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Lot # 1560 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

Ten 1923 Dempsey vs. Gibbons Full Fight Tickets

Starting Bid - $200.00, Sold For - $533.25

Collection of ten full tickets to the July 4, 1923, heavyweight title bout between champion Jack Dempsey and challenger Tom Gibbons, held in Shelby, Montana. Seven of the tickets are $50 ringside examples, while the remaining three $30 tickets granted entry to the "Outer Circle." This fight is often referred to as the "fight that broke Shelby," because the small Montana town almost went bankrupt in order to meet Dempsey's purse of $300,000. That fee, which was to be paid in three installments, was negotiated by Dempsey's manager, Jake Kearns, who made sure that the champ was well compensated for his efforts. Incredibly, raising that amount proved so onerous to the town of Shelby that challenger Tom Gibbons received no money for the fight. His only remuneration was a chance at the title. That was obviously incentive enough for him, as he shocked most pundits by lasting the entire fifteen rounds with Dempsey in a losing effort. Only 7,000 tickets were sold for the fight, and the town eventually opened the gates to allow 13,000 fans in for free just to fill the arena. Needless to say, it was the first and last heavyweight title fight ever held in Shelby, Montana. That low attendance figure is the reason for the survival of full tickets today. Five of the seven ringside tickets display a moderate vertical indentation just to the left of the center as a result of their having been once held together (probably for decades) by a large paper clip. All of the tickets bear a purple tax stamp on the front noting the final cost of the particular ticket after the assessment of the 10% local tax. Without reference to the paper clip impression on the five tickets, all display only very modest corner and/or edge wear, and range from Excellent to Excellent to Mint condition overall. Total: 10 full tickets. Reserve $200. Estimate $500+.
SOLD FOR $533.25

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