dempsey.jpg( rockycolorado.com/)
Full Name: William Harrison Dempsey (changed to Jack Dempsey at age 19)
Ring Name: "The Manassa Mauler"
Home Town: Manassa, Colorado
Born: June 24th, 1895
Died: May 31st, 1983


Jack Dempsey vs. Jess Willard. (Dempsey is the white trunks)



Biography: Born on June 24th, 1895 in Colorado, William Harrison Dempsey would be known to the world of the 1920's as the "Manassa Mauler". Dempsey, at the age of 19 turned to professional boxing after leaving home at 16 and riding in box cars and freight trains with hobos. He was known as Jack to everyone after leaving home, and the name stuck with him for the rest of his life. Coincedentally, there was a bare knuckle boxer named Jack "The Nonpareil" Dempsey, and this is partly why his name became popular. He never was initially trained as a fighter, but he learned to fight as means of survival when he was living on his own. He stuck to fighting in the West Coast until a manager named Jack Kearns started to handle booking his fights and his training. After that, in 1918 he won 19 of his 21 fights. Eventually, Jack was given a heavyweight title shot at champion, Jess Willard. Dempsey was only 6' whereas Williard stood a staggering 6'6'' 245 lbs! There fight was taking place at an outdoor event where the temperatures reached 100 degrees. Throughout the 1st Jack Dempsey knocked Willard down seven times. The fight ended after the fourth round. Among Dempsey, sharing the spotlight of the time period was gangster, Al Capone, Harry Houdini, and Babe Ruth. His fighting style in the ring kept audiences entraced, and the world in awe. Dempsey would go on to lose his title to Gene Tunney in a 10th round decision. Tunney went on to fight Dempsey again but to no avail, Jack lost the decision yet again. He died on May 31, 1983 at the age of 87.
(Kahn, Roger. A Flame of Pure Fire Jack Dempsey and the Roaring '20s. New York: Harvest Books, 2000. Print.)


Comparison: Jack Demsey was truly one of a kind for his time period. He was a fighter with a new, effective style that flipped the sport of boxing upside down. Another fighter from a modern era that did this, was UFC Hall of Famer, Royce Gracie. Gracie and his family brought forth a new exciting fighting style called brazillian jiu-jitsu, or BJJ. This created the fastest growing sport in the world today, MMA.


Quote: A champion is someone who gets up when he can't.