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Thread: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

  1. #31
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    Re: Ray

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    I think you are making more out of this than there really is.

    I no more jumped on Overhand's comment as something that should be held as gospel, any more than I endorsed the quote you brought up.

    In fact, I outright asked the question if the Dismissive comment by Louis about Carnera, should be held in any more reliable standing than what you had read.

    I even went so far as to break this down showing how BOTH Plauditory and Dismissive comments made by a fighter about another that they faced, should be taken with a grain of salt And NOT held as gospel.

    REGARDLESS of the position Fighter A has on Fighter B (if they had previously faced each other), We need to be cautious and guarded on how much weight or stock we place on thier word.

    I think I've repeated this stance enough now and don't need to again.

    Hawk
    I'm making more out of it than it really is? You got to be kidding!

  2. #32
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    Whatever

    How what I am saying, is being interperated by you, has gotten a bit out of control.

    I'm throwing my flag in here. It's not really worth it. I'm not going to get into a pissing match over Primo Carnera.

    My bottom line is and has been: fighters assessing fighters they have faced, is not always a reliable source.

    THis applies to Louis Building up and/or tearing down Carnera.

    Nuff Said.

    Hawk

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    There have been some comments by fighters that on the surface may seem denigrating of their opponent but at the same time left no doubt about how good that made the victor look...one that comes to mind was Marlon Starling after his win over Lloyd Honeyghan...."I just beat his ass". I take it to mean "Lloyd was the champ and I kicked his ass badly so that makes me great"/Lloyd's a good fighter and I'm even better". He really did kick his ass, too.

    We can't forget humble George Foreman's comment about another victory over yet another opponent, Ken Lakusta.

    Interviewer:
    Were you suprised by that punch, George?

    Foreman:
    "Oh, my goodness no. He caught me with that big whatchamacallit punch, but you can't be suprised that he landed a punch or two."

    "After all he is the Heavyweight Champion of all of Canada".

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    Building up Carnera builds up Sharkey. If Sharkey is built up by Max, and Jack is clobbered by a guy Max says indeed truly stinks... wouldn't that reflect poorly on Sharkey and most importantly MAX himself?

    I think the whole concept of accounts by fighters, and the associated 'building them up to build themselves up or are they being honest' can be summed up: who knows.
    If he felt like it, wouldn't the simplest route in this case for Max building himself up be: "the fight looked fishy, I don't think the knockout was legitimate"? Building up Carnera builds up Sharkey slightly, in an indirect way, but at the same time it damages Sharkey much more so when he says he was "not surprised" that Carnera knocked him out.

    I agree with you, we can never be sure, but that doesn't make it any less fun to try to "play detective" and think it through.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    I have seen that fight re-played a few times(usually about 3 a.m on ESPN Classic)
    In my opinon,Carnera clearly knocked out Jack Sharkey cold with a devistating uppercut.(looked like it almost took Sharkey's head off even from a balconey eye view.
    However I dont think Carnera had planned that punch,it look like a Primordial reflexive action from Carnera just when Sharkey was about to punch him,when Sharkey was against the ropes.
    Unforatently the lame brains who edited or ran the show, didnt bother to re-play the knock-out or even show the knock out in slow-motion.
    Last edited by brutu; 02-14-2007 at 08:06 PM.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Achilles
    Max Schmeling said:

    "...In contrast to the experts, I had always considered Carnera to be a technically sound boxer...
    Carnera was obviously a technically sound boxer. You can even see it in his match against Max Baer, when Carnera mounts a later round counteroffensive before finally falling to Baer in the 11th round. Just check out copies of the film on www.youtube.com; Carnera boxes and jabs impressively from long range.

    Carnera could not have been the total bum the media has made him out to be. I almost get the impression that generation after generation of sportswriters have mindlessly denigrated Carnera merely because it is fashionable to do so.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    ,I always had heard for years and years ,what clumsy oafs that Jess Willard and Primo Carnera where.
    Back in the era before satellite 500 channel television or DVD' all the average boxing fan had for a source about this were books, magazines.
    Since then,where you can watch these old bouts on satellite television along with the boxing historian elits,you can judge for yourself.
    Primo Carnera in my opinion was a very good boxer with a good jab and was light on his feet for a enormous man.Certaily could take a punch from the famous big punchers of his era and didnt stay down after first knockdown like a lot of other contenders who later fought for the heavyweight title.
    Primo Carnera would have been very well one of the multiple world heavyweight champions of the 1980's,1990's or even today

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Achilles
    If he felt like it, wouldn't the simplest route in this case for Max building himself up be: "the fight looked fishy, I don't think the knockout was legitimate"? Building up Carnera builds up Sharkey slightly, in an indirect way, but at the same time it damages Sharkey much more so when he says he was "not surprised" that Carnera knocked him out.

    I agree with you, we can never be sure, but that doesn't make it any less fun to try to "play detective" and think it through.
    To play detective then, Max by advancing a belief that it was fixed then would be in the business of advocating something that he cannot prove.. also in many eyes he would be giving an alibi on how Carnera accomplished something he never came close to doing. A fighter claiming another fighter is a fraud and calling into question yet another man's scruples is a dangerous game for anyone who wishes to appear as anything but a spoiled-sport with unsubstantiated and self-serving theories.

    Beyond all of that, Max may not have believed it was a fix to the point of being sure about it. Much easier to state it didn't surprise him, these things happen, ESPECIALLY since he himself never faced Carnera.

    I'm just playing devil's advocate with the above.... The real point is that Max's opinion is not only impossible to verify as to its truth, but his opinion doesn't really mean anything more than anyone else's. It is a belief which does not make it so. Most people seem to believe Ali was the best heavy ever. I agree. Someone doesn't agree with that we cannot state they are inventing a new truth and nothing Sugar, Frazier, Foreman, Ali's buddies, 90 year-olds who 'seen them all', Earnie Shavers or anyone else says about Ali makes it so.

    Then it is up to the other person of course to advance who they think is the best, and preferably why, which ought o be open to the same scrutiny of course.

    To the subject at hand in the thread I indeed am suspicious. That suspicion has not morphed into convinced due to a lack of clinching evidence to say nothing of more pedestrian compelling evidence.
    Last edited by Sharkey; 02-15-2007 at 11:08 AM.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    **********next thread******************
    Last edited by 10-8; 02-15-2007 at 11:11 AM.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    Compared to some of the overweight bloated oafs masquerading as heavyweights nowadays, Carnera doesn't look bad at all.

    Men of Carnera's size don't move with the natural fluidity, speed and co-ordination that smaller men do, so in comparison to the lean and athletic 190-200 lb guys he was fighting in his day, he would have looked slow, awkward and stiff, befitting of the nickname "The Ambling Alp".

    Throw Carnera in against Valuev and he'd probably look like Ray Robinson or Willie Pep.
    Last edited by 10-8; 02-15-2007 at 11:12 AM.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    I don't know who wrote this entry from Wikipedia, but he or she provides some interesting speculation (and, no, Hawk, I am not claiming this is the Gospel ) regarding rumors that Carnera's fights were mostly fixed:

    "Carnera's manager, Lou Soresi, stole much of Carnera's money and left him almost broke. Because of Soresi's connection to Owney Madden, belonging to the underworld, it has always been speculated across the boxing world that most of Carnera's fights were fixed. The book East Side, West Side: Tales of New York Sporting Life 1910-1960 took the rumors a step further, stating that "Most of the Italian giant's opponents were pushovers, paid to take a dive or too frightened to stand up for three minutes in a row". Jack Sharkey himself had to deny rumors about him taking a dive in his world championship fight with Carnera, swearing that he had not. But these rumors involved other boxing champions of the time, like Jack Dempsey, Max Baer, Jess Willard and Gene Tunney, accused of being corrupt men and uncapable boxers.

    In reality there were two only reasons that today would explain such rumors about Carnera racism towards the Italian communities in the United States, in those days mistakenly thought to be criminal societies belonging to mafia; and the fact that Carnera was a fascist soldier and Italy was an enemy during World War II. Cinema and bad propaganda created to destroy his image followed."

    More grist for the mill. . .

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    The problem I have with the rumors about Carnera's fights being fixed is that the rumors are very rarely substantiated. At the very least, I would expect that testimony from fighters, cornermen, promoters and other boxing insiders would be available to validate these rumors. But such testimony is scarce.

    Early in his career, Carnera fought a couple of bouts with Young Stribling in which each fighter won once by DQ. Boxrec.com indicates that there was widespread speculation that the bouts were fixed. If so, it could be that these rumors took on a life of their own and preceded Carnera anywhere he fought after the Stribling bouts. That might explain how the anti-Carnera hysteria started and built-up over time for no good reason.

  13. #43
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    My biggest issue with the second Sharkey bout

    Was that the odds were, for from the time the fight was signed, through the Day before the bout, In Jack's favor at 6-5. On fight night, the odds changed over to Carnera, 7-5 (Boxing's Hal Of Shame, Thomas Myler, page 107).

    A late odds shift always seems fishy to me. Given that Jack handled Primo pretty easy the first time around, there really was nothing there for the gamblers to make such a late shift unless.....well I don;t want to specualte.

    I'm just saying that unlike WItherspoon Bonecrusher, in which Tim, dominated the first bout and came into the second bout unfocused becuase of the late challenger substitution, as well as the lawsuit he was nvoved in with King and ADDED to the fact that Tim was overweight, There was nothing you could put your finger on with Sharkey, to make you beleive the tide would turn to Primo.

    Sharkey was handling Primo relatively easy until he was ko'd as well. Simply a case of a Shot that Sharkey didn't see? Sure. But what made the odds turn the day of the fight? A Carnera win in the manner it happened and based on how the first fight went and how the second one was going, has all the makings of an UPSET. Yet the odds actually favored Carnera on the day of the bout. Why?

    Too coincidental for my tastes. Mylers book does detail other fights of Primo's whihc were shady as well.

    Worth a Look see IMO.

    BTW, I can see an arguement made for Carnera being a champ among today's sorry crap, er crop of Heavies. But I don't see him being a champ in the 80's or 90's, unless it was the small window in the 90's when Frans Botha beat Axel Schulz before being stripped becuase of a dirty piss test after.

    I doubt he would have beaten any other champ in that era. Bruce Seldon included.

    Hawk

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    I believe the odds opened at 11-5 or 9-5 Sharkey...depending on your source. They came down further to 6-5 or 7-5 close to the date of the weigh in and as Hawk says, did a complete about face.

    What differentiates this from perhaps other alleged 'dives' (not fixes) is there is a known quantity in the sleaziness of the cadre handling Carnera..mob ties.. Carnera's own well known and exposed difficulty virtually any time he stepped to the top level of competition and Sharkey's own total unpredictability and disdainful manner in which he viewed the powers in the sport and the game behind the game itself. Also unlike say, Ali-Liston not much of a case could be made about psychologically-driven alternatives. As in Sharkey decided then and there to tank because _____.

    It is suspicious taken as a whole although it requires admittedly requires not only filling in dots but characterizing dots that are often present in the sport.

    Sharkey denying diving makes it very difficult to go any further.

    It is noteworthy that Graziano knocking out Harold Green seems like a potential dive that almost was blown by Green's conscience. Green never spoke about it until Rocky was dead, out of respect he claims and also to not drum up a dead issue (and risk as a comparative nobody attacking the very popular Graziano I assume). Many believe Green, despite Rocky's being a thunderous hitter making a KO fairly believable. Green bested him before, and clearly.

    Primo would likely not know the truth. Max Schmeling certainly wouldn't. Sharkey would and given his desire to live comfortably as a wealthy baron presiding over pastural New England.. and his love of the moolah.. and the mob ties of Carnera's monkeys.. and he was knocked kicking amidst odds that placed a challenger everyone knew was limited as a favorite over a formidable fighter judged not only superior but who had thrashed him once already who showed up for the rematch in supposedly better shape...

    Makes you wonder. Yet any blow can KO a man in theory.... and maybe that one did.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    Sharkey also was a hot and cold fighter. He was out boxing Primo. I belive Sharkey was still the favor at fight time at about 7-5 odds and all. Rember Sharkey did not impress in winning the title from Schmeling. So that may have factor some of it in.

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    Greek

    From the sources I have read on this, the Odds changed in Carnera's favor on the day of the fight.

    Which to me, coupled with the other questions of Carnera's past make me suspicious.

    But (poster) Sharkey, makes a valid point in asking WHY. Why would Jack throw the bout? I have NOT unearthed anything substantive that reveals that Sharkey was paid off. And he does deny ever throwing it. Money seems to be the ONLY logical reason he would throw the bout. But I have no audit trail to point to, to say it was so.

    So While I won;t go so far as to claim that without a doubt Sharkey DID throw the bout, I will say the circumstances surrrounding the conclusion, with the odds swing being the focal point here for me, does lead me to be suspicious.

    I do not KNOW Jack threw the fight. But I also do not KNOW the bout was on the level either.

    Hawk
    Last edited by hawk5ins; 02-15-2007 at 02:56 PM.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    According to James Dawson of the New York Times, Sharkey entered the ring favored at odds of 6 to 5 or 11 to 10. New York Times, 6/30/1933 at p. 21. Dawson, reporting from ringside, wrote that the right uppercut "nearly decapitated" Sharkey.

    Does Myler cite his sources for this sudden shift in odds?

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    Well perhaps Carenea was a better fighter compare to there first fight?? Sharkey was already known as a hot and cold fighter. So vs any one, Sharkey would be a 50 50 bet risk. Perhaps reporters saw Sharkey was not in top shape in training. A lot of factors play a role in the shift.

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    Ray

    Dawson's Article:

    "With his victory, Carnera attained heights never expected. But the fight Followers thought so well of him, that for part of yesterday he was quoted favorite to win at odds of 6 to 5. Sharkey entered the ring the choice at 6-5 and 11 to 10, which was as it should be when past performances are considered."

    More on the Odds from the Times:

    "BETTING ODDS FLUCTUATE

    Change Hourly Up to Ring Time-
    Few Big Wagers.
    Betting on the outcome fluctuated
    with every passing hour. In Times
    Square at 6 o'clock Carnera was
    favored at 6 to 5. An hour later,
    in the Bowl, Sharkey was favored
    at 7 to 5.
    As time for the big battle
    approached considerable Carnera
    money appeared, and the odds on
    the titleholder dwindled to 6 to 5,
    and then to 11 to 10.
    There was considerable betting
    done, but few big wagers were
    made."

    Myler does not specifically quote his source about the odds change, but he makes frequent mention of Arthur Daley's Article in the Times covering the bout as well as Paul Gallico from the Daily News who's post fight piece stated "Nothing will convince me that this was an honest prizefight, contested on it's merits."

    Other sources listed for Myler's piece include Joe WIlliams of the NY World Telegram and Murray Lewin of the New York Mirror who Wrote: "I didn't see the punch, but I sure smelled it." And Westbrook Pegler of the Chicago Tribune.

    Hawk

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    I looked further: Yes, the Washington Post reports a mysterious shift in odds to Carnera that seemed to make him "at least an even favorite with Sharkey." Washington Post 6/29/1933 p. 13.

    Also, the Pegler article said that "the punch that finished Sharkey did not seem sufficient to cause the damage which it purported to cause, but [Arthur] Donovan, one of the best referees in the world and a boxer of some experience himself, insisted afterward that Sharkey was sincerely knocked out." Chicago Tribune, 6/30/1933 p. 27.

    Certainly some disagreement existed as to the effectiveness of the punch. However, the person with the best view of the action may have been Donovan.
    Last edited by raylawpc; 02-15-2007 at 04:17 PM.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    The punch is sold a little too well; Sharkey begins to rolls with it even before the punch connects, Jack claims he never saw the punch when, actually, you can clearly see him anticipate it on film...

    When you mix the the first fight into the equation and Carnera's lack of real punching ability the result induces more frowns.

    Nothing can be official on the subject but Ted Spoon believes Carnera's victory was not legit and that Sharkey's lifeless body on the floor does not look right.

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    Possibly

    McGovern Gans all over agian?

    Who Knows?

    From watching the bout, the Punch looks legit. Did Jack put himself in the position to take the shot on purpose? Who knows?

    Again, I am not validating anything here. I simply have doubts and suspicions.

    Unfounded or not.

    Hawk

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    Carnera had underated power, Sure he was no Dempsey or Marciano regards to punching, But still he can thown a once in a life time punch. Carnera did not kill Schuff with feather punchings.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    It's not unusual for the odds on big fights to shift on the final day before the bout, or on the day of the bout itself. We see this happening all the time. It occurs because many gamblers aren't inspired to post their bets until the last moment before the fight. We see this phenomenon in other sports as well.

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    Schaaf's death

    Had little to do with Carnera and more to do with pre-existing injuries he had coming into the bout. The multiple rabbit punches Galento gave him resulted in Schaaf being unable to leave his dressing rom for several hours after thier bout. Then Baer gave him a Save beating in thier bout and was carried from the ring on a stretcher and was hospitalized for four hours before he was allowed to be released.

    Carnera's punches were landed on a severly damaged goods opponent.

    Primo's technique in throwing punches was simply awful.

    I really do not get this recent attempt to legitimize Carnera. He was criticized for good reason. He was a very limited fighter. And His nefarious connections with the mob and many questionable outcomes in "set ups" (I'm not referring specifically to the Sharkey bout, but rather the numerous bouts that have been revealed as fakes: Peterson, Rioux, Ace Clark, Bertazollo, Chevalier, who blinded by his own corner, STILL dropped Carnera in the 6th and then had his OWN corner throw in the towel to give Carnera the win and multiple others.) have been documented multiple times.

    This is Not just hearsay.

    Carnera was...not good.

    Surprized to see how "nimble" he looked on film? Is that more of a "He doesn't suck as bad as I thought he would be" or did he TRULY possess exemplary talents? I think the former is in order much more so than the latter.

    Hawk

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    Kenmore

    Given that Sharkey easily handled Carnera before and there was nothing to suggest Carnera had improved to the point of his being the superior fighter, the Money coming in on Carnera WAS a surprise.

    And I would actually question that this was even a big fight given the predecessor bout.

    Yes there is some legitimacy about Sharkey's inconsistancy and Paul Gallico alluded to that a week before the bout. But nothing to the degree that considering the talent disparity, that Carnera was figured to win the fight.

    I just don't get this reevaluation of Carnera. There really isn;t anything to suggest that he wasn;t exactly who everyone thought he was for years now.

    I'm perplexed on this.

    Hawk

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkey
    There is corroborating evidence for a fix, but such is impossible to prove. Carnera's handlers as we all know were more than reputed mob fixtures and there can be almost no dispute that Carnera career path was sprinkled with walk-overs and fights that were foregone conclusions.

    In Sharkey we have a champ who made no bones about his first love being money. A man who was so excited about winning the title and hated the fight game at the same time.

    The uppercut described which I have seen follows if I recall Sharkey 'slipping' to the canvas a bit earlier while Carnera tosses some leather at him. Not called a KD, Sharkey rises and eventually is cuffed to the ropes. Carnera short arms some shots and lands an uppercut, causing Sharkey, who is near the ropes IF I RECALL, to careen backwards and then fall forwards where he doesn't so much as stir, facing the canvas. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

    I certainly have my suspicions of an out and out tank for dough (Sharkey throughout his career claimed the dollars were the real title) or borne via threats. Sharkey won 4 of the first 5 rounds, 3 at least.

    It is difficult, however, to state a punch doesn't LOOK right, because who knows what scrambling is done in the brain of the hittee..the angle, the placement etc.

    Still, I have my suspicions.

    You can't forget how prevelant fixed fights were during that era-- and also how prevelant they were in Carnera's own history. There was a recent book out about Italian athletes that discussed this fight and asserted it was a dive as a matter of fact-- can't remember the title, but I'll try to look it up (came out about 2 years ago, I think). Lots of eyewitnesses thought the fight looked staged. John Durant said Sharkey's acting was bad enough to make the Barrymore's cringe.

    Sharkey was up 5-0 in rounds and then went down from a punch that did not appear to have much steam on it at all. I wouldn't be surprised if the first 5 rounds was Sharkey's way of showing Carnera who was boss before laying down.

    My guess is that the fight was fixed.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    Here is how the Chicago Tribune explained the odds:

    "Although Sharkey decisively whipped the giant Italian in 1931, the champion is favored by odds no better than 7 to 5 this time. Two factors enter into this situation. The Boston sailor is nearly 31 years old and can't be expected to go on indefinitely. Carnera, on the other hand, is a much better fighter than he was two years ago." Chicago Tribune 6/26/1933 p. 16.

    Joseph Nichols in the New York Times also echoed this view in an article published 6/25/1933 p. S4.

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    Re: Is there any substance to the rumor of Carnera KO Sharkey being "fixed"?

    Quote Originally Posted by raylawpc
    Here is how the Chicago Tribune explained the odds:

    "Although Sharkey decisively whipped the giant Italian in 1931, the champion is favored by odds no better than 7 to 5 this time. Two factors enter into this situation. The Boston sailor is nearly 31 years old and can't be expected to go on indefinitely. Carnera, on the other hand, is a much better fighter than he was two years ago." Chicago Tribune 6/26/1933 p. 16.

    Joseph Nichols in the New York Times also echoed this view in an article published 6/25/1933 p. S4.
    Indeed. I don't find it hard to believe that Carnera's chances against Sharkey were perceived to be high even though he lost the first bout in one sided fashion. This is a situation we see often in boxing...remember that in Frazier-Quarry II (1974), Quarry was actually favored over Frazier in spite of his decisive loss in their first bout.

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    Re: Kenmore

    Quote Originally Posted by hawk5ins
    I just don't get this reevaluation of Carnera. There really isn;t anything to suggest that he wasn;t exactly who everyone thought he was for years now.

    I'm perplexed on this.

    Hawk
    Actually, I started the thread to find out if other boxing fans knew of any substantive, concrete evidence that Carnera's kayo of Sharkey was fixed. I personally am puzzled as to how the "fix" rumor could be strong given that, over decades, no person has come forward with any first hand information of wrong-doing here.

    As for reevaluating Carnera's abilities, I'm not the first to do so. I remember even when I was a kid in the 1970s that some journalists (not many, but some) were arguing that Carnera was underrated by experts.

    Have you given Carnera's performance against Baer a closer look? It's on www.youtube.com. Carnera actually looks good in the later rounds, as he boxes effectively before finally falling to Max in the 11th.

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