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Jack Dempsey - Related Biography: Manager John "doc" Kearns

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"Doc" Kearns was born John Patrick Leo McKernan in 1882 on a farm in Michigan. He worked as everything from a fighter to a cemetery plot salesman before becoming a manager. It wasn't his work experience, however, that led to his success. Kearns's success was due in large part to his lack of ethics. He was a loud and flamboyant man and the exact opposite of his most successful fighter. A master of hype, he was pushy and irresponsible with his fighter's money. Not many people trusted "Doc" Kearns, but he was respected for his ability to do his job and get his fighters where they needed to be. Kearns and Dempsey maintained a business relationship for eight years that took them both to the top of their chosen profession. It is doubtful they could have accomplished as much on their own. Their differences, however, kept them from becoming close friends and eventually led to the dissolution of their relationship. Kearns went on to manage many boxers, but never another Jack Dempsey. He played an important role in bringing big-time boxing to Las Vegas and managed into the twilight of his life. He died of pneumonia on July 7, 1963. He was memorialized with the traditional final 10-count before the second Liston-Patterson heavyweight championship, the first genuine championship to be held in Kearns' adopted town, Las Vegas.

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