The Fight of the Age (1921)

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In 1921, the "Fight of the Age" was the July 2nd battle between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier. Promoter Tex Ricard went out of his way to make sure this pairing transcended any prior boxing match. Because Ricard played up the personalities of each boxer, painting Dempsey as a dark, brutal type and Carpentier as gallant and heroic, many people who had never previously been interested in boxing were anxious to see the bout. This documentary shows the two fighters at their training camps and compares their physical make-ups. Carpentier is shown broad jumping and running hurdle races. Along with shots of Dempsey sparring, he is also seen milking a cow. In addition, the film shows two veterans of the ring, Jim Jeffries and James J. Corbett -- the latter forged a successful acting career in the 1910s and 1920s. The actual fight for the heavyweight championship, which happened a month after this picture's release, drew a crowd of 90,000, with Dempsey knocking Carpentier out in 11 minutes.