Carpentier vs. Levinsky a Set-Up?

Discussion in 'Classic Boxing Forum' started by Seamus, Jul 9, 2019.


  1. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    From reports, the public wasn't too convinced of Carpentier after this fight and the more jaded scribes saw it as nothing more than an unconvincing set-up to sell the Dempsey bout down the road.

    Philadelphia Inquirer, Gordon MacKay, Oct 13
    "Indeed as the vast assemblage filed disgustedly and wrathfully out of the amphitheatre, low voiced growls broke from thousands of throats that Carpentier was dross and that the entire match bore all the malodorous qualities of a set up.

    They had gathered to watch the premier of a visiting warrior, heralded as a nonpareil. They watched him test his mettle against a second-rater, and they saw him display none of the fistic might that leads to the titular pedestal. Instead, they saw blazoned mediocrity pitted against helpless and worthless fisticuffs, ability miles away from championship form. Prepared to laud this military hero, the thousands first were interested, then surprised, now disheartened, and finally disgusted."

    Harry Newman's New York column, published across the country carries similar sentiments...
    "There are many entertaining the thought that the bout of Tuesday night was not altogether on the up and up. They are murmuring that there was a tinted hue about the whole proceedings and that is was a set-up for the French champion... It is true Carpentier was wild and showed poor sense of judgement during this particular period... It is also true that Carpentier was almost completely unprotected after missing his swings..."
     
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  2. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Looking back on old threads a guy called Klompton raised this and posted interesting tit bits on it.
     
  3. BitPlayerVesti

    BitPlayerVesti The Ad Wolgast of Googling Stuff Full Member

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    It's always hard to say.

    A lot of the time you can't do much more than see what the next day reports, and like I found with the Corbett McCoy ones, you really have to be pretty comprehensive.
     
  4. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    "The first round began,I let fly with my left and landed on his face.Immediately he danced away.From the very start he was back pedalling,and he kept it up all the time.
    It became more like a race than a boxing match and before long the situation got so absurd that on one occasion I planted myself firmly before him,gloves on my hips,and just looked at him.The crowd roared with laughter and began to urge him vociferously to stand and fight.
    This seemed to touch him on the raw,for he fell into a clinch .
    I blocked his punches without any difficulty.
    He hung on to me but I broke away and in doing so I caught him with a left uppercut to the face ,and followed up with a right hook to the stomach,just to remind him I was not interested only in his face.The two punches shook him.
    In the second round Levinsky back pedalled again,but I caught him in one corner of the ring and hit him with a series of lefts ,followed by a "one two", left and right to the jaw ,and down he went.
    He was up at the count of eight,but before the end of the round he was down again from a right to the jaw.
    In the third round he adopted hedge hog tactics and about all you could see of him was gloves and his mop of black hair.
    From time to time his left glove shot out to keep me at a distance.
    He was groggy; I could see that from his legs; They were wobbling a little.I didn't force conclusions at that stage,but contented myself with scoring points.I needed a breather myself.
    The fight had been pretty speedy so far and I was beginning to feel the effects of my cold.
    I was also very anxious to make quite certain.I knew he had a very hard head and I didn't want risk hurting my hand on it by an inaccurately placed blow.
    In the fourth round I decided to finish him off.I leapt from my corner,landed a left to the face,dodged a right ,and accepted a clinch.
    Coming out of it I went for his stomach to make him lower his guard.Then I feinted a new attack to the body,but actually let myself go with all I had in a left and right to the jaw.Levinsky went down again,and this time for more than the requisite ten seconds".

    Georges Carpentier "By Himself"
     
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  5. Jason Thomas

    Jason Thomas Member Full Member

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    My view

    Would it be in Rickard's interest to fix this fight? Yes. In an obvious sense to build up Carpentier. But if it was widely believed to be a fix, this would seem to me to undercut the motive. Boxing was in a tenuous position back then with reformers seeking to ban it. It had been banned in Illinois after the Gans-McGovern fiasco. Would the risk of a fix becoming known be worth it for Rickard? I think the arguments cut both ways.

    Could Carpentier KO Levinsky on the square? Yes. I think so. Carpentier was on a 24-1 with 20 KO roll since his 19th birthday. He had knocked out bigger men than Levinsky. Levinsky was known for being durable, but he was both aging and probably slipping, and his record of lasting was not on the whole built up against punchers. Other than Dempsey, who also KO'd him, Carpentier was probably the most dangerous puncher Levinsky had faced.

    How good was Carpentier? I think he is somewhat of an enigma. Fights a lot of critics point to, against Willie Lewis, Klaus, and Papke, were when he was 18! Even the Gunboat Smith fight was when he was 20. How many fighters in history were meeting such competition at such a young age. And in the 1920's his losses were to Dempsey, Gibbons, Tunney, and Loughran, all considered ATG's, plus Siki, a fight in which Carpentier might have broken a hand. It was generally felt he had slipped by 1924, his 16th year as a pro. So I would say it is hard to come up with a definitive bottom line with Carpentier. Those claiming ATG status might be overrating him. Those dismissing him as a fraud underrating him.

    Sportswriter claims of a fix? Evidence, but with fierce efforts going on by the reformers to make boxing go the way of alcohol, charges of fixes were the order of the day for certain newspapers, so it is hard to tell if this fight was considered particularly questionable, or if this was just par for the course newspaper bias.

    The fight itself? Levinsky getting up twice in the second does point to the fight being legit. Why drag it out if he was taking a dive?

    Carpentier was apparently only a 2-1 underdog to Dempsey, the same as Max Baer to Louis. Clearly the betting public gave him a decent chance. This appears to undercut that the Levinsky fight was widely viewed as a fix. It doesn't seem to have been by boxing fans. The fight in the event was almost unbelievably successful at the box office, showing again that Carpentier was taken seriously. Rickard was certainly a master promoter, but could even he make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Carpentier did on paper have an impressive record against those he met, and while his opposition can be scored, who exactly at this time stood out as a better contender, other than Wills?
     
  6. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Not a fraud ,but not an ATG either.
    1. Better contenders? Greb, Gibbons,Weinert, Kid Nofolk.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  7. Jason Thomas

    Jason Thomas Member Full Member

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    Like Wills, Norfolk is not getting a shot at Dempsey, regardless. I don't dispute him, but haven't recently studied his record.

    Weinert? In 1921? His big historical wins over Sharkey and Firpo came years later. Did anyone consider him outstanding in 1921? He lost to Levinsky in 1918, among other so-so losses. Claiming the status of The Great Contender (wonderful song, by the way. I'm just the great contender, contending that I'm doing well) for Weinert raises an obvious question for a skeptic. As Weinert was white, there was no reason not to match him with Dempsey, who didn't even defend against anyone in 1922, 1924, and 1925. Why wasn't there an outcry for the Mauler to defend against Weinert? Was there such an outcry? If not, why not? I think the reason is obvious. He didn't impress the fans of the era. It is much harder to make the case that Carpentier didn't, considering the gate of the Dempsey fight.

    Greb and Gibbons? I think their records to 1921 were fogged up with no decisions, so they simply didn't have the clear cut wins the puncher Carpentier did. I know the New York Times dismissed Gibbons as a worthy contender in 1923, saying his record at heavy was a padded fraud. Greb undoubtedly would prove himself better than Carpentier in the long run, but up to the spring of 1921? And a fight in New Jersey in 1921 was probably going to be no decision (I don't know for certain and would appreciate clarification on this point) so neither Greb nor Gibbons seems to have had the puncher's chance Carpentier had.
     
  8. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Weinert hadn't lost a fight in2 years and had beaten

    Coffey
    Levinsky
    Smith
    Rodel
    Flynn
    Madden In the previous 2 years Greb had beaten Levinsky and Brennan multiple times .Miske,Mctigue,M Gibbons,T Gibbons,Turner.Smith, Madden.
    Apart from possibly Wills no one was better qualified for a title shot. Gibbons at lhvy was a very good puncher. Gibbons beat Greb,Turner,Madded,Flynn around that time .
    When he finally got Carpentier in the ring 1924 Gibbons won every round.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  9. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    It is possible, but the evidence is very weak.
     
  10. KuRuPT

    KuRuPT Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Is there a fight that ever existed you think was fixed?
     
  11. Tonto62

    Tonto62 Well-Known Member Full Member

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    Certainly none of Carnera's.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  12. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Yes there is, but I need some pretty tangible evidence.

    An irregular betting pattern, or some sort of corroborating testimony.

    Extraordinary claims should not be made on thin evidence.
     
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  13. janitor

    janitor Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    A couple of Carnera's early fights yes.
     
  14. KuRuPT

    KuRuPT Boxing Junkie Full Member

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    Sorry for the delay, I was just putting ice on my head from falling over backwards after reading this. Who are you, and what have you done with Janitor?
     
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  15. Seamus

    Seamus Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

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    Left to its own, boxing is a sport not to be trusted. There is just too much temptation on so many levels and the combatants, both up and comers and vets, are desperate and be holding to a select few. I've been told by a former champ that I could never imagine how dirty modern boxing is today (1990"s)... I can't imagine the shenanigans in the early 1900"s.
     


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