Joe Louis vs. Primo Carnera

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1935-06-25 : Joe Louis 196 lbs beat Primo Carnera 260½ lbs by TKO at 2:32 in round 6 of 15


  • This was Mike Jacobs' debut as Louis' promoter. Louis had signed a contract that gave Jacobs the exclusive right to promote his fights for the next three years, with an option for renewal. [1]
  • By the summer of 1935, Carnera's homeland, Italy, under the fascist dictatorship of Benito Mussolini, was threatening to invade Ethiopia. In an era of widespread colonialism, Ethiopia was one of the few independent black countries on Earth. "The American press emphasized the symbolism of the boxing match in relationship to what was happening in Africa," wrote Patrick Myler in Ring of Hate. "Louis was seen as representing the ill-equipped black patriots bravely resisting the jack-booted white imperialist." [2]
  • Louis floored Carnera three times. United Press reported: "Louis' two dynamite-laden fists obliterated Primo Carnera. . . . Louis carried the battle to Carnera in every round, winning all but the fourth by wide margins." [3]
  • Paid attendance was 57,000. In addition, there were 7,000 complimentary tickets for a total attendance of 64,000.
  • Gross receipts were $328,655.44, and the net was $275,531.87.
  • Carnera's purse was $86,792.54, and Louis' was $44,636.16. [4]