Gift of Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. 1936.651
Catalogue raisonné: Mason 98
Promoted as the “battle of the century,” the match between French pugilist Georges Carpentier and American Jack Dempsey took place on July 2, 1921, in Jersey City at an enormous outdoor arena built specifically for the bout. With the First World War fresh in mind, the crowd favored Carpentier, a twice-decorated pilot in the French Air Force, over Dempsey, who was viewed as a draft evader despite having been exonerated of the charge by a jury the previous year. The match ended quickly with a knockout by Dempsey in the fourth round. The event attracted more than 80,000 spectators and generated boxing’s first million-dollar gate. A large contingent of reporters, photographers, and motion picture cameramen—several of whom are gathered on a platform at the upper left—covered the spectacle. Bellows, on assignment for the New York World newspaper to sketch the proceedings, sat in the press section shown in the foreground, although he did not record himself among the excited throng.
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