Now Available! - In the Ring With Jack Dempsey - Part II: 1919 - 1923

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by apollack, May 5, 2023.

  1. guilalah

    guilalah Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    An interesting question is whether Dempsey would have had a better, worse, or about same career if he had served in WWI (without injury/fatality). It certainly would have interrupted a period of great progress; however, I am seeing (in reading Pollack's second Dempsey book) that non-service issues are -- even in 1922, against proposed white opponents -- derailing his efforts to keep active. Also, the (earlier) trial itself must have been a distraction. And if Jack had served in WWI, would Dempsey-Carpentier had been such a MEGA-event? And if not so lucrative, would Kearns be so cautious about risking the title, and might Dempsey have defended more actively?

    Ponderable imponderables.

    [Post proof read and somewhat restructured for greater clarity].
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2023
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  2. guilalah

    guilalah Well-Known Member Full Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Yesterday finished apollack (author Adam Pollack's) In the Ring With Jack Dempsey - Part II: 1919 - 1923.

    I think I have a greater appreciation of what an rare talent Dempsey was, along with the realization that, although it seemed like 'showing up being Jack Dempsey' was all he needed to prevail over his major white opposition of the time, in truth, there'd been a point (pre-Kearns) at which trying to do it, most part, on natural aptitude and appetite had had Dempsey just about ready to quite.
    I appreciate that Dempsey had a breadth of ability and 'attitude' and 'ways of getting it done' such that, if an opponent had any weakness of technic, quickness, stamina, armor, armament, heart ect., Dempsey could generally get leverage to dynamite, pry open, or at least close down that opponent.
    Many factors figured into the Dempsey-Wills non-event, the factors often factoring into one another. Dempsey seems to have developed, for a time, openness and perhaps even desire to (very lucratively) fight Wills. He seemed very uninterested in viewing the matter in terms of sporting merits, though. Arguably one might argue that he was pretty interested in
    not knowing -- in Wills case -- that defending against the best qualified is essential to what is meant by the term 'champion'. Yet I don't think he especially feared Wills, beyond his usual (and unusually frankly expressed) rational regard for any able professional boxing opponent.
    I learned that the 'slacker' muck-fling still stuck quite a while after his legal trials, and were a significant (if not sole) part of his not defending in 1922. [EDIT: I'd originally typed "1924" (while meaning 1922} Thanks, apollack, for spotting my error].
    Dempsey-Carpentier was certainly a seminal moment in boxing history. In some respects, basing fight prospects on a 'million dollar gate scale' may have been the worst thing to happen to Jack (or rather Kearns/Dempsey), being a factor (among factors) leading to an infrequency of defenses which was totally contrary to Jack's desire.
    Politics --
    qua politics, though as well (strongly) intersected with racism/white supremacy/racial segregation -- was a far bigger factor in Dempsey's caeer than I had previously understood.
    The respect and appreciation shown by Dempsey to his opponents -- and generally reciprocated by them -- is an admirable characteristic both of the man and, perhaps, of the ideals of the time.

    "By admiring and respecting an opponent, I think you get a tremendous desire to whip him."
    -- Don Shula

    Again, one might wish that more of such respect might have been shown to Wills per se outstanding sporting qualifications as challenger; yet I do believe that there was a stretch where Dempsey was truly eager to (BIG big gate) defend against Wills. [Oh, and guarantee that there wouldn't be future blow-back to Jack/Doc and the boxing sport in general. Go's without saying. Nothing personal against Harry, of course. ]
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2023
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  3. he grant

    he grant Historian/Film Maker Full Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    I heard on Facebook Vol 3 is due soon .... true ? ;)
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  4. Peteychops

    Peteychops New Member Full Member

    Mar 10, 2011
    Yes, it’s a pity he wasn’t more of a fighting champion.
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