Faces Off Against U.s. Boxers
In 1929, realizing that the United States was rapidly becoming the center of the international boxing scene, Schmeling came to America to challenge some of the world's leading heavyweight boxers. After a couple of matches against unremarkable contenders, the German heavyweight made his mark internationally by defeating two major heavyweights, Johnny Risko and Paolino Uzcudun, earning him a number-two ranking and a shot at the world heavyweight title. On June 12, 1930, Schmeling and American Jack Sharkey faced off in New York's Yankee Stadium to fight for the vacant world heavyweight title. The German became the first heavyweight champion in history to win the title on a foul when Sharkey was disqualified in the fourth round for a low blow. It was just over a year before Schmeling fought again, successfully defending his heavyweight title by knocking out Young Stribling in the 15th round of a match in Cleveland, Ohio. Just over two years after he'd won the world heavyweight title, Schmeling lost it in a controversial split-decision in a Long Island rematch with Sharkey.
Schmeling's two years as world heavyweight champion—the first German ever to hold that title—elevated him to heroic status in his homeland. In the wild and wicked final days of the Weimar Republic, Berlin's café society embraced Schmeling, and Schmeling, poorly educated and never more than a laborer before getting into boxing, loved it. Dark and handsome, he suddenly found himself keeping company with actors, actresses, writers, poets, artists, and dancers. He took to buying the finest tailored suits money could buy, almost all of them bought at David Lewin's justly famous Prince of Wales shop in the German capital. It was in Berlin that Schmeling met Anny Ondra, a Polish-born actress who starred in a number of motion pictures in Austria, Czechoslovakia, Germany, and Great Britain between the late teens and early fifties. Schmeling married the actress in 1933. Childless, their marriage lasted more than half a century and ended only with Anny's death in 1987.
- Max Schmeling - Chronology
- Max Schmeling - Born In German Village Of Uckermark
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