View Full Version : Jack Dempsey vrs Luis Firpo(radio broadcast?)

02-18-2006, 08:03 PM
Was that fight broadcast by radio?
If so, was it preserved?

02-19-2006, 01:13 PM
yes it was broadcasted on a 23 station network to one million... even to mexico... I couldnt find a clip of it on the net, but i'd be real surprised if it doesnt exsist somewhere... heres 2 interesting links to a timeline of the very first sports events broadcast on radio:

www2.tltc.ttu.edu/HARPER/.../radio.htm (http://www2.tltc.ttu.edu/HARPER/3338Sports/Study/PPNotesSP/radio.htm)

www.mexicodesconocido.com...&idpag=710 (http://www.mexicodesconocido.com.mx/english/historia/siglo_xx/detalle.cfm?idsec=4&idsub=23&idpag=710)

02-19-2006, 06:18 PM
never seen this before... this is actor/director john houston's account of being near ringside at the firpo/dempsey fight... funny story at the end when houston finally got to meet dempsey:

www.adherents.com/people/...uston.html (http://www.adherents.com/people/ph/Walter_Huston.html)

02-19-2006, 09:43 PM
HTM - thanks for that.

Of course, Huston had his own legendary brawl with Errol Flynn. I've heard two versions of how that fight started. According to David Niven's book, THE MOON'S A BALOON, Flynn and Huston became bored at Hollywood party and decided to have a punch up (Huston to Flynn - "let's mix it up a little, kid"), just for fun. However, master story teller Niven was known to embellish some what. Otherwise and more realistically, I've heard that the fight actually started after Flynn insulted a female acquaintance of Huston's (or visa versa). At any rate, it seems that they did in fact have a protracted give and take punch up with each man being knocked down multiple times before going to hospital to be patched up.

I haven't reviewed the Dempsey-Firpo fight for a while. For as short as the fight was and the brevity of Firpo's moment in the sun, the thing that sticks out in my mind was how bruised and swollen Dempsey appeared at the finish. He also appeared still half dazed and unsteady on his feet, with his handlers embraces appearing to serve more as literal support than congratulatory affection. Dempsey himself admitted that he fought back through a virtual fog before eventually putting Firpo down for keeps.

Like the later day Wills-Dempsey photo, there's another great pic of Carpentier, Dempsey and Firpo standng together in later yrs (Gallicrow?) at some function. Firpo was definitely a legit big man at a good 6'3", still appearing appreciably larger than his old contemporaries.

02-19-2006, 10:09 PM

you know the way houston tells it... it seemed the firpo/dempsey fight had a profound effect on him in re to spectacle & event... may have had something to do w/ his later pursuits for the limelights himself...

in re to flynn... if houston held his own, he must've been a decent brawler... many people have flynn pegged as a country club dandy... but the guy was actually a pretty tough guy... as talented an athlete as he was in tennis... he also could hold his own in fencing and boxing... he was a pretty well sized in shape actor until he let the partying and coke overtake him.

Dan Gunter
02-20-2006, 05:49 AM
In regard to fencing (the only martial art that I have practiced), I read that Flynn fenced one of the greats (perhaps Aldo Nadi) and was delighted to get in a single touch.

02-21-2006, 05:44 PM
Great story by Huston!!! I loved it and it brought me right into the fight. Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

02-21-2006, 07:01 PM
Yes it was a great little story i love reading these funny storys about these legends of boxing. Fancy trying to kick Dempsey's ass.

Hello Rocky
Great to see you alive and kicking my friend. Rock if you read this again was it you who told that story about Joe Louis all but shitting himself while in a rough, tough bar or club down in Mexico. If so could you tell it again or tell me where you saw it. I though that one was hilarious,

02-21-2006, 07:02 PM
its too bad when houston was still alive that he didnt attempt to make a movie about dempsey... houston was a gifted director & understood the nuances of that famous decade... along w/ having a sense about the west from wh/ dempsey sprang from... w/ the hit dempsey's reputation has taken from the current pc recharacterization of history & misunderstanding (imo) of how he handled wells & other black fighters situation... i doubt it will ever get made in re to a big production picture... thats a shame... b/c in several ways it could really be argued that dempsey was the quinessential american hero of that era... one foot out of the last days of the frontier west & the other defining the initial electronic spectacles of the roaring '20's...

that said, if anything it reflects a lessening desire in current american society to study its past... history is a hard sell today in the instant gratification mindset of many moviegoers... look for ex how bad cinderalla man did in the box office... it wasnt a classic, but it was certainly very good entertainment & gave a broad sense of the struggles of the great depression.. yet it flopped... i'm hoping at the very least the great white hope gets remade.. thats a possibility w/ the documentary already out & johnson being rediscovered as quite a unique story of his day.

Roberto Aqui
02-22-2006, 12:07 AM
[[[[i'm hoping at the very least the great white hope gets remade.. thats a possibility w/ the documentary already out & johnson being rediscovered as quite a unique story of his day. ]]]]]]]]

Not sure why you are so fond of this gross misrepresentation of Johnson and the era. I grew up thinking it was like a biography instead of some broadway fluff as it turns out.

I mean the subject matter is great for a breakout role of a young black actor or as some meat for an older struggling actor, but I always felt like something was wrong with it. Now had it been presented as fictional characters, I could have bought in.

02-22-2006, 08:24 AM
roberto I should've clarified more... I agree w/ you in re to its orginal form... I wouldnt want to see that remade w/ all its fictional baggage... what I think would really work well on screen in re to johnson's life is a much more honest and realistic focus on what made the guy tick.... the good, bad & the ugly... w/ the interesting transition of the usa into a new century as the backdrop... both from its social & technological sweeping changes... sort of like raging bull but allowing also more broad scope to also reflect the overall times... w/ johnson there were certainly some warts, esp in some of his treatment of some women & an overriding ego that could grate & seemed to push him into some irrational choices... however on the flipside it was that ego that underpinned a level of personal courage & ambition that was not only impressively uncommon but let him accomplish goals wh/ were incredible considering that of wh/ he came up from... that complexity and contrasting virtues/vices could make fascintating material.... along the way tracing his history from the battle royale galveston docks to his fall from glory in havana, cuba would allow also a fascinating display of a radically challenging but changing world... perhaps a opening scene w/ the great galveston hurricane in '00, right about the time johnson started his trek would make for good methaphor.

Roberto Aqui
02-22-2006, 03:02 PM
How about this idea for all you budding young screenwriters:

A small nuclear bomb goes in the Suez canal sending the world in a state of red alert with nuclear missiles up and bristling in anticipation.

The souls of Jeffries, Johnson, Langford, Willard, Wills and Dempsey are suddenly occupying their earthly prime bodies in a no man's zone, and they are trying to figure out what is going on.

Infrequent brief radio broadcasts randomly burst in with clues, but they have to sit around and mostly do nothing but talk.

They could answer all the critics as well as defend their careers and confess any misgivings with each other.

Classic film footage could be interspliced in. Near the end an American military patrol stumbles on the group and increduously inform their commanders who are disbelieving.

Fade to black and a then a pair of friends wake up from drunken stupor to find they passed out and dreamed the whole thing after drinking beer and debating the fighters whilst watching film footage.