Toledo in Lucas County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
"The Fight of the Century"
Jess Willard, the 6' 6" 245-pound boxing champion, was a shy and gentle Kansas native who had won the championship from Jack Johnson of Texas in 1915 in Havana, Cuba. Jack (William Harrison) Dempsey of Manassa, Colorado, hailed as the greatest fighter of the half-century by the Associated Press, began his career in 1911, defeating opponents with his trademark bobbing and weaving style. Dempsey's manager, Jack "Doc" Kearns, captured the attention of fight promoter Tex Rickard, who was looking for a Willard challenger. Despite the size and weight difference of the boxers, the bout was arranged.
On July 4, 1919, at what is now Bayview Park, a stadium built entirely of wood solely for this event seating 80,000, housed the Dempsey-Willard fight and 19,000 spectators. Water and newspaper were a dollar each, the latter being used to keep freshly cut wood from staining the attendant's pants. Dempsey, dwarfed by the defending champion, floored Willard seven times in the first round, and ultimately won after the third round, becoming heavyweight champion and earning $25,000. Receipts totaled $452,224 paving the way for future million-dollar
Erected 2003 by The Ohio Bicentennial Commission, Bayview Retirees Golf Course and The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 45-48.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Sports. In addition, it is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 4, 1919.
Location. 41° 41.587′ N, 83° 28.913′ W. Marker is in Toledo, Ohio, in Lucas County. Marker is on North Summit Street 0.3 miles north of East Manhattan Boulevard, on the right when traveling north. The marker is in the parking lot of the Bayview Retirees Golf Course. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3910 North Summit Street, Toledo OH 43611, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lucas County Medal of Honor Recipients (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lucas County Iraq Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lucas County Vietnam Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lucas County Korea Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lucas County WWII Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lucas County WWI Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lucas County Spanish American Veterans Memorial (approx. Lucas County Civil War Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Toledo.
Also see . . . Jack Dempsey Vs. Jess Willard 1919: The Most Brutal Fight In History. Excerpt:
A severely broken jaw was just one of the wounds Willard suffered during the fight. When the fight was over and he was looked at by physicians, it was determined that he had a broken cheek bone, caved-in by Dempsey as well as broken ribs and permanent hearing loss.(Submitted on May 1, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on May 5, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 1, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. This page has been viewed 38 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 1, 2021, by J.T. Lambrou of New Boston, Michigan. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.