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#1
Old 01-06-2006, 07:09 AM
Dude
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Exclamation HW Greats from 1920 to 1950

I'm in the 13th grade of a German Gymnasium. We have to write a so-called "Facharbeit" before we are allowed to the final tests, called "Abitur". We had one year time and the deadline is the 27th of January 2006. Now I chose to write my "Facharbeit" in english and about boxing. Mainly I'll focus on the change of HW boxing between 1920 and 1950 and follow the careers and private lives of Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Max Schmeling and Joe Louis. These four All-Time Greats are the main focus of my "Facharbeit". I still need more material and I'd really appreciate it if anyone could advise me some books or has some rare footage. I'll reward any real help with points if you like.

So if you know or have anything special about either Jack Dempsey, Gene Tunney, Max Schmeling and Joe Louis or boxing at that time in general please share it with me. It'll be highly appreciated.
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#2
Old 01-06-2006, 12:04 PM
Dempsey1238
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The biggest change from 1920-1950's in my view is the netrual Corner rule.

Jack Dempsey has writting a autobio before he died, Also Khan's Jack Dempsey book is a good read.

Schmling has also writting his autobi on his life. I think in retirement,

Marciano has 2 books on him, Good reads

Russell Sullivan"The Rock of his times".

Have not seen any mayjor books on Tunney, but he does have a web site. With rare Tunney bio comics. and other stuff.
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#3
Old 01-06-2006, 07:06 PM
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I could tell you some things about Joe Louis if you wish. I have studied his boxing ability, and his persona outside the ring for quite a while.
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#4
Old 01-25-2006, 11:45 AM
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This is the first page of the introduction. Maybe anyone wants to correct it?

Earliest evidence suggests that fighting with fists was a sport about 6,000 years ago in an area equivalent to the modern Ethiopia. It eventually spread to ancient Egypt and finally throughout the Mediterranean. The ancient Crete also knew a boxing-like sport, which probably developed independently. Around 9,000 B.C. a Greek ruler named Thesus would be entertained by two contestants sitting on stones in front of each other and beat on another with their fists until one of them was killed. When boxing was accepted as an Olympic sport (then know as Pygme or Pygmachia) in 688 B.C. the fighters wore leather straps to protect their hands and wrists.

In ancient Rome boxing was not so much a sport as a bloody amusement for spectators which was quite similar to the gladiatorial contests. The fighters were usually slaves or criminals who fought to gain fame and freedom. However, as fist fighting became more and more popular free man and even aristocrats started fighting as well. When the sport was banned by Theodoric the Great around 500 A.D. the Romans had added another contribution to the sport: They invented the ring, originally a simple marked circle.

With the spread of Christianity records of boxing activity disappeared. The sport resurfaced in England during the late 17th century. The “London Protestant Mercury” referred to a bare-knuckle fight in 1681 and the Royal Theatre in London was the site of regularly scheduled matches in 1698. Most of these fights were brutal brawls as there were no written rules and therefore no referees to possibly enforce them. Neither were there weight division or round limits. This began to change in 1743 when Jack Broughton introduced the first basic rules to prevent the back then common deaths in the ring. Broughton also invented the first gloves to protect the hands and the face from blows. They were used in practice only, however.

Later on in 1867 the famous Marquess of Queensberry rules were published to sound the bell for the modern era of boxing. These rules are still universally recognized today and present the foundation for the different interpretation by the sanctioning bodies. (* a manifold of the Marquess of Queensberry rules is enclosed to the attachment)
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#5
Old 01-25-2006, 05:39 PM
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Second page of the introduction. Pls correct any typos or wrong facts.

Boxing was most probably introduced to America from England via sons of wealthy southern families. First records report from fights between slaves in the southern colonies whose masters bet huge sums on the outcome. The first fighter who won statewide fame and last but not least his freedom was Tom Molineaux. In 1809 Molineaux went to England where he fought and lost to the English champion Tom Crib twice. While these fights were major news in England America paid little attention.

In the mid 19th century New Orleans, St. Louis and other cities in the western territories became centers of boxing due to the enforcing laws against prize fighting in the eastern cities.
It was not until after the Civil War however that boxing really got started in America. The Marquess of Queensberry rules had a huge impact and a fighter named John Lawrence. Sullivan (nicknamed: “The Boston Strong Boy”) burst into the scene. Sullivan is widley recognized as boxing’s first modern heavyweight champion. In 1880 with just a handful of fights to his credit he challenged everyone in America to fight him for 500 Dollars. Between 1883 and 1884 Sullivan toured with a circus offering 500 Dollars to anyone who could last one round with him. These fights made him very popular.

Depending on which authorities are consulted, Sullivan became world heavyweight champion in 1888 when he defeated Charley Mitchell in France, or the following year when he knocked out Jake Kilrain. By this time John Lawrence Sullivan had become America’s first great sport hero. Sullivan once was quoted in a newspaper, “I will fight any man breathing”. This was not quite true as he would not fight a black contender throughout his career. When he suffered his first loss to the hands of James John Corbett alias “Gentleman Jim” in 1892 he had made boxing popular throughout America.

From there on the title “Heavyweight Champion of the World” grew in prestige and made the titleholder instantly a famous man and the pride of his hometown respectivly his race. James John Corbett would eventually lose his title to Bob Fitzsimmons who lost the title in his first defense against James Jackson Jeffries. When Jeffries retired undefeated in 1905 the title became vacant. At that time the common public opinion in America was that prize fighting involved a criminal element. This was one of the main reasons why it was hard to generate money from the title and the title-defenses.
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#6
Old 01-25-2006, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Dude
[i]Depending on which authorities are consulted, Sullivan became world heavyweight champion in 1888 when he defeated Charley Mitchell in France, or the following year when he knocked out Jake Kilrain.
I've never seen this thread before and I must say your last two posts have been top quality stuff, Dude...But I just want to point out that there are quite a few sources claiming Sullivan won the World title a few years earlier than what you've indicated here;

""Sullivan won the bare-knuckle version of the world heavyweight title in 1882 when he battered Tipperary's Paddy Ryaninto submission in nine rounds in Mississippi City." - HOF writer, Reg Gutteridge

"A succession of prize-fights followed, and as the colourful youngster acquired a large backing amongst the Irish-Americans of East Coast America, so the clamour grew for him to face Tipperary-born Paddy Ryan for the bare-knuckle championship of the world." - HOF writer, Harry Mullan

There's other sources to be found that agree with those statements, but both quickly found quotes indicate that the fight was for a "world" title. There's also sources that claim that Sullivan's fight and win over Dominick McCaffrey was for the vacant Queensberry Rules world title, including the IBHOF, BoxRec, Gutteridge, etc. Here's a quote from Gutteridge;

"Sullivan was crowned Queensberry world champion when he beat Dominick McCaffrey over six rounds in Cincinnati on 29 August 1885."

I also have newspaper reports from the Sullivan/McCaffrey fight, as well as the pre-fight and from memory it seems to back the claim that it was a world championship fight (the first with gloves, of course)...I'll check it out again to be 100% sure, though.
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#7
Old 01-25-2006, 07:20 PM
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Third page

Things got interessting again when Tommy Burns agreed to a championship bout against a black fighter in person of Jack “the Galveston Giant” Johnson in 1908. Burns desperatly needed money and was promised the unprecedented sum of 35,000 Dollars to fight Jackson. The match was held in Sydney, Australia which, unlike most American cities, welcomed prize fighting. In front of 25,000 spectators Johnson won a glorious victory and became the first black heavyweight champion. America was shocked as according to the racial persuasion of this time a black man was not supposed to beat a white man, let alone be the heavyweight champion of the world. Through his colour of skin and lifestyle Johnson soon became one of the most abhored man in his own country.

After the Burns-Johnson fight, Jack London, a popular novelist who was covering the event for a New York newspaper, wrote, “The battle was between a colossus and a pygmy. Burns was a toy in his hands. Jim Jeffries must emerge form his alfalfa farm and remove the golden smile from Johnson’s face”. The battle between black and white, in the racist media portrayed as a battle between good and evil, captured peoples attention and made Johnson’s fights very lucrative, both for him and for the promoters. After the “Galveston Giant” had succesfully defended his title for four times Tex Rickard, one of the best and most powerfull promoters of his time, set up the mega fight between Jack Johnson and the undefeated former champion James Jackson Jeffries.

Rickard advertised this bout as the “fight of the century” and offered the United States president Taft to referee the contest. It was reportedly the first time a venue was constructed specifically for one boxing show. A sell-out crowd of 16,528 spectators saw the fight. Amongst them the former Heavyweight Champions John Lawrence Sullivan, James John Corbett, Robert Fitzsimmons and Tommy Burns. Both fighters received around 115,000 Dollars. The fight itself was a onesided beatdown as Johnson dominated Jeffries throughout the fight and finally knocked him down three times in the 15th round until Jeffries corner would stop the bout and concede. Johnson’s victory sparked race riots. Some states banned the filming of Johnson’s victories over white fighters.

Johnson would go on to defend his title three more times until he lost, out of shape and 37 years old, to Jess “the Pottawatomie Giant” Willard.
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#8
Old 01-25-2006, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yogi
I've never seen this thread before and I must say your last two posts have been top quality stuff, Dude...But I just want to point out that there are quite a few sources claiming Sullivan won the World title a few years earlier than what you've indicated here;

""Sullivan won the bare-knuckle version of the world heavyweight title in 1882 when he battered Tipperary's Paddy Ryaninto submission in nine rounds in Mississippi City." - HOF writer, Reg Gutteridge

"A succession of prize-fights followed, and as the colourful youngster acquired a large backing amongst the Irish-Americans of East Coast America, so the clamour grew for him to face Tipperary-born Paddy Ryan for the bare-knuckle championship of the world." - HOF writer, Harry Mullan

There's other sources to be found that agree with those statements, but both quickly found quotes indicate that the fight was for a "world" title. There's also sources that claim that Sullivan's fight and win over Dominick McCaffrey was for the vacant Queensberry Rules world title, including the IBHOF, BoxRec, Gutteridge, etc. Here's a quote from Gutteridge;

"Sullivan was crowned Queensberry world champion when he beat Dominick McCaffrey over six rounds in Cincinnati on 29 August 1885."

I also have newspaper reports from the Sullivan/McCaffrey fight, as well as the pre-fight and from memory it seems to back the claim that it was a world championship fight (the first with gloves, of course)...I'll check it out again to be 100% sure, though.
Thanks man. You make a valid point there and I'll research it again.

I'm thankfull for every input as I'm currently writing and have to hand in the "Facharbeit" in about two days. So it's quite important for me and my future to write sth. usefull.
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#9
Old 01-25-2006, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude
Thanks man. You make a valid point there and I'll research it again.

I'm thankfull for every input as I'm currently writing and have to hand in the "Facharbeit" in about two days. So it's quite important for me and my future to write sth. usefull.
Dude, I was just looking over the newspaper reports from Sullivan/McCaffrey and there are a few references to it being a championship fight, including the fight report's heading of, "Sullivan Champion Yet". But no differential is made in either the pre-fight or fight reports using the wording of "world championship", so...but it was a Queensberry Rules championship fight.
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#10
Old 01-25-2006, 10:57 PM
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Part 1 on Jack Dempsey

William Harrison Dempsey was born as the 9th of 11 children on the 24th of June 1895 in Manassa, Colorado. Born to a dirt-poor farming family, young Dempsey took up boxing with his older brothers. One of his brothers would get stabbed later on while another brother killed himself and his wife in a fit of depression. It is quite an understatement to describe Dempsey’s early childhood as unfortunate. Inevitably he ran away from home when he was 15 years old.

Hopping on trains and sleeping in the open air William Harrison learnt to fight his way through life but never lost his positive attitude. He was just 16 years old when he fought his first professional fight for a reported wage of 5 dollars. Under the pseudonym “Kid Blackie” Dempsey would go into saloons or dance halls and challenge for fights. “I can’t sing and I can’t dance but I can lick any man in the house”, is handed down as his usual catchphrase. In most of these countless fights Dempsey faced a height and weight disadvantage.

In his early years Dempsey didn’t have a trainer and was a complete boxing autodidact. He simply learnt from his mistakes though this method of learning usually involved a lot of pain. When Dempsey fought Johnny Sudenberg over 10 rounds in Goldfield, Nevada he was knocked down nine times in the first round. His opponent surpassed him in height, weight and experience and took full advantage. Dempsey’s manager Jack Gillfeather had arranged the bout mainly because he was as broke as his protégé Dempsey, who stated years later in a interview that he “suffered the worst beating of my life” during this fight. After combating the last four rounds subconsious Dempsey was put in a wheel chair and shuffled to the shanty where he lived. The legend tells that he then slept for 24 hours and when he woke up his manager and his fee were gone.
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