any known close facial shots of Willard after the bout ? They'd be nice to see.
     
  13. Sharkey

    Sharkey Who finishes 3rd?

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    "In the first round when Dempsey hit me with a left hook, I tried hard to continue, but I was rapidly losing my strength. My eye closed at the end of the third round and I realized that it would be useless for me to continue, as I could hardley see. It was hard to admit defeat, but Dempsey is the hardest puncher I ever faced." - Jess Willard just minutes after the bout with Dempsey and while still in the ringside area talking to an Associated Press reporter...printed in the papers the next day, July 5th, 1919

    "Dempsey is a remarkable hitter. It was the first time that I had ever been knocked off my feet. I have sent many birds home in the same bruised condition I am in, and now I know how they felt. I sincerely wish Dempsey all the luck possible and hope that he garnishes all the riches that come with the championship. I have had my fling with the title. I was champion for four years and I'll assure you that they'll never have to give a benefit for me. I have invested the money I have made." - Jess Willard a short time after the fight, as printed in the July 5th, 1919, New York Times.

    Two fairly lengthy statements made by a fighter who would find it virtually impossible to make such statements if he in fact had the assortment of injuries that Pacheco claims he did, or his source, that "Professor Byrne" (who wasn't even a doctor) earlier claimed Willard did only to see Willard and those close to him debunk those very same statements by saying he didn't have any broken bones, missing teeth, or whatever else.

    Anyways, I've seen the Dempsey/Willard fight many times over the years, and I don't really recall the hat covering that you allude to, but I think I have seen "something" on the ring canvas/apron beside Willard at the end of the first round, and I have seen the guy that's often referred to as a Dempsey guy in that corner at the time and standing over the "object" that Pacheco alludes to. Don't know what that was, if anything, as it may have been some smudge that appeared on the film or something like that...I don't know. But I do have a hard time believing it was something that fell from Dempsey's glove because, like you say, someone would have seen it from either the ringside area or even from Willard's own group who were right there (or especially the referee who was up close and seperated the fighters on occasion), yet nothing was ever made mention in papers in the days immediately after the fight (or anytime, until years later really). Also it be pretty hard for Dempsey to hold that spike or bolt in his hand for that whole round, especially when considering the film of the fight shows many different occasions when Dempsey is walking around the ring with open gloves on either hand, whether it be to hold Willard in the clinches by grabbing his arms with open gloves, by grabbing the top ropes with both hands on seperate occasions with open gloves, or even when Dempsey started the fight and before landing a punch, which seems to show Dempsey moving around with the gloves open. You can't hold on to a steel spike or bolt with the open gloves that Dempsey shows throughout the round, and you certainly can't dig into the inside of a glove to take something out when you are operating with a gloved hand, so I don't buy that "steel spike" theory one bit.
     
  14. KORUPT xLOxx

    KORUPT xLOxx Blue Belt

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    So, then Sharkey what's your guesstimation on who had more power and why Johnson wasn't able to Knock Willard down once over the course of 26 rounds hiting him with hard shots repeatedly. Fights like the Jefferies come to find in saying it seems Johnson had good power yet couldn't faze Willard yet Dempsey destroyed him with one punch essentially. Also, I've never seen there statement by Jess about Dempsey because I always thought he made statements claiming he thought dempsey's gloves were loaded. Granted fighters fighting a common opponent doesn't tell a whole story to determine anything but it seems you certainly can make inferences based on it that you wouldn't be able to make had they not fought a common foe.
     
  15. KORUPT xLOxx

    KORUPT xLOxx Blue Belt

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    So, then Sharkey what's your guesstimation on who had more power and why Johnson wasn't able to Knock Willard down once over the course of 26 rounds hiting him with hard shots repeatedly. Fights like the Jefferies come to find in saying it seems Johnson had good power yet couldn't faze Willard yet Dempsey destroyed him with one punch essentially. Also, I've never seen there statement by Jess about Dempsey because I always thought he made statements claiming he thought dempsey's gloves were loaded. Granted fighters fighting a common opponent doesn't tell a whole story to determine anything but it seems you certainly can make inferences based on it that you wouldn't be able to make had they not fought a common foe.
     
  16. deadpool

    deadpool H***an Chop!!

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    Totally agree with this.
     
  17. Sharkey

    Sharkey Who finishes 3rd?

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    They both had good power, but if you're asking for my opinion on who hit the harder, I defer to Willard's statement saying that "Dempsey was the hardest puncher" he ever faced, and also Fireman Flynn's statements from the early 1920's when he stated that Dempsey gave him the "hardest punch he ever recieved" (Flynn is also quoted saying Langford hit him the hardest, but seeing as how I don't know the timeline of when that was given, that may have been previous to fighting Dempsey...the Dempsey reference he made was most definately after fighting both).

    Both Willard & Flynn fought both of them (the only common opponents?), and both picked Dempsey as the harder puncher, which is good enough for me.

    It's also worth noting that Willard was notorious for being a slow starter and coming on later in the majority of his most importatnt fights (Johnson, McCarty, Morris, Moran, etc., and even to an extent, Gunboat Smith, where the reports state that Willard started doing his best work from the 4th & 5th rounds on, before Smith reportedly made a late charge himself), so considering the pace Johnson and Dempsey fought Willard at (Johnson fought him fairly slow, with short flurries, clinching, rinse and repeat), some element of Dempsey's early success may have been exploiting a little bit of a Willard weakness who usually needed a few rounds to warm to the task. Couple that with career stages, punching power and everything else, it might help explain your question a little bit more.

    And after being initially complementary of Dempsey right after the fight and continuing to do so for some time, Willard didn't start his "loaded glove" theory until a few years after the fight when he tried making a comeback in 1922, and that may have been used as a way of trying to force a wanted rematch with Dempsey, much like George Foreman stated in the immediate aftermath of Zaire that he hoped his complaints (about being drugged, the ropes, etc.) would at least entice Ali into giving him a rematch.

    If Willard wanted to complain about Dempsey having plaster of paris on his gloves or having them loaded, he had every opportunity to do so immediately after shaking Dempsey's taped up & gloveless hands just before the fight, which is shown on the full available footage of the fight (as it shows the gloves being taken out of the boxes, and then put on in ring, as was the custom during those days).
     
  18. mschatz

    mschatz Hamma: I has it

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    If Doc Kearns said it, believe the opposite.
     
  19. prontostar

    prontostar Gymmy TUNDAH!

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    maybe johnson being 37 and dempsey being 24 during their willard fights had something to do with it.
     
  20. KORUPT xLOxx

    KORUPT xLOxx Blue Belt

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    Thanks very much for some of the insight into your guys thoughts on the matter
     

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