TOLEDO, Ohio — July 4, 1919: It came to be known as "Toledo's Day in the Sun," the historic Jack Dempsey/Jess Willard fight in Bayview Park on Summit Street.
An estimated 50,000 people crammed into wooden bleachers to watch Dempsey brutally beat Willard in three rounds.
"Jess Willard got his jaw broken in six different places. Dempsey busted his orbital bone and beat him half to death," fight expert Joe Brooks said.
One hundred years later, this July 4, the fight will be re-created across the street at Detweiler Park.
Two actors will portray Dempsey and Willard. All the fight moves will be choreographed.
"And so they studied the footage of the fight re-creating it as close as possible as far as the footwork, punches and knockdowns, five in the first round," Pete Schmidt of the Toledo History Museum said.
Thomas Patrick Quady will be there.
He once met Jack Dempsey at his New York City restaurant.
"And he come over to the table and an absolute terrific guy. He actually taught me the cork screw left hook," Quady said.
''Toledo's Day in the Sun'' celebration runs from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. and it's free.
There will also be junior golden glove amateur bouts, all to commemorate a big piece of sports history and a big part of Toledo history.
"Jimmy Breslin, the writer, said that the 1920s started July 4, 1919, in Toledo, Ohio. Big cultural event that kicked off a cultural movement," Schmidt said.
You can learn more about the fight at the Toledo History Museum.
It's on North St. Clair Street next to the Valentine Theater and open Saturday and Sunday.
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