Tommy Gibbons started his professional boxing career as a middleweight in 1911. Over the next 15 years, he developed into one of the top heavyweight fighters in the country.
Gibbons, who was born in St. Paul, lost only four of his 106 career fights. His record was 56-4-1 with 44 no-decisions and one no-contest. Of his 56 wins, 48 were by KO.
The biggest fight of his career was on July 4, 1923, in Shelby, Montana, when he fought heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey. Gibbons dueled Dempsey for 15 rounds before Dempsey won by decision. At the time of the fight, Gibbons was a "light" heavyweight, weighing only 174½ pounds. Dempsey weighed 192 pounds.
George Barton wrote in the Minneapolis Tribune, "Tommy Gibbons of St. Paul is the hero of the boxing world tonight for he gained the honor of being the first man to stay the limit (with Dempsey) since Dempsey won the championship from Jess Willard at Toledo, July 4, 1919."
Gibbons' final professional fight was against Gene Tunney on June 5, 1925 at New York City's Polo Grounds. Tunney, who had been the American Heavyweight Champion in 1922 and 1923, knocked Gibbons in the 12th round — the only time in Gibbons' professional career that he was knocked out. The next year, Tunney became the World Heavyweight Champion.
Following his boxing career, Gibbons served as the Ramsey County Sheriff for 24 years.
Gibbons is a member of the Boxing Hall of Fame, the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the Helms Foundation Hall of Boxing Fame.
Gibbons' older brother Mike, a middleweight and welterweight, is also a member of the Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame.