11-20-2012, 07:01 AM
East Side VIP
Join Date: Jul 2004
Re: Is it feasible to rank Wills over Dempsey in an ATG list?
Originally Posted by HOUDINI
The facts clearly show that in 1926 I tried desperately to arrange a fight with Harry Wills but the deal collapsed when my guarantee was not forthcoming. Wills and I had signed to fight with a promoter named Floyd Fitzsimmons of Benton Harbor, Michigan. Wills, I understand, received fifty thousand dollars as his guarantee for signing the contract. I was to have received one hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars in advance of the fight. As the date of the fight grew nearer and my money did not appear, I became anxious and asked Fitzsimmons what was the matter. He wired me to meet him in Dayton, Ohio, assuring me that he would have the money for me there. I met Fitzsimmons in Dayton who handed me a certified check for twenty-five thousand dollars and a promise to let me have the balance almost immediately. I balked at that, demanding the full amount right away. Fitzsimmons tried to placate me by calling the bank where he said he had deposited the money. The bank, unfortunately for Fitzsimmons, informed him that it did not have that much money on hand, that there wasn’t enough to cover the twenty-five thousand dollar check he had given me. Furious, I returned the check to Fitzsimmons and told him the fight was off. Later, the Fitzsimmons syndicate financing the fight sued me for failure to honor a contract. I won the case.
When the Wills fight failed to materialize, Tex Rickard jumped back into the picture and matched me with Gene Tunney. The rest is history. And that is the real story behind the negotiations for the Harry Wills fight which never came off. I am sorry Wills and I never got a chance to square off in the ring. I am sure it would have been one beautiful scrap.”
Ahh more of Dempsey's excuses, how about how we look at what actually happened instead?
Originally Posted by PowerPuncher
This report shows the timeline, including legal cases of Wills campaigning to get his shot.
So let's get this straight, Dempsey or his management stalled and made excuses for years months. Dempsey says Wills will never get a shot at the title after Wills tries to get an injunction on Dempsey defending against Firpo. The commision is sued and forced to sanction the fight
On receiving a ruling amounting to stripping Dempsey of his title Dempsey (according to researcher Klompton) signs with a contract with person friend in Floyd Fitzsimmons for the Wills bout.
Wills is the second biggest draw of the era yet the 1 promoter Dempsey trusts and who financed the Miske fight can't get funds to promote the super fight of the era? Dempsey's cheque bounces yet the man suing him in Wills, check gets paid? It sounds an awful lot like step aside money
Years later Dempsey is on record as saying Fitzsimmons sued him for not honouring the contract. The following report on Fitzsimmons death though notes he was 'a life long friend of Jack Dempsey'.
Conveniently Dempsey gets an out, is allowed to keep his title and fight other opponents. Why not find another promoter? It's either out and out avoidance from him or his management or powerful men been against a mixed race bout.
Wills said it didn't tie Dempsey into the fight in 1922. Interesting how it later 'fell apart' after been signed.....
Wills sues Dempsey in 1931 for being shafted out of the title fight
Originally Posted by Lord Tywin
If you are Wills are you going to refuse to sign? Even if its meaningless? Why? So Dempsey can then say you refused to fight him?
Wills chased Dempsey across the country for seven years, not the other way around despite what you Dempsey worshippers might wish to believe.
Why did Wills sign? Because it was an easy $50,000 for nothing. Id sign my name to a contract anyone for $50,000.
Thats the point. It was payoff money. Thats what you dont get. The first time Wills and Dempsey signed it wasnt even a contract. That fact escapes you as well.
You realize that the "contract" you have seen photos of was signed in September of 1925 and stipulated that the bout wasnt to be held until a YEAR LATER. Right?
Have you ever seen a contract written like that, particularly in an era when promotions were abbreviated far more than today?
One month after signing the contract Dempsey's business manager quit Dempsey's services stating that he would not be a part of Dempsey's concerted efforts to break the contract. Dempsey quickly tried to deny the statement saying he intended to fight Wills.
November 1 Wills was paid the first payment of $25,000 promised by Fitzsimmons. Dempsey, Fitzsimmons friend, was not. Why?
Early the next year Wills was paid the other $25,000 and a month later Dempsey admitted that the $50,000 was money he paid. Despite having never recieved a dime from Fitzsimmons who spend several weeks with Dempsey in Los Angeles in early 1926. Sound like two guys who couldnt come to an arrangement?
While all of this was going on Rickard was actively planning a Dempsey-Tunney fight. Why, if there was ever a reasonable expectation of Dempsey fighting Wills? Doesnt that seem a bit optimistic when considering that Dempsey hadnt fought in 3 years and had stutter stepped past several proposed fights during that time? Hmmm.
At the same time as all of this was going on Dempsey was offered $500,000 by a group in Los Angeles to fight Wills there. Dempsey refused.
So you tell me: Dempsey couldnt find anyone to come up with the money to fight Wills? Dempsey signed a contract with his buddy Floyd Fitzsimmons to face Wills but got mad when Fitzsimmons couldnt pay him up front yet still pays Wills $50,000 of his own money AFTER Fitzsimmons had missed his payments to Dempsey and all the while he is negotiating for a fight with Tunney which actually did happen? Is that simple enough for you?
Do I need to spell it out that Dempsey paid Wills step aside money through his good friend Floyd Fitzsimmons so that he could continue being called champion and reaping all of the earnings that brought in outside of the ring and inside had he beaten Tunney as was expected.
You have a fanatical pro-Dempsey view which clouds any unbiased thinking in regards to this situation.
I dont need to fall back on something because there is a photo of Dempsey and Wills signing a contract because I know what that contract stated. It was well publicized. Read the New York Times or better yet the Chicago Tribune coverage of it. It was a hollow, meaningless document that was designed from day one to NOT be fulfilled.
We can go around and around about this but you have your belief, which is grounded in hero-worship, and I have mine which is grounded in what Ive actually read and seen. I doubt either will change the others mind.