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April 7, 2017     Post-Gazette
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April 7, 2017

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PAGE 16 BOSTON POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 7, 2017 [ I L " I r .... : I HOOPS and HOCKEY in the HUB by Richard Preiss ! "qV GEORGES CARPENTIER The Orchid Man Great French Boxer Fought in Every Division from Flyweight to Heavyweight Georges with Charlie Chaplin. Georges Carpentier led an amazing life. He made his professional boxing debut at the age of fourteen in 1908 fighting as a flyweight. He would go on to fight in every weight division as he grew in size, eventually challenging Jack Dempsey for the Heavyweight Championship of the World in 1921. He had won the World Light Heavyweight Title a year earlier when he defeated Battling Levinsky by knockout. While Carpentier had great success in the ring, he also gained fame as an aviator in World War I. He was awarded two of France's highest military honors, the Croix de Guerre and the Medialle Militaire. When he signed to fightDempsey, the press played up the angle of Carpentier the war hero vs. Dempsey who had not served in the war. The match was the first boxing match to draw over a million dollar gate with 80,108 people in attendance. Though Carpentier was a brilliant boxer with a tremendous right hand punch, he was outmatched by Dempsey, who knocked him out in the fourth round. But not before the chal- lenger staggered the champ in the first round. Near the end of his career, Georges would fight future champ Gene Tunney who stopped him in the 15th round. He would finish his career with a record of 90 wins, 14 losses, and 6 draws. Georges was also a talented stage and screen actor as well as a song and dance man. He was immensely popular on both sides of the Atlantic with his charming personality and warm smile. He remained friends with former rival Jack Dempsey for life. Georges Carpentier passed away in 1975 at the age of 81. Carpentier was a stylish boxer/puncher who wrote instructional books on boxing. Even in Georges in the 1920 movie The Wonder Man. his loss to Jack Dempsey, you can.see moments where he exhibits great boxing skills. I am sharing some photos of this amazing champion. Take some time to watch him in action on YouTube. You won't be disappointed. In the ring with Dempsey. In his prime. The man about town. WWI Aviator CarpenUer. They came over the boards A problematic performer in and onto the ice, just as they the nets earlier in the season, might have on other nights -- Khudobin has been stellar of but this time it was different, late, winning his last six games, They smiled broadly, raised including a 3-2 victory over their sticks and hugged one an- Western Conference leader Chi- other, all symbolic of the band cago on April 2nd on the road. of brothers they have become. And the change? Well, every- It has been a long, challenging one knows what that was and uncertain road, one littered sending longtime head coach with the unforeseen and high- Claude Julien out the door lighted by changes, and elevating Cassidy to the Yes, the Bruins have earned a interim head position. Through berth in the Stanley Cup Play- the clinching game, Cassidy's offs for the first time since 2014. record stood at 18-7 since the But when the moment arrived changeover, a remarkable re- the observance was muted, cord over the last third of the with .anything that signified a regular season. celebratory atmosphere held to Just about everyone seems to an absolute minimum, have improved even Khodo- The lights that illuminated bin. Remember the old saying the ice were muted. Indeed, the that a rising tide lifts all boats? dumbotron cameras had to be Bruins fans may well be seeing opened to their light-gathering it played out before their eyes. maximum in order to capture The point is that since the the immediate aftermath of the changeover, the Bruins have 4-0 victory over Tampa Bay. The gained confidence. Cassidy scene in the arena resembled made the point in a postgame twilight rather the bright dawn press conference that players of a new age. know that ff they make a small Once media members gained mistake, the goaltender will access to the Bruins locker be there to serve as a capable room, the atmosphere differed backup a feeling that wasn't little from the aftermath of a there earlier in the season. To midseason victory. Yes, the have a capable backup in net as Bruins were happy, but not the team enters the playoffs is overly so. There were smiles, a tremendous asset. Khudobin but no more than you might see has come on strong down the in the aftermath of a win earlier stretch in the year. Indeed, the entire team is If anything, there was the peaking at just the right time. understated emotion of relief Over the course of a long 82- with the certainty of knowing game regular season, it isn't so that you have successfully ne- much how a team plays e.arly gotiat6d a basic challenge that, on, but how it is playing as the in turn, will lead to additional playoffs approach. positive possibilities. There was And right now the Bruins also the sense that the team are playing their best hockey had accomplished its business, of the year at just the right had completed a mission, and time. They are peaking at the would soon face other chal- most appropriate time. A host lenges ahead, on one of the local sports talk Indeed, when one thinks radio shows made the point that about it, the Br.uins haven't nothing ignites the Boston area won anything yet. Montreal has in the spring like Boston Bruins the Atlantic Division title while playoff hockey. Washington can claim the Met- To be sure, Celtics fans are ropolitan Division and Eastern also passionate but in a Conference crowns. The Bruins more urbane and'understated still have empty pockets -- but way. Bruins followers are more at least a chance to fill them. emotional, more wear-it on- In truth, though, a lot had your-sleeves passionate. been saved. Not to have made It was the Bruins that lifted the playoffs probably would the city in the aftermath of the have meant that interim head Marathon tragedy; it was the coach Bruce Cassidy would not Bruins that played into late be retained. The acquisition of June before bowing out in the a playoff berth increases the 2013 Stanley Cup Final against probability that he will become Chicago at the Garden. the permanent head coach. It is the Bruins that are an In addition, a playoff berth NHL Original Six team, with all also probably means the reten- the heritage that means to the tion of Bruins General Man- sport of hockey. Yet another ager Don Sweeney and Bruins Bruins team goes forth into President Cam Neely. Both were the playoffs, better primed and perceived as vulnerable if the more ready than they would Bs had once again been idle in have been a few short months the spring for a third consecu- ago. five year. Veteran University of W iscon- And although the night be- sin coach Bob ('Badger Bob") longed to Bruins goalie Tuukka Johnson coined the phrase Rask, who recorded his eighth "It's a great day for hockey." shutout of the season, the 38th Well see how many of those of his career, and his fourth great days the Bruins will par- against the Lightning, the ira- ticipate in this spring. Based provement of backup Anton upon how they are playing of Khudobin down the stretch has late, the possibilities are bright made a big difference, indeed. The Federal Trade.Commission works for the consumer to prevent Georges landing on Tommy Gibbons. Old rivals Dempsey and Carpentier.