Spotlight: Frankie Campbell

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

In this story, we look back on the boxing career of Frankie Campbell. He was a light heavyweight and heavyweight boxer during his career.

The Italian-American won 32 of his 40 fights in his career. He lost four bouts with three draws in his career, according to

Boxing Gloves
Boxing Gloves

Campbell had 26 wins of the 32 by knockout. Three of his four losses were by knockout.

Campbell — who was born Francisco Camilli — was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His final bout of his career came against Max Baer on Aug. 25, 1930 at Recreation Park in San Francisco, California.

He lost this bout by TKO, as Baer improved to 23-3 in his career. Due to injuries sustained in the bout with Baer, it would eventually cause Campbell to lose his life.

After knocking down Baer in the second-round, he got enraged, then got up and hit Campbell with a right-punch on the chin. Later in the bout, Campbell received a beating from Baer in the fifth-round, before losing.

Witnesses — who were in attendance of the fight — allege that Baer ‘slugged Campbell ‘unmercifully’ in the fifth-round after he was already unconscious, but had held onto his feet by the ropes.’ However, despite those claims, the referee never intervened to stop the fight.

At the end of the fight, Campbell was being worked on by the doctors. They worked on hit for approx. a half an hour, but they failed to revive him.

Campbell was transported to a local hospital, where medical professionals attempted to save his life. He officially died from a ‘severe concussion of the brain.’

Medical professionals discovered later following his death that his brain was knocked loose from the connective tissue in his head. His death was ‘declared death had been caused by a succession of blows on the jaw and not by any struck on the rear of the head,’ according to Brain specialist Dr. Tilton E. Tillman.

Following his death, multiple people, including the official, was suspended by the California State Boxing Commission.

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