The great Max Schmeling

by
The great Max Schmeling
Photo by Wm. C. Greene - New York World-Telegram and the Sun

The great Max Schmeling

by
The great Max Schmeling
Photo by Wm. C. Greene - New York World-Telegram and the Sun

Max Schmeling
Photo by Wm. C. Greene – New York World-Telegram and the Sun

Over a hundred years ago was born in Germany a man who would become a boxing reference, and a controversial figure when joined politics, that man was Max Schmeling.

He was born in Klein Luckow in 1905 with the name of Maximilian Adolph Otto Siegfried Schemeling and fell in love with boxing after watching the heavyweight title fight between Jack Dempsey and Georges Carpentier in the local cinema.

Still a teenager, Schmeling began to participate in various amateur tournaments, and in 1924, he won the lightweight title. He became a technical and stylist boxer very aware of his counterattack movements.

He made hid debut in profesional boxing at age 19, in August 1924 and accumulated a string of 17 wins in his first 23 fights. He won the German heavyweight title in 1926, and the following year took over the European Championship.

He travelled to the United States for the first time in 1928, and was considered a clumsy boxer without good moves and who had not faced any popular opponents.

He fought Joe Monte and stopped him in the eighth round in the Madison Square Garden. Ever since he started getting offers, and on February 1, 1929 he fought Johnny Risko and knocked him down four times before the referee stopped the fight in the ninth. This battle was recognized as the fight of the year.

In December of the following year he fought Jack Sharkey who was disqualified for a low blow, and Schmeling won the world title. In 1932 they fought the rematch but this time Sharkey defeated the German in 15 rounds in a controversial split decision.

A year later he had the historic fight with Max Baer, and lost by TKO in tenth round, prompting many to believe it was the time for Schmeling to say goodbye. But he returned to his native Germany for two years, and returned to America after getting married.

In June 1936 he fought Joe Louis and to everyone surprised he stopped him in the 12th round, and even though he was Jim Braddok’s mandatory contender, it was Louis who received the opportunity and Schmeling the dislike for being the image of the Nazi propaganda.

Although Louis won the title, he said that the would not feel a real champion until after he defeated Schmeling, thing that happened on June 22, 1938 in the old Yankee Stadium. It was a very bloody fight that people made a political fight between United States and the Nazzi Germany, and the American defeated the Aryan in the first round besides breaking two ribs.

In 1939 he fought in Germany with Adolf Heuser, and knocked him out in round one, and the fight broke the attendance record in that country with 70 thousand fans.

participated in World War II as an elite paratrooper, and hurt his ankles, that eventually forced him to give up boxing in 1948.

He became an entrepreneur and close friend of Louis. Schmeling died in 2005 at 99 years of age.


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