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The Day My Dad Met Max Baer, “The Champ”


















Date: July 13, 1936
Place: James Avey Outdoor Power of Punch-Oklahoma City, OK
Event: Former Heavyweight Champ of the World Max Baer vs OKC’s Jimmy Merriott- 6 Rounds of Boxing





Before the fight my Dad went into Max Baer’s dressing area and visited with the ex-champ. My Dad was 17 at the time and was a three sport athlete at Classen High School, Oklahoma City. (He would later on graduate and was a two sport scholarship athlete for Centenary College in Shreveport, La.)  My Dad told me that Mr. Baer, who had lost two big time fights the year before, one to James J. Braddock (the Cinderella Man) for the title, and the other to the up and coming Joe Louis, was back stage smoking up a storm.


In his short visit with the former champ,  my father told Mr. Baer that one of the reasons he lost his crown was that he (Mr. Baer) smoked too much and that he was not in shape, which for an athlete, did not help him in keeping his title. My Dad said the former champ Baer did not like what my Dad said to him and to “get out of the god damn way.”  That story was told to me many times by my Dad and the story never changed.


I looked up that date and here is the Daily Oklahoman’s account of the fight in the July 14, 1936   paper.   


About Fred Pahlke

Fred Pahlke, an Oklahoma native has viewed over 10,000 sporting events in his 65 years. A season ticket holder of the Oklahoma City Thunder, former season tickect holder for the Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma City University Chiefs/Stars, he is an expert in both professional and college basketball and football. A high school athlete at Classen High School in basketball and tennis, he played amateur tennis after high school in the Missouri Valley Tennis Association. A graduate of Oklahoma City University, he taught in the public schools for 6 years before becoming a building administrator in the Oklahoma City Public Schools for 31 years, 28 as the Principal of various schools in the district. He has guided various high school and college athletes in his time as an educator and coach. Fredsportsextra has recorded 101, 410 article views in its first ten months, from August 2015 through May 2016.

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