Georges Carpentier

Georges Carpentier (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɔʁʒ kaʁ.pɑ̃ˈtje]; January 12, 1894 – October 28, 1975) was a French boxer, actor and World War I pilot.[2] He fought mainly as a light heavyweight and heavyweight in a career lasting from 1908 to 1926. Nicknamed the "Orchid Man",[1] he stood 5 feet 11 12 inches (182 cm) and his fighting weight ranged from 147 to 175 pounds (67 to 79 kg).[1] Carpentier was known for his speed, his excellent boxing skills and his extremely hard punch. The Parisian Sports Arena Halle Georges Carpentier is named after him.

Georges Carpentier
Georges Carpentier 1920.jpg
Light Heavyweight
Height5 ft 11 12 in (182 cm)[1]
BornJanuary 12, 1894[1]
Lievin, Pas-de-Calais, France
DiedOctober 28, 1975(1975-10-28) (aged 81)
Paris, France
Boxing record
Total fights109
Wins by KO56
No contests1


Born in Liévin in Pas-de-Calais, Carpentier began his career by progressing up through the weight divisions, fighting in every division from welterweight upwards. After making his first professional bout at age 14, he was welterweight champion of France and of Europe in 1911, middleweight champion of Europe in 1912, and light heavyweight champion of Europe in 1913. On June 1, 1913, he beat "Bombardier" Billy Wells in Ghent, Belgium to become heavyweight champion of Europe. He defended his title in December against Wells, in January 1914 against Pat O'Keeffe and in London on July 16 he beat Ed "Gunboat" Smith to add the "White Heavyweight Champion of the World" to his European title. The white heavyweight title bout sported a purse worth 9,000 pounds sterling (equivalent to approximately $1,079,704 in today's funds[3]).

Carpentier was also a referee during the early stages of his career, supervising a number of fights including the world title bout between Jack Johnson and Frank Moran in June 1914. Carpentier was a French Air Force aviator during World War I and was awarded two of the highest French military honors, the Croix de Guerre and the Médaille Militaire. This served to heighten his already exceptional popularity, not only in France but in the United States and England as well.

Carpentier defended his title twice again in 1919 before dropping down a weight class to challenge Battling Levinsky for the light heavyweight championship of the world.[4] The fight took place on October 12, 1920, in Jersey City and Levinsky was knocked out in the fourth. Carpentier's attempt at the heavyweight Championship of the world came on July 2, 1921, again in Jersey City, when he faced Jack Dempsey in front of boxing's first million dollar gate (approximately $14,000,000 today). Carpentier was badly beaten around before suffering a knockout in the second minute of the fourth round. Carpentier never fought again for that title. He lost his world light heavyweight title and his European heavyweight and light heavyweight titles the following year, on September 24, 1922, in a controversial bout with Senegalese fighter Battling Siki. His last truly noteworthy fight was on July 24, 1924, with Gene Tunney at the Polo Grounds in Manhattan, New York City. Carpentier lost the bout by TKO after fifteen rounds. He retired from the ring after a final exhibition bout in 1927.

Following his retirement from boxing, Carpentier spent a number of years as a vaudeville song-and-dance man, mostly in England and the US. He is the author of a boxing novel, Brothers of the Brown Owl: A Story of the Boxing Ring published c. 1920 by Cassell and Company (being a volume in the uniform Cassell's Empire Library). He also appeared in half a dozen motion pictures, starring in both silent films and talkies. He made three films in Hollywood, one for director J. Stuart Blackton in England and two in his native France. His last screen appearance was in 1934. Soon after, he became proprietor of an upmarket bar, Chez Georges Carpentier, in a chic Paris neighborhood. In several different locations, this is the profession he would exercise until shortly before his death.

From the time they boxed together in 1921, Carpentier remained close friends with Jack Dempsey. They visited each other in New York and Paris, got together to commemorate the anniversary of their famous bout and exchanged birthday greetings.


Carpentier died in Paris in 1975 of a heart attack, and was buried in the cimetière de Vaires-sur-Marne, Seine-et-Marne, France.[2]


He was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.[5]

Selected filmographyEdit

Professional boxing recordEdit

88 Wins (57 Knockouts), 14 Defeats (9 Knockouts), 6 Draws, 1 No Contest[6]
Res. Record Opponent Type Rd., Time Date Location Notes
Win 88-14-6   Rocco Stramaglia KO 3 1926-09-15   Elks Gym, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
Win 87-14-6   Jack Burke KO 2 (4) 1926-07-07   Denver, Colorado
Loss 86-14-6   Tommy Loughran UD 10 1926-06-17   Sesquicentennial Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Draw 86-13-6   Eddie Huffman PTS 10 1926-05-21   Armory A.A., Boston, Massachusetts
Loss 86-13-5   Gene Tunney TKO 15 (15) 1924-07-24   Polo Grounds, New York, New York The Ring magazine's "Fight of the Year" (1924)
Loss N/A   Tommy Gibbons NWS 10 1924-05-31   Floyd Fitzsimmons' Arena, Michigan City, Indiana Newspaper Decision
Win 86-12-5   Arthur Townley KO 2 (10) 1924-05-01   Stadion Hohe Warte, Vienna
Win 85-12-5   Joe Beckett KO 1 (20) 1923-10-01   Olympia, Kensington, London
Win 84-12-5   Marcel Nilles KO 8 (15) 1923-05-06   Stade Velodrome, Paris
Loss 83-12-5   Battling Siki KO 6 (20) 1922-09-24   Buffalo Stadium, Paris Lost lineal light heavyweight title
Win 83-11-5   Kid Lewis KO 1 (20) 1922-05-11   Olympia, Kensington, London Retained lineal light heavyweight title
Win 82-11-5   George Cook KO 4 (10) 1922-01-12   Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, London
Loss 81-11-5   Jack Dempsey KO 4 (12) 1921-07-02   Boyle's Thirty Acres, Jersey City, New Jersey For lineal heavyweight title
Win 81-10-5   Battling Levinsky KO 4 (12), 0:07 1920-10-12   Westside Ballpark, Jersey City, New Jersey Won lineal light heavyweight title
Win 80-10-5   Georges Grundhoven KO 2 (20) 1920-02-26   Casino de Beausoleil, Beausoleil, Alpes-Maritimes
Win 79-10-5   Blink McCloskey KO 2 (10) 1920-01-10   Bordeaux, Gironde
Win 78-10-5   Joe Beckett KO 1 (10), 1:10 1919-12-04   Holborn Stadium, Holborn, London
Win 77-10-5   Jean Croissilles KO 2 (20) 1919-09-29   Teatro Bellas Artes, San Sebastian, País Vasco
Win 76-10-5   Dick Smith KO 8 (20) 1919-07-19   Cirque de Paris, Paris
Win 75-10-5   Kid Jackson DQ 4 (10) 1914-07-26   Bordeaux, Gironde
Win 74-10-5   Gunboat Smith DQ 6 (20) 1914-07-16   Olympia, Kensington, London
Win 73-10-5   Philippe Robinson KO 3 1914-06-14   Beziers, Hérault
Win 72-10-5   Hubert Roc KO 2 1914-06-02   Hippodrome, Valenciennes, Nord
Win 71-10-5   George Mitchell KO 1 1914-04-14   Paris
Win 70-10-5   Irish O'Mara KO 2 1914-04-13   Blois, Loir-et-Cher
Loss 69-10-5   Joe Jeanette PTS 15 1914-03-21   Luna Parc, Porte Maillot, Paris
Win 69-9-5   Pat O'Keeffe KO 2 (20) 1914-01-19   Nice, Alpes-Maritimes
Win 68-9-5   Bombardier Billy Wells KO 1 (20) 1913-12-08   National Sporting Club, Covent Garden, London
Win 67-9-5   Jim Lancaster KO 2 (12) 1913-10-31   Geneva
Win 66-9-5   Jeff Smith PTS 20 1913-10-11   Luna Parc Arena, Paris
Win 65-9-5   Irish O'Mara KO 2 1913-08-10   Vichy, Allier
Win 64-9-5   Ashley Williams KO 4 (20) 1913-08-06   Vichy, Allier
Win 63-9-5   Albert Lurie TKO 3 1913-06-29   Bordeaux, Gironde
Win 62-9-5   Bombardier Billy Wells KO 4 (20) 1913-06-01   Feestpaleis, Ghent, Oost-Vlaanderen
Win 61-9-5   George Gunther PTS 15 1913-03-17   Nice, Alpes-Maritimes
Win 60-9-5   Cyclone Smith KO 3 1913-03-01   Nice, Alpes-Maritimes
Win 59-9-5   Bandsman Dick Rice KO 2 (20) 1913-02-12   Cirque de Paris, Paris
Win 58-9-5   Marcel Moreau TKO 8 (20) 1913-01-08   Cirque de Paris, Paris
Loss 57-9-5   Billy Papke TKO 18 (20) 1912-10-23   Cirque de Paris, Paris
Loss 57-8-5   Frank Klaus DQ 19 (20) 1912-06-24   Dieppe, Seine-Maritime For lineal middleweight title
Win 57-7-5   Willie Lewis PTS 20 1912-05-22   Cirque de Paris, Paris
Win 56-7-5   Hubert Roc KO 6 1912-05-10   Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône
Win 55-7-5   George Gunther PTS 20 1912-04-04   Cirque de Paris, Paris
Win 54-7-5   Jim Sullivan KO 2 (20) 1912-02-29   Monte Carlo
Win 53-7-5   Charles Bradley KO 2 1912-01-27   Rouen, Seine-Maritime
Win 52-7-5   Battling La Croix KO 4 1912-01-20   Rouen, Seine-Maritime
Win 51-7-5   Jim Taylor KO 4 1912-01-14   Lille, Nord
Win 50-7-5   Harry Lewis PTS 20 1911-12-13   Cirque de Paris, Paris
Win 49-7-5   Theo Clay KO 9 1911-11-17   Boulogne, Pas-de-Calais
Win 48-7-5   Young Joseph KO 10 (20) 1911-10-23   King's Hall, London
Win 47-7-5   Sid Burns KO 15 (15) 1911-10-02   Earls Court Arena, Kensington, London
Loss 46-7-5   Dixie Kid TKO 5 (15) 1911-08-29   Trouville, Calvados
Win 46-6-5   Arthur Evernden PTS 15 1911-08-14   Cabourg, Calvados
Win 45-6-5   Jack Goldswain KO 4 (15) 1911-06-23   National Sporting Club, Paris
Win 44-6-5   Robert Eustache TKO 16 (20) 1911-06-10   Cirque de Paris, Paris
Win 43-6-5   Frank Loughrey PTS 15 1911-05-20   Cirque de Paris, Paris
Win 42-6-5   Henri 'K.O.' Marchand KO 7 1911-04-23   Arras, Pas-de-Calais
Win 41-6-5   G Colbourne PTS 10 1911-04-08   Brussels
Win 40-6-5   Sid Stagg PTS 10 1911-04-01   Roubaix, Nord

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d James B. Roberts & Alexander G. Skutt (2006). The Boxing Register: International Boxing Hall of Fame Official Record Book. USA: McBooks Press. p. 83. ISBN 9781590131213. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b Radosta, John S. (October 29, 1975). "Georges Carpentier, Boxer, Dies in Paris; He Fought Dempsey at Boyle's Thirty Acres in 1921". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-10-16. Georges Carpentier, who lost on a fourth-round knockout to Jack Dempsey in boxing's first $1million gate, died last night of a heart attack. He was 81 years old.
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. "Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–". Retrieved January 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "The Lineal Light Heavyweight Champions". The Cyber Boxing Zone Encyclopedia.
  5. ^ John Grasso (2014). Historical Dictionary of Boxing. USA: Scarecrow Press. p. 89. ISBN 9780810878679. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
  6. ^ Georges Carpentier's Professional Boxing Record. Retrieved on 2014-05-03.
Preceded by
Battling Levinsky
World Light Heavyweight Champion
12 October 1920 – 24 September 1922
Succeeded by
Battling Siki
Titles in pretence
Vacant World Middleweight Champion
29 February 1912 - 24 June 1912
claim unified by
Frank Klaus
Preceded by
Gunboat Smith
World White Heavyweight Champion
16 July 1914 - 5 April 1915
Title defunct when
Jess Willard
wins World Championship

External linksEdit