Summary

Birth:
29 Dec 1881 1
Death:
Dec 1968 1
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Personal Details

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Full Name:
Jesse Willard 1
Birth:
29 Dec 1881 1
Death:
Dec 1968 1
Residence:
Last Residence: Sunland, CA 1
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Social Security:
Card Issued: California 1
Social Security Number: ***-**-8764 1

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Stories

Dempsey Fight

At age 37, Willard lost his title to Jack Dempsey on July 4, 1919, in Toledo, Ohio. Dempsey knocked Willard down for the first time in his career with a left hook in the first round. Dempsey knocked Willard down seven times in the first round, winning the title when Willard was unable to continue after the third round. In the fight Willard was later reputed to have suffered a broken jaw, cheekbone, and ribs, as well as losing several teeth. His attempt to fight to the finish, ending when he was unable to come out for the fourth round, is considered one of the most courageous performances in boxing history. Nat Fleischer, later founder of The Ring Magazine, was there when Dempsey's hands were wrapped: "Jack Dempsey had no loaded gloves, and no plaster of paris over his bandages. I watched the proceedings and the only person who had anything to do with the taping of Jack's hands was Deforest. Kearns had nothing to do with it, so his plaster of paris story is simply not true. Deforest himself said that he regarded the stories of Dempsey's gloves being loaded as libel, calling them 'trash' and said he did not apply any foreign substance to them, which I can verify since I watched the taping."[6] Historian J. J. Johnston ended all discussion when he pointed out that "the films show Willard upon entering the ring walking over to Dempsey and examining his hands. That should end any possibility of plaster of paris or any other substance on his hands.

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