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View Full Version : Gene Tunney vs. Jack Dempsey 1926


teetwoohsix
02-28-2010, 11:24 AM
I'm reading a good book called "The Lawless Decade" by Paul Sann,c.1957.
There is a lot of good historical information in this book about the '20's.There is a story about the match up's of Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey.
Their first fight,Sept.23'rd,1926,drew 120,557 fans and a record gate of $1,895,733.--this,to me at least seems impressive in itself ( for the timeframe).

But the reason I started this thread is that nobody expected Tunney to beat Dempsey.Dempsey was widely feared.

Tunney wrote-"The laugh of the twenties was my insistence that I would defeat Jack Dempsey for the heavyweight championship of the world.To the boxing public,this optimistic belief was the funniest of jokes.To me,it was a reasonable statement of calculated probability,an opinion based on prize-ring logic".
(goes on to say)-And so it was.Tunney held to the theory,controversial but enduring,that the boxer could beat the slugger.Brain vs. Brawn,Cunning vs.Brute Strength,Craftsman vs.Killer.
In historical terms,Corbett vs. Sullivan (New Orleans,1892,twenty-one rounds).Simple.

So the article goes on to explain how Tunney won the fight.He used strategy-jabs and hooks,and jabbed the champ silly-instead of trying to win with "sledge-hammer blows".

Tunney also beat him in their next match-up Sept.22nd,1927,although from what I'm reading ,there was a lot of controversy about this.
In the 7th round,losing all the way,Dempsey floored Tunney with a long left hook.Tunney landed on his backside in a daze.The timekeeper started the count but Referee Dave Barry held back until Dempsey,standing menacingly over his fallen opponent,went to a neutral corner.There were 4 seconds lost that way-enough for Tunney to keep the title.He got off the canvas at "9".

I still have a lot to learn about boxing history,but I found this article interesting.The whole "strategy vs. brute force" thing.
This article makes me want to research the Corbett vs.Sullivan fight referenced above.Do any of you vintage boxing fans know of any good books about that (Corbett vs. Sullivan) fight?Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks-
Clayton

D. Bergin
02-28-2010, 11:59 AM
Corbett's own Autobiography "The Roar of the Crowd" is one of the more entertaining boxing books you will ever read.

Corbett was a character. They called him "Gentleman Jim" because of his demeanor and his dapper style but he was one of the first real trashtalkers in sports, using it as sort of a psychological warfare against his opponents on a regular basis.

teetwoohsix
02-28-2010, 12:53 PM
Thanks!!This sounds like exactly what I am looking for,and it sounds like great reading!!

I am considering a boxing card project (years down the road) upon completion of T206 (or,ALMOST completion :D ).When I say boxing cards,I'm talking the Sullivans,Corbett's etc.,like the ones shown on that non-baseball thread recently-those cards are awesome!!!Allen & Ginters,etc....great stuff!!

D. Bergin
02-28-2010, 01:11 PM
Thanks!!This sounds like exactly what I am looking for,and it sounds like great reading!!

I am considering a boxing card project (years down the road) upon completion of T206 (or,ALMOST completion :D ).When I say boxing cards,I'm talking the Sullivans,Corbett's etc.,like the ones shown on that non-baseball thread recently-those cards are awesome!!!Allen & Ginters,etc....great stuff!!

The T-220 base set is fairly easy and inexpensive to complete in around mid-grade condition, and includes a nice assortment of boxers, including Corbett, Sullivan, etc..

Exhibitman
03-02-2010, 03:15 PM
Thanks!!This sounds like exactly what I am looking for,and it sounds like great reading!!

I am considering a boxing card project (years down the road) upon completion of T206 (or,ALMOST completion :D ).When I say boxing cards,I'm talking the Sullivans,Corbett's etc.,like the ones shown on that non-baseball thread recently-those cards are awesome!!!Allen & Ginters,etc....great stuff!!

Yes, get into boxing cards, become their willing slave!

teetwoohsix
03-03-2010, 01:25 PM
:D I can only be a willing slave to one thing at a time.......the boxing cards may have to wait until T206 free's me........

Jerry G
03-04-2010, 09:36 PM
My favorite boxing book is Tunney, Boxing's Brainiest Champ and His Upset of the Great Jack Dempsey by Jack Cavanaugh. It goes into great detail about the Long Count and how his strategy of beating Dempsey was built over many years of planning. Tunney and Dempsey were polar opposites in most ways, which makes an interesting contrast of personalities. They became close friends after retirement.

The book is an awesome read and Tunney is anything but a typical fighter.

Good luck in starting your boxing card collection. T218 and T220 are terrific sets. My favorite is 1951 Topps Ringside but, like Adam makes reference to in his book, where the heck is Dempsey?

teetwoohsix
03-07-2010, 02:06 PM
Thanks Jerry.I may have to pick up that book also.As D.Bergin recommended,I was able to pick up "Roar Of The Crowd" from a fellow board member (thanks again Rick :D),and I have to say,it is an EXCELLENT book.It is a hard one to put down.

I have also been on Adam's website (which is AWESOME,by the way),and may pick up his book in the future also-GREAT cards Adam!!!

Regards,Clayton

mark evans
03-15-2010, 11:12 PM
Adam's book is indispensable to boxing card collectors.

Mark

Oldtix
03-18-2010, 11:17 PM
The post jogged my memory about how thoroughly the top fights were covered by newspapers of the day...great writers like Jack London were dispatched to cover the events. Here are a couple of examples...the "Great White Hope" fight of 1910 and the 1926 Dempsey-Tunney bout. It's particularly interesting to read of the violent protests that followed attempts to screen the films of the Johnson fight throughout the country during the weeks that followed.

http://s915.photobucket.com/albums/ac351/oldtix/006.jpghttp://s915.photobucket.com/albums/ac351/oldtix/003.jpg

teetwoohsix
03-19-2010, 01:39 PM
Great stuff Rick!!It is amazing how large the crowds would be for these fights.And to see how these papers would cover the fights shows how popular boxing was in these times.

Thanks for adding the scans to the thread,and thanks again for "The Roar Of The Crowd",I'm really enjoying this book!!

Sincerely,Clayton

D. Bergin
03-20-2010, 11:59 PM
Great stuff Rick!!It is amazing how large the crowds would be for these fights.And to see how these papers would cover the fights shows how popular boxing was in these times.

Thanks for adding the scans to the thread,and thanks again for "The Roar Of The Crowd",I'm really enjoying this book!!

Sincerely,Clayton


It's amazing when you think that large stadiums and arenas were built from scratch for many of the bigger fights of the day, only to be torn down shortly after.

Probably helped that the building codes were a lot more lax back in the day. :D