Legendary Jack Dempsey vs. pro wrestler in 1940

Monday, February 20, 2017

The year was 1940 and while much of the world was in turmoil overseas, America had yet to officially join the war effort but were nonetheless planning and preparing for the inevitable. One of the countries biggest stars at the time was former heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey who reigned from 1919 all the way to 1926 but was happily retired at the time.

Dempsey remained very much a public figure even long after his retirement and he would often referee both boxing and even pro wrestling matches to help boost their tickets sales. While refereeing a tag team match one evening in Atlanta, pro wrestler Cowboy Luttrell wanted to make a name for himself and decided to shove the 45 year old former champion and cultural icon and even take a swing at him.

The dispute led to a challenge issued by Dempsey for a real fight with “the smallest gloves they would allow.” Now at this point Dempsey was 45 years old which is considered very old for a prize fighter nowadays even with all the advancements in medicine and sports science so back then it must have been ancient. He also hadn’t fought in over a decade and was outweighed by 24lbs.

It turned out to be a huge event that drew 10,000 fans to Atlanta who wanted to see their hero Dempsey fight once more. As soon as the fight starts you can tell right away that Dempsey still can fight while his opponent, Luttrell has zero idea how to do so.

Dempsey wastes no time and goes directly after his opponent and starts aggressively blasting his over matched opponent akin to his performance against Jess Willard some 11 years prior.

Outside of a couple glancing blows from Luttrell, this fight was all Dempsey and it was quite brutal while it lasted before finally being called off in round 2 after Dempsey literally knocked him out of the ring.

Next: Top 5 times bad things happened after the bell