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Read rest Here - http://www.boxing.com/the_strange_death_of_ernie_schaaf.htmlAt the start of the 1930s, Ernie Schaaf, aka The Tiger of the Sea, was one of the top heavyweight contenders in the world. On February 10, 1933, at Madison Square Garden in New York City, his goal was to meet and beat the Italian giant Primo Carnera. The winner would get a shot at the Boston Gob, heavyweight champion Jack Sharkey. Both Schaaf and Sharkey had served together in the U.S. Navy some years back. They had each made names for themselves as fleet champions. This night Jack Sharkey was in Schaaf's corner because Jack was also Ernie's manager and had been for three years. The champ had bought Schaaf's contract from Phil Schlossberg for around $12,000.
The man standing in Ernie's way, Primo Carnera, aka Da Preem, was five inches taller and over fifty pounds heavier than Schaaf. Carnera was 6'7" and weighed in at 264 pounds. Carnera's wingspan was 85". Schaaf was 6'2" and a comparatively light 207 pounds and his wingspan was 75". Still Schaaf was a 7 to 5 favorite with the bookmakers. It was a bonus to them if it looked like a fight between David and Goliath. Such a match was always good for the gate. The press suspected Carnera of being mob connected and also suspected that his win record was bogus. The fans were looking for an easy Schaaf victory.
Announcer Joe Humphries introduced the main event. "Fifteen rounds… possibly. The winner to meet the champion in June." Not many of the 18,000 boxing fans heard Humphries' introductions. There was no ring microphone in those days. Joe's booming voice was drowned out by the crowd.
Referee Bill Cavanaugh went over the rules at the center of the ring. The two men listened, touched gloves and went back to their corners. Jack Sharkey whispered last minute instructions to his fighter as managers always do.