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Jack Dempsey Trains with Shore Boxing Legend Jimmy DeForest for First Big Match

On July 27, 1918, boxer Jack Dempsey knocked out Fred Fulton in just under 19 seconds of the first round. It was Dempsey’s first major fight, and within a year, Dempsey would defeat Jess Willard to become world heavyweight champion, a title he would hold for seven years. Regarded by many as the apotheosis of the professional fighter, Dempsey trained for his fight against Fulton with Jimmy DeForest, a prominent athletic trainer and promoter who operated gymnasiums in West Allenhurst and Asbury Park over the years. Training some of the top fighters of the day, including Jim Jeffries, Jersey Joe Walcott and Luis Firpo, DeForest’s training sessions attracted crowds and he rented out the Long Branch Casino for fights and dances. On November 1, 2006, DeForest was selected to the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame.


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