How Are Mike Tyson and Jack Dempsey Connected?

Published 09/06/2021, 11:23 AM EDT
LAS VEGAS, NV – CIRCA 1991: Heavyweight fighter Mike Tyson, right, fights Donovan Ruddock, left, in a heavyweight fight circa 1991 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)


Heavyweight legends Mike Tyson and Jack Dempsey share a similar trait of being two of the most vicious boxers to have ever competed in the sport. Hailing from two variant eras, both men were reputed knockout artists and saw immense success both inside and outside the ring.

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Furthermore, they also became cash cows of their respective times. Hence, Tyson and Dempsey inspired several people. However, the bond goes way beyond that. While Jack Dempsey was roaring through the boxing world with great success, he became a hero for the young Mike Tyson.

55-year-old Tyson has always been open about his childhood heroes with the likes of Muhammad Ali. He has also claimed himself to be a fan of Manny Pacquiao, who is a modern-era fighter. That said, Jack Dempsey also comes under Tyson’s personal list of great boxers.

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During his youth, Mike Tyson was once asked about Dempsey in an interview and the Brownsville native couldn’t hide his love for the old-era legend.

Tyson’s love for Dempsey was infectious and hardcore fans would even recall Tyson name-dropping Jack Dempsey during his ‘Eat your Children’ post-fight speech.

That’s not all. Mike Tyson evoked similar statements years later when he was asked again about the ‘Manassa Mauler’. This time, Tyson detailed his love for the former champion and sent several boxing fans into a frenzy.

He said, “Hobo, very poor from Colorado. Became the first million-dollar fighter. Aggressive. Really savage mentality. So, people loved that. That was a different time.”

So, it clearly reveals Tyson’s respect for the late boxer. Unfortunately, the 1895-born boxer passed away in 1983, two years before Ali debuted as a pro. That said, several modern-era fans need to know more about the bygone legend.

Mike Tyson loved Jack Dempsey for all the right reasons

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Dempsey took up boxing when the sport was far away from what it looks like now. Boxing was way more violent back then. That said, open weight bouts often produced several mismatches at that time. But Dempsey could overcome all of it.

The legendary boxer won the NBA heavyweight title multiple times in his career, while none of the modern-era organizations existed back then. In a career of 67 fights, Jack Dempsey won 53, lost 7, and 8 were ruled as a draw. Besides, he could earn 43 of those wins via stoppage and is just one KO short of Mike Tyson in the books. Hence, he truly deserved recognition in any era of the sport.

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How would you rate Jack Dempsey’s greatness on a scale of 1-10?

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Raj Sarkar

2341 articles

A senior boxing writer at EssentiallySports, Raj Sarkar is a mass media graduate who is currently pursuing his master’s degree in broadcast journalism. In addition to his current role, he has worked with the MMA team at EssentiallySports and has interviewed prominent fighters such as Ritu Phogat and 'The Red King' Rory MacDonald. He combined his bachelor's degree with his adoration for combat sports and has a combined 2000 plus bylines in MMA and boxing over the last two years.

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