Robert E. Howard to Fort Worth Record, Jul 20, 1928
Tunney can't win. After the fight, Tom Heeney is going to be heavyweight champion of the world, not through any special virtue of his, but simply because there's a jinx on Tunney that Gene can't whip.
Now get this: Back in 1892 James J. Corbett, a skillful boxer, whipped John L. Sullivan, a superslugger, and then knocked out Charles Mitchell, the only man who'd ever given John L. much of an argument.
Now: Some years later, in 1926, James J. Tunney, like Corbett, an Irishman, whipped Jack Dempsey, a superslugger, after having knocked out Tom Gibbons, the only man who'd been able to stay with Jack—the only difference being that Tunney knocked out Gibbons before he won the title and not after.
Now, that lines Corbett and Tunney up together enough, I guess. Both Irish, both boxers, both named James J., both winning their titles from dark-browed, furious sluggers of Irish blood.
All right: Corbett in 1897 met an ex-blacksmith from New Zealand—Irish and a rugged fighter, named Tom Heeney. Result—? A new champion, I say. Heeney isn't Tunney's equal in speed, punch or cleverness, but then Corbett had it all over Fitzsimmons in the way of speed and skill.
So, just as I predicted Dempsey's defeat by Tunney when I heard Gene's real name was James J., so I now predict defeat for Tunney because of the New Zealnad jinx, a factor to be reckoned with. I hope Tunney wins; I like Heeney, but I like Tunney better. Still, I predict his defeat.