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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

1885-05-04 Nonpareil Jack Dempsey W-KO5 Tom Barry [Mechanics’ Pavilion, San Francisco, CA, USA]

1885-05-05 Daily Alta California (San Francisco, CA) (page 1)
Harry Downie Backs Out of the Match with Jack Dempsey.

Up to half-past 9 o'clock last night a comparatively small audience had gathered in the Pavilion to witness the glove contest between Jack Dempsey, light-weight champion of America, and Harry Downie, middle-weight, of this city. At the hour mentioned the admission was lowered to fifty cents, but the doors were rushed and the crowd of "waits" poured in free of charge. The event of the evening was preceded by sparring exhibitions between the following local sloggers: Tom Kelly and a stranger from Butchertown, George Hamill and Ed. McDonald, Bill Price (colored) and June Dennis (colored.) These latter two began to exhibit so much pugnacity that Captain Douglas ordered them out of the ring. James Maloney and Joe Brown then followed as feather-weights. It was then announced by Ed. Willis that Harry Downie had left the Pavilion, giving as a reason that so many people had come in free that he did not propose to fight. The terms of the match were that the winner should receive seventy per cent. of the net receipts and the loser thirty per cent. The news of Downie's defection was greeted with groans and hisses. Harry Maynard was called for, and finally made up a match between Dempsey and Tom Barry, by agreeing to pay Barry $250 whether he won or lost.

Maynard also stated that he would never again make any match with Downie, and would, furthermore use every endeavor to prevent any one else doing so. At 10:40 o'clock Dempsey and Barry stepped into the ring. Barry was seconded by Munice Leo and Pete Lawler. Dempsey was seconded by Charles Taylor and Martin Murphy. Mike Cleary was selected to act as referee. The first round opened with cautions work, but Barry soon began to force the work and was sent flying through the ropes clear off the stage, not so much by a blow as by a rush and shove. Barry was back in a moment, but got a blow on his neck that felled him, but he was on his feet in a second. During this first round Barry very cleverly stopped some hard and well-directed blows. The little work that Dempsey did showed him to be a thorough master in the science of pugilism. He played with Barry as easily and unconcernedly as a cat would with a mouse. The second round was not of an exciting nature, and it was evident that Barry, while he forced the work, was in considerable awe of Dempsey's long left-handed reach. The third round was equally tame, Dempsey giving one or two specimens of in-fighting, and Barry standing well up to his work. The fourth round was but a repetition of the third, although Barry began to fail somewhat. The fifth round had scarcely opened before Dempsey dropped his left into Barry's neck and the latter staggered back in a dazed manner; another similar blow and Barry showed symptoms of a strong desire to remain seated on the floor, but finally stood up and received a gentle blow on the neck that knocked him out of time. Under the circumstances Barry did very well, although it was evident that he is no match for Dempsey, even at his best.

Maynard feels very sore over the way in which the crowd rushed the doors and charges certain parties with having put up a job on him. Downie sent word to the Pavilion, after he had gone away, that he would return and fight Dempsey if he was guaranteed $500 whether he won or lost.

1885-05-05 Daily Evening Bulletin (San Francisco, CA) (page 1)
Exciting Glove Contest at the Pavilion.

There was not a large paying audience at the Pavilion last evening to see the glove fight between Harry Downie and Jack Dempsey. The money came in so slowly that the price was reduced to fifty cents; but this reduction was not satisfactory, and a rush was made for the doors and the waiting crowd affected an entrance without money and without price. After some sparring it was announced that Harry Downie had left the Pavilion, giving as a reason that so many people had come in free that he did not propose to fight. A messenger was dispatched to Downey's retreat, but the derelict pugilist sent back word that he wanted the guarantee of $500 before he would appear in the ring. Tom Barry volunteered to take Downey's place if guaranteed $250 whether he won or lost. Maynard accepted the proposition and the contest soon began. The contest proved to be one of the most exciting that have been seen here. Although Barry had not been in training, he made a plucky fight, and forced his antagonist to do his best. After an exchange of blows which did not do any particular damage, Dempsey rushed at Barry and drove him backward with a left and right clean through the ropes and off the stage to the floor five feet below. The fall was so severe that it was thought for a moment that the fight was over, but Barry unexpectedly bounded back to the stage smiling, and rushed fiercely at his opponent. In the fourth round it seemed as if Dempsey could knock out his man whenever he pleased, bu the champion was magnanimous and refrained from punishing him. In the fifth and last round Barry was so plainly at the mercy of the New Yorker that Dempsey dropped his hands and made no attempt to strike his helpless opponent. Barry would not yield, however, and the champion gave him a shove which overturned him. The shock revived Barry and when he rose he rushed determinedly at Dempsey, who met him with a well-directed right-hander that laid the local man on his back and ended the fight.

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