Jack Dempsey

Jack Dempsey

Post by Mabe » Sat, 18 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

you nailed it(i didn't think anyone would)
bottom line is poor minorities make better fighters
 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

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


Quote:
>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.

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

>Gary Moser
>Maplewood, MN


Like I stated earlier Gary, I was too unfamiliar with Dempsey to argue
what his place in history should be.  I don't know what kind of
physical skills he had.  However my protest to this this original post
in the thread was the fact that Dempsey didn't fight any black
conteders should not be considered when rating him.  I would never
include him on my all-time list because I am lacking his history and
skills.
I appreciate your post ...it fills a small part of the void of
ignorance I have about Dempsey.  Thanks and good post.

                        jetay

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by GaryMos » Sat, 18 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 stunnned 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 Anthony Phel » Sat, 18 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

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

Maybe not well thought about, but pretty astute nontheless.
Also as a spectator sport at grass-roots level, boxing
attracted al largely working class audience.

One of the reasons why boxing suffered badly in the UK in
post war years was that Britain enjoyed a period of
affluence in the sixties, and as the working classes moved
financially towards the middle classes they also moved
towards other forms of entertainment. Venues closed down
across the country to an alarming degree and boxing gyms
disappeared with the slums.

Where once every town in the country would have professional
boxing venues, I would hazard a guess that there are
probably only about 50 or so places where boxing is still
featured on a regular basis.

Whether the revival it is enjoying at the moment has more to
do with the recession than with the advent of cable TV
however, I wouldn't like to guess at. It's certainly not a
poor-man's sporrt if you want to watch live it though, I
know that much.

 * Tony Phelps     +    *     *            +

http://www.innotts.co.uk/~teepee/ *  *        *
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by Gregory Lowell Gliedm » Mon, 20 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?

        If the number one contender  (or #2, or any top fighter) for Louis'
heavyweight championship was Mexican, you would have a point.  As that
wasn't the case, you don't.

        Harry Wills was recognized as the leading contender for Dempsey's
crown.  By virtue of the color of his skin, he was cheated out of a title
shot by various athletic commisions, Doc Kearns and Jack Dempsey, amongst
others.

        When assessing Dempsey's place in history it must be taken into
account that--for whatever reason--he would not fight the top contenders
because of their race, and that fact does take him down a notch or three.

GG

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by Richard Thoma » Mon, 20 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


> Maybe not well thought about, but pretty astute nontheless.
> Also as a spectator sport at grass-roots level, boxing
> attracted al largely working class audience.

> One of the reasons why boxing suffered badly in the UK in
> post war years was that Britain enjoyed a period of
> affluence in the sixties, and as the working classes moved
> financially towards the middle classes they also moved
> towards other forms of entertainment. Venues closed down
> across the country to an alarming degree and boxing gyms
> disappeared with the slums.

> Where once every town in the country would have professional
> boxing venues, I would hazard a guess that there are
> probably only about 50 or so places where boxing is still
> featured on a regular basis.

> Whether the revival it is enjoying at the moment has more to
> do with the recession than with the advent of cable TV
> however, I wouldn't like to guess at. It's certainly not a
> poor-man's sporrt if you want to watch live it though, I
> know that much.

Y'know, I had not actually thought about a connection between the
Britian's economic decline and the resurgence of British boxing. Food
for thought. Thanks for pointing that out.

Johnboy

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by sidewin.. » Mon, 20 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?
>    If the number one contender  (or #2, or any top fighter) for Louis'
>heavyweight championship was Mexican, you would have a point.  As that
>wasn't the case, you don't.
>    Harry Wills was recognized as the leading contender for Dempsey's
>crown.  By virtue of the color of his skin, he was cheated out of a title
>shot by various athletic commisions, Doc Kearns and Jack Dempsey, amongst
>others.

What athletic commissions are these? The New York Athletic Commission
urged Dempsey to accept a bout with Wills, after the original contract
fell through. (There had been a contract for a Dempsey-Wills fight.
Tickets were printed,and the bout was, I believe, to be staged in
Michigan.)

Kearns was no longer Dempsey's manager.

The governor of New York reportedly urged Rickard, Dempsey's promoter,
not to accept the fight (for 'patriotic" reasons, whcih really meant
avoidance of the race riots that occurred after Johnson won the
title). The Albany political machine also was concerned about such a
fight.

What seems to ahve happened is that political influence was used
privately to stop a Dempsey-Wills fight, at the same time that the
Athletic Commission was pressured into taking an opposite and public
stand, mainly because it would have been unwise to alienate black
voters.

Tunney suggested an elimination bout between himself and Wills, to see
who would get to fight Dempsey. Paddy Mullins, Wills's manager, knew
that the Athletic Commission would, because of the blackvote, urge
Wills as the contender. He was right, although such an elimination
bout would have been logical. Paddy was concerned about the longevity
of his fighter, probably with good cause.

Dempsey, as far as I've read, did not have a whole lot to say. He
promised never to fight a black contender after he was roundly
criticized when he fought a series of exhibition matches with blacks.

As for what kind of competition Wills would have offered, he was near
retirement and wanted a good paycheck. During the mid-Twenties he beat
two fighters of note in order to become ranked as contender.

As for Rickard, he obviously figured there was more upside to staging
a fight with Tunney, which also lacked the considerable downside of a
match with Wills, if rioting should again break out in New York. Plus,
a fight with Wills semed like a political minefield, where he was
bound to alienate some faction or other.

The NY Athletic Commmission barred Dempsey. The Boxing Board appealed
to Rickard to stage Dempsey-Wills, but Rickard decided instead to hold
Dempsey-Tunnney in NYC. The Boxing Board refused the venue. The bout
was finally staged in Philly.

Quote:
>    When assessing Dempsey's place in history it must be taken into
>account that--for whatever reason--he would not fight the top contenders
>because of their race, and that fact does take him down a notch or three.

There was one black contender Dempsey did not fight.That there were no
more is due no doubt to the segregation of the period. But whereas
Tiger Flowers could beat Harry Greb without causing riots, there was a
history of racial unrest associated witht he heavyweight crown. That
Dempsey-Willsneve occurred seems largely a matter of political
influence, money and conflicting interests.

When you cnsider tha tboxing itself was politicized in NY, where it
had been illegal for many years, it becomes clear that Wills, Dempsey,
and even boxing and the issue of race itself, were used as pawns in a
game of power plays.

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by je.. » Mon, 20 Jan 1997 04:00:00

O

Quote:
>    Harry Wills was recognized as the leading contender for Dempsey's
>crown.  By virtue of the color of his skin, he was cheated out of a title
>shot by various athletic commisions, Doc Kearns and Jack Dempsey, amongst
>others.

I'm not arguing for Demspey's status.  But what organization publish
rankings with Wills as leading contender?

                        jetay

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by Heath Re » Mon, 20 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 thought we've already gone through this with Big G...

Heath

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by Ernest Brow » Mon, 20 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Err, Sam Langford & Harry Wills were hardly "subordinate" fighters. FWIW,
I used my Title Bout game to simulate the proposed Dempsey-Wills 1924
Benton Harbor, MI bout. Dempsey dropped Wills for a short count early, but
Wills used his boxing skills to remain even until the 6th, when he decked
Dempsey for an 8 count with a left. In the 7th, both fighters tore into
each other until the end of the round, when Wills blasted another left off
of Dempsey's chin. The bell saved the Mauler, and he catapulted out of
corner and KO'd Wills with the old-one two at 0:13 of the 8th, a la Firpo.
It's too bad that we didn't see this one for real.

Wisdom's Children: A Virtual Journal of Philosophy & Literature
http://SportToday.org/
Submissions welcomed.


Quote:
> Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 02:46:13 GMT

> Newsgroups: rec.sport.boxing
> Subject: Re: Jack Dempsey

> >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.

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by Jacob Bomb » Tue, 21 Jan 1997 04:00:00

        Dempsy did fight some black fighters on the way up I think.  To
tell you the truth even though he was champ for a long time he didnt fight
that many fighters at all as champ.  I think he once went about 2 years
without a fight.

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by sidewin.. » Wed, 22 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

>O
>>        Harry Wills was recognized as the leading contender for Dempsey's
>>crown.  By virtue of the color of his skin, he was cheated out of a title
>>shot by various athletic commisions, Doc Kearns and Jack Dempsey, amongst
>>others.
>I'm not arguing for Demspey's status.  But what organization publish
>rankings with Wills as leading contender?

As far I know, he was the leading contender on the basis of newspaper
concensus only. Ring magazine ranked heavyweights Dempsey, Wills,
Tunney, in that order, in 1926? Not absolutely sure about that. But it
was Tex Rickard, Dempsey's promoter, who did the ranking.
 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by Gregory Lowell Gliedm » Thu, 23 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


>...However my protest to this this original post
>in the thread was the fact that Dempsey didn't fight any black
>conteders should not be considered when rating him.

        Sure it should.  One of the critical benchmarks when rating a
fighter is the quality of his opposition.  With Jack Dempsey the quality
of opposition is affected by the decision to draw the color line.

        More to the point, he ducked the #1 contender for three years,
even after a defense was mandated and the fight was set.

        If Frazier ducked Ali, Patterson ducked Liston, Louis ducked a
Schmeling rematch, all those things would aversely affect their standings
in history.  To hold Jack Dempsey to a different standard because he
discriminated on race and not merely ability is a mistake.

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by kehoe » Thu, 23 Jan 1997 04:00:00

         More to the point, he ducked the #1 contender for three years,
 even after a defense was mandated and the fight was set.

         If Frazier ducked Ali, Patterson ducked Liston, Louis ducked a
Schmeling rematch, all those things would aversely affect their
standings
in history.  To hold Jack Dempsey to a different standard becaue he
discriminated on race and not merely ability is a mistake.

Gregory,
Oh! god do we have to go through this one again... I guess so... you
premise is out to lunch... Dempsey did not call the shots with regards
to the fighters he faced... everything I have ever read on Dempsey (3
bio's and many, many articles over a 20 year period) has stated Dempsey
had no problem with fighting Wills (or anyone else)... but the logistics
of financing, politics and race were almost absolutely antithetical to
that or any other white/black heavyweight title fight... the complexity
of pressures were mainly financial... many fans wanted to see Wills and
other top blacks in the big fights but the financial backers were always
fearful of the repercussions of being seen to back such a fight... BUT
DEMPSEY did not call the managerial shots at all... he only got lazy on
his own time and vices... even Tunney said that Dempsey was always will
to go to the mat... it was his indifference to fighting after 1923, his
***ity and general randon love of self-indulgence that was his
problem... HE GOT BORED of it all... the climb to the top was the key
challenge to him... many have said as much as criticism of Dempsey...
the modern notion of being the champion for a sustained period was
invented mostly by Joe Louis...
                                          Patrick97.

 
 
 

Jack Dempsey

Post by pliesenbe » Thu, 23 Jan 1997 04:00:00

Again - Dempsey did not fight black contenders *as a champion*.
Before becoming champion, he fought everybody, and the level
of his opposition made him more or less a legend before
becoming champion. Let's keep things in perspective.

To say "*he* ducked Wills" is speculation - he had a manager,
and probably the most influential management team in
boxing history, to take care of his career. Kearns and
Rickard obviously didn't think the market wanted the
Wills fight.

So I wouldn't blame it on Dempsey, or say it tarnishes
his reputation. He was a product of the times he lived in,
as, most importantly, were his managers. I am not saying
I find that the racial status quo in the 20s was fair,
it breaks my heart to put myself in Wills' or Langford's
or many other black athletes' feet (there was a documentary
on this bicycle champion that won the Olympics and had to
endure enormous amounts of crap). But I don't think that
blaming Dempsey and tarnishing his reputation is the
appropriate response.

...paul