WAIL! BACK ISSUES . . . THE CBZ JOURNAL May 2002
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The Truth about Maxie Rosenbloom
By Chuck Hasson




  Slapsie Maxie Rosenbloom, the name alone brings a chuckle to anybody thats heard it. Even many boxing fans think that ol' Maxie was some kind of a joke. BUT in my humble opinion I believe Rosenbloom was the greatest light heavyweight of all-time! Some people look at his record with only 19 KO's in 299 fights and discount his accomplishments for that reason alone. The facts prove otherwise.

  Maxie was born and raised in Harlem and had little formal education, choosing to "quit school in the third grade 'cause I didn't want to pass my 'fadder' who was in 'da 'fort." During most of his youth he knocked around the city, hustling and carousing and with a wise-cracking attitude he found himself in a few scuffles in which he surprised himself when he easily neutralized some "tough guys" who tried to shut his mouth.

  Before long he tried the ring and amazed many by his fearlessness in taking on all comers and his unlimited stamina. After paying his dues and meeting the very best he easily won the title from Jimmy Slattery in 1930. As champion he maintained a whirlwind pace of fighting every two weeks all over the country. Claiming he never took a drink, Maxie was still the last to leave the cafe's and dancehalls at dawn even on the days of a fight. He had 107 matches from when he won the title in June of 1930 until Nov.16 1934, when they had to steal the title from him because he was box-office poison. He probably would have kept the championship for 10 years if they would have been fair. At a time when many top boxers were ducking the best black fighters, Rosenbloom made a career (70 fights) of beating the greatest blacks of his era. Fighting anybody, anywhere, anytime Maxie lost so many outragious decisions that when negotiating with promoters he would use his famous line "if I win can I get a draw?" Not coincidentally Maxie had 30 draws on his record.

  In the ring, Rosenbloom made it look easy always appearing that he was having fun in there. He was stronger and faster than anybody and beat the best by slapping around the world's most dangerous fighters infuriating them as they were unsuccessfully trying to take his head off. As He put it, "I didn't want to hurt nobody just smack 'em around and let 'em know who was boss." Maxie had a chin of concrete being only stopped twice in his career, by Tommy Milligan in England - the specifics of which I have no report - and as a gift to his "pal" Jack "Doc" Kearns who was buiding Jimmy Adamick into a heavyweight sensation in 1937.

  One of Maxie's funniest night-club lines was '" I quit fightin' because Joe Louis was afraid to fight me, yea, afraid he woulda killed me." That always brought laughter from the audience. The truth though was a bit different. Maxie constantly challenged Louis at every turn but Joe's management team ( Julian Black, John Roxsborough, Jack Blackburn and Mike Jacobs) wanted no part of Rosenbloom, who could not be intimidated by Louis and figured Max would make Joe look awful and hurt his box-office appeal with a bad showing. Not to say that Max would have beat Joe but just had the tools to make it a miserable night for Joe Louis.

  When rating Rosenbloom's place in the light heavy division remember he fought one of the toughest campaigns in history (as tough as Archie Moore's), just check the record. He feared no man and took on ALL comers black and white, and beat almost all of them with a smile and and a "smack in the puss."
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