Boxing in the 1920s was an exceptionally popular international sport.Many fights during this era, some 20 years away or so from the television era, were social events with many thousands in attendance, both men and women.
World Heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey dominated the sport through much of the decade. He won the title in 1919, keeping it until 1926. He lost the title to Gene Tunney in 1926, but many of his fights were historic, such as his defenses against Georges Carpentier, Luis Firpo and Tom Gibbons, a fight which almost bankrupted the town of Shelby, Montana. His 1927 rematch against Tunney became known in boxing history as The Long Count Fight . Dempsey became a household name, and he dated and married Hollywood actresses. He was, along with Babe Ruth, Red Grange, Bill Tilden and Bobby Jones, one of the so-called Big Five of sports. Other important boxers included Benny Lynch (from West Scotland). Panama Al Brown was the first Hispanic to become a world champion.
Because airlines lacked the structured schedules of the modern days, many boxers had to make their way to important fights by train.
In 1921, the National Boxing Association was formed. It was the predecessor of what is known now as the WBA. Tex Rickard was the leading promoter of the day, and he has been compared to P.T. Barnum and Don King.
Georges Carpentier was a French boxer, actor and World War I pilot. He fought mainly as a light heavyweight and heavyweight in a career lasting from 1908 to 1926. Nicknamed the "Orchid Man", he stood 5 feet 11+1⁄2 inches (182 cm) and his fighting weight ranged from 147 to 175 pounds. 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.
William Harrison "Jack" Dempsey, nicknamed Kid Blackie, and The Manassa Mauler, was an American professional boxer who competed from 1914 to 1927, and reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1919 to 1926. A cultural icon of the 1920s, Dempsey's aggressive fighting style and exceptional punching power made him one of the most popular boxers in history. Many of his fights set financial and attendance records, including the first million-dollar gate. He pioneered the live broadcast of sporting events in general, and boxing matches in particular.
James Raj "Gene" Tunney was an American professional boxer who competed from 1915 to 1928. He held the world heavyweight title from 1926 to 1928, and the American light heavyweight title twice between 1922 and 1923. A highly technical boxer, Tunney had a five-fight light heavyweight rivalry with Harry Greb in which he won three, drew once, and lost once, though many ringside reporters believed Greb should have won the decision in their 2nd meeting. He also knocked out Georges Carpentier and defeated Jack Dempsey twice; first in 1926 and again in 1927. Tunney's successful title defense against Dempsey remains one of the most famous bouts in boxing history and is known as The Long Count Fight. He retired undefeated as a heavyweight after his victory over Tom Heeney in 1928, after which Tunney was named Fighter of the Year by The Ring magazine.
Thomas Patrick Loughran was an American professional boxer and the former World Light Heavyweight Champion. Statistical boxing website BoxRec lists Loughran as the #7 ranked light heavyweight of all time, while The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer placed him at #4. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Loughran as the 6th best light heavyweight ever. Loughran was named the Ring Magazine's Fighter of the Year twice, first in 1929 and again 1931. He was inducted into the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame in 1956 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.
Edward Henry "Harry" Greb was an American professional boxer. Nicknamed "The Pittsburgh Windmill", he is widely regarded by many boxing historians as one of the best pound for pound boxers of all time.
Edward Patrick "Mickey" Walker was an American professional boxer who held both the world welterweight and world middleweight championships at different points in his career. Born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, he was also an avid golfer and would later be recognized as a renowned artist. Walker is widely considered one of the greatest fighters ever, with ESPN ranking him 17th on their list of the 50 Greatest Boxers of All-Time and boxing historian Bert Sugar placing him 11th in his Top 100 Fighters catalogue. Statistical website BoxRec rates Walker as the 6th best middleweight ever, while The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer placed him at No. 4. The International Boxing Research Organization ranked Walker as the No. 4 middleweight and the No. 16 pound-for-pound fighter of all-time. Walker was inducted into the Ring magazine Hall of Fame in 1957 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame as a first-class member in 1990.
During the 1970s, boxing was characterized by dominating champions and history-making rivalries. The decade had many superstars, who also had fierce rivals. Alexis Argüello, for example, who won the world Featherweight and Jr. Lightweight titles in the '70s, had to overcome Alfredo Escalera twice before the decade was over.
During the 1960s, boxing, like mostly everything else around the world, went through changing times. Notable was the emergence of a young boxer named Cassius Clay, who would, in his own words shock the world, declare himself against war, and change his name to Muhammad Ali. .Boxers make about 1,100 a year in the 1960’s.
During the 1950s, a couple of relatively new developments changed the world: World War II had only been over for five years when the 1950s began, and television was beginning to make a major impact internationally. In boxing, changes connected to these developments could be seen too, as boxers who fought at the 1940s conflict returned to their homes and many of them were back in the ring. Television producers were in love with sports, which provided the viewer with an opportunity to observe sporting events live, and boxing was not the exception to the rule; many television networks began to feature fights live during the weekends, and the Gillette Friday Night Fights proved to be one of the most popular boxing television series in American history.
Boxing in the 1940s in many ways reflected worldwide events that affected other endeavors as well.
The sport of Boxing in the 1930s was affected by one of the biggest economic struggles in the history of the United States: the depression era. Because of the suffering American economy, many boxers were offered lower amounts of money causing them to only box for passion. When the decade began, the world heavy weight title belonged to no one. The sport of boxing suffered because of the lack of money to pay the boxers.
Louis Mbarick Fall, known as Battling Siki, was a French-Senegalese light heavyweight boxer born in Senegal who fought from 1912 to 1925, and briefly reigned as the World light heavyweight champion after knocking out Georges Carpentier.
Professional boxing, or prizefighting, is regulated, sanctioned boxing. Professional boxing bouts are fought for a purse that is divided between the boxers as determined by contract. Most professional bouts are supervised by a regulatory authority to guarantee the fighters' safety. Most high-profile bouts obtain the endorsement of a sanctioning body, which awards championship belts, establishes rules, and assigns its own judges and referees.
Thomas Joseph Gibbons was an American professional heavyweight boxer.
Bill Brennan was an American boxer who fought and lost to World Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey in a well attended title fight that ended in a twelfth-round knockout on December 14, 1920, in Madison Square Garden. He lost to Dempsey for the first time in a non-title fight on February 5, 1918, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in a sixth-round technical knockout.
Barney Lebrowitz, better known as Battling Levinsky, was the world light heavyweight champion from 1916 to 1920. Statistical boxing website BoxRec lists Levinsky as the #12 ranked light heavyweight of all-time, while The Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer placed him at #9. The International Boxing Research Organization rates Levinsky as the 20th best light heavyweight ever. He was inducted into the Ring Magazine Hall of Fame in 1966, the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1982, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2000.
Joseph Francis Hagan was the world light heavyweight boxing champion in 1905 when he defeated Bob Fitzsimmons for the universal world title. Rather than defending his title, O'Brien instead abandoned it in order to fight at heavyweight. Nat Fleischer, founder and editor of The Ring Magazine, ranked O'Brien as the No. 2 All-Time Light Heavyweight, and famed boxing promoter Charley Rose ranked him as the No. 3 All-Time Light Heavyweight. O'Brien was inducted into the Ring Magazine hall of fame in 1968, the World Boxing Hall of Fame in 1987, and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.
Charles Henry "Jack" Blackburn was an American boxer and boxing trainer. Fighting in the first half of his career as a lightweight and later a welterweight, he was known for an exceptional defense and fought many men above his weight class, including six bouts with the great Sam Langford. He fought Joe Gans three times in no-decision bouts, defeating him once according to newspaper accounts and made good showings against Harry Lewis, Philadelphia Jack O'Brien, and Harry Greb. He found most of his fame training 1937 World Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis, but also had a significant role in training 1926 Lightweight Champion Sammy Mandell. He helped to train World Bantamweight Champion Bud Taylor and World Light-Heavyweight Champion John Henry Lewis as well.
Jerome "Jeff Smith" Jefferds was an American professional boxer who held the Australian version of the World Middleweight Title during his career. Despite his relative anonymity, Smith faced off against some the best fighters of his era, including Harry Greb, Gene Tunney, Mike Gibbons, Georges Carpentier, Les Darcy and Tommy Loughran. Statistical boxing website BoxRec lists Smith as the 17th greatest middleweight ever, while Ring Magazine founder Nat Fleischer ranked Smith as the No. 10 Middleweight of all-time. He was inducted into the Ring Magazine hall of fame in 1969 and the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 2013.
Jack Dempsey versus Georges Carpentier was a boxing fight between world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and world light-heavyweight champion Georges Carpentier, which was one of the fights named the "Fight of the Century". The bout took place in the United States on Saturday, July 2, 1921, at Boyle's Thirty Acres in Jersey City, New Jersey.