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Jack Sharkey and Maloney -1927
The Port Arthur News 7 May 1927
Jack Sharkey caught the public fancy the night be whipped Jimmy Maloney. It wasn't whipping Maloney, but the way he did it. Sharkey had been more a boxer than a slugger. In the Maloney affair he used his boxing skill to step close in, dodge Maloney's heavy punches enough to take the sting out of them, and then sock.
Sharkey didn't sock all the way. He left handed Maloney into a dazed condition and then slugged him and knocked him out. Sharkey said after the bout that he planned to draw the fight out seven or eight rounds, so that he could "cut Maloney up more."' He had a grudge to satisfy. In a former fight Maloney had fouled him.
That's Sharkey. He holds grudges. He fights because he wants to fight. Money may be the main incentive with him, but it isn't everything. With Gene Tunney, who happens to be heavyweight champion at the moment, money is everything. Gene doesn't like to fight. That's one reason Gene may lose the championship before long. He isn't a natural fighter, like Dempsey or Sharkey. He's synthetic, an artificial imitation of the fellows who became fighters because they liked the excitement of fighting.
Jim Corbett as a boy used to fight in skin tight driving gloves against Joe Choynski in the sand hills around San Francisco. Choynski’s father was a rabbi of great learning, his brother a famous lawyer, but Joe was always a fighter at heart and cared little for anything else.
John L. Sullivan, Terry McGovern, Tommy Ryan, Tommy West, Kid McCoy. Bob Fitzsimmons — all of these and thousands more in the old days fought, and often to a finish, more for the fun of fighting than for the little money at stake.
Dempsey started fighting when a boy. But it isn’t that way with Tunney. He has the modern notion that the most important thing in boxing is to deal with the promoter who can show most money, and then put a strangle hold on that gentleman at the last moment and apply pressure until he "plays the violin.''
Sharkey, it seems, is a refreshing novelty among modern fighters. He likes to fight, has no fear whatever of being whipped, thinks he can beat anybody, and isn't money mad. Not yet anyway.
Tex Rickard talking to me about Sharkey a few days ago, said:
"Do you know what Sharkey said to me after he knocked out Maloney. He said he'd fight either Dempsey or Tunney, which ever I wanted. But he wouldn't wait until September for anybody. He said if there was any delay I'd have to get him one two other fights to fill in and be didn't care who be fought as long as he could keep busy.
Sharkey's different from the average run of modern boxers who fight until they get enough reputation to draw down good money, and then dance and tap and stall in fear of having "business" spoiled by a knockout.
Sharkey has a reputation and he doesn't care who he fights. Now for Sharkey's fighting style and his prospects in the ring. First, Sharkey is tough as iron. He fights with his chin tucked down tight against his chest. He may get a few more scars around the eyebrows that way, but he takes less risk of being dropped. He has a strong wiry body, no fat either below or above the eyebrows.
This latter quality is unusual for these days when successful fighters class themselves as financiers and men of unique intelligence just because they've swatted some other fistic artist out of a decision.
Having a perfect physique for fighting, thanks to heredity and hard work, weighing 192 pounds stripped, able to give and take blows. Sharkey has the supreme, fighting quality of audacity. He isn't and couldn't be a careful defensive fighter. He's no counter puncher at heart. Yet he has the skill to protect himself well while attacking. In this he is better than Dempsey, who always depended upon the speed and fury of his attack for a defense, and run into first round trouble big Bill Brennan, Luis Firpo and Gene Tunney.
Sharkey stands nearly straight. He crowds in slowly, alert to block or move with a punch to break its force, to shoot a fist through any opening. He doesn't waste any movement at all. He does not dance like most of the safety-first boxers, who cavort about like frightened rabbits. His action is all fighting — not exhibition stuff. Sharkey has put pep into a heavyweight
situation that was beginning to drag.
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