Let's call it the biggest, if not greatest, moment: People in
tiny Shelby were so eager to host a heavyweight title fight that
they erected a 40,208-seat stadium for the July 4, 1923, bout
between champion Jack Dempsey and Tommy Gibbons. Dempsey won a
15-round decision, but backers of the fight lost so much money
(fewer than 12,000 tickets were sold) that four area banks had to
B/W PHOTO: BETTMANN/CORBIS (FIGHT) THE TITLE DEFENSE BY DEMPSEY (RIGHT) PUT SHELBY ON THE MAP--BUTKO'D FOUR AREA BANKS.