Villa Primo Carnera, Via Roma, 12, 33090 Sequals PN
Cimitero di Sequals, Via Cecilia Danieli, 10, 33090 Zona Industriale-artigianale di Sequals PN
Primo Carnera (26 October 1906 – 29 June 1967), nicknamed the Ambling Alp, was an Italian professional boxer and wrestler who reigned as the boxing World Heavyweight Champion from 29 June 1933 to 14 June 1934. He won more fights by knockout than any other heavyweight champion in boxing history. The last King of Italy, Umberto II, is said to have numbered among his lovers Luchino Visconti, Jean Marais and the boxer Primo Carnera.
Primo Carnera was born in Sequals, then in the Province of Udine, now in the Province of Pordenone, Friuli-Venezia Giulia at the north-easternmost corner of Italy.
According to boxing historian Herbert Goldman, Carnera was "very much mob controlled." Carnera met his first serious heavyweight contender, Young Stribling, in 1929, and won when Stribling fouled him. In a rematch, he fouled Stribling. His 1930 fight against California club fighter Bombo Chevalier in Emeryville was considered fixed, and Carnera was banned from fighting in California. His 1930 match against George Godfrey was controversial, as Godfrey was disqualified in the sixth round when he was clearly getting the better of Carnera.
Carnera appeared in a short film in 1931. During his tenure as world champion he played a fictional version of himself in the 1933 film The Prizefighter and the Lady starring Max Baer and Myrna Loy. Here he plays the heavyweight champion who barely holds onto his title with a draw decision after a furious fight with Baer. The film was made just the year before Carnera fought Baer for real, in a bout that was as wild as the film version, but ended with a knockout loss for Carnera. Carnera had a bit part in the 1949 movie Mighty Joe Young. He played himself in the tug-of-war scene with the giant gorilla. After being pulled by the ape into a pool of water, Carnera throws a couple of futile punches to Joe's chin. He also played a bully boy wrestler in Carol Reed's film A Kid for Two Farthings (1955) based around London's Petticoat Lane Market where he has a match against a local bodybuilder who is marrying Diana Dors. Primo appeared in at least ten Italian films between 1939 and 1943, as well as several in the 1950s, like Prince Valiant, in the role of Sligon. His last screen role was as the giant Antaeus alongside Steve Reeves in Hercules Unchained (USA title, filmed in Italy, 1959, original title Ercole e la regina di Lidia).
On 13 March 1939, Carnera married Giuseppina Kovačič (1913–1980), a post office clerk from Gorizia. In 1953 they received dual citizenship. They settled in Los Angeles, where Carnera opened a restaurant and a liquor store. They had two children, Umberto and Giovanna Maria. Umberto became a medical doctor.
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