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Old 08-22-2012, 08:47 AM
rob snell
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Default Jack Sharkey

Moorhead Daily News
12 September 1931


Jack Sharkey likes variety. He got a tough draw with Mickey Walker, who weighed about 165 pounds, and his next opponent, in October if plans go through, is to be Primo Carnera, weight 265. Luckily Primo, with all that bulk, isn't a Mickey Walker.

You have to hand it to Sharkey for willingness to take chances. He didn't have to fight Mickey, knowing that if Mickey made a good showing it would be an awful rap at the Sharkey reputation.

But it may be that the Sharkey man is growing a little bit jealous of Ernie Schaaf's success, and wants to top his feat of knocking out Campolo in seven rounds by knocking out the much heftier Carnera. That would be a boost for the Sharkey rep. It would put Sharkey right up where the Boxing
commission has so earnestly tried to shove him these past three or four years, as a title claimant and sure fire contender for the crown.

Sharkey has everything to beat Carnera with, if he can get into such condition that he won't tired shooting punches and lose his aggressive confidence as he did in the fights with Dempsey, R i s k o,
Heeney, Schmeling and even middleweight Mickey Walker. Up to the time he fades Sharkey is the best of the heavyweights. He is big enough, strong enough, fast enough and clever enough to beat anybody.

His fault, it seems, is that he goes into the ring so filled with ****-sure confidence that he thinks something has gone wrong if he can't drop his man with a few punches. Doubt grows in him. He becomes cautious and stalls when he should be fighting. But perhaps Jack, after the Walker disappointment, will be just mad enough to forge himself and fight. In that case be may plaster big Carnera right out of the picture. For all the behemoth's tremendous build and the speed with which his big legs and feet can carry him, he hasn't learned a lot about fighting, because he hasn't been sent into any real fights. Carnera can take a lot of socking, but he may have a soft spot. And Sharkey will find it if anyone can.

Schaaf Nearly Ready for Title

If Sharkey fails he can send his stable in against Carnera. Sharkey and his manager, Buckley, are Schaaf's managers. They bought Schaaf for $12,000, and it was the best bargain in the world. With Sharkey's coaching Schaaf has become the real menace of the heavyweight class. He is six feet
one inch tall, weighed 205 ˝ pounds in his fight with Campolo, is perfectly built aggressive, clever, and has plenty of endurance and a grim way of sticking to his job until it is finished. In my opinion, Schaaf should be fighting for the big title within a year, with a first class chance to win it.

As for his fighting, he has had six years of experience, part of it in the Navy but most of it in the professional ring outside. And this past year he has been sent in against good men. He outboxed clever Tommy Loughran. He whipped big Max Baer, polished off Maloney after Maloney has twice
fought Carnera without much advantage 'either way, won a few more fights and in his last venture knocked out six foot six Campolo in seven rounds, in a very neat and scientific style, slipping the finish over with a single punch. He could match Schmeling in skill and punching power, match him in determination, probably match him in endurance, and would have 15 pounds advantage in weight. Besides, he has the enthusiasm of youth, for he will be 23 on the 27th of this month. Schmeling would be meeting no blasé and war-worn veteran in Schaaf.

Pretty smart of Jack Sharkey to buy in on Schaaf and teach him all the tricks. For one thing, it makes it unnecessary for him to fight Schaaf, because a manager can't very well take on a match with his own fighter. For another, when Jacks wants to hang up the gloves he can still share some big purses through Schaaf, and stay in the money end of the game anyway. Schaaf ought to be good for 10 years of fighting, with his physique and good sense and careful living.

Carnera Might Turn Tables

As for Carnera, a man of his strength might beat anybody if he happens to land the right punch. What a laugh Carnera would have on the rest of the heavyweights if he knocked Sharkey out! It would put him where he could demand the next fight with Schmeling.

And in spite of his signing with Carnera and promising to fight him in September, I have a notion that Max is not very sure of his ability to bring the giant down, and his managers are no more sure than he is. Otherwise Max would have been here right now, ready to fight.

I don't believe that Schmeling had any notion of returning to New York to fight Carnera, when he went home to Germany by the first boat after beating Stribling. He has pulled similar stunts before. After beating Risko he hopped out to Germany, and never did go through with his agreement to
come back for the Maloney bout signed up by his German manager.

The commission overlooked that dodging to get Schmeling back to fight Paolino for the milk fund, because it was a charity affair. Max was signed to fight Phil Scott, He went back to German and stayed that time too. People thought he was dodging the English heavyweight because Scott was such a clever boxer. If so Schmeling and his managers weren't very wise, for Scott was knocked out by Sharkey, Stribling and Larry Gaines in succession.

Eye Injury Welcome Excuse

Schmeling was given the official welcome again to fight Sharkey for the Milk Fund charity, and his dodging of the Scott match was forgiven. After winning from Sharkey on a foul Max promised the New York Boxing commission to return and fight Sharkey again.

He hopped to Germany and stayed there a year, just as on former occasions. When he came back he was ordered to fight Sharkey on pain of being barred from New York rings. Instead, he took Stribling in Cleveland, also signing to fight Carnera this month. Three days after the Stribling fight he was on his way back to Germany, all hopped up with joy at the thought of the reception he'd get as a real, undoubted champion.

Before sailing Tuesday he told me he would stay home a couple of weeks for a visit and rush back to get ready for the Carnera fight. At that time he had a left eye slightly puffed from Stribling's punches, the eyeball showing red distended veins. He said the eye injury was caused by Stribling's thumb, jabbed into his eye early in the fight. It looked like a temporary injury that would not last more than a week or two. After a long delay word came back that German doctors had certified that it would be unsafe for Schmeling to box for several months, because of an injured and infected eye.
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