The Dempsey-Carpentier bout was the first large-scale radio broadcast and the largest international sports event of the era. Contrary to conventional accounts, the French war hero put up a spirited fight against the much bigger Manassa Mauler, Dempsey. Finally, Rickard left a re-generated Madison Square Garden as the home of boxing for the coming decades.
Dan Cuoco June 25 June 25 0. During a 16 year Dan Cuoco June 24 June 25 0. Dan Cuoco June 22 June 25 0. The International Boxing Research Organization IBRO was organized in May, for the express purpose of: establishing an accurate history of boxing; compiling complete and accurate boxing records; facilitating the dissemination of boxing research information and cooperating in safeguarding the individual research efforts of its members by application of the rules of scholarly research. Firpo fell upon Dempsey, crushed him to the ropes, hammered him with both hands, beating against the arms behind which Jack tried to protect his Jaw.
The bell found the Argentine and the dazed champion in equally bad shape. Firpo was so exhausted he fell down in reaching his corner, Won Between Rounds Between rounds, the fight was won. Jack Kearns, in Dempsey's corner, ministered skillfully and speedily to his man. Smelling salts, a soothing massage, a quick whispered word or two and the champion was himself again. Firpo's seconds threw a half bucket of dirty water in the general direction of their man and stood gaping at him.
The second round was a slaughter of the "Wild Bull. When the glazed eyes finally closed and the great hairy limbs refused any longer to respond to the Argentine's game spirit, Luis Angel Firpo rolled over onto his back and was counted out, How many limes he went down will always be a subject for dispute. So generally approved was his handling of the battles of the heavyweight champion that he was able lo resist for three years thereafter insistent demands that Jack Dempsey fight again.
Tex Rickard did not promote another of his mammoth boxing spectacles for three years, but during the period from he accomplished the greatest single achievement of his career. After Rickard placed the old garden on a paying basis, he began laying plans for the new garden. He met with opposition at every turn, but refused to give up his idea. He enlisted the aid of John Ringling, the Circus magnate, and it was thru Ringling that the aid of Wall street was finally enlisted.
Under Rickard's influence Wall street invested money in a sports corporation just as money is invested in a strictly business enterprise. The new garden, erected at Eighth avenue between Fiftieth and Fifty first streets, opened Dec. It was one of the happiest days of Rickard's life when the doors of the new garden were thrown up. While the arena was under construction Rickard remained on the scene from morning until night.
He climbed over the girders and watched it grow day by day. It has been said of him that he knew every foot of the building up and down and across. Rickard was often asked why he didn't name the arena Rickard stadium, since it no longer occupied a place at Madison Square, farther downtown. One of the dreams Rickard had planned was wiped out by his death.
He visioned a chain of sport arenas all over the country and had already started to realize his ambition by promoting a similar structure to New York's garden at Boston which opened late last year. After the unsuccessful Tunney-Heeney fight in July, , stories appeared frequently in the newspapers that Rickard planned to retire or that he was to be ousted from his position of president and general manager of the garden corporation.
In answer to these stories Rickard always said: "I expect to be president of Madison Square garden as long as I live. Rickard Interested his backers In boxing and "The Six Hundred Millionaires" replaced the riffraff of the boxing world in the ringside seats at the weekly shows. On Friday nights at the garden celebrities occupied the prominent seats.
Ermine coats and evening clothes replaced tattered sweaters and shiny suites. Rickard, in short, lifted boxing out of the "Brick Alley" class. Hardest Worker. Until his death Rickard ever remained the hardest worker around the garden. He was to be found at his sports palace at all hours of the day and night.
Many times he has been discovered wandering around the winding corridors alone late in the evenings, Sundays or other odd times. There seemed to be a common tie between Rickard and the garden. They understood each other perhaps as no human being ever understood Rickard. The newspaper men were always welcome in Rickard's private office at any hour of the day. He was never to busy to talk to a newspaper man and he always had a story. Although Rickard never liked to talk about himself, he enjoyed telling of his early experiences in Texas, Alaska and Goldfield once he warmed up to his subject.
The garden became a site for all other sports and spectacles and is seldom idle a night in the week. After 23 years of domestic felicity with his second wife, she died in October, A year later to Miss Maxine Elliott Hodges, a Chicago girl and former actress who at that time was The marriage took place at White Sulphur Springs, W. Rickard had known, her for eight years before the marriage. Worshipped Daughter. A daughter Maxine, was born to them In Rickard worshiped the baby and in his will left almost three-fourths of his fortune to, her. It was during this period that Rickard was arrested and charged with an attack on four young girls In a West Forty-seventh street apartment.
Rickard vigorously denied the charges and, when brought to trial, was acquitted by the Jury after 90 minutes deliberation. Kermit Roosevelt, a son of President, Roosevelt, was called as a character witness in the case and upheld Rickard's character. Asked if he knew Rickard once ran a gambling hall, Roosevelt answered: "I don't think a man who runs a gambling hall is of bad character any more than a person who runs a church is necessarily of good character. Chapter 11 Tex Rickard knew what the public wanted and he gave it to them— that is, at a certain price and at Philadelphia and Chicago the price was millions.
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For one thing they wanted to see Jack Dempsey fight. Dempsey was idle for three years after his spectacular battle with Luis Firpo at the Polo Grounds and the public was starved to see him when Rickard began making preparations for the first Dempsey-Tunney bout. When Tunney was selected by Rickard, no one, least of all Rickard himself, thought the Marine had a chance to defeat Dempsey.
Whereas Rickard has two colorful challenger's in Carpentier and Firpo for his first million dollar fights, he had only Dempsey for the first Tunney fight at Philadelphia.
Boxing’s Original Promoter
But that was enough. Everyone wanted to see Dempsey in action again. The first Dempsey-Tunney fight was held on Sept. Tunney's Victory Tunney staggered Dempsey with a right to the chin in the first round and by the end of the fifth round he had the fight well in hand. Tunney closed Dempsey's left eye and Dempsey was a pitiful sight when he left the ring.
The next day Dempsey announced his retirement from the ring. Almost simultaneously there came a concerted demand for Dempsey to come back and early the next year Rickard announced that the winner of his heavyweight elimination tournament would meet Dempsey.
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Jack Sharkey, of Boston, former sailor, won the elimination tournament and the right to meet Dempsey. They met at Yankee Stadium July 21,, and the result was the fourth million dollar gate in history. The first round almost saw the finish of Dempsey. Sharkey caught Dempsey on the chin with a vicious right cross and followed it up with a sweeping right which snapped the former champion's head back. But Dempsey weathered the storm and knocked out Sharkey in the seventh round. The knockout caused a violent protest from Sharkey that he was fouled, but Referee Jack O'Sullivan ruled the punches legal.
Midway in the seventh round Dempsey sent a right to the body. Sharkey turned his head to protest to the referee, and Dempsey ripped a left uppercut to the chin. Sharkey went down for the count clutching at his stomach. Now the way was paved for the second Dempsey-Tunney fight. No Need for Ballyhoo There was no need for any ballyhoo this time. Dempsey had proved he had regained his fighting edge against Sharkey and Tunney was now the champion. Rickard selected Chicago for the bout, following his policy of never staging two big fights in succession in the same place.
The bout was held at Soldier's Field, Chicago, Sept. It will take years and years to find another Dempsey, and then who is there to promote such an attraction? Dempsey almost won his title back in the seventh round when heknocked Tunney down with two sharp left hooks to the jaw and a right cross. Tunney was on the floor for fourteen seconds, but Referee Dave Barry failed to pick up the count until Dempsey had been waived to a neutral corner. When Tunney arose at nine, Dempsey was unable to catch him as the former retreated around the ring. Two Failures During his career Rickard promoted only three financial failures and two of them came In Rickard blamed the failure of the Tunney-Heeney bout to three things: 1 Tunney's insistence on the July date Rickard maintained the bout should have been held in September.
Tunney won on a technical knockout in the eleventh round and shortly afterwards announced his retirement. Rickard promoted boxing bouts during his career. He promoted every big heavyweight bout from with the exception of the Willard-Johnson bout at Havana and the Dempsey- Gibbons.
Chapter 12 Crowds, not individuals, were the only ones who ever really knew Tex Rickard. He had countless friends, but few, if any of them, ever penetrated his calm, unruffled front. No sport, except golf, ever interested Rickard.
He never got excited about any of the fights he ever staged. It was his custom to stand on the outskirts of the crowd and pay little attention to what was happening in the ring. He had a seat in the front at the Garden but no one ever recalled having seen him occupy it. Rickard was never happier than when his eye could roam over the huge gatherings he attracted to his spectacles. He paid little attention to either of the two Dempsey —Tunney fights.
Gambling was a passion with him, whether the stakes were high or low. He would sit all night in the Garden and hot 10 cents a bout on the amateur boxing matches. Knew Few Fighters. He knew few fighters outside the heavyweight division. Once he was returning from St. Louis with a party of newspaper men after signing Gene Tunney to fight Dempsey.
The train stopped at Terre Haute, Ind. Rickard," he greeted the promoter. Rickard's two favorite fighters were James J. Jefferies and Jack Dempsey.
He thought Jefferies was the best, but always placed Dempsey on par with Jefferies because he liked Dempsey better as a man. The Dempsey of Toledo fought the best fight he ever saw. It was one of the big surprise of his life when Dempsey battered Willard down in two rounds. Dempsey was the most crushing hitter I ever saw.
Rickard said, but Jefferies could take more punishment. He was impossible to hurt in his prime. Rickard was a man of simple tastes. His favorite dish was corn beef and cabbage, with beef stew and steak a close second. He liked drink, but no one ever saw him drunk. He wore light colored suits most of the time.
He carried a cane and hooked it over his right forearm When he was standing. When he was out in the open He frequently used it to point with. The most, distinctive part of his dress was his hat. He was seldom seen without a hat on his head. He wore light colored fedoras and turned the rim down. He bought them by the dozens. Rickard was almost bald. He had a few straggling hairs on his dome which he combed in such a way it partially covered the bald part. He parted his hair almost down around his left ear. He was inveterate smoker.
Tex Rickard: Boxing's Greatest Promoter by Colleen Aycock
He chewed rather than smoked his cigars. Occasionally he chewed tobacco. His voice was low and sometimes it was hard to understand what he was saying. He made mistakes in grammar. He knew better, but once told newspapermen that they would have him saying "seed" and "heared" whether he said them or not so he always used them anyway. He never got excited or lost his temper. He was mild, shy and inconspicuous. He was optimistic about his own ventures. He was any easy man to talk to. He had a lot of enemies. They knocked him. But he never paid any attention to them.
His lips were thin and straight. His eyes were cold bluish gray. They were deep set. He blinked them frequently. There was nothing high-hat. He was always natural. He wore his hat in his office and put his feet on his expensive mahogany desk which was built for President McKinley. He was generous and often gave half dollars to urchins who lived in the Garden neighborhood. All the Garden employees called him a "regular guy. His motto was "Always pay your I. He believed in Stribling. There would have been nothing crooked about it.
His confidence in Stribling would have meant a great deal to the Georgia boy. Rickard had no intention of retiring. He wanted to play a little, but he wan scheming to promote another one of his million dollar fights with Dempsey as one principal when he died. He had an uncanny fear of the knife. This fear hastened his death. He refused to be operated on until it was too late. He had an acute attack of appendicitis while he was working on the Carpentier -Dempsey fight.
He would have liked his own funeral. There never will be another Rickard. Superb stuff Windy, on a man whose story fascinates me. Will be sure to have another, more thorough read when the working day is done. Cheers GG, may have to have a look at that, the authors of it wrote the Joe Gans biography which I have not read yet but was very well reviewed so hopefully this will be a decent book. Rowley Admin Posts : Join date : Age : 46 Location : I'm just a symptom of the modern decay that's gnawing at the heart of this country. You're welcome, GG, and thank you for the book tip.
You and jeff are going to bankrupt me. Christ almighty Windy, think I've got a fair bit of reading material for my next toilet visit cheers!! No problem Windy, cheers again for the article, great addition to the vault. For those who are lovers of old fight film, you may know […]. Interesting Beginnings Tex Rickard grew up in Texas, where he worked as a sheriff.
Diving Into Boxing It was in , where Tex Rickard dived deeply into the world of boxing when he and Wilson Mizner began promoting boxing matches. Changing the Course of Boxing Tex Rickard, with his understanding of how to transcend savagery into a prestige spectacle, changed the face of boxing. Notify of. Notify of new replies to this comment.