In a famous boxing rematch, Gene Tunney beats Jack Dempsey by a 10-round unanimous decision at Soldiers Field, Chicago to retain the world heavyweight title.
Just 364 days before, on September 23, 1926, Tunney had beaten Dempsey by a ten-round unanimous decision to lift the world heavyweight title, at Sesquicentennial Stadium in Philadelphia. The first fight between Tunney and Dempsey was originally touted for Chicago but had to be moved as Dempsey had learned that Al Capone was a big fan of his, and he did not want Capone to be involved in the fight.
Capone, sometimes known by the nickname “Scarface“, had apparently put $50,000 on Dempsey for the rematch, which fueled rumors that a fix was in. Despite this Dempsey was favored by odds makers in both fights, because he simply was knocking men out cold left, right and centre. You see Jack Dempsey was and is still regarded as one of the best Heavyweight Champions of all time. He turned pro in 1914 and was renowned as one of the hardest-hitting fighters of the era. A crowd pleaser from the get-go basically the Mike Tyson of the 1910s and 20s.
The “Long Count” moniker is applied to the fight because when Tunney was knocked down in the seventh round the count was delayed due to the then-new rule that the opponent needed to go to the corner before the count could start. Dempsey ultimately failed to abide by the rule and remain in a neutral corner but whether this “long count” actually affected the outcome remains a subject of debate.
You can decide below:
By the eighth round, Tunney had resumed boxing from a distance, the 20-foot ring scuppering Dempsey’s chance to crowd his opponent. Then boom Tunney, known as “The Flying Marine” floored Dempsey with a punch. This time, however, the referee started counting right away, before Tunney had moved to a neutral corner. Tunney was then dominant in the final two rounds and went on to retain the world title by a unanimous decision.
After the fight, Dempsey lifted Tunney’s arm and said, “You were best. You fought a smart fight, kid.” It was Dempsey’s last career fight and Tunney’s next-to-last.