|This article needs additional citations for verification. (October 2015)|
|Real name||Joseph Paul Zukauskas|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Reach||72 in (183 cm)|
October 26, 1902|
Binghamton, New York
|Died||August 17, 1994
|Wins by KO||13|
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.
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. Later in life, Sharkey would allege both his 2nd fights with Schmeling and Carnera were fixed. 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.” 
Life after boxing
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
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. Both bouts were world televised in black and white from Canada, with commentary and post-fight interviews.
Professional boxing record
|38 Wins (13 knockouts, 25 decisions), 14 Losses (4 knockouts, 10 decisions), 3 Draws |
|Loss||38-14-3||Joe Louis||KO||3 (10)||18/08/1936||Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, United States||Sharkey down twice in the 2nd round, and twice in the 3rd round.|
|Win||38-13-3||Phil Brubaker||UD||10||25/06/1936||Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, United States||Sharkey down in the 1st round.|
|Draw||37-13-3||Tony Shucco||PTS||10||14/04/1936||Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Loss||37-13-2||Tony Shucco||PTS||10||07/02/1936||Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||37-12-2||Unknown Winston||KO||2 (10)||22/11/1935||Boston Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Loss||36-12-2||Tommy Loughran||SD||15||27/09/1933||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||King Levinsky||UD||15||18/09/1933||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||Primo Carnera||KO||6 (15)||29/06/1933||Madison Square Garden Bowl, Long Island City, Queens, New York, United States||Lost NYSAC & NBA World Heavyweight titles.|
|Win||36-9-2||Max Schmeling||SD||15||21/06/1932||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||Primo Carnera||PTS||15||12/10/1931||Ebbet's Field, Brooklyn, New York, United States||Carnera was knocked down in the 4th round.|
|Draw||34-9-2||Mickey Walker||PTS||15||22/07/1931||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||Max Schmeling||DQ||4 (15)||12/06/1930||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||Phil Scott||TKO||3 (15)||27/02/1930||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||Tommy Loughran||TKO||3 (15)||26/09/1929||Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, United States||Attendance: 45,000. Won American Heavyweight title.|
|Win||32-8-1||Young Stribling||PTS||10||27/02/1929||Flamingo Park, Miami Beach, Florida, United States|
|Win||31-8-1||K O Christner||PTS||10||25/01/1929||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States|
|Win||30-8-1||Arthur De Kuh||PTS||10||10/12/1928||Arena, Boston, New York, United States|
|Win||29-8-1||Leo Gates||KO||3 (10)||21/06/1928||Battery A Arena, Saint Louis, Missouri, United States|
|Win||28-8-1||Jack Delaney||KO||1 (15)||30/04/1928||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States||Attendance: 15,000.|
|Loss||27-8-1||Johnny Risko||SD||15||12/03/1928||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States|
|Draw||27-7-1||Tom Heeney||PTS||12||13/01/1928||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||Jack Dempsey||KO||7 (10)||21/07/1927||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||Jim Maloney||TKO||5 (15)||20/05/1927||Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York, United States|
|Win||26–6||Mike McTigue||TKO||12 (15)||03/03/1927||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||Homer Smith||TKO||7 (10)||15/12/1926||State Fair Coliseum, Syracuse, New York, United States|
|Win||24–6||Harry Wills||DQ||13 (15)||12/10/1926||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||George Godfrey||PTS||10||21/09/1926||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||22–6||Orlando Reverberi||TKO||3 (10)||13/09/1926||Laurel Garden, Newark, New Jersey, United States|
|Win||21–6||Bud Gorman||DQ||1 (10)||25/06/1926||Braves Field, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||20–6||Pat McCarthy||PTS||10||19/04/1926||Arena, Boston, New York, United States||This was an easy win for Sharkey.|
|Win||19–6||Emilio "King" Solomon||PTS||10||01/04/1926||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||18–6||Eddie Huffman||PTS||10||12/02/1926||Madison Square Garden, New York, New York, United States|
|Win||17–6||Mexican Joe Lawson||KO||2 (10)||18/01/1926||Armory, Hartford, Connecticut, United States|
|Win||16–6||Jim Maloney||PTS||10||11/12/1925||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||15–6||Johnny Risko||PTS||10||17/09/1925||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Loss||14–6||Bud Gorman||PTS||10||17/08/1925||Arena, Boston, New York, United States|
|Win||14–5||Emilio "King" Solomon||PTS||10||31/07/1925||Braves Field, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||13–5||Jim Maloney||DQ||9 (12)||05/06/1925||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||George Cook||SD||10||25/05/1925||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States||According to the Boston Globe, Cook won decisively and deserved the decision.|
|Win||11–5||Jack Renault||PTS||10||06/04/1925||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||Charley Weinert||PTS||10||10/02/1925||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||10–4||Sully Montgomery||UD||10||20/01/1925||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||9–4||Jack DeMave||PTS||10||08/01/1925||Manhattan Casino, New York, New York, United States|
|Loss||8–4||Charley Weinert||NWS||12||15/12/1924||113th Regiment Armory, Newark, New Jersey, United States||Weinert won the newspaper decision according to THE RING and various newspaper sources.|
|Loss||8–3||Jim Maloney||PTS||10||05/11/1924||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||Quintin Romero Rojas||KO||9 (10)||29/08/1924||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States||This was reported in the Boston Globe to have been a terrific battle.|
|Win||8–1||Young Jack Johnson||NWS||6||20/08/1924||Fair Grounds Auditorium, Bangor, Maine, United States||Sharkey won the newspaper decision according to the Boston Globe.|
|Win||7–1||Al Roberts||PTS||10||23/07/1924||Kinsley Park, Providence, Rhode Island, United States|
|Win||6–1||Homer Smith||PTS||10||15/07/1924||Braves Field, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||5–1||Floyd Johnson||PTS||10||23/06/1924||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States||Johnson was down in round 1 and took a bad licking.|
|Win||4–1||Eddie Record||KO||7 (10)||25/04/1924||Arena, Boston, New York, United States|
|Loss||3–1||Eddie Record||PTS||10||18/03/1924||Grand Opera House, Boston, New York, United States|
|Win||3–0||Dan Lucas||KO||2 (10)||26/02/1924||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Win||2–0||Pat Hance||DQ||2 (10)||08/02/1924||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States||Hance was floored 4 times, then went down twice without being hit and was disqualified.|
|Win||1–0||Billy Muldoon||TKO||1 (8)||29/01/1924||Mechanics Building, Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
- "Cyber Boxing Zone -- Jack Sharkey". cyberboxingzone.com.
- Archie Moore vs Yvon Durelle I (Full fight). YouTube. 6 May 2012.
- Archie Moore vs Yvon Durelle 2nd fight. YouTube. 25 May 2010.
- "BoxRec - Jack Sharkey". boxrec.com.
|World Heavyweight Champion
June 21, 1932 – June 29, 1933
|Oldest Living Heavyweight Champion
May 31, 1983 – August 17, 1994
|Ring Magazine Fighter of the Year
Tony Canzoneri and
Barney Ross (1934)