Name: Tom Heeney
Alias: The Hard Rock from Down Under
Nationality: New Zealander
Birthplace: Gisborne, NZ
Hometown: Gisborne, NZ
Age at Death: 86
Height: 5′ 10½″
Trainers:Eddie Harvey, Moe Fleischer
Thomas Heeney(May 18, 1898 - June 15, 1984), commonly called Tom Heeney, was a professional heavyweight boxer, best known for unsuccessfully challenging champion Gene Tunney for The Heavyweight Championship of the World, in New York City on 26 July, 1928.
His gritty performance in this fight would have been considered by many observers to have justified his sobriquet of The Hard Rock from Down Under given by renowned writer and journalist, Damon Runyon.' He worked as a plumber before becoming a professional boxer in 1920. In October, 1920, Heeney became the New Zealand heavyweight champion when he beat Albert Pooley of Auckland on points.
In 1922, Heeney fought in Australia and won the Australian heavyweight champion title, and in 1924 Heeney fought in England and South Africa. In 1926, Heeney went to the United States.
Heeney eventually ranked fourth among the world's heavyweight boxers. After fighting Jack Sharkey, the later heavyweight world champion, in 1928 for the right to fight Tunney, on July 26, 1928, Heeney fought Gene Tunney at Yankee Stadium, New York City, for the world heavyweight championship title. He lost to Tunney in the 11th round. The referee, Ed Forbes, stopped the scheduled 15 round fight in the 11th round. Heeney had entered the boxing ring wearing a M?ori cloak that was given to him by the widow of Sir James Carroll.
A week after his defeat, Tom married Marion Dunn, an American. Heeney became an American citizen and boxed until 1933 accomplishing a fighting record of 69 professional bouts, 37 wins, 22 losses, 8 draws, 1 no-decision, and 1 no-contest.
Heeney owned a bar in Florida after he retired from boxing. He often fished with his friend, the famous writer, Ernest Hemingway. Heeney's wife, Marion, died in 1980, and they never had any children.
Volume 20, No. 1
Like the legendary 'Ruby' Bob Fitzsimmons who departed New Zealand, his adoptive country, for Australia to obtain schooling in the manly art, then to America to gain glory and riches, his counterpart, Tom Heeney, some years later, charted the same course seeking the same renumeration and in one sense, landing like rewards.
For Fitz, the road to fame and eventually three world championships has been indelibly inscribed in the archives of ring history. Heeney found his fame short and fleeting but, in the process, won a popularity second to none amongst the 'near champs' of ringdom. It is doubtful that ring patrons ever viewed a combatant with greater admiration, either while serving their needs at the arena or in retirement, than the 'Hard Rock From Down Under,' Tom Heeney.
An apprentice plumber at 14, Tom laid pipe for 13 years - earlier writers called him a blacksmith but actually it was his brother Jack who shoed horses, not Tom - and his is the story of an unschooled prize-ring brawler back in 1920 who groped his way out of New Zealand arenas via the sporting clubs of Australia, England, South Africa, to America where he dared to become the most acceptable challenger for the title belonging to Gene Tunney, one of history's speediest and most scientific heavyweights.
Heeney was a stocky, barrel-chested plodder with dogged perseverance inside the ropes. His ring technique consisted of delivering the best he had whenever he could press his opponent into an opening. He was a pretty fair puncher and showed mobility on his feet. His main assets were determination and an iron chin.
An extract from a contemporary story implies the nondescript character of his boxing style,
'He just hammers out a good, square, reliable job of fisticuffing without any frills and with such sincere effort that it usually brings home a victory. He is a downright honest fighter.'
Tom's fistic trail has been well mapped. His journey had its beginning in Gisborne, New Zealand, the place of his birth, on May 8, 1898, of Irish parentage. He was one of six brothers, all of whom donned the gloves while growing up. Tom could hardly stay out of ring wars, primitive as they were without the benefit of today's sophisticated equipment, but, at the same time, he participated in two other sports he was fond of, long-distance swimming and rugby, excelling in both. In 1918, he received a bronze medal from the Royal Humane Society of New Zealand for courage and humanity demonstrated in a life-saving effort of two women caught in an undertow.
Somehow, the magnetism of squaring off in center-ring separated him from all other activity and, in 1921, Tom turned professional with no organized amateur competition to his credit.
Showing instant durability, he stepped into a scheduled 10-rounder and kayoed Bill Bartlett in the ninth round. In his second contest he beat up on George Moderich over the distance of 12 rounds and this impressive victory gave him a shot at Albert Pooley's heavyweight crown which he won over the 15-round route. Heeney, the shy, non-aggressive boy who enjoyed the solitude of the Pacific stream, two miles off the beach, was now heavyweight champion of New Zealand after three fights. Still in 1921, he again beat Pooley in 15 rounds, then Jack Cole, a challenger, in another 15-rounder. Before the year ended, Tom took on the visiting Australian, Colin Bell, a clever veteran who battled the likes of Luther McCarthy, Joe Jeannette and Sam Langford, and held him to a 15-round draw.
The year 1922 found Tom swelled with ambition to enlarge his framework of ring opposition so neighboring Australia apeared his next move.
'I talked things over with my brother Jack, who was middleweight champion of New Zealand from 1919-1924, and we both figured that carrying my gloves to Australia was the next logical step to take,' said Tom, recalling the earliest decision-making which transformed his career from a fighting plumber in New Zealand to an eventual contender for the throne in America.
In Australia, Tom came under the tutorship of famed trainer Les O'Donnell. Australia was then known for its teaching quality and served as proving grounds for budding talent. It was the 'Australia School' which produced such memorable names as Bob Fitzsimmons, Paddy Slavin, Peter Jackson, Australian Billy Murphy and Young Griffo who created havoc among their counterparts in America around the turn of the century.
Heeney arrived in Sydney a crude, bruising fist fighter whose ring habits were well formed and whose ring techniques were hardly amenable to change. Tom explains, 'They raised us tough in New Zealand. I often wonder what I could have done if I'd been shown the right way to box. All the time I fought, 12 years, I never even knew how to throw a left hook properly. I was hitting with my thumbs instead of knuckles. By the time I really learned all the tricks of boxing, it was too late. I guess I just wasn't receptive to new fightin' tricks. I loved to fight and thought my style of boxing was best for me.'
During the year 1922, while in Australia, Tom had nine fights, winning six, losing two, both over 20 rounds to his old nemesis Australian champion Colin Bell, and one draw. Twenty-rounders were commonplace as endurance was one factor he proved.
Early in 1923, small-town Tom returned to New Zealand to defend his title against Jim Sullivan who took it from him in 15 rounds. This was the only battle among nine he would lose during that year. He had three victorious outings before taking on Sullivan again for the title, this time his destructive fists putting the champ away in nine rounds. Tom defended his regained title four more times setting his challengers aside via the knockout route in all cases.
It was time for another move, this time for bigger game, thought Tom and friend Fred Dobney who helped to guide the New Zealander. Legend has it that Earl (Mick) Stewart, former New Zealand amateur lightwweight champion and later a prominent referee in New Zealand fight circles, was the architect of Tom's next move and his ultimate emergence upon the international fight scene.
It seems that Stewart, while a machine-gunner during the great war in Europe, had ample opportunity to observe the English and Amerian fight talent displayed between battles from 1914 to 1918. It was now the end of 1923 in New Zealand and as a referee, Mick saw plenty of Heeney in action and felt he could prosper in Britain's fight environment. While the rest of the country viewed Tom as a roughhouse exponent who flailed away with both fists as he chased his opponent from pillar to post, Stewart pegged him as a ringman with greater potential. Learning of Tom's intentions to progress he cabled Bernard Mortimer, part of a brother team managing fighters in England whom he had met earlier while in Europe, and told him of the threat to heavyweight ranks which Heeney represented. Mortimer showed confidence in Stewart's opinion and responded he would guide Tom while in England.
Still with but rudimentary experience, Heeney booked passage to London from Wellington in 1924 looking like a 'bushwacker' in town for a few beers. He still had the mud of Maoriland on his shoes when greeted by the Mortimers in London and an unwritten pact was formed between them which lasted for a long time.
In September of that year, still not in good shape, Tom took on Phil Scott, losing a 20-round decision. He then boxed Jim Henricks before 1924 was out and that one ended as a no-contest.
The following year he took on Trooper Young at the National Sporting Club and won by knockout in four rounds, then in a 15-rounder, he lost a disputed decision to George Cook.
His boxing career remained undistinguished to this point and Britons were not beating the doors down to see Tom display his wares. The Mortimers, Bernard and John, decided to give him a change of scenery and school him in another theater. Tom was diverted to Johannesburg, South Africa, where he hung over for five fights. He beat Johnny Squires in 20 rounds, then won over Blackie Miller, former Australian champion, on a foul in five rounds. He then knocked out Vic Morace and repeated over Squires, still heavyweight champion of South Africa, this time by a knockout in 18 rounds. Before departing South Africa, he attempted to settle up with Miller but this time it was Tom who lost in the eighth round on a foul. Tom showed all he had in South Africa and was maturing. He was ordered back to London, his base of operations, still under the care of the Mortimers.
In mid-1926, Heeney had his first action of the year as he subbed for an ailing Joe Beckett against Phil Scott in a 20-rounder at Southhampton. With only 12 hours notice, he stepped into the open-air arena, dropping a close decision to the more advanced Scott. Tom followed with a fifth-round knockout over Charley Smith in London and showed signs of improvement with decisions over Tom Berry and Jack Stanley, both in 15-round fights. At this time, the veteran American, Bartley Madden, was visiting in Dublin and someone hit on the idea that a match beween two visiting Celts would attract the fans. Tom was picked as Madden's opponent and drubbed the Amerian in 20 rounds, winding up his activity for 1926.
Another chapter in the adventures of Heeney was now in the making, the next one proving to be his last, ultimately reaching a stage which found him the envy of every heavyweight who ever shoved his fist inside a glove. A man who influenced his next move was the great American heavyweight, Tommy Gibbons. Gibbons was in England during 1924 to box Jack Bloomfield and used Tom as his sparring partner. Gibbons, close to the end of his line in boxing, got in good enough shape to knock the British star kicking in three rounds. The stylish flash from St. Paul liked Heeney and was impressed by Tom's tenacity and fiery spirit inside the ring. He advised Heeney, 'Pack up and come to the States, they will love your style there. You'll get a heck of a better chance to develop there with a lot more styles confronting you. There is a lot of action there and you will chase a lot of those guys out of the ring.'
The prophetic Gibbons set Tom to thinking from that moment on and now he was ready. Prior to his departure from London, it was arranged by the Mortimer Brothers that personality-plus Charley Harvey would manage Tom while in America. John Mortimer accompanied Tom on the voyage and found Harvey awaiting their arrival dockside. Harvey arranged for Tom to work out at the St. Nick's Gym on 66th Street in New York where he proved to be the most unimpressive heavyweight operator in town. His awkward style raised no eyebrows among the sophisticated fight followers of the big city. They expected no surprise during the year 1927, which was then in its infancy, but before the year was out they dropped many a hard-earned buck in wagers.
Heeney was to lead them in a whirlwind series of boxing shockers not soon to be duplicated by an unheralded heavyweight so lethargic in prelinminary trials. In his first action, Tex Rickard put him in a Madison Square Garden 10-rounder against highly regarded Charley Anderson. Tom punched his New York opponent until the referee stopped the bout in round nine. Five weeks later, Tom was tossed in with Paulino Uzcudun, then considered Europe's best heavyweight. As can be imagined, 'The Basque Woodchopper' and the 'Hard Rock' produced no textbook fight. Uzcudun got the decision but the fans did not agree and voiced their disapproval loud and long.
In a Coney Island fight, Tom beat Jack DeMave in 10 and then won over Bud Gorman on a foul in New York City. Rickard was now ready to settle the Heeney-Uzcudun dispute and matched them in a 15-rounder at the Garden. This time, Tom was more convincing and appeared the rightful winner but to the fans' dismay, the fight was judged a draw. To register their disapproval, the faithful filled the ring with litter. You didn't see Paulino go into his trademark somersaults that night but the toughness of Heeney was established. Boxing followers knew that Heeney was a formidable heavyweight and was ready for the best the U.S. had to offer. One of the most colorful writers of his day, Damon Runyan, recognized his incredible ability to hold his position under fire and tagged him 'The Hard Rock From Down Under.'
This was the era of the second battle between champion Gene Tunney and Jack Dempsey, the long-count affair at Chicago's Soldier Field, and promoter Tex Rickard already had an elimination tourney to choose the next challenger for Tunney's title on the drawing board. One week after the fight in which Tunney defended his title against Dempsey, Rickard announced that the proposed contest between Jim Maloney, a leading challenger for Tunney's title, and Heeney, in Madison Square Garden, would be considered as part of the tourney to pick a new challenger.
Maloney, who consistently beat all the foreign heavyweights he faced, weighed 205, with Heeney scaling a trim 198 for the Garden thriller with Dempsey in attendance. 'I remember how the fans howled when Jack was introduced,' recalled Tom.
Saturated with confidence, Tom walked out at the bell and sailed into Maloney with a left hook to the body and a short right hand to the head. Maloney felt the blow as he held on but powerful Tom shook his Boston adversary loose. Heeney stayed on top of Maloney and tagged him with another good right, then another dropping his opponent to the deck face down. Maloney was unable to beat referee Patsy Haley's count and the fight terminated at one minute and 17 seconds of the first round, making it the fastest knockout among heavyweights in the 'new' Garden up to that time. With this spectacular knockout, Heeney was made - his immediate future rosy.
A month later, Tom challenged Johnny Risko, 'the Cleveland Rubber Man,' a contender for the world title. Wrapping up 1927 on a winning note, Tom emerged the victor in 10 rounds at Detroit. Tom had fond memories of Risko, 'He was a nice fellow, friendly sort. When he'd come to Miami for a visit he would call me and we would get together. In fact, on his last visit he died here, I'll never forget that day because we had a dinner date for that evening.'
In January, 1928, Jack Sharkey was considered the foremost challenger for the championship. He had tormented Dempsey six months before and was generally the most skillful heavyweight around. Rickard was hunting for Tunney's next challenger and since Heeney was the hottest heavyweight on two feet, the inevitable match was made. In a 12-round eliminator, Tom gave Sharkey the fight of his life and received a draw. This was Heeney's greatest ring achievement as he forced the future world heavyweight champion to catch up in the late rounds. However, nothing was settled and the future challenger was still unclear for Rickard. On March 1 of that year, Tom had still another shocker in store for the skeptics, if any remained by now. He took on the brilliant Jack Delaney, who had graduated from the light-heavyweight ranks to mingle with the big boys, and beat the light-heavyweight champion in 15 rounds.
It was now up to Tunney to make the decision regarding his next challenger. It was Sharkey or Heeney and Tunney, planning his final ring battle, picked Tom, believing he would be more suitable from various aspects of a final ring fling. Heeney proved no match for Tunney who administered a thorough beating of his rugged opponent at New York's Yankee Stadium. The fight was stopped by referee Eddie Forbes in round 11, after Tom exhibited the courage of three men.
Now, about 50 years after the Tunney challenge, Tom reflects on that day. 'Where did the time go? Tunney was a great fighter,' said Tom, with the dream long diminished that he could have taken Tunney over the hurdles like he did some of the major contenders around in those days.
'But when I add up all the bad things that happened to me, I certainly didn't have any breaks. First of all, they had me train at Fairhaven, New Jersey, and it was a hot hell-hole of a place to prepare for a title match. I sweated all the time and found it hard to get a decent night's sleep. Tunney was clever in more ways than one, he went to the Adirondacks to train at Speculator, New York.
'The writers drove me batty too as they kept asking for extra rounds of boxing. They interfered with my training and rest. I was not myself at fight time. In addition to that I went into the fight with a busted thumb I got in training and if that wasn't enough, I had a fractured left rib. In order that I could go through with the fight they put a ribbed steel patch over the sore area for protection. Frankly, I was all in the day of the fight. Paul Gallico, well-known writer of the New York Daily News, was one of the writers who made a point of that. He saw it.
'The breaks of the fight didn't go my way either,' continued Tom. 'In my opinion, Jack Dempsey was the greatest heavyweight who ever lived in my time, but Tunney was one great fighter too and I never could have licked him. So I don't want this to sound like an alibi, but in the eighth round Tunney thumbed me so bad in one eye I could hardly see the rest of the way. From that point onward, I was not in the fight and if it weren't for that I know I could have gone the distance with him.
'One day, before World War II, Tunney visited my tavern in Miami Beach. We had a couple of drinks and he said to me, 'I didn't thumb you, did I, Tom?' And I said to him, 'That's in the past, we can forget that now,' and I told him how great he was and I meant every word of it.'
Tunney was to figure in Heeney's life one more time. In 1942, at age 44, Tom was now a citizen of the U.S., a Miami Beach resident and owner of the popular Tom Heeney Tavern. Soon after Pearl Harbor, Tom joined the Seabees, a construction arm of the U.S. Navy. This was the second occasion on which Tom bore arms. At age 19 he joined his brothers with the New Zealand British forces druing World War One. This time, he was returning some of the good he received from his adopted country. He was shipped to New Caledonia where he stayed for the duration. One day, Commander Gene Tunney visited the naval base there and met up with his old foe, cheerfully greeting him.
Tom recalls his position then,
'He was a big honcho and I was one of the peons at that time, one of the little guys. Tunney and I talked for a while and he saw what I was doing and suggested to me that I should utilize my previous boxing experience for the good of the Navy so he used his influence to get me transferred to an athletic group. From then on, I refereed all the fights and was matchmaker for the boxing shows put on in New Caledonia.'
Moe Fleischer, revered near-octogenarian matchmaker for promoter Chris Dundee in Miami Beach, talks of the days he trained Heeeny for some of his early New York fights,
'You couldn't find a nicer guy than Tom. I was about the same age as Tom and I was training him for Charley Harvey. You never got any lip from Tom. No sir, anything I told him to do he did with a smile. Harvey told me to watch him real good because he was lonesome in this country so I never left him alone. There was this time I was getting married and I worried about what Tom would do that night by himself so I took him to my wedding. He felt at home there with the rest of the fight mob like 'Three-Fingered' Jack Dougherty and Charley Goldman, who later trained Rocky Marciano.'
A Miami Beach resident and businessman for over 40 years, Heeney stands tall and straight, symbolic of the good which the prize ring has produced. He is today a creature of habit. A typical schedule after a hardy breakfast of bacon and eggs is a romp on the beach for some sun and a swim, carried over form his boyhood on Waikanae Beach. He may vary his exercise and recreation activity but never, never, his bacon and eggs. Still carrying a trace of antipodean drawl, he explains,
'When I was a kid in Gisborne, a small town in New Zealand, money was scarce. So was food, good food anyway. When we sat down to eat breakfast - I had six brothers and two sisters - we all ate porridge except my father. He was out working so he had the bacon and eggs. My father knew how much I loved his breakfast so he used to leave me some and I'd lick the plate up. We were hungry kids, darned hungry. And that's why, I say to this day, boxing is a great sport for elevating you when you are down. People will always pay to see two men put up a good scrap. That is some of the real good that comes out of boxing. Well, I grew up looking for bacon and eggs so after a couple of neighborhood scraps, I turned professional and never have been hungry for breakfast again.'
Not too many memories are left. A half century has ways of erasing impressions but the strain and pain are remembered vividly. 'If I didn't hit the mark, it wasn't my fault, I tried, I was hungry enough,' said Tom rubbing the side of his lip which took 14 stitches in one of his post-Tunney fights in Pittsburgh.
Without the natural talents enjoyed by urban kids of today who develop their style in the streets and organized gymnasiums, Tom entered the ring profession with relatively little equipment. Many wondered why a good-natured kid out of the farm country would participate in a sport which carries emotions to the brink. A clue from his father Hugh Heeney, in 1928, may exlain.
'Tom's not a prizefighter. He's too warmhearted for that. He loves a fight, he loves the battle, the thuds, the movement, and the physical exertion, the giving and taking of good hard blows. But fighting for the sake of giving punishment - it's not in him to do it.'
Heeney lived one inglorious moment in a particularly charmed life. The fickle character of fandom today recalls only the outcome of his challenge, rather than the almost impossible feat he achieved in contendership. He failed in his bid for the crown but he became a champion of another kind which he is to this day. Ask anyone who knows him.
- The End -
The Warren Tribune
27 July 1928
Tunney Easily Retains His Crown
Pummels Heeney To Win By Technical Knockout In 11th
Round Of Championship Bout
Gene Tunney is secure in his niche today among the great fighters of history.
A rebuilt Tunney, a Tunney with a punch,sledged his way to victory last night over Tom Heeney, as stout hearted a boxer as ever waged a hopeless fight.
Referee Eddie Forbes stopped the bout after two minutes and 52 seconds of the eleventh round. Heeney was limp against the ropes and Tunney was measuring him up for a knockout. It would have been the first time in his career that the count of ten had been tolled over the challenger.
Heeney said he would carry the fight to Tunney and he did. Always he was lunging forward, flailing with his pudgy arms and taking two blows to land one. Heeney had only one punch, a lopping right to the head. Invariably he telegraphed it five seconds before it came across, by jockeying his legs into position and dropping his shoulder. When the punch finally arrived Tunney was not there.
The champion apparently tossed the first round away deliberately to sound cut his man. He was the Tunney of Philadelphia and Chicago, a faultless boxer who drove in a blow at long range and retreated before his opponent could recover.
Tunney Shows Punch
The change came in the third round. They were in a clinch when Tunney rested his head on Heeney's shoulder for a second and smiled wistfully as his eyes roamed across the vacant seats. When the bell rang for the fourth round Tunney had become a puncher.
Heeney came charging out of his corner, his granite jaw stuck out to invite a right cross. Tunney aimed for the jaw and swung, Heeney ducked and the blow caught him on the nose. Blood trickled out, and for the first time the challenger stood still instead of lunging forward. Then in he came and his slow right slipped harmlessly off Tunney's shoulder.
From then on Tunney never ran away. He stood still as Heeney came at him, mixing his rights to the head with murderous ]abs to the body All through the fourth and fifth rounds the champion vas driving his right into Heeney's heart.
Eye Closed In Eighth
By the eighth round Heeney's left eye was closed and his face was smeared with blood. But he kept coming in, a gory Cyclops looking for the two-eyed man who was pecking
away at his eye and his heart.
The climax came in the tenth round. They met in the center of the ring where Tunney found the wobbling Heeney an easy mark for a lightning one-two punch that drove the challenger to the ropes. Tom slumped down into a half crouch, his, his arms crossed over his chest. His chin sagged. Then the scholar got the better of the fighter. For three seconds he stood there ith his arms at his side, gazing at Heeney with a perplexed look on his face. A Dempsey would have been swarming over his man and driving in blows. But to Tunney the polishing ff of Heeney was an unpleasant job. Someone at the ringside shouted.
"Get in there, Gene."
Tunney came to life, spun Heeney into an upright position with a left to the chest and stepped in with his right fist ready. Cooly, almost mathematically, he marked his target and ent the blow across like a rocket. That punch travelled three feet, but it knocked Heeney three yards. The challenger bounced on the canvas and rolled over once to land prawled out on his back His eyes were glassy and he was gulping for breath Tunney stepped toward a neutral corner only to be stopped by the bell.
As Heeney came out of his corner for the next round, he automatically started that ceaseless lunging forward He had only a vague idea where Tunney was, and his sole thought was to keep plodding ahead until he found him. Heeney does not carry a reverse gear.
Referee Stops Bout
His first knowledge of where Tunney was came when he felt a familiar jolt at his heart, followed instantly by a sledge-hammer blow against his jaw. Heeney probably will never now how he managed to last out the last round. His arms were loose at his side and he was taking it on the chin, head and body when the referee stopped the bout.
The only trouble with Heeney last night was that he was outclassed. He met a faster, harder-hitting and craftier man, and the only thing he had to offer in return was his great, stout eart and a will to win. Tunney was never in danger.
Heeney came over to the champions corner to take a hard right on the chin Heeney landed a stiff right. The challenger rushed Tunney into a corner and landed two blows to the ody. Tnnney opened up with both fists to the head, but Heeney kept boring in. Tunney locked Heeney's arms in a clinch. The champion shot over a right to the jaw. Heeney landed right and they clinched. Standing toe to toe the men traded blows to the head on even terms. Tunney landed a left to the body and a right to the jaw. The challenger hooked
left to jaw, Tunney landed left to body but took four punches to the head in return. The champion shot a straight to the jaw, jarring Heeney Tunney met Heeney coming in with traight left. Heeney landed both fists to the head, making the champion dance away They were sparring in mid-ring at the bell. Round even.
The champion came out slowly and led with a light left. They exchanged rights and clinched. With his back to the ropes Tunney sent Heeney back on his heels with lefts and rights to he head. Heeney kept moving forward but was taking a lot of punches to the head. They clinched. Tunney landed a stiff light to the jaw. They exchanged punches to the head. As Heeney moved in Tunney shot over a left to the head. A right to the mouth opened a slight cut on the challengers upper lip. Tunney brought up a terrific left uppercut but did not stop the game challenger who returned blow for blow. Tunneys round.
Tunney landed a left and right to the jaw and they clinched. Heeney landed a light left. Tunney put a hard right to the jaw. In a clinch Tunney shot his left like a trip-hammer to he body. Heeney jarred Tunney with a right to the face and the champion backed away Tunney landed light left to face. Tunney began to rely on his left jab. He backed away from eeney almost to the ropes. Heeney landed still left uppercut. Heeney almost floored Tunney with a left to jaw. Ripping both fists to head Tunney had to dance away. Heeney again ocked Tunney with a right to jaw Tunney started the blood flowing from Heeney's nose with left jabs Heeney put terrific left to body They were punching each other about the ead at the bell and Gene said something as he went to his corner Heeney's round.
They came out cautiously and Tunney backed away when Tom feinted with his right. Heneey landed a right and left to the face and took a left to the body in return. Tunney put left to he face and opened a small cut under the challenger's chin. Tunney shook Heeney with a left hook. Heeney drove a one-two punch to Gene's head. Tunney landed hard right to jaw and made the challenger clinch. Tunney put left to body and they clinched. Heeney landed two left lefts to the head. Gene scored with hard right to body. Tunney landed hard left to body. Heeney rushed the champion and made Gene back away. Challenger was bleeding from nose and a cut under the chin but was fighting viciously. Heeney drove the champion to the ropes with a flurry of body punches and was outfighting Gene at the bell. Heeney’s face was covered in blood as he went to his corner. Tunney’s round.
Blood streamed from the challenger's nose as they came out. Tunney landed two light lefts to the head. Always moving forward, Heeney landed half a dozen punches to the head and ody. Gene shot hard light to the stomach. The champion missed a right to the head and they clinched, Tunney put left to the face. Heeney missed with both hands. Gene landed eft to body. They clinched and came out of it very slowly. Tunney staggeded Tom with hard right to body. Heeney put left to body, Heeney landed long left to ear as Gene danced away. Tunney missed with both hands as the challenger landed a right to the chin. Tunney half-fioored Heeney with left and right to body but Tom was up without a count. The challenger appeared to be in a bad way but continued to fight viciously. Heeney landed a right at the bell. Tunney's round.
Heeney grazed the champion's body with a right. The champion landed a right under the heart. Heeney put a right to head. They exchanged blows to the head and clinched Heeney landed hard left to body and the champion backed off. Gene landed left and rights to the body. Heeney backed the champion to the ropes and took a left to body and right to head for his efforts. Gene was jabbing away at the head with both fists and cutting the challenger up badly. They clinched, Heeney landed a right to body and they fell into clinch. The challenger ppeared to be a bit groggy as he missed a left to the chin. Gene shook Tom with hard left to jaw. The champion was fighting a superb battle and wearing the challenger down. They
were in a light scrimmage in Henney's corner at the bell. Tunney's round.
They sparred for an opening and Tunney landed right to body. Tunney shot over two left jabs to head. The champion dug his right glove deep into the challenger's body. Heeney landed sharp left to head. Tunney had the better of an exchange at close quarters. Tom missed left hook to head as Gene danced away. Heeney landed left to body and fell into clinch. The champion put a right to body. In a furious exchange the challenger landed two blows to Gene's one and made Tunney go Into retreat. Heeney missed a left hook. The champion put is left to the face. The crowd cheered as Heeney landed a hard left to the face. They were sparring at the bell. Heeney’s round
They came out slowly, Gene feinting with his left and backing away. Gene met Tom with right to body as the challenger bored in. The champion put two light lefts to the jaw. Heeney was linking his left eye and backing away from the champion who refused to hit him. Heeney wiped his eye with his glove. But was unable to clear it. Heeney could not see out of his eye ut the champion did not hit him Heeney was backing away for the first time. The champion landed a left jab to the face. Gene walked in cautiously and jarred Tom with a two isted attack. Still unable to see out of his left eye, Heeney was standing toe to toe swapping punches. The champion drove both fists to the head and had Heeney groggy at the bell. Tunney’s round.
The challenger blinked his left eye as he came out. Gene put both fists to the body. Gene scored with a one two punch to the head. The champion landed a straight left to the face. Heeney continued to bleed from the nose. Sending both hands, to the body, Tunney sent Heeney back on his heels. Heeney missed a left to the head and they clinchd. They exchanged punches to the head at long range. The champion opened a deep gash over Heeney's left eye and blood poured down the challengers' face. Heeney's face was covered with blood but he refused to stop pouring in. Tunney jarred the challenger with left and right to head, Heeney sent over a terrific right ashe came out of a clinch. Gene scored with a straight left. In a clinch the champion sent both fists to the body. Tunney’s round.
Gene landed a light left to the face then put a right to the body. They clinched. Gene scored with two lights to the head and then sent over three rights to the face. Heeney's face was gory mass and his left eye was almost closed. Tom put hard left to body. Heeney was spitting blood but never took a backward step. Heeney missed a left and the champion cored with three left jabs. Heeney put left to jaw. Heeney rested his head on the champions shoulder and landed lightly to the body. Gene drove a hard right to the stomach and
sent over a series of hard lefts and rights to the head. Heeney was taking a battering now but he refused to back up. Tunney floored Heeney with right to the jaw as the bell rang. The
challenger's seconds picked him up and half carried him to his corner. The bell saved Heeney. His second worked over him bringing him to. Tunney's round.
Heeney came out groggy and Gene staggered him with lefts and rights to the head. Hee ey was in a bad way and was almost ready to topple over The referee stopped the bout giving
Tunney a technical knockout.