Gene Tunney

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Gene Tunney was heavyweight champion from 1926-1928. He defeated the brilliant and ferocious Jack Dempsey twice. Once in 1927, and again 1928. The second,  The Night of the Long Count, remains one of the most controversial fights in boxing history.

Tunney had impeccable technique, a solid chin, fast feet and was an excellent counter-puncher. He was one of the first fighters to dedicate serious time to studying film footage of his opponents, allowing him to neutralise styles and then dominate as the rounds passed. He was never knocked out.

A friend of Ernest Hemingway, he was widely disliked for his intelligence and literary ambitions. He was regarded with suspicion by many traditionalists, who saw him as effete and lacking in true vigour. This made him an unpopular victor over Dempsey, who was adored for his raw, masculine aggression and exceptional power. Popularity did come later however, and deservedly so. He retired as champion after defeating Tom Heeney in 1928.

Gene Tunney was a very fine fighter.

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