Max Schmeling vs. Young Stribling

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Young Stribling (left) vs. Max Schmeling.

Max Schmeling 189 lbs beat Young Stribling 187 lbs by TKO at 2:46 in round 15 of 15

  • Date: 1931-07-03
  • Location: Municipal Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
  • Referee: George Blake
  • World Heavyweight Championship (1st defense by Schmeling)
  • Photo #2


  • Schmeling won the vacant World Heavyweight Championship on June 12, 1930, when Jack Sharkey was disqualified in the fourth round for hitting Schmeling below the belt. On January 7, 1931, the New York State Athletic Commission stripped Schmeling of the title after his manager, Joe Jacobs, refused to enter into an agreement to defend the title in a rematch against Sharkey. The National Boxing Association, however, continued recognize Schmeling as champion.
  • Stribling was a slight betting favorite until the afternoon of the fight, when the odds shifted to Schmeling.
  • Ticket prices ranged from $3 to $25.
  • An estimated crowd of 35,000, with gate receipts of $349,000, saw the fight.
  • Schmeling received 40 percent of the receipts and Stribling received 12½ percent.
  • Referee George Blake was paid $2,500 to officiate the bout.
  • Schmeling scored the only knockdown of the fight when he floored Stribling with right late in the 15th round.
  • The Associated Press reported:
Stribling praised Schmeling for fighting fairly and cleanly. It was a right-hand blow that landed just above the left eye in the eleventh round that really started him to defeat, Stribling said. After that punch landed, Stribling knew he was beaten. The young Georgian said it was an injustice to him to have the fight stopped by Referee George Blake with only 14 seconds to go. He argued that he had been knocked down only once and might have continued until the finish. Stribling, however, was in no condition to weather the storm, for he was groggy and reeling, and another savage blow to the chin might have resulted seriously.
  • This was the only knockout loss Stribling suffered in a career that consisted of more than 280 professional fights.
  • The bout was named 1931 Fight of the Year by The Ring Magazine.