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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Dempsey wins punishing bout with Firpo
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

Sept. 14, 1923

Jack Dempsey and Luis Firpo engage in one of the most exciting bouts in boxing history. Dempsey survives two knockdowns, including one in which he is knocked clear out of the ring by the Argentinean, and retains his heavyweight championship.

Seconds after the opening bell, Dempsey is on one knee after a right to the jaw from "The Wild Bull of the Pampas." Dempsey retaliates by knocking down Firpo seven times.

But before the first round ends, a desperation right by Firpo sends Dempsey through the ropes and onto a sportswriter's typewriter, much to the shock of some 90,000 fans at the Polo Grounds in New York. The writer and a Western Union operator help Dempsey make it back inside the ring before the count of 10.

Firpo, who outweighs Dempsey by 24 pounds, can't put the finishing blow to the champ. Dempsey uses Firpo for a punching bag in the second round before knocking him out, ending the fight after three minutes and 57 seconds of mayhem.

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