Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Georges Carpentier vs Wells, Papke & Grundhoven

Georges Carpentier vs Wells, Papke & Grundhoven
Pathe Newsreel Segments 1912, 1920
3 minutes 10 seconds

The Fighter
I came across these Pathe fight films which I had never seen before. It inspired me to take a fresh look Georges Carpentier, the great French boxing champion who fought internationally 1908-1926. He had his first professional fight at the age of 14 and quickly became the Golden Boy of France. At 5’11” he was a lean, crafty and skilled boxer with surprising KO power. During his career, he grew and fought from Welterweight to Heavyweight. Unfortunately he’s most remembered in the U.S. as road kill for Jack Dempsey in their famous title fight of 1921. After that bout, Carpentier and Dempsey became friends, and for years visited and celebrated the anniversaries of their fight. Carpentier also fought Gene Tunney, and did well early in their 1924 fight, but Tunney’s size and strength were too much. To add insult to the loss, Tunney fouled Carpentier with a low blow in the 14th, and Carpentier collapsed. Carpentier was also a respected referee, and can be seen, at age 20, as the third man in the ring for the Jack Johnson vs Frank Moran heavyweight title fight in Paris 1914. An irony is the fact that Carpentier was also a top heavyweight contender at the time, though he never fought Johnson.

The Film
It’s too bad this segment is so short, but it’s still a gem. Carpentier is briefly shown in action against two American middleweight boxers and a Belgian heavyweight. The fights were held in Paris. The first opponent is labeled as “Lewis”, and according to the record, this is either either Harry or Willie Lewis circa 1912. The third shows Carpentier’s KO of heavyweight Georges Grundhoven in 1920 winning the European Heavyweight title. The most significant clip is Carpentier challenging the great middleweight champion Billy Papke in 1912, who had also fought the Stanley Ketchel. We see action in the 17th round, where Carpentier has suffered a severe cut and is struggling to hold on. The fight was stopped in the next round.

The Restoration
Film speed adjusted.
Contrast improved.

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