Guy Clifton, who penned the wonderful “Dempsey in Nevada” book a few years ago, has teamed with fellow Reno Gazette-Journal staffer Ray Hagar (who you may remember as the sportswriter that Yankees manager Billy Martin notoriously punched!) to write a history of the Jack Johnson vs. Jim Jeffries “Fight of the Century” that took place in Reno–100 years ago–on July 4, 1910.
If you couldn’t get enough of the history over the anniversary weekend, “Johnson-Jeffries: Dateline Reno” debuted last week and is an easy and informative read that includes profiles on Johnson, Jeffries, promoter Tex Rickard and Nevada Gov. Denver Dickerson–the man who gave the fight a home after California banned it.
As with “Dempsey in Nevada,” Clifton and Hagar have unearthed new information and corrected the historical record in certain instances.
The interesting twist: the story is largely told through the writings of Reno’s 1910 newspapers, the morning Nevada State Journal and the afternoon Reno Evening Gazette. The stories are wonderful artifacts, the photos are tremendous and the cartoons by Art Buel–not seen in 100 years–are worth the price of this most important book by themselves.
The book retails for $29.95 and can be purchased at www.johnsonjeffriesbook.com, www.amazon.com or www.barnesandnoble.com.