Friday, November 9, 2007

Joey Maxim
Giuseppe Antonio Berardinelli, (March 28, 1922June 2, 2001), was an American boxer. He was a light heavyweight champion of the world. He took the ring-name Joey Maxim from the Maxim gun, the world's first self-acting machine gun, based on his ability to rapidly throw a large number of left jabs.

Maxim becomes world champion
The most famous fight of Maxim's career was on June 25, 1952, when he made his second defense of his light heavyweight crown, against Sugar Ray Robinson at Yankee Stadium. The fight had originally been scheduled for June 23, but was postponed due to torrential rain. By the time the fight took place New York was in the midst of a record heat wave.
During the fight Robinson built up a large points lead over the champion, but throughout the fight he gradually succumbed to hyperthermia. He collapsed to the canvas at the end of the 13th round, but managed to stagger back to his corner. However, Robinson failed to answer the bell at the start of the 14th, even though he only had to remain on his feet to win the fight and Maxim won by a technical knockout. This was the only time that Robinson was stopped in his 201-fight career.
By this time the original referee, Ruby Goldstein, had himself been forced to retire from the fight after collapsing into the ropes complaining that he could no longer continue. This meant that a substitute referee, Ray Miller, had to be called out to finish to fight. Goldstein and Robinson were not the only people who had to be stretchered from the stadium: several dozen spectators also collapsed during the fight. Between them, the two fighters lost over 20 pounds in weight during the fight.

Joey Maxim Late career
After his retirement Maxim spent time as a stand-up comic, restaurateur, taxi driver and a film extra. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1994.