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Dempsey, boxings first mega-star.

William Harrison Dempsey AKA Jack Dempsey AKA “Kid blackie/Manassa mauler” the great Dempsey was boxing’s first true mega star and the last from the old west, a known hobo who learned his trade having back room bar brawls or even fighting to eat a meal Dempsey spent his early years travelling from town to town fighting all and anybody willing to throw hands with the no nonsense bag of aggression, admittedly himself Dempsey lost many fights during these times but it’s also where he earned his stripes rising from the floor when needed to just in order to finish a bout and hopefully earn a few nickles to eat. Dempsey was a pioneer in boxing and him and a European champion George Carpentier fought in what is known as boxing’s first million dollar gate, He introduced us to the “Dempsey roll” or “shifting” as it was later known in his demolition of the “potowatomie giant” and current world heavyweight champion Jess Willard. He destroyed Willard and became world champion. The neutral corner rule was introduced when a fighter was dropped during the Tunney v.s Dempsey rematch that match ironically being “the long count”. Dempseys rise from a travelling hobo having married a prostitute to mixing with the glitz and glamour of the iconic roaring 1920's even then the name Jack Dempsey was known the world over such was his popularity even without radio or television. He changed the face of boxing with an aggressive style that only whet the blood thirsty publics demand to see more of such bouts, prior to Dempseys arrival boxing itself was a defence first minded sport with bouts lasting over 20 rds or longer fighters would conserve energy for the latter rounds, not Dempsey it was a hit em first and hit em last attitude and the public loved it so much so it was said that there were more pictures of Dempsey hanging on walls in houses than there were of Jesus Christ himself. He injected a much needed energy into the sport and set the tone for fighters of the future and is an inspiration till this day, the public wanted aggression, they wanted action! Dempsey happily obliged. He is a boxing god and it’s first true mega star the true hardcore boxing fans remember you. Dempsey died 31-5-1983 he was 87 yrs old. With Dempsey's aggresive fighting style imagine how big he would be now a days with all the social media. Sadly we will never know.


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