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Sunday, March 6, 2011

1884-03-06 Jack Dempsey W-RTD9 Billy Dacey [Campbell's Hotel, Coney Island, NY, USA]

1884-03-07 The New York Herald (New York, NY) (page 9)
Determined Glove Fight at Coney Island.
Dacey Pulls Off His Gloves and Quits when in Good Condition.
Within sound of the billows of the Atlantic as they dashed on the sea girt shore of Long Island a company of three or four hundred men assembled at an early hour yesterday morning for the purpose of witnessing the glove fight between Jack Dempsey, of Williamsburg, and Billy Dacey, of Greenpoint, who were, according to articles of agreement, to fight for the sum of $300 under the Queensberry rules. It was a cold day for the short haired fraternity, the snow storm of Wednesday having covered the ground to the depth of several inches. Coach hire was expensive and walking was almost out of the question, except to those who will defy the elementals as well as the law in search of illegal sport. The experience of the "swells" at the recent Henry and Murray fight, with the accompaniments of subpoenas as witnesses, kept this class of patrons away, and when the Herald reporter reached the scene of action at midnight he looked for a long time in vain for a sight at the face of a ringside frequenter. The barroom of the hotel was tolerably well filled, but those present were so far local residents. About some there was a flavor of the stable, both in appearance and aroma, suggestive of Brighton Beach, but the majority had that far away look and hands-in-the-pocket slouch habitual with those who frequent the country grocery. Two or three females made themselves very much at home in the barroom, but did not add anything to the respectability of the place.

It was a dull, melancholy gathering. The stable gang canvassed the probabilities on forthcoming races at New Orleans, while the locals maintained a stolid silence, and but for the oaths the assemblage was orderly enough for a prayer meeting. A Mr. Sullivan raised his doleful voice and informed the company, in response to a call for a song, that

France has the lily, England the rose,
Everybody knows where the shamrock grows,
Scotland the thistle that grows on the 'ill,
But America's emblem 's the violet still.

It was not until a gentleman unfolded a piece of painted oilcloth, produced a dice box and pair of dice, that the feeling of depression in the crowd was removed. In response to the invitation to bet on the chances of "under seven or even seven, a hundred can play as well as one," the racing gang first responded, then one or two of the New York sports chipped in, and the game received a fair amount of patronage, till a move was made for the ball room, on which a ring had already been roped out of about eighteen feet square. By half-past two o'clock the last quarter had been squeezed out of the local division, and all who could muster that amount were in the room, the company numbering little short of four hundred. Two lamps hung over the centre of the ring, fairly well lighting up the room. Everything was ready but the men, and of these the first to appear was Dacey, attended by George Fulljames and Jim Driscoll. Dacey entered the ring at a quarter to three o'clock, and it was well that he had all his clothes on, for Dempsey did not appear until half an hour later.


While the audience was finding vent for its displeasure at the non-appearance of Dempsey, the shrill voice of the landlady of the premises was heard in tones of expostulation, and forcing her way through a portion of the crowd, she shouted:--

"I want my money; I want $20 for the room!"

One of Dempsey's patrons made an elaborate speech to prove that the room had been tendered for what might be taken over the bar, and the landlady had to take the speech in lieu of the $20 she demanded.

At a quarter past three o'clock Dempsey, attended by Frank White and Dan Dougherty, stepped inside the ring, and disrobing at once commenced. Dempsey is twenty-one years of age, stands five feet eight inches, and weighed 138 pounds. Dacey was two pounds lighter, two inches shorter and one year older than the Williamsburg man. Both looked remarkably fit to fight, especially Dacey, whose face was the picture of health, and it looked odds on him as the men sat in their chairs. Betting was, however, at odds on Dempsey--first offers of even money, then $100 to $75 and $50 to $30, but Fulljames shouted in reply:--

"We want two to one or we won't back Dacey," and this put a stop to speculation.

A sportsman well known in cocking circles, and who answered for the occasion to the name of Mr. Gidden, having been selected as referee, he called the men to the scratch at twenty-five minutes past three o'clock. Both men stripped to the waist, Dempsey wearing blue trunks and Dacey white trunks, and on their hands they had fencing gloves, while another set was at hand in case of police interference, but there was no occasion to use these.


FIRST ROUND.--Dacey, when he put up his hands, reminded one very much of Jem Murray, having the same vicious look and determined appearance. Dempsey, on the contrary, was easy in his movements. After sparring for some time Dacey led at the body, but was short. Dempsey then tried at the head, and they got to infighting and clutching at once. On breaking away, Dacey next got his right on the cheek, and Dempsey got home a good one on the throat. This nettled Dacey, who dashed in and landed a smashing blow on Dempsey's forehead, but the latter twisted Dacey off and he fell in Dempsey's corner. There was a good deal of grabbing and holding at the close of this round, and when time was called there was little to choose between the men.

SECOND ROUND.--Dempsey's forehead was flushed and swollen when he stood up for the second round. Dempsey led off with the left at the body without a return. Dacey then ran in and a succession of hugging matches took place. They then sparred for wind, and Dacey again began operations by a stinging right hander on the side of Dempsey's face. Dempsey was the next to do any business--a flush hit with the left on Dacey's cheek spinning the latter around. A number of sharp rallies followed, in one of which Dacey fell, jumping to his feet, at once resumed hostilities, and they were fighting fast when time was called.

THIRD ROUND.--Both came up blowing from the effects of the fast fighting. Dempsey, after a good deal of sparring, led with the left, getting home on the chest. Dacey ran in, but was met full on the nose with a warm left hander, which steadied him. Dempsey then missed a vicious right hand blow, and in a prolonged rally in one corner Dacey was very busy with both hands at the body. On breaking away they sparred for wind to the end of the round. An even bet of $25 was here made, and the offer of the backer of Dacey to lay another $50 failed to meet with a response.

FOURTH ROUND.--Dempsey was slow in responding to the timekeeper's call, and Dacey, after a few passes, went in to fight his man. Dempsey's replies were weak and his blows lacked force, so that the Greenpointer's friends were jubilant at the prospect of speedy victory and offered odds of $50 to $30 on Dacey.

FIFTH ROUND.--Dempsey kept away from his man as well as possible, as he was still weak, and Dacey was unable to get in any hard blows. In a rally in Dempsey's corner Dacey fell heavily, with Dempsey on top. This shook Dacey very much and the tide of battle at once took a turn. Dempsey forced the fighting and dashed in left and right, the latter drawing first blood from Dacey's mouth. Dacey clinched and held Dempsey at every opportunity and Dempsey had a lot the best of the fighting.

SIXTH ROUND.--Dempsey showed a slight cut on the cheekbone, under the left eye, and blood was also trickling from a wound on the side of Dacey's nose as they stepped forward. Dempsey did all the leading off in this round, and after he had visited Dacey's neck, ribs and mouth with his right, he got in a righthander on the ear which sounded above the shouts of the excited spectators. Dacey's ear was split and began to bleed freely. Dempsey was again favorite at the close of the round.

SEVENTH ROUND.--Both wanted more time and began with a long sparring bout. Dacey at last commenced by trying with the right at the stomach, but was short, and immediately dashed in to a clinch. After breaking away Dempsey delivered his left on the ribs and the men got to close quarters. Dempsey now fell off weak, and Dacey tried his best to wind him up fighting him for all he was worth till they were stopped. Dempsey was taken to his corner decidedly weak.

EIGHTH ROUND.--Dacey ran up to the scratch as if to dispose of his opponent at once, but then began sparring. A long shot with the left by Dempsey landed lightly on Dacey's chin, and the former, boring in, was well met by Dacey with both hands. Dacey then landed a stinging left-hander on the stomach, and Dempsey, rushing to close quarters, fought Dacey down in the corner. Dacey from this on did the better work, and when time was called he was fighting Dempsey in the latter's corner.

NINTH ROUND.--Dempsey was again slow in coming up to the scratch, but he was the first to make play with his left on the chin. He then jumped in, delivering a sounder on Dacey's jaw with his left and got back without a return. After a couple of rallies Dacey tried with his left, but was hotly countered on the mouth, the blow completely staggering him. From that time to the end of the round Dempsey landed blow after blow on Dacey's bleeding mouth, following him all over the ring and doing as he pleased with his man, whose replies were most feeble. At the call of time Dacey was taken to his corner, and then pulling off his gloves told his seconds he had had enough and would fight no more. Fulljames went across and told Dempsey, who at once came over and shook hands with Dacey. The men had then been in the ring 35m. 45s. from the first call of time.


A move was at once made for Brooklyn, and six coaches, containing seventeen men, were stopped by the police of the Bergen street station, Brooklyn, near the main entrance of Prospect Park. The occupants, together with the drivers, were arrested on the charge of misdemeanor. The accused, for the most part, gave fictitious names at the station house, and when taken before Justice Walsh later in the day some were unable to remember their adopted names. As there was no evidence against them they were all discharged.

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