A question about the Long Count Fight

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Melankomas, Jan 25, 2023 at 8:42 AM.

  1. Melankomas

    Melankomas Member Full Member

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    In Dempsey vs. Tunney II, you can see the referee delay his count on Tunney due to Dempsey's unwillingness to go to a neutral corner. This makes sense, right? In that case, why, when Dempsey was knocked down for a split second in round 8, does the referee start his count as soon as Dempsey is floored, without even telling Tunney to go to a neutral corner? It could be nothing, but maybe it isn't. Thoughts?
     
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  2. Terror

    Terror Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Dempsey's reputation for bull rushing during the count was why. The neutral corner was invented for him.
     
  3. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    That doesn't explain why Dave Barry began a count over Dempsey whilst Tunney was nowhere near any corner, neutral or otherwise.
     
  4. Woller

    Woller Active Member Full Member

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    Watch the fight. When Tunney goes down Barry rushes in with his hand in the air to say "one", but the has to get Dempsey away from the floored Tunney.
    When Dempsey is down in the next round, Barry comes in again with his hand in the air to count "One", but Dempsey rises at once, so no problem here.
    No "Mandatory 8 count" you know.
     
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  5. mcvey

    mcvey Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    With Tunney clearly not in a neutral corner why did Barry move in arm raised to begin a count? Which he would have begun had Dempsey not arisen before he could start?

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  6. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Well-Known Member Full Member

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    I think referee Barry starts with the basic premise that the fighter is going to obey the rules. When he sees that the fighter is not going to the corner, then he suspends the count until he sees that the offending fighter obeys the rules. The referee is entitled to a reasonable reaction time to assess the situation. The fact that he begins the count just means that he is on top of the fact that there was a knockdown. It apparently was his habit to raise his arm and start the count as soon as he saw the knockdown. It does not necessarily mean that once he starts the count, he has to continue if he determines the rule is being violated. As Woller says, "Dempsey arises at once, so no problem." That was not the case when Tunney was knocked down.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023 at 1:00 PM
  7. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Exactly. Barry started to count for both fighters. The only difference was that Dempsey got up immediately. Had Dempsey stayed down and Barry continued to count his apologists might be able to cling to something but since that didnt happen they try to pretend that there was some manufactured controversy.
     
  8. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Actually it wasnt. A variation of the neutral corner rule had been in place at least since the Queensbury rules were adopted. The idea that Dempsey was unused to fighting under such a rule is a complete myth. He had been fighting under the rule that stated either he go to a neutral corner or his own corner or the furthest corner (depending on which locale he was in) since the day he first laced on gloves.
     
  9. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    This is correct. The rules in place at the time in Illinois gave the referee discretion to halt the count if a fighter didnt observe the neutral corner rule. These rules were published well in advance of the fight in all of the local papers and the fighters and their representatives had a meeting with the commission specifically to go over the rules before the fight which was highly publicized. After the fight Barry's performance was upheld by both the Illinois commission and the NBA.
     
  10. djanders

    djanders Boxing Addict Full Member

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    I just took another look at Muhammad Ali vs. Sonny Liston II, in Lewiston. Ali knocked Liston down, was standing over him, and Liston was counted out, and he didn't even get a count he could hear.
     
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  11. Skins

    Skins Boxing Addict Full Member

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    Every count nowadays is a long count. Refs have to dance the waltz with every guy getting up from a knockdown.
     
  12. klompton2

    klompton2 Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    This is why claims that Liston threw that fight ring hollow with me. He was actually up and fighting when Walcott stopped the fight. Im not sure about Maine but in Illinois in 1926 the referee could stop the count of the timekeeper if a fighter didnt return to a neutral corner. Had that rule been in effect we would have gotten a more definitive result. But its a perfect example of your damned if you do and damned if you dont. The count was correctly halted for Tunney with Dempsey looming over him looking to take unfair advantage and people still cry about it. Liston got no such luxury and was smart not to rise with Ali looming over him and going nuts but people cry about that as well.
     
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  13. KasimirKid

    KasimirKid Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Absolutely, I wish referee Walcott had watched the film of Barry's work in Tunney-Dempsey II before the Lewiston fight! He should have waited to start the count until Ali went to his corner. Actually, now that I think about it (without watching the fight again), I think he never did finish the count, he just relied on what people (primarily Nat Fleischer) told him about how much time had elapsed. Walcott totally bungled the situation.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023 at 6:02 PM