Portrait of Tunney
|Real name||James Joseph Tunney|
|Nickname(s)||The Fighting Marine|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Reach||76 in (193 cm)|
May 25, 1897|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||November 7, 1978(aged 81)|
|Total fights||85 (17 NWS)|
|Wins by KO||48|
As a West Side kid fooling around with boxing gloves, I had been, for some reason of temperament, more interested in dodging a blow than in striking one.
A boxer's diet should be low in fat and high in proteins and sugar. Therefore you should eat plenty of lean meat, milk, leafy vegetables, and fresh fruit and ice cream for sugar.
Upon awakening in the morning, I wondered if the proceedings of the night before had been a dream. It was hard to believe that I was the world's heavyweight champion.
Handball, swimming, running, jumping, basketball, and boxing were as much a part of me as breathing.
My own ambition in the ring had always been skillful boxing, speed and defense – on the order of Mike Gibbons.
Ever since boyhood I've made a religion of keeping in shape by regular, conscientious exercise.
In youth, we get plenty of exercise through games and running around, but as middle life approaches, we settle down, literally and figuratively.
The man who has allowed his body to deteriorate cuts a pitiful figure – chest collapsed, stomach protruding.
Fat is one of the chief enemies of the heart because it has to be plentifully supplied with blood and thus needlessly increases the pumping load that the heart must sustain.
Normally, I could hit hard enough, as anyone who studied my fights might have known. But the impression was that I was essentially defensive, the very reverse of a killer, the prize fighter who read books, even Shakespeare.
The way to know about championship quality is to learn from champions, and that I did; studying them with professional purpose during my time in the ring and from habitual interest afterward.
If all human lives depended upon their usefulness – as might be judged by certain standards – there would be a sudden and terrific mortality in the world.
Though I was not a belligerent kid, I do not think I ever passed up a good opportunity to fight.