Tommy Gibbons

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Tommy Gibbons
Tommy Gibbons 2332829303 0a2cf4603b o.jpg
Statistics
Real nameThomas Joseph Gibbons
Nickname(s)none
Weight(s) Heavyweight
Nationality United States Of America
Born(1891-03-22)March 22, 1891
Saint Paul, Minnesota
DiedNovember 19, 1960(1960-11-19) (aged 69)
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights106
Wins96
Wins by KO48
Losses5
Draws4
No contests1

Thomas Joseph Gibbons (March 22, 1891 – November 19, 1960) was an American professional heavyweight boxer.

Contents

Life and career

He was born on March 22, 1891 in Saint Paul, Minnesota to Thomas John Gibbons and Mary Burke. He had a brother Mike Gibbons.

Tommy started boxing professionally in 1911 as a middleweight. Like his brother he was a master scientific boxer who chose to outbox his opponents. In time, he advanced to the heavyweight boxing class and developed a respectable punch.

On May 27, 1916 he married Helen Constance Moga in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

His biggest fight came near the end of his career in Jack Dempsey vs. Tommy Gibbons when he met heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey on July 4, 1923 in Shelby, Montana. The local backers and the town of Shelby went broke putting on the fight. The great Dempsey battled through the full fifteen rounds before winning by decision. Dempsey was awarded $200,000, whereas Gibbons received expense money.

Tommy Gibbons record was 56-4-1 with 44 no decisions, and 1 no contest. He scored 48 knockouts, and was stopped only once by Gene Tunney on June 5, 1925. The names dotting his record read like boxing's hall of fame. Tommy recorded wins over George Chip, Willie Meehan, Billy Miske, Chuck Wiggins, Jack Bloomfield, and Kid Norfolk. Tommy had no decision matches with George "K.O." Brown, Billy Miske, Harry Greb, Battling Levinsky, Bob Roper, Chuck Wiggins, Georges Carpentier, and others. Only Harry Greb, Billy Miske, Jack Dempsey, and Gene Tunney were able to score wins over Tommy Gibbons.

Following his retirement from boxing, Tommy Gibbons was elected four times as the Sheriff of Ramsey County. He won for six consecutive four year terms before retiring at the age of 68. He died on November 19, 1960 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. [1] [2]

Legacy

Gibbons became a member of the Ring Boxing Hall of Fame in 1963, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1993, and the Minnesota Boxing Hall of Fame in 2010. [3]

Fast Facts

Quotes

"Nailing him was like trying to thread a needle in a high wind." - Jack Dempsey about Tommy Gibbons bout in 1923

"Dempsey could beat anybody he could hit. The only reason that he couldn't do anything with fellows like Tunney or Greb or myself was he couldn't hit us." - Tom Gibbons in a radio interview in 1949

"For the first and only time, I was more worried about getting hurt by the crowd than by the guy I was fighting. I got a pretty good blast when introduced. The crowd was hollering and raising hell. I looked around for my bodyguard, a colorful New York character named Wild Bill Lyons, who packed two pearl-handled pistols and used to talk a lot about his days in the West. Wild Bill was under the ring, hiding." - Jack Dempsey about being introduced to the crowd at the Dempsey/Gibbons fight in Shelby, Montana July 4, 1923

"I could have licked him in Shelby if I had been 30, but I was 32. I'll never forget that day. I never got so tired of man in my life." - Tommy Gibbons discussing his World Championship bout with Jack Dempsey.

"People couldn't seem to understand how I could take so much from Dempsey. They said I was as Iron Man (a name I always wanted to avoid), when really all I did was slip this way and that as the occasion required. Brother Mike was a past master at that. I never saw anyone to equal him at all. He taught it to me." - Tommy Gibbons from Punches I Have Taken

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References

  1. "Tommy Gibbons, Boxer, 69, Died. Challenger to Dempsey in 1923 Bout. Was Sheriff in Minnesota 24 Years". New York Times . November 20, 1960. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  2. "Tommy Gibbons, Ex-Boxer, Dead". United Press International in the Milwaukee Journal . November 19, 1960. Retrieved 2013-12-05.
  3. Minnesota boxing hall of fame inductees Archived 2010-11-02 at the Wayback Machine