1920-09-06 Jack Dempsey nd-w co 3 (10) Billy Miske, The Arena, Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA - WORLD

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1920-09-06 Jack Dempsey nd-w co 3 (10) Billy Miske, The Arena, Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA - WORLD. Referee: Jack Dougherty. Although Miske (187) was badly hurt by a ramrod left to the body in the first round he held on until the bell and seemed to have recovered before being floored by a crashing right to the body in the second. It was the first time in his career the ‘The St Paul’s Thunderbolt’ had been dropped. The third had barely started when Dempsey (185) was sent staggering with a left hook, but when the champion came back with one of his own Miske was dropped for ‘nine’. How he managed to get up was a mystery, but with the still groggy Miske all at sea a tremendous right hand to the jaw sent him down to be counted out on the 1.13 mark.

This affair left a nasty taste in the mouth when it was later learned that Miske was already suffering from ‘Bright’s Disease’. Although he knew his rival had been ill there was never any proof that Dempsey ever realised it was terminal, and he was exonerated from all blame after the unfortunate Miske died on 1 January 1924, having taken part in 23 more fights and beaten Bill Brennan just six weeks earlier.

Two days after Dempsey v Miske, Harry Wills defended his ‘black’ title against Sam McVea (nd-nc 6 at the Ice Palace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 8 September) before taking on Jeff Clark (nd-w rsc 4 at the Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia on 15 September).