History | May 23 2019

On This Day: Harry Greb dishes out one of boxing history’s most savage beatings

Harry Greb outclassed and handed New York's idol Gene Tunney his only defeat on May 23, 1922
Harry Greb
HarryGreb-GeneTunney-1922

FRIDAY the thirteenth proved unlucky for old Battling Levinsky that cold January night in 1922. The veteran, having lost his world light-heavyweight title to Georges Carpentier, was trying to get back on top again.

Reviving the American championship, Promoter Tex Rickard put the Battler in with young Gene Tunney at the old Madison Square Garden and promised a diamond-studded belt to the winner.

Well, Gene won okay, but he didn’t get no belt unless you throw in the unkindly right which Levinsky planted on his jaw after whispering to Gene: “Please let me stay”.