Jack Dempsey, born John Edward Kelly, Curran, County Kildare, Ireland was an extremely popular fighter in America during the 1880s. Only the great John L. Sullivan, heavyweight champion, was more famous. Jack began his athletic career as a collar-and-elbow wrestler along with his brother, Martin. Soon, he gave it up and switched to boxing exclusively. Most of his contests were fought with bare-knuckles or skin-tight gloves under London Prize Ring rules.