Ali-Frazier. Leonard-Hearns. Tyson-Holyfield. Ward-Gatti. Mayweather-McGregor.
Some of the greatest names in fighting history, and they all got to settle their rivalries in the squared circle.
But there were two other great fighters of a generation who never did get to square off and determine once and for all who the greatest of all-time was.
I of course am talking about Bad Bad Leroy Brown and Willie “Slim” McCoy, both characters in Jim Croce songs who defeated all comers, but never faced off against each other.
We’re here to try and fix that, and to determine once and for all who the greatest Jim Croce Song Fighter ever is.
We’ll do so by looking up the lyrics to each songs, and see how much it describes each fighter, and based solely on that, we’ll make a decision that absolutely nobody can argue with, mainly because it’s my blog and I said so.
The Case for Bad Bad Leroy Brown
Here are the lyrics that describe Brown as both a fighter and a person:
Well, the South side of Chicago
Is the baddest part of town
And if you go down there
You better just beware
Of a man named Leroy Brown
Now Leroy more than trouble
You see he stand ’bout six foot four
All the downtown ladies call him “Treetop Lover”
All the men just call him “Sir”
Now Leroy he’s a gambler
And he likes his fancy clothes
And he likes to wave his diamond rings
In front of everybody’s nose
He got a custom Continental
He got an Eldorado too
He got a 32 gun in his pocket for fun
He got a razor in his shoe
Now Friday bout a week ago
Leroy shootin’ dice
And at the edge of the bar
Sat a girl named Doris
And ooh that girl looked nice
Well he cast his eyes upon her
And the trouble soon began
Cause Leroy Brown, he learned a lesson
‘Bout messin’ with the wife of a jealous man
Well the two men took to fightin’
And when they pulled them from the floor
Leroy looked like a jigsaw puzzle
With a couple of pieces gone
Right away that Leroy is from a bad neighborhood, a classic thing for a fighter to have. That likely means he had to fight for everything he had growing up.
He’s about 6-foot-4, and the ladies love him, giving him the nickname “Treetop Lover.” Personally, if I got that nickname I wouldn’t be Bad Bad Leroy Brown, I’d be Treetop Lover Brown, but to each their own.
He’s a gambler, so he might take a dive if it means lining his own pockets, something to consider in the future, and wears fancy clothes, and also loves to show off his rings, which, while not explained, could be title rings.
He also carries weapons, a 32-gun and a razor in his shoe, so depending on the legality of our fight, he might be set to pull some tricks from the Rick Flair School of wrestling.
But we also learn that he gets rocked by a guy after checking out his wife. Though it doesn’t say if he wins or loses, it just right back into the chorus of him being the baddest man in the whole damn town, so for the sake of our argument, we’ll assume he ate some punches but won the fight.
A strong case, now let’s look at his opponent.
The Case for Willie “Slim” McCoy
Here are the lyrics that describe McCoy as both a fighter and a person:
Well outta south Alabama come a country boy
He say I’m lookin’ for a man named Jim
I am a pool-shootin’ boy
By name ‘a Willie McCoy
But down home they call me Slim
Yeah I’m lookin’ for the king of 42nd Street
He drivin’ a drop top Cadillac
Last week he took all my money
And it may sound funny
But I come to get my money back
And everybody say Jack don’t you know
Well a hush fell over the pool room
Jimmy come boppin’ in off the street
And when the cuttin’ was done
The only part that wasn’t bloody
Was the soles of the big man’s feet, ooh
And he was cut in about a hundred places
And he were shot in a couple more
And you better believe
There come another kind of story
When big Jim hit the floor now they say
You don’t tug on Superman’s cape
You don’t spit into the wind
You don’t pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don’t mess around with Slim
So he’s from south Alabama, and as someone who is dating a woman from south Alabama, like Brown, we’ll assume that McCoy didn’t grow up with a lot of money and had to fight for every bit of it.
He’s a pool player, which means that he’ll always have a weapon on him in the form of his pool cue. Good to have in case things turn dirty, but it doesn’t quite match Brown’s gun and razor.
He’s coming to get his money back, which means he lost it somehow, either in a failed pool hustle of the main subject of the song, Jim, took it from him in a fight. It doesn’t really said.
Well when he walks into a room it apparently is enough to stop the crowd and make things go quiet, so we can assuming he’s an imposing figure as well.
And then the fight with Jim happens and the only part that isn’t bloody is the soles of Jim’s feet, so let’s go ahead and assume that Slim knocked him out or just beat the hell out of him until he got bored. It even says that big Jim hit the floor.
It’s also worth noting that Croce clearly labels Slim as the winner of the fight in his song, changing the last verse of the song from, “You don’t mess around with Jim” to, “You don’t mess around with Slim.”
Based on the description of the characters and their actions in each song, I think it is safe to assume this would be similar to Leonard-Hearns. The punches will be flying at an insane rate, and this fight isn’t going to last long.
But I think McCoy has the better punching power due to his knockout of Jim in his song, and the questions surrounding Brown’s outcome in his fight against the guy whose wife he was trying to plow.
So in a boxing match, I say Willie “Slim” McCoy captures the Jim Croce Heavyweight Championship by KO in the 5th round.
If this was pro wrestling, Brown sounds suspiciously like The Godfather of WWE, and he has a gun and a razor, which, would still be illegal in wrestling, as would McCoy’s pool cue, but if it was a no DQ match, a gun/razor combo wins every time.