Jack Dempsey not showing any mercy

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by tinman, May 10, 2020.

  1. tinman

    tinman Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Feb 25, 2015
    I rarely post in classic, but I have question for all you. I just recently watched Jack Dempsey fight Jess Willard for the first time. What possessed Dempsey to fight like that? I know it's the hurt business, but that was a whole other level of viciousness. Unbelievable.

    Apparently Willard had broken ribs, jaw, nose, shattered cheekbones, permanent hearing loss, cracked lips, swollen eyes and lost about a half dozen teeth.

    I guess it's the job, you got to do the job.

    Ref should have stopped the fight.
  2. DanDaly

    DanDaly Active Member Full Member

    Apr 28, 2020
    Depends who you ask. Rational people will tell you that it was just Dempsey's style. Relentless and brutal. I wouldn't want to fight any heavyweights but when I watch his fights I sometimes cringe at being in his opponents shoes. Particularly Willard and Firpo's. He truly beat those guys like they had done something to him on a personal level. There's tons of content online of quotes from sparring partners and opponents that recall Dempsey snarling in the ring or something odd like that. The man was a damn animal in there. My point of view is a bit biased though, I'm a huge Dempsey fan but I'd like to think I base all of that on things I've seen or read about him.

    Then there's a decent sized detractor community. Their dogma is that Willard was a skill less oaf, that Dempsey ducked Langford, Greb, Wills, Jeannette, Norfolk, and even Jack Johnson. They say he didn't fight prime heavyweights yet apparently he ducked past prime heavies and light heavyweights/middleweights. I'm not sure how it makes sense but to some it does.
  3. SerbianLoudmouth

    SerbianLoudmouth Overhand right-Suzie Q banned Full Member

    May 3, 2019
    That is called willpower!
    Dempsey was hungry,poor guy and hobo who barely make to eat!He was not hungry like normal but his whole body and mind was hungry for victories and success!
    He knew his behavior and did not want to be that anymore!It is situation like kill or be killed!
    He got adrenaline and instict for killing and surviving!I can not explain you because we grew up mostly
    in families where we had accommodation and food!We had to eat and where to sleep so we did not have that instict!
    But when you got hubgry and homeless then this instict wo!uld activate!
    Again me and you grew up in situations where we have to eat and sleep but Dempsey was without food and home!It was his surviving instict!
    RockyJim and louis54 like this.
  4. Jackomano

    Jackomano Boxing Addict Full Member

    Nov 22, 2014
    That was the chance of a lifetime for Dempsey. A title shot was very hard to get in those days. If you blew it that was it, so most guys in Jack’s time had no time for mercy in the ring.

    You can also see this type of mentality in Johansson when he showed absolutely no mercy to Machen or his title fight with Patterson. If he failed in either fight Johansson knew he was done, so when he had them hurt he didn’t stop until the refs made him stop and the refs gave both Machen and Patterson every benefit of doubt before stopping those fights.

    Refs understood what it meant for a champion or top contender to lose, since it wasn’t as easy to climb back up like it is today, so the refs would give them every benefit of doubt before intervening and stopping the fight.
  5. barberboy2

    barberboy2 Member Full Member

    Dec 22, 2017
    I’ve heard his gloves were loaded for this fight.
    Watch the way he throws his right it’s not impossible he didn’t have something in his right glove.
    He didn’t in any other filmed fight throw the right with such a wide arc.
    It would certainly explain all the injuries big Jess suffered and support the claims made by Willard and later Dempseys manager Doc Kearns.
    loaded gloves were not uncommon in that era and as others have said these were desperate and brutal times.
    Another angle is Jack and Kearns had made a huge bet that Dempsey would win in the first round and wanted some insurance that it would come in.
    We all know Jack quickly jumped out the ring after the bell had actually rang so he could claim the first round win in all the confusion before officials noticed.
    maybe he had more to hide we just don’t know?
    choklab likes this.
  6. Fergy

    Fergy Walking Dead Full Member

    Jan 8, 2017
    I'm glad he didn't stop it! That s the jack Dempsey story really Startin out there. The sight of Dempsey continually hammering Willard to the floor is part of boxing legend. If Jack had knocked him down once, maybe twice and then the ref stopped it... Naa not the same.
    louis54 and tinman like this.
  7. tommytheduke

    tommytheduke Active Member Full Member

    Nov 21, 2013
    Fear was a factor. He was very scared of Willard, who had killed a man and had a heckuva punch. Willard's injuries were severely exaggerated. He only had a broken jaw, that can be seen in the famous picture of Dempsey crouching
  8. Cecil

    Cecil Boxing Addict Full Member

    Mar 22, 2015
    I think that’s been disproved as not true.
  9. barberboy2

    barberboy2 Member Full Member

    Dec 22, 2017
    Says who?
  10. DanDaly

    DanDaly Active Member Full Member

    Apr 28, 2020
    This content is protected
    DrederickTatum likes this.
  11. barberboy2

    barberboy2 Member Full Member

    Dec 22, 2017
    Good article
  12. Seamus

    Seamus Devotee of the Little Red Book Full Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    I would love to see what would happen today if fighters were allowed to stand over downed opponents and hit them as soon as their gloves left the canvas.

    Apparently Dempsey's ferocity soon dissipated after Toledo as his career pace slowed to crawl, went into hibernation and his choice of opponents left much to be desired.
  13. DanDaly

    DanDaly Active Member Full Member

    Apr 28, 2020
    That's not really a fair statement. Dempsey had a pretty standard rate of title defenses compared to prior champions. You're using modern standards to judge a historical fighter from 100 years ago.

    Willard defended it once in 4 years, Fitz zero over 2 years, and Corbett once over 5 years. Jeffries defended twice to Corbett who didn't have a single fight in 2-3 years prior to both his fights with Jeffries. Dempsey didn't have a strong title run but it wasn't weak either. Pretty standard.
    RockyJim likes this.
  14. robert ungurean

    robert ungurean Богдан Full Member

    Jun 9, 2007
    That's been disproven numerous times already. If I'm not mistaken they weren't even gloved up until they got in the ring.
    Kearns started this rumor when he was broke and bitter and sold the story for cash. Complete BS
  15. Saintpat

    Saintpat Boxing Junkie Full Member

    Jun 26, 2009
    Jack was the original Cobra Kai: Strike first, strike hard, no mercy.
    young griffo, louis54 and janitor like this.