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Primo Carnera vs. Tommy Lougran...

Item # 585171

March 02, 1934

THE BURLINGTON FREE PRESS, Burlington, Vermont, March 2, 1934 

* Primo Carnera vs. Tommy Loughran
* Heavyweight boxing title fight

This 16 page newspaper has two column headlines on page 4 that include: "Carnera, 270, Outpoints Tommy Loughran, 184, In Fifteen Round Bout" and more with round per round coverage. Other news, sports and advertisements of the day. Light browning, minor margin wear, otherwise in good condition.

wikipedia notes: 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 won his first six bouts, then lost to Franz Diener by disqualification in round one at Leipzig. Then, he won seven more bouts in a row before meeting Young Stribling. He and Stribling exchanged disqualification wins, Carnera winning the first in four rounds, and Stribling winning the rematch in round seven. In Carnera's next bout he avenged his defeat to Diener with a knockout in round six.

In 1930, he moved to the United States, where he toured extensively, winning his first seventeen bouts there by knockout. The one rival who broke the streak was George Godfrey, beaten by disqualification in five in Philadelphia. Carnera lost a decision to Jim Maloney in Boston to finish 1930.

In 1932, Carnera faced the tallest Heavyweight in history up to that point, Santa Camarão, a Portuguese fighter who was taller than him. Carnera won the fight by a 6th round decision

The year 1933 was one of the most important years in Carnera's life. On February 10, he knocked out Ernie Schaaf in thirteen rounds in New York City. Schaaf died two days later and Carnera had to go through what most boxers wish they did not have to: the death of an opponent. For his next fight, Carnera faced the world heavyweight champion Jack Sharkey. The championship date was June 29, at the Madison Square Garden's bowl at Long Island. Carnera became world champion by knocking out Sharkey in round six. The fight came under the eye of fans and sportswriters alike when the uppercut that KO'd Sharkey was seen not to have landed. Rumours of a mob fix were brought up once again and many still feel that Sharkey threw the fight.

He retained the title against Paulino Uzcudun (who was attempting to become the first Spaniard world Heavyweight champion) and Tommy Loughran, both by decision in 15 rounds, but in his next fight June 14, 1934 against Max Baer, Carnera was knocked down 11 times and was defeated in 11 rounds.

After that, Carnera won his next four fights, three of them as part of a South American tour that took him to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, as well as boxing two exhibitions in the southern American continent. But then, in his next fight of importance, on June 25, 1935, he was knocked out in six rounds by Joe Louis, who would become world heavyweight champion in 1937.

For the next two and a half years, he had a rather ordinary record, winning five bouts and losing three. But in 1938, Carnera, a diabetic, had to have a kidney removed, which forced him into retirement until 1944.

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.

During his time off boxing, Carnera went to Hollywood and tried his fortune there, and he did well in the city of the stars, participating in a number of movies — his later role in the 1955 British film A Kid for Two Farthings being critically acclaimed. In 1945, he attempted a comeback to boxing, and he won two fights in a row. But after losing to Luigi Mussina three times in a row, he quit boxing for good. Carnera's record was of 89 wins and 14 losses. His 72 wins by knockout making 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. Supposedly, he and Baer engaged in a wrestling match, though no evidence of that happening has been found (and in fact, this is a myth, although it's possible that Baer may have refereed some of Carnera's matches).

On March 13, 1939 Carnera married Giuseppina Kovacic (Her surname was changed in "Gavazzi" due to the Fascist regime). In 1953 they became American citizens. They settled in Los Angeles, where Carnera opened a restaurant and a liquor store. They had two children, one of whom became a medical doctor.

Carnera died in 1967, of a combination of diabetes complications and liver disease.

Category: The 20th Century