Jack Dempsey Vs. Harry Greb

Listed on this page is information about the ring encounters that DID take place, and the ring encounters that ALMOST took place, between Hall of Famers Jack Dempsey and Harry Greb.




March 15, 1920

Dempsey May Box Greb

New York, March 15,- Jack Dempsey is coming East in three weeks, according to Jim Mason, manager of Harry Greb. Mason insists that the champion and Greb are to fight a ten-round bout in Buffalo, May 31. Mason says that Greb will be a tartar like Willie Meehan on the hands of Dempsey.


Sept 2, 1920

Dempsey Satisfied With His Condition

Has Reached Climax of Training for Miske Bout - Challenger Takes It Easy.

Benton Harbor, Mich., Sept.- Jack Dempsey put in the hardest day's work today that he has done since he started training for his ten-round championship bout with Billy Miske here on Labor Day afternoon. Besides going through the routine of early morning road work and a couple rounds with the sandbag and pulleys, the champion boxed eight three-minute rounds with only a half-minute rest between. After it was all over he declared himself thoroughly satisfied.

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Dempsey tackled Bill Tate, Harry Greb and Marty Farrell this afternoon. He took them on in that order, boxing two rounds with Tate and three each with Greb and Farrell. The bout with Greb was a real one. It was the best work-out Dempsey has had. The Pittsburgher was in prime shape, and although he weighs only 165 pounds he gave the champion a real honust-to-goodness battle. Dempsey hasn't seen so many gloves in a long time as Greb showed him. Greb was all over him and kept forcing him around the ring throughout the session. Dempsey could do but little with the speedy light heavyweight, while Greb seemed to be able to hit Dempsey almost at will. Time and again Greb made the champion miss with his famous right and left hooks to the head and countered with heavy swings to the head and hooks to the body.

--Greb Lightning Fast--

Greb was a veritable whirlwind. Twenty-five pounds lighter than the champion and about four inches shorter, Harry made the champion step lively. He had to jump off the floor to hit Dempsey in the head when the latter was standing straight, but managed to do it and landed without leaving himself open to Jack's snappy hooks and short swings. One of the most notable things about Dempsey's boxing is the fact that he is not hitting as straight as he did in Toledo. This is not a particularly good sign. Why he should hook and swing his blows more is a mystery. He can hit straight when he wants to, and when he does his blows carry a wealth of power behind them, for the champion knows how to put his powerful shoulders behind his punches and how also to get the necessary asistance from his legs by rising to the ball of the rearward foot when the punch gets over. It may be that Dempsey does not care to hit straight from the shoulder, fearing to punish his partners too severly.



Sept 3, 1920

Greb Splits Dempsey's Tongue In Final Workout For Billy Miske

Benton Harbor, Mich., Sept. 2- With but one more day of hard work remaining in their training grind, Jack Dempsey and Billy Miske cast aside all restraint today and gave their sparring partners vicous maulings for six rounds. Speed was the watchword in both camps and after the workout Dempsey and the challenger declared they boxed at the top of their form.

Dempsey sparred three sessions with Harry Greb, Pittsburgh lightweight, and another trio with Marty Farrell, Pacific Coast middleweight. Miske felt the lack of capable sparring mates and he was compelled to set the pace himself. He stepped the first two rounds with George Wilson, a negro heavyweight, the second two with Jack Heinen.

Early in the third round Greb's head collided with Dempsey's mouth, cutting the champion's tongue so severly that he spat blood for the remainder of the round.



Sept 3, 1920

Big Battlers Work Out At Top Speed

Dempsey and Miske Give Sparring Partners Lots Of Action in Training Bouts

Benton Harbor, Mich., Sept.2- With only one more day of hard work remaining before Billy Miske and Jack Dempsey ease up in their training for the ten-round bout for the heavyweight championship of the world here on Monday afternoon, speed was the order of the day at both camps today. Champion and challenger alike cast aside all brakes and gave their sparring partners a merry whirl. Both boxers waded through six rounds of real action with the big ten-ounce "pillows", the training gloves.

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-Greb Swaps Blows With Champion-

It was Harry Greb who again today gave Dempsey his stiffest workout. The Pittsburgher was in fine fettle after the excellent showing he made against the champion yesterday. He was full of pep. With the call of time signalizing the beginning of activities, Greb promptly rushed Dempsey. The onslaught was so sudden that Jack was caught off his guard and it took a solid left hook into the body, plied with all the force at Greb's command, which is considerable, to jolt Dempsey into action. Then the fur began to fly.

It was a whirlwind three rounds that these two fighters staged for the edification of the biggest crowd that has yet shoe-horned its way into the grandstand at the baseball park in front of which the ring is built. There were fully 2,000 people present, and they were treated to as much action in those three rounds as is usually crowded into eight of a real bout.

The bout caused the crowd to burst into cheers and prolonged applasuse. In fact, during the intermission between the second and third rounds Ted Hayes, who acts as announcer at the Dempsey camp, was compelled to request the spectators to refrain from urging either of the men to greater efforts.

-Dempsey Slows Up a Bit-

These three rounds were followed by three more against Marty Farrell, another middleweight. Dempsey perceptibly eased up in his work against his second opponent.

Although Dempsey insists that his wind is perfect and that he is not troubled by shortness of breath while working out, to those who have studied him closely it appears as if his wind might be in better shape. He was puffing very hard after boxing Greb. Of course, it was an unusually fast workout, but it seemed to take him longer than it should to recover his wind even after so strenuous a session. By this is not meant that Dempsey is likely to suffer from shortness of wind in Monday's battle.



Sept 4, 1920

Choice Of Referee For Fight Delayed

-Four Round Workouts-

Both men limited their actual boxing to four rounds each today. And there were no firworks, not even when Harry Greb and Dempsey clashed, which usually is accompanied by old man speed stepping on the accelerator. It was the lightest kind of boxing, consisting cheifly of feinting and footwork.

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Harry Greb, looking as chipper as ever in his U.S. Navy Jersey and his black tights, climbed into the ring to take Dempsey over the jumps for two rounds of three minutes each.

Just as soon as they squared off it was apparent that there was to be none of the continuous slam-bang stuff which had accompanied their previous engagements. Greb did not rush the champion and they feinted and pranced about for a full minute before either made a real lead. Toward the close of the round they met near mid-ring and there was a sharp exchange of body punches. The second round was a little livelier, but it wasn't a cyclone, and the crowd was somewhat dissappointed. The fans had expected to see more of a real battling than had featured the jousts between these two.


Nov 30, 1920

Greb May Meet Dempsey

Fitzsimmons on Way to Sign Champion Bout

South Bend, Ind., Nov 29--Floyd Fitzsimmons of Benton Harbor, Mich., passed through South Bend today en route to New York, where he expects to sign Jack Dempsey for a ten-round fight with Harry Greb of Pittsburgh,Pa.

The trip, Fitzsimmons states, is being made in response to a call from Dempsey for him to come East.

Greb has been trying to get into the ring with Dempsey for several months, and he has been especially eager to meet the champion since beating Gunboat Smith in one round of a ten-round battle in this city about six weeks ago.

Fitzsimmons is reported to have promised Greb to do his best to sign the Dempsey match, providing Greb first defeats Eddie McGoorty, one of the best of the light-heavyweights.


March 21, 1922

Dempsey Will Give Greb Chance to Win Heavyweight Crown

Up to Public

Chicago, March 20,-Jack Dempsey will fight Harry Greb if there is any demand for the match, he said here today when he stopped off between trains on his way to Los Angeles.

"It is possible that I might get a match with Harry Greb," he said, "and if I do and there is a call or a demand for it, I surely will take it."


April 12, 1922

Dempsey Will Box Greb After Tour

Manager Kearns Says They Will Meet Outdoors in Philadelphia in 8-Round Bout.

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"Dempsey will probably return home in time to take on Harry Greb in an eight-round, no-decision affair outdoors in Philadelphia. I am reliably told the public really wants the affair to be brought off, and we would like to see Harry make some money, even if he gets mussed up a bit in doing it, to convince him that the best middleweight isn't heavy enough for the big fellow in the game."




"Even Doc Kearns, who was managing Jack Dempsey, refused to let his tiger in the ring with Greb. They did spar on two occasions. The first time was when Dempsey was getting ready for his title defense against Billy Miske in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Greb ripped into dempsey, punching the heaveyweight champion as he pleased, until Kearns finally threw him out of the ring for being too rough."


------"It is not generally known however, that Greb and Dempsey did actually meet in the ring. It was at Jack's Atlantic City training camp. They were to box four rounds with sixteen ounce training gloves. Jack Kearns refereed. Harry came snorting out of his corner raising hell with the heaveyweight champion's middle. Dempsey looked confused, he hesitated about throwing punches at first. But he became desperate along about the second round and started putting ginger behind his left hooks. But Greb raced around so fast and poked so many jabs into Jack's face that the great Mauler couldn't land one solid wallop during the entire exhibition. The next day, in bold black type the size off an egg, some papers carried the headline "GREB MAKES DEMPSEY LOOK LIKE A KITTEN."


-----"Dempsey refused to fight Greb. They say that they did fight in Atlantic City in 1924 at Dempsey's training camp and Harry beat the hell out of him. Apparently the newspapers got a hold of the story and printed the headline 'GREB MAKES DEMPSEY LOOK LIKE A KITTEN'."



-----Next, he'll run roughshod over Dempsey for the heavyweight crown. (They never fought officialy, but unofflciallv they did-in the training ring and Dempsey did so badly that when Promoter Charley Murray tried to match them, Jack Kearns, Demp-sey's manager, said, "No, thanks. We want no traffic with that Seven-Year Itch.")

-----"I fought `em both," he said (Dempsey only in the gymnasium but for the kill).