Dempsey, Jack

1940 autograph sentiment signed by “The Manassa Mauler”, popular Heavyweight Champion 1919-26

Price: $75.00

Description:
(1895-1983) "The Manassa Mauler", American professional boxer, cultural icon of the 1920s. World Heavyweight Championship 1919-26, his 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 #10 on The Ring's list of all-time heavyweights and #7 among its Top 100 Greatest Punchers. In 1950, the Associated Press voted him as the greatest fighter of the past 50 years. He is a member of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and was inducted into The Ring magazine's Boxing Hall of Fame in 1951. Born in Manassa, Colorado, he left home at 16, then began training as a professional boxer and first fought as "Jack Dempsey" in 1914. In WW I he worked in a shipyard while continuing to box after he attempted to enlist in the Army, but was turned down. In 1918, he boxed 17 times, going 15–1 with one no-decision and in 1919 he won 5 regular bouts (plus one 1-round special bout) in a row by knockout in the 1st round. On July 4, 1919, Dempsey and World Heavyweight Champion Jess Willard met at Toledo, Ohio, for the world title. Willard was knocked down 7 times in the 1st round and Willard's corner would not let him answer the bell for the 4th round. After beating Willard and winning the title, Dempsey traveled around the country, making publicity appearances with circuses, staging exhibitions, and even starring in a low-budget Hollywood movie. He did not defend his title until September 1920 against Billy Miske in Benton Harbor, Michigan, who was knocked out in 3 rounds. Dempsey's 2nd title defense was against Bill Brennan in Dec. 1920 at Madison Square Garden, New York City; Dempsey stopped him in the 12th round. The next fight for "The Manassa Mauler" was against popular WW I hero Frenchman Georges Carpentier. Shrewdly promoted by Tex Rickard, the odds were 50 to 1 against Dempsey. The Dempsey–Carpentier bout occured on July 2, 1921 in Jersey City, New Jersey, generating the 1st million $ gate in boxing history. 91,000 watched "the Fight of the Century". RCA arranged for live coverage of the match making the event the 1st national radio broadcast. Carpentier was stopped in the 4th round. Dempsey did not defend his title again until July 1923 against Tommy Gibbons in Shelby, Montana, and Dempsey won a 15-round decision. His last successful title defense was in Sept. 1923 at New York's Polo Grounds against Luis Ángel Firpo of Argentina. Attendance was 85,000, with another 20,000 trying to get inside the arena. Dempsey won via a 2nd round KO. The 2nd time Dempsey was floored, he went sailing head first through the ring ropes, landing on a reporter's typewriter. Dempsey was out of the ring approximately 14 seconds, more than the 10 seconds for knockdowns inside the ring, but less than the 20 seconds stipulated by the rules when knocked out of the ring. This scene is one of the most memorable in sports history. These fights, plus his many exhibitions, movies and endorsements, made Dempsey one of the richest athletes in the world and landed him on the cover of TIME Magazine. After the Firpo brawl, he did not defend his title for 3 years, earning money by boxing exhibitions, making movies and endorsing products. In Sept. 1926, Dempsey fought former Marine Gene Tunney in Philadelphia, Tunney considered the underdog. In a big upset, Dempsey lost his title on points in 10 rounds. Attendance was a record 120,557, the largest attendance ever for a sporting event outside motor racing and soccer. When the battered Dempsey returned to his dressing room, he told his film actress wife Estelle Taylor: "Honey, I forgot to duck." This phrase was later used by President Reagan to Nancy after he was shot in 1981.Dempsey contemplated retiring, but after a few months decided to try a comeback. On July 21, 1927, at Yankee Stadium, he knocked out future Heavyweight Champion Jack Sharkey in the 7th round of a bout for a title shot against Tunney. Sharkey was beating Dempsey until the end, when Sharkey claimed Dempsey was hitting him below the belt. When Sharkey turned to the referee to complain, he left himself unprotected. Dempsey crashed a left hook onto Sharkey's chin, knocking him out cold. The referee then counted out Sharkey. The Tunney rematch took place in Chicago on Sept. 22, almost a year after their 1st bout. The fight generated a $2 million gate, a record that stood for many years. Millions listened to the bout on radio and hundreds of reporters covered it. Tunney was paid a record $1M (approx. $13,576,628 in today's funds) for the rematch and Dempsey earned about half that. Dempsey was losing on points when he knocked Tunney down with a left hook to the chin in the 7th round and landed several more punches. The referee had to escort Dempsey to the neutral corner, which bought Tunney at least an extra 5 seconds to recover. The timekeeper counted the time Tunney stayed down as 14 seconds. But, after Dempsey finally went to a neutral corner, the referee started his count and Tunney got up at the referee's count of nine. A fully recovered Tunney dropped Dempsey in round 8, easily won the final 2 rounds, and retained the title on a unanimous decision. The fight remains known as the fight of "The Long Count." He retired after this bout and made countless exhibition bouts and a 1933 MGM film, “The Prizefighter and the Lady”, co-starring Myrna Loy. In 1935, Dempsey opened a restaurant on 8th Ave. & 50th Street, across from the 3rd Madison Square Garden. Jack Dempsey's Broadway Restaurant in Times Square, between 49th & 50th Streets, was open until 1974. When the US entered WW II, he joined the New York State Guard and commissioned a 1st Lieutenant. He resigned that commission to accept a commission as a Lieutenant in the Coast Guard Reserve in June 1942. He also made many personal appearances at fights, camps, hospitals and War Bond drives. Dempsey was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in Dec. 1942 and Commander in March 1944..He was released from active duty in Sept. 1945 and honorably discharged in 1952. The street where Madison Square Garden is located is called Jack Dempsey Corner. Autograph sentiment (“Good luck”) signed on a 4 ½ x 6 light pink autograph album page, 3 file holes at left edge, dated September 24 1940 at very bottom in tiny other hand.

Condition: Very good, “G” and “J” slightly light
Type:Signed album page






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