When boxer Jack Dempsey wanted to back out of a fight due to his age and his opponents skill, his younger brother took the fight under the same stage name and went on to become the legendary boxer Jack Dempsey.

Jack Dempsey

This article is about the 20th-century boxing champion. For the 19th-century boxing champion, see Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey. For other uses, see Jack Dempsey (disambiguation).

William Harrison “Jack” Dempsey (June 24, 1895 – May 31, 1983), nicknamed Kid Blackie, and The Manassa Mauler, was an American professional boxer who competed from 1914 to 1927, and reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926. A cultural icon of the 1920s, Dempsey’s aggressive fighting style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first million-dollar gate. He pioneered the live broadcast of sporting events in general, and boxing matches… Continue Reading (22 minute read)

7 thoughts on “When boxer Jack Dempsey wanted to back out of a fight due to his age and his opponents skill, his younger brother took the fight under the same stage name and went on to become the legendary boxer Jack Dempsey.”

  1. highoncraze

    >His brother, Bernie, who often fought under the pseudonym “Jack Dempsey”—this a common practice of the day, in fighters’ admiration of middleweight boxer and former champion, Jack “Nonpareil” Dempsey—had signed to fight veteran George Copelin. Upon learning Copelin had sparred with then current world heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, and given Bernie Dempsey was nearing 40 years of age, he strategically decided to back out of the fight.[16] He substituted his brother, still unknown in Eastern Colorado, as “Jack Dempsey”. The fans at ringside immediately knew this was not the man they had paid to see.

    >The promoter became violently angry and “sailed into us, barehanded”, threatening to stop the fight.[15] Copelin himself, who outweighed Dempsey by 20 lbs. (165 to 145) upon seeing Dempsey’s small stature in the ring, warned the promoter, “I might kill that skinny guy.” The promoter reluctantly permitted the fight to commence, and in his first outing as “Jack Dempsey”, the future champion downed Copelin six times in the first round and twice in the second.[17] From there, it was a battle of attrition (“Neither Bernie nor I had taken into consideration the high altitude at Cripple Creek.”), until a last knockdown of Copelin in the seventh, moved the referee to make the then-unusual move of stopping the fight once Copelin regained his feet. According to Dempsey “In those days they didn’t stop mining-town fights as long as one guy could move.”[18] This trial by fire carried with it a $100 purse. The promoter, angered at the switch pulled by the brothers, had laid no promised side bets, “… and even if I did, I wouldn’t give you anything.”[19]

    What an inauspicious start to a legendary career. That and the barroom brawling.

  2. Sdog1981

    His brother was also not named Jack.

  3. DontGiveMeGoldKappa

    Wait lmao. Theres a third jack dempsey in the story

  4. bodhasattva

    So nobody noticed the boxer “Jack Dempsey” had a career that spanned 106 years?

  5. RetroMetroShow

    Walker Smith borrowed a friends name for an amateur fight & kept it to become Sugar Ray Robinson whose speed with combos from every angle was original and innovative at the time

  6. swankyfish

    The brothers, both of whom went by Jack Dempsey, neither called Jack, but both of whom were Dempseys, went by the name Jack Dempsey in honour of boxer Jack Dempsey, who was also not called Jack Dempsey, but John Kelly.

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