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UNFAMILIAR POSITIONS: Dempsey stands in a neutral corner while Tunney sits on the canvas Photo: AP/SHUTTERSTOCK

Jack Hirsch investigates the ‘long counts’ that occurred during Buster Douglas’ win over Mike Tyson in 1990 and Gene Tunney’s rematch victory against Jack Dempsey in 1927. Did they unjustly alter the course of history?


WE’RE not exactly talking equality here. No one ever does lest they destroy legendary tales which we have grown to worship. Myths perpetuated over time become nearly impossible to dispel, not because we can’t, but because we don’t want to. One thing is for certain and will never change: Boxing’s rich history is engulfed with a series of double standards from which we conveniently look the other way rather than expose. Perhaps the biggest of all involves two contrasting long counts where boxers were down for longer than 10 seconds yet still got up to win…


BOXING would not be as much fun without the controversy. And the most controversial fight in history took shape when Gene Tunney was given a long count in his rematch with Jack Dempsey on September 22, 1927 in Chicago. Dempsey dropped Tunney heavily in the seventh round, then instead of going to the neutral corner as the new rules dictated, he stayed over his fallen foe, thus delaying the count. In all, Tunney was down 14 seconds before getting up at referee Dave Barry’s count of nine.

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BOMBS AWAY – Investigating Deontay Wilder’s pulverising punch power LONG COUNTS – Looking back at Douglas-Tyson and Tunney-Dempsey ESTABLISHED – The life and times of boxing stalwart Glyn Rhodes MUCH, MUCH MORE – Including a preview of Kell Brook’s return