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 Gene Tunney

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Gene Tunney Famous memorial

Original Name
James Joseph Tunney
Birth
New York, New York County (Manhattan), New York, USA
Death
7 Nov 1978 (aged 81)
Greenwich, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Burial
Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Memorial ID
4082 View Source

Professional Boxer. He was the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World from 1926 to 1928. Born in Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, he learned to fight on the streets, and joined the Greenwich Village Athletic Club. He turned professional in 1915 but when World War I broke out he enlisted in the United States Marines Corps. He continued to box in the Marines eventually earning the Light Heavyweight Championship of the American Expeditionary Forces. Upon returning from France he campaigned as a Light Heavyweight, taking on boxer John Horace "Soldier Jones" Beaudin, Barney "Battling Levinsky" Lebrowitz, and Jack Burke. He then fought five savage fights with Harry Greb, a formidable opponent, with whom he fought bruising battles in which Tunney won 2, lost 1 and had 2 no decisions. He fought a few more times as a Light Heavyweight then set his sights on the Heavyweights. After defeating Tommy Gibbons and Georges Carpentier he got a shot at Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey on September 23, 1926. Tunney studied Dempsey’s style very closely and even sparred with some of his past opponents. Throughout the bout, he boxed superbly moving side to side and throwing combinations and was crowned the new Champion by decision. Jack Dempsey demanded a rematch and got one on September 22, 1927 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Gene Tunney was outboxing Dempsey yet again but was defeated in the 7th round. In one of boxing's most controversial moments, Dempsey instinctively hovered over Tunney waiting to hit him as soon as he rose. But a new rule had been adopted that if a fighter scores a knockdown he must go to a neutral corner. Referee Dave Barry spent several seconds getting Dempsey to a neutral corner then started the count. Gene Tunney was down for an estimated 14 seconds before he rose and went on to win the fight by decision, and the 'long count' became boxing lore. He would defend his title only once more against Tom Heeney with an 11th round knockout. He retired after the Heeney fight with a record of 65-1-1 with 47 knockouts. After retirement, he had a stint in the United States Navy in World War II, then returned home and became a successful businessman. In 1990, 12 years after his death, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

Professional Boxer. He was the Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World from 1926 to 1928. Born in Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, he learned to fight on the streets, and joined the Greenwich Village Athletic Club. He turned professional in 1915 but when World War I broke out he enlisted in the United States Marines Corps. He continued to box in the Marines eventually earning the Light Heavyweight Championship of the American Expeditionary Forces. Upon returning from France he campaigned as a Light Heavyweight, taking on boxer John Horace "Soldier Jones" Beaudin, Barney "Battling Levinsky" Lebrowitz, and Jack Burke. He then fought five savage fights with Harry Greb, a formidable opponent, with whom he fought bruising battles in which Tunney won 2, lost 1 and had 2 no decisions. He fought a few more times as a Light Heavyweight then set his sights on the Heavyweights. After defeating Tommy Gibbons and Georges Carpentier he got a shot at Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey on September 23, 1926. Tunney studied Dempsey’s style very closely and even sparred with some of his past opponents. Throughout the bout, he boxed superbly moving side to side and throwing combinations and was crowned the new Champion by decision. Jack Dempsey demanded a rematch and got one on September 22, 1927 at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Gene Tunney was outboxing Dempsey yet again but was defeated in the 7th round. In one of boxing's most controversial moments, Dempsey instinctively hovered over Tunney waiting to hit him as soon as he rose. But a new rule had been adopted that if a fighter scores a knockdown he must go to a neutral corner. Referee Dave Barry spent several seconds getting Dempsey to a neutral corner then started the count. Gene Tunney was down for an estimated 14 seconds before he rose and went on to win the fight by decision, and the 'long count' became boxing lore. He would defend his title only once more against Tom Heeney with an 11th round knockout. He retired after the Heeney fight with a record of 65-1-1 with 47 knockouts. After retirement, he had a stint in the United States Navy in World War II, then returned home and became a successful businessman. In 1990, 12 years after his death, he was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 28 Nov 1998
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 4082
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/4082/gene-tunney: accessed ), memorial page for Gene Tunney (25 May 1897–7 Nov 1978), Find a Grave Memorial ID 4082, citing Long Ridge Union Cemetery, Stamford, Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA; Maintained by Find a Grave .