One woman helps make an unknown boxer a star, but could a handful lead him back to obscurity again? Steve Morgan (Max Baer) is a ex-sailor tending bar in a seedy dive when The Professor (Walter Huston), a boxing coach, sees Morgan make short work of a troublesome customer. The Professor convinces Morgan that he has what it takes to be a successful prizefighter, and takes him under his wing. One day, while Morgan is jogging, he's nearly hit by a car operated by an attractive woman named Belle (Myrna Loy), who is making a name for herself as a nightclub singer. Belle has been dating underworld kingpin Willie Ryan (Otto Kruger), but before long Morgan is able to win her away from Ryan, and they get married. Morgan's marriage to Belle turns out to be god for publicity, and soon he's racked up an impressive string of victories, but Morgan can't keep his eyes off other women, and she has reason to believe he's been unfaithful. Belle, despondent, goes back to Ryan, while Morgan starts hitting the bottle, just as he's lined up a championship fight with Primo Carnera. The Prizefighter and the Lady gave heavyweight contender Max Baer his first leading role; a year after the film was released, Baer faced off against Carnera in a real championship bout, which Baer won by a knockout.
by Mark Deming synopsis