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Thread: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

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    Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness
    By Mike Casey from Boxing Scene

    Suddenly it all clicked. All the pieces of the jigsaw fell into place and Jack Dempsey was flying, ripping and barnstorming his way to a fight with Jess Willard for the heavyweight championship of the world.

    After all the mining camp brawls, after all the hobo struggles and saloon fights and a sometimes brutal apprenticeship in the ring of rules and regulations, the rare diamond had been polished to a sparkle.

    The wise men like Jack Kearns, Teddy Hayes and Spider Kelley had known it all along. Now the others knew it too. They could see and understand the very exceptional talent that was Jack Dempsey.

    The bronzed and muscled youngster had seemed to toil for an age as he hacked his way through the vast field of competition from the mountains and the deserts of the Old West to the Old Fun City of New York. There had been spectacular knockouts, laboured and hard-fought victories and the occasional setbacks. Dempsey was never happy with his own work and it riled him that his successes went largely unnoticed in boxing’s sprawling heartland of America, where great champions and great contenders teemed from every nook and cranny.

    Jack judged himself by a tough and eternally self-critical barometer. Every niggling, tactical error made him fume with frustration. In his own mind, he was getting nowhere fast by the close of 1917. Why couldn’t he knock out Gunboat Smith? Why did he always struggle with that fat guy they called a clown, Slapper Willie Meehan? After a life-and-death struggle with the Gunboat at the Mission Baseball Park in San Francisco, Dempsey stood in his dressing room in despair, humbled and apologetic.

    There was so much commotion going on that manager Jack Kearns and second Spider Kelley couldn’t hear him at first.

    “I guess I’m no match for Gunboat,” Dempsey said. “I’m real sorry I let you guys down. I’m not what you thought I was.”

    When he looked up, Kearns and Kelley were staring at him in blank disbelief. “Kid, you won!” Kearns said. “The Gunboat hit you with a right and I thought it’d kill you, but you nearly killed him!”

    Spider Kelley nodded his approval and added, “You’re in, kid. You’re in! What the hell are you apologising for? Save that for the Gunboat, kid. You’re going to be the next champion!”

    Dempsey had finally shed his learner plates. He was about to embark on the knockout run that would take him all the way to a title shot at Willard in the searing, Independence Day heat of Toledo in 1919. Has there ever been a run quite like it? From 1918, Dempsey blitzed virtually every man who came to test him. He packed nearly 30 recorded fights into that intense, nineteenth-month period and possibly several more that have yet to be unearthed. Full of blazing confidence, Jack ‘barnstormed’ in the run-up to Willard, daring all-comers to challenge him.

    Jack never could fully figure out the infuriating conundrum that was Willie Meehan, but plenty of prize scalps went on the Mauler’s belt as he tore through Fireman Jim Flynn, Bill Brennan, Arthur Pelkey and Carl Morris.

    When Dempsey hooked up with Gunboat Smith again at Buffalo in December 1918, the chilling slaughter that took place was portentous of things to come. The Gunboat was decked seven times and wrecked in two rounds.

    Such was Dempsey’s reputation by this time that huge money was wagered by Buffalo gamblers on how many rounds Smith would last. The majority of Jack’s followers bet on a win inside four.

    Before entering the ring, Gunboat Smith told reporters that he rated Dempsey a great heavyweight and was sure that Jack would defeat Jess Willard. “This fellow Dempsey has everything. Dempsey is poison. He has youth, strength, gameness and a good head. He is some scrapper.”

    But it wasn’t the Smith fight that got the tongues wagging and the typewriters tapping.
    Back in the summer of that year, on July 27 at Harrison, New Jersey, Jack had conceded nearly twenty pounds to the hard-hitting Fred Fulton and destroyed him in just a fraction over eighteen seconds. A sharp intake of breath was heard across America and not just from the easily impressed.

    When Fulton crashed to the canvas, writer Robert Edgren was sitting close enough at ringside to be able to reach out and touch the fallen giant. Edgren, as knowledgeable and eloquent a scribe as there ever was on boxing, was objective yet lavish in his praise for the lithe and vicious young tiger of a man who had inflicted the damage.
    Now Edgren completely understood what sparring partner Chief Turner had said of Dempsey. “This is the most wonderful fighter I have ever seen,” revealed the Chief. “I think I have done mighty well to last through a week of training with him. He’s an awful hitter.”

    Edgren wrote: “Dempsey makes the same impression on trainer or fighter. He is not a boxer in the ordinary sense of the word. And yet it is foolish to say that he doesn’t know how to box. He is a natural boxer. He uses his hands as naturally as a tiger uses its claws.

    “The Dempsey fight against Fulton was the finest exhibition of the fighting art that I have ever seen, for Dempsey didn’t waste a single movement in the short time it lasted. His action was the soul of simplicity. And fighting effectiveness isn’t in the step-and-tap-and-block taught by boxing instructors, but in direct action along the lines of mechanical force.

    “Bob Fitzsimmons was the greatest master of that. And if this Dempsey lad continues as he has begun, he will eclipse even the great Bob.”

    Emphasising Dempsey’s economy of movement, Edgren noted that the Mauler covered the minimum of ground in the short time it took him to bomb out Fulton. Jack was careful to come out of his corner a little slower than big Fred. Dempsey had advanced just four or five short steps as Fulton met him and missed with a jab. Jack moved forward one step. Fulton tried to tie him up, but as Dempsey wrenched his arms free he fired a left upwards to Fulton’s head. The punch travelled no more than a foot but jerked Fred’s head back and shook him badly. The big man moved out to long range and started backing up towards the ropes. He managed to get a lock on Dempsey’s arms for a few seconds before breaking away and retreating across the ring to his own corner. Jack pivoted and advanced three or four steps to within hitting range. It was then that Robert Edgren observed something that intrigued him.

    “Dempsey has a trick of shifting that is similar to that of Fitzsimmons and Stanley Ketchel, except that Jack doesn’t reverse his footing but merely drops his left shoulder back beyond the right and then puts the pivoting swing of his whole body into a two-foot blow.

    “Dropping that left shoulder back, Dempsey drove his left fist into Fulton’s body. It was a tremendous blow and Fulton caved in at the waist. Instantly Dempsey whipped another left up to Fulton’s head, knocking him over sideways, and quicker than a flash shot his straight right across to Fulton’s jaw. Fulton fell, completely knocked out, struck in a half-hitting position, neck against the ropes and went on until he lay flat on his shoulder blades.”

    Teddy Hayes

    Teddy Hayes had some kind of portfolio as a trainer. Among the legends he handled were Mickey Walker, Jack Johnson, Battling Nelson, Ad Wolgast, Joe Gans, Stanley Ketchel, Billy Papke, Tiger Flowers, Jack Britton, Benny Leonard, Freddie Welsh, Johnny Dundee, Pete Herman and Lou Brouillard.

    Who did Hayes consider to be the greatest of them all? Jack Dempsey. As early as 1915, Hayes saw the enormous potential that was steadily taking shape. “Dempsey had meanness. He had heart. Anyone who knocked down Dempsey soon discovered they made a mistake. When Jack got up, that always meant his opponent’s doom. Whether he slipped or was hit, he would be up at the count of two with murder on his mind. He was the perfect fighting machine. There were times when he didn’t seem at all human.”
    Dempsey, of course was moulded and fired in an astonishingly tough era that bred exceptionally tough men. The good old days? No, we wouldn’t want to see their like again. There were too many injustices, too many illnesses and most people didn’t live to a great age. It is simply a fact of life that hard times represent a fertile soil for producing fighting men. What greater motivation is there than to simply eat? Dempsey and many others knew what it was like to go without a meal.

    In his later years, Jack could only guess at how many official and semi-official fights he had between 1911 and 1916. “The record books don’t contain them,” he said, “and I couldn’t name the number or identify all the faces today if my life depended on doing it. I’d guess a hundred. But that’s still a guess.”

    Boxing historian Mike Hunnicut, who had many conversations with Teddy Hayes, points out: “Teddy wasn’t a ‘good old days’ guy. He was always looking to tomorrow and the betterment of boxing. But he quite rightly observed that the excellent athletes forged from hunger and poverty began to disappear when life got easier and television helped to kill off the thousands of fight clubs. There were suddenly fewer fights and fewer fighters. As a consequence, there weren’t nearly as many fighters who had that inherent anger and ferocity. Other sports became popular and young men didn’t have to box for a living.

    “Going through my notes from my various chats with Teddy, he said that Dempsey was the most perfect puncher with the most perfect hands ever. He was a very fast, instinctive athlete, a great natural fighter with perfect co-ordination and timing.
    “He could take a punch – a real punch – and not ever be aware he was hit. He was able to take fighters apart when he was out on his feet – as he was in the first Gunboat Smith fight – like no other fighter ever. His hands were not just huge, they were incredibly strong and the hardest fists Hayes had ever seen. Every fighter has trouble with his hands at some time or another. Dempsey didn’t. They were the perfect weapons.

    “Jack Kearns knew Dempsey was a hell of a fighter. He was absolutely certain that nothing could stop Jack after seeing him rally from that big shot from the Gunboat. Kearns saw that there was no quit in Dempsey.

    “Teddy Hayes saw these qualities in Dempsey before Kearns did after watching Jack knock out miners and the bully boys of the bar rooms.

    “I would say that the nearest thing to Dempsey in modern times, for an iron chin and unbelievable resilience, was Matthew Saad Muhammad. But Jack of course was far more talented than Saad and probably even tougher.”

    Nat Fleischer

    Nat Fleischer was another who noticed these almost surreal qualities in Dempsey and the fact that Jack was an almost unique amalgam of boxer and fighter. Fleischer could never sufficiently express just how thrilling it was to watch the prime Dempsey from ringside.

    Reflecting on Jack in 1968, Fleischer wrote: “Dempsey represented the true fighting man. He was a destroyer, a demon once he got under way. When the bell sounded, a wild man was unleashed. Flaying fists reached their targets early and often. His teeth bared, he sprang into action bent on destruction. He represented undeniable force.
    “I have heard sports writers declare that a fight between Dempsey and Marciano, each in his prime, would have resulted in the most thrilling, hard hitting affair in ring history. I agree. But I disagree with those who at the same time, declared that Rocky, in a punch-for-punch attack, would have stopped Manassa Jack.

    “The fight would not have lasted long enough for Marciano to spring such an attack as he did when he fought Jersey Joe Walcott and stopped him in the thirteenth round, and against Archie Moore, whom Rocky halted in the ninth.

    “Dempsey in his prime would have stopped Walcott and Moore before the fifth got underway.

    “Joe Louis, as a power hitter, was the equal of Dempsey. But while the Brown Bomber had to get set before slinging his punches, Manassa Jack at his peak tore in and unleashed an attack that was bewildering and invincible.

    “Dempsey, with his bobbing and weaving style, was not easy to hit with solid punches. He knew the tricks of the game and put them into operation with crafty execution. In that, he was superior to most of those who followed him.

    “Jack possessed steel fists and an iron jaw. His blows were explosive, much like those of Benny Leonard.

    “Dempsey drove his remarkable punching power from a pair of splendid hands, big-boned and boasting a squareness across the knuckles that does not belong to the average individual, a well developed wrist and forearm and great strength in the hitting muscles of the upper arm, shoulder and back. He also possessed the important faculty of proper leverage, brought the muscles of his legs as well as his upper body into play and got both weight and impetus behind his blows.

    “Perhaps Jack’s chief punching asset was a perfect co-ordination between mind and muscle, the ability to bring instant and overwhelming stress upon any movement. He had a wonderful hitting instinct.

    “Dempsey could take it and dish it out. The big punch and the ability to take a solid one are the assets that count most in winning a fight. Jack possessed both. He also was quick in recovery.

    “Dempsey might be likened to a combination of a polar bear and a panther. Strong as the first. Agile as the second. Fast as a top welterweight, and that includes Ray Robinson, one of the greatest in that category.

    “Dempsey’s style of attack was always a good defence. It prevented an opponent accustomed mostly to ring cleverness or slow motion or using a shuffling style for infighting, from penetrating the defence with fair effectiveness.”

    The Carl Morris thing

    After blitzing Gunboat Smith in their second match at Buffalo, Jack Dempsey held court in his hotel to a small and select group of journalists. The heir apparent to the throne wanted to put the record straight on the one man who got under his skin more than any other: big Carl Morris from Kentucky. Try as he did, Dempsey could never warm to Morris. There was friction between the two men whenever they crossed paths, right from the days when Jack was Carl’s sparring partner.

    Morris had a condescending manner about him and a caustic sense of humour to match. Every time he opened his mouth, Dempsey bridled. Now Jack had finally shut him up. Just two weeks before despatching Gunboat Smith, Dempsey had conceded 35lbs to crush Morris in one round at New Orleans. Finally, a ghost had been laid to rest.
    Jack had already posted two wins over Carl, outpointing the giant at San Francisco and winning by disqualification in their second meeting in Buffalo. But neither result was good enough for the size-obsessed ‘experts’ of the age, who refused to believe that a David could whip a Goliath and then rubbished the evidence when it was presented.
    Morris paid a visit to Dempsey’s dressing room before their second fight. It was a bad mistake. Tense and irritable, Jack roared, “Get outta here, you cheap bastard, or I’ll flatten you right now!”

    Dempsey didn’t get his chance that night. Morris, sensing a lost cause, got himself thrown out in the sixth round after winging one south of the border and re-arranging Jack’s wedding tackle. But Jack surely did flatten Carl in the final instalment of their ill-tempered trilogy.

    Here is what Dempsey told those few reporters on the final day of 1918: “Going down to New Orleans, I had two days’ time to think things over. I boxed Morris in Buffalo and knew his style pretty well. But I realised he was tough. I made up my mind not to take unnecessary chances as the New Orleans fight was booked for 20 rounds. I figured it out that Morris would want to stick the limit and that he’d play a defensive game and make me carry the fight to him – that he would wrestle in the clinches and make me carry his weight and try to get me tired. It’s no cinch, you know, to lug a big guy like him around for six or eight rounds.

    “Going down on the train, I doped it out this way: I’d let Morris set the pace, nailing him when he left openings but never going in and mixing with him. What I planned to do was outbox him and wait for a chance to sink the ship.

    “When the referee calls us to the centre of the ring, Morris was so polite I became suspicious. It was Jack this and Jack that. He Jacked me to death. When we get our instructions from the referee and are going back to our corners for the first bell, Morris yells out so everybody could hear him, ‘Make this a clean fight, Jack, no rough stuff’.
    “Out we come, Morris laughing and leading with his left. It fell short. I tapped him with a left on the nose. He keeps on laughing. He swings his right. I duck and he grabs me. Right off the reel he starts the rough stuff The moment he got hold of me, what does he do but rush me across the ring and slam me into the ropes, throwing all his weight on me and rubbing my back ten or fifteen feet along the top rope You know what that does, don’t you? Just burns your back, that’s all. And there’s the guy who says make it a clean fight.

    “The referee was wise and cautioned Morris. Morris excused himself and we break. I hooked him with a left to the chin. He was hurt. He lost his noodle, I guess, for he rushes in and grabs me again, though I tried to pull away from him. He got a good hold, like Zbyszko (the wrestler) and slams me into one of the corners.

    “He puts one of his ham-like hands against my forehead and deliberately tried to jam my head back over the ropes so my skull would hit the iron post. Trying to knock me out that way. Bum stuff.

    “The referee rushes in, yelling at Morris to quit trying to foul. I yelled at the referee to let him go. ‘I’ll take care of him,’ says I as we break away. I lost all regard for Morris. I tore loose, driving a left to the pit of his stomach with every ounce of strength I had, and as he doubled up and begins to sink to the floor, I whipped my right to his chin and he went down like a log. Both his feet were up in the air. The referee counted ten and it was a long, generous count too.

    “I don’t think I ever hit a man as hard as I belted Morris in the stomach. Say, that referee could have counted a hundred. Morris didn’t move. His seconds dragged him to his corner.

    “I went over to shake his hand, willing to let bygones be bygones, but I got an awful shock. Morris was as white as milk and as limp as a rag. His lips were purple. On the square, I thought he was done for. I was never so frightened in my life. You know, I don’t want to hurt no man. I turned in and helped his seconds revive him. We worked over him for four minutes before he opened his eyes. I was a happy lad when he looks up and I see he’s all right.

    “You see, I went in planning to box him six or eight rounds, but when he tried to burn my back on the ropes and knock my head against the iron post – well, no man is going to do that to me and get away with it. Morris made me knock him out in two minutes.”
    Seven months after Morris, Dempsey would take his controlled fury to Toledo and brutally sever Jess Willard’s grip on the heavyweight championship.

    Life And Death

    There were many titanic struggles for Jack Dempsey before the eventual glories and riches of the roped square. He sent a fellow hobo flying into the wilderness after a vicious brawl on top of a fast moving freight train, never knowing whether it had literally been a fight to the death.

    It had been a battle of survival, one cameo among the many small wars of the hobo jungle. Hungry and desperate men waged such perilous fights constantly in that stark and ferocious era.

    There was another occasion when Jack wasn’t so fortunate, as he later recalled: “I hopped a freight train moving out of Grand Junction, Colorado, one cold afternoon, right after running away from home. I was headed for Delta, forty miles away. I had just grabbed the ladder when a railroad man on top of the freight spotted me.

    “He had a long broomstick in his hand, like a cop’s billy. He yelled at me to jump off. I couldn’t. The train had picked up too much speed. So, very systematically, and while the train picked up more speed, he kept belting me with that club and split open my head. I jumped or fell off, crashing face down in the cinders along the way. I thought I’d never stop rolling.

    “I walked the forty miles to Delta while the blood dried.”

    This was Jack Dempsey’s grounding in life. These were the battles he fought before his boxing career even began. Is it any wonder that he was so special? He was still slugging out street muggers in his old age.

    I remain convinced that this incredible man, at his irresistible best, would have taken the measure of any heavyweight in boxing history.

    Mike Casey is a boxing journalist and historian and a staff writer with Boxing Scene. He is a member of the International Boxing Research Organization (IBRO) and founder and editor of the Grand Slam Premium Boxing Service for historians and fans (www.grandslampage.net).

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Jack Dempsey
    (William Harrison Dempsey)
    (the "Manassa Mauler")

    BORN June 24 1895; Manassa, Colorado
    DIED May 31 1983; New York, New York
    HEIGHT 6-0 3/4
    WEIGHT 165-205 lbs
    MANAGERS Andy Malloy; A.J. Aurback, Frank Price; Jack "Doc" Kearns
    Dempsey is considered by many as one of the greatest heavyweights and "pound for pound" fighters who ever entered in the ring - the ultimate yardstick by which all heavyweights are measured; Jack could box or punch and came into the ring ready to rumble; During his career, he won the Heavyweight Championship of the World

    He was a two-handed fighter who hit hard with both fists; He hit with combinations and possessed an extremely hard left hook; He moved well, left-right, in-out, bobbing and weaving; He was quick, rough, tough and powerful; In addition, he was game and cool under pressure and fought whatever style was needed to win; Deep inside himself, he carried a vicious "killer-instinct"

    Jack was the size of a modern cruiserweight but hit like a super heavyweight; He often fought men 10-25 pounds heavier and actually handled bigger, stronger men easier than he handled lighter, quicker ones

    Charley Rose ranked Dempsey as the #3 All-Time Heavyweight; Nat Fleischer ranked him as the #4 All-Time Heavyweight; Herb Goldman ranked him as the #5 All-Time Heavyweight; Dempsey was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990

    NOTE: In order to see these video clips go to the CBZ Encyclopedia (link at the top of this page) On Lineal Champions click on Heavyweights, then click on Dempsey & the links to the clips are there on his record page

    Dempsey Slideshow Video Clip

    Dempsey Training/Sparring 1919 Video Clip
    Dempsey-Willard 1919 Fight Video Clip (Short Version)

    Dempsey-Willard 1919 Fight Video Clip (Long Version)

    Dempsey-Brennan 1920 Pre-Fight Video Clip

    Dempsey-Brennan 1920 Fight Video Clip

    Dempsey-Carpentier 1921 Fight Video Clip

    Dempsey-Gibbons 1923 Fight Video Clip

    Dempsey-Firpo 1923 Fight Video Clip

    Dempsey-Tunney 1927 Fight Video Clip

    Dempsey Fight Video Clip
    (Press the button at the top of the screen to return)

    1914
    Aug 17 Young Herman Ramona, Co D 6
    Nov 2 One-Punch Hancock Salt Lake City, Ut KO 1
    Nov 30 Billy Murphy Salt Lake City, Ut KO 1

    1915
    Jan Battling Johnson in Utah KO 1
    Feb Joe Lyons in Utah KO 9
    Feb 26 Chief Geronimo Pocatello, Id D 4
    Mar Johnny Pierson in Utah KO 7
    Apr 1 Chief Gordon in Utah KO 6
    Apr 5 Jack Downey Salt Lake City, Ut L 4
    Apr 26 Anamas Campbell Reno, Nv KO 3
    May 31 Johnny Sudenberg Goldfield, Nv D 10
    Jun 13 Johnny Sudenberg Tonopah, Nv D 10
    Aug 1 Fred Woods Montrose, Co KO 4
    Oct 7 Andy Malloy Durango, Co ND 10
    -Some sources report "D 10";
    Malloy was also Dempsey's manager
    Oct 23 Andy Malloy Montrose, Co KO 3
    "Big Ed" Olathe, Co L
    -This was a wrestling match
    Nov 19 George Copelin Cripple Creek, Co KO 7
    Dec 13 Jack Downey Salt Lake City, Ut D 4
    Dec 20 Two-Round Gillian Salt Lake City, Ut KO 1

    1916
    Feb 1 Johnny Sudenberg Ely, Nv KO 2
    Feb 21 Jack Downey Salt Lake City, Ut KO 2
    Feb 23 Boston Bearcat Ogden, Ut KO 1
    Mar 9 Cyril Koehn Provo, Ut KO 4
    Mar 17 George Christian Price, Ut KO 1
    Apr 8 Joe Bonds Ely, Nv W 10
    -Some sources report "KO 10";
    Bonds was managed by Jack "Doc" Kearns
    May 3 Terry Kellar Ogden, Ut W 10
    May 17 Dan Ketchell Provo, Ut KO 3
    May 30 Bob York Price, Ut KO 4
    Jun 24 Andre Anderson New York, NY ND 10
    -Damon Runyon gave Jack the "newspaper" decision
    Jul 8 "Wild" Bert Kenny New York, NY ND 10

    -Dempsey turned down a match against Sam Langford,
    Ed "Gunboat" Smith or Frank Moran

    Jul 14 John Lester Johnson New York, NY ND 10

    -Dempsey was a sparring partner for Carl Morris in
    Kansas City, Mo

    Sep 28 "Young" Hector Conrew Salida, Co KO 3
    -Some sources report "Murray, Ut"
    Oct 7 Terry Kellar Ely, Nv W 10
    Oct 16 "Fighting" Dick Gilbert Salt Lake City, Ut W 10
    Nov 29 "Young" Hector Conrew Salida, Co KO 2

    1917
    Feb 13 "Fireman" Jim Flynn Murray, Ut LT 1
    Mar 21 Al Norton Oakland, Ca D 4
    Mar 28 Willie Meehan Oakland, Ca L 4
    Apr 11 Al Norton Oakland, Ca D 4
    Jul 25 Willie Meehan Emeryville, Ca W 4
    Aug 1 Al Norton Emeryville, Ca KO 1
    Aug 10 Willie Meehan San Francisco, Ca D 4
    Sep 7 Willie Meehan San Francisco, Ca D 4
    Sep 19 Charley Miller Oakland, Ca KO 1
    Sep 26 Bob McAllister Emeryville, Ca W 4
    Oct 2 Ed "Gunboat" Smith San Francisco, Ca W 4
    Nov 2 Carl Morris San Francisco, Ca W 4
    1918
    Jan 24 Homer Smith Racine, Wi KO 1
    Feb 4 Carl Morris Buffalo, NY WF 6
    Feb 14 "Fireman" Jim Flynn Fort Sheridan, Il KO 1
    Feb 25 "K.O." Bill Brennan Milwaukee, Wi KO 6
    Mar 16 Fred Saddy Memphis, Tn KO 1
    -Saddy used the name "Jack Smith"
    Mar 25 Tom Riley Joplin, Mo KO 1
    May 3 Billy Miske St. Paul, Mn ND 10
    May 22 Dan Ketchell Excelsior Springs, Co KO 2
    May 29 Arthur Pelkey Denver, Co KO 1
    Jul 1 Tommy "Kid" McCarthy Tulsa, Ok KO 1
    Jul 4 Bob Devere Joplin, Mo KO 1
    Jul 6 Dan "Porky" Flynn Atlanta, Ga KO 1
    Jul 27 Fred Fulton Harrison, NJ KO 1
    Aug 26 Terry Kellar Dayton, Oh TK 5
    Sep 13 Willie Meehan San Francisco, Ca L 4
    Sep 14 Jack Moran Reno, Nv KO 1
    Nov 6 Battling Levinsky Philadelphia, Pa KO 3
    Nov 18 Dan "Porky" Flynn Philadelphia, Pa KO 1
    Nov 28 Billy Miske Philadelphia, Pa ND 6
    Dec 16 Carl Morris New Orleans, La KO 1
    Dec 20 Clay Turner New York, NY EX 4
    -This bout raised $26,000 for the Knights of Columbus
    Dec 30 Ed "Gunboat" Smith Buffalo, NY KO 2
    1919
    Jan 16 Jack Maguire Trenton, NJ KO 1
    Jan 20 "Big" Jack Hickey Harrisburg, Pa KO 1
    Jan 23 Kid Harris Reading, Pa KO 1
    Jan 29 Kid Henry Easton, Pa KO 1
    Feb 13 Eddie Smith Altoona, Pa KO 1
    Mar 1 Terry Kellar Washington, DC EX 3
    Apr 2 Tony Drake New Haven, Ct KO 1
    Apr 4 John Lester Johnson Schenectady, NY EX 4
    Apr 7 Battling Hickey Syracuse, NY EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Hickey out
    Apr 7 Spike Sullivan Syracuse, NY EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Sullivan out;
    The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Apr Terry Kellar Detroit, Mi EX 6
    Jun "Big" Bill Tate Toledo, Oh EX
    -Dempsey sparred Tate numerous times during
    June in preparation for the Willard bout;
    Jul 4 Jess Willard Toledo, Oh TK 4
    -Heavyweight Championship of the World
    Aug 24 One-Round Harrison St. Louis, Mo EX 4
    Jack McAuliffe EX

    1920
    Mar 5 Terry Kellar Los Angeles, Ca EX 3

    -Dempsey appeared in Daredevil Jack, a 15-round serial

    Jul 2 an unnamed opponent Denver, Co EX
    -Dempsey knocked this man out
    Jul 2 an unnamed opponent Denver, Co EX
    -Dempsey knocked this man out;
    The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 6 Billy Miske Benton Harbor, Mi KO 3
    -Heavyweight Championship of the World
    Oct 20 "Big" Bill Tate Philadelphia, Pa EX 3
    Dec 14 "K.O." Bill Brennan New York, NY KO 12
    -Heavyweight Championship of the World

    1921
    Jun 18 Battling Gahee Atlantic City, NJ EX 2
    Jun 19 "Philadelphia" Jack O'Brien Atlantic City, NY EX 1
    Jun 19 Eddie O'Hara Atlantic City, NJ EX 2
    Jun 19 Jack Renault Atlantic City, NJ EX 1
    Jun 19 Larry Williams Atlantic City, NJ EX 1
    -The previous 4 bouts were held the same date
    Jul 2 Georges Carpentier Jersey City, NJ KO 4
    -Heavyweight Championship of the World

    1922
    Mar 9 Packey O'Gatty New York, NY EX 3
    Eddie Eagan Denver Co EX 3
    Terry Kellar Washington, DC EX
    Jul an unnamed opponent Portland, Me EX
    Jul an unnamed opponent Bangor, Me EX
    Jul an unnamed opponent Fort Fairfield, Me EX
    Jul 18 Elzear Rioux Montreal, Que, Can EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Rioux out
    Jul 18 Jack Renault Montreal, Que, Can EX 3
    Jul 18 Paul Lahaye Montreal, Que, Can EX 3
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Jul 19 Jack Renault Ottawa, Ont, Can EX 3
    Jul 24 Jimmy Darcy Buffalo NY W 4
    -Some sources report this bout as a Heavyweight
    Championship of the World contest
    Sep 4 Jack Thompson Michigan City, In EX 2
    Sep 7 Andre Anderson Michigan City, In EX 2
    Sep 9 an unnamed opponent Jamaica, NY EX
    Oct 7 Jack Thompson Boston, Ma EX 3
    Nov 16 Charlie Trabon Kansas City, Mo EX 3
    Nov 19 Johnny Lee Memphis, Tn EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Lee out

    1923
    Reginald Denny in California EX
    -Denny was a popular movie star of the time
    Roy "Ace" Clark Philadelphia, Pa EX 3
    Jun 21 George Godfrey Great Falls, Mt EX 2
    Jun 21 Billy Wells Great Falls, Mt EX 2
    Jun 21 "Big" Ben Wray Great Falls, Mt EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Wray out (Wray was 7-2, 250 pounds)
    Jun 21 Bill Wolpin Great Falls, Mt EX 1
    -The previous 4 bouts were held the same date
    Jun 22 George Godfrey Great Falls, Mt EX
    Jun 22 Martin Burke Great Falls, Mt EX
    Jun 22 Harry Drake Great Falls, Mt EX
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Jun 23 Billy Wells Shelby, Mt EX
    Jun 26 Billy Wells Great Falls, Mt EX 3
    Jun 26 Connie Curry Great Falls, Mt EX 1
    Jun 26 Lee Moore Great Falls, Mt EX 1
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Jul 4 Tommy Gibbons Shelby, Mt W 15
    -Heavyweight Championship of the World
    Jul Jack Hildebrand Saratoga Springs, NY EX
    Jul Martin Burke Saratoga Springs, NY EX
    Jul Pietro Corri Saratoga Springs, NY EX
    Jul Eddie McMullen Saratoga Springs, NY EX
    -The previous 4 bouts were held the same date
    Aug 18 Jules Rioux Schenectady, NY EX 4
    Aug 31 Jules Rioux Saratoga Springs, NY EX
    -Dempsey knocked Rioux out
    Sep 1 Martin Burke Saratoga Springs, NY EX 2
    Sep 1 Jack McAuliffe II Saratoga Springs, NY EX 2
    Sep 1 Walter "Farmer" Lodge Saratoga Springs, NY EX 2
    Sep 1 Ray Neuman Saratoga Springs, NY EX 2
    -The previous 4 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 14 Luis Angel Firpo New York, NY KO 2
    -Heavyweight Championship of the World
    Dec Alex Trambitas Chicago, Il EX 4

    1924
    Feb 10 Clarence "Dutch" Seifert Memphis, Tn EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Seifert out
    Feb 11 Martin Burke New Orleans, La EX 2
    Feb 11 Tommy Marvin New Orleans, La EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Marvin out;
    The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Feb 24 Tod Morgan Los Angeles, Ca EX

    Apr 1 -Dempsey signed a $1 million deal with Universal Pictures
    to star in 10 films over 2 years

    Jun 3 Rock Stragmalia Los Angeles, Ca EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Stragmalia out
    Jun 3 Joe Ryan Vernon, Ca EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Ryan out
    Jun 3 Eli Stanton Los Angeles, Ca EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Stanton out;
    The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 6 Harry Wills Jersey City, NJ SCH
    -This bout was scheduled but not held;
    Promoter Tex Rickard feared the racial
    overtones of the contest

    Oct -Dempsey performed on the Loew Vaudeville circuit

    Oct 26 Norman Genet Buffalo, NY EX 2

    Nov 10 -Dempsey began a vaudeville engagement at Loew's
    Theatre in New York, NY

    -Dempsey was the highest paid athlete in the USA
    during 1924

    1925
    Jan 16 -Dempsey announced his engagement to Estelle Taylor,
    movie actress
    Feb 7 -Dempsey married Estelle Taylor

    May an unnamed opponent Santa Monica, Ca EX
    May an unnamed opponent Santa Monica, Ca EX
    May 18 Bob Kent aboard ship, Berengark EX 3
    May 26 an unnamed opponent Berlin, Ger EX
    Jun Max Schmeling Cologne, Ger EX 2
    Jun an unnamed opponent Cologne, Ger EX
    Jun an unnamed opponent Cologne, Ger EX
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date;
    Some sources report Feb or May
    Jul 4 Phil Scott Brighton, Eng EX 3
    Jul 4 Eddie Eagan Brighton, Eng EX 3
    Jul 4 Harry Drake Brighton, Eng EX 3
    Jul 4 "Corporal" Ernest Chandler Brighton, Eng EX 3
    -The previous 4 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 7 Bill Larne San Francisco, Ca EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Larne out
    Sep 7 "Cowboy" Ed Warner San Francisco, Ca EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Warner out;
    The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 24 Bill LaRue San Antonio, Tx EX 2
    Sep 24 Big Meeks San Antonio, Tx EX 2
    -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 25 "Cowboy" Ed Warner San Antonio, Tx EX 2
    Sep 25 Jack Stafford San Antonio, Tx EX 2
    Sep 25 Ray Neuman San Antonio, Tx EX 2
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 30 Ray Neuman Cleveland, Oh EX 3
    Oct 1 Ray Neuman Dayton, Oh EX
    Oct 2 Ray Neuman Ashland, Ky EX 2
    Oct 10 Ray Neuman Los Angeles, Ca EX
    Oct 30 an unnamed opponent in Texas EX
    Nov 1 an unnamed opponent Mexico City, Mex EX
    Nov 1 an unnamed opponent Mexico City, Mex EX
    -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date

    1926
    Jan an unnamed opponent Havana, Cu EX
    Jan an unnamed opponent Havana, Cu EX
    Jan an unnamed opponent Havana, Cu EX
    Feb 8 Jack League Memphis, Tn EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked League out
    Feb 8 Tony Catalina Memphis, Tn EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Catalina out
    Feb 8 "Cowboy" Ed Warner Memphis, Tn EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Warner out
    Feb 8 Marty Cutler Memphis, Tn EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Cutler out
    Feb 8 an unnamed opponent Memphis, Tn EX
    Feb 8 an unnamed opponent Memphis, Tn EX
    -The previous 6 bouts were held the same date
    Feb 12 an unnamed opponent EX
    Feb 12 an unnamed opponent EX
    Feb 12 an unnamed opponent EX
    -Dempsey knocked this man out
    Feb 12 an unnamed opponent EX
    -Dempsey knocked this man out
    Feb 12 an unnamed opponent EX
    -Dempsey knocked this man out
    Feb 12 an unnamed opponent EX
    -Dempsey knocked this man out;
    The previous 6 bouts were held the same date
    Feb 20 an unnamed opponent Richmond, Va EX
    May 27 Walter Ross Memphis, Tn EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Ross out
    May 27 Mike Arnold Memphis, Tn EX 2
    May 27 Joe Kirp Memphis, Tn EX 2
    May 27 Bill Clemons Memphis, Tn EX 2
    May 27 Albert Malotte Memphis, Tn EX 2
    -The previous 5 bouts were held the same date
    Jun an unnamed opponent El Paso, Tx EX
    Jul Jimmy Delaney Atlantic City, NJ EX
    Jul "Big" Bill Tate Atlantic City, NJ EX
    Jul Martin Burke Atlantic City, NJ EX
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 1 -Dempsey's contract with Jack Kearns expired
    Sep 11 "Big" Bill Tate Atlantic City, NJ EX 2
    Sep 11 Martin Burke Atlantic City, NJ EX 2
    Sep 11 Tommy Loughran Atlantic City, NJ EX 2
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 23 Gene Tunney Philadelphia, Pa L 10
    -Heavyweight Championship of the World

    1927
    May 8 Tony Fuente Santa Monica, Ca EX 1
    May 8 Benny Hill Santa Monica, Ca EX 2
    May 8 George Kotsonares Santa Monica, Ca EX
    -This was a wrestling match;
    The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    as part of a Benefit for MS flood victims
    Jul 21 Jack Sharkey New York, NY KO 7
    Sep 15 Clayton "Big Boy" Peterson Crete, Il EX
    Sep 15 -Dempsey sparred with several opponents at Crete, Il
    Sep 22 Gene Tunney Chicago, Il L 10
    -Heavyweight Championship of the World

    1928
    Mar 4 -Dempsey announced his retirement from the ring
    1929
    Feb 20 George Herman "Babe" Ruth West Palm Beach, Fl EX 2
    -This bout was mostly a comedy skit
    sparred with two left-handed gloves

    1931
    Aug 19 Ray Pelkey Reno, Nv SCH
    -This bout was scheduled but not held;
    Pelkey did not show
    Aug 19 Tony Fuente Reno, Nv SCH
    -This bout was scheduled but not held;
    Fuente had rib injuires from a previous bout
    Aug 19 Jack Beasley Reno, Nv EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Beasley out
    Aug 19 Jack Beasley Reno, Nv EX 1
    -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Aug 24 "Big" Bill Hartwell Portland, Or EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Hartwell out
    Aug 24 Dave McRae Portland, Or EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked McRae out
    Aug 24 Denny Lenhart Portland, Or EX 2
    Aug 24 Bob Mariels Portland, Or EX 2
    -The previous 4 bouts were held the same date
    Aug 26 Denny Lenhart Seattle, Wa EX 2
    Aug 26 Denny Lenhart Seattle, Wa EX 1
    Aug 26 Denny Lenhart Seattle, Wa EX 1
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Aug 28 "Big" Tom Sawyer Vancouver, BC, Can EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Sawyer out
    Aug 28 Tiny Lamar Vancouver, BC, Can EX 1
    Aug 28 Del Wolfe Vancouver, BC, Can EX 2
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Aug 31 Elgin Taylor Spokane, Wa EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Taylor out
    Aug 31 Dee Richmond Spokane, Wa EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Richmond out
    Aug 31 "Big" Bill Neering Spokane, Wa EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Neering out
    Aug 31 Tony Talerico Spokane, Wa EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Talerico out
    Aug 31 Cyclone Thompson Spokane, Wa EX 2
    -The previous 5 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 2 Tom Moore Aberdeen, Wa EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Moore out
    Sep 2 Al Devaney Aberdeen, Wa EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Devaney out
    Sep 2 Denny Lenhart Aberdeen, Wa EX 2
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 4 Jack Baxter Eugene, Or EX 1
    Sep 4 Henry Glanz Eugene, Or EX 1
    Sep 4 Jimmy Byrnes Eugene, Or EX 4
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 7 Eddie Burns Reno, Nv EX 2
    Sep 7 Sam Baker Reno, Nv EX 1
    Sep 7 Red Tingley Reno, Nv EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Tingley out;
    The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 10 George Richard Tacoma, Wa EX 2
    Sep 10 Marine Ranierie Tacoma, Wa EX 1
    Sep 10 Cyclone Thompson Tacoma, Wa EX 1
    Sep 10 Wayne Pitts Tacoma, Wa EX 1
    -The previous 4 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 14 Jackie Silvers Salt Lake City, Ut EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Silvers out
    Sep 14 Bill Longston Salt Lake City, Ut EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Longston out
    Sep 14 an unnamed opponent Salt Lake city, Ut EX
    Sep 14 an unnamed opponent Salt Lake city, Ut EX
    -The previous 4 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 15 Sailor Smith Rock Springs, Wy EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Smith out
    Sep 15 Joe Ferguson Rock Springs, Wy EX 1
    Sep 15 Del Baxter Rock Springs, Wy EX 1
    Sep 15 Bud Doyle Rock Springs, Wy EX 1
    -The previous 4 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 16 Del Baxter Logan, Ut EX 1
    Sep 16 Battling Lamoreaux Logan, Ut EX 1
    Sep 16 Cyclone Workman Logan, Ut EX 1
    Sep 16 George Nelson Logan, Ut EX 1
    -The previous 4 bouts were held the same date
    Sep 17 Jack Smith Boise, Id EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Smith out
    Sep 17 Hank Potter Boise, Id EX 1
    Sep 17 Lewis O'Connelly Boise, Id EX 2
    Sep 17 Battling Lamoreaux Boise, Id EX 1
    Sep 17 Mick McCafferty Boise, Id EX 1
    -The previous 5 bouts were held the same date
    Nov 6 Jack Carroll Provo, Ut EX
    Nov 6 Del Baxter Provo, Ut EX
    Nov 6 Jack Carroll Provo, Ut EX
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Nov 9 Tommy Davenport Des Moines, Ia EX 2
    Nov 9 Elijah Lee Des Moines, Ia EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Lee out
    Nov 9 Happy Shade Des Moines, Ia EX 3
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Nov 11 Ed "Bearcat" Wright Omaha, Ne EX 4
    Nov 13 Pete Wistort Moline, Il EX 2
    Nov 13 George Neron Moline, Il EX 2
    -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Nov 18 Jack Roper Kansas City, Mo EX 2
    Nov 18 Charley Belanger Kansas City, Mo EX 2
    -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Nov 20 Angus Snyder Wichita, Ks EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Snyder out
    Nov 23 Alvin "Babe' Hunt Tulsa, Ok EX 4
    Nov 27 Rufino Alvarez Phoenix, Az EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Alvarez out
    Nov 27 Ernie Musick Phoenix, Az EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Musick out
    Nov 27 Jimmy Long Phoenix, Az EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Long out;
    The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Dec 4 Johnny Korando Fargo, ND EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Korando out
    Dec 4 Swede Grantsburg Fargo, ND EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Grantsburg out
    Dec 4 Charley Retzlaff Fargo, ND EX 1
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Dec 7 Pat McLaughlin Duluth, Mn EX 1
    Dec 7 Szymka Zabuil Duluth, Mn EX 1
    Dec 7 Charley Retzlaff Duluth, Mn EX
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Dec 12 Art Laskey St. Paul, Mn EX 2
    Dec 12 Jack Roper St. Paul, Mn EX 1
    Dec 12 Angus McDonald St. Paul, Mn EX 1
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Dec 15 Charley Belanger Winnipeg, Man, Can EX 2
    Dec 15 Stan Trojack Winnipeg, Man, Can EX 1
    Dec 15 Angus McDonald Winnipeg, Man, Can EX 1
    -The previous 3 bouts were held the same date
    Dec 18 Herman Raschke Sioux Falls, SD EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Raschke out
    Dec 18 Louis Zack Sioux Falls, SD EX 2
    Dec 18 Charles Pailson Sioux Falls, SD EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Pailson out;
    The previous 3 bouts were held the same date

    1932
    Feb 1 Bill "Bad News" Johnson Stockton, Ca EX 3
    -Dempsey knocked Johnson out
    Feb 1 Wally Hunt Stockton, Ca EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Hunt out;
    The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Feb 8 Buck Everett Milwaukee, Wi EX 2
    Feb 8 Jack Roper Milwaukee, Wi EX 2
    -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Feb 11 Meyer "K.O." Christner Cleveland, Oh EX 3
    -Some sources report Dempsey knocked Christner out
    Feb 15 George Kohler Flint, Mi EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Kohler out
    Feb 15 Pat McLaughlin Flint, Mi EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked McLaughlin out
    -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Feb 18 King Levinsky Chicago, Il EX 4
    -Levinsky was better
    Feb 23 Frankie Wine Louisville, Ky EX 4
    Feb 29 Jack Phillips Dayton, Oh EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Phillips out
    Feb 29 Pat Sullivan Dayton, Oh EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Sullivan out;
    The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Mar 1 Joe Doktor Toronto, Ont, Can EX 4
    Mar 3 George Trinkle Cincinnati, Oh EX 2
    Mar 3 Ray Vanzke Cincinnati, Oh EX 2
    -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Mar 7 Johnny Chick Columbus, Oh EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Chick out
    Mar 7 Eddie Anderson Columbus, Oh EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Anderson out;
    The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Mar 10 Ellsworth "Hank" Hankinson Akron, Oh EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Hankinson out
    Mar 10 Tiny Powell Akron, Oh EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Powell out;
    The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Mar 12 Tim Charles Toledo, Oh EX 2
    Mar 12 Jack O'Dowd Toledo, Oh EX 2
    -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Mar 16 "Big" Ed Williams Clarksburg, WV EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Williams out
    Mar 16 Freddie Taylor Clarksburg, WV EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Taylor out;
    The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Mar 18 Billy Miles Huntington, WV EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Miles out
    Mar 18 Jack Kearns Huntington, WV EX 2
    -The previous 2 bouts were held the same date
    Mar 21 Joe Doctor Toronto, Ont, Can EX 4
    Mar 31 Alvin "Babe" Hunt Detroit, Mi EX 4
    Aug 10 Chet Sandel Seattle, Wa EX 4
    Aug 12 Frank Sawyer Portland, Or EX 1
    -Dempsey knocked Sawyer out

    1933
    May 27 Max Schmeling Lake Swannaga, NJ EX 1
    Jul 14 Max Baer Salt Lake City, Ut EX 1
    Jul Max Baer Salt Lake City, Ut EX 1
    Jul Max Baer Louisville, Ky EX 3

    1936
    Mike Conroy Rochester, NY EX 3
    -Some sources report 1939

    1938
    Nov Al Massey EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Massey out
    Nov Mickey Benson EX 4
    -Dempsey knocked Benson out
    Nov Dewey Kimrey EX 3
    -Dempsey knocked Kimrey out

    1940
    Jul 1 Clarence "Cowboy" Luttrell Atlanta, Ga EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Luttrell out
    Jul 15 Bull Curry Detroit, Mi EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Curry out
    Jul 29 Ellis Bashara Charlotte, NC EX 2
    -Dempsey knocked Bashara out
    Aug 15 Mickey McAvoy Flushing Meadows, NY EX 2
    -This bout was held at the New York World's Fair
    with Joe Louis acting as referee
    Tony Galento in New Jersey EX

    -Dempsey retired from participation in
    exhibition bouts to referee wrestling
    matches

    -Dempsey enlisted in the United States
    Coast Guard and was commissioned as
    a Lieutenant Commander
    *** NCR ALL-TIME HEAVYWEIGHT COMPUTER TOURNAMENT ***
    1968
    Jim Corbett KO 7
    John L. Sullivan TK 7
    Joe Louis W 15
    Rocky Marciano LT 13
    Record courtesy of Tracy Callis, Historian, International Boxing Research Organization

  3. #3
    mike
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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    another classic by the master--Mr. Casey. this guy should have his stuff complied in a book--its all wonderful!!

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    I had been asked by Mike to contribute on Hayes' refeffections of dempsey and all the fighters he helped. Hayes was an earlier day eddie futch. He was a pro fighter and sparring partner,, as well as conditioner,cutman,and advisor to many of the champs he woked with --and sparred with.Hayes sparred with gans, and nelson.ketchel and papke. as wel as dempsey--on occasion. Being a trainer and sparring partner, he was in the corners for many a champ as he often sparred with the the opponent, as well. All of this was verified through the duffle bags, suitcases,boxes and twenty years of research is co-authors went trough when teddys memoirs were printed. He was an orphan , and qiuckly knew the meanest sides of life-and always was looking for a better way in America were it was possible to have a decent way to live -outside boxing-as most any fighter tries to realize past his fighting prime-and to help others not be embroiled in a life of meanest and strugggle as any poor American can relate too in its violent ,hopeless, frame of violence of today. He loved boxing, but by middle age, knew and felt the lousy stinks, fights, deaths of boxing was the way out no longer interesting to him; he was to be involed with roosevlet and truman during the days the world hang in the balance. there were two men he had admiration for more than others--all said and done. One was Roosevelt, through paralisis and great leadership overcame tremandous obstacles ,to become the greatest leader of the century--just how much a man needs and eventuall can overcome all the obstacles of life , meant so much to hayes--he was not refferring to himself--but to rooselvelt and dempsey. Outside of family members and clsoe friends , even after scores have been written of dempseys life by the 1970s-- nobody realley knew just how hard a life physically, mentally, and emtionally dempsey had to overcome to become in his opinon, the greatest fighter hed ever seen, without any doubt.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    one of the great things of the old Ring Record Books , was at the end of the books, there was a listing of nearly every trainer, manager, promoter in the world; with phone numbers. I was able to talk to almost all of them. As a student and sparring partner, I was anxious to get their views of boxing and boxers they came came across; and was able to get the phone numbers of many a fighter and speak with them. Of all the fighters, trainers, managers, cutmen, etc. i spoke with-from arcel to dundee to bailey and many others, arcel and hayes stood out in sheer knowledge and instinct of the fight game. While Mr. Casey would steadfastly disagree with me on this, and has on other boxing matters, Mr. Casey is the worlds greatest boxing historian, outide of the deceased Mr. Hayes and Arcel. Mr. Casey has all the resourses at his command as other experts have at their command ; plenty of magazines, articles, micro-film , and film. Mr. Casey has something money, observance, perspiration cannot buy--incredible feel and instincts for boxing. Its there or not---its its highest and deepest form. I know I do not have it , nor anyone else alive; not to that extent. To those readers whom are rightly dubious of such an assessment and all that it means: Mr. Casey has only just began to give the full measure of his insights on boxing. Michael Hunnicutt----Writer for IBRO

  6. #6
    mike
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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    MATTHEW SAAD MUHAAMAD ANY WHERE NEAR HIS PRIME IS AN ABSOLUTE LEGEND. for those who never saw him fight, pick up any fight of his anywhere near his prime--and you will see the warroir of as much or more guts, determination, and toughness as any human being who ever lived. In his prime, he was a fighting legend precisely and only for the qualities above. think holyfield is a warrior?? lamatta and chuvalo tough guys?? chuvalo was a defensive wizard compared to muhammed--holyfield a watered down version of a warroir. this guy was incredible, "unbeleivable" were the words trown about him in his wars. For those whom forgot him--check your films. Out of all the great fighters of this century whom id give my left n-- to meet--only dempsey and saad fits the bill. I met dempsey. one day i hope to meet the man with more guts than anyman i ever saw-- Saad Muhammed.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Another absolute gem of an article Mr. Casey. You really have the right stuff and I hope you do compile a book of your articles someday. I would be first in line to buy that one.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Just a quick salute, if I may, to three gents who ranks very highly with me - the old Spit Bucket himself, Mike DeLisa and my good pen pal from Virginia, Tracy Callis.

    The Dempsey record herein is the most detailed I have ever come across and makes for fascinating reading. Thanks indeed, fellas, and keep hunting for more hidden jewels.

    Thanks to you too, Kid. I check out your comments on many subjects and your knowledge of the game/technique etc is right on the money.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Does your name have to be Mike before you can post on this thread?

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Rats! Tug's onto us!

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    My Son's name is Mikey. Does that qualify me?

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Thanks a lot Mike. Coming from you that really means a lot to me.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    yet another brilliant job by Mike

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    Jack Dempsey


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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Dempsey's official fight total stands at 83 or 84, depending on what you consult and what you believe. Does anyone have any updated research on additional Dempsey fights (official or semi-official) aside from the tireless Mike DeLisa's recent discovery? Jack claimed he had many more than the record shows and I can't help feeling that more of his early bouts will be unearthed.

    He continues to fascinate and intrigue me because of the countless brutal battles he came through before he even started as a serious pro!!

    Best to all,

    Mike C

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    thanks for the article... engaging new insights

    further testimony, to if anything, what a unique athlete dempsey was.

    I say unique & not necessarily great b/c the true level of that trademark talent is so often widely disputed.

    That said, I think it is fair to say, as any indiv gains more facts whether they're a critic or sychophant... one thing both sides of the spectrum seem to agree on is the fact that dempsey was a unique & distinctive force in his era.

    Its hard to dispute that via his baptism thru & up the ranks of the hobo/mining jungles his perseverence & hunger molded an innovative technique that would eventually electrify the sport. If anything, it seems, he had to do so to compensate for the physical disadvantages he had in height & weight... along w/ the financial dilema he had in re to food & limited time to make a name for himself.

    Regardless of where you rank his talents in the pantheon: hype or underrated... its that lone trek he took up the ranks thru the last vestages of the unforgiven era west to the electric lights of the '20's go go mania that made his form, style & career more captivating & singular.

    heres the rub however w/ the dempsey analysis...

    if this guy was truely as talented & advanced beyond his peers as this article suggests, then how could he have eroded so much by '25 when he was still only 30 (still prime years for a heavy)?

    what the hell happened after '23 ???

    if he was honestly on as elevated a level in '19 as this article suggests then it seems he must have done as equally an impressive job of partying to lose so much by '26.

    The guy who lost to tunney both times, lets face it, was clearly shop worn. How do you go down so far so quickly???

    Keith Richards I think it would be fair to say wouldn't have been able to hold a candle to what dempsey must have been doing in the barrymore & chaplin mansions from '23-'25.

    Legs & reflexes of good athletes, at that young of an age, simply don't just go down that far and that fast w/o some serious outside influence.

    A good book idea & new angle on the dempsey saga may be in the calling here... Dempsey: the hollywood babylon years... or Dempsey: Hollywood & the damage done.

    I know he lost a close brother to coke, so something tells me he surely was closely around it.

    clearly by '26 all he had left was a still formidable level of guile and toughness. better shown vrs sharkey a slower and foward charging fighter as oppossed to the deft and elusive tunney.

    That dempsey probaly wills victories vrs most or all the 2nd tier champs ( patterson, walcott, johansson, charles, schmeling etc.)... but how does it get over on prime greats like frazier, holmes, holy, ali, tyson, marciano, louis, johnson etc?

    vrs sharkey he got pounded, his D was below avg b/c of slowness of feet and bobbing... would not these guys have also unload w/ even more arsenal?... sure if they left infighting openings he may have been able to cap them... but these guys at their best rarely if ever made the mental mistakes sharkey did.

    so again your left w/ '18-'23 wh/ his supporting camp place on rarified levels. even though he had couldnt dispatch a gibbons & was unimpressive until late vrs brennan.

    then juxtapose that w/ '25-'27 wh/ most admit was only a shell, albeit one w/ still a ton of moxy, toughness & guile (i've always felt his sharkey win is vastly underrated)...

    where does the truth lie in re to comparable talent vrs the greats?

    & what type of horse dope connection dealers did rock stars barrymore & chaplin hook up w/??? b/c that stuff seems to have made a wild panther into an old zoo cat... or was the panther really only once simply a spry young zoo cat?
    Last edited by HandToMouth; 03-05-2008 at 08:38 PM.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Great stuff again Mikie. Count me amonst your admirers and Id love to meet you someday and share stories. The Dempsey legend is what boxing history is all about along with so many others you have written about. I didnt know that Jack had knocked out Bill Hartwell who wasnt a bad heavyweight at all. I wonder if that one was for real. Bill Hartwell was a big strong guy.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Guys:

    You don't have to wait until Mr. Casey puts a book out. If you go to the "home" link in the upper right hand corner of this page, you will be on the home page for the CBZ. In out table of contents right there in the middle it says, "The Mike Casey Archive". Click on it & you will have a plethora of Mike's terrific peices to choose from.

    Enjoy!

    GorDoom

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    does anyone know if gunboat smith was asked & quoted by reporters who he felt was the tougher & better fighter in re to jack johnson in comparison to jack dempsey?

    if so, did he elaborate on his opinion?? ... if so, can you please post his comments

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Quote Originally Posted by HandToMouth
    does anyone know if gunboat smith was asked & quoted by reporters who he felt was the tougher & better fighter in re to jack johnson in comparison to jack dempsey?

    if so, did he elaborate on his opinion?? ... if so, can you please post his comments
    Gunboat Smith never fought Jack Johnson. He sparred with Johnson and knocked Johnson down.

    See IN THIS CORNER, book by Peter (?) Heller

    I have the impression he would say Sam Langford may have been the best of all. See the book.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    obama fan...

    I read Heller's book & unfortunately, Heller didnt ask him this crucial question...

    your right, smith didnt fight johnson in an official fight, but he did spar w/ him frequently & knew johnson pretty well..

    his insights on a comparison of both fighters would be fascinating to hear, along w/ being pretty valuable insight on who was better (albeit if he was being straight up)...

    I'm pretty sure gunboat sparred w/ johnson as far back as '10 wh/ would still place him in the ring w/ johnson's in the galveston champions latter prime... he also fought dempsey in jack's early prime.

    my quess is somewhere along the line reporters asked him this question... hoping somebody has come across these takes if so.
    Last edited by HandToMouth; 03-08-2008 at 01:33 PM.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    have the utmost respect for htm here but if you met him --some of these questions go out the window. knew a few guys who hung out withis cat--and as kearns said--whom kearns grew not to like--he was a f-ing panther. if anybody dared to say to sharkeys face anything but a panther --hed lshake his head in disgust. piont being there were more opponents impressed by dempsey than any heavyweight. g smith and jim flynn maybe the only decenters. all the rest --save willard- knew exactly wehat they boxed. look it up and what others oppontns thought of ali and tyson --back to johnson. anyhow htm--wish you could have met him--some questions would definatly be answered---others--will never be. thnks

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    As Mike says, the evidence is there. Lou Stillman and Ray Arcel saw them all until their deaths (relatively recently) and maintained that Dempsey stood alone. Arcel was a fair and timeless observer - he believed that Nicolino Locche was at least the skilful equal of Willie Pep - but insisted that Dempsey would have beaten all the heavyweights up to and including Tyson.

    Don't misunderstand me. Trainers are often wrong. Many of today's aces were putting Jim Braddock in their all-time Top 10 on the back of Russell Crowe's movie. But Arcel was famously quiet and non-commital, as Mike above will tell you - he interviewed Ray frequently. It wasn't in Arcel's nature to exaggerate to impress. But when it came to the crunch, he called it for the Manassa Mauler.

    Now that doesn't mean everything - but it must mean something when one considers Arcel's standing!

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    I do wonder how impartial Gunboat's judgment would have been? As I understand it, Gunboat was a life-long friend of Jack Johnson's, but loathed Dempsey. Please don't ask me for the source of this information; The best I can say is that I read it many years ago, but don't remember the source.

    Fighters have all kinds of motives for saying what they say. Jack Johnson, for example, was widely quoted as saying that Jim Jeffries was the best he ever fought. Everybody on this board knows I respect Jeffries greatly as a fighter, but I don't believe Johnson meant what he said, given Jeff's poor "way-past-his-prime" performance against Johnson in Reno.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Ray, that's a heck of a good point. We take these things with a pinch of salt and then we make our own judgements as best we can.

    Jack beat Sam Langford soundly at Chelsea, but I'll wager that Sam gave him more hell than the 'old' Jeff.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    I posted a Boston Globe newspaper account of the Johnson-Langford bout on this board some months back.

    And, yes, by that account it was a much more spirited battle than that between Jack and Jeff in Reno a few years later.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Quote Originally Posted by HandToMouth
    if this guy was truely as talented & advanced beyond his peers as this article suggests, then how could he have eroded so much by '25 when he was still only 30 (still prime years for a heavy)?

    what the hell happened after '23 ???
    Three words: Hollywood and Estelle Taylor. Given what I've read, that combination would age any man pretty quickly.
    Last edited by raylawpc; 03-11-2008 at 03:23 PM.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Yep, that would drive me into Old Nick's territory.

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Re dempsey bouts -- i have found a few more exh for dempsey and have a list of several more to track down that I am pretty sure occured but i want better sources

    IT NEVER ENDS with this guy

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    Re: Jack Dempsey: The Sudden Rush Of Greatness by Mike Casey

    Hey, my prized old hunter, please keep me informed.

    God bless, Mike.

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