1920-10-12 Georges Carpentier nd-w co 4 (12) Battling Levinsky, International League Park, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA - WORLD

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1920-10-12 Georges Carpentier nd-w co 4 (12) Battling Levinsky, International League Park, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA - WORLD. Referee: Harry Ertle. Although a decision could not be given, it was advertised as a championship battle and finally gave the 175lbs title international status, Carpentier (170½) being acknowledged as champion after defeating Levinsky (175) conclusively. The fight itself saw the Frenchman darting around Levinsky, stinging him with smart left leads before dropping him with a sizzling right to the jaw in the second round. Mistakenly given 15 seconds to recover, Levinsky was soon down again and somehow got through the third session, making Carpentier miss consistently, before a series of rapid-fire head shots dropped him in a heap to be counted out at 1.07 of the fourth.

With Carpentier being given a crack at Jack Dempsey’s heavyweight title, Levinsky continued to bill himself as the holder of the American light heavyweight crown and made a successful defence when outpointing Dan O'Dowd over 12 rounds at The Arena, Syracuse, New York on 15 April 1921.

After being knocked out by Dempsey in the fourth round at Boyle’s Thirty Acres, Jersey City on 2 July 1921, it came as no surprise that Carpentier decided to remain among the light heavies.

Later, on 13 January 1922, Gene Tunney, the future heavyweight champion, took over the American mantle when beating Levinsky on points over 12 rounds at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York. Regardless of billing, Tunney effectively risked his American 175lbs title a few weeks later when taking on Whitey Wenzel (nd-w rsc 4 at the Ice Palace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 14 February) and Fay Keiser (nd-w pts 10 at The Armory, Grand Rapids, Michigan on 3 March).

Throughout this period Kid Norfolk clearly saw himself as being the leading ‘black’ fighter in the division, although it is difficult to trace any legitimate championship bouts for him because most of his opponents were natural heavyweights. Prior to him fighting the Jamaica Kid at The Casino, Manhattan, NYC, New York on 3 May 1921 the New York Times had quoted Kid Norfolk as saying he would claim the ‘black’ title if he won. Although winning on points over 15 rounds, Norfolk was reported to weigh 181½lbs to the Kid’s 175 at ringside, which placed him above the limit. However, if you accept that the two men weighed in earlier subject to contract Norfolk could well have been inside 175lbs. Not long after, on 30 May, Norfolk was stopped in nine rounds at the Arizona AC, Phoenix, Arizona by Lee Anderson in what was a billed title bout. While this defeat failed to stop Norfolk from claiming the title, Anderson made defences against Rough House Ware (w pts 10 at the Arizona AC, Phoenix on 4 July) and Tiger Flowers (w co 7 in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico on 9 May). Meanwhile Kid Norfolk was recognised by Tex Rickard as the ‘black’ champion and had been presented with a diamond studded belt, which he defended against the Jamaica Kid (w pts 8 at Madison Square Garden, Manhattan, NYC, New York on 30 December 1921). He also put his claim on the line against Young Jack Johnson (w rsc 8 at the Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York on 20 February 1922).