Nonpareil Dempsey

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Nonpareil Jack Dempsey
Nonpareil Jack Dempsey portrait.jpg
Statistics
Real nameJohn Edward Kelly
Nickname(s)Nonpareil
Weight(s)Middleweight
Height1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
NationalityRepublic of Ireland Irish
Born(1862-12-15)December 15, 1862
Curran, County Kildare, Ireland
DiedNovember 1, 1895(1895-11-01) (aged 32)
Portland, Oregon
StanceOrthodox
Boxing record
Total fights67
Wins51
Wins by KO23
Losses4
Draws11
No contests1

John Edward Kelly (December 15, 1862 – November 1, 1895) was an Irish-American boxer, better known as Nonpareil Jack Dempsey who was the first holder of the World Middleweight Championship (1884–1891). He was nicknamed "Nonpareil" because of his reputation of being unbeatable.

Biography[edit]

Dempsey was born on December 15, 1862 in Curran, County Kildare, Ireland.[1] He won the middleweight title on July 30, 1884, by defeating George Fulljames in Great Kills, Staten Island, New York. He held the title for over 6 years, defending the title against 2 fighters during the reign.[2]

Fitzsimmons knocks down Dempsey in New Orleans, 1891

In Dempsey's first 65 contests, he lost only 3 times (to George LaBlanche (a loss he avenged) and to Billy Baker twice (both bouts were fixed to have Baker win).[3] This ended when Bob Fitzsimmons pummeled him around the ring and begged him to concede before he was hurt any more. Dempsey, the reigning champion, would not give up; the fight continued and Fitzsimmons knocked him out in round 13. In his final bout, Dempsey, suffering from tuberculosis, lost to Tommy Ryan.

Though Dempsey beat his first battle with tuberculosis, he died at age 32 at the Portland, Oregon home of his wife's parents on November 1, 1895, due to a recurrence of the disease.[4] He was buried in an initially unmarked grave at Mount Calvary Cemetery. M. James Brady, Dempsey's father-in-law, refused to permit former World Champion John L. Sullivan and John S. Barnes to raise funds to erect a monument over Dempsey's grave. The family believed that a four-foot marble shaft was a sufficient memorial. The matter was thus dropped.[5]

Dempsey was inducted into the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1954, and into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1992.[6]

Professional boxing record[edit]

Professional record summary
68 fights 50 wins 3 losses
By knockout 23 3
By decision 27 0
Draws 11
No contests 3
Newspaper decisions/draws 1
All Newspaper decisions are regarded as “no decision” bouts as they have “resulted in neither boxer winning or losing, and would therefore not count as part of their official fight record."
No. Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
68 Loss 50–3–11 (4) United States Tommy Ryan TKO 3 (15) Jan 18, 1895 United States Sea Side A.C., Coney Island
67 Draw 50–2–11 (4) United States Billy McCarthy PTS 20 Sep 05, 1895 United States Auditorium Club, New Orleans
66 Win 50–2–10 (4) United States Billy Keough PTS 4 Feb 28, 1893 United States Pastime A.C., Portland
65 Loss 49–2–10 (4) United Kingdom Bob Fitzsimmons RTD 13 (?) Jan 14, 1891 United States California A.C., San Francisco Lost world middleweight title
64 Win 49–1–10 (4) United Kingdom Billy McCarthy TKO 28 (?) Feb 18, 1890 United States California A.C., San Francisco Retained world middleweight title
63 Loss 48–1–10 (4) Canada George LaBlanche KO 32 (?) Aug 27, 1889 United States California A.C., San Francisco
62 Win 48–0–10 (4) United States Mike Dempsey KO 7 (?) Aug 22, 1889 United States San Francisco
61 Draw 47–0–10 (4) United States Mike Donovan PTS 6 Nov 15, 1888 United States Palace Rink, Williamsburg
60 Win 47–0–9 (4) United States James Stevens PTS 4 Apr 23, 1888 United States Grand Theater, Williamsburg
59 Win 46–0–9 (4) United States Billy Baker PTS 10 Feb 18, 1888 United States Adelphia Theatre, Buffalo
58 Win 45–0–9 (4) United States Dominick McCaffrey PTS 10 Jan 31, 1888 United States Pavonia Rink, Jersey City
57 Win 44–0–9 (4) United States John Reagan TKO 45 (?) Dec 13, 1887 United States Long Island
56 Win 43–0–9 (4) United States Bill Gabig PTS 4 Nov 05, 1887 United States Grand Central Theater, Wilmington
55 Win 42–0–9 (4) United States Denny Kelliher PTS 4 Nov 03, 1887 United States Grand Central Theater, Wilmington
54 Win 41–0–9 (4) United States Frank Bosworth PTS 4 Nov 01, 1887 United States Grand Central Theater, Wilmington
53 Win 40–0–9 (4) United States Ned McCann PTS 4 Oct 31, 1887 United States Grand Central Theater, Wilmington
52 Win 39–0–9 (4) United States Billy Dacey PTS 4 Oct 15, 1887 United States Hoboken Casino, Hoboken
51 Win 38–0–9 (4) United States Jim McHugh PTS 4 Oct 13, 1887 United States Hoboken Casino, Hoboken
50 Win 37–0–9 (4) United States Eddie Reede PTS 6 Oct 10, 1887 United States Hoboken Casino, Hoboken
49 Draw 36–0–9 (4) United States Reddy Gallagher PTS 6 May 02, 1887 United States Frankfort St. Gym, Cleveland
48 NC 36–0–8 (4) United States Billy Baker ND 4 Apr 09, 1887 United States Adelphia Theatre, Buffalo
47 Win 36–0–8 (3) United States Denny Killen PTS 4 Feb 05, 1887 United States Theatre Comique, Philadelphia
46 Win 35–0–8 (3) United States Jack Langdon PTS 4 Feb 02, 1887 United States Theatre Comique, Philadelphia
45 Win 34–0–8 (3) Canada Mike Boded PTS 10 Jan 31, 1887 United States Theatre Comique, Philadelphia
44 Draw 33–0–8 (3) Republic of Ireland Jack Burke PTS 10 Nov 22, 1886 United States Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco
43 Win 33–0–7 (3) United States Ed Moehler PTS 4 May 25, 1886 United States Leland Rink, Minneapolis
42 Win 32–0–7 (3) United States Paddy Norton TKO 4 (5) May 20, 1886 United States Exposition Rink, Saint Paul
41 Win 31–0–7 (3) United States Jimmy Ryan PTS 4 Apr 30, 1886 United States Philadelphia
40 Win 30–0–7 (3) United States Charle McCarthy PTS 4 Apr 28, 1886 United States Theatre Comique, Philadelphia
39 Win 29–0–7 (3) United States Ned McCann KO 4 (4) Apr 26, 1886 United States Comique Theatre, Philadelphia
38 Win 28–0–7 (3) Canada George LaBlanche TKO 13 (?) Mar 14, 1886 United States Larchmont Won inaugural world middleweight title
37 Win 27–0–7 (3) United States Pete McCoy PTS 6 Feb 24, 1886 United States Oakland Avenue Rink, Jersey City
36 Win 26–0–7 (3) United States Jack Fogarty TKO 27 (?) Feb 02, 1886 United States Clarendon Hall, New York
35 Win 25–0–7 (3) United States Jim Murray PTS 4 Jan 15, 1886 United States Germania Assembly Rooms, New York
34 Win 24–0–7 (3) United Kingdom Tom Henry PTS 4 Jan 15, 1886 United States Germania Assembly Rooms, New York
33 NC 23–0–7 (3) United States Mike Donovan NC 4 Jan 15, 1886 United States Germania Assembly Rooms, New York
32 Win 23–0–7 (2) United States Tom Berry TKO 6 (10) Dec 14, 1885 United States Portland
31 Win 22–0–7 (2) United States Dave Campbell KO 3 (8) Nov 02, 1885 United States Portland
30 Win 21–0–7 (2) United States Tom Norton TKO 4 (6) Sep 12, 1885 United States Armory Hall, Sacramento
29 Win 20–0–7 (2) United States Young Billy Manning TKO 8 (?) Aug 29, 1885 United States Turnverein Hall, Los Angeles
28 Win 19–0–7 (2) Republic of Ireland Jack Keenan KO 2 (?) Jul 20, 1885 United States San Francisco
27 Win 18–0–7 (2) United States Jim Carr KO 9 (?) Jun 05, 1885 United States Wigwam Theatre, San Francisco
26 Win 17–0–7 (2) United States Tommy Cleary KO 5 (?) May 11, 1885 United States Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco
25 Win 16–0–7 (2) United States Tom Barry KO 5 (?) May 04, 1885 United States Mechanic's Pavilion, San Francisco
24 Win 15–0–7 (2) United States Charles Bixamos KO 5 (?) Mar 19, 1885 United States Sportsmen's Park, New Orleans
23 Win 14–0–7 (2) United Kingdom Jim Fell PTS 4 Jan 22, 1885 United States Athletic Hall, New York
22 Draw 13–0–7 (2) United States Bill Frazier PTS 4 Jan 12, 1885 United States New York
21 Win 13–0–6 (2) United States Jimmy Ryan TKO 4 (4) Jan 12, 1885 United States New York
20 Win 12–0–6 (2) United States George Wilson NWS 4 Dec 15, 1884 United States Clarks Club, Philadelphia
19 Win 12–0–6 (1) United States Mike Malone TKO 2 (?) Nov 30, 1884 United States Philadelphia
18 Win 11–0–6 (1) United States Bill Frazier TKO 5 (?) Nov 20, 1884 United States New York
17 Win 10–0–6 (1) United States Tom Ferguson PTS 4 Nov 06, 1884 United States Harry Hill's, New York
16 Win 9–0–6 (1) United Kingdom Tom Henry PTS 6 Oct 24, 1884 United States Eighth-Street Theatre, New York
15 Win 8–0–6 (1) United States Bob Turnbull PTS 8 Oct 08, 1884 United States Billy Madden's Athletic Hall, New York
14 Draw 7–0–6 (1) United States Jimmy Ryan PTS 7 Sep 15, 1884 United States Clark's Theatre, Philadelphia
13 Win 7–0–5 (1) United States Mike Dempsey KO 7 (?) Sep 04, 1884 United States Rockaway
12 Draw 6–0–5 (1) United Kingdom Tom Henry PTS 4 Jul 08, 1884 United States Rockaway Beach, Queens
11 Draw 6–0–4 (1) United States Jack Hayes PTS 6 Apr 25, 1884 United States New York
10 Win 6–0–3 (1) United States Bill Dacey TKO 9 (?) Mar 06, 1884 United States Campbell's Hotel, Coney Island Won vacant Lightweight Championship of New York
Queensberry Rules & hard gloves
9 Win 5–0–3 (1) United States Tommy Sullivan PTS 2 Mar 04, 1884 United States New York
8 Win 4–0–3 (1) United States Joe Hennesey PTS 4 Mar 02, 1884 United States New York
7 Win 3–0–3 (1) United States Jim Barry TKO 3 (4) Feb 28, 1884 United States Billy Madden's Athletic Hall, New York
6 Win 2–0–3 (1) United Kingdom Jim Fell PTS 2 Feb 14, 1884 United States New York
5 Draw 1–0–3 (1) United States Joe Heiser PTS 8 Feb 10, 1884 United States Williamsburg, Brooklyn
4 Win 1–0–2 (1) United States William Mahoney KO 3 (?) Jan 15, 1884 United States New York
3 Draw 0–0–2 (1) United States Bob Turnbull PTS 7 (4) Oct 25, 1883 United States Clarendon Hall, New York
2 Draw 0–0–1 (1) United States Tom McAlpine PTS 4 Sep 17, 1883 United States Harry Hill's, New York
1 NC 0–0 (1) United States Harry Force NC 11 (?) Sep 03, 1883 United States Coney Island, Brooklyn Police intervened at Blissville (now part of Long Island City) and fight moved to Coney Island. It was never completed

References[edit]

  1. ^ Callis, Tracy (January 1999). ""Nonpareil" Jack Dempsey…slick and quick". Cyber Boxing Zone Journal.
  2. ^ "George Fulljames". Cyber Boxing Zone.
  3. ^ Ring Sports Magazine. (Reno, Nevada) April 1994.
  4. ^ Lenzen, Connie. "Mt. Calvary Cemetery", June 1994.
  5. ^ Tacoma Daily Times, Tacoma, Washington, March 13, 1909.
  6. ^ Callis, Tracy. ""Nonpareil" Jack Dempsey (John Edward Kelly)". Cyber Boxing Zone Journal.

External links[edit]

Achievements
Inaugural Champion World Middleweight Champion
July 30, 1884 – January 14, 1891
Succeeded by
Bob Fitzsimmons