Chicago Coliseum Club (Promoter) v. Dempsey (Boxer) 265 Ill. App. 542 (1932)

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Chicago Coliseum Club (Promoter) v. Dempsey (Boxer)
Illinois Court of Appeals, First District,
265 Ill. App. 542 (1932)

Procedural History

Promoter filed in Marion county to stop boxer from training/competing in any fights, particularly the Tunney fight, other than the contracted fight with Wills


  • Dempsy Boxer was worlds Champion Heavyweight
  • Boxer received $10 receipt was acknowledged, $300,000 Aug 5th 1926 after the fight, $500,000 10 days before the fight, and %50 of all profits over $2,000,000. In addition %50 of revenue from moving picture, and royalties received by Promoter.
  • Boxer agreed to have life and health insurance at a place designated by the Promoter
  • Previous Agreements with Floyd Fitzsimmons were void
  • $50,000 supposed to be placed in escrow for Wills (the opponent). No record of this found
  • Weisberg contracted out as an expert boxing promotter by Promoter to do actual promotion. Was to be reimbursed for any expenses out of match revenue
  • Promoter set up a an insurance meeting and required Boxer to begin training no later than 8/1/1926
  • Dempsey responds the Promoter that he is too busy training for a different fight with Tenny to meet with insurance for Wills fight and implies no contract was made.


Opinion of the Circuit Court reversed and remanded for new trial


The general rule is that a plaintiff can only recover damages that naturally flow and are a result of the breach of contract


No expectation damages: The profits from the event were too speculative. The success or failure of the event rests on several outside factors, weather, other simultaneous events, promotion.

No damages for the Promoters attempt at specific performance. The attempt to force Dempsey to fight were taken at the Promoters own risk.

Yes on Reliance damages in Proposition 4. The court agreed that the plaintiff should recover damages, from the signing – to breach, for costs that incurred. In effect placing the plaintiff back in the position as if no contract was made


Prop 1

Success or failure of the event was purely speculative and acknowledged by the Promoter

Prop 2

Damages not recoverable because The general rule is that a plaintiff can only recover damages that naturally flow and are a result of the breach of contract

Prop 3

The promoter could not recover for action taken to force specific performance

Prop 4

These items, date of the signing-breach on 7/10/1926 were found to be recoverable. Reason being the were “incurred as necessary expense in furtherance of the performance”

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