Sometimes when trawling through boxing history you can stumble across some very interesting stats and numbers.
Unique achievements from some of the sport’s legends.
Feats that still stand the test of time today.
Even in 2021.
That’s the way boxing is.
In many ways it always has endured and persevered.
When looking up pound for pound fighters of years gone by, many often overlook Harry Greb who remarkably went all the way through welterweight right up to heavyweight in his day.
A fearless fighter who took on anyone.
But when you look up one of his great competitors the name on the list that really stuck out to us was Irish-American Gene Tunney.
A world heavyweight champion and known as ‘The Fighting Marine’.
Greb was known as ‘The Pittsburgh Windmill’ but Tunney’s fight style was a rare one for the time, a fighter sure, but more of a boxer in the later part of his career behind the jab and always moving.
But he could fight when he needed to.
The other side to his style was adopted more so from the Jim Corbett school of boxing at that time.
Many believe Corbett largely influenced the sweet science in professional boxing as we know it today.
Tunney was a real chess player in the ring but could also fight when he had to as the earlier part of his career showed.
Perhaps a boxer-puncher style in today’s terms:
Not many know that Tunney was only one of five heavyweight champions in history to retire without ever suffering a stoppage loss as a professional.
The other four being Rocky Marciano, Riddick Bowe, Sultan Ibragimov and Nicolai Valuev.
Of course Bowe never fought Lennox Lewis which always proved a bone of contention in the end.
Irish American boxers had a vast influence on the sport’s origins when you go back to boxing’s genesis and where it all began.
Influencing its wide scale popularity to the masses worldwide.
Boxing was a far bigger sport then and as boxing continues to return to its rightful place in the landscape of sport today, one thinks of another Irish American Jack Dempsey’s advice one time on how to do it.
A federal boxing commission and some sort of oversight to properly grow it in America. At all levels. Amateur and professional.
If it grows back to how it was in America then you’ve really got something around the world again.
Irish Americans account for nearly 35 million or nearly 10% of the entire country of America today. People forget just how important and influential a demographic they are, in more ways than one. Possibly some of the most important and influential people in the entire world today. For a variety of reasons. All things considering. When you really break it down. One would suspect if Irishman President Joe Biden in today’s times is smart, he knows all about them for his base, and just how important they are to him, America, and the world.
Never really making a fuss but they are always there behind the scenes making things tick. Quiet people mostly. It’s the quiet people you need to watch out for in this life.
Of the rare few, extroverts in the public Irish Americans in history who liked pointless bull fame, many remember President John F. Kennedy of course.
Obviously the poor guy got taken out of the equation in the end, with the old assassination, but he stood for a heck of a cause in his time to be fair.
Heck of a guy Kennedy, take my hat off to him.
No doubt he is up there kicking it in heaven right now laughing.
When one observes some of the deceit, lies and corruption in the world in today’s times, no doubt also he would not be happy with that though.
As for Irish American boxing legend Tunney above, nor would he. No good.
What a fighter Tunney.