Menu JTA Search

Slants on Sports

Download PDF for this date

If Maxie Baer can learn anything from the lesson Barney Ross taught Jimmy McLarnin on May 28 at the Madison Square Garden Bowl, he will be the next heavyweight champion of the world.

It’s old stuff by now that Barney Ross won the welterweight crown of the world and thereby as sumed a unique position as holder of two crowns. It’s all over, including the shouting, but we’ll shout for a long time in these columns over the cleverness, the smart style of the attack, the strategic defense and the devastating punch revealed by the winnah and new champion.

Incidentally, this sports department takes a much belated bow for coming out and predicting a Ross victory in a city where the entire press was for the fighting Irishman from Dublin.


But Maxie certainly can take a few pointers from his lighter, yet, in our estimation, much cleverer colleague. The most important thing that Baer could have picked up from the Ross fight was the value of intensive training. Up to the time of the welterweight scrap he had been clowning along in grand fashion. Afterwards he merely clowned along and nearly gave Commish Brown a fit with his horsey antics when the latter went down to Asbury Park to look the Baer over. Despite the ballyhoo and baloney, the California Baer is in good shape.

The champ Primo Carnera, in the meantime has been preparing quietly, effectively and confidently. Nevertheless it seems to us that Baer clamped the lid on foolishness soon after the Ross-McLarnin battle and settled down to real, intensive training. At present we think Maxie has never been in better form than he is today.

Your sports commentator watched Barney Ross go through his training paces at Ferndale, N. Y., and he observed Poison Jimmy train for the memorable Milk Fund Battle. It was this close observation of the two men which made us certain that Ross was the better man and would win. At this time, having seen both the heavyweight challenger, Maxie Baer, and the champ, Da Preem, we go to bat once more and say that Maxie Baer will be the next heavyweight champion of the world. At the same time we would like to say that Maxie is a bummer when it comes down to the real thing #n preparing for a fight of such importance.


Primo is a behemoth. He is a good man and a good fighter. He has devastating feet that do enormous damage to an opponent. He is big and powerful and considering his weight and size is fast. Built like a battleship of the modern type, which surrenders nothing of its effectiveness and power because of its increased speed, the champ can keep an opponent at bay even if he cannot sink a rival with his terrific punches and broadsides. But if Carnera is a super-dreadnought, Maxie is the destroyer type. He is much faster than Carnera a harder hitter to our way of thinking, and he has more ring finesse than the champ. At that be can swing those arms of his with the rapidity of an antiaircraft gun. Ask Schmeling and Levinsky and June Knight and Jean Harlow.


The champ, Primo, isn’t the same fighter who defeated the hottempered Lithuanian, Jack Sharkey, by a knockout in six rounds. He is even better. He has been doing things and learning plenty. Since the last Sharkey fight he is greatly improved. However, he still has one fault. A sports reporter at the ringside of any Carnera battle can call the shots the champ intends making. Long before the blow has landed, the reporter can wire his office that “Carnera shoots a left and misses.” It can be set up in type and be on the street at the same moment that Carnera is swinging. In other words Da Preem telegraphs his blows and it will not be difficult for Maxie to evade them. The Baer is an agile youngster with plenty of good strong leg action. This plus punch and pepper makes for the pay-off in the ring game.


We’ll grant Maxie is a playboy, a bummer at training and a good tap dancer, but what about the champ? Ross rooters called McLarnin a super-soap bubble and the Baer fans, who do not think the champ is all he is cracked up to be, are calling the Italian armada a crackpot. Baer is one of these fans.

Tommy Loughran, ring veteran and one of the most polished boxers in the resined arena today, lasted fifteen rounds with the heavyweight champion. Loughran is not the ace he used to be. He still has the finesse and polish but his punch is lacking in the lullaby theme song it used to possess. Which all means that Carnera is a bugaboo who has gone pretty far up the ring ladder but will be knocked off his perch when he pairs off against Baer.


Carnera was the first Italian to step into the shoes made vacant by such illustrious predecessors as John L. Sullivan, Bob Fitzimmons, Jim Corbett, Burns, Willard, Dempsey, Tunney, Schmeling and Sharkey. He realized his boyhood dreams, as a circus freak, after stopping Jack Sharkey in the sixth round at the Garden Bowl on June 29 of last year. Successfully defended laurels against Paulino, the bounding Basque, and Tommy Loughran. Earned titular shot at expense of late Ernie Schaaf, scoring a k.o. after thirteen torrid sessions. Ernie later died of a cerebral hemorrhage. The champ was born in Sequals, province of Udene, Italy in 1907. Most abnormally built man ever to fight for a living. Greatest battle early in career was against George Godfrey. Primo won on a foul in the fifth of ten scheduled rounds. Celebrated his American debut by knocking out Big Boy Peterson, drawing a record crowd in the Garden. Has two real hobbies—radio and movies. Has had eighty fights, winning seventy-three, fifty-nine by the kayo route.



Maxie Baer, the handsome Livermore Larruper, the shy, modest, soft-spoken, playboyingclown-ingsingingdancing lad, was born February 11, 1909, at Omaha, of partial German Jewish parentage. Stands six feet one inch in Baer feet and usually scales around 210 pounds. Created fistic sensation and first real upset of 1933 outdoor season, after stopping Max Schmeling in eighth of fifteen scheduled rounds. Fought with tigerish ferocity and thrilled spectators no end with sensational finish. Another playboy of the ring but takes hat off to Maxie Rosenbloom, the Jewish light heavyweight champion, for clown and playboy antics. Baer is chesty but seems to make good his bluffs. Managed by Ancil Hoffman. Has scored kayos over some good men. Celebrated New York debut January 16, 1931, by stopping Tom Heeney in three rounds. Has had forty-six fights, scoring twenty-nine knockouts. Has beaten Schmeling, Schaff, Levinsky, Risko, Campbell and K.O. Christner. First fight against Chief Caribou way out west in Californi-a.


When press releases emanate from training camps in the form of ballyhoo, the reader can rest assured that no matter how you slice it the thing remains pure baloney. And the papers eat it up. Ike Gellis, who is publicizing the Jewish boxer in every country, has just scored a press kayo by crashing a Nazi sheet in Das Hitlerland.

When this fight was signed it looked like a natural. However, with the Brown blow-up, the Baer Berries, the song-and-dance acts at Asbury Park, the broadcasts and what-have-you have caused the fight to dwindle from the gigantic proportions it had originally assumed. The ballyhoo may not affect the gate receipts in the way the Garden would like it but the betting odds are certainly piled high on the champ to retain his crown. That’s the way Hoffman, Dempsey and Baer want it to be.


If Baer wins the fight tomorrow night, we’ll have a Jewish champion in the top class division. Maxie Rosenbloom, despite the fact that he is more of a bummer than a boxer, nevertheless is light-heavyweight king. Barney Ross holds the welterweight title and the lightweight crown. All in all we feel this is a pretty good record for the Hitler lads to shoot at.


Inasmuch as every time we have talked with the California Baer he has had the last word, we feel it only proper to finish off this column and give the last word to the challenger and tomorrow’s new champion.

“They tell me I will have a hard time hitting Carnera. Well, they told me I would have a hard time hitting Maxie Schmeling around the head and I nailed him with a left and a right in the first round. I am not rushing in with any crazy idea of knocking out Carnera in the first round with a punch, but he can be hit and I can hit him more than once.

“I have built up my legs and arms. I’ve done about five miles of road work a day, at least six rounds of boxing and punched both the light and heavy bag. I didn’t want to run any risk of coming to the seventh or eight round with tired legs and tired arms, a thing which might happen against a fellow of Carnera’s size and weight. I had been in light training for several weeks but these last few weeks have found me working my head off. I want to win this title and I sure am going to do it.”

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund