Upon revisiting our previous article discussing the history of heavyweight boxing, we realized a glaring omission of a significant figure in the sport, the first boxing superstar and a true legend enshrined in the Canastota Museum in New York.

Jack Dempsey, also known as “The Puncher” or “The Bruiser” of Manassa, was a dominant force in the boxing world from 1919 to 1926. He captured the hearts of fans with his knockout power and larger-than-life persona, becoming the first fighter to generate a million-dollar gate at his historic bout against Georges Carpentier in 1921. The fight, aptly named “the Fight of the Century,” took place at Boyle’s Thirty Acres in Jersey City and saw Dempsey triumph over his opponent in the fourth round.

Not only did this match mark a significant milestone in boxing history, but it also paved the way for the sport to reach new heights. The massive female attendance, the national broadcast of the fight, and the formation of the National Boxing Association all signaled a shift towards modernizing boxing as a sport.

Following his illustrious career in the ring, Dempsey ventured into acting and entertainment, leaving behind a legacy that continues to inspire boxing enthusiasts to this day. His battles against the likes of Luis Angel Firpo and Gene Tunney are etched in the annals of boxing history, showcasing his resilience and determination even in defeat.

As we reflect on the remarkable career of Jack Dempsey, we pay tribute to a true icon of the ring who transcended the sport and left an indelible mark on boxing history. Born on June 24, 1895, in Manassa, Colorado, Dempsey’s legacy lives on, reminding us of the enduring power of one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time.

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