The Boxing Biographies Newsletter
Volume 5 – No 11 25th Dec , 2009
WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH JEFFRIES?
Is there anything the matter -with Jim Jeffries?
This question has been asked thousands of times during the last ten days and no satisfactory answer has been given.
To settle the question one way or another The World offered to send a high-class, expert New York physician to examine Jeffries. For some unaccountable reason Trainer Delaney refused to permit this examination, but yesterday Delaney permitted a local general practitioner to look Jeffries over.
Jeffries was said by the examiner, Dr. P. F. Coleman, to be in perfect physical condition.
An examination by an expert would have ended all discussion.
As the question now stands there are many who will still be doubtful as to the champion's real condition.
Unless Jim Jeffries Is in Perfect Physical Condition, Donovan Believes
that the Champion. Will Lose His Pugilistic Crown,
I have just seen Sharkey do his morning’s which he comes back tanned up, healthy work, winding up with five rounds with Bob Armstrong, and I don't hesitate to say that he is in condition to fight for the whole world. You often hear of a man being in great athletic condition, yet when you look at him he seems pale and drawn. Sharkey looks as healthy as a farmer's boy. There is nothing drawn or haggard about him. He jumps and prances at his work as if it was fun. He appears to have vitality to throw away. He doesn't seem at all like a man who has been through a long period of hard work, but like a man who has been away on a pleasant hunting trip, from which he comes back tanned up, healthy and strong as a horse. Sharkey's skin has a healthy color, and his eyes are bright as stars.
It may be that Sharkey has had rheumatism years or months ago. I know nothing about that; but one thing is certain — there isn't a sign of rheumatism about him to-day. He is as supple and quick as if he was on springs. He is as fast on his legs as any clever feather-weight. Anybody who thinks Sharkey isn't a clever boxer will be surprised when he sees him fight.
Sharkey Is Very Clever.
I know there is a general opinion that he is not clever. That is because people do not give him credit for what he really does. His footwork is fast. He isn't afraid of a punch or two. He dashes in, protecting himself well even in his rush, then cuts loose both hands with terrible speed. He is chain-lightning at infighting.He is able to throw the whole weight of his body into a short jolt that will knock out any man it lands on. Like all short men going against a tall antagonist, Sharkey will have to depend chiefly on hitting at short range. This isn't as showy as long range-fighting, but it is just as effective. I think that any man who will mix it up with Sharkey will be sorry for it, For he is one of the hardest half-arm hitters I ever saw.
I speak especially of Sharkey's fast and hard infighting because that will be a great feature of Friday night's championship battle. Jeffries is not only very tall ( 6 feet 1 against Sharkey's feet 8 feet 8 ˝ ) but his defense is very good.He has a long straight left that Fitzsimmons couldn't get inside of. Can Sharkey get inside of it , I don't pretend to say. I am sure of this much - that Sharkey's footwork is as fast as a sprinter's; that he is able to guard himself well while rushing in, and that once up close to a man he can do tremendous damage.
Bob Armstrong is as tall as Jeffries and has just about as long a reach, yet Sharkey got in on him when he liked. I don’t write this to compare Armstrong with Jeffries, but to show what Sharkey can do against a big man 6 inches taller than himself and twenty pounds heavier. Tom can block as well as anybody. He isn't afraid of a blow. He is just the kind of a man to make short-range fighting very effective. He loses no time at getting at his man, stepping up close to him, no matter how fast he may break ground or how well he may block.