Jack Sharkey

Jack Sharkey (born 26 October 1902 in Binghamton, New York as Joseph Paul Zukauskas, † 17 August 1994 in Beverly, Massachusetts ) was an American boxer of Lithuanian origin and world heavyweight champion from 1932-1933. He called himself Sharkey after a popular challenger James J. Jeffries.


His first professional fight Sharkey denied on January 29, 1924 against Bill Muldoon in Boston, he won by knockout in the first round. In 1926 he beat George Godfrey and no more boxing at its best Harry Wills, Jack Dempsey had always avoided.

On July 21, 1927, he fought in New York in a non-title fight against Jack Dempsey, but went in the seventh round knockout. However, he had left a good impression in this battle, several journalists claimed to have seen a low blow Dempsey immediately before the end of the fight. In 1929, he won on points against Young Stribling and defeated Tommy Loughran prematurely.

Following the resignation of Dempsey's slayer Gene Tunney, the world championship was vacant at heavyweight. Sharkey then got the opportunity to fight against Max Schmeling for the title. The fight took place at Yankee Stadium in New York on 12 June 1930. Sharkey was disqualified in the fourth round because of deep shock and thus Schmeling World Champion. At that time there was no jock strap.

In 1931 he reached against only 77 kg heavy ex- welterweight Mickey Walker only a draw, but was shortly afterwards Primo Carnera auspunkten.

Then it came on 21 June 1932 rematch with Schmeling. This time he triumphed over fifteen rounds on points. The decision was controversial, one of the judges had Schmeling ten to five laps ahead. "We wuz robbed " roared Schmeling's American manager Joe Jacobs.

Even in his first title defense, he lost on June 29, 1933 against Primo Carnera, whom he had just been beaten yet, by knockout in the sixth round. Many are convinced that the fight was denied because, while Carnera was a giant but very awkward. However, Sharkey denied any manipulations until his death.

In his last fight on August 18, 1936 against Joe Louis, in the Bronx, he went in the third round KO.

1994 was held Sharkey induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.