Posted By Dieselpunks.org on April 13, 2014
Pugilism, fisticuffs, the duel in the squared circle, the sweet science…whatever you call it, it is perhaps the manliest dance in the world.
One ring, two men, fifteen rounds. No low blows or rabbit punches. Let’s get it on! [image from wikimedia]
Boxing is a sport that has been around as long as man has been entertained by a good fight. From Ancient Greece to the modern Olympics, from Sullivan to Dempsey, this round of organized violence has gotten blood pumping the world over.
And the latest match may be the most important yet!
For today it’s the battle between the Black Uhlan of the Rhine and the Brown Bomber, and the world is watching.
I’m here today in sold-out Yankee Stadium with two boxing legends, both named Jack: the indomitable Jack Johnson, who dominated the ring in the teens, and the incredible Jack Dempsey, who dominated it in the twenties. You may remember Jack Johnson, the Galveston Giant, as the loud mouthed uppity black man with the white wives, the fancy cars, the pet panther, and the audacity to speak his mind in public. You may remember the forlorn “Great White Hope” supposed to put the man in his place. And you may remember Johnson remorselessly putting him to the mat without breaking a sweat. You may also remember the ludicrous prison sentence for bringing a white woman across state lines for “immoral purposes”…ergo to for a consensual relationship.
That prison time is behind him, as is his immortal boxing career, but that famous attitude thankfully hasn’t left. He’s a man of taste and a blast to be around, and certainly found a home here in the Cabaret.
The other Jack is the incomparable Jack Dempsey, the Manassa Mauler, who dominated the sport for nearly a decade himself. A beautifully brutal bruiser, Dempsey is a man whose gentle, personable demeanor is hard to reconcile with the untamed beast unleashed in the ring. You may remember his jackhammer destruction of Carpentier in ’21 or from pretty much every newsreel of the decade. We know him as a fun-loving guy and gentleman of the highest caliber.