1931-07-03 Max Schmeling w rsc 15 (15) Young Stribling, Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio, USA - NBA

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1931-07-03 Max Schmeling w rsc 15 (15) Young Stribling, Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio, USA - NBA. Referee: George Blake. Despite being on the receiving end in four of the first five rounds, the champion eventually began to warm to the task as he weaved in beneath Stribling’s left to fire in jabs of his own. He also mixed his punches up when going from head to body, Stribling (186½) showing signs of wear and tear at the end of the sixth. By the tenth Schmeling (189) was sending in right hooks and uppercuts that would have finished off many an opponent, but somehow Stribling remained upright. In the final session Stribling was eventually dropped, a short right to the jaw sending him down for ‘nine’. After rising on quivering legs and trying to fight on, just as Schmeling was lining him up for the ‘coup de grace’ the referee brought the contest to an end with just 22 seconds remaining. There were no complaints.

Nineteen days later, on 22 July, at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, NYC, New York, Jack Sharkey put his American title up for grabs against Mickey Walker, the former welter and middleweight champion, but could only manage a political draw over 15 rounds, the latter seeming a clear winner. Although not a good result for Sharkey, the NYSAC still matched him against Primo Carnera for their version of the world title at Ebbets Field on 12 October. It was thus no surprise that the Madison Square Garden promoters, who had Schmeling under contract to defend the title, applied for and won an injunction against the NYSAC on the grounds that Sharkey v Carnera could not be billed as a world championship fight. Although the fight went ahead as planned, with Sharkey winning on points over 15 rounds, it was seen to be nothing more than an eliminator despite the Commission recognising him as champion. Shortly afterwards, contracts were signed for a match with Schmeling.

Earlier, on 24 August 1931, at the Arena Gardens, Toronto, Canada, George Godfrey successfully defended his ‘black’ title claim when knocking out Seal Harris inside two rounds.