A History of Athletes Retiring as Champions

Gene Tunney

Career years: 1915-1928
Accolades: Career record of 80-1 with 48 wins by KO, world heavyweight champion (1926-1928
Last stand: World Heavyweight Championship, July 26, 1928, Yankee Stadium, Bronx, N.Y.: Gene Tunney defeats Tom Heeney by KO (11 rounds)

Gene Tunney held the heavyweight title from 1926-28, during which he fought and defeated the famed Jack Dempsey twice. His final title defense came against Tom Heeney at Yankee Stadium, where "The Fighting Marine" knocked out Heeney in the 11th round and retired with his championship in tact.

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