Jack Sharkey

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Jack Sharkey
Statistics
Real name Joseph Paul Zukauskas
Nickname(s) Boston Gob,Sharkboy
Rated at Heavyweight
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Reach 72 in (183 cm)
Nationality American
Born (1902-10-26)October 26, 1902
Binghamton, New York
Died August 17, 1994(1994-08-17) (aged 91)
Beverly, Massachusetts
Stance Orthodox
Boxing record
Total fights 55
Wins 38
Wins by KO 13
Losses 14
Draws 3

Jack Sharkey (October 26, 1902 – August 17, 1994) was an American heavyweight boxing champion. He was born Joseph Paul Zukauskas (his birth surname is sometimes given as Cukoschay), the son of Lithuanian immigrants, in Binghamton, New York but moved to Boston, Massachusetts as a young man. Sources report little of his early life until, at the outset of the First World War, teenaged Joseph repeatedly tried to enlist in the Navy. Turned down because of his age, he was not able to enlist until after the end of the war.

It was during his tenure in the Navy that he first showed interest in boxing. Tall and husky for a man of his generation, Joseph was encouraged by his friends in the service to box. He quickly established notoriety as the best boxer aboard any vessel on which he served. During his brief returns home to Boston he took part in his first fights for pay, the first on January 24, 1924, against one Billy Muldoon, whom he knocked out in the first round. By the time of his honorable discharge just short of a month later, he had won a second fight and was already earning write-ups in the Boston papers.

Boxing career[edit]

He took his ring name from his two idols, heavyweight contender Tom Sharkey and heavyweight champion Jack Dempsey. He won an important fight in 1926 over black heavyweight contender Harry Wills, but his first big year was 1927, when he defeated former light heavyweight champ Mike McTigue in twelve rounds and Boston rival Jim Maloney in five. That put him in the ring on July 21, 1927, with his idol, Dempsey, the winner to meet heavyweight champion Gene Tunney for the title. For six rounds Sharkey out-boxed Dempsey, who probed low with his punches. In the seventh round Sharkey turned his head to complain to the referee about Dempsey’s low punches and Dempsey landed a classic left hook that knocked Sharkey out.

In 1928 Sharkey defeated heavyweight contender Tom Heeney and former light-heavyweight champion Jack Delaney. In 1929, in a fight held in Yankee Stadium, Sharkey knocked out former light-heavyweight champion Tommy Loughran to win the United States heavyweight title. His victory earned him the opportunity to fight for the vacant world title against the German contender, Max Schmeling on June 12, 1930. Sharkey was disqualified in the fourth round after delivering a punch that landed below Schmeling's belt. This is the only occasion in boxing history when the heavyweight championship was won by disqualification.

In October 1931, Sharkey defeated Italian heavyweight, Primo Carnera, and was then given another chance to fight for the title. On June 21, 1932, at the Madison Square Garden Bowl in Long Island City, New York, Sharkey defeated Schmeling in a controversial split decision to win the championship. Sharkey lost the title on June 29, 1933 in his second fight with Primo Carnera. He took a year off, fought four mediocre fights, and then fought Joe Louis on August 18, 1936, losing by knockout in the 3rd round. This made him the only man to fight both Dempsey and Louis.

Sharkey then retired with a record of 38-14-3 with 13 knockouts. As the Cyber Boxing Zone website describes him, “Sharkey had good skills, could hit with power, box well and take punishment when he set his mind to fight; But, he was an erratic, 'up-and-down' boxer who never seemed to put all his skills together consistently; when he was good, he was very good but when he was bad, he was awful.” [1]

Life after boxing[edit]

Sharkey saved most of the money he earned in the ring and, in retirement, owned a bar, worked as a boxing and wrestling referee in the United States and Canada, often earned money from personal appearances, and entertained troops in North Africa during World War II. He also pursued his love of fly fishing, and teamed and toured with baseball great Ted Williams in fly fishing promotions. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994 and died a few months later, on August 17, age 91, due to respiratory arrest.

While demonstrating fly fishing at the New York Sportsman Show in 1965, he was asked if he preferred fly fishing to boxing. "It doesn't pay as much," he replied, "but then the fish don't hit back."

Notable bouts refereed[edit]

Ex-world heavyweight champion Jack Sharkey refereed the world light heavyweight title defense by Archie Moore against Yvon Durelle on December 10, 1958, at The Forum, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, one of boxing's first championship televised bouts. Moore came off the canvas three times in the first round, and again in the fifth round, to knock out Durelle in the eleventh round. Sharkey also refereed the rematch at The Forum, in which Moore knocked down Durelle four times in the third round before knocking him out on August 12, 1959.[2][3]Both bouts were world televised in black and white from Canada, with commentary and post-fight interviews.

Professional boxing record[edit]

38 Wins (13 knockouts, 25 decisions), 14 Losses (4 knockouts, 10 decisions), 3 Draws [1]
Result Record Opponent Type Round Date Location Notes
Loss 38-14-3 United States Joe Louis KO 3 (10) 18/08/1936 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, United States Sharkey down twice in the 1st round, and twice in the 3rd round.
Win 38-13-3 United States Phil Brubaker UD 10 25/06/1936 United States Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, United States Sharkey down in the 1st round.
Draw 37-13-3 United States Tony Shucco PTS 10 14/04/1936 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Loss 37-13-2 United States Tony Shucco PTS 10 07/02/1936 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 37-12-2 United States Unknown Winston KO 2 (10) 22/11/1935 United States Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Loss 36-12-2 United States Tommy Loughran SD 15 27/09/1933 United States Phillies Ballpark, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States Sharkey down in 10th. After a "drab fight" one judge had it 7-4-4 for Loughran, the other 7-6-2 for Sharkey while the referee had it a draw (6-6-3) but, as the rules then allowed, gave his decision for Loughran. (New York Times)
Loss 36-11-2 United States King Levinsky UD 15 18/09/1933 United States Comiskey Park, Chicago, Illinois, United States Sharkey down in the 1st round. The referee scored it 55-45 for Levinsky, and the referees had it 53-47 and 56-44. Sharkey appeared to win rounds 4, 6, and 7, and Levinsky took all the others.
Loss 36-10-2 Italy Primo Carnera KO 6 (15) 29/06/1933 United States Madison Square Garden Bowl, Long Island City, Queens, New York, United States Lost NYSAC & NBA World Heavyweight titles.
Win 36-9-2 Germany Max Schmeling SD 15 21/06/1932 United States Madison Square Garden Bowl, Long Island City, Brooklyn, New York, United States Won NYSAC & NBA World Heavyweight titles. As a result of the controversial decision of this bout, the NYSAC barred any but "boxing experts" (sports writers, referees, judges) from broadcasting descriptions of future matches.
Win 35-9-2 Italy Primo Carnera PTS 15 12/10/1931 United States Ebbet's Field, Brooklyn, New York, United States Carnera was knocked down in the 4th round.
Draw 34-9-2 United States Mickey Walker PTS 15 22/07/1931 United States Ebbet's Field, Queens, New York, United States There were no knockdowns recorded during this contest, despite a mythical 12th round knockdown supposedly scored by Sharkey.
Loss 34-9-1 Germany Max Schmeling DQ 4 (15) 12/06/1930 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, United States Attendance: 79,222. For vacant NYSAC & NBA World Heavyweight titles. Sharkey disqualified because of a low blow late in the 4th round. This was the first heavyweight title in history to change hands via a foul.
Win 34-8-1 United Kingdom Phil Scott TKO 3 (15) 27/02/1930 United States Madison Square Garden Stadium, Miami, Florida, United States Scott went down for a count of six in the 2nd, and three times from body blows in the 3rd before he finally gave up.
Win 33-8-1 United States Tommy Loughran TKO 3 (15) 26/09/1929 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, United States Attendance: 45,000. Won American Heavyweight title.
Win 32-8-1 United States Young Stribling PTS 10 27/02/1929 United States Flamingo Park, Miami Beach, Florida, United States
Win 31-8-1 United States K O Christner PTS 10 25/01/1929 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 30-8-1 United States Arthur De Kuh PTS 10 10/12/1928 United States Arena, Boston, New York, United States
Win 29-8-1 United States Leo Gates KO 3 (10) 21/06/1928 United States Battery A Arena, Saint Louis, Missouri, United States
Win 28-8-1 Canada Jack Delaney KO 1 (15) 30/04/1928 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States Attendance: 15,000.
Loss 27-8-1 United States Johnny Risko SD 15 12/03/1928 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Draw 27-7-1 New Zealand Tom Heeney PTS 12 13/01/1928 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States Attendance: 17,000. Judge George Kelley voted for Sharkey, Judge George Patrick called it a draw, and Referee Denning gave Heeney the verdict.
Loss 27–7 United States Jack Dempsey KO 7 (10) 21/07/1927 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, United States Sharkey took the count of ten after going down from a vicious left hook to the jaw. This was a heavyweight tournament elimination bout, with the winner to meet current World Champion Gene Tunney for a shot at his title.
Win 27–6 United States Jim Maloney TKO 5 (15) 20/05/1927 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, United States
Win 26–6 Republic of Ireland Mike McTigue TKO 12 (15) 03/03/1927 United States Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, United States McTigue would have probably gone the distance but the referee stopped it because he had suffered a dangerous gash.
Win 25–6 United States Homer Smith TKO 7 (10) 15/12/1926 United States State Fair Coliseum, Syracuse, New York, United States
Win 24–6 United States Harry Wills DQ 13 (15) 12/10/1926 United States Ebbet's Field, Queens, New York, United States Wills was disqualified for illegal use of a backhand blow. "Wills was battered about the ring from the start." (AP) Wills suspended 20 days for the foul.
Win 23–6 United States George Godfrey PTS 10 21/09/1926 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 22–6 Argentina Orlando Reverberi TKO 3 (10) 13/09/1926 United States Laurel Garden, Newark, New Jersey, United States
Win 21–6 United States Bud Gorman DQ 1 (10) 25/06/1926 United States Braves Field, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 20–6 United States Pat McCarthy PTS 10 19/04/1926 United States Arena, Boston, New York, United States This was an easy win for Sharkey.
Win 19–6 United States Emilio "King" Solomon PTS 10 01/04/1926 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 18–6 United States Eddie Huffman PTS 10 12/02/1926 United States Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States
Win 17–6 Mexican Joe Lawson KO 2 (10) 18/01/1926 United States Armory, Hartford, Connecticut, United States
Win 16–6 United States Jim Maloney PTS 10 11/12/1925 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 15–6 United States Johnny Risko PTS 10 17/09/1925 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Loss 14–6 United States Bud Gorman PTS 10 17/08/1925 United States Arena, Boston, New York, United States
Win 14–5 United States Emilio "King" Solomon PTS 10 31/07/1925 United States Braves Field, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 13–5 United States Jim Maloney DQ 9 (12) 05/06/1925 United States Braves Field, Boston, Massachusetts, United States Sharkey led on points for 7 rounds, but was floored five times in round 8 and once in the 9th before being fouled.
Win 12–5 Australia George Cook SD 10 25/05/1925 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States According to the Boston Globe, Cook won decisively and deserved the decision.
Win 11–5 Canada Jack Renault PTS 10 06/04/1925 United States Arena, Boston, New York, United States Some controversy, as one Massachusetts paper, the Lowell Sun, had Renault winning majority of rounds. This was a major blow to Renault's career.
Loss 10–5 Austria Charley Weinert PTS 10 10/02/1925 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 10–4 United States Sully Montgomery UD 10 20/01/1925 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 9–4 Netherlands Jack DeMave PTS 10 08/01/1925 United States Manhattan Casino, New York, New York, United States
Loss 8–4 Austria Charley Weinert NWS 12 15/12/1924 United States 113th Regiment Armory, Newark, New Jersey, United States Weinert won the newspaper decision according to THE RING and various newspaper sources.
Loss 8–3 United States Jim Maloney PTS 10 05/11/1924 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States Maloney was reported by the Boston Globe to have won clearly, as Sharkey fought too carefully.
Loss 8–2 Chile Quintin Romero Rojas KO 9 (10) 29/08/1924 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States This was reported in the Boston Globe to have been a terrific battle.
Win 8–1 United States Young Jack Johnson NWS 6 20/08/1924 United States Fair Grounds Auditorium, Bangor, Maine, United States Sharkey won the newspaper decision according to the Boston Globe.
Win 7–1 United States Al Roberts PTS 10 23/07/1924 United States Kinsley Park, Providence, Rhode Island, United States
Win 6–1 United States Homer Smith PTS 10 15/07/1924 United States Braves Field, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 5–1 United States Floyd Johnson PTS 10 23/06/1924 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States Johnson was down in round 1 and took a bad licking.
Win 4–1 Canada Eddie Record KO 7 (10) 25/04/1924 United States Arena, Boston, New York, United States
Loss 3–1 Canada Eddie Record PTS 10 18/03/1924 United States Grand Opera House, Boston, New York, United States
Win 3–0 United States Dan Lucas KO 2 (10) 26/02/1924 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Win 2–0 United States Pat Hance DQ 2 (10) 08/02/1924 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States Hance was floored 4 times, then went down twice without being hit and was disqualified.
Win 1–0 United States Billy Muldoon TKO 1 (8) 29/01/1924 United States Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://cyberboxingzone.com/boxing/jack.htm
  2. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTtzltIK2ng
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olW9cqTBUKU

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Max Schmeling
World Heavyweight Champion
June 21, 1932 – June 29, 1933
Succeeded by
Primo Carnera
Awards
Preceded by
Tommy Loughran
Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
1932
Succeeded by
Tony Canzoneri and
Barney Ross (1934)