Born in Manassa, Colorado on June 24, 1895, Jack Dempsey rose to boxing stardom in the 1920's. Dempsey started his boxing career at Young Peter Jackson's Gym in Salt Lake City at the age of 16. He began his professional career in 1914, fighting in small mining towns in Colorado under the name "Kid Blackie". Dempsey emerged from numerous small saloon-floor boxing matches to victory in over 80 professional fights by the age of 24. Dempsey was a hard-nosed, fearless boxer, perhaps best known for his brilliant knock-out victories, many of which occurred seconds into the fight.
Dempsey propelled his career in the "David versus Goliath" fist fight. His quickness and dismantling left hook allowed Dempsey to defeat Jess Willard in 1919, leaving the giant in shambles. The victory awarded Dempsey the Heavyweight Title, which he held for 7 consecutive years. He annihilated opponents, and most matches boasted no survivors. He was later known as the "Manassas Mauler" after defeating Jess Willard. Dempsey did not lose a fight until 1926, when he lost to Gene Tunney in Philadelphia. Dempsey continued boxing in exhibitions , but retired from professional boxing in 1940 and went on to be a restaurant owner in New York City. The restaurant was named Jack Dempsey's Broadway and was located on across from Madison Square Gardens. Dempsey later made 2 films, "Daredevil Jack" & "Manhattan Madness". He also co-starred in a Broadway play called "The Big Fight" with then wife Estelle Taylor.
Dempsey retired with a record of 60-7-8. Fifty of those, knockouts. Dempsey was a universally accepted sports star, in an era that boasted athletes such as Babe Ruth. Dempsey was inducted into The Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990 and in 2003, was voted the 7th best puncher of all time by Ring Magazine. Dempsey is one of the most popular heavyweight boxing champions of all time. He coined the phrase, " Its not whether you get knocked down, but if you get back up."
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