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Thread: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

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    Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Joe Jeannette is considered one of the top HW's of the 1910-20's, maybe top 25-50 all-time. He got a decision over Georges Carpentier in Europe when both were at or near their best. I allways read that the decision was a just one until now. In his auto-biography(available on line, thanks to Don Koss-IBRO for the tip) Carpentier was convinced that he was robbed. In his book he comes across as a very fair-minded individual and I was wondering does anyone out there have information on this fight or indeed views.
    IF Carpentier did indeed best Jeannette (and also Gunboat Smith) then our rankings of the 1910-20's need serious re-evaluation.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    I have never seen any historian from that day list Carpienter anywhere near the top of light heavyweights. Many on this board over the years have placed him as a very popular fighter who peaked very young and is mostly remembered for losing to Dempsey. I have long tried to see films of his bout with Tunney which I have read was competitive and tough but never have been able to do so . His loss to Siki is pretty inexcusable as Siki was not a skilled fighter.

    I never know how square any of the draws or losses were involving Jeannette, Langford or McVey. The odds they faced, the politics they confronted to make a buck and get somewhere near a fair shake were overwhelming. I feel they all dumped many fights or went easy to get the paydays and often set up rematches. There are several on this board who have done extensive research here like Kevin and C so hopefully they will fill us in.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    He comes across as fair minded to you? really? he makes an excuse for every loss he ever had. He struck me as being incredibly arrogant and unwilling to admit his limitations. During his career there were numerous reports from those who saw the films of his bout with Gunboat Smith that Smith was robbed by a trick Carpentiers manager would use throughout his career when his fighter was hurt or losing badly which was to run into the ring and claim a foul. Carpentier can harp about getting robbed from Jeannette (who was not in his prime) but Carpentier won a total gift decision over a very old, bloated Willie Lewis (who kicked Carp's butt royally). In his book he also claims the ND bout against Gibbons was about even which it wasnt. Carp didnt win a single round and claimed he was hampered by a twisted ankle, which he incurred in the 9th or tenth round of the fight. some excuse. His bout with Levinsky was widely rumored to be fixed to set up the Million Dollar gate. His fights against Arthur Townely and Grundhoven were a joke, obvious dives. He was slaughtered by Papke and Klaus. HIs Siki fight was supposed to be fixed in his favor but Siki double crossed him. When you consider that guys like Kid Norfolk, Harry Greb, Tommy Gibbons and Gene Tunney were running around looking for a title and Carp was refusing to fight them during his reign Id have to say hes quite overrated. that being said he was incredibly popular and credit cannot be denied him for making boxing a glamorous sport over in europe.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Like I said, an overated European icon of sorts...

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    I'll bet he was nice to his mother. PeteLeo.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Some views and opinions but very little facts or primary information, he may not have even been nice to his mother.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Quote Originally Posted by HE Grant
    I have never seen any historian from that day list Carpienter anywhere near the top of light heavyweights.
    How about
    Nat Fleischer = #7 All-Time Light Heavyweight.
    Charley Rose = #8 All-Time Light Heavweight.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Quote Originally Posted by bodyblow
    . . .In his book he also claims the ND bout against Gibbons was about even which it wasnt. Carp didnt win a single round and claimed he was hampered by a twisted ankle, which he incurred in the 9th or tenth round of the fight. some excuse. . . .
    As someone who boxed with a twisted ankle (and took a sound drubbing), it sounds like one heck of an excuse to me!!

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Some of it was opinion to be sure but much of it was fact:

    Its a fact that no one gave Carp the Gibbons fight.

    Its a fact that he was courageous but soundly drubbed against Tunney and his manager tried to win via foul.

    Its a fact that his manager jumped into the ring and won the fight on a foul against Gunboat Smith despite many claims from people who had seen the fight that it shouldnt have been stopped.

    Its a fact that he won a gift decision over old, overweight, weak chinned, ex-welterweight Willie Lewis, despite getting dropped several times, rocked several more, and soundly outboxed.

    Its a fact that he was beaten very badly by both Papke and Klaus (he claims both fights where close despite his manager literally in tears at the beating he took during the klaus fight, his manager again tried to claim a foul during the papke bout to salvage what was inevitably a loss.)

    Its a fact that his fights with Gruindhoven and Townley were ridiculous to say the least and probably staged.

    I should have also added that his bout with Eddie Huffman was probably a win for Huffman but officials were kind to Carp.

    In my opinion his best win was probably against Jeff Smith or Harry Lewis. Both of whom were simply too small to deal with him. Those fights were largely the result of a size disparity not, skill, punching power or anything like that.

    Its a fact that there were calls for an investigation into the Levinsky fight. It was reputed to be a fix. If you think about it it makes sense, there were literally millions of dollars at stake in setting up the Dempsey fight and a successful showing against Levinsky would be great. The problem was that Levinsky was a defensive spoiler with a good chin and penchant for trying to survive. Carpentier who telegraphed his money punch (the right hand) by miles may have been able to legitimately beat Levinsky but to me its unlikely that he would have scored a knockout.

    Its a fact that his fight with Siki was fixed and he still couldnt defeat a guy who while being tough had very little skill and was a fairly poor challenger.

    Like I said before. I dont think Carpentier should be remembered as a great champion, but what he did for the sport in Europe is probably incomparable to anything anyone accomplished in the world of boxing with the possible exception of John L. Sullivan and one could argue that Carpentiers impact in Europe was much greater than Sullivans was here. Carpentier really was an embassador to the sport and one that was immensely popular the world over.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Grant - You stated that you haven't been able to obtain film of Tunney-Carp. Perhaps you were referring to the greater part of the fight and have already seen this clip or similar. Anway, for what it's worth (I admit I didn't watch it all), here's a clip (dodgy quality) from rd 14 thru to the TK in rd 15 (which should show a writhing Carp claming a low blow for what appears to be a legit body shot).


    www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ks3sRKefARw

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Terrific and thanks....for some reason I have never been able to find it ...

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    The lack of facts referred to the Jeannette fight. Opinions are divided on the Gunboat ending.How can something that "was probably staged" be a fact? I am no appologist for Carpentier at all but his wins over Beckett and in particular Wells deserve credit.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Do you consider Wells and Beckett fighters worthy of garnering credit? Looking over Wells record its hard to see where he ever beat a world class fighter and in fact he lost to several club level guys at all stages of his career. The same could be said of Beckett. He had a couple of "name wins" against Moran and McGoorty but those guys where pretty much shot at the time. His best win was against Boy McCormick (IMO). Ive seen both the Grundhoven and Townley fights and when a guy goes down multiple times from punches that whistle over his head and dont make contact I have to say something is suspicious. Given that Carpentier, or his handlers at least, showed a history of either fixing fights or willingness to bend rules to suit their needs Id say they were fixed. At least two of the worst dives Ive ever seen.

    I just dont think Carp was a great fighter. Ive got pretty much every scrap of footage on the guy that is known to exist (far more footage than any other fighter of the era including Dempsey). His entire style is devised around landing a wild, looping right hand. It was a powerful punch, Im not denying that, but if you know what hes trying to do it shouldnt be hard to defend against at the elite level.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Well, I heard that he hailed a taxi for a pregnant lady once. PeteLeo.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Wouldnt rate Beckett that high but the performance was impressive and Wells was an excellent boxer (with a glass chin) and the wins over Porky Flynn and Tom Kennedy were worthy efforts IMO. I still think Carpentiers HW legacy depends on the Jeannette contest, if he did as well as he claimed then it goes up and Joe's is diminished. However if he was soundly beaten, then as bodyblow points out, the rest of his resume is not sufficent to denote greatness.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Wells was beating the shit out of Carpentier in the 1st fight, but for some reason didn't want to go for the kill when the opponent was obviously ready to go, allowing him to gather himself and land one big punch, which was enough to flatten Wells for the count.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    There used to be a regular poster here at the CBZ who went by the userID "Klompton". The guy's knowledge was top-notch, but he ended up getting banned for being incapable of civility in many discussions. However, I saved some of his posts in text files because he had so much to say about a lot of topics. This is what he had to say about Carpentier:

    -----------------

    "Basically Carp was getting the shit kicked out of him against Papke and Klaus and fouled his way out so he wouldnt lose his prestige. In the Klaus fight Carps manager jumped into the ring to "protest" an imaginary foul, his real reason was to save Carps ass from being KOd and totally ruined by Klaus who was breaking him down by putting him through the meat grinder. He also beat Gunboat Smith on what was considered a questionable foul, accused Tunney of fouling him in an effort to win that fight the easy way, accused Dempsey of fouling, etc etc. If the guy couldnt win on a foul in tough fight then he was going to lose on one.

    At the time a lot of people even felt that Bat Levinsky threw his fight to Carp. While Bat was old and fat at the time I am almost inclined to believe that its a possibility. Rickard had a lot of money to buy off Bat who wasnt really a top card at the time and it was the fight which set up Carp-Dempsey, the first million dollar gate. Dont forget that he also tried to bribe Bat Siki in order to lay down and in my opinion Bat Siki wasnt very good either so that says a lot to me.

    The one fight of Carps which is impressive to me is his win over the very underrated Jeff Smith, and even that fight was tainted with rumours of a hometown decision. The guy ducked Tommy Gibbons, Gene Tunney, and Harry Greb for years. He never agreed to fight or even spar with Greb, he only fought Gibbons because he and everyone else thought Gibbons was shot, instead Gibbons beat the piss out of him. His fights with Tunney, Huffman, and Loughran were last ditch efforts to try to continue the myth of his fading boxing legend and he went 0-1-2 in those fights.

    When you consider that the guys best, most legitimate high profile win came against a WELTERWEIGHT who could scale in the 130s when he himself was weighing 175 and above goes to show how well crafted this mans legacy was by the media."

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    I wonder if the Klomp Man ever released that definitive bio of Harry Greb he was always "polishing into a final draft"? PeteLeo.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    I wonder that one myself ? I have not heard anythng about it.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    He still posts on boxrec and eastside sometimes. Not sure about the book but last I heard he had some personal problems that had slowed things down. A book on Greb would be one wild ride, and long overdue.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    I don't have a copy of the French coverage of the fight from La Boxe & Les Boxeurs, but I see that I've got a copy of the March 28, 1914 issue of the British 'Mirror of Life & Boxing World' at home with a picture of Carpentier and Jeannete on the cover. I'm sure it must contain a recap of the fight March 21st fight. I'll check it out and share that later tonight or tommorow.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    March 28, 1914 – The Mirror of Life And Boxing World.
    Joe Jeannette Beats Carpentier.
    Georges Unlucky to Lose Decision. Jeannette Knocked Down in First Round. A Record House.
    “Frantz Reichel gave Joe Jeannette the decision after the hard fifteen rounds contest that put the coloured heavyweight and the famous French champion, Georges Carpentier, together at Luna Park last Saturday evening. It was a severe tussle from start to finish, Carpentier doing enough in my estimation to deserve the verdict. Some were of opinion that the French champion had obtained a good victory, but this may be somewhat exaggerated.
    At the opening of hostilities we had the impression that Jeannette was in for a decisive defeat, Carpenteir, near the end of the initial round getting home a formidable left and right to jaw that sent Jeannette to the boards. The coloured man rose at once, but the fact was significant and gave Carpentier partisans great hopes. Georges, however, never scored a second knock down, although he came near doing so in the eighth round, time finding Joe weak and groggy.
    My opinion is that Carpentier would have done far better than he did had he contented himself with boxing his opponent. Quicker than Jeannette and cleverer, Georges at long range proved himself the better man, and I cannot understand why he did not go after a points victory instead of trying to win by a knockout.
    Perhaps Jeannette’s going-down in the first round caused Carpentier to change his plan of campaign, but even then he had time to find out his mistake and change tactics.
    Jeannette, with the respectable pull in weight he possessed, was the strongest man and at close quarters especially. Yet Carpentier never attempted to avoid in-fighting. On the contrary, he seemed to encourage it amining many a time at Jeannette’s stomach at close quarters, to be beaten off time and again by the coloured boxer’s heavy rib blows and vicious uppercuts.
    Perseverance, we are told, is always recompensed, and it was the case in Saturday’s contest. In the eighth ro9und, unheeding Jeannette’s counters, Georges pleased himself at close quarters, his head against Joe’s breast, and pummeled away at Jeannette’s stomach as he had pummeled away at Bombardier Well’s anatomy last December. At times he raised himself to lash out vicious and effective lefts and rights to jaw, returning at once downstairs to continue his dangerous work. This lasted fully two minutes and a half of the three minute round, and under the severe treatment Jeannette weakened considerable, ran groggy and could hardly stand on his legs when the gong ended the session.
    This piece of infighting work on Carpentier’s part was grand, really grand, but he suffered greatly before and after in his attempts to pull it off.
    From round eight to the end of round eleven Carpentier assumed the mastery, Jeannette being still weak from the punishment received. In the twelfth round Jeannette woke up. Carpentier again attempted infighting, but if he was highly successful in round eight his efforts were a drastic failure. Still he persisted, receiving, during the last minute of that session, stiff punishment from Joe’s uppercuts. The gong found the French champion weak, and his features severely marked. The last three rounds were furiously contested, and much to everyone’s surprise Franz Reichel named Joe Jeannette the winner.
    At two o’clock in the afternoon Carpentier weighed 76 kilos and Jeannette 83 kilos.
    The largest house ever recorded for a boxing contest in France witnessed the contest.”

    One thing about Joe Jeannette, he could take a beating and had tremendous heart and endurance. In longer contests he usually excelled.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Carpentier in a DAmon Runyan column post the Tunney bout says that Jeanette, Smith, and Papke were far superior to Tunney and Gibbons. That being said I have seen the bout with Tunney and George gives a fine fine account of himself. All the heart and power in the world. Ive seen many of his other fights and hes no bum, but a very powerful guy. Hard to rate him based on old films but he was built hard and knew how to fight. Im sure the war cost him his prime and many great efforts, but the guys who know boxing rated him high amonst the 175 guys. I think his effort against Siki was he was just out of shape or tried to steal Siki with sucker shots after a deal was made and Siki took it too him with Carpentier being out of shape. Whatever he was as a fighter it doesnt take away from the "Orchid Man" legend and the first Million Dollar Gate with Manassa Jack Dempsey. Going twenty with Jeanette at that young age says alot for this guy IMO.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Thanks C.Moyle, well done. This report mirrors(pardon the pun) Carpentiers version almost verbatim.If this report is accurate and IMO its the best we have, then both fighters need re-evaluation, this was a significent fight even if held in Europe. If Georges was leading Smith and fouled( a big IF) then a re-rating of the 1910's is definitely in order.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    I dont see why one fight would change the entire evaluation of Carpentiers standing. Apparently the fight was close, judging by that account. Why would that be cause for reevaluating his standing? It doesnt change the fact that he lost. Ill put it this way, at any point in his career, at any weight class there were at least a handfull of guys who would have beaten Carpentier, whether it be at middle, light heavy, or heavy (the three divisions where he made his bones). If thats the case why would we need to reevaluate his all time status? I could think of tons of guys in those divisions that would have beaten him across all different generations.

    Ive also seen the Tunney-Carpentier bout, the entire bout, unedited which is extremely rare, and Carpentier is brave but he takes a pretty bad beating. Other than his big right hand (which he always had) I would not call him powerful. Tunney is obviously the stronger, smarter, and more durable fighter. He basically outboxes Carpentier on the outside and punishes him on the inside. He had Carpentier beat from pretty much any style of boxing and thats why Carp lost.

    Willie Lewis had a ton of losses on his record and was coming off a one sided two round KO loss to Mike Gibbons when he fought Carpentier. Lewis was fat welterweight who ate his way into a middleweight bout with Georges for the big french money and beat the snot out of Carpentier, flooring him several times and got robbed for it. Should we re-evaluate Lewis? I think both fighters careers are pretty much spelled out for us on paper and Carpentiers can be seen on film easily. Much more film of him from that era than anyone else. One dimensional guy with a huge right hand hyped by the media and his legion of fans who was brave as he could be, fought some of the best men of his era, with some questionable fights going in his favor, and more than once there was talk of a fix. Very interesting guy but not a GREAT fighter. Thats just my opinion and that is where I shall leave it.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    I really appreciate Bodyblows contribution to this thread and it seems to me that he has seen and knows more about Carpentier than the rest of us. However a few points to consider and why I think this bout is important in the evaluating of the period.
    "Boxing" magazine in Britain at this time had a reputation similar to that which "Ring" was to assume in America later and they felt Georges was robbed. Thanks to Miles Templeton, I have just read their report of March 28th 1914 by an F Hurdsman-Lucas "Carpentier wins the fight against Jeannette but loses the verdict." Their follows a detailed coverage of the fight with many photos and everything tallys with Carpentier's recall of the fight. Also quoted are the leading French papers and like Clay Moyles "Mirror" report they seen Carpentier as the clear winner. Top referee Dr. Phelan and G. Bettisson of the NSC also saw it that way. Joe may have been a bit weakened by weight making., he came in at a very light(for him)83 kg -184 lbs.
    In his book, available in its entirity on line he is complimentary to the power and skill of both Papke and Klaus and admits them to be his master. He was EIGHTEEN (!) YEARS OLD FIGHTING THE TWO GREATEST MIDDLEWEOIGHTS IN THE WORLD. When he fought Jeannette and Gunboat he was twenty.
    he lost the 5 years of his prime to the second world war and came back to defeat Beckett and Levinsky. I dont think it is good eneough to attribute the Levinsky win to a situation where the money suited the Frenchman's victory-in that case half of all fights are dodgy.
    I too have seen several rounds of his Tunney and Gibbons losses and he was gallant in defeat against a top 20 all-time heavy at his peak and an ATG l/heavy. I think Carp wasn't the greatest l/h ever but he's top 15 at least. The other point it brings up, if Jeannette could not defeat Carp at his peak-and I think 1909-1915 was Joe's peak- how good was Jeannette in the greater scheme of things? Remember Tony Ross gave him loads of trouble too.I know I risk Hell's Fury by queation ant of the blessed trinity of Langford, McVey or Jeannette.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Well, here I might have to agree with you in the sense that I think Jeannette is a bit overrated today. I know its a sin to say so but I just see him as being the lesser of Langford, Johnson, Wills, and maybe even McVea who he beat in a momumental fight.

    Another point, and not to call you out or anything but merely stating fact: There is no fight footage of Gibbons-Carpentier in existence today. There is pre-fight footage of the fighters entering the ring and shaking hands as well as in-between rounds footage, and a brief clip of Tommy after the fight but that is all that exists today.

    I admit that Im probably being a stickler here but Id have to see the Jeannette-Carpentier fight to judge for myself (it was probably filmed but is not known to exist anymore). It cannot be underestimated how popular Carpentier was in both France and England. The report that cmoyle posted was interesting but to me it still sounded like a close fight

    "Jeannette, with the respectable pull in weight he possessed, was the strongest man and at close quarters especially. Yet Carpentier never attempted to avoid in-fighting. On the contrary, he seemed to encourage it amining many a time at Jeannette’s stomach at close quarters, to be beaten off time and again by the coloured boxer’s heavy rib blows and vicious uppercuts."

    "In the twelfth round Jeannette woke up. Carpentier again attempted infighting, but if he was highly successful in round eight his efforts were a drastic failure. Still he persisted, receiving, during the last minute of that session, stiff punishment from Joe’s uppercuts. The gong found the French champion weak, and his features severely marked. The last three rounds were furiously contested, and much to everyone’s surprise Franz Reichel named Joe Jeannette the winner."

    It sounds like Carpentier had the more eye catching moments, which even today can sway a crowd but that said it sounds like Jeannette was as consistent. A close fight sounds like, not sure if it was controversial.

    I agree he was gallant against Tunney, but did he give a good account of himself? I didnt really think so. Im not sure he won more than 2 or 3 rounds being generous and saying he was gallant, on my part, means he took his beating and didnt quit (at least not until the last round when he tried to win the easy way). He fought Tunney in spurts and everytime he spurting Tunney raked him with vicious volleys of punches to the head and body.

    I think in terms of light heavies at least Gibbons, Tunney, Greb, Norfolk, Miske, Jack Delaney, Paul Berlenbach, Tommy Loughran, and Jack Dillon were better than or would have consistently beaten Carpentier. Now, what about some of the other eras? Archie Moore? Michael Spinks? Philly Jack O'Brien? Bob Fitzsimmons? Bob Foster? Dick Tiger? Billy Conn? Maxie Rosenbloom? Dwight Qawi? Saad Muhammad? Harold Johnson? Not to mention all the unsung greats who never won a title. Does that leave room for Carp as a top 15 guy at LH despite losing most of his most important bouts at middle, Lh, and heavy?

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    You might as well add Langford to that list. Although he fought as many heavyweights, he was really more of a light-heavyweight, and he'd certainly belong at, or near the top of that list.

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    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    I'm from Europe(Ireland) so I have some appreciation of how popular Carpentier was in Europe. Jeannette himself was well thought of in Europe, but not of course to the same extent. Picking up a few rounds off Tunney was not a bad performances, Gene didn't lose many rounds.
    BTW I think Carp beats Delaney, Berlenbach, Tiger, O'Brien, Rosenbloom, Maybe Norfolk. I dont rate Miske at L/heavy. I'm mean how many l/heavy weights would beat Jeannette? That's why I see this fight as pivotal in judging Carpentier-it seems to me by far his best performance. I'm not saying that he won without question, on balance it appears to have been a competive fight but one that Georges won.Langford, Fitz, Dillon, Spinks, Moore, Johnson, Tunney, Greb, maybe Jeff Clarke would have beaten him IMO.
    Its a pity that time (and my one finger typing) means that I cant reproduce the detailed round by round coverage in "Boxing" but here is a flavor of it.
    "personally speaking, I have not got over it yet and one English just behind me refused to accept a golden Louis that he had "won" on the match. "L'ero" and France's foremost daily "Le Journal" qualified the verdict as "scandalous."
    "So cut, dried and distilled Carpentier's victory seemed to all the real competences I consulted on the matter that my own judgement is subordinate to theirs"
    "If Carpentier had been beaten you would have been told so; [by the author] as you were when Klaus half killed the lad and Papke stopped him "
    The body of evidence (in tha absence of film) says Carp won. My memory of Carpentier-Gibbons might be Carpentier-Loughran or has my memory completely failed me? I must try and dig out my old fight film tapes!

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    703
    vCash
    500

    Re: Jeannette and Carpentier; for serious historians...

    Carpentier-Loughran doesnt exist either. Not sure what fight it could have been.

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