Arum compares Pacquiao-Algieri to Dempsey-Tunney fight
By Dan Ambrose: Top Rank promoter Bob Arum is working hard to try and create interest in the November 22nd fight between WBO welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao (56-5-2, 38 KOs) and the little known Chris Algieri (20-0, 8 KOs) for their fight in Macao, China.
One of the ways that Arum has been trying to get boxing fans interested is by stressing that it’s a competitive fight where we could see an upset with Algieri beating the slugger Pacquiao.
Earlier today in their press conference in Macao, China, Arum compared the Pacquiao vs. Algieri fight to the two heavyweight championship bouts that took place in 1926 and 1927 between National Boxing Association World heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney. Dempsey was the slugger while Tunney was the boxer.
Arum reminded boxing fans today that the boxer, Tunney, was able to defeat Dempsey and make history. For some reason, Arum sees the Pacquiao-Algieri fight being similar to that one. I’m not sure I agree with Arum about the two fights being similar, because everything is completely different with the Pacquiao vs. Algieri fight.
By the time Dempsey fought Tunney for the first time, he was 31, very, very wealthy and hadn’t fought in 3 years. Dempsey was basically done as a fighter at the time he fought Tunney. He no longer looked youthful and wasn’t in the kind of shape he’d been earlier in his career when he was destroying everybody. Tunney was able to out-box Dempsey to win a 10 round decision in their first fight in 1926.
In their second fight in 1927, Dempsey dropped Tunney in the 7th round. But instead of going to the neutral corner, which was a new rule that had recently been created, Dempsey stood nearby waiting for Tunney to get back up. The referee wouldn’t start counting until Dempsey went to the neutral corner. By the time the referee did start counting, 5 seconds had elapsed. The referee then counted to 9 before Tunney got back to his feet. Tunney was given 14 seconds to recover from the knockdown. He then went on to move and box for the remaining 3 rounds to defeat Dempsey by another 10 round decision.
Pacquiao is rich like Dempsey was when he first fought Tunney, but he wasn’t inactive for 3 years the way Dempsey was. Pacquiao is also more of a boxer/puncher, whereas Dempsey was a straight up slugger.
“We were looking at Provodnikov but Chris beat him and earned his way into fighting Pacquiao,” Arum said at today’s kick-off press conference in Macao, China. “Prior to the time when I was born, the heavyweight champion of the world, the ‘Manassa Mauler’ Jack Dempsey was challenged by the light heavyweight champion Gene Tunney. Dempsey was a brawler and Tunney was a boxer. And Tunney was also very highly educated, as Chris is. He graduated from college with a Master’s degree. Nobody gave Tunney much of a chance, and Tunney defeated Dempsey to win a world title. A number of months later, he defeated Dempsey again. In a lot of ways this fight [Pacquiao vs. Algieri] is reminiscent of a fight that took place, the two fights that took place, in the late 20s. The master boxer Tunney was able to defeat the hard punching Dempsey. Manny’s going to do his part to make sure that history doesn’t repeat, but there’s a lot of history going into this fight.”