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(By Damon Runyon, Universal Service
Staff Correspondent.)
_ Toledo, Ohio, July 4. - Squatted on his
stool in his corner, a bleeding, trem-
bling, helpless bulk, Jess Willard, the
Kansas giant, this afternoon relin-
quished his title of heavyweight cham-
pion of the world, just as the bell
was about to toss him into the fourth
round of a mangling at the paws of
Jack Dempsey, the young Mountain
Lion in human form from the Sangre
Del Christo hills of Colorado.
_ He was a sad sight as he sat there,
this ponderous fellow, who four short
years ago was acclaimed mightiest of
men when he beat down old Black
Jack Johnson.
_ The right side of his face was a
pulp where the fists of the Indian
brown boy from the Centennial state
had been landing for nine minutes
with fearful force. The right eye of
the champion was completely hidden
behind that bloody smear. His left
eye peered over a lump of flesh in
grotesque fashion.
_ The great, dough-like body of the
giant was splotched with red patches.
They were the aftermath of Demp-
sey's gloves thumping there and giv-
ing back a hollow sound as they
_ At the feet of the Gargantuan pugil-
istic was a dark spot which was slow-
ly widening on the brown canvas as
it was replenished by the drip-drip-
drip of blood from the man's wounds.
He was flecked with red from head
to foot. The flesh on his enormous
limbs shook like custard.
_ He was like a man who had just
been pulled from under the wreck
of an automobile or railroad train or
who had met with some other grave
accident. He blinked the one eye
through which he could still see day-
light at the glaring sun, looking out
over the heads of the crowd that had
gathered to see something like this.

___ Dempsey Waits Impatiently.

_ In the corner opposite him, tugging
at the ropes like a pet terrier tug-
ging at the leash and scratching his
feet on the resined canvas with sin-
ister impatience, was the saddle-col-
ored demon who had ripped and
pounded and slashed this tremendous
fellow into this distressing state.
_ It seemed incredible, and yet it was
so. Another round was coming on. An-
other round of mauling and maltreat-
ment for the giant. The ox cannot
beat the tiger. The bruised lips of the
champion moved. He was mumbling
some words. An instant later and he
was no longer champion of the world.
_ Walter Monohan, a sergeant in the
United States Army, and Willard's
chief second, bent his head close to
the bleeding mouth to hear what he
had to say. Then Monohan turned and
tossed a towel into the ring.
_ This towel was slightly spotted with
blood. The rag rose no higher than
the ring ropes and fell limply, but it
represented the formal transfer of the
heavyweight championship crown. It
was surrender.
_ It was Willard's order. Another in-
stant passed until the crowd realized
what had occurred, and then forty
thousand persons went raving crazy
for a moment.
_ The towel had no sooner hit the ring
floor than Willard was on his feet,
walking over to meet the already ad-
vancing Dempsey, with his gloved
hand outstretched. One side of his
face - the side which was not swollen
- carried a strange smile.
_ He had worn that same smile
throughout the short fight. It was on
the unmashed side of his face as he
sat in his corner think what thoughts
no one but Jess Willard knows. It
was the strangest smile I have ever
seen. It was a smile I shall not for-
get if I live to be a thousand, and yet
it was a smile I find hard to describe.
It was a silly sort of a smile as of
a simple fellow who cannot exactly
understand what is happening to him.
_ It first appeared when that brown
man - a little man as compared to this
preposterously big fellow - first leaped
upon him in the opening round, claw-
ing like some animal. It was there
when the huge man sat in a neutral
corner in the late stages of that
round, his legs out straight before
him and his enormous hairy torso up-
right, as he sat in that position smil-
ing that silly smile he was a most
ridiculous spectacle. He was plainly
completely dazed by the punches
which had been pumped into his face
and frame, and he reminded one of a
drunken man sitting in an alley play-
ing with his hands, or of a simpleton
picking at a coverlid.

___Faulty Bell Fooled Crowd.

_ Willard was almost knocked out in
that first furious rush of the Colorado
boy. In fact, everybody thought he
was out, and that the fight was over.
The faulty bell had tinkled, but few
had heard it. Men rushed into the ring
and confronted Dempsey. The new
champion was leaving the ring when
Ollie Pecord, the Toledo referee, who
had kept him head well during the
clamor made handlers understand that
only the round was over.
_ Then Jack Kearns, Dempsey's manager,
drew him back to his corner. The ring
was cleared. The crowd settled back and
the bell tapped again. Out came Willard
smiling that simple smile, his flabby legs
shaking under every step that lifted his
bulk forward and now, to the astonish-
ment of everyone, the giant rallied.
_ No one believed he could possibly
weather that second round, but he
pushed on under a veritable barrage of
hammerings, not only to the end of that
round, but to the close of the third. It
was only a question of time when he
must collapsed, however. He almost fell
when he went back to his corner at the
close of the third round and stood for
an instant before he sat down. It is
doubtful if he could have withstood an-
other round of punishment he had
lived under in the nine minutes that had
passed. In any event, he decided not to
respond to the bell for the fourth.
_ He was almost blind. He was welter of
blood. He was weak and unable to de-
fend himself. He fought through the
second and third rounds with courage.
He fought like a good fellow. Perhaps
the acme of gameness might have been
reached had he gone out to be knocked
senseless in the fourth round, but the
spectacle had already passed the stage
sport. It had become sheer butchery.
Willard decided wisely. And for all this
he got $100,000 besides the thousands he
has collected at his training camp,
Lieut. Lockler, the aviator, changing
planes in mid-air high above the heads
of the crowd just before the fight, got
nothing but the plaudits of the people.
He couldn't even hear the plaudits.
_ After it was over, Willard walked
out unsteadily to meet his conqueror. He
congratulated him after the time honored
custom of beaten ring men and Dempsey
showing his white teeth in a wide grin
where before his face had been crinkled
with sullen scowls, responded with a
sort of condolence - what makes no dif-
ference now - before delivering himself
up to his friends.
_ Then Willard lifted his ponderous bulk
down from the ring and went into fistic
oblivion, still smiling that strangely sim-
ple smile, as they were raising the new
champion high above the ring for all to
see. The cheers that once rang in Wil-
lards ear were now for the new king.
The old pugilistic order had changed.

___Youth Had Been Served.

_ Youth had been served. Once while
sitting in his corner beneath a dingy old
umbrella covered with advertising, be-
fore the fight Dempsey smiled. He
sighted "Tad," the cartoonist, sitting at
the ringside and the beetling brows of
the challenger softened as he relaxed his
_ That was about the only time. His face
was so set that many thought he was
nervous. Over in the other corner, be-
neath a neat new brown umbrella, Wil-
lard fairly beamed on the crowd, nod-
ding pleasantly to familiar faces in the
audience and generally conducting him-
self like a man at a function given in
his honor.
_ A few minutes later and he was
stumbling about the ring like an ox in a
stall, dull eyed and heavy limbed. It
was a starling transition.
_ Dempsey never even glanced at Wil-
lard until they put up their hands. It is
Dempseys way. When they stood to-
gether in the center of the ring with
their hands clasped for the benefit of the
moving picture men. Jack did not look
at his giant antagonist. Once he winked
at a bunch of newspaper friends.
_ Willard, on the other hand seemed
pleasant and chatty. He seemed a friend-
ly soul trying to make up to a morose
neighbor. When they faced each other to
listen to the instructions of Ollie Pecord,
the referee. Dempsey stared at the floor.
He scarcely seemed to be listening. Wil-
lard was all attention and still very
_ The men returned to their corners and
Dempsey continued to look everywhere
but at Willard. Something went wrong
with the bell. It was on Willard's side of
the ring and it gave off a feverish light
tinkle when Warren Barbour, the former
amateur heavyweight champion, who
was the official timekeeper, gave it a
_ Willard heard it and started to leave
his corner. Then he saw that Dempsey
was still leaning against the ropes op-
posite him, his back to the ring and
he realized that Jack had not heard.
Willard glanced expectantly at the time-
keeper. Barbour gave another yank and
again the bell tinkled softly. Still Dempsey
did not hear. He stood pawing his feet on
the canvas and looking out over the crowd.
_ From a seat nearby his camp jester,
Max Kaplan, a fellow from Long Branch,
N.J., where Dempsey used to train, was
making an unearthly outcry. Jess nodded
and smiled in a most polite manner and
finally Dempsey turned as the bell
tinkled and Jack understood that the
fight was on.
_ They advanced toward one another,
Dempsey crouching slightly and his
shoulders moving in the curious
"shimmy" style which he has made his
own. Willard was fairly upright. Wil-
lard made the first lead. It landed light-
ly. Dempsey paid no attention, but kept
marching in. Willard dabbed at him
slightly several times without much ef-

___Dempsey Lands Blows Easily.

_ Dempsey walked around, crouched and
"shimmying" as if studying this strange
monster before him. Then suddenly the
Coloradoan began slashing out. Demp-
sey hits without apparent direction. He
sees a target in front of him and he
begins hitting and keeps hitting and he
hits with deadly force. He was half
leaping as he hit at Willard's jaw, tow-
ering about him.
_ First the left hand, then the right
went swishing upward. His first lead
was for the broad white body spread so
invitingly before him and his fists seemed
to sink in as they landed. Then the attack
shifted to higher ground, so to speak.
Willard seemed to have no sense of loca-
tion whatever as he tried to stave off
the first rush of the challenger, which
he had been told to expect and which
had come just as predicted.
_ Dempsey's fists fairly thudded against
Jess' stomach, then suddenly a brown
arm with a glove at the end shot
upward to Willard's jaw and the cham-
pion seemed to crumple up in the very
middle. His gigantic body plumped to
the floor.
_ The crowd went stark mad. Hats flew
into the air and the pine crater on the
banks of Maumee Bay, where the men
were fighting, erupted with a terrific vol-
ume of human voices. But Willard was
not down for good. He was on one
knee, listening intently to Ollie Pecord
as the referee counted. Willard knew
what he was doing then all right. He
asked the referee what the count was
and got on his feet before nine as Pe-
cord raised his voice to impart the in-
formation, and now the wildcat was
loose. Dempsey swarmed up to the
gigantic form of the Kansasan. Now
Willard was on the ropes, his great
weight causing them to sag deeply. Now
he was half under them. A haze had
settled in his eyes. He had the look of
a man gazing through a mist. Now you
couldn't see the right eye at all. Now
the blood began welling from cuts on
his face and slowly trickling down his
_ Seven times the champion was down
on the floor for the count in the first
round. After that round he was not
legally down again, according to Queens-
berry lights. He brought up in the first
round sitting in the neutral corner,
smiling that simple smile, as I have re-
lated, which was the moment the crowd
thought the thing was all over.. Phila-
delphia Jack O'Brien, the old dancing
master of the fistic game, hopped briskly
into the ring at the head of a big crowd
of oncoming wild-eyed Dempsey enthusi-
asts and was shaking Jack's hands and
congratulating him when they pushed
him aside so that the fight might go on.

__ Willard Fought Back Feebly

_ Some have suggested that Dempsey's
leaving the ring might have constituted
a technical infringement of the rules, but
no one would have the nerve to advance
such a technicality after that first round.
It was obvious then that Willard was
_ The big man tottered out for the sec-
ond round. That is the only word which
describes it, he tottered. Dempsey be-
gan tearing at him again as eagerly as
a wolf tearing at a wounded prey. Poor
Jess fought back feebly. He could not
keep the lighter man from slugging him
to the ropes and then slugging him off
the ropes again. He was battered all
around the ring, but even so, some one
suggested that Dempsey might be rest-
_ Willard seemed stronger after that
round. It probably looked that way
merely in comparison to the first, how-
ever. He came out for the third round
apparently desperate as he met Demp-
sey's attack with both big hands flailing
wildly. A right uppercut which Jack
delivered with a hop upward brought
the blood pouring from Willard's mouth
to swell the stream which was leaking
from his nose and from the cuts on his
_ Dempsey wore a pair of white silk run-
ning trunks. They were dyed crimson
by the gore from Willard's wounds.
Around the waist of the challenger was
an American flag. The blue and white
soon melted into the red. His brown
body was splattered with Willard's blood
and Willard himself was red from his
blue silk trunks to the top of his head.
_ It couldn't last that way long. The de-
cent thing to do was to stop, and Wil-
lard stopped it. He will be bitterly re-
viled for quitting, but if boxing is de-
signed to establish the better man, then
this fight was over at the end of the first
_ "I have no alibis to offer," said Wil-
lard after the fight. "I am through with
the ring forever. Dempsey is certainly a
good boy. I have no excuses for the
way I trained. I think it was the best
_ In that many of the people who saw
the fight today will differ with Willard.
He was in good health as William Mul-
doon has put it, but he was not in good
condition for a battle. However, condi-
tion cut little figure in the affair this
afternoon. It is the law of the old game
that a man cannot give away a stretch
of years to a young opponent. They have
all tried it and they have all failed.


_ _ _ _ (By Universal Service)
_ New York, July 4. - The nationwide
bomb plot said to have been planned
for today failed to materialize. Not
even the slightest disturbance marred
the hottest independence day in many
_ The police authorities of New York
took extra precaution to prevent any
_ Thousands of policemen were sta-
tioned about public buildings and the
homes of public men and prominent

JULY 5, 1919

JULY 5, 1919



Historic boxing newspapers and articles