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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Dempsey's jaw-breaking left hook KO's Willard
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com


July 4, 1919

Challenger Jack Dempsey is five inches shorter and 58 pounds lighter than the 6-foot-6, 245-pound heavyweight champion, Jess Willard. But under the broiling sun in Toledo, Ohio, David conquers Goliath with his fists, not a sling shot. With one of his first punches, a devastating left hook, Dempsey breaks Willard's jaw.

He knocks Willard down seven times in the first round and wallops him for two more rounds. Besides the broken jaw, Willard has four teeth missing, his eyes are closed, his nose is smashed and two ribs are cracked when he doesn't come out for the fourth round.

"I told you I would knock him out in the first round, and to all intents and purpose that is what I did," says Dempsey, the new champion. "He took a lot of punishment in the next two rounds, but was so feeble that I hated to have to hit him."

Willard says, "My eye was closed at the end of the third round and I realized that it would be useless for me to continue as I could hardly see. It is hard to admit defeat, but Dempsey is the hardest puncher I ever faced."





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