Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey

Post by ds.. » Tue, 14 Jan 1997 04:00:00


  On lists of all time greats Dempsey's name often comes
up.Is it not true that Dempsey never fought any black contenders?
Would this cast doubt on his greatness?

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by pliesenbe » Tue, 14 Jan 1997 04:00:00

On his way up, Dempsey fought quite a few black contenders.
As a champion, he didn't. Of course, as a champion, he was
not exactly very active (I wonder how much we'd be ***ing
in this group if Holyfield decided to just act for a couple
of years without fighting once), generally, and seemingly
avoided the truly tough challenges, like Willis, a great
contender who was black.

I wouldn't bash Dempsey for being racist. Obviosuly, though,
back then the public and his management weren't too much
into equal opportunity giving - but it's a bit much too ask
of a heavyweight champiopn to try to change society's
views on ethnic issues (Ali did, of course, though).

It was a different era. You'd have to accuse more or less
every white American of being racist until well after WW2
if active engagement in changing racial social issues is
the standard you measure people on.

...paul

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by je.. » Tue, 14 Jan 1997 04:00:00


Quote:
>  On lists of all time greats Dempsey's name often comes
>up.Is it not true that Dempsey never fought any black contenders?
>Would this cast doubt on his greatness?

OK,
        I know I should have let this post stand on it's own merit but
I just can't resist.  I don't recall Joe Louis fighting any Mexicans.
Does this mean he cannot be included in a top Heavyweight list?  Your
statement is racist obviously even though you may not be intending any
malice.  Just what is your reasoning behind this statement?  I am not
picking a fight with you, but I am a student of the human mind and I
wonder what you could possibly mean.
                jetay

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by ds.. » Wed, 15 Jan 1997 04:00:00

 My orginal post was intended to point out the colour line that existed
at Dempsey's time.In the boxing world of the 1920's a post-Johnson
backlash prevailed.Promoters would not back bouts against black opponents
because they believed the public did not want another black heavyweight
champion.It was 22 years after Johnson lost the title ,that another black
fighter(Louis) got a shot at the heavyweight crown.One black fighter
who deserved a shot at Dempsey was Harry Wills.

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by The Lone Ma » Wed, 15 Jan 1997 04:00:00


Quote:
>  On lists of all time greats Dempsey's name often comes
>up.Is it not true that Dempsey never fought any black contenders?
>Would this cast doubt on his greatness?

                        Maybe not as much as you are
                        trying to cast doubt.

                        DCI

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by je.. » Wed, 15 Jan 1997 04:00:00


Quote:
> My orginal post was intended to point out the colour line that existed
>at Dempsey's time.In the boxing world of the 1920's a post-Johnson
>backlash prevailed.Promoters would not back bouts against black opponents
>because they believed the public did not want another black heavyweight
>champion.It was 22 years after Johnson lost the title ,that another black
>fighter(Louis) got a shot at the heavyweight crown.One black fighter
>who deserved a shot at Dempsey was Harry Wills.

  OK, fair enough.  But this should be an arguement more in line with
the history of racial suppression in sports, not a debate focused on
who an "all time great" didn't give a shot to.  Wills may have been
bypassed by promoters and managers but what if Dempsey did fight Wills
and lost.  Would one loss added to his record take him off of aa list
oyu previously described?
BTW, I am not arguing for the greatness of Dempsey.  I know too little
about his strengths, weaknesses, skills, and ring generalship to rate
him.
 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by GaryMos » Thu, 16 Jan 1997 04:00:00

It's probably easier, and certainly more politically correct, to assess
the quality of the WHITE opponents that Dempsey faced in his championship
run, if one is questioning whether Jack was a truly great heavyweight
champion.

Let's see:

He wins the title from Jess Willard, who was 38 years old, hadn't defended
his title in over 3 years [ those two are FACTS ], and, IMO, was one of
the least talented heavyweight champions ever, getting by on his huge size
and durability.

He defends against Billy Miske.  I won't even get into all the reports
about Miske dying from some disease and Jack just giving him a payday.
Even if this was NOT the case, the FACT remains that this was their 3RD
meeting, and Dempsey won both of the first two. [ Does this mean Alex
Stewart should get the next bout with Evander Holyfield? ]

He defends against Bill Brennan, whom he had already beaten once before.

He defends against Georges Carpentier, who is a blown-up middleweight or
smallish light-heavyweight, take your pick.  Georges had also developed a
*** reputation in Europe for faking being fouled when the going got
tough, despite his abundant boxing talent.

He then takes a full 2 years off.

He resumes with a workmanlike 15-round win over Tommy Gibbons, who is
highly ranked in Nat Fleischer's all-time LIGHT-heavyweight listings, but
was certainly not a formidable heavyweight.

He then takes on Luis Angel Firpo, who was much bigger, strong as an ox,
but by all accounts one of the least skilled and most poorly conditioned
fighters
to ever challenge for the heavyweight title.  Exciting bout, hell yes, but
a big feather in Dempsey's cap?  Not in my book...

He then takes off for 3 more years...

And the world is stunned when he finally returns and loses to Gene Tunney,
a master boxer at his peak.  Go figure...

Gary Moser
Maplewood MN

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by The Sanity Cruze » Thu, 16 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


> >  On lists of all time greats Dempsey's name often comes
> >up.Is it not true that Dempsey never fought any black contenders?
> >Would this cast doubt on his greatness?
> OK,
>         I know I should have let this post stand on it's own merit but
> I just can't resist.  I don't recall Joe Louis fighting any Mexicans.
> Does this mean he cannot be included in a top Heavyweight list?  Your
> statement is racist obviously even though you may not be intending any
> malice.  Just what is your reasoning behind this statement?  I am not
> picking a fight with you, but I am a student of the human mind and I
> wonder what you could possibly mean.
>                 jetay

There were not Mexican contenders whom Louis avoided fighting.  There
were black contenders whom Dempsey avoided meeting in the ring.  

                            The Sanity Cruzer

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by DeLisa10 » Fri, 17 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Well - except for John Henry Lewis, how many black boxers did Louis fight
prior to the War.  
Ciao, Mike DeLisa
=====================================================
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Jack Dempsey

Post by richar » Fri, 17 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


> >  On lists of all time greats Dempsey's name often comes
> >up.Is it not true that Dempsey never fought any black contenders?
> >Would this cast doubt on his greatness?
> OK,
>         I know I should have let this post stand on it's own merit but
> I just can't resist.  I don't recall Joe Louis fighting any Mexicans.
> Does this mean he cannot be included in a top Heavyweight list?  Your
> statement is racist obviously even though you may not be intending any
> malice.  Just what is your reasoning behind this statement?  I am not
> picking a fight with you, but I am a student of the human mind and I
> wonder what you could possibly mean.
>                 jetay

Another important thing to remember is that the champs in sports like
boxing, as a rule, tend to come from disadvantaged minorities in our
society. This is, I think, the reason why you have not seen a great white
heavyweight since, oh, Rocky Marciano. The stigma against Irishmen or
Italians just is not there any more. So, talented white athletes seem to
seek out other sports.

This is just an observation, and not a well-though out one I will asmit.
So, I welcome any feedback on it.

Johnboy

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by richar » Fri, 17 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> On his way up, Dempsey fought quite a few black contenders.
> As a champion, he didn't. Of course, as a champion, he was
> not exactly very active (I wonder how much we'd be ***ing
> in this group if Holyfield decided to just act for a couple
> of years without fighting once)

I would imagine we would ridicule Holyfield even more than we do the
recent, post-Moorer works of old George Foreman. I love the guy, but come
on! Champion of the damn World Baking Union?

Johnboy

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by richar » Fri, 17 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


> >  On lists of all time greats Dempsey's name often comes
> >up.Is it not true that Dempsey never fought any black contenders?
> >Would this cast doubt on his greatness?
> OK,
>         I know I should have let this post stand on it's own merit but
> I just can't resist.  I don't recall Joe Louis fighting any Mexicans.
> Does this mean he cannot be included in a top Heavyweight list?  Your
> statement is racist obviously even though you may not be intending any
> malice.  Just what is your reasoning behind this statement?  I am not
> picking a fight with you, but I am a student of the human mind and I
> wonder what you could possibly mean.
>                 jetay

Another important thing to remember is that the champs in sports like
boxing, as a rule, tend to come from disadvantaged minorities in our
society. This is, I think, the reason why you have not seen a great white
heavyweight since, oh, Rocky Marciano. The stigma against Irishmen or
Italians just is not there any more. So, talented white athletes seem to
seek out other sports.

This is just an observation, and not a well-thought out one I will asmit.
So, I welcome any feedback on it.

Johnboy

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by Lee Chisna » Fri, 17 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


>>  On lists of all time greats Dempsey's name often comes
>>up.Is it not true that Dempsey never fought any black contenders?
>>Would this cast doubt on his greatness?
>OK,
>    I know I should have let this post stand on it's own merit but
>I just can't resist.  I don't recall Joe Louis fighting any Mexicans.
>Does this mean he cannot be included in a top Heavyweight list?  Your
>statement is racist obviously even though you may not be intending any
>malice.  Just what is your reasoning behind this statement?  I am not
>picking a fight with you, but I am a student of the human mind and I
>wonder what you could possibly mean.
>            jetay

Does the fact that the black boxers totally dominate the heavyweight
scene have anything to do with it?

(Note that my return address is intentionally invalid in order
to foil electronic mailing list generation software.)
______________________________________________________________________
....the eastern sky was aglow with the first light of the rising sun...
spilling over the horizon now the first rays were touching the hills.

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by sidewin.. » Sat, 18 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> My orginal post was intended to point out the colour line that existed
>at Dempsey's time.In the boxing world of the 1920's a post-Johnson
>backlash prevailed.Promoters would not back bouts against black opponents
>because they believed the public did not want another black heavyweight
>champion.

It's true that championship fights wre avoided. There were plenty of
black/white contests, however. Sam Langford made a pretty good career
of beating white opponents.

It's also true that Dempsey was criticized heavily for fighting blacks
afterhe was champion. These were exhibitions, but the message was
clear: it was unacceptble for whites and blacks to fight for the
heavyweight championship.

It was after these public attacks that Dempsey promised never to fight
a black heavyweight contender for the crown. He still continued to box
with black fighters.

Quote:
>It was 22 years after Johnson lost the title ,that another black
>fighter(Louis) got a shot at the heavyweight crown.

When Johnson won the title, there were riots throught the US. Quite a
few people were killed or injured. Today it would probably be called a
national crisis. Many people thought of it as an issue of patriotism
not to match blacks and whites in heavyweight championship bouts. The
appeals came from pols, papers, and clergymen.

Quote:
>One black fighter
>who deserved a shot at Dempsey was Harry Wills.

Dempsey did have a contract to fight, but it never came off. Probably
because his promoter didn't pursue the matter. All in all, Dempsey
does not seem like a racist.
 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by je.. » Sat, 18 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

>Does the fact that the black boxers totally dominate the heavyweight
>scene have anything to do with it?

*** black heavyweight boxers in Dempsey's era were non existant.
The social inequality between blacks and whites was too prevalent to
allow it.