Title defenses

After beating Jess Willard and winning the title, Jack Dempsey traveled around the country, making publicity appearances with circuses, staging exhibitions, and even starring in a low-budget Hollywood movie. Dempsey did not defend his title until September 1920. This was against Billy Miske in Benton Harbor, Michigan. Miske was a good fighter but past his prime when he challenged Jack for the title and was knocked out in three rounds. Dempsey's second title defense was much tougher, against Bill Brennan in December 1920 at Madison Square Garden, New York City. Brennan had given Dempsey a tough match two years earlier. After ten rounds, Brennan was actually ahead on points, and Dempsey's left ear was bleeding profusely. Dempsey rebounded to stop Brennan in the 12th round. The next fight for "The Manassa Mauler" was against Frenchman Georges Carpentier, who had been a war hero during World War I and was extremely popular on both sides of the Atlantic.[21] The bout was shrewdly promoted by Tex Rickard, emphasizing the differences between the two men, and George Bernard Shaw, who claimed that Carpentier was "the greatest boxer in the world" and the odds were 50 to 1 against Dempsey.[22] The anticipation for this bout was tremendous. The Dempsey-Carpentier contest took place on July 2, 1921 at Boyle's Thirty Acres, Jersey City, New Jersey, generating the first million dollar gate in boxing history. A crowd of 91,000 watched the fight. Though it was deemed "the Fight of the Century" and many people who didn't know much about boxing thought Carpentier had a chance to win, most experts anticipated a one-sided win for Dempsey, and they were right. RCA arranged for live coverage of the match making the event the first national radio broadcast reaching mostly homemade radio sets after first being telegraphed to KDKA for broadcast.[3][23] Carpentier

ot off to a fast start and reportedly even wobbled Dempsey with a hard right in the second round. A reporter at ringside, however, counted twenty-five punches from Dempsey in a single thirty-one second exchange soon after he was supposedly injured by the right.[22] Carpentier also broke his thumb in that round, which crippled his chances. In the third, the bigger, stronger Dempsey began to take charge and administered a brutal beating to Georges. The Frenchman was eventually stopped in the fourth round. Dempsey did not defend his title again until July 1923 against Tommy Gibbons in Shelby, Montana. Gibbons was a skilled, clever boxer, but was not powerful enough against the bigger, stronger Dempsey, who won a 15-round decision. The last successful title defense for Dempsey was in September 1923 at New York's Polo Grounds. His opponent in the fight was the huge, powerful, yet limited contender Luis Angel Firpo, from Argentina. Attendance was 85,000, with another 20,000 trying to get inside the arena. Dempsey won via a 2nd-round KO, but it was an exciting battle. Firpo was knocked down repeatedly yet continued to battle back, even knocking Dempsey down twice. The second time Dempsey was floored, he went sailing head first through the ring ropes, landing on a reporter's typewriter. Dempsey was out of the ring approximately fourteen seconds, more than the ten seconds for knockdowns inside the ring, but less than the twenty seconds stipulated by the rules when knocked out of the ring. This scene is one of the most memorable in sports history. This fight was so important that it was transmitted live to Buenos Aires by radio and people gathered in the streets to listen to it through primitive receivers and amplifiers.[24] These fights, plus his many exhibitions, movies and endorsements, had made Dempsey one of the richest athletes in the world.