Jack Dempsey

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Jack Dempsey
Heavyweight boxing world champion boxer
Jack Dempsey
Birth Name William Harrison Dempsey
Weight class Heavyweight
nationality US-american
birthday June 24, 1895
place of birth Manassa
Date of death May 31, 1983
Place of death new York
style Left delivery
size 1.85 m
Combat Statistics
Struggles 83
Victories 66
Knockout victories 50
Defeats 6th
draw 11
Dempsey vs. Firpo

Jack Dempsey (also The Manassa Mauler ; born June 24, 1895 in Manassa , Colorado as William Harrison Dempsey; † May 31, 1983 in New York City ) was an American boxer and between 1922 and 1926 the undisputed heavyweight boxing world champion .

Professional career

Before winning the title

Dempsey made his professional debut in 1914 and boxed five times in the first two years, against Jack Downey he lost on points. In 1917 he went against "Fireman" Jim Flynn (38 wins, 27 losses), who had lost his last five fights, KO in the first round. A single left hook kept Dempsey on the ground for thirty seconds.

His manager was from 1917 to 1923 Jack “Doc” Kearns , who named him after the Irish middleweight legend “Jack” Dempsey and after his hometown “Manassa Mauler” and trimmed him for success. He won the rematch with Flynn also in the first round, defeating Gunboat Smith, Fred Fulton and the light heavyweight Battling Levinsksy . Dempsey beat the very respected light heavyweight Billy Miske (according to the so-called "Newspaper Decision" on points, officially the fight was not counted), once tightly, once more clearly, but was also beaten against him by his own admission. He did not serve in World War I and was therefore later often cursed as a slacker . The only opponent who could beat him under Kearn's aegis was Willy Meehan, who defeated him twice in four-round fights on points in 1917 and 1918. He could only beat Meehan once in five games (two losses, two draws)

World Championship

His title win against the very tall but one-dimensional Jess Willard in 1919 was overshadowed by the fact that he had left the ring after the first round and six knockdowns, which was actually considered a task according to the rules. He said that he thought he had already won. However, the fight resumed. Dempsey failed to knock down in the second round, but won by knockout in the third.

In a third fight he was the first and only to beat Billy Miske, who suffered from a kidney disease, by knockout. He also knocked out Bill Brennan.

In sparring matches against middleweight Harry Greb in front of several thousand spectators, he had the biggest problems, so Greb was complimented by manager Kearns from training and never received a title fight, but the relatively unknown Tommy Gibbons , who had lost to Greb.

His fights against the French light heavyweight Georges Carpentier , who had received an award in the war and was marketed as a counterpoint to Dempsey, and the Argentine Luis Firpo in front of 80,000 viewers, were marketed for the first time on radio.

After the fight, he fell out with Kearns over alleged embezzlement in 1923 and was only marketed by promoter Tex Rickard , who verifiably paid all leading journalists to sing praises of Dempsey.

He avoided all black boxers, including Sam Langford and Harry Wills , who had clearly beaten Firpo. Most of his fights were exhibition fights, he hardly made any serious title defenses, because back then there were no compulsory defenses.

He finally lost his title in front of 144,000 spectators in 1926 against Gene Tunney in Philadelphia on points. Tunney had also beaten Carpentier and, unlike Dempsey, also defeated Gibbons prematurely. The distance was set to only ten rounds, except for her rematch, which is unique in boxing history. He said to his wife: "Honey, I forgot to dodge" "(" Honey, I forgot to duck. ")

In a non-title fight against Jack Sharkey , who had also beaten Wills, he had big problems until he was knocked out in the seventh round due to a supposed low blow.

The rematch against Tunney in September 1927 in front of 104,943 spectators at Soldier Field , Chicago, which he also lost, became famous because Dempsey, who had succeeded in knocking down, did not go into the neutral corner, the referee waited until he did so before he started the count. The fight therefore went down in history as "The long Count". Tunney had brought Dempsey to the floor too.


Jack Dempsey with Sister (1923)

Dempsey has been married four times. His first marriage lasted from 1916 to 1919. In 1925 he married Estelle Taylor , who as a silent film star in Hollywood was one of the most beautiful women of the 1920s. The marriage was divorced in 1930. He was then married from 1933 to 1943. His last marriage lasted from 1958 until his death.

In 1933 he appeared as a promoter in the comedy The Boxer and the Lady .

In 1950, during the heyday of Sugar Ray Robinson , Dempsey was voted the best boxer of the first half of the century in a journalist poll by the Associated Press . Even during his playing days, Dempsey was about as popular as Babe Ruth , Red Grange , tennis star Bill Tilden and Bobby Jones . He made a significant contribution to making boxing a global mass pleasure.

In 1990 Dempsey was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame . Jack Dempsey was a member of the Freemasons Association ( Kenwood Lodge No. 800 ).


Due to its relatively aggressive behavior, the black-banded cichlid is called Jack Dempsey in the English-speaking world.


  • Robert Bernard Considine: Dempsey: by the man himself . Simon and Schuster, New York 1960
  • Jack Dempsey: Dempsey . New York [u. a.]: Harper & Row, 1977, ISBN 0-06-011054-6
  • Jack Dempsey: Championship Fighting - Explosive Punching ans aggressive defense . Nicolas Kaye Ltd., London 1950

See also

Web links

Commons : Jack Dempsey  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht: Lob des Sports , Frankfurt a. M .: Suhrkamp 2005, p. 107
  2. Jack Dempsey: Athletes and Other Sports Figures: List of Famous Freemasons . navesinklodge9.org. Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved October 24, 2012. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.navesinklodge9.org
  3. http://animal-world.com/encyclo/fresh/cichlid/dempsy.php (English)