Decade Rankings: 1920-1929

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 (1) Gene Tunney  6’1”, 189- Tunney came up through the light heavyweight division. Harry Greb was his big rival. Tunney’s record against Greb was 4-1. The biggest wins of his career were his two decisions over Dempsey. Others who lost to the fighting marine were Bartley Madden, Johnny Risko, Tommy Gibbons, Battling Levinksy, Charley Weinert(2), George Carpentier and Jimmy Delaney.(59-1-2 NC)
(2)  Jack Dempsey  6’1”, 188-  The Manassa Mauler was one of the biggest attractions of the 1920s. His two losses were against Gene Tunney. Bill Brennan, Billy Miske, Luis Firpo, George Carpentier, Tommy Gibbons and Jack Sharkey all were Dempsey victims.(7-2)
(3) Harry Wills  6’2”,210–The Black Panther should have been given the opportunity to fight Dempsey for the title but because of race he was denied. Wills dominated the 1920s but was only allowed to fight certain fighters. He defeated Gunboat Smith, Denver Ed Martin, Kid Norfolk, Charley Weinert, Sam Langford(2), Bartley Madden, Fred Fulton, Jeff Clarke(4), Luis Firpo, Sam McVea and Bill Tate(3). His losses were two by disqualification and he was losing to Jack Sharkey when he was disqualified in the 13th round and he was knocked out in the 4th round at the age of 38 against Paulino Uzcudun. (30-4)
(4) Jack Sharkey  6’0”, 205- Although Sharkey won the title in 1932 he was in his prime during the 1920s. Sharkey was one of the few fighters at the time that would fight black fighters such as Harry Wills and George Godfrey. Sharkey had a very impressive list of victories: Harry Wills, George Godfrey, Jack Renault, Jim Maloney(3), Johnny Risko, Bud Gorman, Jack Delaney, KO Christner, Young Stribling, Tommy Loughran. He lost to Bud Gorman, Charley Weinert, Jim Maloney, Quintin Romero Rojas, Jack Dempsey, Johnny Risko and fought a draw with Tom Heeney. The draw with Heeney kept Sharkey from getting a shot at Tunney for the title. (33-8-1)
(5) Harry Greb  5’8”,164 –Greb was one of the greatest fighters to ever enter a ring. He fought most of the top fighters of the 1920s. He fought Tommy Gibbons(1-1), Gunboat Smith(1-0), Bartley Madden(2-0), Jeff smith(3-0-1), Jack Renault(2-0), Chuck Wiggins(3-0-2), Kid Norfolk(1-1,Disq), Charley Weinert(1-0), Gene Tunney(1-3-1), Tommy Loughran(4-1-1), Jimmy Slattery(1-0), Jimmy Delaney(3-0), Quintin Romero Rojas(1-0), Mickey Walker(1-0), Maxie Rosenbloom(1-0) and two questionable decisions against Tiger Flowers(0-2) at the tail end of his career.
(6) Tommy Gibbons  6”0”, 175- Gibbons opened his career winning 77 fights out of 81 from 1911 to 1923. . He had two draws and lost twice two Harry Greb. He also had a victory over Greb. Victims of Gibbons were Bob Roper, Chuck Wiggins(3), Harry Greb, Willie Meehan, Bartley Madden, Billy Miske, Kid Norfolk and George Carpentier. His losses were to Dempsey, Tunney, Miske and Harry Greb.(50-5)
(7) Fred Fulton  6’6”, 214- Between 1918 to 1922 Fulton only lost one fight out of 34 and that was his 1920 3-KO lost to Harry Wills. In the early part of the decade Fulton was one of the top contenders in the heavyweight division. His big victories during the early 1920s were against Frank Moran, Gunboat Smith, Carl Morris, Bob Roper and Willie Meehan all of which were leftovers from the white hope era. Billy Miske ended Fulton winning streak in 1922 and with it came a number of losses against Floyd Johnson, Goerge Godfrey, Jack Renault(2) and Bearcat Wright. (31-11-1, 2 ND))
(8) Tommy Loughran  5’11”, 183- Outstanding light heavyweight and heavyweight during the 1920s and early 1930s. From 1925 to 1929 he won 38 fights in a row. During the streak he defeated George  Carpentier, Johnny Risko, Jack Delaney, Young Stribling(2), Mike McTigue, Mickey Walker, Ernie Schaaf and Jim Braddock. He also defeated Harry Greb in 1923. His losses were during the early part of the decade against Mike McTigue, Harry Greb(4), Jeff Smith, Jack Delaney, Young Stribling(2) and Jack Sharkey who ended the streak in 1929. (82-13-6, 16 ND)
 (9) George Godfrey  6’3”, 235- Between 1924 and 1928 Godfrey only lost one fight and that was a 10 decision loss to Jack Sharkey. During those years he was one of the top two or three fighters in the world. And from 1924 to 1932 he only lost one other fight that was not by disqualification and that was his loss to Johnny Risko. His victims were many: Bill Tate(2), Jack Renault, Fred Fulton, Sully Montgomery, Larry Gaines, Jack Roper(2), Jimmy Maloney, Paulino Uzcudun and Chuck Wiggins. His losses were to Sam Langford(2), Jack Renault(2), Chuck Wiggins, Jack Sharkey, Johnny Risko and Larry Gains by Disqualification. (63-15-1)
(10) Young Stribling 6’1”, 182- He beat Tommy Loughran, Quintin Romero Rojas, Bud Gorman, Johnny Risko(2), Jimmy Delaney, Jimmy Slattery, Battlein Levinsky, Maxie Rosenbloom, Chuck Wiggins(3), Sully Montgomery and Primo Carnera on disqualification. From 1924 to 1931 Stribling fought 149 fights losing only three to Paul Berlenbach in 1926, Tommy Loughran in 1927 and Jack Sharkey in 1929. He did lose two disqualifications during that period. (233-12-15)
(11) Billy Miske  6’0”, 187-  Miske lost to Dempsey fighting for the title in 1920. His only other loss during the decade was to Tommy Gibbons in a decision. Miske defeated Bill Brennan, Jack Renault, Charley Weinert, Willie Meehan, Fred Fulton and Tommy Gibbons on a disqualification. His draw was against Bob Roper. (22-2-1)
(12) Luis Firpo  6’3”,216-  The Wild Bull of the Pampas was a legend and his 1923 fight against Dempsey was legendary. He beat Gunboat Smith twice, Bill Brennan, Charley Weinert and Jess Willard in his comeback attempt to regain the title. He lost to Harry Wills in 1924 and Charley Weinert. (23-3)
(13) Bill Brennan  6’1”, 197- Jack Dempsey defended his title against Brennan in 1920 which became Brennan’s claim to fame. Although he lost the fight he is best remembered for his two fights against Dempsey. He defeated Willie Meehan and split with Bartley Madden. His losses were to Bob Roper, Billy Miske(2) and Luis Firpo.(28-3)
(14) Johnny Risko  5’11”, 192- In the late 1920s Risko was one of the leading candidates for Tunney’s title and the vacated championship. His 1927 loss to Tom Heeney killed his shot at Tunney and his 1929 loss to Schmeling eliminated his chances of winning the title. His losses in the decade include a who’s who of heavyweights: Quintin Romero Rojas, Sully Montgomery, Jack Renault, Young Stribling(2), Jack Sharkey, Chuck Wiggins, Gene Tunney, Jack Delaney, Mike McTigue, Tommy Loughran(2), Jimmy Delanney, Jimmy Slattery, Tom Heeney, Jim Maloney, Ernie Schaaf, Schmeling, Tuffy Grifftith and KO Christner. Victories included Paul Berlenbach, Quintin Romero Rojas(3), Sully Montgomery, Jack Delaney, Paulino Uzcudun, Phil Scott, Jack Sharkey, George Godfrey, Bearcat Wright, Jim Maloney and Ernie Schaaf. (53-27-6)
(15) Tom Heeney  5’10”, 193- Heeney had some big wins late in the decade to get his title shot at Tunney in 1928. After losing to Paulino Uzcudun in 1927 he fought a draw in their rematch. Heeney then won back to back fights over Jimmy Maloney and Johnny Risko to make him one of the top contenders. His draw against Sharkey put him into the ring against Tunney. Other victories were over Bartley Madden, Bud Gorman and Jack Delaney. Losses included Phil Scott (2), Paulino Uzcudun, Maloney and Gene Tunney. ( 34-12-5)
(16) Jimmy Maloney 5’10”, 196- Maloney was a big heavyweight for the time frame and was one of the top heavyweights during the decade. He held wins over Jack Sharkey, Sully Montgomery, Quintin Romero Rojas, King Solomon(3), Charley Weinert, Jack Delaney, Bud Gorman, Jack Renault, Johnny Risko, Tom Heeney and KO Christner. He lost to the top fighters of the decade. Jack Sharkey(2), George Godfrey, Tom Heeney and Johnny Risko. (41-9-2)
 (17) Paulino Uzcudun 5’11”, 192- One of the top heavyweights in the latter part of the decade with big wins over Phil Scott, Tom Heeney, Harry Wills, Quintin Romero Rojas, Otto Vo Porat, Jack Renault and KO Christner. His losses were to Jack Delaney, Johnny Risko, George Godfrey, Max Schmeling and Tuffy Griffiths. (39-8-2)
(18) Jimmy Slattery  5’11”, 170- He was a great light heavyweight during the decade he defeated Jack Delaney(2), Young Stribling, Maxie Rosenbloom(4), Johnny Risko. He lost ot Harry Greb, Paul Berlenbach, Young Stribling, Tommy Loughran, Jimmy Braddock and Maxie Rosenbloom. (106-6)
(19) Jack Delaney  5’11 ½”, 178- A very impressive list of victims throughout the decade, Delaney was just a light heavyweight. He beat Tommy Loughran, Paul Berlenbach(3), Tiger Flower(2), Johnny Risko, Quintin Romero Rojas, Mike McTigue, Maxie Rosenbloom, King Solomon, Bud Gorman, Paulino Uzcudun, Jack Renault, Sully Montgomery. His losses were to Jimmy Slattery(2), Paul Berlenbach, Jim Maloney, Johnny Risko, Tom Heeney and Jack Sharkey.
(20) Maxie Rosenbloom 5’11”, 172- Great fighter during the 1920s and 1930s, fought as both a light heavyweight and heavyweight. Win over Tiger Flowers, Leo Lomski, Jimmy Slattery and Jimmy  Braddock. His losses were against Jack Delaney(2), Young Stribling and Jimmy Slattery(2). (99-18-12)

History of the Heavyweight Division 1920-29
Top Three Heavyweights

1920-Champion, Jack Dempsey             

#1 Harry Wills                      
#2 Fred Fulton                   

def. Billy Miske 3-KO
def. Bill Brennan 12-KO    
def. Sam Langford 15-D
def. Fred Fulton 3-KO 
def. Frank Moran 8-D |
def. Bartley Madden 6-D
def. Gunboat Smith 2-KO  
loss Harry Wills 3-KO         

1921-Champion, Jack Dempsey             
#1 Harry Wills                      

#2 Fred Fulton                    
#3 Billy Miske                     
#4 Harry Greb                      

def. George Carpentier 4-KO
def. Bill Tate 2-KO
def. Gunboat Smith 1-KO
def. Denver Ed Martin 1-KO
def. Carl Morris 4-KO

def. Bill Brennan 10-D
def. Jack Renault 13-KO
def. Jeff Smith 10-D           
def. Jack Renault 10-D
def. Jack Renault 10-D
def. Bartley Madden 10-D
draw Jeff Smith 10-DR
def. Kid Norfolk 10-D
def. Charley Weinert 15-D

1922-Champion, Jack Dempsey
#1 Harry Wills 
#2 Harry Greb 

def. Sam Langford 10-D
def. Kid Norfolk 2-KO

def. Tommy Gibbons 15-D

def. Gene Tunney 15-D
def. Tommy Loughran 8-D
def. Bob Roper 12-D

1923-Champion, Jack Dempsey

#1 Harry Wills

#2 Gene Tunney  

#3 Luis Firpo                       

def. Tommy Gibbons 15-D

def. Luis Firpo 2-KO
def. Harry Greb 15-D
def. Jimmy Delaney 10-D

def. Gene Tunney 15-D
def. Bill Brennan 12-D

def. Jess Willard 8-KO
def. Charley Weinert 2-KO
loss Jack Dempsey 2-KO

1924-Champion, Jack Dempsey          #1 Harry Wills
#2 Tommy Gibbons           


def. Bartley Madden 15-D
def. Luis Firpo 12-D
def. George Carpentier 10-D
def. Kid Norfolk 6-KO

1925-Champion, Jack Demspey
#1 Harry Wills                      


#2 Gene Tunney                 


def. Charley Weinert 2-KO

def. Floyd Johnson 1-KO
def. Harry Greb 12-D

def. Tommy Gibbons 12-KO

def. Bartley Madden 3-KO

def. Johnny Risko 12-D

1926-Champion, Gene Tunney
#1 Jack Dempsey              
#2 Jack Sharkey                 

def. Jack Dempsey 10-D
loss Gene Tunney 10-D
def. George Godfrey 10-D
def. Harry Wills 13-Disq “Wills was battered around the ring from the start”

1927-Champion, Gene Tunney
#1 Jack Dempsey              

#2 Jack Sharkey                 

def. Jack Dempsey 10-D
def. Jack Sharkey 7-KO
loss Gene Tunney 10-D
def. Mike McTigue 12-KO
def. Jim Maloney 5-KO
loss Jack Dempsey 7-KO

1928-Champion, Gene Tunney
#1 Young Stribling              
#2 George Godfrey             

def. Tom Heeney 11-KO

def. Paulino Uzcudun 10-D
loss Johnny Risko 10-D
loss Larry Gains 3-Disq

1929-Champion- Vacant
#1 Jack Sharkey                 

#2 Max Schmeling             
#3 George Godfrey             

def. KO Christner 10-D
def. Young Stribling 10-D
def. Tommy Loughran 3-KO
def. Johnny Risko 9-KO 
def. Paulino Uzcudun 15-D




Liston Ali

jeffries book

Jim Carney Looks
at Boxing Greats

Fred Fulton

Joe Frazier

Ernie Terrell

Senya13 and the Annals of Boxing History

Boxing Illustrated April of 1964
Harry Wills article and The Year in Review




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