June 25, 1995 |
One hundred years ago Saturday, in a little Colorado town he would one day make the most famous small town in America, the "Manassa Mauler" was born. Jack Dempsey became one of the most famous of all 20th Century athletes, a fighter whose bob-and-weave style and ferocity transfixed post-World War I Americans.
April 25, 1992 |
For Oscar de la Hoya, few days remain until his summer in Spain. It's fewer than 100 days until the Barcelona Olympics' opening ceremony, and fewer than 50 until the U.S. Olympic boxing trials. Their fast approach has whetted his appetite, increased his eagerness, sharpened his training. At the Brooklyn Gym in East Los Angeles the other day, young boxers stood quietly at ringside and watched the lightweight gold medal hopeful do routine work with his trainer, Robert Alcazar.
April 23, 1992 |
He looks at us through mists of time, from faded, crinkled 19th-Century photographs. It's the jaw that draws you to him. Massive, clean, squared off. The jaw shows that here, plainly, is a man from the warriorclass. And he was. He was Jack Dempsey, decades before anyone ever heard of that other Jack Dempsey, the 1920s heavyweight champion who took his name. The original Jack Dempsey was also known as "the Nonpareil," which means without equal.
July 2, 1991 |
Seventy years ago today, a prizefight between a western mining camp saloon fighter and a French war hero provided boxing's first million-dollar fight. Million-dollar matches today go pretty much unnoticed. Some give Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield, if they fight, a chance to generate $100 million. When Tyson and Razor Ruddock fought at the Mirage in Las Vegas Friday night, the live gate was $6.2 million.
June 17, 1989
It's ironic how so few words can sum up such a great career. Babe Ruth. Lou Gehrig. Red Grange. Jack Dempsey. Muhammad Ali. Jesse Owens. Jim Thorpe. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. JEFFREY REINER Los Angeles
February 5, 1989 |
Decades later, the principals were in general agreement as to how it all came about, how a little Montana cattle, sheep and oil town came to be fleeced of a couple of hundred thousand dollars by a rascal named Jack (Doc) Kearns. It seems that two young real estate speculators, James (Body) Johnson and his partner, Mel McCutcheon, were trying to find a way to pull Shelby real estate sales out of a serious slump.
September 14, 1988
A lot of people are amazed that Jimmy Connors is still a contender on the courts at 36, but Vic Seixas isn't one of them. Seixas, 65, a former U.S. Open champion, told United Press International: "I don't think it's such a wonder, in spite of what everyone thinks. Ken Rosewall won the final at Wimbledon when he was 43." Actually, Rosewall was 40, and he didn't win. He lost to Connors, who was 21. But you get the idea.
July 4, 1988
Shirley Povich of the Washington Post wonders if you heard about the heavyweight who was training in Atlantic City while his actress wife was trying to get rid of his manager. Mike Tyson, Robin Givens and Bill Cayton? No, Jack Dempsey, Estelle Taylor and Jack Kearns. It was 1926, before Dempsey's first fight against Gene Tunney, and Taylor told her husband, "It's Kearns or me, Jack. Choose." Dempsey chose Taylor. "So," Povich says, "the Tysons haven't been breaking any new ground.
September 22, 1987 |
Sixty years ago today, two men climbed into a 20-foot ring in Chicago and for 40 minutes made the world stand still. Dempsey-Tunney II. The Long Count fight. In 1927, they called it the fight of the century. It might well have been. Radio was in its infancy, yet NBC estimated that on the night of Sept. 22, 1927, about 50 million people around the world heard Gene Tunney successfully defend his championship against Jack Dempsey.
August 9, 1987 |
Driving north on a farm-country highway across the cattle and alfalfa country of southern Colorado's flatlands, you catch only a fleeting glimpse of the little green sign. "Manassa," it says, and an arrow points down a two-lane road to the east. "Manassa," you think, driving on. "Manassa, Manassa . . . Manassa! Of course--Jack Dempsey, 'The Manassa Mauler.'