Boxing might not have survived the 1930s if not for Max Baer. A contender for every heavyweight championship 1932–1941, California’s “Glamour Boy” brought back the “million-dollar gate” not seen since the 1920s. His radio voice sold millions of Gillette razor blades; his leading-man appeal made him a heartthrob in The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933). The film was banned in Nazi Germany—Baer had worn a Star of David on his trunks when he TKOed German former champ Max Schmeling.
Baer defeated 275-pound Primo Carnera in 1934 for the championship, losing it to Jim Braddock the next year. Contrary to Cinderella Man, (2005), Baer—favored 10 to 1—was not a villain and the fight was more controversial than the film suggested. His battle with Joe Louis three months later drew the highest gate of the decade. This first comprehensive biography covers Baer’s complete ring record, his early life, his career on radio, film, stage and television, and his World War II army service.
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McFarland’s latest boxing catalog is out, with dozens of books about athletes, sportswriters, fights, and the history of the sport. Our authors are shedding light on overlooked greats like “The Cincinnati Cobra” Ezzard Charles and unearthing new details about glamour boys like “The Magnificent” Max Baer. Pick up a McFarland biography or history book and find out for yourself if modern boxing is a shadow of its former self, or if today’s boxers are better than their predecessors. When you order direct from our website using the coupon code BOXING25, print editions of all boxing books are 25% off September 1 through September 15.
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