A Century of Legacy
In a historic celebration, the World Boxing Council and the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) joined forces to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the legendary fight between world heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey and the challenger Luis Ángel Firpo. This monumental event took place on September 14, 1923, at the Polo Grounds, drawing an astounding 88,000 spectators. Notably, it marked the first time a Latin American boxer challenged for the world title.
Honoring a Pioneering Match
The World Boxing Council, NYCHA, and the Consulate General of Argentina came together to unveil a commemorative world championship belt and install a plaque at the site where this iconic bout unfolded. This symbolic gesture immortalizes the epic encounter in the annals of boxing history.
A Tribute to Legends
The centennial commemoration of Dempsey vs. Firpo wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of boxing agent and historian, Don Majeski. His efforts connected various agencies to pay homage to this historic match and its remarkable participants.
Preserving Sporting Heritage
World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaimán emphasized the significance of preserving legendary events like Dempsey vs. Firpo. He stressed the importance of keeping such historical moments alive and acknowledged the lasting impact of this fight, particularly in the realm of Latino sports.
Bridging Communities Through Sport
Polo Grounds Towers Resident Association President Serena Chandler praised NYCHA for celebrating the 100th anniversary of this monumental match. This event showcased how sports, especially boxing, has the power to unite communities and create enduring memories.
A Legacy of Inspiration
The Polo Grounds, a revered sports venue from 1880 to 1963, witnessed countless historic moments. From World Series victories to NFL championships, it played a vital role in American sports history. It was also the birthplace of the New York Giants and the New York Mets and hosted numerous Hall of Fame boxers and world champions.
A Painting of Glory
The fight between Dempsey and Firpo was immortalized in a 1924 painting by George W. Bellows. This artwork, known as “Dempsey and Firpo,” has resided in the Whitney Museum of Art since 1931. In 1951, it was voted the “Most Dramatic Sports Event of the First Half of the 20th Century” in a poll conducted by the Associated Press.
Champions of the Ring
Jack Dempsey, the heavyweight champion, received recognition as “The Greatest Boxer of the Half Century (1900-1950)” and was the first boxer elected to The Ring Hall of Fame in 1954. His lasting legacy is a testament to his enduring impact on the world of boxing.
Luis Ángel Firpo’s Inspiring Legacy
Luis Ángel Firpo’s journey as the first Latin American boxer to challenge for the world heavyweight title left a profound legacy. It inspired tens of thousands of Latin American fighters and led to streets, schools, and even a football team in South America being named in his honor.