One of the great boxing matches in history was the match between Jack Dempsey and Luis Angel Firpo.
There were a number of reasons why this fight is remembered as one of the great matches. The fight took place in September of 1923. The boxing world had been dominated by the likes of Jack Dempsey for years. Dempsey took the championship in 1919 and held on to it until this point.
Firpo, nicknamed El Toro de las Pampas, was known as one of the top heavyweight fighters in the world in 1923, but he would make history in his attempt to take the heavyweight title. To this point there was never a Latin American fighter that fought for the heavyweight title. In his attempts to win, he would not only represent himself, but he would represent Latin Americans in general. The good thing for him is that by representing Latin Americans he would also have the support of those that he was representing.
The fight took place on the 14th of September and 80 thousand fans were present to watch the fight.
The fight started off with a surprise. Dempsey was the champion for years and many people just expected him to step in and dispose of Firpo like he had his other opponents. Firpo proved to be more than the fans expected as he came out with a powerful attack.
Firpo connected with a right hand early in the first round and Dempsey felt the power of the blow. The punch caused him to drop to one knee.
While that was a shock, Dempsey later got back into the swing of things and put forth an effort to finish the round that rivals any single round performance. Dempsey went on the attack and proceeded to drop his opponent 7 times before the round was over. Part of the issue in this fight was that there was not a three knockdown rule and there was no rule forcing the opposing boxer to go into the neutral corner while his opponent was down. This meant that Dempsey could just stand over Firpo and wait for him to get up just to knock him down again.
Somehow Firpo got back onto his feet and got some more blows in on Dempsey. He forced Dempsey to the ropes and hit Dempsey in the chin. Dempsey was forced out of the ring and was caught by a photographer. During his fall he fell into a machine that caused a bad cut on the back of his head.
While he was gathering himself out of the ring the referee counted to 4 before he returned to the ring. This was interesting as there are accounts that say that there were people with stopwatches that said that Dempsey was out of the ring for 14 seconds before returning. He also was not able to return to the ring by his own power. These things were controversial and should have made Firpo the champion.
In the end Dempsey was able to come back and knocked out Firpo in the 2nd round to remain the champion.
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