Lot 410

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During World War II, boxers talk about how to fight a 'Jap.' Packey O'Gatty writes Tunney, 'I would like to show you my methods in how to defeat Ju-Jitsu...' Tunney replies, '...the best defense again

From the Estate of Packey O'Gatty.

(1) Photograph Signed 'Gene Tunney.' Colorized signed photo, dated '1927,' trimmed around Tunney's bust image (9' high) and his signature. Glue remnants on verso. Fine condition.

(2) Autograph Letter Signed 'Packey' (O'Gatty's retained copy marked 'Copy' in red pencil), 7.25' x 10.25'. [New York], May 7, 1942. To Gene Tunney. In part, 'I want to thank you Gene for your nice letter ' by the way I just got through writing my method on how to defeat Ju-Jitsu which should be taught to the Boys in service ' as just teaching Ju-Jitsu alone, as I have noticed ' it only gives a boy the inferiority complex when facing a 'jap' in a hand to hand combat instead of teaching them how to defeat it. If interested Gene, I would like to show you my methods in how to defeat Ju-Jitsu...' Fine condition.

(3) Typed Letter Signed 'G T,' one page, 8' x 10.5'. Bureau of Naval Personnel, Washington, D.C., May 15, 1942. To boxer Packey O'Gatty. Replying to O'Gatty's May 7th letter, Commander Tunney, U.S.N.R., chief of the U.S. Navy's physical fitness program, writes, in part, 'Your reference to Ju-Jitsu was interesting. I have seen Ju-Jitsu [Tunney has penned 'in Tokyo'] and have concluded that the best defense against it is a good stiff sock on the jaw! In my opinion, it is the most over-rated plan of attack I know.' With original postmarked envelope.

(4) On January 12, 1928, in Yokohama, Japan, with one punch, Packey O'Gatty KO'd Japanese Jiu-Jitsu expert Shimakado in four seconds. Included is a 5.75' x 3.75' Christmas card from O'Gatty mentioning this and other facts.

(5) Typed Letter Signed 'Gene,' one page, 7' x 10.5'. New York, June 26, 1939. To boxer Packey O'Gatty. In full, 'Thank you so much for sending the message of congratulations. Mrs. Tunney and I appreciate your kind thought.' Creases. Light soiling at signature. Fine condition.

On June 23, 1939, Mrs. Tunney gave birth to their fourth child, and first daughter, Joan.

(6) Typed Letter Signed 'Gene,' one page, 7' x 10.5'. Stamford, Conn., August 27, 1947. To boxer Packey O'Gatty. In full, 'I have your note of the 16th and the copy of 'True Sport'. I like the way you presented the boxing course in the magazine and I am sure the boys will get a great kick out of reading it. It is far better to publish valuable things of this kind in comic books than the drivel they usually contain.' Lightly soiled. Fine condition.

Featherweight/Bantamweight Packey O'Gatty (1900-1966) boxed professionally from 1915-1928. His record was 54 (46 KO) ' 9 (5 KO) with 5 draws. In 1922, he fought a three-round exhibition match against then-Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey. Three years later, Gene Tunney won a 10-round decision over Dempsey to become World Heavyweight Champion. Born in Italy as Pasquale Agati, Packey O'Gatty was known as the Speed Demon.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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October 18, 2023 11:00 AM EDT
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