Name: Joey Maxim
Birth Name: Giuseppe Antonio Berardinelli
Nationality: US American
Hometown: Cleveland, OH
Age at Death: 79
Height: 6′ 1″
Trainer: Vic Reberska & Al Del Monte (circa 1948)
1940 Won Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions (160 lb).
1940 Intercity Golden Gloves Champion (160 lb).
1940 National AAU Champion (160 lb).
Only fighter to ever knock out Sugar Ray Robinson.
Served in the US Army during World War II, stationed at Fort Bragg, NC.
Became a greeter for Las Vegas hotels and casinos.
Died of a stroke
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Giuseppe Antonio Berardinelli, (March 28, 1922 – June 2, 2001), was an American boxer. He was a light heavyweight champion of the world. He took the ring-name Joey Maxim from the Maxim gun, the world's first self-acting machine gun, based on his ability to rapidly throw a large number of left jabs.
Maxim was born in Cleveland, Ohio, he learned to box at a very young age. Following a successful amateur career, during which he won the Golden Gloves, he turned professional in 1940. He boxed fairly regularly at exhibitions during the war years whilst serving as a military police officer at Miami Beach, Florida.
Maxim becomes world champion
It is somewhat surprising that Maxim had to wait so long for a world title shot, he was 28 and had already fought 87 times as a professional, considering his undoubted ability. His chance came on January 24, 1950, against British boxer Freddie Mills, who was making his first defense, atLondon's Earl's Court Exhibition Centre. Maxim, very much the underdog against the popular Englishman, won the fight by knockout in the 10th round. After the fight three of Mills's teeth were found embedded in Maxim's left glove, Mills never fought again.
Maxim's next major fight was on May 30, 1951, when he made a bid for Ezzard Charles's world heavyweight title. Maxim was unsuccessful, losing on points.
June 25 1952: Joey Maxim vs. Sugar Ray Robinson
The most famous fight of Maxim's career was on June 25, 1952, when he made his second defense of his light heavyweight crown, against Sugar Ray Robinson at Yankee Stadium. The fight had originally been scheduled for June 23, but was postponed due to torrential rain. By the time the fight took place New York was in the midst of a record heat wave.
During the fight Robinson built up a large points lead over the champion, but throughout the fight he gradually succumbed to hyperthermia. He collapsed to the canvas at the end of the 13th round, but managed to stagger back to his corner. However, Robinson failed to answer the bell at the start of the 14th, even though he only had to remain on his feet to win the fight and Maxim won by a technical knockout. This was the only time that Robinson was stopped in his 201-fight career.
By this time the original referee,Ruby Goldstein, had himself been forced to retire from the fight after collapsing into the ropes complaining that he could no longer continue. This meant that a substitute referee, Ray Miller, had to be called out to finish to fight. Goldstein and Robinson were not the only people who had to be stretchered from the stadium: several dozen spectators also collapsed during the fight. Between them, the two fighters lost over 20 pounds in weight during the fight.
Despite winning, the Robinson fight took a heavy toll on Maxim. He lost his world title six months later to the veteran Archie Moore. Following this loss Maxim, formerly one of the division's most active fighters, fought only 14 fights in the remaining 6 years of his career. These fights included two rematches with "The Old Mongoose," both of which Maxim lost. Maxim retired in 1958 after losing six consecutive fights.
Maxim retired with a record of 82 wins (21 by KO), 29 losses, and 4 draws in his 115 fight career, he was knocked out only once. During his career he defeated such legendary figures as Jersey Joe Walcott, Jimmy Bivins, and Floyd Patterson.
Life after boxing
After his retirement Maxim spent time as a stand-up comic, restaurateur,taxi driver and a film extra. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.
International Boxing Hall of Fame biography
Nevada State Journal
18 December 1952
New Champion Batters Loser Over Full 15 Round Route
ST. LOUIS, Mo, Dec. 17.
Archie Moore, 36-year-old of San Diego, Calif, gave Joey Maxim a thorough battering tonight and wrested the world light heavyweight championship from him on a unanimous 15-round decision before 12,610 in the arena here.-
Moore, who had been the scourge of the 175-pound division for nearly a decade without getting a title shot, made the most of his opportunity tonight in a fight that set a new Missouri gate record of $89,487.
Moore, wearing a wee mustachio and a small goatee, bulled Cleveland Joey to the ropes in nearly every round and there gave Joey a terrific battering again and again. Archie drove him to the ropes three or four times in every round.
Maxim was streaming Mood from gashes on both cheeks and from a cut at the corner of his left eye when the fight was finished. Although 30-year-old Maxim suffered a bad beating, he amazed the crowd by his ability to absorb staggering blows to body and head and then try to fight back.
At 36, Moore was the second oldest man to win the title in the 49 year history of the light-heavy division. Bob Fitzsimmons won it at 41 on November 25, 1903, when he took a 20 round decision over George Gardner at San Francisco. Only the year before Bob had lost the heavyweight title to Jim Jefferies.
Referee Harry Kessler scored tonight's bout surprisingly close after taking the fourth round away from Moore on a foul for two low blows. Kessler gave Moore 76 points and Maxim, 72. However, the judges saw it more lop-sidedly. Howard Hess registered 82 for Moore and 58 for Maxim. Fred Cornell favored Archie 87 points to 63. On a round-by-round basis, the United Press favored Moore, 12-2-1.
' Maxim, making his third defense of the crown he won from England's Freddie Mills on January 24, 1950, made his best showings in the third and sixth sessions. However, in most of the other rounds, the action showed a champion going down to defeat because he had a poor right hand whereas his challenger was explosive with both fists. A crocked elbow, resulting from an old break, prevents Maxim from throwing good, straight rights
Maxim, an upright boxer but a weak hitter, tried to keep the bobbing and weaving challenger Moore at a distance with left jabs. But Moore marched inand "rode Joey like a horse."
He forced the Cleveland Italian about the ring, always aiming for the ropes, where he could bend Joey back and rock him with lefts and rights to the head. During the forcing process, Moore battered Maxim's body until it was almost as red as his blood stained white trunks.
Moore, favored at 8-5, has a return-bout contract for a defense against Maxim in 60 days. But whether the thoroughly beaten Maxim would demand the return was a question. His wounds certainly will not permit a return in 60 days.
If Maxim does not demand the return, Moore may defend against Randy Turpin of England, former middleweight king. That defense would be at the end of six-months, permitting Dusky Moore to pick up some money in Argentina fighting non-title bouts.
Although the bout was one-sided, the closing sessions. The fans appeared to enjoy it and to be delighted with the victory of Moore, who was born in Toledo, O., but who launched his professional career in St. Louis 16 years ago.
The gate of $89,486 broke the former Missouri record of $56,907 attracted at St. Louis on January 16,1950, by the Willie Pep-Charley Riley featherweight fight. Promoter Emory Jones, the St. Louis representative of the International Boxing Club, was delighted with the receipts of. the seventh title fight In St. Louis history.
Moore, who was evaded by previous champions Gus Lesnevich and Freddie Mills,, and who didn't get the shot at Maxim until the New York commission forced the fight, Will be stepping into the footprints of some great light-heavy champions in the past. They include Fitzsimmons, Jack Dillon, Philadelphia Jack O'Brien, Battling Siki, Paul Berlenbach and Tommy Loughran.
In the dressing room, Maxim said he hadn't fought since his last defense against Sugar Ray Robinson on June 25, and that the nearly six months' lay-off was too long. "I needed this fight under my belt tonight," he said. "I'll be in much better condition for my return with Moore. Sure I want it.' Moore said, "I made up in 15 rounds what I had missed in 16 years."
Maxim suffered a beating tonight, but he was well rewarded with a guarantee of $100,000. Moore will receive 10 per cent of the net" proceeds which will include $50,000 from television and radio.
Moore was favored at 8-5 after many fluctuations in the wagering during the past 24 hours.
The Times Record, Troy, N.Y
26 June 1952
Maxim TKOs Robinson in 14th Round
New York (AP)—
The glorious ring career of Sugar Ray Robinson may have come to an end in the blast furnace heat of Yankee Stadium just two rounds away from victory over Light Heavyweight champion Joey Maxim and a third jewel for his gleaming crown. But it was not to be as the steaming 103-degrees heat that seared the canvas melted the taut flesh off the lean middleweight king and burned out his resistance after -13 rounds of a valiant, winning effort.
Then the magnificent Negro fighter, undoubtedly the greatest of his generation, collapsed and the torch of victory was tossed to the fumbling hands of Maxim in an astonishing, dramatic climax of what had been a one-sided fray.
"Ray was going to call it quits if he won decisively," said Junie Clark, a longtime friend of Ray. "Now this could be it too, I guess."
Robinson had been bidding to become the third fighter ever to win three championships and join Ruby Bob Fitzsimmons and Hammerin' Henry Armstrong in the ultra-elite of the ring. Money he has aplenty and. this would have been the crowning touch of a fabulous career. There was many an expert who felt that he had seen the last of, the great Sugar Man. Ray, himself, may give the answer today when he recovers from the heat exhaustion that drained his strength last night.
TKO In 14th.
The bout will go down in the books as a 14th round technical knockout .for Pal Joey—the bell had sounded to start the 14th, but everyone in the wilted crowd of 47,983 (gross, gate $421,696} will credit the. TKO to the steambox that was Yankee Stadium last night.
Ray wouldn't and couldn't talk to the-press after he was helped to his dressing .room. He had just suffered, the first knockout—technical thought it was—-of his 11 ½ years-of pro boxing. It was only his. third defeat in. 137 bouts, .but two of them have come in less than a year. He lost to Randy Turpin last July. 10.
"Robison is .mentally as well as physically exhausted," said Dr. Ira McCown, State Athletic Commission physician and one of the first to leave Sugar's 'dressing room: "He's speaking unintelligibly. He appears to be out in left field:"'
A few minutes later, Al Weill, matchmaker for the promoting International Boxing Club; came out to say: "Robinson is all. right. He's just taken his shower. He's ready' to go home. He told me 'Maxim didn't beat me; the heat did it. I guess God wanted it that way."
The middleweight champion, who started out weighing 157 ½ to Maxim's a73 'left the ball park with his bathrobe wrapped around him. Reeling in his corner in sheer exhaustion, after ,the 13th, Robinson’s bid for ring immortality as a triple champion ended on his stool in his corner, a technical knockout victim.
The soggy sweat box that was Yankee Stadium had already exacted it’s toll of Referee Ruby Goldstein in the first ten rounds of the struggle fought before a whopping shirt sleeved crowd. Overcome by heat Goldstein had to give way to sub referee Ray Miller in the 11th.
The heat and the 15 ½ pounds he gave away to Pat Joey from Cleveland suddenly caught up with Robinson in the 13th. The crowd was stunned' when: Sugar Ray, the sure footed dancing master of the first 10 rounds fell flat on his face in the 13th as he threw a wild haymaker right. The sight of Robinson on his face from a missed punch was an indication of his plight.
As the 13th ended he collapsed wobbling against the ropes near a neutral corner and had to be dragged to his stool. Dr, Alexander Schiff, ringside physician, climbed in and asked
Robinson, “'Can you go on?” The middleweight champ replied, "I can't get up on my feet, I'm all in." Dr. Schiff then signaled Miller it was all over on Robinson's own word.
Dr. Schiff said "Robinson suffered from heat exhaustion similar to that which affected Goldstein early in the fight."
Robinson was a cool artist of perfection in the early stages and it looked like he would laugh off the weight advantage the 30-year-old Maxim held. But it finally caught up, with him. Weighing only 157 ½ to Maxim's 173 in a second weigh in for this bout that was postponed Monday because of rain, Sugar Ray outsped Maxim to pile up a wide early lead. Time after time he danced into the attack with his slinging combinations and slipped away from Maxim's jabs. But the time finally came when he could dance no more.
Under New York rules it .was listed as a 14 round TKO since the bell had sounded for that stanza.
Maxim appeared almost exhausted as Robinson in the 12th. Digging to the body at close range and trying to use his weight advantage .Maxim began to come on in the last half of the fight. Before he had to be assisted from the ring, a heat victim, Goldstein warned Maxim two or three times for trying to use his elbow on Ray’s head and sliding the back of his glove over Robinson’s face. He also chastened Sugar Ray for holding on when they got at close quarters.
They fought close so often that the, crowd .cheered when Miller took over and started prying them apart in the Ilth. In that round, Robinson cut loose with a flurry just before the bell and sent home a right after the round ended. Aroused by this action, Maxim fired right back as Miller stepped between them.
It was a strange sight to see, this sudden collapse of one of the ring's greatest fighters. For he was the master of heavier Maxim with those booming combinations to the body and that fancy stop-and-go boxing style until the heat and the heavier man caught up with him.
There was difficulty lining up the official scorecards after the bout in the confusion as Robinson surrendered to Maxim and the heat.One judge, Harold Barnes scored 10-3 in favor of Robinson after the 13th. The associated press had Robinson on top 9-3-1
Wilted Ray Unable To
By WHITNEY MARTIN
New York (AP
the milling, sweating crowd churning about the door of Ray Robinson's dressing room waiting to interview the frustrated challenger for Joey Maxim's- light heavyweight title was getting impatient.
The mayor, International Boxing Club officials, Joe Louis and a stream of miscellaneous characters, apparently with the password, eased in and out through the door. The minutes passed, and finally a dapper man came through the door, identified himself as Dr. Ira McCown, state athletic commission physician, and said: "Ray has typical. heat exhaustion, he can't talk to anybody."
Finally a platoon of cops brushed open a path through the fidgeting mob, and the mayor was ushered through. He was followed almost .immediately By .Sugar Ray himself, but not the cocky, confident and flip Sugar Ray the fans were accustomed to see.
Wearing his .ring clothes under his bathrobe, his head swathed in a big white towel and lolling as if on a boneless neck, the middleweight champion again was half carried along the corridor; one arm about the shoulders of his wife, the other supported by another person. "Where are they taking him?" the question bounded from person to person. Finally it was learned the exhausted and frustrated Ray was being taken home.
A slim young negro, bubbling with some news he just couldn’t hold said in a loud whisper “Joe Louis said he knew Ray was through the round before it ended; said they should have stopped it in the 11th, ax him ax him”. Nobody got a chance to ask him.
Hot For Me Too, Remarks
By GAYLE TALBOT
New York (AP)—
The unmarked Joey Maxim and his jubilant manager Jack (Doc) Kearns, held a happy open house in their dressing room after last night's sweat bath. The first thing the winner insisted upon after a corps of husky cops had escorted him from the ring, was that the heat hurt him just as much as it did Ray Robinson. “If it had been a cool night I would have been stronger and might have got him quicker," declared the swarthy Cleveland fighter. "It was tough stalking him around in that heat, believe me.
"Sure, 1 knew I was behind on points, but it didn't bother me. I knew I would get him sooner or later. About the 13th round, I began to wonder if the rounds were going to run out on me.
Kearns, getting in an occasional word through the barrage of questions hurled at his perspiring gladiator, asserted he had never been worried.
"I knew we could knock him out any time after the 10th," the Doc said. "I didn't start him moving until after the 12th."
"Ray's a great fighter—great," Maxim reflected. "He's fast and he's cute with those combinations of his. Yeah, I was surprised when he started out so fast, but I was glad that he did. I knew that he couldn't keep that up for 15 rounds, not when I was digging them into-his middle. "Maybe those short punches didn't look like so much, but they were slowing Robinson down all the way. Doc told me to just keep it up and not to worry.
"I wouldn't say it was such a tough fight. It was just that I couldn’t get at him.That’s all new to me, a guy going away from me and in and out the way Ray did. I'm the one who does that. Another thing that worried me a little was his bluffing. He would look all in and all of a sudden he would let me have, a couple. Right to the end I honestly didn't know whether he was all in or just bluffing.