View Full Version : Primo Carnera vs. Jack Sharkey, June 1933


mokele
03-20-2006, 11:34 PM
Primo Carnera: http://boxrec.com/boxer_display.php?boxer_id=012086

and

Jack Sharkey: http://boxrec.com/boxer_display.php?boxer_id=010616

met for the heavyweight championship on June 29, 1933:

http://boxrec.com/date_search.php?yyyy=1933&mm=06&dd=29

I just saw that fight which I downloaded off the internet. Before seeing it I thought that maybe Sharkey took a dive, allowing Carnera to become heavyweight champ, backed by the mafia, but after watching it carefully I have concluded that Carnera's win was legitimate, the knockout blow being an uppercut in the 6th round. Sharkey had already beaten Carnera on points a little less than 2 years before, and I figured that he should have beaten the "Ambling Alp" again.

I just recently saw the fight between Rahman and Toney and compared the skills of these modern heavyweights to that of Carnera and Sharkey. I was very surprised to find that both Sharkey and Carnera had more skill than Rahman and were each in far better shape than James Toney. Sharkey used good head movement, had excellent balance and punched accurately. Carnera was not as clumsy as his reputation, had a good jab and moved quite well on his feet for a huge man. Carnera was so strong that he was a dangerous puncher even though he didn't get good leverage.

A bit later in June 1934 Carnera's defensive shortcomings were exposed by Max Baer, but instead of regarding Carnera as a bum we should recognize Max Baer as an excellent fighter, a tall, strong heavyweight with a dangerous punch if not great boxing skill. Along with Joe Louis, Max Baer was 1 of the few men who made Carnera look that bad. Carnera was a flawed fighter, perhaps a bit like Valuev is today, but he was not a bum! No way!

Kid Achilles
03-20-2006, 11:38 PM
Most experts consider Carnera a legitimate world class fighter and contender. He was. However, he was definitely helped out by the mob, who controlled him and fixed many of his fights. He was one of the worst title holders in history, but he was still better than Rahman.

mokele
03-20-2006, 11:48 PM
Of course Carnera was helped out by the mafia, but my impression now is that they fixed a few of his fights against tough opposition while he was on the rise, while letting Carnera fight for himself against weak opposition. I think they let him fight on his own just before he became champion and perhaps for the rest of his career. I would love to know the real story of course but maybe that info is not available. It matters a lot for boxing history, since how are we to evaluate all the fighters that faced Carnera if we don't know for sure if those fights were fixed?

Kid Achilles
03-20-2006, 11:54 PM
Aside from Sharkey (which is a debatable win) I know for a fact that he beat Tommy Loughran on the level which is an impressive feat in itself. Loughran was one of the best jabbers of all time and even in spite of the size difference, Carnera had to have considerable skill to decision him.

mokele
03-21-2006, 12:18 AM
Yes, Loughran was an all-time great light heavy and not bad as a heavyweight, although I just looked him up on boxrec.com and noticed that he was stopped in 3 rounds in 1929 by Sharkey and twice lost on points in 1930 to Ernie Schaaf. He won a decision against Max Baer in 1931 though, very impressive for a smaller man, and also outpointed Schaaf that year. He beat Risko and Uzcudun on points too. He also beat Victorio Campolo, a 6'9" Argentine fighter who is all but forgotten. I never saw Loughran fight. He must have been excellent.

SuzieQ49
03-21-2006, 01:24 AM
- i think sharkey-carnera was a fix. i think sharkey purposely ran into the punch.

carner however is underated by historians. he was a skilled big men. he would be champion today. carnera is a lot better than people think. watch him on film, carnera looks good for a man his size and strength.


sharkey is vastly underated today. a motivated peak sharkey is a tough fighter to beat. sharkey was a great all around fighter, there was not much he couldnt do. he was extremley well rounded. sharkey also beat excellent opposition.

i rate sharkey top 25 heavyweights of all time



- that carnera fight ruined his legacy. its a joke when i see people put jack sharkey in there top 10 worst heavyweights of all time.

SuzieQ49
03-21-2006, 01:31 AM
george godfrey always said how underated jack sharkey was

- too bad sharkey didnt get a title shot vs tunney. it would have been interesting. sharkey was a better fighter than dempsey at that point in there careers, dempsey got lucky in the sharkey fight.


sharkey-tunney would have been an interesting fight, and by no means would this have been a clear tunney victory. sharkey in intereviews years later talked about how he was still pissed tunney retired before fighting him.

leff
03-21-2006, 05:05 AM
the thing i allways think is forgotten about carnera is his heart, and it takes a huge heart to get those 260-270lbs off the canvas 12 times like it did against bear.

mokele
03-21-2006, 06:39 AM
george godfrey always said how underated jack sharkey was

- too bad sharkey didnt get a title shot vs tunney. it would have been interesting. sharkey was a better fighter than dempsey at that point in there careers, dempsey got lucky in the sharkey fight.


sharkey-tunney would have been an interesting fight, and by no means would this have been a clear tunney victory. sharkey in intereviews years later talked about how he was still pissed tunney retired before fighting him.

I remember reading awhile back about what Dempsey said when he was asked why he took a swing at Sharkey after Sharkey looked to the referee to complain about a low blow. While Sharkey was looking away, Dempsey knocked him out with a big shot. Dempsey responded "What did you want me to do, send him a letter?"

Sharkey might have beaten Dempsey if that had not happened. In many ways, Sharkey was a modern fighter, way ahead of his time. He was skilled and clean, disciplined but aggressive. He just had bad luck at a few critical moments in his career.

Tunney was an incredible fighter, perhaps really at his best when he was still a light heavy. He sure beat the heck out of Harry Greb a lot of times, although of course he lost to him twice as well. Here's a really colorful account of their 5th fight, taken from the boxrec.com account:

http://boxrec.com/date_search.php?yyyy=1925&mm=03&dd=27

~ Referee: George Barton ~
"Tunney gave Greb as thorough a beating as he has ever received. So completely was Greb outclassed and outfought in six of the ten rounds that he resorted to a defensive fight after the third and thereafter was guilty of persistent holding and stalling varied only by rare flashes of offensive fighting, which Tunney quickly terminated by a devastating attack. Tunney concentrated his fire almost entirely on Greb's heart and body, landing with deadly accuracy and telling effect. After a flashy start, Greb went on the defensive and let entire rounds go by without making more than a weak show of attack, without landing a decisive punch, even on those rare occasions when he undertook to do the leading." (Associated Press)

Yogi
03-21-2006, 12:47 PM
There's some room for debate there, but I also saw the second Carnera/Sharkey fight and outcome as being completely legitimate. The right uppercut of Carnera's seemed to have landed on Sharkey's chin and when Jack's head snapped back to the ropes, it's also possible that the left hand that followed landed, as well.

The finishing sequence might be a little inconclusive to some, but what I certainly don't see as inconclusive was how Sharkey was fighting through the fight. He certainly appeared to be fighting to win through these eyes, and let's remember...about five to ten seconds before getting KO'd, Sharkey unloaded with a couple of huge right hands that had they landed on Carnera's chin (one grazed Primo and one missed outright), then...Well simply, that in itself tells me that Sharkey was punching with the intentions of winning the fight right there.

Both fighters are underrated as far as their respective skills go, I agree, and some people underrate them a great amount because neither of them were close to being "bums" or some other derogatory term like that.

P.S. In my opinion the best version of Carnera that's on film was the footage of his fight with George Godfrey.