Perhaps assuming he would not forget to duck the next time out, Dempsey toyed with the idea of taking another shot at the title. A comeback attempt was rumored in 1931, though he was nearing 40. He was on a tour of the country doing exhibition fights, often with local opponents. He’d take on two, three, even four men, bringing each one down to the roars of the crowd.
Twice, Dempsey took on five opponents. The first time was on August 31, in Spokane, Washington. He made quick work of them. His second quintuplet match was in Boise, Idaho, on September 17.
The Idaho Statesman set the scene in a September 19, 1931 article: “Jack Dempsey, once king of all champions, came to Boise and more than 6000 persons, comprising the largest fight crowd in the history of Idaho, flocked to the fairgrounds to watch the famed “Manassa Mauler” toy with five opponents in an exhibition that lasted seven rounds.”
If seven rounds sounds like a full fight against five men, note that it all added up to 12 minutes 59 seconds.
The first man to go against Dempsey was “Indian” Jack Smith from Oklahoma. He lasted 57 seconds, but only because there was some dancing around. When Dempsey hit the man with one shot of his left the man went down. Smith gamely got back up to receive two quick jabs from Dempsey’s right, which knocked him out.
Louis O’Taril next went a couple of rounds with the “Mauler,” never landing a blow. Hank Potter, from St. Anthony, was the first to actually hit Jack. The famous fighter came back with a bevy of hard punches, giving the Idaho man little chance to strike another blow. At the end of two minutes, Dempsey was holding him up.
A well-known welterweight fighter from Preston took on Dempsey next. Marious LaVell Lamoreaux, known as “Battling Lamoreaux” had gone a couple rounds with Dempsey the night before in Logan, Utah. He withstood another two rounds in Boise, but Dempsey broke his jaw on both sides sparring with him in Reno a couple of weeks later, ending the man’s career.
Mickey McCafferty, a fast-hitting welterweight from Pocatello next gave Dempsey his best. Dempsey “parried and dodged, escaping all injury with ridiculous ease,” the Statesman reported.
Rumors of a comeback to the contrary, Dempsey never did make a challenge again for the heavyweight championship.
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