Post by Tuc » Fri, 08 Mar 1996 04:00:00

: >
: >Just finished re--viewing my DEMPSEY fights... Dempsey-Willard (KO3);
: >Dempsey-Firpo (KO2); Dempsey-Gibbons (Dec.); Dempsey-Tunney 1/2 (lost in
: >10 both), etc... what a KO of Firpo... what a lean, mean animal in the
: >ring, in his early years... Dempsey had that viseral, elementary savagery
: >in the ring... when he leaves the ring against Firpo and gets tossed
: >in/crawls back in and then takes Firpo apart it is incredible!  And the
: >bludgening of poor Jess Willard in that 106 degree heat... what a first
: >round!  When he was 23/24 Dempsey could really move and not just bomb...
: >.. and the shot that takes out Jack Sharkey (later to be world champion)
: >OUCH!... the money that man would make today is... well... mind altering
: >to consider...
: >
: >                                             Patrick96.

: Cool to read a post from another Dempsey fan.  He might have been too small
: for the HW's of today, but imagine him in the cruiserweight division!  I
: doubt if any of today's cruisers would have lasted three rounds with him.
: Dempsey is the best 185 pounder ever IMO, with great speed of hands and feet,
: solid chin, good combinations and an ENORMOUS punch.

Dempsey was a great fighter but like a lot of bangers he was not so
great against good boxers. Gene Tunney beat Dempsey twice (despite the
long count in the first fight but then Dempsey got lucky when pushed
back into the ring against Firpo) and did show up his limitations.
Tyson too lost to a boxer who was outstanding on the night and Louis
and Marciano both struggled at times against smart, skilful boxers. I
still believe that Muhammed Ali was and is the greatest not the least
because he could bang when he had to, could box when he had to (or
wanted to) and could never be outsmarted in the ring.

I guess the nearest to Ali in terms of skills, ring smarts etc. would
be Holmes but what let him down was that he could be really lazy in
the ring, sometimes he'd just do enough to win but it looked like he
just scraped home rather than he was taking it easy.

If you compared all the heavyweights since John L. Sullivan and looked
for the best three boxer/punchers, ignoring size and weight differences,
then, IMO, they'd be :-

1) Ali
2) Johnson
3) Holyfield

I'd make Holmes 4th simple because his workrate was sometimes poor.

Note I've not included Louis that's cos, IMO, he was first a banger
and then a boxer.