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Is 'himself' appropriate here?

John was afraid to challenge Jim, because the latter was as great a boxer as himself.
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Technically it works, but it doesn't read well.
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AnonymousIs 'himself' appropriate here?
No. The scope of a reflexive is limited to the clause it's in. Thus, the latter (Jim) was as great a boxer as himself (Jim), which is tautologous and therefore uninformative.

CJ
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Comments  
I agree with CalifJim. It reads as if Jim is as great a boxer as Jim. How about:

John was afraid to challenge Jim, because Jim was an equally great boxer.
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