Regular price $300.00

Primo Carnera (October 26, 1906 – June 29, 1967) was an Italian boxer, nicknamed the Ambling Alp, who became the world heavyweight champion. Born in Sequals, then in the Province of Udine, now Province of Pordenone, Friuli-Venezia Giulia (Italy), Carnera was a remarkable 6 feet 5½ inches (197 cm) tall and weighed 284 pounds (129 kg), at a time when the average height in Italy was approximately 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m). Until December 19, 2005, when the 7 ft 1 in, 147 kg Nikolay Valuev won the WBA title, Jess Willard who stood 6' 6½" was the tallest champion in boxing history. Carnera was an inch shorter but around 40 lbs heavier and was the heaviest champion in boxing history. He enjoyed a sizable reach advantage over most rivals, and when seen on fight footage, he seems like a towering giant compared to many heavyweights of his era, who were usually at least 60 pounds (27 kg) lighter and 7 inches (18 cm) shorter than he was. One publicity release about him read in part: "For breakfast, Primo has a quart of orange juice, two quarts of milk, nineteen pieces of toast, fourteen eggs, a loaf of bread and half a pound of Virginia ham." Because of his size, he earned the nickname "The Ambling Alp." September 12, 1928 was the date of Carnera's first professional fight, against Leon Sebilo, in Paris. Carnera won by knockout in round two. He won his first six bouts, then lost to Franz Diener by disqualification in round one at Leipzig. Then, he won seven more bouts in a row before meeting Young Stribling. He and Stribling exchanged disqualification wins, Carnera winning the first in four rounds, and Stribling winning the rematch in round seven. In Carnera's next bout he avenged his defeat to Diener with a knockout in round six. In 1930, he moved to the United States, where he toured extensively, winning his first seventeen bouts there by knockout. George Godfrey broke the streak in Philadelphia by disqualification in the fifth round. Carnera lost a decision to Jim Maloney in Boston to finish 1930. In 1932, Carnera faced the tallest Heavyweight in history up to that point, Santa Camarão, a 6'9" Portuguese fighter who was three and a half inches taller than he. Carnera won the fight by a 6th round decision The year 1933 was one of the most important years in Carnera's life. On February 10, he knocked out Ernie Schaaf in thirteen rounds in New York City. Schaaf died two days later. For his next fight, Carnera faced the world heavyweight champion Jack Sharkey. The championship date was June 29, at the Madison Square Garden Bowl at Long Island. Carnera became world champion by knocking out Sharkey in round six. The fight came under the eye of fans and sportswriters alike when the uppercut that KO'd Sharkey was believed not to have landed. Rumours of a mob fix were brought up causing some to maintain Sharkey threw the fight. He retained the title against Paulino Uzcudun (who was attempting to become the first Spaniard world heavyweight champion) and Tommy Loughran, both by decision in 15 rounds, but in his next fight June 14, 1934 against Max Baer, Carnera was knocked down 11 times and was defeated in 11 rounds. After that, Carnera won his next four fights, three of them as part of a South American tour that took him to Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, as well as boxing two exhibitions in the southern American continent. But then, in his next fight of importance, on June 25, 1935, he was knocked out in six rounds by Joe Louis, who would become world heavyweight champion in 1937. For the next two and a half years, he had a rather ordinary record, winning 5 bouts and losing 3 out of 8 total fights. But in 1938, Carnera, a diabetic, had to have a kidney removed, which forced him into retirement until 1944. Carnera's manager, Lou Soresi, stole much of Carnera's money and left him nearly broke. Because of Soresi's connection to Owney Madden, belonging to the underworld, it has always been speculated across the boxing world that most of Carnera's fights were fixed. The book East Side, West Side: Tales of New York Sporting Life 1910-1960 took the rumors a step further, stating that "Most of the Italian giant's opponents were pushovers, paid to take a dive or too frightened to stand up for three minutes in a row". Jack Sharkey himself had to deny rumors about him taking a dive in his world championship fight with Carnera, swearing that he had not. During his time off from boxing Carnera went to Hollywood and tried his fortune there, doing well in the city of the stars, participating in a number of movies — his later role in the 1955 British film A Kid for Two Farthings being critically acclaimed. In 1945, he attempted a comeback to boxing, and he won his first 2 fights. But after losing to Luigi Musina 3 times in a row, he quit boxing for good. Carnera's record was of 89 wins and 14 losses. His 72 wins by knockout making him a member of the exclusive club of boxers that won 50 or more bouts by knockout. In 1946, he became a professional wrestler and was immediately a huge success at the box office. For a few years he was one of the top draws in wrestling. Carnera continued to be an attraction into the 1960s. Max Baer refereed at least one of his wrestling matches.On March 13, 1939 Carnera married Giuseppina Kovacic (Her surname was changed from "Gavazzi" due to the Fascist regime). In 1953 they became American citizens. They settled in Los Angeles, where Carnera opened a restaurant and a liquor store. They had two children, one of whom became a medical doctor. Carnera died in 1967 of a combination of liver disease and complications from diabetes. Offered here is an original pencil signature of Primo Carnera.
This is an original pencil signature of Primo Carnera on the white blank side of a form. Bold signature. Clean. Mild crease. Mild edge wear. 4" x 5."

Size: 4 x 5

Condition: very good