Greatest undefeated boxer ever - Packey McFarland or Floyd Mayweather?

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  • Packey

    Votes: 9 69.2%
  • Floyd

    Votes: 4 30.8%

  • Total voters
    13

Lester1583

Can You Hear This?
Jun 30, 2012
7,027
3,985
I don't know why you guys are pushing this propaganda that McFarland was undefeated. He clearly lost one fight. Boxrec used to be pretty damned accurate, but they seem to be going the was of Wykepedia, where unsubstantiated facts are just added.
He didn't clearly.

That loss wasn't verified.
 
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Oct 22, 2012
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McFarland, Cleverest Boxer of All Time, Proved Champions Aren't Always Best
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Edgren Says Chicagoan at Official 135 Today Would Be Kingpin.
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Packey, Success in Ring, Showed Same Sagacity in Business World.
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By ROBERT EDGREN.

Packy McFarland, now a State Athletic Commissioner in Illinois, was the cleverest fighter I ever saw in the ring, bar none, at any weight. Like a lot of others, Packey started his career with a long string of knockouts. He knocked out 14 of his first 15 opponents. In his first four years he had 42 fights, and won 33 with knockouts. But he developed amazing speed and skill, and after that knocked his men out only when he had to. He had a lot more fun making them look foolish in the ring.

I first heard of McFarland when a New York friend of mine, Mart Waterman, who missed very few good fights while taking business trips around the country, dropped me a line from Chicago.

"I've just seen the greatest lightweight I ever looked at," he wrote. "His name is Packey McFarland."

On returning to New York he told me the story. Mart went to see Battling Nelson, lightweight champion, who was showing in Chicago, in a theater near the stockyards district. Among the boys who wanted to put the gloves on with the champ was a tall, lean, curly-haired youngster, who volunteered for a couple of rounds. Bat asked Mart to come up back of the scenes and hold the watch on his bouts. Nelson was a great endurance fighter, rugged, tough, furiously aggressive, not much of a boxer. He sailed into Packey intent of scoring a quick knockout. But Packey wasn't waiting to be socked. He went into a whirling attack himself, all around Nelson, dodging the champ's flying gloves with ease, picking at Nelson, jabbing his head back, stopping his rushes with swift counters.

Nelson was surprised, annoyed and finally enraged. He couldn't lay a glove on the youngster, and he was getting his head nearly punched off. He was cut, jarred, bruised, humiliated and he couldn't do a thing. A fine exhibition for a champion. The crowd was up on the seats, yelling, and Waterman was so interested in the fight he forgot he was holding the watch. Nelson finally grabbed Packey, wrestled around near the timekeeper and snorted: "Call time, you big bum! Whadda ya think this is, a Marathon?" Mart glanced at his watch. The round had gone five minutes. He yelled "time."

During the rest Bat Nelson tried to catch Mart's eye, but Mart wouldn't look at him. The second round started. It was worse than the first, for Nelson was getting winded. In fairness to Bat, he had been on a theatrical tour and was in no condition for a fast fight. Packey clipped and banged him all over the ring. Nelson was bleeding and his eyes were puffing up and he was panting as he never panted in a fight. He snarled at the timekeeper and made various threats, but Waterman didn't call time. He was enjoying the fight too much to stop it, and it was too good a joke on Bat. Finally Nelson called "time" himself and made a dive for the timekeeper. But Mart discreetly slipped the watch into his pocket and hopped off the stage into the crowd. He gave Bat plenty of time to cool off before going to the dressing room to return the watch. Bat was just having a talk with his manager, Billy Nolan.

"Billy," said Bat, "you get hold of that kid McFarland right away and sign him up to an ironclad contract. We'll manage him together. I want him in the same stable where I won't have to fight him." Nolan failed to sign McFarland. Packey was fully as smart as Nelson. He was sure he could beat Nelson and he wasn't going to sign away his chance. But he never could get Bat into a match. That was one of the reasons why the cleverest of all lightweights in that or any other day never became champion.

In another year or so Packey was finding it hard to make 133 pounds. He could do 135, but Nelson, naturally a 130-pound lightweight, demanded ringside weight in full fighting costume--and that was that.

Today, at the official 135, Packey would be kingpin of them all. The cleverest exhibition I ever saw any boxer give was by McFarland in the Jack Britton bout in New York in 1913. Packey had boxed a no-decision eight-round bout with Britton in Indiana, and one paper had given Britton the "Newspaper decision." Britton went to New York and Dan Morgan became his manager. Morgan got a large number of copies of the paper mentioned and distributed them through New York sport departments, meanwhile taking a blue streak--Dan is one of the most entertaining talkers I ever listened to--about Britton's "victory over McFarland." Of course, we had all seen Packey fight and considered him a marvel.

The beauty of it was that under Morgan's coaching Britton was becoming the sensation of the New York rings, winning fight after fight and showing quite amazing speed and skill and a wicked punch that furnished a lot of fighters with plenty of class.

So New York sent for McFarland, and Packey came.

Just before the fight Packey said to me: "I'm not going to try to knock Britton out. I'm just going to show him up and get even with that manager of his for saying he beat me in that eight-round fight."

The fight started like a whirlwind, Britton attacking swiftly and confidently. And Packey, grinning, never let go a hard punch, but just circled around Jack with a rapid fire of short, light taps that tipped him off balance and kept his head bobbing back. As it went on round after round Britton, who was as game a fighter as ever lived, went at Packey in plunge after plunge, throwing everything he had into a wild flurry of punches, and never landing anything! I remember Jack desperately tearing after Packey, and Packey, stopping and standing still, ducking or blocking Jack's blows without once moving his feet, meanwhile shutting off Britton's vision by holding one open glove across his eyes and working on him with the other hand.

Used to seeing Britton outboxing other fighters almost as easily, we at the ringside could hardly believe it. And I think we were all sorry for poor Jack when, in sheer exasperation over his inability to land a punch on the teasing McFarland or to make headway against Packey's constant tap-drumming of light hits, Jack went into a crying rage. Like a small boy in a street fight, he tore after Packey with wild swings, tears running in streams down his cheeks. I think Packey was a bit sorry for Jack after the fight. He had had his revenge, and more. Anyway they made peace and became good friends. And Britton proved his real class by twice winning the welterweight world's championship and holding the title for five busy years without ever dodging a challenger.

Packey earned a fortune in the ring and retired. Two years after that they persuaded him to come back and fight Mike Gibbons, who was one of the cleverest and most dangerous of all the good middleweights of that time and claimant of the middleweight championship. Always smart, Packey fixed the weight a notch low for Gibbons. Mike burned himself out getting down to it, and Packey got a majority of the "newspaper decisions." This was in the no-decision period of New York boxing, back in 1915. Packey retired for good and went into business, and just to show how smart he was, aside from boxing, he was one of the few fighters who ever tolled up a million dollars outside the roped arena.

Copyright, 1934.
 
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Jun 6, 2012
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Leek Town
Its a newspaper decision still so its not official. Its like collating the newspapers after Floyd Castillo I and then deciding Floyd lost because that was the consensus of the journalist who scored the fight at ringside.
 
Last edited:
Oct 22, 2012
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Its a newspaper decision still so its not official. Its like collating the newspapers after Floyd Castillo I and then deciding Floyd list because that was the conaensus of the journalist who scored the fight at ringside.
I have researched this, and the first thing that came up is LK5, followed by LF5, and that "some say it was a newspaper decision". It's like some people are trying to take the least bump up the guys record. Also, 34 of his so-called wins are listed as no-decisionsThis is why some have him listed at 69 and 70 wins. I duess those 34 wins are "newspaper decisions"?
 
Jun 6, 2012
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Leek Town
I have researched this, and the first thing that came up is LK5, followed by LF5, and that "some say it was a newspaper decision". It's like some people are trying to take the least bump up the guys record. Also, 34 of his so-called wins are listed as no-decisionsThis is why some have him listed at 69 and 70 wins. I duess those 34 wins are "newspaper decisions"?
They are. His official record is 70-0-5 but with Newspaper decisions it would be 105-1-6 so theres 32 fights determined by the opinion of newspapers.

Thats just the way boxing was then though, often if you didnt get a KO then there would be no official result.
 
Oct 22, 2012
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They are. His official record is 70-0-5 but with Newspaper decisions it would be 105-1-6 so theres 32 fights determined by the opinion of newspapers.

Thats just the way boxing was then though, often if you didnt get a KO then there would be no official result.
BOXREC has his record at 70-0-5 ONLY Boxrec. Everywhere else, he has the one loss. IBHOF has him 69-1-5 with 34 ND's.

I really don't trust everything Boxrec puts on their website. It's just like that mysterious Billy Bird mess. The huy has 138 ko's and no one knows who he is? It's baffling.
 
Jun 6, 2012
22,444
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Leek Town
BOXREC has his record at 70-0-5 ONLY Boxrec. Everywhere else, he has the one loss. IBHOF has him 69-1-5 with 34 ND's.

I really don't trust everything Boxrec puts on their website. It's just like that mysterious Billy Bird mess. The huy has 138 ko's and no one knows who he is? It's baffling.
I guess it depends on who is verifying the fights and what theor source is. As far as Ive read theres some dispute over that fight as to whether it was official, a newspaper, a ko, a loss or even the right McFarland. Unless soneone digs up some new evidence about the fight then thats probably not going to change. I dunno where it came from but I guess newspapers from the time are the only source left available.

Birds career is legit, he has scored that many KOs however he just isnt an ATG so his career isnt held as highly as others. He did have 356 fights so its not surprising he scored a lot if KDs. Sinilarly Len Wickwar has 93 KOs from 470 fights (the most fights of a boxer) and is hardly known amongst hardcores nevermind being a household name.
 
Jul 19, 2013
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Packey, of course. Mayweather never fought anyone as tough as McFarland (or his opponents).

I second Tracy Callis: "Packey McFarland was a fast and clever boxer with exceptional skills. He possessed an educated left jab, stiff punches, fast feet, and a savvy of boxing that always kept him a step ahead of his opponent. Packey was one of the greatest fighters to ever hail from Chicago." And that's where the praise should begin, not end.
I wonder, why you agree with Mr. Callis on this subject? Have you seen enough of McFarland to form your own opinion... or do you just take his word for it?
 
Aug 3, 2017
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I wonder, why you agree with Mr. Callis on this subject? Have you seen enough of McFarland to form your own opinion... or do you just take his word for it?
All respect for Callis, but I don't take anyone's word for anything. What it comes down to is that his assessment and appreciation of Packey's record is in tandem with mine.
 
Jun 2, 2012
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Thornhill
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You are totally immersed in old timers,so show no objectivity.

Mayweather 'never fought anyone as tough as McFarland'

Yet he has wins over ATGs like de la Hoya,pacquaio and Mosley plus solid champions like cotto,Hatton,Castillo,canelo,Judah etc.

He was a legitimate no 1 in several weight divisions and ruled right through from super feather to being an undersized light middleweight.

I won't give an opinion on this as my knowledge of McFarland is too limited,but I would always be objective whereas you seem to constantly favour the old timers whatever.

Mayweather was legit.
McFarland is borderline top ten of all time. He has wins over a top ten welter of all time, and a top 15 LW of all time. He came back to beat--albeit controversially--one of the very best middleweights of the time (and in McGrain's book a top 10 MW of ALL time)

These are the kinda' things Floyd doesn't have.
 
Jun 2, 2012
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Thornhill
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there are very few listings of his record as undefeated. Hus undefeated record isn't verified.
In fact it's completely the opposite: that loss was erroneously on boxrec for ages. It was confirmed to be incorrect and removed.

Boxrec is often wrong. For example, one of Jimmy Wilde's opponents has two separate records on Boxrec, like they're two different people!
 
Jun 2, 2012
20,272
2,492
Thornhill
www.youtube.com
I have researched this, and the first thing that came up is LK5, followed by LF5, and that "some say it was a newspaper decision". It's like some people are trying to take the least bump up the guys record. Also, 34 of his so-called wins are listed as no-decisionsThis is why some have him listed at 69 and 70 wins. I duess those 34 wins are "newspaper decisions"?
What research have you done?

Have you read the newspaper reports for that day? Have you read the fight reports for the loss?

Or have you searched his record on multiple sites? Because quite frankly that's not research mate.

Those who have researched this fight--and I have, but there are others who have done much more extensive research--can testify that it simply does not exist. Some random fighter fought a guy with a similar name and tried passing it off as a victory over Packey when he was the most respected and lauded fighter of his time.
 
Jun 2, 2012
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Thornhill
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Evidently neither do you. You and I were not even born back then, but you are trying to justify something that you don't even know is factual.
You do know what being a historian entails, right? It's going through reports, books, newspaper editorial, over years and years and years.

If it was just a case of 'you weren't born then', why even frequent the Historical Forum?
 
Jun 2, 2012
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Thornhill
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Whether it's Packey or Eddie, it's a loss. It's a loss recorded in the IBHOF under his record.
Except Eddie is a different person to Packey?

And I really don't know why you're upholding IBHOF as the gold standard. We find out new information DAILY. You really are arguing the toss here, for what reason I do not know.

Just accept that you went with a point of view that has--with the EVIDENCE we have--been proven to be incorrect. Now you're just clutching at straws.