Posted On:7/27/2006 12:01am
Style: yang taichi
I don't think he took a dive. I think him being an out of shape middle aged man fighting 26 rounds in the late spring/ early summer in Cuba and the ref giving Jess long counts did him in.
Sumus extra manum tuam.
Posted On:7/27/2006 5:15am
Some say Jack Johnson was a pimp, among many other illegal things. I wouldn't be surprised if he took a dive.
There's a picture of him lying on the ground covering his face with his arm to protect his eyes from the sun. If you're conscious enoguh to do that, you're conscious enough to get up.
Besides, he was better boxer than Willard, and it is said that many Willard's rivals took a dive.
Posted On:7/27/2006 5:40pm
He had nothing to gain from winning that fight. He would still be on the lam and America would send another great white hope after him. Who wants to live like that.? Who wants to live like some kind of storybook monster wasting away; waiting for someone to come slay you just so the torment would stop? I see this as an out more so than a pay day. It was way for him to care on with a normal life.
That's semantics because he more than likely he took the money.
Posted On:7/27/2006 6:55pm
Very poetic but the thing is he probably took the money, not beign the most honest person in the world for starters.
Of course, at that moment almost everybody in boxing was a crook to some extent, specially managers, promoters and the like, so I don't wanna single him out, just point a fact.
I think I understand what you mean, boxing is full of "monsters" and most of them "take a dive" in one or other way at one point. See Liston vs. Ali II, as an example.
Anyway, I don't like to think that the title belt has a price that's paid in money and not in sweat and blood. Altrough even today you can see a lot of scams in boxing I'm still a fan.
Posted On:8/04/2006 1:19pm
Style: Submission Grappling
As far as Johnson taking a dive vs. Willard that claim has been argued for the last 90 years. At the time the people at ringside had no doubts that the fight was on the level. The story of Johnson taking a dive didn’t really surface until several years later when Johnson was hard up for money and he sold the story of his “dive” to Ring magazine. The Ring founder Nat Fleischer was ringside for the fight and doubted Johnson’s story. He was of the opinion that Johnson would rather have people believe that he threw the fight than believe that he actually lost to a fighter of Willard’s caliber. The consensus of those who were there was that Johnson was past his prime and was worn down and beaten by a bigger younger fighter. The fight was scheduled for 45 rounds because they figured that given Johnson’s age and physical condition that he likely wouldn’t be able to last that long. Also since Johnson was never considered to be much of a puncher they also figured that he probably wouldn’t be able to stop Willard early when he was fresh.
Since few people had the opportunity to be there live or to later view the fight on film the photo of Johnson “shielding” his eyes from the sun was used as evidence of him throwing the fight. However when you watch the actual film of the fight seconds later you can clearly see Johnson go limp while he takes the rest of the count. Critics of Johnson’s claim site the fact that the fight went 26 rounds. If you were going to take a dive why hang around for 26 rounds before going down? Johnson countered that by claiming that they tried to double cross him and not pay his wife who was ringside in the hope that Willard would legitimately knock him out so they wouldn’t have to pay him.
At this point in time it is impossible to know for sure whether of not the knockout was legitimate. It is worth noting however that Johnson’s claims were lightly regarded by the people who were there to actually witness the fight. It wasn’t until the 1950’s when many of the old timers who were there had begun to pass away that the story of the fight being fixed began to gain momentum.
Here’s part of the Associated Press version as reported from ringside:
“For 20 rounds Johnson punched and pounded Willard at will, but his blows grew perceptibly less powerful as the fight progressed, until at last he seemed unable or unwilling to go on. Johnson stopped leading and for the next three of four rounds the battle was little more than a series of plastic poses. So it was until the 25th round when Willard got one of his wildly swinging windmill right hand smashes to Johnson’s heart. This was the beginning of the end. When the round closed Johnson sent word to his wife that he was all in and told her to start for home. Johnson was slow in responding to the gong for what proved to be the final round while Willard seemed fresh. The final right swing to the jaw stretched Johnson out for the count. Johnson seemed powerless to make any defense. He was shaky from the start of the round.”
Posted On:8/04/2006 1:30pm
Originally Posted by Koto_Ryu
Exactly. Jack Johnson had to carry lesser opponents for several rounds, as the crowd would no doubt take a dislike to him if he kept KOing white guys in the first two rounds.
Johnson didn’t really give a crap whether or not people disliked him. He carried guys because he was a cocky smartass and delighted in pissing off the crowd by not just dominating his white opponents but by taunting and gloating along the way.
Many of his contemporaries did have to carry inferior opponents in order as to not appear too threatening in order to get fights. Sometimes they would even lose a fight or two on purpose in order to get a lucrative rematch where the hand cuffs would be off and they could go all out.
Posted On:8/04/2006 1:46pm
Originally Posted by Lights Out
Dempsey's managers didn't want him to fight Johnson, not so much because they were afraid he could lose, as much as they didn't like blacks.
I don't know that Dempsey's managers like or dislike of blacks had much to do with it. Johnson (and Sam Langford too) despite being well past their best by then often lobbied for a title shot against Dempsey. Boxing was still illegal in many/most states at that time and in the wake of the race riots that occurred after that Johnson/Jeffries fight it is doubtful that any state would have permitted a Jack Johnson title shot to occur within their boundaries. Also I think that after the way that Dempsey had destroyed Willard they would have had a hard time selling the public that a 42 year old Johnson would have had any real chance at winning.
Posted On:10/26/2006 10:31pm
Style: Short Fist Boxing
Originally Posted by Thinkchair
Some good secondary sources on ALI:
Beyond the Ring: The Role of Boxing in American Society. Jeffery T. Sammons
Muhammad Ali: The People's Champ. Ed, Elliott Gorn.
The Muhammad Ali Reader. Ed, Elliott Gorn.
Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times. Thomas Hauser.
The Fight. Norman Mailer
You can get many of Ali's fights on DVD. Sports illustrated is a good source if your library has issues dating back to the early sixties. Check the periodicals section in your library. There you will also find historic New York Times. Look up Muhammad Ali in the master index or ask the reference/periodical librarian for help. Other good sources would are scholarly journals that would be likely to study Ali: Journal of African American History, Journal of Sport History, Journal of Popular Culture, American Legacy: Magazine of African American History and Culture, Leisure Studies, International Journal of the History of Sport.
Another good book on Ali is one put together by a man who is likely one of the foremost authorities on Boxing (among journalists) in Canada. The man's name is Stephen Brunt and the book is entitled - Facing Ali : The Opposition Weighs In.
It has fifteen chapters and each chapter features a particular fighter who went up against "The Greatest' and describes how the fight had an impact on their life and career. Each unique perspective makes the book quite interesting and enjoyable. Some of the fighters interviewed include Larry Holmes, Ron Lyle , Joe Frazier , George Foreman and - one of my favorite fighters and a great human being - George Chuvalo.
Well worth reading if you get the chance. Published by Random House
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