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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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Sharkey was a 2-to-1 favorite, principally because he outweighed Mickey by 29 pounds and was five inches taller. Even so, the bout drew a gate of $238,831 and a crowd of 33,156.

And Mick fought Sharkey to a standstill.

When it was over, one judge voted for Sharkey, another voted it a draw and Referee Arthur Donovan gave the decision to Mickey. That made it a draw, which suited me fine. I had made a $10,000 "draw I win" bet.

To keep Walker in the public eye so that he might meet the winner of the Sharkey-Schmeling return bout, I lined up two heavyweight bouts. The first was against King Levinsky in Chicago, and I almost fainted when Mickey walked out in the first round and the Kingfish dropped him to the deck. But thereafter Mickey wrapped it up. Things began to look even better for us when he knocked off Paolino Uzcudun, the wood-chopping Basque, in New York. But then, three days after Sharkey decisioned Schmeling to take the heavyweight title, we lost a decision to Johnny Risko in Cleveland. So I settled for a shot at the beaten Schmeling, figuring that if we whipped him we'd get the Sharkey match.

There was one major drawback. Walker no longer could work up the enthusiasm to train as relentlessly as was necessary in order to battle the big boys successfully. When we squared off against Schmeling in the Long Island City Bowl that September night, I knew we didn't have the ghost of a chance. Even so, Mickey gave it a gallant try. He stayed in there and gave it everything he had while Schmeling smashed him to the canvas like a rubber ball. By the eighth round, while Mickey might have been able to take it a little longer, I couldn't. I told them to stop the fight.

"I guess this was one we couldn't win, Mick," I told him sadly.

Mickey spat out a mouthful of blood, focused on me with his bleary eyes and gave me a crooked grin.

"Speak for yourself. Doc," he said with all his old cockiness. "You threw in the sponge, not me."

That night, our heavyweight championship dreams smashed beyond repair, we went out and painted the town.

Toward the end of 1933 I got him a light heavyweight title shot against Maxie Rosenbloom, and there was enough of the old Mick left to barely lose a 15-round decision. But in 1934, after Bob Goodwin twice boxed him to a draw, I couldn't see Mickey doing this to himself anymore. And when we lost a 10-round decision to Young Corbett in San Francisco in August 1934, I took him back to the hotel and opened a bottle of whisky.

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