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Primo Carnera

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Mon Apr 02, 2012 10:25 am

First topic message reminder :

Inspired by JBW's thread on boxing and politics, I thought I would share something that I read about over the weekend. You may or may not find it interesting but here you go anyway.

During the Second World War, the Italians were coming under pressure in North Africa from Allied forces who were pushing them back towards Tripoli. The Allies were using a mixture of British, Indian and some black South African soldiers who were making relatively easy progress against an Italian army that was both under-prepared and unwilling to put up much of a fight. The Italian leadership was concerned about protecting their North African teritory, and needed to do something to boost morale.

So, enter Mussolini himself with a grand plan to reassert the Fascist manhood amongst his beleaguered troops. Who does he roll out? None other than Primo Carnera, former World Heavyweight Champion, and Italian legend. So poor old Primo gets sent to North Africa to make a propaganda film ordered by Il Duce himself. The Italian army set up a boxing ring and ordered a fight between big Primo and a captured Allied prisoner of war.

The POW was a 6 foot 3 inch black South African called Kay Masaki who had been captured in the Allied offensive over previous weeks. Now Kay Masaki might have been a big chap, but he had never set foot in a boxing ring before. He was picked mainly because Mussolini wanted to show how the Fascist Italian man was physically superior to African negroes, trusting that a reinforcement of this sentiment would inspire the Italian army to greater efforts. The camera started to roll and sure enough, Primo took control and knocked Masaki down early. But, the African prisoner was made of sterner stuff than that and actually came roaring back to land a knockout punch of his own, rendering Carnera completely unconscious! Details of what happened afterwards are sketchy, but I guess you probably wouldn't have wanted to be Kay Masaki that day having just upset Mussolini.

And what of poor old Primo. He kills Ernie Shaaf in a fight, and then goes on to be derided as a phoney champion who was allegedly the beneficiary of heavy mob influence over his career. Not only that, he was then knocked out by a novice POW in North Africa.

A sad and ignominious tale for a much maligned champion.

Mind the windows Tino.
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Post by Union Cane Tue Apr 03, 2012 11:20 am

"Its quality."

N. J. Enfield - The Times Literary Supplement.
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Post by oxring Tue Apr 03, 2012 1:02 pm

Union Cane wrote:You'd better stay clear of Bert Sugar's Boxing's Greatest Fighters then Jeff, it is full of such errors.

Is that why the late great Sugar was expelled from the boxing writer's of America?
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Post by milkyboy Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:33 pm

[quote="JabMachineMK2"][quote="ShahenshahG"]
88Chris05 wrote:The book is called "schooled and dominated by people who destroy"


and the sequel, 'schooled, dominated, destroyed but robbed... a layman's guide to the biggest robberies since ronnie briggs and mat brinks did their stuff'


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Post by JabMachineMK2 Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:44 pm

milkyboy wrote:and the sequel, 'schooled, dominated, destroyed but robbed... a layman's guide to the biggest robberies since ronnie briggs and mat brinks did their stuff'

laughing

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Post by ShahenshahG Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:48 pm

[quote="milkyboy"][quote="JabMachineMK2"]
ShahenshahG wrote:
88Chris05 wrote:The book is called "schooled and dominated by people who destroy"


and the sequel, 'schooled, dominated, destroyed but robbed... a layman's guide to the biggest robberies since ronnie briggs and mat brinks did their stuff'


And of course the prequel. My mum told me she was a neutered referral which didnt work because of poor judgement, we need more neutered referrals so there wont be robberies anymore.

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Post by Rowley Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:51 pm

I miss Waingro, there, I said it.

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Post by ShahenshahG Tue Apr 03, 2012 4:52 pm

They grow up, and leave the nest Rowley, its part and parcel of life. I'm sure hes a chip of the old block and growing a gut as we speak. Be proud

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Post by Rowley Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:00 pm

True Shah, does not mean the parting does not hurt, might do a poll in tribute to him. Something along the lines of how quality is Haye

A bit

A bit more

A lot

A hell of a lot

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Post by ShahenshahG Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:06 pm

See he is already fading away from your memory - theres no sign of imo in your post. However we have genuinely been missing the captain and colonial and windy seems to have done a runner also.

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Post by Rowley Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:13 pm

ShahenshahG wrote:However we have genuinely been missing the captain and colonial and windy seems to have done a runner also.

It's since I was made a mod, basically I delete anyone who knows more than me, chris and manos are next, the problem is that there is a strong possibility there will only be me left on here eventually but I tend not to plan that far in advance.

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Post by oxring Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:15 pm

rowley wrote:
ShahenshahG wrote:However we have genuinely been missing the captain and colonial and windy seems to have done a runner also.

It's since I was made a mod, basically I delete anyone who knows more than me, chris and manos are next, the problem is that there is a strong possibility there will only be me left on here eventually but I tend not to plan that far in advance.

Why is Tino still about?
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Post by ShahenshahG Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:15 pm

Thats why you removed waingro first then.

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Post by Rowley Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:16 pm

You understand the plan perfectly shah, can't do everyone at once, will get done off adam, is a gradual process.

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Post by milkyboy Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:26 pm

how come i'm still here jeff... i'm feeling unappreciated.

i miss waingro too, and unashamedly so. I feel, we've been.... robbed of him

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Post by spencerclarke Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:27 pm

cheers Tino for linking this thread. I'd forgot how good it was. Smile

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:32 pm

spencerclarke wrote:cheers Tino for linking this thread.  I'd forgot how good it was. Smile

You're welcome mate.

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Post by Guest Wed Mar 09, 2016 12:59 pm

ANYWAY....tremendous article Tina, even the derision aimed at my Bradley Pryce article (which I still maintain was actually about Kell Brook (should Pryce step in as the proposed fight between Brook and Jennings is delayed yet again?) cannot diminish the admiration I have for you.

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Post by Mind the windows Tino. Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:06 pm

DAVE667 wrote:ANYWAY....tremendous article Tina, even the derision aimed at my Bradley Pryce article (which I still maintain was actually about Kell Brook (should Pryce step in as the proposed fight between Brook and Jennings is delayed yet again?) cannot diminish the admiration I have for you.

I can't believe I derided your Bradley Pryce article, Serial?

Of the 3 responses, I'm fairly certain I wasn't one of them.

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Post by hazharrison Wed Mar 09, 2016 1:25 pm

On the theme of Mussolini and Carnera: Mussolini put his brother in charge of the Italian boxing commission (which led to charges he was running boxing in Italy).

After Italy invaded Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) Mike Jacobs seized the opportunity to match Joe Louis - then an up-and-coming fighter - with Carnera. Some felt Carnera - who'd been decked out in a black shirt by the Duce (after dedicating his title-winning effort to him) - symbolised an 'aggressive Italy' while Louis took on the role of Abyssinia.

Not for the first time, Mussolini was left aggrieved when Louis pulverised the 'Ambling Alp'.

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Post by Guest Wed Mar 09, 2016 4:15 pm

Mind the windows Tino. wrote:
DAVE667 wrote:ANYWAY....tremendous article Tina, even the derision aimed at my Bradley Pryce article (which I still maintain was actually about Kell Brook (should Pryce step in as the proposed fight between Brook and Jennings is delayed yet again?) cannot diminish the admiration I have for you.

I can't believe I derided your Bradley Pryce article, Serial?

Of the 3 responses, I'm fairly certain I wasn't one of them.
Derision by omission, mate!

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Post by spencerclarke Wed Mar 09, 2016 11:12 pm

There is in fact that little on Kay Masaki that this thread comes up 6th when you Google his name!

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Post by Happytravelling Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:17 pm

I thought Carnera fought for the resistance during the war?

The one thing the Mob hate is an idealist, communist or fascist, as it limits opportunities for corruption.

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Post by AlexHuckerby Thu Mar 10, 2016 8:39 pm

hazharrison wrote:On the theme of Mussolini and Carnera: Mussolini put his brother in charge of the Italian boxing commission (which led to charges he was running boxing in Italy).

After Italy invaded Abyssinia (now Ethiopia) Mike Jacobs seized the opportunity to match Joe Louis - then an up-and-coming fighter - with Carnera. Some felt Carnera - who'd been decked out in a black shirt by the Duce (after dedicating his title-winning effort to him) - symbolised an 'aggressive Italy' while Louis took on the role of Abyssinia.

Not for the first time, Mussolini was left aggrieved when Louis pulverised the 'Ambling Alp'.

Have you also read Randy Roberts' book on Joe Louis?

If not it goes into a lot of detail on that, very interesting read.

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