The Chuck Norris of the 1930s?

Apparently Jack Dempsey was his generation’s Chuck Norris, who, as we know, doesn’t read books but stares them down until he gets the information that he wants. Here he is in a 1934 Modern Mechanix article boasting how he can “whip any mechanical robot”:

i-cbd46083c702722725e2906358d78637-dempsey_robot_0.jpg i-e7745640decdfb4ffd9ca066136a185f-dempsey_robot_1.jpg

Of course, I still think it would hurt like hell to try to punch steel, regardless of how good a boxer you are.


  1. #1 Niobe
    December 2, 2007

    Keep in mind Chuck Norris facts were all the rage in 2005 and that he’s used that limelight to show to the world he’s a creationist fundie.

  2. #2 Orac
    December 2, 2007

    Who cares? I found this amusing; so I posted it. 😉

  3. #3 Marcus Ranum
    December 2, 2007

    Y’know a boxing robot would be a great project for the DARPA challenge!!

    Other than the problem of getting a robot that could do image-processing fast enough, it wouldn’t be hard to make it able to deal out a pretty good uppercut. I’m imagining a computer-controlled back-hoe would be nothing you’d want to tangle with!

  4. #4 LC
    December 2, 2007

    Well it was the 30’s where the height of electronics was the vacuum tube, and the height of robotics was Elektro. The difficulty of a fight would have been along the lines of beating up C-3PO.

    Send him up against even a modern industrial robot and not only would the robot punch through his defences, but probably his chest, the referee behind him, and a fair portion of the rings floor. And as for a Terminator endo-skeleton…well make sure you bring a wet-vac for the end of round 1.

    I do notice though he had an out clause though- “….the average clever boxer, facing a robot constructed with two or three vulnerable points…”.

  5. #5 DLC
    December 2, 2007

    Nah, he was the Will Smith of the 30s . . .
    (I hated that movie… )
    I’d like to see him battle one of the Army’s MULES.
    he’d lose, even against the unarmed versions.

  6. #6 Freddy the Pig
    December 3, 2007

    Jack Dempsey may have been willing to fight a robot, but like most heavyweight champions of his era he wouldn’t fight a black man and was able get away with refusing black challengers Jack Johnson was only had the opportunity to become champion because Tommy Burns (the lightest and shortest heavyweight champion), a Canadian was willing and eager to fight any challenger. Burns even fought 2 challengers in one day.

    Burns has been largely overlooked by boxing historians of the his time because he allowed a black man to become champion.

  7. #7 Jon H
    December 4, 2007

    “Other than the problem of getting a robot that could do image-processing fast enough”

    It probably wouldn’t be too hard to code something to look for the nostrils or pupils. We use a video eyetracker which is made to track pupils, but will occasionally lock onto the nostrils – like the pupil, the nostril is an elliptical region of flat black in a brighter background.

    If you can find the nostrils or pupils, then you know where the face is, and you at least know where to punch. I doubt a human could effectively block a powerful mechanical punch.

  8. #8 jay
    December 5, 2007

    On the Chuck Norris vein,

    A bunch of users created Chuck Norris style put-downs about cryptographer Bruce Schneier

    (ex: “NP pretends to be P when Bruce is nearby.”, “Bruce Schneier once decrypted a box of AlphaBits” “When Bruce Schneier does modulo arithmetic, there are no remainders. Ever.” “Paul Erdos only has a Schneier number of 2.”

    The website (which has some problems)

    Users posted their favorits:

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