Max Baer and the "Cinderella Man" James Braddock

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The fight with Jim Braddock, the "Cinderella Man"

On that day (June 13th, 1935), one of the greatest upsets in boxing history transpired in Long Island City, in the borough of Queens in New York, when Baer fought down and out boxer James J. Braddock. After a gruelling back and forth battle, Jimmy Braddock won the heavyweight championship of the world as a 10 to 1 underdog. Braddock took heavy hits from Baer but kept coming until he wore Baer down. At the end, the judges gave Braddock the title with a nearly unanimous decision. The fight has since become a boxing legend.

Cinderella Man Movie

The Baer versus Braddock bout was depicted in the 2005 motion picture Cinderella Man; and it is notable to say that the portrayal of Baer in that film has since been criticized, as it placed him in a very negative light. Baer was portrayed as generally arrogant and even sadistic, showing no remorse over the death of boxer Campbell at his hand a few years earlier. However, it is known that it did bother him greatly, and it has never been documented that he bragged or boasted of it. Rather than swaggering, in actuality Baer was remembered as being jolly and full of laughter, and joked often. In film footage of the Braddock fight, Baer often smiles broadly, feins a near knock-down for laughs, and in defeat is gracious to Braddock—not at all as in the villainous manner Director Ron Howard portrays him in the film. However, it is worth noting that the Baer in the film does accept the defeat graciously, smiling and clapping at the victory of Braddock. Further, Howard exaggerates Baer's record, falsely stating that Baer had killed two men in the ring, not one. For no matter how likely it was that Ernie Schaff's end came about from injuries sustained during his encounter with Baer, it was never medically proven to be so.

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