On this page is some intesting stuff that doesn't fit on any of the other pages.
The Boxing Register
International Boxing Hall Of Fame Official Record Book
By James B. Roberts and Alexander G. Skutt
McBooks Press Ithaca, New York
Possibly the most fearless fighter ever to enter the ring, Harry Greb is remembered both for the frequency with which he fought and for the great ferocity he displayed. He came up against the best fighters of his day, demolishing many of them with bloodthirsty enthusiasm. He often challenged Jack Dempsy, but the two never fought.In a career which spanned thirteen years, Greb fought 299 times, and won 264, including so-called newspaper decisions. He was only knocked out twice, once in his first year of fighting, and once when he broke his arm throwing a punch.
Greb began his pro career at the age of eighteen in his native Pittsburgh, fighting mostly in and around his hometown for the first few years. Rising through the ranks, he triumphed over the likes of George ("K.O.") Brown, Jack Dillon, Eddie McGoorty, Gunboat Smith, and Tommy Gibbons. In 1922, Greb faced the unbeaten Gene Tunney in Madison Square Garden for the American light heavyweight title. Greb immediately swarmed all over Tunney, relentlessly attacking him from every angle. In a gory battle, Tunney's nose splashed blood from 40 seconds into the first round; Greb soon reopened scars on Tunney's forehead. The lighter, faster, more experienced Greb overwhelmed the "Fighting Marine" and took the fifteen-round decision. Although he was denied a chance to face the world titleholder, Georges Carpentier, Greb successfully defended his American title against Hall of Famer Tommy Loughran before facing Tunney in a rematch. This time Tunney won a controversial decision. Referee Patsy Haley apparently penalized Greb for holding and hitting and other roughhouse tactics in awarding Tunney the fight. The two would battle three more times with Tunney winning one and with two no-decisions.
In his first bout after the second Tunney fight, Greb dropped to middleweight and captured the world title with a fifteen-round decision over Johnny Wilson. Greb held the title until 1926 when Tiger Flowers dethroned him. Greb failed to reclaim the title in a return bout.
A remarkably tough competitor, Greb had suffered a detached retina in a fight in 1921 against Kid Norfolk. A month later, Greb was back in the ring, and he continued to fight for five years, half-blind. Greb's life came to an untimely end in 1926 when he died while undergoing surgery to repair facial injuries caused by boxing and an auto accident.
"The fastest fighter I ever saw"
Jack Dempsey said of Greb
In the 2002 "80th Anniversary Issue" of Ring Magazine, Greb was declared the 7th greatest fighter in the last 80 years. The ranking was as follows: #1-Sugar Ray Robinson, #2-Henry Armstrong, #3-Muhammad Ali, #4-Joe Louis, #5-Roberto Duran, #6-Willie Pep, #7-Harry Greb.
Professional Record: ------115-8-3 (51) with 183 no-decisions
Years Fought: ------1913-1926
Title held: ------World Middleweight
Defining Moment: ------W15 Gene Tunney, May 23,1922 - Tunney's only pro loss
Other Notable Fights: ------ko1 Gunboat Smith, W15 Tommy Loughran, W15 Johnny Wilson, W15 Mickey Walker, L15 Tiger Flowers
Why He's Ranked Where He's Ranked: ------Nicknamed "The Human Windmill" for his non stop punching....Although middleweight champ, also fought and beat some of the best welterweights, light heavyweights, and heavies of his era without benefit of a true knockout punch...Only stopped twice in 309 pro bouts.
Harry Greb was actually mentioned in a Twilight Zone episode. The name of the episode was "Of Person Or Person's Unknown"
An Illustrated History of Boxing
By Nat Fleischer and Sam Andre
Harry Greb loved "nightlife" and cared little for training. In the ring, he was a dynamo, throwing punches from all angles. Because of the fast pace he set in his bouts, he was called "the Human Windmill." His unorthodox style frustrated nearly all of his opponents. In a span of 14 years, he fought over 500 battles, lost 7 and was knocked out once, by Joe Chip, in 1913, his first year in boxing. Greb won the crown in 1923 by drubbing Johnny Wilson in 15 rounds. He fought many of his last battles with one eye sightless, and died October 22, 1926, following an eye operation.
The Greb-Tunney battles in the light heavyweight class were sensational ring encounters. They faced each other five times, with Greb winning once. Twice he was defeated in American Championship matches with Tunney and twice they engaged in no decision bouts.
Greb was a most unusual fighter. he wasn't a hard hitter but a tantalizing one. Seldom more than a middleweight, he fought the best of the heavyweights with considerable success. He punched with accuracy and rapidity, tossing punches from all angles.
He was blind in one eye, yet fought without others knowing it for the better part of his great career.
In the April 2001 issue of Ring Magazine, there was an article titled "A New Beginning, A New Middle". This article was about Felix Trinidad entering the Middleweight division. Harry Greb is mentioned twice.
"The peaks are obvious: the Harry Greb-Mickey Walker-Tiger Flowers era in the 20's; the Tony Zale-Rocky Graziano-Jake LaMotta era in the 40's that led right into the Ray Robinson-Gene Fullmer-Carmen Basilio era in the 50's; the Marvin Hagler-Tommy Hearns-Ray Leonard era in the 80's."
"Greb, Robinson, Hagler...Trinidad. The name doesn't sound out of place. The cycle of middleweight glory is about to reach another peak."
Quotes from Gene Tunney:
"Although he stood but five feet eight and one half inches above his sole shoes, when he started his winding driving pinwheel attack, they seemed to be raining from the shoulders of some phantasmic giant. He could move like a phantom and had ring cunning far beyond estimates made of him in the press........I often been told that Greb couldn't punch much. I wonder how the boys concocted such an opinion. True he didn't have blows like sledge on an anvil, but Greb could punish!"
Tunney quotes supplied by Ed Cahill
In the January 2001 issue of Ring Magazine, there was a piece called "20 Greatest Middleweights of All Time" written by William Dettloff. Harry Greb was selected as the #1 best middleweight of all time.
In the October 2000 issue of Ring Magazine, there was an article titled "The Reel Deal"- how fight films revoltionized the business. In the article is a list of the top ten most sought after fight films.
#1 is Harry Greb vs. Gene Tunney I (Tunneys sole loss).
#2 is Harry Greb vs. Mickey Walker (Greb always spoke of the hot overhead lights made especially for filming the fight).
Jimmy McLarnin, one of boxing's best, once told an admirer,"If you thought I was great, you should have seen Harry Greb."
In the June 2000 issue of Ring Magazine, an article claims these top 3 middleweights would have beaten light-heavyweight Roy Jones: 1. Ray Robinson -- stoppage by 9th . 2. Marvin Hagler -- comes on late for unanimous decision. 3. Harry Greb -- wins decision; Jones would "be glad it was over"
Ring article written by William Dettloff-June 2000 issue of Ring
Let's face it: It's difficult to picture a little white guy who looks like an extra from the cast of The Bowery Boys beating Jones. But there's a reason alot of historians still consider greb one of the two or three best middleweights ever. "The Pittsburgh Windmill" was able to beat, among others, Gene Tunney, Tommy Gibbons, Tommy Loughran, Maxie Rosenbloom, and Mickey walker, and being blind in one eye didn't slow him down one iota. What was the reason? He was nuts. Crazy as a loon. At least in the ring. Crazy and dirty as hell. You couldn't discourage him, you couldn't intimidate him, and you couldn't figure him out. You didn't have time.
Was Greb as talented as Jones? Not on his best day. But he was ferocious enough and fearless enough to completely throw Jones off of his game. It wouldn't matter how many lead right hands Jones bounced off of Greb's face. Greb would grin and launch a two-minute flurry followed by a headbutt and both laces to the face. He'd make Jones fight every minute of every round going backward. The jaw? Greb was stopped twice in more than 300 fights. Jones wouldn't come close and, by the end, he'd be glad it was over. Greb by decision.
On 2/4/00 during ESPN2's Friday Night Fights Max Kellerman mentioned the Greb and Dempsey. Max was asked the question, "Why do you think Jack Dempsey is over-rated?" Max replied, "He fought less frequently than other heavyweights of his time. And won less decisively than Harry Greb against the same opposition."
Sports Ilustrated magazine (issue Dec 27, 1999-Jan 3,2000) listed the top 50 greatest sports figures from each state. Harry Greb was listed as #40 from Pennsylvania. It said "Harry Greb 264-23-12 as boxer from 1913 to '26."
On 10/15/99 Harry Greb was voted top All-Time Middleweight on Monte Cox's website "Cox's Corner". Check out his great website at http://coxscorner.tripod.com/.
Middleweight Winner: Harry Greb
Record: 105-8-3 183ND (48 Ko's)
Harry Greb-- 83 pts
Ray Robinson--77 pts
Stanley Ketchel--63 pts
Carlos Monzon--59 pts
Marvin Hagler--55 pts
Bob Fitzsimmons--44 pts
Mickey Walker--33 pts
Roy Jones--25 pts
Jake LaMotta--19 pts
Tony Zale--19 pts
Other Middleweights Receiving Votes: Gene Fullmer (11 pts), Dick Tiger (11), Philadelphia Jack O'Brien (8), Marcel Cerdan (7), Charley Burley (6), Ray Leonard (6), NonPareil Jack Dempsey (5), Tiger Flowers (5), Carmen Basilio (4), Kid McCoy (4), Tommy Ryan (3), Nino Benvenuti (2), Mike Gibbons (2), Les Darcy (1), Jack Dillon (1), Rocky Graziano (1).
On 9/3/99 during ESPN2's Friday Night Fights Max Kellerman mentioned the Greb/Dempsey sparring match. Max was asked, "Who is the most over-rated boxer in history?" Max replied, "It pains me to say this because he was why I originally got into boxing, but I have to say Jack Dempsey. Greb had an easy time with him and HE was a middleweight!"
I recieved this e-mail on 11/28/98 about Haslem "Bucky" Phenlen. Bucky is rumored to have been a trainer for Harry Greb.
I am not 100% sure of the spelling of his name. here's the scoop about this "haslem bucky phenlen" person who swore to me he had trained harry greb. i went into this nice old mans house around the 1975? it was in Broward County Florida, in a town called Miramar, west of fort Lauderdale; to get something notarized. i admired his many boxing pictures on the wall. (i was a fan and used to go to all of the fights on Miami beach and i watched ali .. willy pastrano etc.) he had many pix of harry greb, and about 50 other boxers, including henry hank Armstrong, lew jenkins, etc. he told me about the fight with gene tunney. he said he knew angelo dundees dad in new York. he told me he had trained harry greb but it drove him crazy. he said the man just wanted to dance and stay out late. i am almost sure this was in new York. he mentioned an incident in which harry greb was involved in an attempted mugging. (with the key word being "attempted." ) i seem to recall a newspaper clipping where as harry beat the tar out of 4 or 5 muggers? (central park rings a bell.) now here comes the amazing part. i saw a weathered old Miami Herald newspaper clipping that showed Bucky jumping thru his hands at the age of 62! IM guessing he was in his 70's when i met him. i did a tape recorded interview with him, for a possible sport's story; which i probably have lost. (I'll look for it.) now get this. this clipping said that haslem bucky phenlen had gone to saint Joseph's university (philly) and been an all American basketball player and a FOOTBALL player thus the name Bucky. He then joined the army (WW1) and supposedly fought in the famous lost battalion of the Argonne forest. The clipping said he won the congressional medal of honor! he said he had been machine gunned in the legs and had eaten bark! He rolled up his pants and sure enough it looked like 3 bullet hole scars to me. Before the war he told me he had toured the Northeast with HONUS WAGNER's BASKETBALL ALL STAR'S. If it's all true this was one amazing man. The pictures looked old and he didn't seem to be delusional. he called Chris and Angelo Dundee "babies". he said he had gotten into a fight in the ring with harry one day over his lack of dedicated training. he said he didn't lose. the picture on the front of the local section of the Miami Herald showed him jumping thru his hands... he had a leap! i seem to recall the clipping said he was 62! So I'm guessing the clipping was from about 1962. those old clips are microfilmed i would imagine. you might ask the sports editor Edwin pope to help..maybe for a nice lead story. they have a web site at www.herald.com. i would love to know if this man was the real McCoy.
with warm regards, Mr. Reid M. Millsap
On 11/27/98 ESPN's Friday Night Fights they posted their All time pound for pound ratings. Here was Max Kellerman's list:
1-Sugar Ray Robinson
2- Henry Armstrong
3- Muhammad Ali
4- Harry Greb (105-8-3 48 KO)
5- Sam Langford
6- Pernell Whitaker
7- Roberto Duran
8- Willie Pep
9- Benny Leonard
10- Ezzard Charles
11- Jimmy Wilde
Max Kellerman stated "Greb... the more ya find out about 'em, the more you realize it was HE and not Benny Leonard, who was the greatest fighter of the 20's"
After Max showed his list, Teddy Atlas presented his top all-time pound for pound list:
1- Sugar Ray Robinson
2- Henry Armstrong
3- Muhammad Ali
4- Benny Leonard
5- Sam Langford
6- Harry Greb
7- Mickey Walker
8- Roberto Duran
9- Gene Tunney
10- Carlos Monzon
11- Joe Louis
Teddy Atlas stated "I know alot of guys are gonna complain about me havin Gene Tunney on there, but how can you complain when a guy only lost one out of seventy seven fights, and you know Harry Greb belongs on there....well he beat Harry Greb 3 out of 4."
Max Kellerman replied "....and to Harry Greb, who was a natural middleweight, he lost one. The newspapers gave Greb another decision. All the fights were close and this was a middleweight. I thought Tunney was the third best light-heavy of his era behind Loughran and Greb. I can't rate him in my top ten pound for pound."
Teddy replies " I know, but anyone who losses 1 out of 77 with those great fighters ...man I gotta put 'em on. "
On 10/9/98 in the beginning of ESPN2's Friday Night Fights the announcers mentioned Greb. The announcers were Max Kellerman and Brian Kenny. Roy Jones was going to join them later on in the show, so Max Kellerman compared Roy Jones Jr. to a few boxers (past and present) including Harry Greb. Max's cohost, Brian, then said " Oh, I knew you'd sneak in Harry Greb somewhere." Then he said, "Well, we will be hearing more about Harry Greb in the next couple weeks"
In a '98 addition of.....
ELECTRONIC BOXING MONTHLY'S: BOXING TRIVIA QUIZ!
at - http://www.boxmag.com/trivia.htm -there was the following quiz question
"His trademark was hitching up his emerald green boxing trunks with his forearms."
Barry McGuigan Johnny Kilbane Ken Buchanan Harry Greb
Answer : Harry Greb. Hitching up his trademark green trunks was about the only break the non-stop puncher Greb ever took during a round.
On the back of the October '98 issue of the Ring Magazine is an ad that uses Harry Greb to help sell proffesional fight gloves. The company that uses it is Ringside. "The professional fight glove has undergone enormous changes since Harry Greb won the middleweight title in 1923. The importance of safety and comfort is as timeless as the ability to out-score and out-punch your opponent."
Harry Greb Wohlfarth is on the left, his mother Dorothy is on the right.
Former boxer Joe Shannon is in the middle. They are in front of the plaque to harry Greb in the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame.
Harry Greb Wohlfarth Interview
I interviewed Harry on July 5, 1998
Background: Harry Greb Wohlfarth's mother is Dorothy (Greb) Wohlfarth. She is pictured on Harry's lap in the "Family Man" photo section. Harry Greb was his grandfather. Dorothy ,his mother,was adopted by Harry Greb's sister Ida after Harry died.
He is a nice person to talk with. The person in the family who knew most about Harry was Ida (Harry's sister) he told me. Ida's husband Elmer helped train Harry while he was still alive. He still has photo's and memorabilia keepsakes about his grandfather. Mr. Wohlfarth still lives in Pennsylvania.
Question #1- What do you know about Miss Naomi Braden? She was shown in the Greb film footage . She said she'd marry harry if he won the Walker fight.
Answer- "Not much is known, but she wasn't liked too much."
Question #2- Do you think any fight footage will ever pop-up?
Answer- "I don't think so. You know that old film disintegrates. I know someone who recently hired a private detective to go to SanFrancisco because he heard a fight film surfaced. It ended up being a false lead."
Question #3- What do you know about Harry's wife Mildred?
Answer- "It's not well known but Mildred was a beauty contestant. Before they were married she won a beauty contest that years later developed into the Miss America Contest. Let's see how it goes....She won the contest when she was 18, she married when she was 19, had mom at 20, then died at 21."
Question #4- You have a sister Suzanne, right?
Answer- "Yeah, Sue, Kay, and Pat."
Question #5- How blind was he? Do you think it really started with the first Kid Norfolk fight, or right before the Tiger Flowers fights at the end of his career?
Answer- "No, he was blind all right. He fought fully blind in his right eye, and half blind in the other. Exactly when it started I don't know but he fought that way for years"
Question #6- Did Harry have an auto accident that brought him to the hospital for surgery on his nose? Do you know anything about any auto accident?
Answer- "Ohhh. I don't know anything about an auto accident. I wish grandma was alive so you could talk to her. She knew the most."
Question #7- What are things you read that are untrue about Harry?
Answer- "He wasn't such a dirty fighter. Alot of people fought that way back then, with the laces and thumbs. You know it wasn't that far removed from bare-knuckled fighting back then. He did what alot of fighters did, the only thing he may have done extra was some kidney punches when the referee couldn't see."
Question #8- Were you interviewed for the book and the documentary?
Answer- "Yes, both."
Question #9- Have you seen my website?
Answer- "No. My daughter has and she's printed out pages for me. You know his name wasn't BERG. That's wrong you know."
Question #10- Do you have anything that you can take photos of or copies of that I can add to the site?
Answer- "Sure. My daughter is coming over in a couple weeks and can takes photo's of some stuff. I even have a picture of mom with the both of them."
Question #11- You mean a photo of Harry, Mildred and Dorothy, all together at the same time? That hasn't ever been published.
Answer- " No, I don't think it has."
Question #12- Do you have any of Pius and Ann Greb, Harry's parents?
Answer- "No, I don't think so."
After a great conversation we exchanged mailing addresses. I'm making a copy of the 5 minute Greb training clip for him, and I'll send that to him, he doesn't have it. He'll try to Xerox some articles and news clippings for me too. He's a great guy, and a normal person to talk to.
written immediately after conversation on 7/5/1998
In the July '98 issue of KO magazine there was a section titled "50 all-time fantasy match-ups". In it Greb was compared to Stanley Ketchel to see who would have won the bout if they had actually fought.This is what was written:
There is little to choose from between these two. Both were two-fisted, tough-as-nails brawlers who relied on there tenacity and viciousness to overwhelm theor opponents. Of the two, Greb fought the better competition, besting, among others, Jack Dillon, Tommy Gibbons, Tommy Loughran, Mickey Walker, and Gene Tunney.
Ketchel's career was much shorter--he was murdered at the age of 24--and thus so was his resume. The most noteworthy wins came against Philadelphia Jack O'Brien and Billy Papke. And if you're wondering how close Ketchel came to beating Jack Johnson when he floored him with a wild right hand, forget it. That Johnson rose and knocked Ketchel cold immediately upon rising tells you all you need to know.
The real difference is told in the numbers here, and they show Ketchel to be the much harder puncher. "The Michigan Assasin" scored 49 knockouts in 52 wins. Greb, for all his snarling viciousness, won inside the distance only 48 times in 105 victories. So "The Pittsburgh Windmill" was more of a pressure fighter, Ketchel more of a banger.
Ketchel wins, right? Wrong. Look closer at the numbers. Greb was stopped only twice in 299 fights; Ketchel suffered the same number of stoppage losses in one fifth the number of bouts. And when a great chin goes against a great puncher, the chin usually wins. It would here, too. Greb by decision.
Written by William Dettloff
Angelo Dundee was on "The Back Table" show hosted by Chet Coppock. Angelo said, "I was on a plane with Mike Tyson doin a PR thing and Mike asked me, "How good was Greb?" I said "I'm old, but not that old!" Angelo laughed.