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Post by captain carrantuohil Thu 26 May 2011, 11:53 am

First topic message reminder :

Inspired by Trussman's thread on the uselessness of the current Hall of Fame, I have decided that we should have our own, one that will be exclusive, elitist and in every way superior to the one at Canastota.

I propose the ground rules to be as follows:

We need founder members of our Hall - I propose 30 - whose position in boxing history almost all of us can agree on. The Hall should be open not just to fighters, but to trainers and anyone else whose contribution to the sport is of direct and compelling significance (ie not Stallone, but most certainly the Marquess of Queensberry).

The rules for acceptance by our board are simple. We vote and a successful candidate needs 75% of the vote or they do not get in. I suggest no longer than a week to decide on the initial thirty. No fighter can be considered unless retired for five years.

Once we have our initial 30, I suggest that we consider 5 per week, working our way in alphabetical order through the current Hall of Fame and sorting the wheat from the chaff to begin with. Again, 75% is required for admission, the results to be calculated at the end of a week (I suggest Monday to Sunday - result on the next Monday morning). Once we have done that, anyone can suggest a contender, as long as we don't end up considering more than 5 for one week. The insane and the p***-taking should have their votes struck out, by the way.

Let's be unashamedly elitist!

My suggestion for the inaugural 30 is as follows. It is intended to be as uncontroversial as possible, but we need to ensure that we have the right names, so we need as many votes as possible. Alternative suggestions are great, but let's think carefully, so we have a really good first list:

1) Daniel Mendoza, 2) The Marquess of Queensberry, 3) John L Sullivan 4) Bob Fitzsimmons 5) Sam Langford 6) Jack Johnson 7) Benny Leonard 8) Joe Gans 9) Ray Arcel 10) Harry Greb 11) Mickey Walker 12) Gene Tunney 13) Jack Dempsey 14) Henry Armstrong 15) Joe Louis 16) Sugar Ray Robinson 17) Ezzard Charles 18) Archie Moore 19) Willie Pep 20) Sandy Saddler 21) Eder Jofre 22) Muhammad Ali 23) Alexis Arguello 24) Roberto Duran 25) Carlos Monzon 26) Sugar Ray Leonard 27) Marvin Hagler) 28) Michael Spinks 29) Pernell Whitaker 30) Julio Cesar Chavez 31) Jimmy Wilde

Now for everyone else's contributions - is that a reasonable first 31?

[Current boxers under consideration: Sixto Escobar, Jackie Fields, Tiger Flowers, Frankie Genaro, Mike Gibbons
Next 5 candidates: Tommy Gibbons, George Godfrey, Young Griffo, Harry Harris, Len Harvey]


Last edited by 88Chris05 on Mon 06 Aug 2012, 12:15 am; edited 29 times in total (Reason for editing : To clarify which boxers are under consideration this week)

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Post by ShahenshahG Thu 02 Feb 2012, 4:19 pm

Forgive me O he of the receding gut - I can't imagine them leaving out Trueman - anyway - I wonder when the captain will return. Beginning to miss this stuff.

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Post by guildfordbat Thu 02 Feb 2012, 5:46 pm

Jeff - I assure you that Frederick Sewards Trueman will certainly be getting my vote.

Be good to see some of you boxing fellas on the Cricket Hall of Fame thread as well. Andy Roberts needs some help at the moment as, incredibly, might Barry Richards! Very Happy

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Post by Rowley Thu 02 Feb 2012, 10:08 pm

Barry Richards needing help!! Do the people voting actually understand the question?

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Thu 02 Feb 2012, 10:21 pm

If there's no Geoffrey Boycott I think i'll give it a miss.

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Post by guildfordbat Sat 04 Feb 2012, 11:01 am

Jeff - thanks for your boxing and cricketing comments over the last few days. I'll leave Angelo Dundee's future place in the Hall of Fame in the safe hands of you and your colleagues. Meanwhile, I'll pass on your comment about Richards. Best, Guildford.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Tue 24 Apr 2012, 6:07 pm

Would anyone have any issues if I carried this on?

Seems a shame to put all of Captains hard work to waste and we haven't got much left to cover.

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Post by John Bloody Wayne Tue 24 Apr 2012, 11:37 pm

It would be a bit weird if he came back and we'd carried on without him after all the effort though, don't you think?

Not that it's up to me in anyway, just a thought.

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Post by Rowley Wed 25 Apr 2012, 7:42 am

Will speak to Windy the next time he appears to see what he thinks is best, am loath to let this die a death as myself and several others have enjoyed it but JBW's point does have some validity, could try sending PM to cpatain, if his account is set up like mine will notify him through standard email address so he should respond.

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Post by Adam D Wed 25 Apr 2012, 8:37 am

Rowley - why dont you drop him a email?

Best to come from you or Union during Windy's time off.

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Post by TheMackemMawler Mon 11 Jun 2012, 9:17 am

Imperial Ghosty wrote:If there's no Geoffrey Boycott I think i'll give it a miss.


Perhaps I'm just simple but that pun is ingenious; boycott...give it a miss!! haha! i like it!
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Post by TheMackemMawler Mon 11 Jun 2012, 9:19 am

Was the list ever completed? How do i view it if so? cheers!
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Post by Rowley Mon 11 Jun 2012, 7:25 pm

Mackem those that have made it thus far are listed in the vault I believe, the ongoing debate about who gets in and doesn't is over the last 17 pages. We never did complete it, the captain who was running it has been MIA this year, damned shame though as it was fun. Was loath to restart it without him but may have to think about it because would be a shame to leave it half finished

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Post by TheMackemMawler Mon 11 Jun 2012, 8:26 pm

Thanks for the reply rowley.

The 606 HoF is a great idea!
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Post by Guest Tue 12 Jun 2012, 8:40 am

Yes, do let's keep it. How about including ,say, Manny Steward or drumroll Cus D'Amato

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Post by Rowley Tue 24 Jul 2012, 7:21 pm

This weeks runners and riders are Jack Dempsey (not that one) Eugene Criqui, Les Darcy, Jack Delaney and Johnny Coulon - enjoy

Johnny Couon turned pro at the tender age of 15, and although born in Canada fought most of his fights out of the Windy city of Chicago
Coulon won his first 26 bouts before losing a 10-round decision to Kid Murphy. In a rematch with Murphy in 1908, Coulon reversed the decision and earned recognition as the American bantamweight champion.

On March 6, 1910, Coulon captured the vacant world bantamweight crown when he defeated England's Jim Kendrick in 19 rounds. He defended the title against Earl Denning, Frankie Conley, Frankie Burns and Kid Williams. He finally lost the crown in 1914 when Williams stopped him in the third round. In addition to these fighters Coulon also locked horns with the likes of Pete Herman, Harry Forbes and Kid Murphy fighters who very much represented the best little men of his day

Born in Belleville, France on August 15, 1893. Eugene Criqui turned pro in Paris in 1910 and won the French flyweight title in 1912. A 12-round TKO loss to Charles LeDoux ended his reign two years later.

In 1915 Criqui was called up for military service by the French Army during World War I suffered a serious injury when a bullet shattered his jaw. Despite the injury and a two year absence from the ring , he came back in 1917 with wire and silver plates firmly secured in his jaw. Criqui returned to his winning ways and amassed an impressive record enroute to the French featherweight title, which he won via a one- round knockout in 1921.
On June 2, 1923 he engaged all time great Johnny Kilbane for the world's featherweight championship. In his American debut, Criqui ended Kilbane's 11-year reign with a 6th round KO at New York's Polo Grounds. Criqui's time atop the division was short-lived, as Hall of Famer Johnny Dundee relieved him of the crown 54 days later. Criqui would continue to fight with moderate success until retiring from the ring in 1928 with a record of 99-17-14 (53 KOs).

The Nonpareil Jack Dempsey is known in many people’s minds as the fighter who gave his name to the more famous heavyweight counterpart and the guy who dropped his title to Bob Fitzsimmons to set Ruby Rob on his way to ring immortality. Whilst both of these facts are true they do the career of Jack scant justice.

Starting his career in 1883 Jack reeled off countless wins against the best middleweights of the day including George LaBlanche, Dave Campbell (who would go on to draw with James Corbett,) and Pete McCoy. Such was Dempsey’s dominance that the Referee Magazine reported in August 1890 that he had only lost one of his 51 fights and that was in a fight above the middleweight limit where he was most comfortable. Whilst his loss to Fitzsimmons and the dominant nature of that loss is well known it should not be forgotten or is not so widely known that many pegged Jack as favourite before the fight such was the esteem he was held in.

There are plenty of boxing fans down under who'll mantain that Les Darcy was the finest Antipodean fighter of all time, and he did indeed cram a hell of a lot in to such a short career. A blacksmith's apprentice, he was a professional at the tender age of fifteen, boxed (unsuccessfully) for the Australian Welterweight title in 1913 at eighteen and, having put that setback behind him, won a series of fights in 1915 and 1916 against ranked contenders such as Jeff Smith, Eddie McGoorty and Jimmy Clabby which the Australian commissions recognised as being for their version of the world Middleweight title. Darcy even found time to win and successfully defend the Australian Heavyweight title, despite never scaling anything more than 165 lb.

With the 160 lb crown fragmented, Darcy was determined to fight in the States to make his Middleweight title claim undisputed, but the looming presence of the First World War and conscription meant that men of a 'military age' were forbidden to leave Australia in 1916. Defiant, Darcy departed by hiding on a cargo ship which was bound for America, but wasn't to know that he'd already had his last fight; when he reached the States he was labelled a draft dodger and could not secure a fight, and a theatrical tour he tried to promote also proved to be a flop. He fell ill due to a mysterious fever, and died on May 27, 1917, aged just twenty-one. In 1999, Harry Mullan wrote of Darcy, "Romantics say he died of a broken heart."

Perhaps the greatest compliment that can be paid to former world Light-Heavyweight champion Jack Delaney is that the great Benny Leonard, no less, said that he considered the elegant French-Canadian to be the greatest 175 lb fighter of all time, a compliment made even more noteworthy by Delaney campaigning in a vintage era for the weight class. He turned professional in 1919 and made good progress, before Augie Ratner flattened him inside one round in 1922. However, a points win over future champion Tommy Loughran reestablished Delaney as a contender, and in 1925 he was given a title shot, losing a decision to Paul Berlenbach.

He reversed that a year later to launch his reign, but made only one defence before vacating the title in search of Heavyweight honours. However, alcoholism had taken hold, and Delaney's Heavyweight career proved a damp squib, as the likes of Johnny Risko, Tom Heeney and Jack Sharkey all convincingly beat him before he hung his gloves up in 1932. As well as the aforementioned Loughran and Berlenbach, Delaney also scored wins over names as notable as Maxie Rosenbloom, Mike McTigue and Tiger Flowers, all world champions between Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight.

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Post by compelling and rich Tue 24 Jul 2012, 8:03 pm

good to see you keep this going jeff, while ive not been much of a contributer (mainly becuase im usually out of my depth) i have been a long time reader of it

shame about captain being MIA, with windy also gone thats two great contributers gone off it. dont suppose captain was a windy alias?

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Post by John Bloody Wayne Tue 24 Jul 2012, 8:15 pm

I feel like putting Demsey in just for that great story about him having one fight in two locations as the tide came in so hey had to carry on fighting on a tug boat!

When do we have until to get our responses in?

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Post by Rowley Tue 24 Jul 2012, 8:59 pm

End of the week makes sense John, and whilst it would be unprofessional of me to try and influence anyone's voting you do not need amusing stoires to find reasons to put Dempsey in

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Post by Rowley Tue 24 Jul 2012, 10:06 pm

Of this weeks nominations I find myself most persuaded by the credentials of Delaney, Darcy and Dempsey. Delaney fought in what was a fiercely competitive light heavyweight division in the 1920s and wins over the likes of Loughran, Berlenbach, Flowers, Risko and McTigue are enough to convince me of both his abilities as a fighter. My only doubt with Delaney is that he departed the division to chase heavyweight riches perhaps a little too soon to give him the kind of record that would make his entry into the hall absolutely beyond doubt and given his form at that weight was patchy at best I can see why some would have doubts about inducting him but my own view is he did enough at light heavy and before his reign to justify inclusion, yes to Delaney

Criqui is one of those guys who perhaps through a lack of my knowledge I risk doing a disservice but I simply do not see enough on his record to justify including him, appears to have been dominant in Europe and anyone who could turn over Johnny Kilbane could clearly fight but when one considers he dropped the title in his first defence and the obvious question marks my ignorance creates about his European opposition I have little choice but to say no to Criqui

Johnny Coulon is a guy I am really on the fence about, won a hell of a lot of titles in the lower weight classes but would have to ask how strong the 115lb division was in the start 1910s and the no decision verdicts that are all lover his record make it nigh on impossible to make an accurate judgement of his abilities, however I am not seeing anything on the record to persuade me he deserves the nod, although I am more than happy to be talked round by anyone who is more familiar with Coulon’s career, but for now he is a no.

Darcy is equally as tricky because can a guy who had left the earth by 21 really warrant inclusion but I am tempted to say in the case of Darcy he may just, whilst he never fought outside of Australia this was not some small provincial outpost but a vibrant boxing scene attracting some of the best fighters in the world such as Eddie McGoorty, Jeff Smith and Jimmy Clabby to fight over there and in his brief career Darcy beat them all, with many reporting that he never looked hurt in any of those fights or indeed any fight during his career. Given Australia had seen the likes of Fitzsimmons, Jackson and Slavin fighting there in the years around Darcy’s era and many felt Darcy deserved to be mentioned amongst those guys I am leaning towards a yes for Les

Dempsey is the easiest of the bunch for me and is a yes, if you can lose only one fight in 51 in any era you’re half decent, if you can do it in an era of fights to the finishes as Jack did you are truly something special and in the likes of LaBlanche, Campbell and Donovan very much represented the best middleweights of the era and for nigh on 10 years Dempsey repelled them all. However the last word on Demspey for me must go to Bob Fitzsimmons who said of him “one of the greatest fighters that ever lived…..He was an Irishman, wonderfully game, crafty, a superb ring general and lightning fast.” Which in case there was any doubt means Jack is a yes for me

Summary
Criqui NO
Coulon NO
Darcy YES
Delaney YES
Dempsey YES

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Post by 88Chris05 Tue 24 Jul 2012, 10:59 pm

Some decisions are pretty easy here, for me personally at least. Others not so!

I think we can safely say goodbye to Coulon; I don't think he's one of the gold standard bearers at 118 lb, and given that Bantamweight is one of the less esteemed of the original eight weight classes, that's probably a fatal blow in his hopes to gaining entry in to a 606v2 Hall of Fame which, as the captain outlined last year, is meant to be "unashamedly elitist." Never a truly dominant champion, beaten comprehensively by the best man he fought and, while he has some impressive scalps, they're no more impressive than those of many other fighters who have already fallen by the wayside in this process. A definite no.

Criqui's statistics are impressive enough, but again, I don't see cause for inclusion here. Kilbane a great Featherweight, but had to be dragged out of semi-retirement to face the French war hero, and Criqui's reign afterwards was short-lived. Le Doux is a fighter with no place in such a hall either, having been outboxed for sixteen rounds by a near-forty year old, out of retirement Driscoll, who was already suffering from consumption before he found that knockout punch - that Criqui was losing to such a calibre of fighter, and ones of even less repute on a (fairly) regular basis, tells us where he's at, I feel. Good, but not great. Another no.

Dempsey, on the other hand, has just about enough defining moments behind him to gain entry. What he also has, which the two above didn't, was remarkable consistency - the name 'Nonpareil' was well deserved, because for a long time he was nigh-on unbeatable at Middleweight. He only lost once in his first eleven years as a professional, and even then it was an illegal blow (the 'pivot punch') which felled him against La Blanche. He also had to beat a string of good Middleweights, as opposed to just one, to make his title claim universal; his wins over Fulljames and Fogarty completed the puzzle as different bodies and States recognized different men as champion. I don't think his loss to Fitzsimmons should count against him all that much, first off because Bob was one of the most remarkable fighters of all time in his own right, and also because he was a touch bigger than Jack in any case - remember, when Dempsey wore the Middleweight crown, the weight limit was set at 154 lb, and it was Fitzsimmons who raised it. In essence, a great Light-Middleweight, for all intents and purposes, losing to a great man who was probably most comfortable at around twelve stone is no disgrace. Throw in the fact that he's widely lauded for his pioneering technical skills to this day, and I'm happy to have 'Nonpareil' in. Yes.

Darcy's story is remarkable, so much so that it actually eclipses his achievements in the ring, which don't warrant inclusion here. He may well have gone on to become one of the great Middleweight champions, but that's purely speculation and, although he accounted for some good names, essentially his claim to the Middleweight title was no stronger than that of Al McCoy or George Chip before him - the Hall of Fame shouldn't be a place for what ifs and maybes. Darcy's a no.

Delaney is probably giving me the biggest headache here. He has the highly notable wins over some seriously good Light-Heavies (or great ones , in Rosenbloom and Loughran's cases), and he has that style which was so revered amongst his peers. He also has going for him the fact that he lifted the title in what has, in retrospect, become one of boxing's most glorious and coveted divisions. It should be plain sailing for him.

However, I'm also mindful that he absconded the division at a price to his legacy, that there were still some truly immense names against whom he could have tested his mettle (Greb, Tunney etc) missing from his CV, and that he wasn't above the odd shocking loss. If you look at that classic era for the Light-Heavies, I'd say that you could only make him third or fourth in the bunch, so I'm not quite sure if I can give him the nod here. It's mightily close, but if pushed, I'd be inclined to say that Delaney comes agonizingly close to the all-time great podium, but has to settle for 'very, very good' by the thinnest of margins and, as I'm thinking of some fighters I'd consider more worthy than him who we've collectively not included, I have to give Delaney a somewhat unfortunate thumbs down, although I wouldn't argue too much with anyone who disagreed.

So for me, Dempsey gets in. The rest miss out, by varying margins.
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Post by trottb Wed 25 Jul 2012, 8:36 am

Glad to see this back up and running. Good work all involved, I have always found it to be a fantastic read. thumbsup

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Post by Guest Wed 25 Jul 2012, 5:28 pm

Nonpareil Jack for me, sir. Ah the fond memories of the one response article I wrote on him (actually a Bert Sugar article,but still).The first of many..sob..

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Post by John Bloody Wayne Wed 25 Jul 2012, 9:43 pm

Criqui, although clearly a fighter of great ability seems to be dining off his Kilbane win and lacks consistency. Of all the fights on his record, almost every victory is a non title fight and almost all title fights end in defeat. One of the only victories being that defining victory over Kilbane for the world title which he lost a fight later. It's also telling that it was Kilbane's last ever bout in a pretty long career and he hadn't fought for two years before that.
NO to Criqui

An easier NO to Coulon. Too few wins of great meaning and too many losses. also not ranking especially highly in one of the weaker divisions historically.

I was just watching some Jack Delaney the other day. It was near the end of his career against Tom Heeney who outweighed him by 20 pounds. Delaney looked a good mover and a smart boxer but was gradually over powered by a much stronger man and eventually beaten by decision. I couldn't actually see the last part of the fight though. Heeney would then become Gene Tunney's final victim. That seemed like a good example of the down side of Delaney's career, not being big enough for his division when he could have still made light heavyweight. It's a shame the light heavyweight division was still seen as a stepping stone back then because it seems obvious his career would've been better off at 175, and what a career it was anyway. Berlenbach, Uzcudun, Rosenbloom, Loughran, Flowers and Slattery must make him among the best of his era. Being "among the best" might not be enough in some cases, but this is arguably in the second strongest era of the very strongest division. YES for Delaney

Darcy is certainly interesting, but it seems more a case of what might have been. A tragic story but, like Papp if I remember correctly, it's about what they did as pros, not what they might have done. NO to Darcy.

Dempsey's a difficult one to judge for me which is why I left him until last. Certainly can't be argued he was a dominant and consistent performer who's talents had a great reputation, especially if you factor in all his bare knuckle fights. He was also among the most popular fighters of his day for a while, possibly outshone only by John L Sullivan. Before facing Fitz he'd lost only on an illegal blow and in fights that weren't necessarily above board against Baker. All this is mighty impressive stuff. Multiple losses were common back then, expected even and he didn't really have them. Even by the time he did finally take a real beating he supposedly had tuberculosis. However I can't look past the class of fighters he beat and the class who truly beat him. The only true greats he faced beat him pretty handily and his best are only good. I'm not expecting this to be popular, but a NO on Dempsey.

So YES for Delaney. NO for the rest.

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Post by superflyweight Thu 26 Jul 2012, 9:45 am

Dempsey is an easy yes for me. Simply has to be in there - the first great middleweight and perhaps arguably, the first truly great title holder at any weight. That it took a freakish middleweight like Fitzsimmons to take his title says it all. Sullivan may have been the larger than life figure, but I think Dempsey was the man that truly bestrode both the bare knuckled and gloved eras.

Easy no's for both Criqui and Coulon - I think the posts above pretty much sum up my feelings also. Fine fighters but they miss out on inclusion in what is supposed to be an elitist Hall of Fame.

Much tougher for both Darcy and Delaney.

I can see why Jeff is leaning towards including Darcy but if I'm going with my head and not my heart, I'd have to say no. His is very much a career which is unfulfilled and unlike others who have shone brightly for a short period of time, he hadn't established himself as the main man in his division. A regrettable no.

On reflection I have to go with a no for Delaney, but only just. He has some very good wins at light heavy but also some significant losses to men like Greb and Tunney. Of course, there is no shame in losing to either Harry or Gene (and it's said that Delaney acquitted himself well against both) and it would probably be unfair to exclude him because of those losses. However, two things sway me:

(1) when you look at his career, it becomes a little patchy anytime he stepped up in class; and
(2) I would struggle to place him in the top 15 of his division (although admittedly the light heavyweight division is one of the most talent stacked).

Like chris, I wouldn't argue with his inclusion though.






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Post by Rowley Sun 29 Jul 2012, 9:22 am

An interesting looking bunch up for nomination this week, with George Dixon, Jack Dillon, Jim Driscoll, the Dixie Kid and Johnny Dundee up for consideration. As the nominations for last week were not posted up until late in the week and traffic has been a little slow I suggest we leave those guys open for consideration for another week should anyone have missed voting

A prolific fighter who traveled the U.S. and Canada setting up fights as often as he could, Jack Dillon had stamina, strength, and intelligence. He turned pro as welterweight in his native Indiana at the age of seventeen, but soon moved up to the middleweight division and fought for two years before being handed his first loss, a ten-rounder to the very decent Eddie McGoorty.

In 1912, Dillon scored a third-round knockout against Hugo Kelly, and promptly claimed the world light heavyweight title, uncontested since Philadelphia Jack O'Brien had won it some years earlier. By 1914, Dillon was officially recognized as champion, when he won a decision over Battling Levinsky. Later that year, a referee cut short a Dillon-K.O. Brown meeting after three rounds, saying the fighters were just going through the motions.
Dillon, who did sometimes carry weaker fighters, was apparently affected by the criticism that followed that bout and began to fight heavyweights who were invariably larger. He defeated such big men as Al Weinert, Tom Cowler, and Fireman Jim Flynn. Dillon defeated Flynn twice, knocking him out in 1916 only a year after Flynn had defeated Jack Dempsey.

Dillon lost the world light heavyweight title to Battling Levinsky in 1916 in their ninth meeting. Levinsky employed ring science to avoid Dillon's still powerful punches and won on points. Dillon continued to fight for seven years after losing the title. A workmanlike fighter who did not vigorously seek the spotlight, Dillon's aggressive attacking style against bigger men won him a place in ring history. Dillon left boxing in 1923, not much richer than when he started. He retired to Florida where he lived next door to a small restaurant he owned and ran. He died in 1942.

Born Aaron Brown in Fulton, Missouri, The Dixie Kid was a clever boxer who was deft at counterpunching. Kid battled the best in the welter and middleweight divisions.

By virtue of a 20-round victory by foul over Barbados Joe Walcott, Kid captured the world welterweight title on April 29, 1904.

He drew with Walcott over 20 rounds in a rematch two weeks later (May 12th). His claim to the world title would be disputed over the years (the Kid often pursued heavier opponents), although he is often regarded as champ until 1908.

Among the men he met include Jimmy Clabby, Mike Twin Sullivan, Willie Lewis, Sam Langford and Hall of Famer Georges Carpentier, whom he TKO'd in 5 rounds while in Europe in 1911.

A veteran of over 150 bouts, he retired in 1920 and died on April 6, 1934 in Los Angeles.

George Dixon became the first black man to win a world boxing title when he captured the bantamweight crown in England and then successfully defended it in America. He later added the world featherweight title, which he held for a total of eight years. Considered to be one of the finest small boxers ever, Dixon was well-respected for both his grace and power. He became interested in fighting while assisting a photographer who took posed boxing pictures. Dixon entered the pro ring in his native Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1886 at the age of sixteen.

Under the guidance of manager Tom O'Rourke, Dixon fought Cal McCarthy at the Union Athletic Club in Boston in 1890 for the American version of the featherweight title. Wearing two-ounce gloves, Dixon and McCarthy battled for 70 rounds, only to have the exhausting fight called a draw. That same year Dixon traveled to England to face Nunc Wallace, the holder of the British version of the world bantamweight title. Dixon easily vanquished Wallace, scoring a knockout in the eighteenth round.

Dixon returned to America to lay further claim to the title by knocking out bantamweight challenger Johnny Murphy. Dixon also knocked out McCarthy in a rematch in 1891. By 1892, he had outgrown the bantamweight division and began competing solely as a featherweight. With a fourteenth-round knockout of Fred Johnson in Coney Island in 1892, Dixon asserted his claim to the featherweight title.

Dixon participated in the three-day Carnival of Champions at the Olympia Club in New Orleans, where most of boxing's top contenders met. Dixon was matched against the amateur champion Jack Skelly, who was white. Dixon controlled the action from the start, broke Skelly's nose, and knocked him out in the eighth. White fans at the match reacted with shock and disgust, and to keep peace, the Olympia Club decided not to conduct any more mixed-race matches. The racist reaction to this fight led to limited black access to other matches, including heavyweight championships.
A long string of title defences was interrupted by only a few quickly-avenged defeats. Terry McGovern finally bested Dixon in 1900 to take the crown away. Dixon lost a non-title rematch with McGovern and never again contended for the title, though he continued to fight until 1906. Dixon died, penniless, three years after retiring.

For a small country Wales has produced some cracking fighters and to many a person’s view Jim Driscoll may just be the best of the bunch. Like Jimmy Wilde before him, Welshman Jim Driscoll got his start fighting in the boxing booths of the British Isles. After fighting hundreds of bouts in the booths, Driscoll turned professional in 1901 at the age of eighteen and promptly won his first ten fights by knockout. In his next fight, he decisioned Joe Ross to win the Welsh featherweight title. Driscoll was quick and elusive in the ring. He had great hand speed, which he combined with enough power to rack up 35 knockouts in 69 fights.

In 1907, Driscoll won the vacant British featherweight title with a seventeenth-round knockout of Joe Bowker. After adding the British Empire featherweight title in 1908, Driscoll avenged one of the few defeats of his career by beating Harry Mansfield in a rematch. He next traveled to the United States, where he won a newspaper decision over the tough Leach Cross. Driscoll fought a no-decision match with world featherweight champ Abe Attell at the National Athletic Club in New York. Though Driscoll failed to knock Attell out, he completely dominated the fight. Driscoll left the ring unmarked, but Attell had one eye closed and a badly swollen nose. Driscoll later claimed that he and Attell had agreed that the title would change hands based on the newspaper decision, the unofficial vote by ringside reporters. Attell, who had clearly been outboxed, did not acknowledge that such an agreement had been made, but given Attell was not one of the more honest guys to ever step in a ring it is eminently possibly he reneged on such a deal.

After the Attell fight, Driscoll went back to Britain, returning to the United States only once more, to fight Pal Moore in Philadelphia. In 1912, Driscoll knocked out Jean Poesy in twelve rounds to win the vacant British and European world featherweight titles. He served in the British military during World War I, then attempted a comeback in 1919. He fought twice before losing to Charles Ledoux by a technical knockout. Driscoll was ahead in the Ledoux fight but became exhausted by the sixteenth round. After this defeat, Driscoll quit the ring for good. Although never officially recognised as a world champion Driscoll proved in the Attell fight and battles with the likes of Owen Moran, George Dixon and Freddie Welsh he was the real deal

Johnny Dundee, who real name was Giuseppe Carrora, was a clever boxer with little power. He was highly skilled at fighting off the ropes and was always in outstanding condition. He fought 59 times in his first two years in boxing.

Dundee began fighting professionally in 1910 and didn't stop until 1932. During that time he had 330 bouts and won featherweight and junior lightweight titles. Only two fighters in history, Len Wickwar (463) and Jack Britton (350) had more fights than Dundee. Perhaps even more remarkable was that Dundee was knocked out just twice in his entire career.
Dundee met the best fighters of his era. He fought great lightweight champion Benny Leonard nine times and entered the ring against top contender Lew Tendler three times. He also fought lightweight champions Freddie Welsh and Willie Ritchie.

Dundee earned a world title fight in his 87th fight and fought to a drew with featherweight champion Johnny Kilbane in 1913. The slick boxer waited until his 265th fight for another shot at the title. His patience paid off. He won the junior lightweight championship in 1921 when his opponent, George "KO" Chaney, was disqualified in the fifth round. Dundee earned the distinction of being the first universally recognized junior lightweight champion in history. Then in 1922 he knocked out Danny Frush to earn recognition in New York State as the featherweight champion of the world.

Dundee successfully defended his junior lightweight crown three times before losing it to Jack Bernstein in 1923. Two fights later he unified the featherweight title by defeating Eugene Criqui and finished 1923 by regaining the junior lightweight title in a rematch with Bernstein.
Dundee lost the junior lightweight title to Steve Sullivan in June of 1924 and then relinquished the featherweight crown two months later. The last significant fight of his career was in 1927 when he challenged featherweight champion Tony Canzoneri but lost a 15-round decision. Dundee finally retired in 1932 after posting a six-round decision over Mickey Greb.

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Post by manos de piedra Sun 29 Jul 2012, 2:17 pm

Hard to know what to make of Dixon given the era he fought in. Theres an article on Cox's corner about him which holds him in high regard but his actual record is hard to decipher. There are so many draws and its hard to know what kind of standard of fighters he was beating. His record against the fighters Im more familiar with like McGovern, Attell, Driscoll, Palmer amongst others is pretty poor although they came later on in his career. Fleischer rates him as the number 1 bantamweight of all time which is as good an argument against including him as any given how seldom I agree with him. Not sure how much Fleischer saw of him in any event seeing as by the time Fleischer was a teenager, Dixon could barely win a fight. Possibly the propensity for draws back then plus things like racial discrimination meant Dixon got a raw deal but Im not really sold on him. I tend to adopt the position that this more exclusive HoF demands a fighter convincing me of his inclusion and with that in mind I will probably have to say no to Dixon.

I visited Dillon recently enough when reading up on Tunney and Im fairly sure of leaving him out. For a good 3/4 years between 1912-1916 he barely lost a fight and racked up an enormous number of wins but it all seems to be against the kind of gatekeeper standard fighters like Fireman Flynn, Gunboat Smith, Porky Dan and these type of fighters. His record against the better guys, even guys who I dont think are HoF worthy themselves like Battling Levinsky and Billy Miske is fairly mixed and he is well beaten by top level guys like Greb and Gibbons. So I think his level can be gauged. Good fighter but not HoF standard for me.

Driscoll is an odd one but initially when I saw his name I thought he was a surefire for inculsion but when I went back and looked more closely I was less convinced. He is similar to Wilde in that he proves unquestionably he is the best in Britain but only a small number of his fights seem to carry "world" championship meaning and his record in these is fifty-fiftyish. Obviously the domestic titles meant alot more back then than they do now but Im still not sure how much emphasis to put on dominating the domestic scene but not really the world scene? By most accounts he was hard done by not to get a world title shot against Attell and I think that by winning a newpaper decision over him in a non title affair probably meant he deserved to be a world champion, but Im not sure how long he would have reigned. Il give him a yes by virtue of his win over Attell but it would be interesting to know how the British domestic scene stacked up to the one in the U.S.

The Dixie Kid is a no for me. Not very familiar with him but he doesnt appear to be worth a place. Lots wins but seems to lose to the better fighters he faces in his career and is patchy enough.

Dundee is another tough fighter to assess. He fought an enormous amount of fights but his record is quite patchy and includes alot of inexplicable draws and losses against average fighters for someone with his ability. He fought Benny Leonard many times but his success against him seems to come when Leonad was quite green. Despite plenty of wins, some of them very good, he doesnt make the cut for me because of a lack of consistency or world title success. Always hard to assess the Newspaper era do to the tendancy for fighters to often carry lesser opponents and the a 5% KO ratio in over 300 bouts tells it own story!

Overall:

Dixon - no
Dillon - no
Driscoll - yes
Dixie Kid - no
Dundee - no









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Post by Rowley Mon 30 Jul 2012, 1:55 pm

An interesting bunch this week, will get the ones I am definite of out of the way early and say I simply do not see enough on the Dixie Kids record to justify his inclusion, take away the Walcott bout and when he meets the more recognisable names he tends to pick up losses, have to perhaps mitigate this with the fact he was often forced to give up weight advantages but if this is going to be truly elite he has to be a no.

Dillon is probabl also a no but one I arrive at a little less confidently, have read plenty that speaks about Dillon at his best with something approaching reverance but whenever I look at his record it is hard to get past Manos' reasonable point that when he steps up against the likes of Greb or Gibbons he loses, no massive shame in that as they are truly out of the top drawer of fighters, however it is falure to really establish the wood over guys like McGoorty and Klaus that have me leaning towards a no.

Driscoll is equally as tricky, am conscious not to apply a different set of criteria to him than one would for another fighter solely because he is British but with Driscoll I have simply read far too much of a welath of material attesting to his greatness to ignore it and given his win over a truly great fighter in Attell was about as dominant as one would ever hope to imagine according to most reports I am inclined to say yes to Jim, particularly as it does appear when he made his all too infrequent visits to the states his success in Britain translated to success over there.

Dundee is a guy I am leaning towards another no for, as Manos has already said for every good win his record appears spotted with inexplicable losses against second tier guys and whilst some of his top tier losses such as Canzoneri can be explained as the rigours of a long career even earlier in his career the top tier guys such as Welsh had a habit of turning him over.

Having read a hell of a lot about the early era of the game and particularly the lot of black fighters then my default position with Dixon is to say yes because any black fighter good enough to even secure a world title back then must have been some fighter and to reign for ten years speaks highly of his abilities, whilst his name may not op with names that stand out some of the black fighters he often faced such as Walter Egerton and Sam Bolan were more than decent in their own right. He may have dropped a few decisions late in his career but for a black fighter to reign for 10 years in such an era and with all the obstacles they faced tells me enough ot say yes.

Driscoll - Yes
Dixon Yes
Dundee No
Dillon No
Dixie Kid No

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Post by 88Chris05 Thu 02 Aug 2012, 12:34 am

Finally back to cast my votes!

Dixie Kid is a nice, simple one to ease my way in, insofar as he's a clear and definitive 'no'. His record doesn't mark him out as a stand out performer even within his own time, and as such it's impossible to make a case for his inclusion. Thumbs very much down.

Jack Dillon's candidacy is timely, as it runs more or less in line with Delaney's, a fighter with whom he shares a similar standing at Light-Heavyweight. However, Dillon does have the kind of consistency in his best years which Delaney perhaps didn't quite manage, and his actual reign as champion was impressive. However, I'd say that the majority of his best scalps (Levinsky, Chip, Houck etc) were not quite from the elite or top class. Greb, a naturally smaller man, had the wood on him, as did a couple of other top Light-Heavies of the day, so unfortunately, while Dillon is one of the better candidates to be shown the door, he's being shown it all the same. No.

George Dixon is a tricky one. I've often cited him as being one of the key figures and corner stones of the Featherweight class, and he was a title claimant - at time the undisputed one - for almost a decade, all told. He also has some impressive scalps in the form of Erne, Palmer etc. However, those wins were also matched with numerous defeats and draws against those men, so I can't really say that he established the kind of demonstrable dominance in his own division you'd want a Hall of Famer to have. Also, I'm mindful of the absolute thrashing that the young pup McGovern, moving up from Bantam, which perhaps shows the difference between the very, very good and the great. A narrow no, I think.

Driscoll, I think, may well be worthy here. He was supremely consistent for the most part, with very few ignominious defeats to answer for, aside from his disqualification to the naturally bigger Welsh (no shame in losing to Freddie in any case, mind you). Handed a boxing lesson to a bonafide great of the 126 lb division in Attell and can, by rights, claim to have been the best Featherweight in the world for a good while, although being ignored by Attell for so long is harmful. Also scored some other meritorious wins, usually without suffering defeats to the same men, and a battling draw with the great Moran again proves his calibre. Not an emphatic entry to our Hall, in my eyes, but he makes it all the same. Yes.

Johnny Dundee was a freak of nature; more fights than any other world champion, so they say, and with little knockout power but also a fantastic chin, I doubt any professional that we know of has boxed more rounds. He also took on an incredible array of fantastic operators between 126 and 135 lb, and had his success. I'd say his three wins over Benny Leonard, even if they were countered by four losses, deserve great commendation. Yes, Benny was young, but he was also highly ranked at the time and Dundee was still beating him when he was only a few months away from starting his glorious reign as Lightweight champion.

Despite his record, he was kept waiting for a long, long time for a second world title shot after his first tilt against Kilbane, which probably leads to him being undervalued. The names he took on as Super-Featherweight champion weren't elite, but he did at least regain the title after losing it for the first time, and it's unfortunate that, by the time he was finally able to win the Featherweight crown, he'd started to outgrow the weight class. Despite such a frantic schedule, he was also fairly consistent, so that coupled with his array of wins over his rivals as well as men naturally a little bigger than him mean I'll give him the benefit of some doubt here, and vote him in by the smallest of margins.

So, narrow yeses to Dundee and Driscoll, with Dixon, Dillon and Dixie Kid missing out.
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Post by superflyweight Fri 03 Aug 2012, 1:19 pm

Like others, just don't see enough on the Dixie Kid's record to merit inclusion. An easy no.

Dillon is someone I'm reasonably well aware of and he rightly earned his place in the IBHOF. However, as this HOF is intended to be exclusive and elitist, He has to be a no. Similar to Jack Delaney last week, Dillon had a fine recorrd against the good but not great amongst his opponents but he tended to fall short when stepping up the level of opposition. For that reaon he's a no.

Dundee is a very narrow yes for me. I think there's just about enough quality on his record in the win column to merit inclusion and the longevity and span of his career sets him apart from all but few fighters.

Dixon is a very difficult one because he's vitally important in the history of boxing but as chris points out, he didn't ever dominate his division the way a truly great fighter might have. However, on balance and given his histrotical importance, I'm going to say yes.

Driscoll is a also a yes. I agree with Manos that his record at world level is less convincing than his domestic record but that win over Atell and the succeses that he achieved in the States (at a a time when going to the States was a massive undertaking and noting the fact that British success in America is still relatively rare) just about tips the balance in his favour. Perhaps I'm being more lenient because he's British but if it annoys Truss to any extent then it's merited.

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Post by Rowley Fri 03 Aug 2012, 4:54 pm

God love you Superfly, was beginning to think I was peeing in the wind with Dixon, he ain't home yet but he stands a fighting chance.

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Post by superflyweight Sat 04 Aug 2012, 12:28 pm

Possibly a sentimental pick, jeff, but I think there is room for a little sentimentality for someone like Dixon who is borderline at worst.

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Post by Rowley Sun 05 Aug 2012, 12:16 pm

Tend to agree Superfly, my view as I argued with Tyson is there are a number of guys that have an impact and a place in the history of the sport that makes up for any shortfalls in their record and when you are the first black champion ever you fall into this category, just think a hall of fame looks better for having a guy like Dixon in it.

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Post by 88Chris05 Mon 06 Aug 2012, 12:12 am

Howdy all, the Hall of Fame falls on to me this week, so I hope we can get a little more interest as we try to complete our inductions.

Last week saw Jack Dillon and Dixie Kid emphatically rejected from our Hall, with both men failing to secure a single thumbs up vote in the debate. Rather surprisingly, perhaps, Britain's own 'Peerless' Jim Driscoll secured his ticket in to our Hall with votes - four out of four - unanimously in favour of him, a stark contrast. For Featherweight greats George Dixon and Johnny Dundee, there remains some uncertainty; both scored 50% of their votes in favour of them, and as such will go on to the back burner for now, to be considered at a later date for second ballot induction.

So, now it's the turn of Sixto Escobar, Jackie Fields, Tiger Flowers, Frankie Genaro and Mike Gibbons.

The success of Puero Rican boxing over the decades owes much to Sixto Escobar, who was the first world champion to emerge from the country's shores. Despite these roots, he actually learned most of his early boxing in Canada and then Venezuela, compiling a fair record, before a succession of wins in America brought him a crack at Baby Casanova's NBA Bantamweight title in 1934. He won in nine rounds, but was dethroned after one more defence by Lou Salica in a fight for both NBA and NYSAC recognition. Undeterred, Escobar won their second fight for those two titles, and then removed any other lingering doubts over his 118 lb superiority by knocking out the ill-fated Tony Marino for additional recognition from the IBU (Marino never regained consciousness). After two more defences - which included another win over Salica - the sometimes unpredicatble Escobar was upset by Harry Jeffra on points in 1937, but reversed that the following year to become a three-time champion. This time, there was only one more defence before the Puerto Rican vacated his title in 1939 due to weight-making difficulties, but whatever success he had planned at the higher weights never came to fruition - he lost nearly all of his remaining fights and retired in 1940, still aged only twenty-seven. As well as Salica and Jeffra and Marino, Escobar also defeated sometime world champions Pete Sanstol and Juan Zurita, and was never stopped in a career which spanned more than 70 fights.

Jackie Fields was another of the great Jewish-American fighters of the post-WWI years, and like many of them, he started young; he was still only fifteen when he began his career as a professional. Despite this, he was beaten only three times in his first six years, and even then it took fighters as good as Jimmy McLarnin, Louis Kaplan and Sammy Mandell (who Fields also managed to beat beforehand) to do it. He won the NBA Welterweight title in 1929 with a points win over Young Jack Thompson, but made only one defence before the same man dethroned him, again on points, a year later. He outscored Lou Brouillard to recover that title in 1932, but again his reign was short-lived as Young Corbett III edged him on points the following year, and he retired after just one more fight, still only in his mid-twenties. On top of the names already mentioned, Fields also scored wins over highly-respected operators such as Vince Dundee, Mushy Callahan and Gorilla Jones, retiring with a very consistent 71-9-3 record.

In an era of hell-raising Middleweights such as Mickey Walker and Harry Greb, Tiger Flowers stood out as being just that little bit different; he was a deeply religious man who in turn became known as the 'Georgia Deacon.' For his era, he didn't come in to the sport until a relatively advanced age, having his first fight at the age of twenty-three, but he worked hard once he started, having 36 fights in 1924 alone, for instance. Although not a great puncher, he was a clever operator and was largely avoided by the top Middleweights at first - of course, being black in the 1920s didn't help matters - and so was forced to fight men bigger than himself, losing to Light-Heavyweights Kid Norfolk, Jack Delaney, Mike McTigue and Maxie Rosenbloom. However, he was a model of consistency at his preferred 160 lb, and finally got a title shot in 1926, when he dethroned the great Harry Greb for the world title. He repreated the trick in a rematch, but had lost the title by the end of the year in controversial circumstances to Mickey Walker - Flowers had entered the ring under the impression that the bout was to be a 'No Decision' affair, but was stunned to hear Walker announced as the champion after ten turgid rounds - the decision was a largely unpopular one. He campaigned for a rematch and was beaten only once in his next twenty-odd fights, but the end came abruptly on November 6, 1927, as Flowers died after what should have been a routine eye operation. Flowers merits an interesting footnote, as the first black Middleweight champion of the world.

Frankie Genaro, to this day, is considered by many to be amongst the greatest Flyweights of all time. Fighting in a wonderful era for the division, he compiled an 8-3-2 record in world title fights and even beat the great Pancho Villa three times out of three. Fidel La Barba turned back his first title effort in 1925, but his first world title win came in 1928 when Genaro outscored Albert 'Frenchy' Bellanger for the NBA version of the 112 lb crown. Emile Pladner brought the Italian-American crashing back down to earth with a first round knockout to take that title in 1929, however Genaro was a champion again within weeks, beating Pladner on a disqualification for the NBA as well as the IBU title. This time, he managed seven successful defences, which included a draw with fellow Flyweight legend Midget Wolgast, before Victor Perez ended his reign in two rounds in 1931. Genaro also beat respected world title claimants such as Johnny Rosner and the great Bud Taylor in his stellar career, which ended in 1934 after a wretched run of form.

Although the infamy of his Heavyweight world title showdown with Jack Dempsey bankrupting the town of Shebly, Montana will ensure that Tommy Gibbons remains the most well-known fighter in his family, the achievements of his brother Mike are still impressive. Mike was a fine technician with a sharp boxing brain, and remarkably would only lose three official decisions in a career which included some 70-odd fights, as well as countless 'No Decision' affairs. He took on - and often beat - all of the leading Middleweights of his era after turning professional in 1907, but despite his superb winning record was unable to secure an official world title shot - in the years leading up to the First World War, the 160 lb crown was fragmented, with as many as half a dozen men laying down some kind of claim to it. Nonetheless, Gibbons beat (admittedly allowing for 'ND' fights) highly-ranked contenders such as Jimmy Clabby, Soldier Bartfield and Willie Brennan, legendary Welterweight champion Ted 'Kid' Lewis, a host of Middleweight champions / titlists such as Mike O'Dowd, Eddie McGoorty, George Chip, Jeff Smith, Al McCoy and Harry Greb, and even found time to handily outscore an excellent Light-Heavyweight champion in Jack Dillon in 1916. Gibbons was never stopped in his career, and had his last fight in 1922.
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Post by John Bloody Wayne Mon 06 Aug 2012, 2:59 pm

Sorry I didn't put anything in for the last lot, only noticed we'd moved on part way through the week and din't find time to put together a proper argument for anybody.


Sixto Escobar then. Although being a three time champion sounds very impressive, he had to lose it to take it back. And lose he did fairly regularly, finding no great consistency during his career and, although he beat some good operators for his era, no really great wins stand out from lots of quite ordinary losses.

Jackie Fields was surely too busy for his own good. Maybe starting later or having a less busy schedule might have saved him, but it seems he'd had a few too many by the time he was reaching his physical prime and had to hang them up. His consistency is impressive given the era and the early start he got, and he has an impressive run against the respected names of his time, but ended losing as many title fights as he won which, in fairness, wasn't many. Clearly a very able boxer, but did nothing to separate himself from the pack.

Tiger Flowers, a typical old time boxer who had to learn it in the ring on the way up. Took losses as he did it, but mainly early on and usually against light heavyweights where he couldn't handle the added power. Even up at light heavy he got draws with Rosenbloom. It's at middleweight where he's in with the real tough guys of boxing history, and maybe I'm falling his 2-1 overall record against Greb (and 2-0 in title fights) but he looks like top caliber talent to me.

Given his frequent activity, especially early in his career, Genaro's consistency is actually incredible. Mix that with numerous title victories and a genuine reign as champion and he looks pretty good. There was a lot of talent around, and he took some defeats as anybody would if they fought to such a hectic schedule, but among them are some great victories. 3-0 against one of the absolute greatest of his division and rightly a solid top tenner at flyweight himself.

With 9 newspaper decision losses and three official decision losses in a career total of some insane number of fights. Never stopped. Harry Greb after fighting Gibbons: "From now on, match we with one guy at a time" such was Mike's footwork. All that winning and very little losing when he was faced with men like Greb, McFarland, Lewis, Dillon, and O'Dowd. It sounds like his era was something like today's with so many titles floating around, but unlike others he didn't become champion for lack of a chance, not for lack of ability. He beat some top champions afterall.

Escobar NO
Fields NO
Flowers YES
Genaro YES
Gibbons YES

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Post by 88Chris05 Mon 06 Aug 2012, 4:10 pm

Cheers for the above contribution, JBW. Some great points there.

Escobar no doubt an influential figure in the growth of Puerto Rican boxing, and certainly commands a fair ranking in the all-time stakes at Bantamweight, but I'm quite happy to say that he falls that little bit short of the gold standard we're looking for here. He was prone to inconsistency in both title and non-title fights and, while certain losses are understandable, there are a couple of howlers that take serious explanation thrown in, too. A very fine Bantam champion, but not quite from the elite class, despite his fimpressive list of victims. He's a no.

Likewise, Fields simply didn't distinguish himself enough as a champion to really warrant inclusion here. Of course, he was mixing it with some seriously stuff competition from an astonishingly early age, but there is a trend on his ledger, whereby he generally lost to the absolute tiptop men he faced the majority of the time, while having more successes than failures against the crop immediately below that group. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but it's not enough to gain entry in to a Hall of Fame which is designed to be "unashamedly elitist." Another no.

Tiger Flowers is giving me a bit of a headache. I can definitely see the case for including him; a pair of wins over Greb in title fights (and one of the very, very few men who held a winning record of any kind over him), as well as a seemingly fine showing against Walker, another bonafide great of the 160 lb weight class, in which he was desperately unlucky to lose his crown. However, I can't help but think that he perhaps caught Greb on his way down - though I believe that stories of Greb being totally blind in one eye by 1926 are a little far-fetched, I do think that he was ailing at the time and was past his absolute best, although both could also apply to Flowers, in fairness. He was consistent as a Middleweight, understandably less so at Light-Heavy, but I find myself thinking that any fully-fledged career Middleweight worthy of a place here would still be able to perform at a fairly high level at 175 lb - this isn't the case for Flowers who, the rare exception aside, often took a conclusive beating from the (only slightly) bigger men he fought. Certainly one of the better fighters I've given the thumbs down to, but I don't think there's quite enough there to give Flowers he benefit of the doubt.

In recent times I've sometimes wondered if Jimmy Wilde is really worthy of being called the all-time king of the Flyweights; he probably is, but if we did want someone to take his place, Frankie Genaro couldn't be far behind. Pretty consistent across his whole career until those bitter final days, and quite a few of his significant defeats are balanced with victories over the same men. He also mnaged an extremely worthwhile reign, albeit at the secind time of asking, at championship level, and anyone who can go 3-0 against a giant of the Flyweight class in Villa surely fits the billing of 'elite.' I make Genaro a yes.

If you compiled a list of the greatest fighters never to win a world title, you wouldn't be far down it before Mike Gibbons' name appeared. I'd actually forgotten how remarkably consistent he was across his whole career, and in retrospect I think we can safely say that he deserves to be called the premier Middleweight of his time; Smith, McGoorty, Chip, O'Dowd and McCoy all held title claims between the reigns of Fitzsimmons and Greb, and Gibbons just about established superiority over all of them, particularly if we adhere to the widespread belief that the verdict handed to McGoorty to win their fight for the Australian version of the Middleweight title was, indeed, a terrible one. What's more, his collection of excellent wins isn't spoilt by those inexplicable or crushing defeats that we see with so many other fighters of the era. No world title, of course, but that was through no fault of his own and I simply can't see a reason to leave him out. A solid yes for me.

So Genaro and Gibbons make it for me. Escobar, Fields and Flowers miss out.
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Post by Rowley Mon 06 Aug 2012, 8:47 pm

Whenever I look at guys i am not hugely familiar one of the things I look towards is whether there is a period during their record where they put forward a sustained period of success, consistency and dominance and with Escobar I am not really seeing it, obviously an important figure in the history of Puerto Rican boxing but cannot see him having done more than guys I have already said no to.

Fields does appear to have a fairly decent run of form and between 1927 and 1931 he rarely dropped many decisions however on the occasions he did they tended to be to the better fighters he faced, is he a good figher? Almost certainly, Is he truly elite? Probably not, another no

Gibbons is for me just the kind of fighter this elite hall was set up for, mixed in one heck of an era for the middles and held his own, Chip, O'Dowd, Mcgoorty and Smith amongst others were all very fine fighters in their own right and Gibbons could reasonably be argued to be the best of that bunch. A yes every day of the week.

As Chris has said going three zip against Pancho Villa is some way to open your argument for inclusion in the hall, when you add into that mix a pretty decent length holding the title and wins over the likes of Belanger, Graham and Rosenberg and your entry is all but assured, and I am not going to rock the boat by trying to argue against his inclusion, another yes.

Which brings us finally to Flowers. I really have no idea what to do with Flowers, whether Greb was a shade past his best or now anyone who holds two victories over the windmill should not be readily dismissed, can appreciate Chris' point about his light heavyweight forays being a mixed bag but think what is tipping me in favour of saying yes to Flowers is how well he performed in match ups with the other fine black fighters of his era, there is no great shame in losing to the terrific Norfolk and Langford early in his career but the likes of Allentown Joe Gans, Jamacia Kid and Battling Gahee were excellent fighters in their own right and pretty much across the board Flowers had winning records against all of these. Is not as cast in stone as others we have discussed but am leaning more towards JBW's yes at the minute.

Summary

Flowers - Yes
Genaro - Yes
Escobar - No
Gibbons - Yes
Fields - No

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Post by superflyweight Tue 07 Aug 2012, 12:50 pm

I'll start with Gibbons as he is an easy yes. Certainly, I think, the best middleweight between Ketchel and Greb and was good enough to trade victories with Greb. It's merely an accident of timing that he didn't ever hold the middleweight belt and I think we can overlook that given he has victories over all of the major players of the time. It's said that Tunney modelled his style on Gibbons after watching him in the gym and if he's good enough for Gene, he's good enough for our Hall of Fame.

Genaro is also a yes. If Jimmy Wilde is included then Genaro, who has a good claim to be the best flyweight of all time ahead of Wilde, has to be in there also. A record of 3-0 against Pancho Villa is almost worthy of inclusion on its own but combined with his title reign and all round record, he's a shoe in. A definite yes!

Not overly familiar with Escobar and Fields and I think I concur with everyone else that they don't merit inclusion. Both seem to have come up slightly short when faced against elite opposition and as this is a reason why I have excluded other fighters, I have to be consistent here. A no for both.

Flowers is the hardest pick this week and possibly the hardest pick to date. In his favour you have the two wins over Greb. Yes, Greb may have been on the way down (although there is no real evidence of this, his eyesight not withstanding) but I tihnk any victory over Greb has to be given due regard. However, as great as those victories over Greb were, the unfortunate restrictions placed on black fighters at the time, limited Flower's ability to establish himself as one of the true great middleweights and as chris mentions, when faced against very good light heavys he tended to fall short. Saying that, I probably concur with jeff that there is just about enough quality on his record to supplement the victories over Greb to merit inclusion. He's a shaky yes.


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Post by manos de piedra Tue 07 Aug 2012, 6:34 pm

I would concur with everything so far in respect of Gibbons, Gennaro, Fields and Escobar.

I cant really make up my mind with Flowers. I was hoping someone else would have a convincing argument to sway my opininion either way but seems like people occupy the same position.

I find it difficult to assess these era fighters, especially when they are black. Flowers is a curious case, because while he seems to have been robbed badly by Walker and McTigue according to the fight reports, he also appears to have come through very close fights with Greb 2-1, and for the title. Being a black fighter then, its amazing to think that in genuinely close world title fights (as it was reported) that Flowers would be given the nod against someone like Greb?

Because of the nature of the era, and Flowers being black, Im usually on the lookout for some kind of skullduggery here and there and often when I see a DQ fight or an inexplicable loss Im inclined to think it may have been a fix. It occured to me that Flowers being given a rather surprising decision over Greb twice may in fact have been in part due to a white manager of a white charge elsewhere looking to try and oust Greb by political means. I find it slightly suspicious that no sooner had Flowers come through the close Greb fights, he is apparently robbed by Mickey Walker in his first defence of the title. Walker as you may know was beaten by Greb for the title the previous year. Could it have been clever politics by Walkers handlers to get Flowers to do their dirty work and then pounce on the new champion when Greb had been dethroned? Walkers bulldog style was ill suited to Grebs swarming while Flowers was an awkward southpaw that had troubled Greb in the past stylewise. Perhaps just over imagination on my part but I just find it suspicious that a who needs em, awkward black southpaw gets the nod over someone like Greb but is quickly robbed of the tilte soon after.

Allthings considered I think Flowers falls on the borderline. Im forgiving of him losing fights to the likes of Langford and Norfolk who he was probably spotting 15-20lbs at the time to and who were top fighters themselves. I think his middleweight contests with fellow greats like Greb, Wlaker and Rosenbloom are just about enough to give him a narrow yes, with the extra bonus of being the first black fighter to capture the middleweight crown.

Escobar - no
Fields - no
Gennaro - yes
Gibbons - yes
Flowers - yes

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Post by manos de piedra Tue 07 Aug 2012, 10:59 pm

Though having said about Flowers, it does seem somewhat inconsistent to have Delaney out but Flowers in given that Delaney handled him relatively comfortably twice and outside of that there doesnt seem to be a great deal seperating them. Flowers might have a little more consistency but some of the losses on Delaneys record such as early KO defeats to Augie Ratner (KO ratio 13%) and Young Fisher (KO ratio 9%) strike me as being fishy for a fighter of Delaneys calibre. Shades of Dempsey v Fireman Flynn.

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Post by superflyweight Wed 08 Aug 2012, 11:58 am

I was going to suggest revisting Flowers at a later date and give more opportunity to properly scrutinise his career but I do think that it's going to be almost impossible to get to a definitive position.

I was second guessing myself for most of yesterday and then Manos' almost plausible theory regarding the Greb fights through me completely. However, I guess I'm prepared to just about give Flowers the benefit of the doubt and on that basis, two championship victories over Greb are just about enough to justify inclusion.

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Post by superflyweight Wed 08 Aug 2012, 12:00 pm

"threw" not "through".

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Post by trottb Wed 08 Aug 2012, 1:05 pm

Inspired by the enthusiasm of Chris and superfly on a thread the other day I thought that I’d give this a go. If it ends up being cack please just delete it and forget about this venture into the unknown. I also thought it would be a good chance for me to learn more about the greats of yesteryear. Unfortunately my internet connection at the moment is woeful to say the least and is hampering my research as it takes an age to open sites such as box rec. Would it be OK with you guys if I get my findings in by Saturday morning, as should be home by then?

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Post by Rowley Wed 08 Aug 2012, 1:19 pm

trottb wrote:Would it be OK with you guys if I get my findings in by Saturday morning, as should be home by then?

Will be fine mate, we normally don't update till Sunday

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Post by manos de piedra Thu 09 Aug 2012, 7:56 pm

The other thing with the Flowers/Walker title fight was that it was held in Chicago for a ten rounder where there were no judges and the referee was the one who declared the winner. In New York it would most likely have been a 15 round affair with at least two judges.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty Sat 11 Aug 2012, 12:51 pm

Will only give a brief explanation for my choices as the olympics has hindered my opportunity to go into as much depth as I would usually like.

Escobar- One of the easiest no's thus far, holds a place in history as puerto ricos first world champion but in the grand scheme of things lacks the consistency to be considered a true great. NO

Fields- Fought in a strong era holding wins over Thompson, Brouillard, Jones, Dundee and other top contenders but can't overlook his losses to Corbett which do put into context where he was during his own era, the best of the rest. NO

Flowers- Not too clued up on him but aside from the two great wins over Greb not enough there to suggest he deserves to be in. NO

Genaro- Not as sold on him as many seem to be and outside of the 3 wins over Villa, disqualification win over Moore and the newspaper decision over Taylor don't see a great deal of consistency when it came to facing the top men. Losses to LaBarba, Brown and Perez do go some way to counter acting the great wins he held before his title reign but wins over a faded Williams and other decent names sees him scrape him but not by much. YES

Gibbons- As had been alluded to already is one of the greatest fighters to have never won a world title and is very much neck and neck with Burley with regards to that claim at solely middleweight. O'Dowd, Smith, Houck, Greb, Chip, McCoy, Dillon, Lewis and McCoorty make it a very simple decision. YES

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Post by TheMackemMawler Sat 11 Aug 2012, 7:06 pm

@ Manos and Ghosty

Compared to my peers I thought I knew quite a lot about the game gone by, but frankly I find both your knowledge of yesteryear truly remarkable. Your dedication as fans to the sport deserves huge respect. Amazing.
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Post by manos de piedra Sun 12 Aug 2012, 4:39 pm

TheMackemMawler wrote:@ Manos and Ghosty

Compared to my peers I thought I knew quite a lot about the game gone by, but frankly I find both your knowledge of yesteryear truly remarkable. Your dedication as fans to the sport deserves huge respect. Amazing.

If only mate! The more reading I do into past era's, especially the very early ones, the more I realise there is to learn. Threads like this one are really good for highlighting many of the forgotten boxers of the past.

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Post by trottb Mon 13 Aug 2012, 1:10 pm

Apologies gents, I was held up in getting home and haven't had chance to have a good look.

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Post by Rowley Mon 13 Aug 2012, 1:20 pm

Don't worry about it Trott, have been out most of the weekend so have not had chance to update the thread with this weeks runners and riders so if you're quick can still vote on last weeks

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Post by trottb Mon 13 Aug 2012, 1:36 pm

Cannot argue with anything that has been said with regards to Escobar, Fields, Genaro or Gibbons.

Tiger Flowers – A very difficult one is Flowers. 2 wins over a truly great fighter in Greb would normally be a great stepping stone to inclusion. The problem being that I cannot help but think that these wins were extremely fortunate and possibly not on the level. With it also being around the time that Greb was seen to be on the slide. It is a no for me.

Escobar: No
Fields: No
Flowers: No
Genaro: Yes
Gibbons: Yes

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