Knocked Out By Max Baer
Three months after losing his heavyweight title to Sharkey, Schmeling battered former welterweight and middleweight champ Mickey Walker into submission in eight rounds. In his only fight in 1933, Schmeling was knocked out by Max Baer in a New York match. Next up was a February 13, 1934, Philadelphia match with Steve Hamas, which Schmeling lost. The following year in Hamburg, Hamas and Schmeling faced off again, and this time Schmeling took the match, knocking out Hamas in the ninth round. On July 7, 1935, Schmeling again defeated Paolino Uzcudun in a twelve-rounder in Berlin.
Schmeling's life through the early 1930s showed no signs of anti-Semitism. In fact, many of the people with whom Schmeling and his wife were closest were Jewish. After Hitler's rise to power, the Fuhrer and his cohorts exerted strong pressure on Schmeling to fire his Jewish manager, Joe Jacobs, who was often known by his Yiddish name, Yussel. Third Reich officials were particularly incensed by an incident that followed Schmeling's victory over Steve Hamas on May 10, 1935, in Hamburg. To honor Schmeling, spectators began to sing the national anthem, raising their arms in the Nazi salute. Jacobs, somewhat playfully, joined in, throwing up his arm as well, even though he clutched a large cigar in his hand. To top it off, Jacobs gave a big stage wink to Schmeling, as if to say, "Hey, look at me." The entire incident was captured on film, infuriating Nazi officials. The head of Hitler's Sports Ministry demanded in writing that Schmeling get rid of Jacobs, but Schmeling refused to do so.
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