GEORGES CARPENTIER, known as “The Orchid Man”, came from a different era. In order to take his first paid fight, aged just 13, he walked 100 miles to Paris and won a four-round decision.
Even now, many years after his death at the age of 81, Carpentier remains France’s biggest boxing idol, jointly with the ill-fated Marcel Cerdan. His achievements fully justify that exalted status.
He boxed in every division then extant, from flyweight up to heavy, and possessed a devastating right hand, which he landed with great speed. He also had what Boxing News called “debonair good looks and suave charm”, which contributed greatly to his popularity at a time when boxers were often considered brutes.