On This Day: Jack Dempsey and Luis Firpo exchange an amazing 12 knockdowns in less than four minutes


Jack Dempsey stops Luis Firpo in two rounds but there were calls for him to be disqualified

September 14, 1923; Polo Grounds, New York, NY
IN the space of a mere three minutes and 57 seconds world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and challenger Luis Firpo exchanged 12 knockdowns. It all started when Argentina’s Firpo dropped Dempsey with a right hand in the opening round. The enraged champion got up and bounced Firpo off the canvas seven times, before being tagged by a desperate right at the end of the session. Dempsey crashed through the ropes and out of the ring but was helped back by the writers at ringside. The Argentinian press claimed Dempsey had been down for 17 seconds and Ring Magazine editor, Nat Fleischer, wrote that the champion should have been disqualified. He wasn’t, of course, and Dempsey felled his man three more times in the second to conclude one of the most amazing slugfests in history.

DID YOU KNOW? Referee Johnny Gallagher was suspended for five weeks after this fight for failing to send the fighters to neutral corners after scoring knockdowns, despite instructing them to do so before the opening bell.

WATCH OUT FOR: Get your stopwatch handy for the final knockdown of the opening round.

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