June 14, 1934 – It was a BIG night on the fight card at Madison Square Gardens in New York! American boxer Max Baer Knocked Out the defending champion, Italian Primo Carnera in the 11th round to capture the world heavyweight title.
The media was somewhat fooled by witnessing Baer clowning around at practice sessions they had witnessed of Baer leading up to the fight. Many thought he was not taking a shot at the belt seriously enough. Once in the ring, though under the lights the American was all business as he punished Primo from the start of the opening bell.
Max did use some of the clowning tactics inside the ropes and their effectiveness had the Champ Carnera fearing the challenger for most of the evening. After 10 plus rounds of punishment, Primo Carnera asked the referee to end the fight, thus giving Max Baer the title he sought.
As side notes, Baer went on later to become a boxing referee and had occasional roles acting on film or television. He was the brother of heavyweight boxing contender Buddy Baer and father of actor Max Baer Jr. who played Jethro on the original “Beverly Hillbillies” television sitcom. Max Baer Sr. was rated as the 22nd best on The Ring magazine’s list of 100 greatest punchers of all time.
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