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And the West is History: Dempsey – Malloy Fight Poster – 1915

Most Durangoans are familiar with Colorado native Jack Dempsey and his 1915 boxing match in Durango. He went on to become the heavyweight champion of the world, and his athletic fame in the 1920s was only rivaled by Babe Ruth. Many don’t know the story of his opponent Andy Malloy. Malloy, by all accounts, lived a difficult life. He worked in many of the mining camps of Colorado as a miner and packer. He had some success in the boxing ring and fought Dempsey three times, losing twice and drawing once. He failed as a mine owner and by the early 1920s was working in the mines around Ophir and drinking heavily. In December 1921, in a drunken rage, he shot and killed a popular miner, 24-year-old, Gio Oberto. The next January while in the Telluride jail awaiting trial, he was given a razor with which to shave. Despondent about the killing and his forthcoming trial, he used the razor to take his own life. He was 40 years old. As a longtime friend of Malloy’s, Dempsey paid his defense counsel. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Catalog Number: 05.58.12 from the La Plata County Historical Society Photo Collections)