Max Schmeling

Germany's World No 1

World Heavy Weight Champion 1930-1932

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Max Schmeling was born in Klien-Luckow Germany on 28 September 1905, he was world heavy weight champion from 1930 to 1932 measuring 6ft 1" weighing in at 189lbs he won an impressive 56 fights 37 KO's lost 10 drew 4.

 

Never popular with his family who had wanted the young man to go into business, Max chose boxing instead, which when you consider he had lost two fingers on his right hand as the result of a childhood accident, he was a stylish boxer with good technique and quite a damaging punch.

 

Not a meteoric rise to the top more of a steady plod, he had some good victories but some unusual defeats having been beaten in one round by a British Cruiserweight Gypsy Daniels, after this no British promoter would book him, so Max went to America.

 

Although totally unknown on the other side of the Atlantic a succession of wins soon gave Max a chance to fight Jack Sharkey at the Yankee Stadium on 12 June 1930. This fight was probably in the who gives a damn class, Schmeling was unknown and Jack Sharkey was so inconsistent.

 

Controversy over Low Blow

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The fight was short despite this it was shrouded in contreversy, Sharkey was having the better of the fight and he hit Max with a right hook that sent Max reeling onto the ropes, however he recovered, the next round saw the end of the fight when Schmeling went down in agony after a low blow from his opponent, the bell sounded when the count reached six Schmelings manager was furious his cries of foul were taken up by the crowd after a long delay while the referee consulted the judges, Max was declared the winner.

 

He was the only German to win the world title and the only man to take it on a foul. Since then the rules were changed and you can only be cautioned for a low blow not disqualified.

 

Max successfully defended his title the next year against Young Stribling, he then offered a return match to Sharkey and having won on a controversial decision the first time, there was to be no repeat. The match went the full 15 rounds and on a split decision Sharkey was made world champion.