Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Georges Carpentier

Georges Carpentier (January 12, 1894 - October 28, 1975) was a French boxer. Fighting mainly at light heavyweight and heavyweight in a career lasting from 1908-26. He was nicknamed the "Orchid Man", he stood 5' 11½" but his fighting weight ranged from 125 lb to 175 lb, he was considered to have an extremely hard punch for someone of his stature.

Born in Liévin near Lens, France. He began by progressing up through the weight divisions, fighting in every division from welterweight upwards with his first professional bout at age 14, he was Welterweight Championship of France and of Europe in 1911, Middleweight Championship of Europe in 1912, and Light Heavyweight Championship of Europe 1913. On June 1, 1913 he beat "Bombardier" Billy Wells in Ghent, Belgium to become Heavyweight Championship of Europe. He defended his title in December against Wells, in January 1914 against Pat O'Keefe and in London on July 16 he contentiously beat Ed "Gunboat" Smith to add the White Heavyweight Championship of the World to his European title. Curiously Carpentier was also a referee during the early stages of his career, he took charge of a number of fights including the world title bout between Jack Johnstone and Frank Moran in June 1914. With the outbreak of war Carpentier joined the airforce and had a relatively successful career.

Carpentier defended his title twice again in 1919 before dropping down a weight to challenge Battling Levinsky for the Light Heavyweight Championship of the World, they fought on October 12, 1920 in Jersey City and Levinsky was KO'd in the fourth. Carpentiers 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, Carpentier was badly beaten around before being knock-out in the second minute of the fourth round. Carpentier never fought again for that belt, he regained his Light Heavyweight and European titles the following year but lost his world titles in 1924 to Gene Tunney at the Polo Grounds in New York over fifteen rounds, losing to a TKO. Carpentier never manged to regain a belt and after battering a few more Englishmen he retired after a final exhibiton bout in 1927.

Edouard Carpentier the wrestler, despite claims, was not related to Georges. Carpentier was elected to the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1991.

Edwin Hubble fought a exhibition match with Carpentier while at Oxford University.

Carpentier died in 1975 and was buried in the Cimetiere de Vaires-sur Marne, Seine-et-Marne, France.