27 Gene Tunney Quotes from Famous American Boxer

Gene Tunney became the world heavyweight boxing champion in 1926 after defeating Jack Dempsey.

He started boxing while working as a clerk and served in the U.S. Marine Corps during WWI winning the light heavyweight championship in Paris in 1919.

Tunney won the U.S. light heavyweight title in 1922 and despite a defeat that year he reclaimed and retained the title.

Gene Tunney Quotes

Tunney retired in 1928 with an impressive record of 65 wins in 77 bouts. Post-retirement he succeeded in business and wrote two books.

I have selected the top quotes by Gene Tunney.

Best Gene Tunney Quotes


A concave chest means that your diaphragm is sagging. ~ Gene Tunney.


To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise. ~ Gene Tunney.


One half-conscious thought was burned in my mind: stay on your feet. ~ Gene Tunney.


Though I was not a belligerent kid, I do not think I ever passed up a good opportunity to fight. ~ Gene Tunney.


Ever since boyhood I’ve made a religion of keeping in shape by regular, conscientious exercise. ~ Gene Tunney.

The greatest fighter I ever saw. ~ Gene Tunney.


Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart. ~ Gene Tunney.

I did six years of planning to win the championship from Jack Dempsey. ~ Gene Tunney.

Famous Gene Tunney Quotes

If all human lives depended upon their usefulness – as might be judged by certain standards – there would be a sudden and terrific mortality in the world. ~ Gene Tunney.


A boxer must exercise and develop every part of his body. ~ Gene Tunney.

Fat is one of the chief enemies of the heart because it has to be plentifully supplied with blood and thus needlessly increases the pumping load that the heart must sustain. ~ Gene Tunney.

Many complain of a chronic weariness that sleep will not banish. Their trouble is that too little blood is pumped through the body per minute; this sluggishness, permitting poisonous waste matter to accumulate in every cell, clogs the channels of energy. ~ Gene Tunney.

But I do say that, if you will regularly devote 15 minutes a day, preferably before breakfast, for 60 days to the simple set of exercises that I devised for conditioning men in the navy, I guarantee that you will enjoy increased physical buoyancy and mental vigor. ~ Gene Tunney.

Normally, I could hit hard enough, as anyone who studied my fights might have known. But the impression was that I was essentially defensive, the very reverse of a killer, the prize fighter who read books, even Shakespeare. ~ Gene Tunney.


My own ambition in the ring had always been skillful boxing, speed and defense – on the order of Mike Gibbons. ~ Gene Tunney.

Great Gene Tunney Quotes

The way to know about championship quality is to learn from champions, and that I did; studying them with professional purpose during my time in the ring and from habitual interest afterward. ~ Gene Tunney.

Greb gave me a terrible whipping. My jaw was swollen from the right temple down the cheek, along the chin and part way up the other side. The referee, the ring itself, was full of my blood. If boxing was afflicted with the commission doctors that we have now, the first fight probably would have been stopped and no one would have heard of me today. ~ Gene Tunney.

The man who has allowed his body to deteriorate cuts a pitiful figure – chest collapsed, stomach protruding. ~ Gene Tunney.


Handball, swimming, running, jumping, basketball, and boxing were as much a part of me as breathing. ~ Gene Tunney.

A boxer’s diet should be low in fat and high in proteins and sugar. Therefore you should eat plenty of lean meat, milk, leafy vegetables, and fresh fruit and ice cream for sugar. ~ Gene Tunney.

As a West Side kid fooling around with boxing gloves, I had been, for some reason of temperament, more interested in dodging a blow than in striking one. ~ Gene Tunney.

Top Gene Tunney Quotes

In youth, we get plenty of exercise through games and running around, but as middle life approaches, we settle down, literally and figuratively. ~ Gene Tunney.


Never eat less than four hours before boxing. Then eat only lightly. ~ Gene Tunney.

Upon awakening in the morning, I wondered if the proceedings of the night before had been a dream. It was hard to believe that I was the world’s heavyweight champion. ~ Gene Tunney.

I’ve seen Dempsey fight and I was impressed with his lack of knowledge. ~ Gene Tunney.

So these were the 27 top Gene Tunney quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Brandi Chastain quotes and Gabrielle Reece quotes.

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Chandan Negi
Chandan Negi

I’m the Founder of Internet Pillar - I love sharing quotes and motivational content to inspire and motivate people - #quotes #motivation #internetpillar