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On This Day In Boxing History!

1983: Jack Dempsey Passes!

Jack Dempsey  

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

Division: Heavyweight

Stance: Orthodox

Height: 6′ 1″  

Reach: 77″              

Bouts: 69

Rounds: 283

Ko’s: 64%

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."

Professional Record

Championship Record



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.


May 31st

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

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