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NFT: Jess Willard vs. Jack Dempsey, 100 years ago ...

Manny in CA : 5/21/2019 4:31 pm

July 4th, 1919. Dempsey's style is the inspiration for today's best boxers - keep away then punish ....

Uh huh  
Bill2 : 5/21/2019 4:39 pm : link
Dempsey's gloves were loaded. He cheated his ass off in this one. Willard took a terrible beating from hands cast in hard plaster and metal plated knuckles.

Source? Dempsey's manager in a famous Sports Illustrated article.

" I had bet $10,000, which we could not afford to lose, at 10 to 1, that Dempsey would win in the first round. If he did, we would make a tidy $100,000—equivalent to Willard's guarantee and substantially more than our own $27,500 guarantee.

I had schemed and connived over too many years to let anything go wrong with a bet like that, let alone with the championship of the world. The hell with being a gallant loser. I intended to win."
Bill2 : 5/21/2019 4:51 pm : link
sorry...the trainer did say Dempsey did not know. I wrote the post fast and from a memory of reading it in SI long ago.

There was a Ring magazine ( I think it was Ring) pushback but it did not rebut the managers account. To me it read like the author couldn't take the idea that Dempsey had a blemish.

Fight game was far more crooked then than even the 1950's and sixties
I've heard that story before ...  
Manny in CA : 5/21/2019 4:55 pm : link

So, Iooked up the following article ...

I guess we'll never know for sure, but probably not likely.
Bill2 : 5/21/2019 4:58 pm : link
Please read the first hand story of the manager in SI
I'd never seen a man take a beating like that ...  
Manny in CA : 5/21/2019 5:02 pm : link

Not even when Tex Cobb fought Larry Holmes.
RE: Manny  
madgiantscow009 : 5/21/2019 5:03 pm : link
In comment 14451384 Bill2 said:
Please read the first hand story of the manager in SI

that was disputed:

However, this story has been disputed. Nat Fleischer, later founder of The Ring Magazine, was there when Dempsey's hands were wrapped: "Jack Dempsey had no loaded gloves, and no plaster of Paris over his bandages. I watched the proceedings, and the only person who had anything to do with the taping of Jack's hands was Deforest. Kearns had nothing to do with it, so his plaster of Paris story is simply not true. Deforest himself said that he regarded the stories of Dempsey's gloves being loaded as libel, calling them 'trash' and said he did not apply any foreign substance to them, which I can verify since I watched the taping."[11] Historian J. J. Johnston ended all discussion when he pointed out that "the films show Willard upon entering the ring walking over to Dempsey and examining his hands. That should end any possibility of plaster of Paris or any other substance on his hands." And if the extent of Willard's injuries was exaggerated, as contemporary sources indicate, there is nothing to explain about Dempsey's hands. Furthermore, tests performed by Cleveland Williams, Hugh Benbow and Perry Payne (William's manager and trainer) for the magazine Boxing Illustrated proved that the plaster of Paris would have crumbled in the intense heat experienced on the day of the fight, rendering it useless for the purpose of inflicting damage or pain on Willard.

my personal opinion is: it could go either way, who knows?
RE: I'd never seen a man take a beating like that ...  
Gman11 : 5/21/2019 5:05 pm : link
In comment 14451394 Manny in CA said:

Not even when Tex Cobb fought Larry Holmes.

LOL. I remember that fight and Cobb was yelling and screaming because they stopped it. I remember him saying, "I was fighting my fight." Well, if getting pummeled is fighting your fight you were doing a hell of a job.
I get it Bill ...  
Manny in CA : 5/21/2019 5:09 pm : link

But not plaster of Paris. My dad had a pair of brass knuckles back in the 50's; maybe if they stuffed them inside the gloves.

That was one hell of a beating Willard took !!
One of my grandpa's  
Phil in LA : 5/21/2019 5:17 pm : link
was Dempsey's and Tunney's sparring partner. He didn't believe Jack would ever need to cheat. Anyway, my grandpa taught Tunney how to defend against Jack's left hook. Jack never held it against him and always welcomed him to his restaurant.
Bill2 : 5/21/2019 5:32 pm : link
Yeah, I would toss it into the we will never know bucket. None of the commentators or managers or organizers or even many of the writers was immune to enlightened self interest and embellishing stories. Its was, and oft still is; a grimy world.

But we do know Dempsey fought successfully against many other fighters and even fought well in his loss to Gene Tunney. So he did have a pattern befitting a great fighter - Willard and loaded gloves or not
Bill2 : 5/21/2019 5:33 pm : link
On the flip side, Willard never had broken bones and that much damage before or after.
Dempsey - Firpo ...  
Manny in CA : 5/21/2019 5:39 pm : link
I looked this one up, because I recall Jack was knocked out of the ring and came back to win. (He was supposedly pushed back in by reporters).
Considering the beating that Willard took...  
Milton : 5/21/2019 5:45 pm : link
...for three full rounds, it's hard to imagine he would've lasted past the first round if Dempsey's gloves had been loaded.
Hey Phil  
Jerry K : 5/21/2019 6:28 pm : link
My grandfather was a sparring partner and friend of Jack Dempsey, too. I have a nice article about them from the Jersey Journal but it's not available online, so I can't link. There is mention of it in the link below. Maybe we have the same grandfather?
NJ Boxing Hall of Fame. - ( New Window )
We don’t  
Phil in LA : 5/21/2019 6:40 pm : link
My grandpa was George Farley. They might have known each other.
Dempsey could have wrapped his hands  
Motley Two : 5/21/2019 6:40 pm : link
in 2 rolls of 10-ply Cottenelle and dusted that lumbering oaf.
When was the TKO  
Chef : 5/22/2019 9:14 am : link
3 knockdown rule established? Willard went down like 6 times..
I doubt..  
FatMan in Charlotte : 5/22/2019 10:14 am : link
today's best boxers even know who Dempsey was, let alone emulate him.

It is more likely they use Drago or Clubber Lang's style.

Or some guy from a European or Baltic state....
You're probably FatMan ...  
Manny in CA : 5/22/2019 6:59 pm : link

All I'm saying is that Dempsey's style sure looks very modern.

Just wonder if his influence made it's way down through the fabric of time and found it's height in, for example in Cassius Clay - "move like butterfly, sting like a bee"
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