Tunney was, by most accounts, dominating the fight from rounds one to six, using his familiar style of boxing from a distance while looking for openings and, at the same time, building a points lead. Up until the end of round six, nothing indicated this fight would be far different from their original meeting.
In round seven, however, the 104,000 in attendance witnessed a moment that would live on in boxing history. With Tunney trapped against the ropes and near a corner, Dempsey unleashed a combination of punches that floored the champion. Two rights and two lefts landed on Tunney's chin and staggered him, and four more punches deposited him on the canvas. It was the first time in Tunney's career that he'd been knocked down.
Apparently dizzy and disoriented, Tunney grabbed on to the ring's top rope with his left hand. Dempsey, who used to stand over opponents and rush right back at them after they got up, looked down on Tunney. Referee Dave Barry ordered Dempsey into a neutral corner to no avail; Dempsey just stood there, observing his opponent. This gave Tunney precious seconds to recuperate. By the time Dempsey finally walked to a neutral corner, Tunney had been down for around 3 to 7 seconds. Barry could not start to count on Tunney until Dempsey reached the neutral corner, but he was still able to count to nine before Tunney got up. Some believe that if Dempsey had responded to the referee's orders in time, he would have likely regained the world Heavyweight crown with a seventh round knockout of Tunney. The validity of this argument has been debated even to this day. In the fight film, a clock was superimposed that recorded Tunney's time on the floor as 13 seconds, from the moment he fell until he got up. Because of this delay, it became known as The Long Count Fight.
By the eighth round, Tunney had resumed boxing from a distance, and he floored Dempsey with a punch. It's notable that this time, the referee started counting right away, before Tunne...