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RESULTS: 606 V2 Pound for Pound TOP 10 Greatest of All Time!

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Post by All Time Great on Sat 30 Apr 2011, 6:02 pm

First topic message reminder :

The results are in! Please find below the top 10, and a further breakdown of the full listing. Many Thanks to all those who voted, a very good list IMO.

1 Sugar Ray Robinson (173W – 19L)
Robinson held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951, and won the world middleweight title in the latter year. He retired in 1952, only to come back two and a half years later and regain the middleweight title in 1955. He then became the first boxer in history to win a divisional world championship five times.

2 Harry Greb (261W – 19L)
World Middleweight boxing Champion from 1923 to 1926 and American Light Heavyweight title holder 1922–1923. He fought a recorded 303 times in his 13 year-career, against the best opposition the talent-rich 1910s & 20s could provide him, frequently squaring off against light-heavyweights and even heavyweights.

3 Henry Armstrong (149W – 21L)
Henry Jr. was a boxer who not only was a member of the exclusive group of fighters that have won boxing championships in three or more different divisions (at a time when there were fewer weight divisions than today), but also has the distinction of being the only boxer to hold three world championships at the same time.

4 Muhammad Ali (56W – 5L)
As an amateur, he won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. After turning professional, he went on to become the first boxer to win the lineal heavyweight championship three times.

5 Ezzard Charles (93W – 25L)
Charles was an excellent fighter - Middleweight, Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight; He fought up through the ranks, tangled with the very best long the way and gained victories over them all - Charley Burley, Lloyd Marshall, Archie Moore, "Jersey" Joe Walcott, Freddie Beshore, an older Joe Louis and Lee Oma - to name a few.

6 Roberto Duran (103W – 16L)
Durán is the only man in boxing history to win fights in 5 separate decades. He registered wins in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s. Many consider him the greatest lightweight of all time.

7 Sam Langford (200W – 47L)
Langford was a boxer who fought greats from the lightweight division right up to the heavyweights, beating many champions in the process. However, he was never able to secure a world title for himself. Called the "Greatest Fighter Nobody Knows," by ESPN.

8 Sugar Ray Leonard (36W – 3L)
Leonard was the first boxer to earn more than $100 million in purses, and he is widely considered to be one of the best boxers of all time, winning world titles in five weight divisions and defeating future fellow International Boxing Hall of Fame inductees Wilfred Benítez, Thomas Hearns, Roberto Durán and Marvin Hagler.

9 Willie Pep (229W - 11L)
Pep held the featherweight title for six years and outboxed all comers. He is best remembered for his physical four-fight series against fellow Hall of Famer Sandy Saddler.

10 Bob Fitzsimmons (51W - 8L)
A British Cornish boxer who made boxing history as the sport's first three-division world champion. He also achieved fame for beating Gentleman Jim Corbett, the man who beat John L. Sullivan, and is in The Guinness Book of World Records as the Lightest heavyweight champion.

Please find the full results below:

1 Sugar Ray Robinson
2 Harry Greb
3 Henry Armstrong
4 Muhammad Ali
5 Ezzard Charles
6 Roberto Duran
7 Sam Langford
8 Sugar Ray Leonard
9 Willie Pep
10 Bob Fitzsimmons
11 Eder Joffre
12 Joe Louis
13 Benny Leonard
14 Jimmy Wilde
15 Gene Tunney
16 Pernell Whittaker
17 Bernard Hopkins
18 Barney Ross
19 Floyd Mayweather
20 Roy Jones Jr.
21 Manny Pacquiao
22 Jack Johnson
23 Juan Manuel Marquez
24 Archie Moore
25 Lennox Lewis
26 Salvador Sanchez
T27 Marco Antonio Barrera
T27 Erik Morales

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Post by azania on Wed 04 May 2011, 11:17 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:I honestly don't understand your point on this and don't think i'm the only one however I may be alone in that?

What does Benn do to beat Langford, you still haven't answered that question

Benn is not a very good defensive fighter, but SL's punches left himself wide open. He had never faced a fighter who would not buy his feints and who would beat him to the punch as he leaves himself open to be countered.

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Post by azania on Wed 04 May 2011, 11:18 pm

BALTIMORA wrote:
The Mighty Atom wrote:I honestly don't understand your point on this and don't think i'm the only one however I may be alone in that?

What does Benn do to beat Langford, you still haven't answered that question

Hits him, I think.

Thats about the long and short of it.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Thu 05 May 2011, 12:01 am

Well Langfords top level career ended in 1926 so not sure where this 1905 nonsense has come from, without providing evidence your opinion has no validity

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Post by azania on Thu 05 May 2011, 12:14 am

The Mighty Atom wrote:Well Langfords top level career ended in 1926 so not sure where this 1905 nonsense has come from, without providing evidence your opinion has no validity

Yes, when he was over 40. What evidence are you looking for?

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Post by Colonial Lion on Thu 05 May 2011, 12:17 am

Out of curiosity azania, why have you now chosen 1925 as your new cut off point?

I might add that common opinion in 1925, even from the likes Jack Dempsey himself indicate that Langford was held in the highest possible esteem as a fighter and by no means an outdated relic.

Dempsey admitted that of all the fighters out there, Langford one be the one he would be least keen to tackle - and this is at heavyweight!

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Post by azania on Thu 05 May 2011, 12:23 am

Colonial Lion wrote:Out of curiosity azania, why have you now chosen 1925 as your new cut off point?

I might add that common opinion in 1925, even from the likes Jack Dempsey himself indicate that Langford was held in the highest possible esteem as a fighter and by no means an outdated relic.

Dempsey admitted that of all the fighters out there, Langford one be the one he would be least keen to tackle - and this is at heavyweight!

It was just a cut off point. An arbitary date. The reason being that I believe that is took approx 25 years for the required skills to be adopted and learnt. I just used 1900 as a starting point.

Jack was not very keen on defending his title.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Thu 05 May 2011, 12:25 am

So your setting boundaries now that bare no relevance to anything, I really don't understand the point your trying to make nor does anyone else judging from the responses

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Post by azania on Thu 05 May 2011, 12:26 am

The Mighty Atom wrote:So your setting boundaries now that bare no relevance to anything, I really don't understand the point your trying to make nor does anyone else judging from the responses

ok

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Thu 05 May 2011, 12:27 am

then you have no response to explain yourself, says it all really

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Post by azania on Thu 05 May 2011, 12:30 am

The Mighty Atom wrote:then you have no response to explain yourself, says it all really

I haven't seen a single post of yours explaining how SL would beat the fighters I mentioned.

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Post by Colonial Lion on Thu 05 May 2011, 12:33 am

azania wrote:
Colonial Lion wrote:Out of curiosity azania, why have you now chosen 1925 as your new cut off point?

I might add that common opinion in 1925, even from the likes Jack Dempsey himself indicate that Langford was held in the highest possible esteem as a fighter and by no means an outdated relic.

Dempsey admitted that of all the fighters out there, Langford one be the one he would be least keen to tackle - and this is at heavyweight!

It was just a cut off point. An arbitary date. The reason being that I believe that is took approx 25 years for the required skills to be adopted and learnt. I just used 1900 as a starting point.

Jack was not very keen on defending his title.

The point about Dempsey defending his title isnt really relevant. The point is when questioned in later life Dempsey identified Langford as the one guy he would not have been keen on fighting. Speaks volumes for Langfords ability in my eyes that one of the finest heavyweights in history identified him by name and this isnt even a fully fledged heavyweight we are talking about. Its hardly consistent with your assumption than Langford was underdeveloped. Dempsey lived until the 1980s so his views are not just confined to one era. I could provide you with numerous quotes from respected figures of the sport but I fear they would be dismissed off hand!

As for the 1925 date, I shall be more specific. What are you basing your approximation on?

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Post by azania on Thu 05 May 2011, 12:45 am

Colonial Lion wrote:
azania wrote:
Colonial Lion wrote:Out of curiosity azania, why have you now chosen 1925 as your new cut off point?

I might add that common opinion in 1925, even from the likes Jack Dempsey himself indicate that Langford was held in the highest possible esteem as a fighter and by no means an outdated relic.

Dempsey admitted that of all the fighters out there, Langford one be the one he would be least keen to tackle - and this is at heavyweight!

It was just a cut off point. An arbitary date. The reason being that I believe that is took approx 25 years for the required skills to be adopted and learnt. I just used 1900 as a starting point.

Jack was not very keen on defending his title.

The point about Dempsey defending his title isnt really relevant. The point is when questioned in later life Dempsey identified Langford as the one guy he would not have been keen on fighting. Speaks volumes for Langfords ability in my eyes that one of the finest heavyweights in history identified him by name and this isnt even a fully fledged heavyweight we are talking about. Its hardly consistent with your assumption than Langford was underdeveloped. Dempsey lived until the 1980s so his views are not just confined to one era. I could provide you with numerous quotes from respected figures of the sport but I fear they would be dismissed off hand!

As for the 1925 date, I shall be more specific. What are you basing your approximation on?

Of course. SL was brilliant. I haven't said otherwise nor will I.

I've spent the past few days watching SL (you guys are causing grief in the azania household) and still maintain that his skills are under-developed, but also ahead of his times. He was that good for that time. I also read that he could have been the only guy to win world titles from lightweight thru to HW. Now that sspeaks volumes about his ability and the state of boxing at that time. Its plain logic that the boxing scene therefore was relatively weak for a man (albeit extremely talented) to win titles in that weight range. Not even Pac can do that with all his weight stips. It beggers belief and I cannot accept the 'freak of nature' argument.

He was an exceptional fighter, but the boxing scene at that time was very basic at best.

I base 1925 because it was 25 years after 1900. 1900 is just an easy date to type and recall. I could easily say 1896 (not easier to type). I simply used 1900 as a starting point for maths purposes.

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Post by Colonial Lion on Thu 05 May 2011, 1:18 am

azania wrote:
Colonial Lion wrote:
azania wrote:
Colonial Lion wrote:Out of curiosity azania, why have you now chosen 1925 as your new cut off point?

I might add that common opinion in 1925, even from the likes Jack Dempsey himself indicate that Langford was held in the highest possible esteem as a fighter and by no means an outdated relic.

Dempsey admitted that of all the fighters out there, Langford one be the one he would be least keen to tackle - and this is at heavyweight!

It was just a cut off point. An arbitary date. The reason being that I believe that is took approx 25 years for the required skills to be adopted and learnt. I just used 1900 as a starting point.

Jack was not very keen on defending his title.

The point about Dempsey defending his title isnt really relevant. The point is when questioned in later life Dempsey identified Langford as the one guy he would not have been keen on fighting. Speaks volumes for Langfords ability in my eyes that one of the finest heavyweights in history identified him by name and this isnt even a fully fledged heavyweight we are talking about. Its hardly consistent with your assumption than Langford was underdeveloped. Dempsey lived until the 1980s so his views are not just confined to one era. I could provide you with numerous quotes from respected figures of the sport but I fear they would be dismissed off hand!

As for the 1925 date, I shall be more specific. What are you basing your approximation on?

Of course. SL was brilliant. I haven't said otherwise nor will I.

I've spent the past few days watching SL (you guys are causing grief in the azania household) and still maintain that his skills are under-developed, but also ahead of his times. He was that good for that time. I also read that he could have been the only guy to win world titles from lightweight thru to HW. Now that sspeaks volumes about his ability and the state of boxing at that time. Its plain logic that the boxing scene therefore was relatively weak for a man (albeit extremely talented) to win titles in that weight range. Not even Pac can do that with all his weight stips. It beggers belief and I cannot accept the 'freak of nature' argument.

He was an exceptional fighter, but the boxing scene at that time was very basic at best.

I base 1925 because it was 25 years after 1900. 1900 is just an easy date to type and recall. I could easily say 1896 (not easier to type). I simply used 1900 as a starting point for maths purposes.

I accept you rate Langford as quality, but my issue is you only rate him as quality for his era. I think we have established that much. However you seem to refute any testomony that directly contradicts your own basic assumptions on the era and its strength. If you believe that approximately by 1925 (i use that loosely) that Langfords style would be rendered largely obsolete or underdeveloped then does it not say something to you that Dempsey who was the heavyweight champion of that era and one of the finest, identified Langford as a man he would not want to fight? We are talking about one of the best heavyweights here and a man that had been in the ring with many great fighters. Do you not think he is an a better spot than you or me to make a judgement? If Langford is as underdeveloped and open as you say then do you not think Dempsey would feel he had nothing to worry about? And Dempsey is by no means alone. Virtually everyone of that time from Fleishcher to Dempsey to Ring Magazine to Abe Attel to Ray Arcel rated him as one of the finest. There was no disclaimer, saying "oh well Sam was great, but by around 1925 he wouldve struggled". Far from it. They all say he would have been one of the best! When Langford was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955 there was nobody commenting on how times had moved on. They were all saying how Sam wouldve been a great in 1955.

Regarding the "freak of nature" issue. I would bet heavily that when Pacquaio was a flyweight world champion or even a super bantam weight champion after conquering Barrera and Morales you would have said its just not possible for him to beat at Light Middleweight like Margarito. But he has proved otherwise. Langford was nowhere near a natural Lightweight. Pinpointing his best weight is difficult but its certainly not at Lightweight where he only operated as a very young man. Hes probably at his best between around middleweight for me but thats a different question.

My point with your time approximations is that I am wondering what you are basing this on. If we accept say the period between 1900-1925 what are you basing the developments on and the assumption that by (roughly) 1925 styles had moved on to make Langford underdeveloped?

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Post by manos de piedra on Thu 05 May 2011, 4:43 pm

Colonial Lion wrote:
azania wrote:
Colonial Lion wrote:
azania wrote:
Colonial Lion wrote:Out of curiosity azania, why have you now chosen 1925 as your new cut off point?

I might add that common opinion in 1925, even from the likes Jack Dempsey himself indicate that Langford was held in the highest possible esteem as a fighter and by no means an outdated relic.

Dempsey admitted that of all the fighters out there, Langford one be the one he would be least keen to tackle - and this is at heavyweight!

It was just a cut off point. An arbitary date. The reason being that I believe that is took approx 25 years for the required skills to be adopted and learnt. I just used 1900 as a starting point.

Jack was not very keen on defending his title.

The point about Dempsey defending his title isnt really relevant. The point is when questioned in later life Dempsey identified Langford as the one guy he would not have been keen on fighting. Speaks volumes for Langfords ability in my eyes that one of the finest heavyweights in history identified him by name and this isnt even a fully fledged heavyweight we are talking about. Its hardly consistent with your assumption than Langford was underdeveloped. Dempsey lived until the 1980s so his views are not just confined to one era. I could provide you with numerous quotes from respected figures of the sport but I fear they would be dismissed off hand!

As for the 1925 date, I shall be more specific. What are you basing your approximation on?

Of course. SL was brilliant. I haven't said otherwise nor will I.

I've spent the past few days watching SL (you guys are causing grief in the azania household) and still maintain that his skills are under-developed, but also ahead of his times. He was that good for that time. I also read that he could have been the only guy to win world titles from lightweight thru to HW. Now that sspeaks volumes about his ability and the state of boxing at that time. Its plain logic that the boxing scene therefore was relatively weak for a man (albeit extremely talented) to win titles in that weight range. Not even Pac can do that with all his weight stips. It beggers belief and I cannot accept the 'freak of nature' argument.

He was an exceptional fighter, but the boxing scene at that time was very basic at best.

I base 1925 because it was 25 years after 1900. 1900 is just an easy date to type and recall. I could easily say 1896 (not easier to type). I simply used 1900 as a starting point for maths purposes.

I accept you rate Langford as quality, but my issue is you only rate him as quality for his era. I think we have established that much. However you seem to refute any testomony that directly contradicts your own basic assumptions on the era and its strength. If you believe that approximately by 1925 (i use that loosely) that Langfords style would be rendered largely obsolete or underdeveloped then does it not say something to you that Dempsey who was the heavyweight champion of that era and one of the finest, identified Langford as a man he would not want to fight? We are talking about one of the best heavyweights here and a man that had been in the ring with many great fighters. Do you not think he is an a better spot than you or me to make a judgement? If Langford is as underdeveloped and open as you say then do you not think Dempsey would feel he had nothing to worry about? And Dempsey is by no means alone. Virtually everyone of that time from Fleishcher to Dempsey to Ring Magazine to Abe Attel to Ray Arcel rated him as one of the finest. There was no disclaimer, saying "oh well Sam was great, but by around 1925 he wouldve struggled". Far from it. They all say he would have been one of the best! When Langford was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1955 there was nobody commenting on how times had moved on. They were all saying how Sam wouldve been a great in 1955.

Regarding the "freak of nature" issue. I would bet heavily that when Pacquaio was a flyweight world champion or even a super bantam weight champion after conquering Barrera and Morales you would have said its just not possible for him to beat at Light Middleweight like Margarito. But he has proved otherwise. Langford was nowhere near a natural Lightweight. Pinpointing his best weight is difficult but its certainly not at Lightweight where he only operated as a very young man. Hes probably at his best between around middleweight for me but thats a different question.

My point with your time approximations is that I am wondering what you are basing this on. If we accept say the period between 1900-1925 what are you basing the developments on and the assumption that by (roughly) 1925 styles had moved on to make Langford underdeveloped?

I agree with you on Langford, no argument there really although I think he struggles as a heavyweight against high quality opposition.

In regards to this approximation of time, its difficult draw the line. But as I said above I tend to draw the line about the Loius era mark as we have the decreasing of the colour line, the end of the newspaper decision era and I think 40 odd years is sufficient to say the main developments had taken place.

Would people not accept that there had been quite significant developments especially in the transitional phases between gloved and non gloved? or London Ring Rules and Marquis de Queensbury rules? Or the end of the 15+ bout era and newspaper decision era? All of these quite significant changes in the sport of boxing I think automatically lead to changes and developments in style and shifts in emphasis and tactics. By about 1930 things had levelled out I feel and developments from there were much more subtle.

But to provide a few examples:

Bareknuckle boxing leant itself to more body punching and infighting as constantly punching to the head would damage hands. Clearly the developments of gloves lead to a change in emphasis. Body punching was nowhere near as prominant by 1930 as it was in 1890.

We can tangibly trace with many fighters, often said to begin with Corbett, a shift in style from the crouch and rush or infighting style prominant in early boxing to a more scientific approach and which emphasised outside fighting and the development of the jab and footwork as neccessary tools to employ. The emphasis on jab and footwork was nowhere near as significant early on.

I would say infighting was possibly better back then than it is now as it was heavily emphasised. But on the flip side movement and range fighting was nowhere near as well developed.

I think you would also have shifts in stamina and pacing back then. 20+ round fights call for changes in tactics and a greater emphasis on pacing and energy conservation.

I also think there is a fair argument to suggest that the emergence of the early newspaper decision era heralded developments in defensive fighting as titles could not change hand unless by KO. Hence some champions employed defensive and spoiling tactics simply aimed at surviving rather than trying to win decisively. It may also have seen more emphasis on finishing and KO tactics as simply outboxing someone was insufficient to win the fight officially.

These are just few examples I can think of that would lead to developments and changes within the sport. As I say, I think by about 1930 that these had largely been established and whilst you might see smaller innovations here and there in terms of training techniques and developments, I dont think they are substantial or as significant as the change that took place in the first 30/40 odd years in gloved boxing.




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Post by manos de piedra on Fri 06 May 2011, 2:11 pm

Regarding the "freak of nature" issue. I would bet heavily that when Pacquaio was a flyweight world champion or even a super bantam weight champion after conquering Barrera and Morales you would have said its just not possible for him to beat at Light Middleweight like Margarito. But he has proved otherwise. Langford was nowhere near a natural Lightweight. Pinpointing his best weight is difficult but its certainly not at Lightweight where he only operated as a very young man. Hes probably at his best between around middleweight for me but thats a different question.

Just saw this now. I agree with you that Langford is at his best around middle and is more than good enough to match it in any era at that weight and come out ahead for the most part.

But not at heavyweight. Hes just too small for the bigger heavies. Alot of his reputation at heavyweight comes off the back of Johnson declining to fight him again and Dempsey saying he feared him but he came off second best to Harry Wills and one would have to strongly favour Dempsey of Johnson over him. As the heavies got bigger Langfords chances diminish further still.

You can point to Pacquiao which is fair enough but weight is a subjective quantity and Pacquiao has managed to grow in size almost naturally and the weight is muscle (still amazing). Some fighters can bulk up to certain levels far more effectively. Others tend to just be flabbier.

Langford could bulk up to maybe 180-190 but it would just be flab mostly and an effort to size up. If he comes in at 160/170 then against a Klitschko, Foreman, Lewis, Bowe or even lesser fighters but far bigger to be honest then I just dont think he has the size to compete effectively.

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Post by HumanWindmill on Fri 06 May 2011, 2:27 pm

In his prime years Langford normally came in around 180lb. to 185lb. and, as we see in the Jeannette fight, there wasn't an ounce of fat on him. Most of the losses to Wills came when Sam was on the slide and he had lost the sight of one eye against Fulton in 1917.

Obviously, it's hard to see him prevailing against Vitali, head to head, since Sam only stood 5ft.8ins., but I'm not at all sure that we can dismiss his achievements at heavyweight outright. He knocked out more bona fide heavyweights than most people face in a career.

Couple those achievements to his others at lower weights, his talent and punching power, and I believe that he absolutely qualifies as one of the greatest fighters who ever lived.


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Post by manos de piedra on Fri 06 May 2011, 3:18 pm

HumanWindmill wrote:In his prime years Langford normally came in around 180lb. to 185lb. and, as we see in the Jeannette fight, there wasn't an ounce of fat on him. Most of the losses to Wills came when Sam was on the slide and he had lost the sight of one eye against Fulton in 1917.

Obviously, it's hard to see him prevailing against Vitali, head to head, since Sam only stood 5ft.8ins., but I'm not at all sure that we can dismiss his achievements at heavyweight outright. He knocked out more bona fide heavyweights than most people face in a career.

Couple those achievements to his others at lower weights, his talent and punching power, and I believe that he absolutely qualifies as one of the greatest fighters who ever lived.


Some sources have him as short as 5'6.

What do you consider Langfords peak years to be? Or his optimum weight? His weight varies pretty significantly in the 1910-1916 stretch that I think his best years or at.

It would seem to me that in more modern eras if he can make 165 comfortably than he would be best to do so but hes capable of coming in anywhere between 154 and 200 during his best years which make it hard to gauge. His battles with Jackson, Jeanatte, McVea etc dont really have set weight classes at all really.

I would tend to agree that by the Wills series Langford was sliding but my point is mainly that Wills was a full blown heavy and a big guy. He was a natural plus 200lber fighter whereas most of the other rivals were smaller men who just added and lost weight and were not natural heavyweights. He has wins over guys like McVea and Jeanette at the heavyweight limit but they arent really full heavyweights. In terms of trying to understand the weight issues of Langfords era its very difficult beause you have a whole host of fighters that fight across quite significant weight differences which vary greatly.

If you think Langfords optimum weight was 185 then he has a stronger case to be more effective against later heavyweights but I find it hard to accept that a guy that started off 140lbs as a 2o year old and could make 154 during his best years would be at his optimum at 185.

The amount of weight shifting Langford did in such tiny spaces makes it difficult for me to believe he could bulk up and down naturally in terms of muscle. There has to be just a case for putting on weight as opposed to proper muscle growth. There are examples of him in newspaper reports of weighing in at 185lbs for a fight and then 200lbs about a month later. Or going from 165 to 185 in the space of a year. This cant be optimum kind of weight moving and leads me to believe its just cases of putting on weight and then losing it rather than a natural growing through the weight divisions.


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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 06 May 2011, 3:23 pm

Jeanette, Mcvea, Godfrey and Johnson were all definitely fully fledged heavyweights but we say Langfords optimum weight is around 185lbs because that's when he was at his best and most devastating.

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Post by HumanWindmill on Fri 06 May 2011, 3:28 pm

I take your points on board, manos, but we have film of one of his fights against Jeannette, when Sam weighed around 187, I believe, and he looked absolutely ripped. We also have some pretty shabby footage of one of the McVea fights from the period, and it's the same story. McVea, incidentally, was normally 200lb. plus.

Like you, I wouldn't attempt comparisons between Langford and Lennox Lewis or Vitali Klitschko on a head to head basis, because it's a very difficult ' sell, ' but what he did achieve among the heavyweights of his day - including, lest we forget, two clean knockouts of Harry Wills, ( who said Langford was the hardest puncher he ever met, ) - coupled to all his other achievements and abilities, makes him a very great fighter, in my opinion.

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Post by manos de piedra on Fri 06 May 2011, 3:37 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:Jeanette, Mcvea, Godfrey and Johnson were all definitely fully fledged heavyweights but we say Langfords optimum weight is around 185lbs because that's when he was at his best and most devastating.

Im talking about in the context of the more modern huge heavyweights though. Jeanetta and McVea (dont know much about Godfrey at all) were 190 style heavyweights. Guys who could be cruisers nowadays like Marciano.

Wills and Johnson were 6'2 plus 200lb heavyweights for the most part and nowadays 200lbs is midget for a heavyweight. Langford would be miniscule.

Im reluctant to commit to what his optimal weight is because I think its too hard to tell. I mean he has great wins stretching across about 50lbs difference. He even has big wins at when he weighs in at the 200lb mark (were he must be overweight).


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Post by manos de piedra on Fri 06 May 2011, 3:42 pm

HumanWindmill wrote:I take your points on board, manos, but we have film of one of his fights against Jeannette, when Sam weighed around 187, I believe, and he looked absolutely ripped. We also have some pretty shabby footage of one of the McVea fights from the period, and it's the same story. McVea, incidentally, was normally 200lb. plus.

Like you, I wouldn't attempt comparisons between Langford and Lennox Lewis or Vitali Klitschko on a head to head basis, because it's a very difficult ' sell, ' but what he did achieve among the heavyweights of his day - including, lest we forget, two clean knockouts of Harry Wills, ( who said Langford was the hardest puncher he ever met, ) - coupled to all his other achievements and abilities, makes him a very great fighter, in my opinion.

No argument with his greatness at all. In fact as someone who thinks he would probably be at his best around 165lb it makes his wins all the more impressive.

However I just think he begins to struggle at heavyweight and I cant see him having much success against the top heavies of later eras purely on size basis. Nothing at all to do with skill.

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Post by HumanWindmill on Fri 06 May 2011, 3:47 pm

manos de piedra wrote:
HumanWindmill wrote:I take your points on board, manos, but we have film of one of his fights against Jeannette, when Sam weighed around 187, I believe, and he looked absolutely ripped. We also have some pretty shabby footage of one of the McVea fights from the period, and it's the same story. McVea, incidentally, was normally 200lb. plus.

Like you, I wouldn't attempt comparisons between Langford and Lennox Lewis or Vitali Klitschko on a head to head basis, because it's a very difficult ' sell, ' but what he did achieve among the heavyweights of his day - including, lest we forget, two clean knockouts of Harry Wills, ( who said Langford was the hardest puncher he ever met, ) - coupled to all his other achievements and abilities, makes him a very great fighter, in my opinion.

No argument with his greatness at all. In fact as someone who thinks he would probably be at his best around 165lb it makes his wins all the more impressive.

However I just think he begins to struggle at heavyweight and I cant see him having much success against the top heavies of later eras purely on size basis. Nothing at all to do with skill.

I actually agree with you, manos.

Dempsey paid Sam an enormous compliment, but other observers of the day reckon that Jack would have beaten him, each at his best. Blackburn remarked, in around 1936, that " in two years he ( Joe Louis, ) will be as good as Sam Langford."

I prefer to think of Sam as a lightheavy who did remarkably well against bigger men. Having said that, Charley Rose, who saw Langford from ringside and lived to see Foreman, swore that Sam was best heavy of the lot.

Best to think of him in p4p terms as you do, in my opinion.

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Post by manos de piedra on Fri 06 May 2011, 4:03 pm

HumanWindmill wrote:
manos de piedra wrote:
HumanWindmill wrote:I take your points on board, manos, but we have film of one of his fights against Jeannette, when Sam weighed around 187, I believe, and he looked absolutely ripped. We also have some pretty shabby footage of one of the McVea fights from the period, and it's the same story. McVea, incidentally, was normally 200lb. plus.

Like you, I wouldn't attempt comparisons between Langford and Lennox Lewis or Vitali Klitschko on a head to head basis, because it's a very difficult ' sell, ' but what he did achieve among the heavyweights of his day - including, lest we forget, two clean knockouts of Harry Wills, ( who said Langford was the hardest puncher he ever met, ) - coupled to all his other achievements and abilities, makes him a very great fighter, in my opinion.

No argument with his greatness at all. In fact as someone who thinks he would probably be at his best around 165lb it makes his wins all the more impressive.

However I just think he begins to struggle at heavyweight and I cant see him having much success against the top heavies of later eras purely on size basis. Nothing at all to do with skill.

I actually agree with you, manos.

Dempsey paid Sam an enormous compliment, but other observers of the day reckon that Jack would have beaten him, each at his best. Blackburn remarked, in around 1936, that " in two years he ( Joe Louis, ) will be as good as Sam Langford."

I prefer to think of Sam as a lightheavy who did remarkably well against bigger men. Having said that, Charley Rose, who saw Langford from ringside and lived to see Foreman, swore that Sam was best heavy of the lot.

Best to think of him in p4p terms as you do, in my opinion.

Just out of general interest, was the Blackburn remark on Louis to do with measuring Langford as a heavyweight specifically? Or was it just meant in general terms?

The Dempsey quote always surprised me and I often wonder was it done just to give Langford some recognition as a fighter who never got his full dues and as punished by the colour line. On the surface while Langford was quality, I cant really see why Dempsey would be particularly afraid of him at heavyweight any more so than say Wills for example (who had got the better of Langford overall).

As Im sure you know, Langford ran into plenty of health and financial difficulties in later life and was helped out by the boxing community in his retirement. I just wonder was the Dempsey quote meant as a kind of token of respect rather than a genuine quote on face value. Any idea what year Dempsey actually said the quote?

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Post by HumanWindmill on Fri 06 May 2011, 4:12 pm

manos de piedra wrote:
HumanWindmill wrote:
manos de piedra wrote:
HumanWindmill wrote:I take your points on board, manos, but we have film of one of his fights against Jeannette, when Sam weighed around 187, I believe, and he looked absolutely ripped. We also have some pretty shabby footage of one of the McVea fights from the period, and it's the same story. McVea, incidentally, was normally 200lb. plus.

Like you, I wouldn't attempt comparisons between Langford and Lennox Lewis or Vitali Klitschko on a head to head basis, because it's a very difficult ' sell, ' but what he did achieve among the heavyweights of his day - including, lest we forget, two clean knockouts of Harry Wills, ( who said Langford was the hardest puncher he ever met, ) - coupled to all his other achievements and abilities, makes him a very great fighter, in my opinion.

No argument with his greatness at all. In fact as someone who thinks he would probably be at his best around 165lb it makes his wins all the more impressive.

However I just think he begins to struggle at heavyweight and I cant see him having much success against the top heavies of later eras purely on size basis. Nothing at all to do with skill.

I actually agree with you, manos.

Dempsey paid Sam an enormous compliment, but other observers of the day reckon that Jack would have beaten him, each at his best. Blackburn remarked, in around 1936, that " in two years he ( Joe Louis, ) will be as good as Sam Langford."

I prefer to think of Sam as a lightheavy who did remarkably well against bigger men. Having said that, Charley Rose, who saw Langford from ringside and lived to see Foreman, swore that Sam was best heavy of the lot.

Best to think of him in p4p terms as you do, in my opinion.

Just out of general interest, was the Blackburn remark on Louis to do with measuring Langford as a heavyweight specifically? Or was it just meant in general terms?

The Dempsey quote always surprised me and I often wonder was it done just to give Langford some recognition as a fighter who never got his full dues and as punished by the colour line. On the surface while Langford was quality, I cant really see why Dempsey would be particularly afraid of him at heavyweight any more so than say Wills for example (who had got the better of Langford overall).

As Im sure you know, Langford ran into plenty of health and financial difficulties in later life and was helped out by the boxing community in his retirement. I just wonder was the Dempsey quote meant as a kind of token of respect rather than a genuine quote on face value. Any idea what year Dempsey actually said the quote?

I have no idea the context of Blackburn's remark, manos.

As to Dempsey, I believe that there was some talk of pairing them off in 1917, when Jack was still a bit green, and either he or his team turned it down flat. I suspect that the mature Dempsey would have prevailed and, in a nice little twist, when the Dempsey v Wills fight was on the table, Sam tipped Dempsey to win, so it's entirely possible that HE felt Jack would have been a bridge too far for him, also.


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Post by manos de piedra on Fri 06 May 2011, 4:26 pm

HumanWindmill wrote:
manos de piedra wrote:
HumanWindmill wrote:
manos de piedra wrote:
HumanWindmill wrote:I take your points on board, manos, but we have film of one of his fights against Jeannette, when Sam weighed around 187, I believe, and he looked absolutely ripped. We also have some pretty shabby footage of one of the McVea fights from the period, and it's the same story. McVea, incidentally, was normally 200lb. plus.

Like you, I wouldn't attempt comparisons between Langford and Lennox Lewis or Vitali Klitschko on a head to head basis, because it's a very difficult ' sell, ' but what he did achieve among the heavyweights of his day - including, lest we forget, two clean knockouts of Harry Wills, ( who said Langford was the hardest puncher he ever met, ) - coupled to all his other achievements and abilities, makes him a very great fighter, in my opinion.

No argument with his greatness at all. In fact as someone who thinks he would probably be at his best around 165lb it makes his wins all the more impressive.

However I just think he begins to struggle at heavyweight and I cant see him having much success against the top heavies of later eras purely on size basis. Nothing at all to do with skill.

I actually agree with you, manos.

Dempsey paid Sam an enormous compliment, but other observers of the day reckon that Jack would have beaten him, each at his best. Blackburn remarked, in around 1936, that " in two years he ( Joe Louis, ) will be as good as Sam Langford."

I prefer to think of Sam as a lightheavy who did remarkably well against bigger men. Having said that, Charley Rose, who saw Langford from ringside and lived to see Foreman, swore that Sam was best heavy of the lot.

Best to think of him in p4p terms as you do, in my opinion.

Just out of general interest, was the Blackburn remark on Louis to do with measuring Langford as a heavyweight specifically? Or was it just meant in general terms?

The Dempsey quote always surprised me and I often wonder was it done just to give Langford some recognition as a fighter who never got his full dues and as punished by the colour line. On the surface while Langford was quality, I cant really see why Dempsey would be particularly afraid of him at heavyweight any more so than say Wills for example (who had got the better of Langford overall).

As Im sure you know, Langford ran into plenty of health and financial difficulties in later life and was helped out by the boxing community in his retirement. I just wonder was the Dempsey quote meant as a kind of token of respect rather than a genuine quote on face value. Any idea what year Dempsey actually said the quote?

I have no idea the context of Blackburn's remark, manos.

As to Dempsey, I believe that there was some talk of pairing them off in 1917, when Jack was still a bit green, and either he or his team turned it down flat. I suspect that the mature Dempsey would have prevailed and, in a nice little twist, when the Dempsey v Wills fight was on the table, Sam tipped Dempsey to win, so it's entirely possible that HE felt Jack would have been a bridge too far for him, also.


Yeah Ive just never been able find the context of the quote or when it was said. I always got the impression it was said after Dempsey had been retired for a while due to the past tense nature of it and its always made me wonder exactly what the context of the quote was. Did he mean he feared Langford in 1917 and didnt want to fight him then, did he mean he never wanted to fight Langford?, Was he just being questioned on Langfords talents and was overexaggerating?, was he trying to pay Langford respect as something of an underappreciated fighter in Dempseys later years?

Find it very difficult to say. Saying he feared Langford in 1917 would make sense but without the context or time of the quote its difficult to say and the true meaning may be lost or distorted.

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Post by azania on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:04 pm

I think Dempsey was being kind. I also read that he opposed the colour bar. A great man and true gent.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:38 pm

Wills was the standout black heavyweight of the day by an absolute mile and someone I feel would have beaten Dempsey but glad in a way it didn't happen because it ended up giving Tunney the exposure his talent richly deserved. Ideally Tunney would have been the man against whom the likes of Langford, Jeannette, McVea, Godfrey and Wills greatness at Heavyweight could really be measured but I believe the timings were wrong for any of those fights to have happened.

Langford may well have struggled against the bigger heavyweights which is something i've never denied but he could always pull off an upset with his immense power which was still pretty damm special at Heavyweight but what I took exception to was questionning the ability of Mcvea, Jeannette, Wills, Godfrey and the like.

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Post by azania on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:40 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:Wills was the standout black heavyweight of the day by an absolute mile and someone I feel would have beaten Dempsey but glad in a way it didn't happen because it ended up giving Tunney the exposure his talent richly deserved. Ideally Tunney would have been the man against whom the likes of Langford, Jeannette, McVea, Godfrey and Wills greatness at Heavyweight could really be measured but I believe the timings were wrong for any of those fights to have happened.

Langford may well have struggled against the bigger heavyweights which is something i've never denied but he could always pull off an upset with his immense power which was still pretty damm special at Heavyweight but what I took exception to was questionning the ability of Mcvea, Jeannette, Wills, Godfrey and the like.

How could Tunney be considered great when he couldn't defend the title against the best available challengers?

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:46 pm

He'd proved himself more than enough at Light Heavyweight, beating Dempsey for the Heavyweight title was the icing on the cake

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Post by azania on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:48 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:He'd proved himself more than enough at Light Heavyweight, beating Dempsey for the Heavyweight title was the icing on the cake

Granted, but he couldn't fight the best available contenders. A guy who avoided fighting the best available contenders, by definition, cannot be rated highly without an asterix next to his name.

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Post by HumanWindmill on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:49 pm

Which challengers, az ?

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:52 pm

He fought the best there was to fight at Light Heavyweight and then stepped up to face the Heavyweight champion subsequently beating him twice, would be interested to know whom Tunney should have fought that he didn't.

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Post by azania on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:54 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:He fought the best there was to fight at Light Heavyweight and then stepped up to face the Heavyweight champion subsequently beating him twice, would be interested to know whom Tunney should have fought that he didn't.

Wills for one.

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Post by manos de piedra on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:55 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:Wills was the standout black heavyweight of the day by an absolute mile and someone I feel would have beaten Dempsey but glad in a way it didn't happen because it ended up giving Tunney the exposure his talent richly deserved. Ideally Tunney would have been the man against whom the likes of Langford, Jeannette, McVea, Godfrey and Wills greatness at Heavyweight could really be measured but I believe the timings were wrong for any of those fights to have happened.

Langford may well have struggled against the bigger heavyweights which is something i've never denied but he could always pull off an upset with his immense power which was still pretty damm special at Heavyweight but what I took exception to was questionning the ability of Mcvea, Jeannette, Wills, Godfrey and the like.

Im not questioning the abilty of those guys. But aside from Wills they are small heavies who could probably be modern cruisers. My point being that Langfords record against them at heavyweight is not really a particularly accurate indicator for how he does against the "super" heavies or even the later smaller greats.

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Post by HumanWindmill on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:56 pm

azania wrote:
The Mighty Atom wrote:He fought the best there was to fight at Light Heavyweight and then stepped up to face the Heavyweight champion subsequently beating him twice, would be interested to know whom Tunney should have fought that he didn't.

Wills for one.

Wills was over the hill by the time Tunney beat Dempsey, having been soundly beaten by Sharkey, ( though the fight actually ended by DQ, ) and flattened by Uzcudan. I don't believe he was even in the top ten .


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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:56 pm

azania wrote:
The Mighty Atom wrote:He fought the best there was to fight at Light Heavyweight and then stepped up to face the Heavyweight champion subsequently beating him twice, would be interested to know whom Tunney should have fought that he didn't.

Wills for one.

When could Tunney have fought Wills?

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 06 May 2011, 6:58 pm

manos de piedra wrote:
The Mighty Atom wrote:Wills was the standout black heavyweight of the day by an absolute mile and someone I feel would have beaten Dempsey but glad in a way it didn't happen because it ended up giving Tunney the exposure his talent richly deserved. Ideally Tunney would have been the man against whom the likes of Langford, Jeannette, McVea, Godfrey and Wills greatness at Heavyweight could really be measured but I believe the timings were wrong for any of those fights to have happened.

Langford may well have struggled against the bigger heavyweights which is something i've never denied but he could always pull off an upset with his immense power which was still pretty damm special at Heavyweight but what I took exception to was questionning the ability of Mcvea, Jeannette, Wills, Godfrey and the like.

Im not questioning the abilty of those guys. But aside from Wills they are small heavies who could probably be modern cruisers. My point being that Langfords record against them at heavyweight is not really a particularly accurate indicator for how he does against the "super" heavies or even the later smaller greats.

They weren't small at the time though and still often held significant weight advantages over Langford especially Godfrey who would be a Heavyweight in any era, a mountain of a man whom had a pretty damm good skillset to go with it

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Post by azania on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:12 pm

HumanWindmill wrote:
azania wrote:
The Mighty Atom wrote:He fought the best there was to fight at Light Heavyweight and then stepped up to face the Heavyweight champion subsequently beating him twice, would be interested to know whom Tunney should have fought that he didn't.

Wills for one.

Wills was over the hill by the time Tunney beat Dempsey, having been soundly beaten by Sharkey, ( though the fight actually ended by DQ, ) and flattened by Uzcudan. I don't believe he was even in the top ten .

Those guys at the time won and lost at any given time. But imo every white heavyweight at that time who was involved (whether deliberate or not) should have an asterix by their name. Their alleged greatness should be viewed with that in mind. I am a huge Dempsey fan so no bias here. Likewise Atom is a huge Tunney fan yet he reckons Wills would have beaten him. My take is similar to yours in that Tunney would have beaten Will at any time. He was better. But that is not the point.

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Post by azania on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:13 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:
azania wrote:
The Mighty Atom wrote:He fought the best there was to fight at Light Heavyweight and then stepped up to face the Heavyweight champion subsequently beating him twice, would be interested to know whom Tunney should have fought that he didn't.

Wills for one.

When could Tunney have fought Wills?

Any numpty can go check the net to find that out.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:15 pm

azania wrote:
The Mighty Atom wrote:
azania wrote:
The Mighty Atom wrote:He fought the best there was to fight at Light Heavyweight and then stepped up to face the Heavyweight champion subsequently beating him twice, would be interested to know whom Tunney should have fought that he didn't.

Wills for one.

When could Tunney have fought Wills?

Any numpty can go check the net to find that out.

Tunney was a light heavyweight who campaigned almost exclusively their with the exception of the Dempsey fights and a single defence against Heeney. If he was in Dempseys shoes then you could possibly use the colour line against him but as it was he was never in line to face any of the aforementioned unless i'm missing something?

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Post by azania on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:18 pm

Was the colour line reserved for HW nly (genuine question)?

In your opinion, would Wills have beaten him? Its sad that elite fighters (in their time) like Wills are not recognised in the p4p stakes as some would have made it.

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Post by manos de piedra on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:22 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:
manos de piedra wrote:
The Mighty Atom wrote:Wills was the standout black heavyweight of the day by an absolute mile and someone I feel would have beaten Dempsey but glad in a way it didn't happen because it ended up giving Tunney the exposure his talent richly deserved. Ideally Tunney would have been the man against whom the likes of Langford, Jeannette, McVea, Godfrey and Wills greatness at Heavyweight could really be measured but I believe the timings were wrong for any of those fights to have happened.

Langford may well have struggled against the bigger heavyweights which is something i've never denied but he could always pull off an upset with his immense power which was still pretty damm special at Heavyweight but what I took exception to was questionning the ability of Mcvea, Jeannette, Wills, Godfrey and the like.

Im not questioning the abilty of those guys. But aside from Wills they are small heavies who could probably be modern cruisers. My point being that Langfords record against them at heavyweight is not really a particularly accurate indicator for how he does against the "super" heavies or even the later smaller greats.

They weren't small at the time though and still often held significant weight advantages over Langford especially Godfrey who would be a Heavyweight in any era, a mountain of a man whom had a pretty damm good skillset to go with it

Yeah I agree but Langfords in ring weight fluctuates so much I find it next to impossible to tell what his ideal fighting weight would be. If its 185 for example then why does he appear at 190-200 at times? The swings are so large it makes it doesnt seem to make much sense to me.

At least with Marciano he was small but stuck to roughly the same weight. Why does Langford though fight a heavyweight at 170 and then a couple of months later hes up to 190 and then a a few months after hes back down to 180 and then up to 200? Its all over the place.

I would say his walk around weight was about 185 when in decent condition and he could make a much lower fighting weight if neccessary. If you can make 154lbs during some of your peak years then you would have to think he could easily have been a middleweight for much of his career. Above 185 I would have to think he starts get flabby as guy whos about 5'7 in height. Some newspaper reports I hve read note he appears overweight in some fights.


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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:25 pm

To my knowledge Battling Siki was the only quality black Light Heavyweight around during the 20's and the colour line was almost always drawn at Heavyweight whereas in the lower divisions it was less of an issue, Windy would be able to answer the question better than me but think thats the basics of it.

I think Tunney would have beaten Wills but then again until the days of Liston I could only realistically pick Louis to beat him, he was that good and fighting the quality he did and escaping with one loss to Harry Greb is a mark of his greatness.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:29 pm

I can only answer your question Manos by questionning the accuracy of his weights in the first place, have to imagine the need for a weigh in before a non title heavyweight is pretty meaningless. For instance Fitzsimmons weight against Corbett is wrong on Boxrec so if they can be wrong on such a high profile fight then how wrong could they be for Langfords fight. Completely Hypothetical but think I got my point across to some degree.

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Post by manos de piedra on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:37 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:I can only answer your question Manos by questionning the accuracy of his weights in the first place, have to imagine the need for a weigh in before a non title heavyweight is pretty meaningless. For instance Fitzsimmons weight against Corbett is wrong on Boxrec so if they can be wrong on such a high profile fight then how wrong could they be for Langfords fight. Completely Hypothetical but think I got my point across to some degree.

Thats true. I would say the accuracy or data for a good many fights may be questionable. Even so though there are some mighty swings in weight if some of th old newspapers are anyway half accurate. I think it just adds to the ambiguity of it. Seems to be generally accepted though that he could have made middleweight easily enough for the bulk of his career but for various reasons opted to operate higher up probably closer to his walk around weight as opposed to a more suited fighting weight.


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Post by HumanWindmill on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:38 pm

azania wrote:
HumanWindmill wrote:
azania wrote:
The Mighty Atom wrote:He fought the best there was to fight at Light Heavyweight and then stepped up to face the Heavyweight champion subsequently beating him twice, would be interested to know whom Tunney should have fought that he didn't.

Wills for one.

Wills was over the hill by the time Tunney beat Dempsey, having been soundly beaten by Sharkey, ( though the fight actually ended by DQ, ) and flattened by Uzcudan. I don't believe he was even in the top ten .

Those guys at the time won and lost at any given time. But imo every white heavyweight at that time who was involved (whether deliberate or not) should have an asterix by their name. Their alleged greatness should be viewed with that in mind. I am a huge Dempsey fan so no bias here. Likewise Atom is a huge Tunney fan yet he reckons Wills would have beaten him. My take is similar to yours in that Tunney would have beaten Will at any time. He was better. But that is not the point.

The year Tunney beat Dempsey to take the title Wills was ranked number six. By the time of the rematch he had slipped out of the top ten. Wills would have been around thirty eight at the time. George Godfrey might have a claim to having been overlooked, but Wills had already missed the boat by 1927.

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Post by azania on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:40 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:To my knowledge Battling Siki was the only quality black Light Heavyweight around during the 20's and the colour line was almost always drawn at Heavyweight whereas in the lower divisions it was less of an issue, Windy would be able to answer the question better than me but think thats the basics of it.

I think Tunney would have beaten Wills but then again until the days of Liston I could only realistically pick Louis to beat him, he was that good and fighting the quality he did and escaping with one loss to Harry Greb is a mark of his greatness.

The fact that they were not permitted to fight should be enough to put the asterix by Tunney's name. I'd go with you and say that Tunney probably would have beaten Wills for the reasons Windy gave earlier. But we will never know.

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Post by azania on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:43 pm

HumanWindmill wrote:
azania wrote:
HumanWindmill wrote:
azania wrote:
The Mighty Atom wrote:He fought the best there was to fight at Light Heavyweight and then stepped up to face the Heavyweight champion subsequently beating him twice, would be interested to know whom Tunney should have fought that he didn't.

Wills for one.

Wills was over the hill by the time Tunney beat Dempsey, having been soundly beaten by Sharkey, ( though the fight actually ended by DQ, ) and flattened by Uzcudan. I don't believe he was even in the top ten .

Those guys at the time won and lost at any given time. But imo every white heavyweight at that time who was involved (whether deliberate or not) should have an asterix by their name. Their alleged greatness should be viewed with that in mind. I am a huge Dempsey fan so no bias here. Likewise Atom is a huge Tunney fan yet he reckons Wills would have beaten him. My take is similar to yours in that Tunney would have beaten Will at any time. He was better. But that is not the point.

The year Tunney beat Dempsey to take the title Wills was ranked number six. By the time of the rematch he had slipped out of the top ten. Wills would have been around thirty eight at the time. George Godfrey might have a claim to having been overlooked, but Wills had already missed the boat by 1927.

I probably do agree that wills was past it. At age 37 and thousands of fights under his belt, he was done. But that isn't the point. When there is a colour bar applied then one should look into alleged greatness with scepticism. Who knows how many black HW gave up the ghost because they knew there was a bricked up ceiling above them?


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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:43 pm

Who wasn't allowed to fight? He simply wasn't a Heavyweight so the only fight for him was always Dempsey, i'm confused again to say the least

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Post by azania on Fri 06 May 2011, 7:45 pm

The Mighty Atom wrote:Who wasn't allowed to fight? He simply wasn't a Heavyweight so the only fight for him was always Dempsey, i'm confused again to say the least

Any black HW at that time. Doesn't matter if it is Wills or whoever. The closed shop skewered things.

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