Boxing Hall of Fame Las Vegas, NV presents: Boxing History, Primo Carnera
Feb 12 2014 11:51 PM
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Born October 26, 1906 in Italy. As a young man he joined a traveling circus, his size 6'7″ and 260 pounds, made him unusual at that time and many regarded him as a “freak”, in the circus he performed in comedy acts and was referred to as the “strongest man in the world”. It wasn't long before he was introduced to the sport of boxing; September 12, 1928 was the date of Carnera's first professional fight, against Leon Sebilo, in Paris. Carnera won by knockout in round two. He fought several times, and even though he didn't have a great set of skills his size worked in his favor. In 1930, he moved to the United States. In 1931 Carnera got a chance to fight Jack Sharkey, the leading contender for the heavyweight title held by Max Schmeling. Sharkey outboxed Carnera, but Carnera impressed many by showing improvements in his boxing techniques and in showing a tremendous heart in taking terrific punishment from Jack. Suffering a knockdown in the fourth round, Carnera nonetheless rose to fight on and lasted the ten round distance. Carnera and Sharkey had their rematch in 1933, this time around Carnera became world champion by knocking out Sharkey in round six. Rumours of a mob fix were brought up saying Sharkey had been paid money by men working for Owney Madden to fight Carnera. Schaaf, in whose career Sharkey had business investments, was allegedly told by Sharkey to take a dive. Carnera successfully defended his title against Paulino Uzcudun and Tommy Loughran, both by decision in 15 rounds, but in his next fight on June 14, 1934 against Max Baer, Carnera was knocked down 13 times and was defeated in 11 rounds. He had several fights after this but the next fight of importance came on June 25, 1935, he was knocked out in six rounds by Joe Louis, who would become world heavyweight champion in 1937. In 1938, Carnera, a diabetic, had to have a kidney removed, which forced him into retirement until 1944, the final courtain went down in 1946 after three consecutive loses. Carnera's record was 89 wins and 14 losses. His 72 wins by knockout made him a member of the exclusive club of boxers that won 50 or more bouts by knockout. In 1946, he became a professional wrestler and was immediately a huge success at the box office. For a few years, he was one of the top draws in wrestling. Carnera continued to be an attraction into the 1960s. He died of psoriasis brought on by alcoholism on June 29, 1967 (Reference Credit: BoxRec and Wikipedia)

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