Primo Carnera

Primo Carnera

Primo Carnera
Primo Carnera
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 1.97 m (6 ft 6 in)
Reach 216 cm (85 in)
Nationality Italian
Born (1906-10-26)October 26, 1906
Sequals, Italy
Died June 29, 1967(1967-06-29) (aged 60)
Sequals, Italy
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 103
Wins 89
Wins by KO 72
Losses 14
Draws 0
No contests 0

Primo Carnera (Italian pronunciation: ; October 26, 1906 – June 29, 1967), nicknamed the Ambling Alp, was an Italian professional boxer and the World Heavyweight Champion from June 29, 1933, to June 14, 1934.


  • Personal life 1
  • Biography 2
    • Boxing career 2.1
    • Acting career 2.2
    • Wrestling career 2.3
  • Accusations 3
  • Depictions in popular culture 4
    • In film 4.1
    • In comics 4.2
    • In music 4.3
    • In mathematics 4.4
  • Professional boxing record 5
  • Championships and accomplishments 6
    • Boxing 6.1
    • Professional wrestling 6.2
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Personal life

Primo Carnera was born in Sequals, then in the Province of Udine, now in the Province of Pordenone, Friuli-Venezia Giulia (at the north-easternmost corner of Italy, bordering Slovenia).

On March 13, 1939, Carnera married Giuseppina Cavazzi (1913 - 1980).

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 in his native town of a combination of liver disease and complications from diabetes.


Carnera was touted in America as being 6' 7" tall and thus the tallest heavyweight in history (up until that time), but he was actually 6′ 5½″ tall (197 cm).[1] He fought at as much as 275 pounds (125 kg),.[2] Until December 19, 2005, when the 7' 1", 147 kg Nikolay Valuev won the WBA title, Jess Willard who stood 6' 6½" was the tallest champion in boxing history.

At a time when the average height in Italy was approximately 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m) and in the United States 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m),[3] Carnera was considered a giant. Though an inch shorter than Willard, he was around 40 lb heavier and was the heaviest champion before Valuev 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. 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."[4] His size earned him the nickname "The Ambling Alp." Time Magazine called him "The Monster".

Boxing career

Primo Carnera silent newsreel 1933

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. 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 312" taller. Carnera won the fight in a 6th-round decision

The year 1933 was one of the most important in Carnera's life. On February 10, he knocked out Ernie Schaaf in thirteen rounds in New York City. Schaaf died four 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 in Queens, New York. 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. Sharkey himself would later confess to having taken a dive.

He retained the title against Paulino Uzcudun (who was attempting to become the first Spanish world heavyweight champion) and Tommy Loughran, both by decision in 15 rounds, but in his next fight on 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 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 five and losing three of eight total fights. But in 1938, Carnera, a diabetic, had to have a kidney removed, which forced him into retirement by 1944.

Carnera's record was 89 wins and 14 losses. His 72 wins by knockout made him a member of the exclusive club of boxers that won 50 or more bouts by knockout.

Acting career

Carnera appeared in a short film in 1931. During his tenure as world champion he played a fictional version of himself in the 1933 film The Prizefighter and the Lady starring Max Baer and Myrna Loy. Here he plays the heavyweight champion who barely holds onto his title with a draw decision after a furious fight with Baer. The film, ironically, was made just the year before Carnera fought Baer for real, in a bout that was as wild as the film version, but ended with a KO loss for Carnera.

Carnera had a non-speaking bit part in the 1949 movie Mighty Joe Young. He played himself in the tug-of-war scene with the giant gorilla. After being pulled by the ape into a pool of water, Carnera throws a couple of futile punches to Joe's chin.

He also played a bully boy wrestler in Carol Reed's film A Kid for Two Farthings (1955) based around London's Petticoat Lane Market where he has a match against a local bodybuilder who is getting married to Diana Dors.

Moreover, Primo appeared in at least 10 Italian films between 1939 and 1943,[5] as well as several in the 1950s, like Prince Valiant,[6] in the role of Sligon. His last screen role was as the giant Antaeus alongside Steve Reeves in Hercules Unchained (USA Title, filmed in Italy, 1959, original title Ercole e la regina di Lidia).[5]

Wrestling career

In 1945 he returned temporarily to boxing and won two fights. But the next year, after three losses against Luigi Musina his talent for wrestling was discovered. In 1946, he became a professional wrestler and was immediately a huge success at the box office. For several years, he was one of the top draws in wrestling. Carnera continued to be an attraction into the 1960s. Max Baer attended at least one of Carnera's wrestling matches.[7]

Carnera wrestled from 1946 to 1962. He won his debut on August 22, 1946, when he defeated Tommy O'Toole in California. On October 23, 1946, Carnera won his 41st consecutive wrestling match by defeating Jules Strongbow. On November 19, 1946, Carnera beat Harry Kruskamp to remain undefeated at 65-0-0.

Primo Carnera went 120 straight wrestling matches undefeated (119-0-1) before suffering his first loss to Yvon Robert in Montreal, Canada, on August 20, 1947. Carnera's greatest victory took place on December 7, 1947 when he defeated former world heavyweight champion Ed "Strangler" Lewis.

In May 1948, Carnera took a 143-1-1 record against world heavyweight champion Lou Thesz. Thesz defeated Carnera in a world title defense.

In Ring Magazine, August 1962, page 38, Carnera "flattened" Ox Anderson in a heavyweight wrestling match in Los Angeles, California.

Carnera's wrestling career came to an end in October 1962.[8] On October 17, he lost to Jess Ortega in Los Angeles, and on October 25 Carnera lost to The Destroyer. Consequently, Carnera retired from professional sports.


According to boxing historian Herbert Goldman, Carnera was "very much mob controlled."[9] Carnera met his first serious heavyweight contender,

Preceded by
Jack Sharkey
World Heavyweight Champion
June 29, 1933 – June 14, 1934
Succeeded by
Max Baer
  • Datos y curiosidades sobre Primo Carnera en espanol.
  • Carnera: The Walking Mountain at the Internet Movie Database
  • Primo Carnera Photos
  • Professional boxing record for Primo Carnera from BoxRec
  • Primo Carnera at Find a Grave

External links

  1. ^ "Primo Carnera - Boxrec Boxing Encyclopaedia". Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  2. ^ better weight
  3. ^ Steckel, Richard H. "A History of the Standard of Living in the United States". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Cinderella Man: James J. Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset in ... - Jeremy Schaap - Google Boeken. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^
  7. ^ , February 1948SportThe Strange Case of Carnera, By Jack Sher,
  8. ^ "Primo Carnera". Retrieved 2014-10-03. 
  9. ^ Bodner, Alan (1997). When Boxing Was a Jewish Sport. Praeger Publishers. p. 133.  
  10. ^ Johnston, Chuck. "Famous 'fixes' in boxing history....". BoxRec. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Primo Carnera vs. George Godfrey". BoxingRec. Retrieved 16 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Sherrin, Ned (Ed.), The Oxford Dictionary of Humorous Quotations, Oxford University Press, 2012.
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Primo Carnera". Retrieved 27 October 2014. Auch als Comicheld hatte Carnera "Karriere" gemacht: Von 1953 bis 1954 erschien im Walter Lehning Verlag, Hannover, mit insgesamt 46 Heften die (ursprünglich aus Italien stammende) Piccolo-Serie "CARNERA" 
  15. ^ "Primo Carnera". Retrieved 27 October 2014. Die Carnera-Beilage in der "Sprechblase" 
  16. ^ Edward Kasner & James R. Newman (1940) Mathematics and the Imagination, page 23, NY: Simon & Schuster


See also

Professional wrestling


Championships and accomplishments

Result Record Opponent Type Round Time Date Location Notes
Loss 88–14 Musina, LuigiLuigi Musina UD 8 May 12, 1946 Gorizia, Italy
Loss 88–13 Musina, LuigiLuigi Musina PTS 8 March 19, 1946 Trieste, Italy
Loss 88–12 Musina, LuigiLuigi Musina TKO 7 November 21, 1945 Milan, Italy
Win 88–11  Sam Gardner KO 1 September 25, 1945 Trieste, Italy
Win 87–11  Michel Blevens KO 3 July 22, 1945 Udine, Italy
Win 86–11 Joseph Zupan KO 2 (10) December 4, 1937 Zirkus, Budapest, Hungary
Loss 85–11 Albert di Meglio PTS 10 November 18, 1937 Salle Wagram, Paris, France
Loss 85–10 Leroy Haynes TKO 3 (10) May 27, 1936 Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Loss 85–9 Leroy Haynes TKO 3 (10) March 16, 1936 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Win 85–8 Isidoro Gastanaga TKO 5 (10) March 6, 1936 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, USA
Win 84–8 Big Boy Brackey TKO 4 (10) 1:06 December 9, 1935 Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, USA
Win 83–8 Ford Smith UD 10 November 25, 1935 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Win 82–8 Walter Neusel TKO 4 (15) November 1, 1935 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, USA
Loss 81–8 Louis, JoeJoe Louis TKO 6 (15) 2:32 June 25, 1935 Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, New York, USA
Win 81–7 Erwin Klausner KO 6 (12) January 22, 1935 Estádio Manuel Schwartz, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Win 80–7 Harris, SealSeal Harris KO 7 (10) January 13, 1935 Estádio da Floresta, São Paulo, Brazil
Win 79–7 Victorio Campolo PTS 12 December 1, 1934 Club Atlético Independiente, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Loss 78–7 Max Baer TKO 11 (15) 2:16 June 14, 1934 Madison Square Garden Bowl, Long Island City, New York, USA Lost NBA and NYSAC World Heavyweight titles.
Win 78–6 Loughran, TommyTommy Loughran UD 15 March 1, 1934 Madison Square Garden Stadium, Miami, Florida, USA Retained NBA and NYSAC World Heavyweight titles.
Win 77–6 Uzcudun, PaulinoPaulino Uzcudun UD 15 October 22, 1933 Piazza di Siena, Rome, Italy Won IBU Heavyweight title.
Win 76–6 Sharkey, JackJack Sharkey KO 6 (15) 2:27 June 29, 1933  Madison Square Garden Bowl, Long Island City, New York, USA  Won NBA and NYSAC World Heavyweight titles.
Win 75–6 Schaaf, ErnieErnie Schaaf KO 13 (15) February 10, 1933 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, USA
Win 74–6 Young Spence KO 1 (10) December 30, 1932 Fair Park Arena, Dallas, Texas, USA
Win 73–6 James Merriott KO 1 (10) December 20, 1932 City Auditorium, Galveston, Texas, USA
Win 72–6 Joe Rice KO 2 (10) December 19, 1932 Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Win 71–6 KO Christner KO 4 (10) December 15, 1932 City Auditorium, Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Win 70–6 Big Boy Peterson TKO 2 (10) December 13, 1932 Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA
Win 69–6 Levinsky, KingKing Levinsky PTS 10 December 9, 1932 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Win 68–6 John Schwake KO 7 (10) 2:16 December 2, 1932 Coliseum, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Win 67–6 Jose Santa TKO 6 (10) November 18, 1932 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, USA
Win 66–6 Les Kennedy KO 3 (10) November 4, 1932 Arena, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Win 65–6 Jack Taylor KO 2 (10) October 17, 1932 Jefferson County Armory, Louisville, Kentucky, USA
Win 64–6 Gene Stanton KO 6 (10) October 13, 1932 114th Infantry Armory, Camden, New Jersey, USA
Win 63–6 Ted Sandwina KO 4 (10) October 7, 1932 Benjamin Field Arena, Tampa, Florida, USA
Win 62–6 Art Lasky NWS 10 September 1, 1932 Auditorium, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Win 61–6 Jack Gagnon KO 1 (10) 1:35 August 19, 1932 Tiverton, Rhode Island, USA
Loss 60–6 Poreda, StanleyStanley Poreda PTS 10 August 16, 1932 Dreamland Park, Newark, New Jersey, USA
Win 60–5 Hans Birkie PTS 10 August 2, 1932 Queensboro Stadium, Long Island City, New York, USA
Win 59–5 Jerry Pavelec TKO 5 (10) 0:51 July 28, 1932 Playground Arena, West New York, New Jersey, USA
Win 58–5 Jack Gross TKO 7 (10) 2:50 July 20, 1932 Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Loss 57–5 Larry Gains PTS 10 May 30, 1932 White City Stadium, London, England, UK
Win 57–4 Hans Schoenrath TKO 3 (10) May 15, 1932 San Siro, Milan, Italy
Win 56–4 Maurice Griselle TKO 10 (10) April 29, 1932 Palais des Sports, Paris, France
Win 55–4 Don McCorkindale PTS 10 April 7, 1932 Royal Albert Hall, London, England, UK
Win 54–4 George Cook KO 4 (10) March 23, 1932 Royal Albert Hall, London, England, UK
Win 53–4 Pierre Charles PTS 10 February 29, 1932 Palais des Sports, Paris, France
Win 52–4 Ernst Gühring TKO 5 (10) February 5, 1932 Sportpalast, Berlin, Germany
Win 51–4 Moise Bouquillon TKO 2 (10) January 25, 1932 Palais des Sports, Paris, France
Win 50–4 Victorio Campolo KO 2 (15) 1:27 November 27, 1931 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, USA
Win 49–4 Levinsky, KingKing Levinsky PTS 10 November 19, 1931 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Loss 48–4 Sharkey, JackJack Sharkey UD 15 October 12, 1931 Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York, USA This match was billed as being for the American Heavyweight title.
Win 48–3 Armando de Carolis KO 2 (10) 1:08 August 6, 1931 Shellpot Park, Brandywine Hundred, Delaware, USA
Win 47–3 Roberto Roberti TKO 3 (10) 2:25 August 4, 1931 Dreamland Park, Newark, New Jersey, USA
Win 46–3 Knute Hansen KO 1 (10) 2:10 July 24, 1931 Edgerton Park Arena, Rochester, New York, USA
Win 45–3 Bud Gorman KO 2 (10) 2:35 June 30, 1931 Mutual Street Arena, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Win 44–3 Umberto Torriani KO 2 (10) 0:43 June 26, 1931 Broadway Auditorium, Buffalo, New York, USA
Win 43–3 Pat Redmond KO 1 (10) 2:24 June 15, 1931 Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York, USA
Win 42–3 Jim Maloney PTS 10 March 5, 1931 Madison Square Garden Stadium, Miami, Florida, USA
Win 41–3 Reggie Meen TKO 2 (6) December 18, 1930 Royal Albert Hall, London, England, UK
Win 40–3 Uzcudun, PaulinoPaulino Uzcudun SD 10 November 30, 1930 Estadio Montjuïc, Barcelona, Spain
Loss 39–3 Jim Maloney PTS 10 October 7, 1930 Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Win 39–2 Jack Gross KO 4 (10) September 17, 1930 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Win 38–2 Pat McCarthy KO 2 (10) 1:16 September 8, 1930 Velodrome, Newark, New Jersey, USA
Win 37–2 Riccardo Bertazzolo TKO 3 (15) August 30, 1930 Auditorium, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Win 36–2 George Cook KO 2 (10) July 29, 1930 Taylor Bowl, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Win 35–2 Bearcat Wright KO 4 (10) July 17, 1930 Omaha, Nebraska, USA
Win 34–2 George Godfrey DQ 5 (10) 1:13 June 23, 1930 Shibe Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Win 33–2 KO Christner KO 4 (10) 1:20 June 5, 1930 Fairgrounds Coliseum, Detroit, Michigan, USA
Win 32–2 Sam Baker KO 1 (10) April 22, 1930 Ice Coliseum, Portland, Oregon, USA
Win 31–2 Leon Chevalier TKO 6 (10) April 14, 1930 Oaks Park, Emeryville, California, USA
Win 30–2 Neal Clisby KO 2 (10) 0:40 April 8, 1930 Olympic Auditorium, Los Angeles, California, USA
Win 29–2 Jack McAuliffe II KO 1 (10) 2:18 March 28, 1930 Stockyards Stadium, Denver, Colorado, USA
Win 28–2 George Trafton KO 1 (10) 0:54 March 26, 1930 Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Win 27–2 Frank Zaveta KO 1 (10) 1:51 March 20, 1930 Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Win 26–2 Chuck Wiggins KO 2 (10) March 17, 1930 Arena, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Win 25–2 Sully Montgomery KO 2 (10) 1:15 March 11, 1930 Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Win 24–2 Roy Ace Clark KO 6 (10) 2:38 March 3, 1930 Arena, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Win 23–2 Farmer Lodge KO 2 (10) 1:22 February 24, 1930 Heinemann Park, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Win 22–2 Johnny Erickson KO 2 (10) 1:45 February 17, 1930 Coliseum, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA
Win 21–2 Jim Sigman KO 1 (8) 1:35 February 14, 1930 Memphis, Tennessee, USA
Win 20–2 Buster Martin KO 2 (10) 0:56 February 11, 1930 Arena, St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Win 19–2 Billy Owens KO 2 (10) 2:22 February 6, 1930 Armory, Newark, New Jersey, USA
Win 18–2 Elzear Rioux KO 1 (10) 0:47 January 31, 1930 Chicago Stadium, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Win 17–2 Big Boy Peterson KO 1 (10) 1:10 January 24, 1930 Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York, USA
Win 16–2 Franz Diener TKO 6 (15) December 17, 1929 Royal Albert Hall, London, England, UK
Loss 15–2 Stribling, YoungYoung Stribling DQ 7 (10) December 7, 1929 Vélodrome d'hiver, Paris, France
Win 15–1 Stribling, YoungYoung Stribling DQ 4 (15) November 18, 1929 Royal Albert Hall, London, England, UK
Win 14–1 Jack Stanley TKO 1 (8) 1:45 October 17, 1929 Royal Albert Hall, London, England, UK
Win 13–1 Hermann Jaspers KO 3 (10) September 18, 1929 Salle Wagram, Paris, France
Win 12–1 Feodor Nikolaeff KO 1 August 30, 1929 Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, France
Win 11–1 Joe Thomas TKO 4 August 25, 1929 Arènes du Prado, Marseille, France
Win 10–1 José Leté UD 10 August 14, 1929 Atocha, San Sebastián, Spain
Win 9–1 Jack Humbeeck TKO 6 (10) June 26, 1929 Salle Wagram, Paris, France
Win 8–1 Marcel Nilles TKO 3 (10) May 30, 1929 Cirque de Paris, Paris, France
Win 7–1 Moise Bouquillon PTS 10 May 22, 1929 Salle Wagram, Paris, France
Loss 6–1 Franz Diener DQ 1 (10) April 28, 1929 Leipzig, Germany
Win 6–0 Ernst Roesemann TKO 5 (8) January 18, 1929 Sportpalast, Berlin, Germany
Win 5–0 Constant Barrick KO 3 December 1, 1928 Vélodrome d'hiver, Paris, France
Win 4–0 Epifanio Islas UD 10 November 25, 1928 Palazzo Dello Sport, Milan, Italy
Win 3–0 Salvatore Ruggirello TKO 4 (10) October 30, 1928 Cirque de Paris, Paris, France
Win 2–0 Joe Thomas KO 3 September 25, 1928 Cirque de Paris, Paris, France
Win 1–0 Leon Sebilo TKO 2 September 12, 1928 Salle Wagram, Paris, France Carnera's professional debut.

Professional boxing record

The googolplex is jokingly said to have been defined as a one followed by a very large but very specific number of zeros in order to ensure that Carnera would not be considered a better mathematician that Albert Einstein, Implying that Carnera would defeat Einstein in an endurance contest.[16]

In mathematics

The Yeasayer song, "Ambling Alp," from their 2010 album Odd Blood references Carnera by his nickname in the title and second verse. Both Carnera and German boxer Max Schmeling are referenced for their bouts with American Joe Louis.

In music

In 1953 an Italian comic book series sporting a fictional version of Primo Carnera was also translated into German.[14] A facsimile version was published in 2010.[15]

In comics

In 2013, Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche named a motorbike, the 1983 BMW R80RT Carnera, in honor of Primo.[13]

In 2008 the actor Andrea Iaia played Carnera in the Italian biographical film Carnera - The Walking Mountain, directed by Renzo Martinelli.

Primo features in the 2005 film Cinderella Man, a film about the life of fellow boxer James J. Braddock.

In 1947, fighting aficionado Budd Schulberg wrote his novel, The Harder They Fall, a story about a giant boxer whose fights are fixed. In 1956 a movie with the same name, and based on the novel, was released by Columbia Pictures. A highlight was the appearance of Max Baer, playing a fighter the mob could not fix and destroying the giant in his first fair fight. Critics drew parallels with the real-life Baer-Carnera fight two decades before. In response, Carnera unsuccessfully sued the movie company.

In his 1933 collection of short stories entitled "Mulliner Nights," P.G. Wodehouse wrote "He was built on large lines, and seemed to fill the room to overflowing. In physique he was not unlike what Primo Carnera would have been if Carnera hadn't stunted his growth by smoking cigarettes when a boy."[12]

Requiem for a Heavyweight, Rod Serling's 1956 Emmy Award-winning teleplay for Playhouse 90 directed by Ralph Nelson (who also won an Emmy), focused on down-and-out former heavyweight boxer Harlan "Mountain" McClintock. The travails of McClintock, who was played by Jack Palance (Sean Connery played the part on British television and Anthony Quinn essayed the role in the 1962 film), was thought by many boxing fans to resemble Carnera's life.

In film

Depictions in popular culture

"Since his arrival in the U. S., backed by a group of prosperous but shady entrepreneurs, Carnera's career has been less glorious than fantastic. His first opponents—Big Boy Peterson, Elzear Rioux, Cowboy Owens—were known to be incompetent but their feeble opposition to Carnera suggested that they had been bribed to lose. Suspicion concerning the Monster's abilities became almost universal when another adversary, Bombo Chevalier, stated that one of his own seconds had threatened to kill him unless he lost to Carnera. Against the huge, lazy, amiable Negro George Godfrey (249 lb.), he won on a foul. But only one of 33 U. S. opponents has defeated Monster Carnera—fat, slovenly Jimmy Maloney, whom Sharkey beat five years ago. In a return fight, at Miami last March, Carnera managed to outpoint Maloney."

Time Magazine, in an October 5, 1931 cover story on Carnera before he won the heavyweight title, commented on his odd career.