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Old 06-16-2009, 03:55 PM   #1
Russell
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Default Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

From my antique store boxing book, straight from Tunney's mouth.

Handsome, pompadoured and blue-eyed, and articulate Gentleman Jim brought an aura of respectability and dignity to the prize ring. At sixty-four, he was still slim, clear-skinned , alert and in good shape.

In 1925, when he was fifty nine, Corbett fought a three-round exhibition behind closed doors with Gene Tunney. Afterwards, Tunnet said, "He was brilliant. He still had bewildering speed. He mixed up his punches better then practially any fighter I've ever seen. Imagine, fifty-nine years old! It was the greatest demonstration I've ever seen in the ring. I learned plenty."

Tunney and Dempsey were both always extremely gracious and praising of other fighters.

Also of interest, Corbett felt Young Stribling was the best P4P fighter he had ever seen.
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Old 06-16-2009, 03:59 PM   #2
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

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Originally Posted by Russell View Post
From my antique store boxing book, straight from Tunney's mouth.

Handsome, pompadoured and blue-eyed, and articulate Gentleman Jim brought an aura of respectability and dignity to the prize ring. At sixty-four, he was still slim, clear-skinned , alert and in good shape.

In 1925, when he was fifty nine, Corbett fought a three-round exhibition behind closed doors with Gene Tunney. Afterwards, Tunnet said, "He was brilliant. He still had bewildering speed. He mixed up his punches better then practially any fighter I've ever seen. Imagine, fifty-nine years old! It was the greatest demonstration I've ever seen in the ring. I learned plenty."

Tunney and Dempsey were both always extremely gracious and praising of other fighters.

Also of interest, Corbett felt Young Stribling was the best P4P fighter he had ever seen.
Corbett wore long white trousers as he said his legs weren't what they used to be.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

How would that help?
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

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Originally Posted by Russell View Post
From my antique store boxing book, straight from Tunney's mouth.

Handsome, pompadoured and blue-eyed, and articulate Gentleman Jim brought an aura of respectability and dignity to the prize ring. At sixty-four, he was still slim, clear-skinned , alert and in good shape.

In 1925, when he was fifty nine, Corbett fought a three-round exhibition behind closed doors with Gene Tunney. Afterwards, Tunnet said, "He was brilliant. He still had bewildering speed. He mixed up his punches better then practially any fighter I've ever seen. Imagine, fifty-nine years old! It was the greatest demonstration I've ever seen in the ring. I learned plenty."

Tunney and Dempsey were both always extremely gracious and praising of other fighters.

Also of interest, Corbett felt Young Stribling was the best P4P fighter he had ever seen.
The sparring match exists on film. I have seen it. Corbett's in a sweater with dress shoes on, but you're right on the money. Corbett still had good reflexes, skills and speed in his 50's. Tunney was simply in awe of the old man. Corbett could feint high then duck low and in a flash deliver a straight shot to the body. This is a unique skill among heavyweights that I have not seen duplicated. Corbett also had the ability to read body laanguage. It seems he's ready to block a punch the moment the other guys decides to throw it.

Corbett can also be seen sparring in the W.W. I Bonds with Kid McCoy. The film us up close and clear. Corbett's quickness and feints here were very impressive. Corbett had to be in his 40's when it was filmed. You'd be hard press to find heavies who were that quick in their primes. Yet Corbett was in his 40's and 50's.

Both films are up close and clear. I would rate them as must sees.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

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How would that help?
If you were a boxer ,I'd think you had taken too many punches to the head Russell.
It was sheer vanity,varicose veins etc

Wait until you are nearly 60 and see how quick you are to get your kit off then ,I dont think you will be doing much posing .
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

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If you were a boxer ,I'd think you had taken too many punches to the head Russell.
It was sheer vanity,varicose veins etc

Wait until you are nearly 60 and see how quick you are to get your kit off then ,I dont think you will be doing much posing .
Oi', I'm neither 60 nor do I have Corbett's attitude so how in the hell can I be faulted for not knowing what you were talking about at first?

I thought you meant he didn't have legs as in his movement was deterioated and I was wondering how wearing pants would change that.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

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Originally Posted by Mendoza View Post
The sparring match exists on film. I have seen it. Corbett's in a sweater with dress shoes on, but you're right on the money. Corbett still had good reflexes, skills and speed in his 50's. Tunney was simply in awe of the old man. Corbett could feint high then duck low and in a flash deliver a straight shot to the body. This is a unique skill among heavyweights that I have not seen duplicated. Corbett also had the ability to read body laanguage. It seems he's ready to block a punch the moment the other guys decides to throw it.

Corbett can also be seen sparring in the W.W. I Bonds with Kid McCoy. The film us up close and clear. Corbett's quickness and feints here were very impressive. Corbett had to be in his 40's when it was filmed. You'd be hard press to find heavies who were that quick in their primes. Yet Corbett was in his 40's and 50's.

Both films are up close and clear. I would rate them as must sees.
50's, more like near 60's.

I'm glad to know film of it exists though. I really wish more footage of Corbett existed, and on top of that he had fought more... He's a bit of an enigma like the original Jack Dempsey.
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Old 06-16-2009, 04:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

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50's, more like near 60's.

I'm glad to know film of it exists though. I really wish more footage of Corbett existed, and on top of that he had fought more... He's a bit of an enigma like the original Jack Dempsey.
I don't think corbett is much of an enigma if you know where to read and look. There is more footage of Corbett. You can see several rounds of him vs Fitzsimmons, though the film is grainy and runs slow.

Corbett might be the fighter working the bag in the movie the Night They Raided Minsky's, which also has a clip from the Jeffries vs Shareky II fight. I'll have to see it again before a positive ID as the clip is only a few seconds long, but whomever that fighter was was on the money and quick.

By the way, Corbett offical record before losing to Fitzsimmons was 59-0-3! But you have to use news paper reports of fights and news paper decsions to as many of the matches were only 4 or 6 round affairs. Still 60+ fights without a loss is something only a boxing master could hope to do.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

Its not really a sparring session, more like each one kind of showing off his moves and pet punches.
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Old 06-16-2009, 06:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

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Originally Posted by Russell View Post
Oi', I'm neither 60 nor do I have Corbett's attitude so how in the hell can I be faulted for not knowing what you were talking about at first?

I thought you meant he didn't have legs as in his movement was deterioated and I was wondering how wearing pants would change that.
Youre right of course , didn't mean to be so terse.

When you get older you avoid mirrors if you can
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Old 06-16-2009, 08:44 PM   #11
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

Where is the sparring footage? I have never seen it anywhere ...
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Old 06-16-2009, 10:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

I've seen stills from this. Corbett looks surprisingly big and powerful compared to Tunney. Also, Tunney does comment on Jim's great reflexes, parrying and swift feet. I sure wish Jim had fought more often during what should have been his prime. But I also don't like the prick, a nasty few episodes i have read about.
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Old 06-17-2009, 06:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

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Where is the sparring footage? I have never seen it anywhere ...

You can buy Corbett vs McCoy from dealers. I recommend sweetfights.com. Be sure to watch it on a big screen, and you will pick up much more.

Corbett vs Tunney is rare. Most people who have it won't sell it unless they get something they want in a trade. However, there are other avenues to buy boxing dvd's, films or tapes. Sometimes you can get lucky on ebay.
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Old 06-17-2009, 07:00 AM   #14
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

Thank you.
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Old 06-17-2009, 08:05 AM   #15
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Default Re: Jim Corbett/Gene Tunney Sparring Story

Corbett kept himself in great knick after the ring, just like Carpentier would.

Jim, along with another veteran in Joe Choynski were two of the main members of Jeffries team when the latter was preparing to take on Jack Johnson.

Jim was a real splice of different styles and forgotten techniques. No wonder he made such an impression on a perfectionist like Tunney.
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