Since this place has been chock-full of threads dealing with the History of Boxing. I decided to relay information on what should be a Legendary figure, but was cherry-picked out of recollection of most save for the utmost affluent in Boxing knowledge. Credit for most of this goes to the eye-opening recent article Published by Ring Magazine, penned by Don Stradley. "The Manassa Mauler" wasn't the original Jack Dempsey. In fact, his name was an homage to the original, the one "without equal." This Jack Dempsey was the man William Harrison Dempsey aspired to be. As he told Roger Kahn "When we were kids around the Colorado mining camps, all of us wanted to be Jack Dempsey, the new Nonpareil. When it turned out I could fight the best, I got the name." "The Nonpareil" was born John Kelly in Curran Ireland and was very skilled as a kid at both Boxing and Wrestling. His Professional Career began as a Wrestler alongside his half-brother, constructing the team of "The Wrestling Dempseys." John (Jack) kept the name when he turned to Professional Prizefighting. He fought under both London and Queensberry rules, both bare-fisted and in buckskin gloves. The most agreed upon record has him at 50-3-10, with 7 no-contests. His 1891 fight with Bob Fitzsimmons was at the time, the richest prizefight in History. If someone had thought to coin the term "pound for pound" during this era, Dempsey would likely have been the reason why. He gained recognition as the Middleweight Champion of America after defeating George Fulljames in 1881, though he often referred to himself as the "Lightweight" Champion, being that he barely weighed more than 145lbs standing 5'8". The following 7 years after winning the Title, he was relatively untouchable. Dempsey also did a lot to bring fame to Boxing, as his 1884 bout with England's Tom Henry was held at the Eighth Street Theater and attended by New York's finest citizens. Dempsey knocked Henry into the footlights that evening, and nearly into the orchestra pit. When describing his style, writer Richard K. Fox of the Police Gazette wrote "His style and method of Boxing has a neatness to it...He stops blows aimed at him by his adversaries with so much skill, and hits his antagonists with such terrific force and comparative ease, that he astonishes and terrifies his opponents beyond measure." After soundly beating Dominick McCaffrey, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle noted "He danced, walked, ran, and skipped about the Pittsburgh man till the latter got the idea that there were a dozen Dempseys surrounding him." And probably one of the most worthy compliments, after beating 3 men in one night, The New York Times wrote "The old sports admitted that if he were a little bigger he would prove a dangerous opponent for the invincible Sullivan." Dempsey's most crowning win came in 1886 when he defeated George LaBlanche via 13th round KO. It cemented him as the top Middleweight of the Country. When he offered part of his purse to LaBlanche, he got head-butted in the mouth for it. However LaBlanche would later say of Dempsey "He's a wonder." Dempsey was more than a Fighter, though, and as he aged he developed a distaste for a Public that lionized Fighters. He told the Eagle in 1886 "These men never speak or think of me as anything other than a slugging machine. It never strikes them that I have ideas on any other subject." Bouts with illness and injury began making his career difficult, and he turned more towards training Fighters. Dempsey went to work as the Boxing Instructor for the California Athletic Club, even helping mentor a young James J. Corbett. Though a run-in with Mike Donovan when they had Fighters against each other, led to a showdown between "The Professor" and "The Nonpareil." This having History of Dempsey getting the better of Donovan in an exhibition, and coming to regard Donovan as a tired old relic of whom Dempsey would say: "he belongs in a glass case." Donovan first pushed his pupil Johnny Reagan into what became a 45 round malicious beating at the hands of Dempsey, which prompted Donovan to come out of retirement. Donovan himself a former Middleweight Champion, and current Boxing Instructor for the New York Athletic Club. He was also one of the first Fighters to get an endorsement deal, lending his name to Hornby's Oatmeal. They fought to a 6 round draw, though many ringsiders felt Donovan won, and that this fight was the first true sign that Dempsey was slipping. Indeed he began deteriorating, many reporters mentioning his coughing jags and haggard appearance leading up to his bout with Fitzsimmons. Inevitably he was knocked out in the 13th round, and proceeded to fade badly. He began drinking heavily, quit his job at the CAC, sold his business interests, allegedly robbed a Chicago woman for $20, and forfeited matches. He also told wild stories of being drugged by gamblers, and when Dan Creedon was offered to fight Dempsey he replied "He's nutty, anyone who takes him into the ring ought to be disgraced." Dempsey also tried to kill himself after his loss to Tommy Ryan. He died later that same year of tuberculosis, at 32 years of age. When a bout between Sullivan and Dempsey was being talked of, Dempsey challenged Sullivan openly under the condition that Sullivan had to defeat him in 6 rounds or he kept the purse. Sullivan scoffed at the notion and threatened to break Dempsey's jaw if they met again. Later on when a reporter dismissed Dempsey as a pitiful drunk, Sullivan threatened to crush him with his bare hands. Sullivan actually revered Dempsey, and shared in his last public moment. In 1895, at Madison Square Garden during a benefit in Dempsey's honor, John L. Sullivan guided the frail decaying Dempsey into the ring where he announced the two would spar for three rounds. "We will do the best we can," remarked Sullivan, "even though we're two has-beens." With Sullivan grossly overweight and Dempsey all but a ghost of his former self, the two gave not much more than a careful pantomime, but that didn't stop the crowd from roaring thunderously with each parry. It's unfortunate how such men get buried in the folds of History, and overshadowed by their own comrades and colleagues. But there was once a poem that the other Jack Dempsey recalled from his childhood: 'Tis strange New York should thus forget, It's "bravest of the brave," And in the fields of Oregon, Unmarked, leave Dempsey's grave.