History | Jul 21 2019

On This Day: Jack Sharkey took his eyes off Jack Dempsey and woke up on the canvas

How Jack Dempsey silenced the 'Boston Gob' to set up his last shot at glory
Jack Dempsey
Dempsey and Sharkey square-off in New York City

RECENTLY dethroned heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey was desperate to regain his crown when matched with ‘The Boston Gob’ Jack Sharkey in an eliminator to face Dempsey’s conqueror Gene Tunney for the title.

‘The Manassa Mauler’ and 7-5 betting favourite Sharkey squared off on July 21, 1927 at the Yankee Stadium with gate receipts totalling an incredible $1,083,530 – approximately $15m in today’s money.

Jack Dempsey
Dempsey and Sharkey flank promoter Tex Rickard as they ink the contract

‘The Boston Gob’ Starkey entered the ring second to a deafening ovation, strode straight to Dempsey’s corner and gave the former heavyweight king ‘the eye’, touched hands and snarled something in Dempsey’s ear.