Jack Dempsey vs. Georges Carpentier

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Carpentier falls through the ropes in the first round
Carpentier is counted out in the fourth round

Jack Dempsey 188 lbs beat Georges Carpentier 172 lbs by KO in round 4 of 12

  • Date: 1921-07-02
  • Location: Boyle's Thirty Acres, Jersey City, New Jersey, USA
  • Referee: Harry Ertle


  • On November 4, 1919, Jack Dempsey signed a contract with promoter Dominick Tortorich to fight British heavyweight champion Joe Beckett in a 20-round fight in New Orleans, Louisiana on March 17, 1920. However, it was contingent on Beckett defeating George Carpentier on December 4, 1919. The Dempsey-Beckett fight went up in smoke when Carpentier knocked out Beckett in the first round.
  • After signing Dempsey and Carpentier, promoter Tex Rickard borrowed $250,000 to build a 91,613-seat stadium in Jersey City, New Jersey. The stadium was built in nine weeks on a piece of land known as Boyle’s Thirty Acres. Octagonal, it covered seven acres. The final row of bleachers rose 34 feet from the ground and was 312 feet from the center of the ring.
  • Rickard promoted the bout as "The Fight of the Century" (the third time he used that label: [1]). He also promoted the fight as "hero" vs. "villain." The hero in this case was not the American, Dempsey, but the Frenchman, Carpentier, who had distinguished himself as a pilot in World War I. Dempsey, on the other hand, was cast as the villain, as he had been labeled a "slacker" for avoiding the military draft-—even though he had been found not guilty of the offense in 1920.
  • This was boxing's first million dollar gate, generating $1,789,238. Tickets were priced from $5.50 to $50. After the fight sold out, Rickard said he should have doubled the prices. Dempsey was guaranteed $300,000 and Carpentier $200,000. Each man received 25% of the motion picture rights.
  • This was the first fight to be broadcast to a mass audience over the radio. The ringside commentators were Major Andrew White and J.O. Smith.
  • The ring was 20 feet square.
  • The fighters wore eight-ounce gloves.
  • Carpentier, the reigning World Light Heavyweight Champion, was outweighed by 16 pounds.
  • Dempsey was a 2 to 1 favorite.
  • The fight started at 3:16 in the afternoon.
  • Three months before the fight, Carpentier predicted that the fight would last more than four rounds. In the second round, Carpentier broke his right thumb in two places and suffered a slight wrist strain; Dempsey floored Carpentier twice in the fourth round.

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