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 to the bell and seemed to have recovered before being dropped from 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 and he staggered back to his corner at the end of the session. The third had barely started when Dempsey (185) was sent staggering with a left hook, but when the champion came with one of his own, Miske was dropped for ‘nine’. How he managed to get up was a mystery. Back in the fray, the still groggy Miske was all at sea and a tremendous right hand to the jaw sent him down to be counted out on the 1.13 mark.

This affair eventually 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 any 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 on 8 September at the Ice Palace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) before taking on Jeff Clark (nd-w rsc 4 on 18 September at the Auditorium, Atlanta, Georgia).