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Uploaded on Aug 7, 2006
24 year old, 6'1", 180 lb challenger Dempsey vs 37 year old, 6'6½", 245 lb Heavyweight Champion Willard. July 4th, 1919, Toledo, Ohio. Round 1. Worst beating a champion ever took. Injuries: caved-in cheekbone, broken jaw, teeth knocked out, broken nose, broken ribs, lost hearing in 1 ear, eyes swollen shut, multiple contusions, cuts, and abrasions. Dempsey had scored 42 KO's prior to stopping Big Jess. Some feared for Dempsey's life as one of Willard's previous opponents, Bull Young, had died from injuries inflicted by Big Jess. Willard lasted through Rds 2 and 3, but couldn't continue after the third round. Fought in 110 degrees Fahrenheit, 43 degrees Celsius, earning nickname "Massacre in the Sun." Dempsey listed at 187½ lbs for Willard fight, but was actually 180. Fought at 192 lbs against Firpo a few years later. Average man stood 5'7" in 1919. 6'6½", 245 lb in 1919 truly was a Giant. Dempsey became more famous in the 1920's than baseball idol, Babe Ruth.