Monday, August 23, 2010
This is for the boxing detectives out there. Perhaps someone knows who the boxer in the story was.
The story titled "Nat Siegford Does it Again: A Christmas Story," caught my eye as I was processing The Ringside Reporter magazine. The issue is dated January 8, 1950, Vol. XXII No. 1. I read the whole story, and loved it. It must be true, seeing how Fred Eisenstadt was a writer of good repute for Ringside.
It may also be untrue, but whatever the case, Eisenstadt is writing about a man whose life was drastically different compared to the times when he was a boxer.
So, here is a question, which I too would like to know: Who IS the boxer in the story? There are clues that a good boxing historian may follow.
The boxer fought against "top-ranking welterweights of that era." That era being the 1920s. He fought against "Phil Bloom, Kid Graves, Jack Britton, Ted Kid Lewis, Dave Shade, Mike O'Dowd, Steve Latzo, Sailor Freedman, Harry Greb, Ace Hudkins, Soldier Bartfield, Honey Mollody, Pete Latzo and others--in a career which lasted some eighteen years."
Monday, August 16, 2010
Monday, August 2, 2010
Another Rare Item from
the Hank Kaplan Boxing Archive
By Mike Silver
To paraphrase a line from the movie Forrest Gump, “the Hank Kaplan Boxing Archive is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to find.” This rare AP wire photo, dated June 29th, 1936, attests to that. The caption attached to the photo reads:
“Schmeling’s Wife Gets Gift From Hitler. Surrounded by flowers and congratulatory telegrams Annie Odra, Max Schmeling’s wife is shown the day after the Louis battle beside the odd plant (left) sent by Adolph Hitler, above her hangs the trophies of Max’s former fights.”
Max Schmeling’s knockout of Joe Louis was the greatest upset in boxing history up to that time. Germany’s Nazi propaganda machine made the most of the unexpected victory. Schmeling and his wife were photographed with Hitler and the fighter was paraded around Germany as a model of “Aryan racial superiority.”
Anny Ondra was born in Poland to Czech parents. She became an actress and appeared in several Czech and German films. In 1933 she married Germany’s former heavyweight champion, Max Schmeling. They appeared in at least two films together after Schmeling knocked out Louis. Schmeling’s star faded rapidly in Germany after his rematch with Louis in 1938. On the eve of World War II, in a symbolic victory for the free world over fascism, Joe Louis annihilated Schmeling in just 2:04 of the first round.
For anyone who wants to learn more about the Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling era and their historic fights, I suggest you read David Margolick’s definitive history, “Beyond Glory: Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling and a World on the Brink”.
In addition, the Brooklyn College Library, Archives and Special Collections has Margolick’s extensive research materials which will shortly be made available.