On This Day In Boxing History!
1983: Jack Dempsey Passes!
Born: June 24th, 1895
Birth Name: William Harrison Dempsey
Birth Place: Manassa, Colorado
Residence: Salt Lake City, Utah
Pro-Debut: August 18th, 1914
Alias: Manassa Mauler
Height: 6′ 1″
Record: 54-6-9, 44Ko’s
Died: Age 87, May 31st, 1983
World Heavyweight Champion
July 4th, 1919 – September 23rd, 1926
NBA World Heavyweight Champion
July 2nd, 1921 – September 23rd, 1926
NYSAC World Heavyweight Champion
July 24th, 1922 – September 23rd, 1926
International Boxing Hall of Fame – Class of 1990
Million Dollar Gates
Dempsey participated in boxing's first five $1,000,000 gates.
07/02/1921 Jack Dempsey vs. Georges Carpentier $1,789,238
09/14/1923 Jack Dempsey vs. Luis Angel Firpo $1,188,603
09/23/1926 Jack Dempsey vs. Gene Tunney (1st meeting) $1,895,733
07/21/1927 Jack Dempsey vs. Jack Sharkey $1,083,530
09/22/1927 Gene Tunney vs. Jack Dempsey (2nd meeting) $2,658,660
The Jack Dempsey Revue
After Dempsey defeated Gunboat Smith on December 30, 1918, he was ready to challenge Jess Willard for the World Heavyweight Championship. However, in the interim, Dempsey toured with a show called the "Jack Dempsey Revue," in which he offered $1,000 to any man who could last four rounds with him.
The following bouts were reported as part of that tour:
Jan. 15, 1919 - Curley McGuire KO 1 - Grand Theatre: Trenton, NJ
Jan. 20, 1919 - Big Jack Hickey KO 1 - Orpheum Theatre: Harrisburg, PA
Jan. 22, 1919 - Kid Harris KO 1 - Rajah Theatre: Reading, PA
Jan. 29, 1919 - Joe Allison (Kid Henry) KO 1 - Easton, PA
Feb. 14, 1919 - Eddie Cherry KO 1 - Mishler Theatre: Altoona, PA
April 2, 1919 - Tony Drake KO 1 - New Haven, CT (Dempsey weighed 197 to 257 for Drake and the fight lasted just 11 seconds)
"A champion is someone who gets up when he can't."
"A champion owes everybody something. He can never pay back for all the help he got, for making him an idol."
"Nobody owes anybody a living, but everybody is entitled to a chance."
"By forgetting the past and by throwing myself into other interests, I forget to worry."
"Tall men come down to my height when I hit 'em in the body."
"I was a pretty good fighter. But it was the writers who made me great."
Newspaperman and author Damon Runyan nicknamed Dempsey the Manassa Mauler in 1916.
Newspapers of October 18, 1924, reported that Dempsey's first manager, Norman (Buck) Weaver, 42, was accidentally shot dead while duck hunting 19 miles southwest of Pueblo, Colorado. He and a companion, Howard Walker, 22, were sitting in separate boats when Walker laid down his shotgun to pick up the oars to row and the gun discharged. Weaver was hit in the face and died several hours later.
On July 3, 1927, John Dempsey, Jack's younger brother, murdered his estranged wife and then killed himself.
On December 8, 1938, the Boxing Writers Association of America awarded Dempsey the first-ever Edward J. Neil Trophy for being the boxer who had meant the most during the current year. The award was named in honor of the Associated Press sports writer and war correspondent who had been killed the year before in Spain.
Dempsey and his second wife, Estelle Taylor, appeared in a 1928 Broadway play titled The Big Fight.
Dempsey made many attempts, some better than others, to follow Tex Rickard as a boxing promoter but was often frozen out by the entrenched insiders, particularly in New York, and finally quit.
1920: Jack Britton W15 Johnny Griffiths
1924: Tommy Gibbons ND10 Georges Carpentier
1927: Mushy Callahan W10 Spug Myers
1938: Henry Armstrong W15 Barney Ross
1950: Vic Toweel W5 Manuel Ortiz
1970: Manuel Ortiz dies.
1975: Rodrigo Valdez KO8 Ramon Mendez
Alexis Arguello KO2 Rigoberto Riasco
Rodolfo Martinez KO8 Nestor Jimenez
1976: Wilfred Benitez W15 Emiliano Villa
1983: Jack Dempsey dies.
1987: Mike Tyson KO6 Pinklon Thomas
Tony Tucker KO10 James (Buster) Douglas
1997: Vince Phillips KO10 Kostya Tszyu
Saman Sor Jaturong KO4 Mzukisi Marall
2002: Leonard Dorin W12 Raul Balbi
2003: Edgar Carddenas KO10 Miguel Barrera
2005: Israel Vasquez W12 Armando Guerrero
2006: Cassius Baloyi KO11 Manuel Medina
2008: Anselmo Moreno W12 Wladimir Sidorenko
2013: Jelena Mrdjenovich WTD6 Melissa Hernandez
Daniela Bermudez TKO1 Neisi Torres
2014: Sam Soliman W12 Felix Sturm
Susi Kentikian TKO9 Dan Bi Kim
Nonito Donaire WTD5 Simpiwe Vetyeka
Nicholas Walters KO5 Vic Darchinyan
Evgeny Gradovich W12 Alexander Miskirtchian
Carlos Cuadras WTD8 Wisaksil Wangek
Linda Laura Lecca W10 Simone Da Silva
Carl Froch TKO8 George Groves
Jamie McDonnell TKO10 Tabtimdaeng Na Rachawat