Boxing History: June 22, 1895 Jack Dempsey born William Harrison Dempsey.
Born in Manassa, Colorado on June 24, 1895, William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey rose to sports stardom in the 1920s. As a nomadic traveler from 1911 to 1916, Dempsey began boxing in the small mining towns of Colorado under the name “Kid Blackie.” He emerged from numerous saloon floor-boxing matches to rein victorious in over 80 professional fights by the meager age of 24. Dempsey was perhaps best known for his thrilling knockout victories, many of which occurred in just seconds of the fight’s onset.
Dempsey proved his phenomenal ability in a battle of “David and Goliath” match of fists. His iron strength and killer left hooks allowed Dempsey to beat Jess Willard in 1919, leaving the giant bewildered and shattered. This victory awarded Dempsey both the heavyweight title and the nickname of the “Manassa Mauler, ” the name that soon haunted potential opponents all around the country. Dempsey became a ring warrior through his tough defense of his title six times in just seven years. In most of his matches, there were no survivors.
A day of disbelief for Dempsey occurred on September 23, 1926 when he was defeated by Gene Tunney and lost his heavyweight title. Ironically, this match yielded the largest paid attendance in boxing history. Tunney and Dempsey went head to head and fist to fist again in 1927 in hopes that Dempsey would reclaim his title. Dempsey lost this rematch, which was coined “The Battle of the Long Count” because of a call by the referee that Dempsey did not return to a neutral corner after Tunney had fallen. Tunney won the match three rounds later.
Dempsey continued boxing in exhibitions after his defeat but retired from professional boxing in 1940 and went on to be a successful restaurant owner in New York. Dempsey retired with an astounding record of 60-7-8. Fifty of these wins were knockouts. He was a universally accepted sports star. With his bobbing and weaving stance, amazing speed, graceful agility, and pure power, Jack Dempsey will forever remain the perfect boxer and one of the greatest box office attractions of all time.
Former World Heavyweight Champion: 1919-1927
One of the most popular boxers of all time. The Associated Press’s mid-20th century poll of over 300 sports writers and radio sportscasters ranked Dempsey the best fighter of the past 50 years.
Jack Dempsey “The Manassa Mauler” TributeFantastic footage!
William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey (“The Manassa Mauler”) (June 24, 1895 – May 31, 1983) was an American professional boxer and cultural icon of the 1920s. He held the World Heavyweight Championship from 1919 to 1926. Dempsey’s aggressive style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first million dollar gate. He is listed #10 on The Ring’s list of all-time heavyweights and #7 among its Top 100 Greatest Punchers. In 1950, the Associated Press voted Dempsey as the greatest fighter of the past 50 years. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame; he was inducted into Ring magazine’s Boxing Hall of Fame in 1951.