Shaw & the boxer to boil it down, worth reading!
He was introduced to the bard by a fellow marine en route to France with the American Expeditionary Force; by the time he fought for the heavyweight championship he had plowed his way through the collected works of Shakespeare, and could recite Hamlet in its entirety. Invited to Yale to lecture on Shakespeare, he did so creditably, and without notes.
Tunney’s intellectual bent was not universally admired. Will Rogers (no relation to Roy), wrote in his folksy newspaper column, “Let’s have prizefighters with harder wallops and less Shakespeare”, and Paul Gallico, the Columbia-educated sports editor of the New York Daily News�, made light of Tunney’s chances in his 1926 challenge to Jack Dempsey, opining: “I think Tunney has hurt his own game with his cultural nonsense.
via Unlikely tale of the playwright and the pugilist – The Irish Times – Thu, Sep 23, 2010.