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Thread: The Great Trainers and Fighters on Dempsey: Simply The Best

  1. #181
    mike
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    Re: The Great Trainers and Fighters on Dempsey: Simply The Best

    they sparred though- the battling jim johnson.

  2. #182
    mike
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    Re: The Great Trainers and Fighters on Dempsey: Simply The Best

    does anyone know if dempsey sparred with larry gains.

  3. #183
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    Re: The Great Trainers and Fighters on Dempsey: Simply The Best

    Quote Originally Posted by jim
    kearns took credit for all dempseys success ; a notorious bs artist. what makes anybody think kearns or dempsey had any money to spread around; not to mention-obviously some men will not be brought. seems grant and wills were the only ones NOT on kearns payroll--including fulton and willard. way over blown.
    kearns had power, pre dempsey... he also had his hands on a decent amount of cash flow.... his problem was holding onto it... he liked to live the high life & roll the dice...

    but to think this guy didnt have a direct line to the nexus of boxing's (the most lucrative professional sport then) power structure is to greatly underestimate his powers ...

    kearns in re to boxing knowledge & influence was like lou duva 30 years ago... he had a stable of fighters, was well traveled & had connections w/ scouts in all of boxing's major cities.... most importantly, he was connected to the promotors in these cities, including of course, the kingpen, tex rickard...

    finally, kearns also knew the journalist & understood the money making potential of a new interconnected media in its power to hype new stars and events... its one of the reasons boxing was so popular... unlike a league like the nfl, wh/ was trying to get its footing & needed the time to build up an infrastructure to maintain weekly consistency... boxing, partly by nature, could be more agile... it was about taking an already popular sport and then having to only have to hype up individual events and fighters... thus it became the sport wh/ was able to quickly maximize the technology & the growing leisure time of a victorous & economically growing nation coming out of ww1....

    kearns was the perfect guy to exploit this... he was well attuned to the boxing machine... he was connected, well traveled & knew wh/ levers to pull... he had the quick wits & energy, along w/ a sharp eye for talent & the imagination of how to package it to promotors so that it would sell well to a media that he himself could also curry to...

    sure he could bs his ass off, but it takes a keen mind to know how to make that bs work... kearns had just that type of mind... even w/o dempsey, kearns had the faculties and means to have made very good money in the '20's in a sport wh/ had established popularity...

    I agree that dempsey would've been stranded in the west w/o doc... other managers w/ an eye for talent may very well have also discovered him... the problem imo however wouldve been that dempsey wouldve been avoided as a fast track up the ranks near the big money... his knockout power was too dangerous to risk for a fighter who wanted to maintain a position near a shot at willard...

    you needed a manager who was well connected w/ the media & promotors & knew how to leverage a commercial property wh/ would then grow in the public imagination... kearns was very sharp to how promotion & the media were changing, he for example understood very well how and why hollywood was such a perfect model for this as the explosive emerging industry at that time... thats what set kearns apart & made him vital for dempsey's ascension...

    kearns by late 1917 knew in dempsey he had a very talented fighter, so inturn he packaged and mapped out a script of how a western giant killer could come east and take the belt... he sold this well to the press and promotors (in both cases win-wins for them also), thus inturn created a growing story in itself... this growing story created the type of demand & pressure that would allow dempsey to get the fights he needed...

    its doubtful any other manager had the connections, energy or imagination to map out such a plan... its one of the reasons he was also very helpful in getting dempsey very lucrative early contracts in hollywood, unprecedented in scale for an athlete...

    kearns biggest problem was dealing w/ the mass success & his own hubris once dempsey established himself as a worldwide sensation by 1921.... he forgot how important the horse is to the cart... he didnt give enough attention to his fighter's changing needs, nor enough credit to the unique abilites of the phenom he had found...

    as much credit as I gave kearns above, never kid yourself it was all a kearns & then later rickard production... kearns (much more then rickard) forgot to some degree what he saw in 1917 when he signed dempsey... a very special athlete coupled w/ a rare high dose of the vital intangibles: hunger, heart and toughness... he forgot to some degree what it took mentally and physically for dempsey to go from 1914 to 1917 & dempsey came to resent that... kearns keen skills at packaging forgot that the item inside that parcel was precious and warrented respect... sure w/o kearns dempsey may have been burnt out by '21... but doc seemed to forget that w/o the mauler his sport doesnt become the trend setting event maker of the '20's garnishing to a manager like him fame & a mega-fortune...

    in this regards the parallels to presley and the colonol have an accord... its just that presley didnt have the will to break away like dempsey did by '25...
    just as elvis was stuck in trite beach movies & forced into soundtrack music ... dempsey saw a lot of his prime years relegated to money grossing exhibitions...

    just as the colonel by '61 had lost track of '54-'56, kearns also failed as a manager to keep in focus the inner fire that created 1918-1919... partly his own doing & fault, dempsey came to realize this & unloaded kearns by the mid '20's... sadly, by that point there was no bringing back that same fighter that stalked the division just 5 years earlier...
    Last edited by HandToMouth; 06-05-2006 at 05:34 PM.

  4. #184
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    Re: The Great Trainers and Fighters on Dempsey: Simply The Best

    Kearns was smart he hired Ike Dorgan as a press agent . Ike was the brother of the writer Tad Dorgan. TAD famous in his time credited for coining the phrases , hot dog , goofy , yes we have no bannas , nickle nurser, and many more . Coming from San Fran and all ready being friends with the best writers at that time Ike must have given Kearns a great edge.

    I read an article how Ike Dorgan must have had the best job . The article went on to say dont be so sure . Ike had to keep all those writers happy . come fight night . One wanted to sit near the middle one didnt . One wanted the corner , another wanted no part of the blood and spit . They said if you meet Ike half way you got what you wanted . If you push him you got to see the fight from the worse place .

  5. #185
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    Re: The Great Trainers and Fighters on Dempsey: Simply The Best

    Hey Mike, Yes Gaines was a sparring partner for Dempsey when the latter was preparing for his bout with Jack Sharkey.

  6. #186
    mike
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    Re: The Great Trainers and Fighters on Dempsey: Simply The Best

    thank you k. smith.

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