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  1. #1

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    Willard v. Dempsey: Great Old Boxing Footage

    It's been a little while since I've seen an old-timey boxing thread here, and I've just stumbled across some good footage of the Jess Willard v. Jack Dempsey fight on youtube. Talk about a david v. goliath match-up.......




  2. #2

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    I'm always a bit surprised when I see fights from this era. They aren't supposed to "wrestle" but the fights still have a big amount of "one armed hitting" that would probably be considered illegal in a modern match. It's also surprising to see the ref allow Dempsey smack around his opponent as he is trying to pick himself off the ground.

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    Love watching Dempsey box. He was a powerhouse.

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    It's a shame there doesn't seem to be a video of La Blanche knocking out Dempsey with the pivot blow. If it's out there it's not on youtube yet. I really want to see boxing's back handed blows on old time video in an actual fight but so far no luck.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordschlag View Post
    ...It's also surprising to see the ref allow Dempsey smack around his opponent as he is trying to pick himself off the ground.
    If I recall correctly, the rule of going to a neutral corner when one's opponent was floored was fairly new during the second Dempsey-Tunney fight, which was years later. I guess Dempsey's actions would have been legal during his match with Willard.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordschlag View Post
    It's a shame there doesn't seem to be a video of La Blanche knocking out Dempsey with the pivot blow. If it's out there it's not on youtube yet. I really want to see boxing's back handed blows on old time video in an actual fight but so far no luck.
    This refers to "Nonpareil" Jack Dempsey, a MW in the late 19th C. So, no relation but he is reason why William Harrison Dempsey changed his name to "Jack" Dempsey.

    The Pivot Punch was used for real in a World title match in the early 20th C. but was subsequently ruled an illegal blow and banned from boxing. Really, it's a Spinning Back Fist.

    Edit: The neutral corner was not part of boxing in the early 20th C so you could rightly stand over your downed opponent and continue the attack. If you put him down, then you wanted to capitalise on your success.

    The neutral corner rule was included in the Dempsey v Tunney 1 bout and when he decked Tunney, and was unreceptive to the Ref's direction: in the excitement, the rule was too new for him to recognise. Not to worry, Tunney could have got up earlier than he did but he was lucid enough to pay attention to the Ref's actual Count.
    Last edited by Eddie Hardon; 6/30/2012 4:41am at .

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    Supposedly Willard had a broken jaw, lost teeth, and broken ribs etc after that first round. It's hard to tell for sure from the footage, but he definitely looks shaky on his feet after those knockdowns in round 1.

    Now we just need a repeat of this fight, but with an up-and-coming modern heavyweight v. a Klitschko brother.

  8. #8

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    ...and a Broken Cheek bone.

    Doc Kearns told Dempsey that he'd bet their Prize Money on a 1st Round KO of Willard. Dempsey left the Ring and proceeded to his Dressing Room when he had to be hastily called back by Kearns or he would have lost the Contest for failing to answer the bell for Round 2...so the shellacking continued until the Ref called a halt to save Big Jess from further punishment.

    Dempsey was awed by the sight of Willard when he saw him in the Ring. He wondered how he could beat such a Giant...so he looked at the floor at the introductions and screwed up his courage at the first bell and went out and, well, unleashed Hell on Big Jess. What kept Willard going was his mantra "I've $100,000 and a Farm in Kansas". Well, he earned it. He himself couldn't believe the ferocity of Dempsey and persuaded himself that the gloves had been loaded with Plaster of Paris. It's a good story but untrue although with Kearns, people could believe anything.

    He took 50% of his boxers purse. Try doing that today. They parted because Jack was tired because "we was always broke". Yeah, well, it was Kearns who got the cheque (UK sp)....
    Last edited by Eddie Hardon; 6/30/2012 6:17pm at . Reason: typos

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    Doc Kearns........the don king of his day. Didn't he also bankrupt a large town by promoting a fight there?

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Hardon View Post
    This refers to "Nonpareil" Jack Dempsey, a MW in the late 19th C. So, no relation but he is reason why William Harrison Dempsey changed his name to "Jack" Dempsey.

    The Pivot Punch was used for real in a World title match in the early 20th C. but was subsequently ruled an illegal blow and banned from boxing. Really, it's a Spinning Back Fist.

    Edit: The neutral corner was not part of boxing in the early 20th C so you could rightly stand over your downed opponent and continue the attack. If you put him down, then you wanted to capitalise on your success.

    The neutral corner rule was included in the Dempsey v Tunney 1 bout and when he decked Tunney, and was unreceptive to the Ref's direction: in the excitement, the rule was too new for him to recognise. Not to worry, Tunney could have got up earlier than he did but he was lucid enough to pay attention to the Ref's actual Count.
    I didn't know that there were two Dempseys running around out there. If you see posters of Le Blanche it seemed like he was really banking on "THE MAN WHO BEAT DEMPSEY", without specifying which. Pretty sneaky. Also had no idea about the neutral corner rule either, since some semblance of it existed under the LPR rules of walking to the scratch and all that.

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