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DAYS OF WINE AND BLOODY NOSES
Jack [Doc] Kearns
January 20, 1964
In Part II of his memoirs, boxing's most flamboyant manager tells how he split with Dempsey only to find another champion—and a roistering companion—in the Toy Bulldog, Mickey Walker
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January 20, 1964

Days Of Wine And Bloody Noses

In Part II of his memoirs, boxing's most flamboyant manager tells how he split with Dempsey only to find another champion—and a roistering companion—in the Toy Bulldog, Mickey Walker

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I put my arm around his shoulders.

"My boy," I told him, "that's Gaelic."

By this time Mickey hadn't been to bed since the night before the fight in London, and we all had been belting the booze to a fare-thee-well, so he wasn't as sharp as he might have been. We got him to the hotel without him being any the wiser. We started another party immediately and it was three days before Mickey came bursting in to me with the news.

"Doc, this ain't Dublin. This is Paris."

I patted his shoulder consolingly.

"I just found out," I said. "But what the hell, Mick. We'll go to Ireland some other time. And as long as we're here we may as well enjoy it."

Mickey's disappointment was soon soothed because Norma Talmadge had come to Paris for an engagement, and she and Walker were a steady item.

Finally, on the theory that the best way to keep Mickey in shape was to keep him fighting, we returned to the U.S., where I threw a $6,600 party at Texas Guinan's. One of the items on the tab was $200 for ice, the kind of stuff you get when you freeze water. After Mickey won an easy one against Wilson Yarbo in Cleveland we went on to Chicago, where Tunney was to defend his heavyweight title against Dempsey. That was the famous "long count" return bout.

Aside from my confidence that Dempsey would have won if I had been in his corner, I have often wondered if I might not have been the one who cost Dempsey victory in that second fight.

It happened like this. One of the first people I ran into in Chicago was Al Capone. I had known him off and on for a long time and chanced to see him in a nightspot. I pulled up a chair to his table and, since I was curious about the Dempsey fight and knew that Al would have all the answers, I asked him how he thought Dempsey would do. He stared hard at me with those icy brown eyes and then smiled. "I know you and him ain't pals no more, of course," he said, "but I got a big bet riding on him to win. Not only that, I've let the word get out that he'd better get a square shake. Nothing preferential, understand. But a fair shake."

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