Archives | Feature | Dec 28 2019

Tex Rickard: The greatest promoter boxing has ever known

Record-breaking promoter Tex Rickard blew in from Kansas… and boxing was never the same again. Bob Mee takes a breathless look at the highs and lows of a legendary fight figure
Tex Rickard

WHAT kind of a man was this?

When Tex Rickard died, his body was placed in a $15,000 bronze casket and put in the centre of Madison Square Garden. Thousands filed past to pay their respects and get a last glimpse of the man who was the greatest boxing promoter of his, and perhaps any other, age.

Jack Dempsey, Rickard’s greatest success story, had held his hand as he died in a Miami hospital days past his 59th birthday. Dempsey, one of the toughest men ever to have held the heavyweight championship of the world, admitted: “I wept like a kid.”