Bakersfield Californian/June 6, 1925
Man Who Stood Up to the Champion is Weak Against Gene
RINGSIDE, POLO GROUNDS, NEW YORK, June 6.—Tommy Gibbons, the only fighter who has been able to keep a pair of shoes beneath him in a fight with Jack Dempsey since Dempsey became champion, tumbled weakly to the mat in the 12th round of his fight with Gene Tunney last night, got up and went down again for the full count. He was put away in the end by slams to the jaw, but the real reason for his collapse seemed to be exhaustion from various causes. He was an old man for the rough, tough game of taking hearty young slams on his tortured frame; it was blazing hot in the focused glare of some 30 funnel-shaped ring lights which poured a merciless flood of rays onto the arena; and he had been thumped and clouted on the head and ribs until he was worn to the point of collapse.
The finish of the fight and in all probability the finish of Tommy Gibbons, who only took to the ring as a second guess in life, developed with startling quickness in the twelfth. Tunney had been corking Gibbons on the head with clouts that were not of the stunning, stiffening Dempsey sort, but dazzling, exhausting blows that must have made Tom’s head resound like the act of a Swiss bellringer. Suddenly he got Tom with a particularly square shot on the side of the head, a short left with plenty of beef in back of it, followed by a quick and helpful right.
Gibbons swayed over to his left, toppled over his feet and slumped on his side. His hairy legs, stained green from the dye in his silk tights, lashed the air for a few seconds, and the knockdown timer, standing at the margin of the ring, had boomed seven blows with his mallet before Tom could get up. He wobbled sidewise to his own corner and swayed there with his head lowered and his forearms half upraised in a weak effort to block off the hurricane that he knew would be coining in an instant.
Tunney, who had backed away, now rushed at him and smashed him on the lips with a right. That started Gibbons tottering again and an auxiliary punch of the left tipped him over, half on his back.
Tommy went flat for an instant, his wet shoulders gathering a coat of gray resin powder from the floor. He struggled to sit up. His left eye was half-closed and the eyebrow was raw from one of Tunney’s many pokes. Tom seemed to know perfectly well that he was on the floor and had to get up. He was not in the comatose condition that overtakes some fighters. But he was all the way out for the technical purposes of the ring. He groped for the lower strand of the ropes at the count of seven and managed to get his straying feet beneath him at nine. At 10 be was crouching to rise and an instant later he was up again, teetering on uncertain footing and facing about to withstand another collision.
But Dick Nugent, the referee who was brought in from Buffalo especially, stepped in and told Gibbons he was out.
Both Gene and Tommy made rubber-stamp statements after the bout. Gibbons was all in.