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    Above, Blake Vargas as Jack Dempsey, left, and Kevin Netter as Jess Willard, right, pose with Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz and the Dempsey family who traveled from Iowa for the event. The youngest Dempsey also is named Jack.
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    Debbie Speegle

‘Day in the Sun’ event recreates historic championship boxing match

Detwiler Park in Point Place became the epicenter of another historic fight for “Toledo’s Day in the Sun” on July 4.

The event celebrated the 100th anniversary of the world heavyweight championship fight between Jack Dempsey and Jess Willard with a live reenactment of the match.

Attendees came from Point Place, Shoreland, Toledo and even farther for the event, which also included amateur bouts, music, food, games, historical costumes and more. Debbie Speegle, a Point Place resident, approached the mayor’s office with idea of celebrating the fight.

“I’d like to see [the community] take away from this event the rich history of our area; to understand that we have a lot that has happened in our city and a lot to be proud of,” she said.

With the rain luckily passing by, crews built a replica of the boxing ring and stands in Detwiler Park for the event. All proceeds from the event went to the Toledo Police Athletic League and local boxing clubs.

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