Bill Cayton Joe Louis Vs. Max Schmeling

ISBN 13: 9780970837127

Joe Louis Vs. Max Schmeling

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9780970837127: Joe Louis Vs. Max Schmeling



Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling

June 19, 1936 and June 22, 1938

We journey back to 1936. Jimmy Braddock holds the world’s heavyweight title, but the real champ, the undisputed number one contender, is the great Joe Louis of Detroit.

An outstanding amateur from 1932 to 1934, Joe Louis was a top contender after less than six months as a pro.

On June 25, 1935, Louis made his New York debut versus former world’s champ Primo Carnera at Yankee Stadium, slaughtering the 260-pound Carnera in six one-sided rounds. Joe Louis’s four-round knockout over ex-champion Max Baer three months later made him the number one contender, the de facto champ, and possibly, said many, the greatest heavyweight the world had ever seen.

Max Schmeling, nine years older than Louis, had held the European light heavyweight title before invading the U.S. in 1928. Possessed of a great right hand, superb ring generalship, and all-around athletic skill, Schmeling won the vacant world heavyweight title in 1930 and successfully defended the crown against young Stribling.

Still, no active fighter seemed to have a chance against Louis, certainly not the veteran ex-champion, Max Schmeling. Louis was the most devastating combination puncher boxing had ever seen. His left jab was harder than the average heavyweight’s a right hand. Louis was an eight-to-one favorite.

But Schmeling had seen Louis knock out Uzcudun in New York. “I see somezing,” Schmeling told his manager, Joe Jacobs. What he saw would lead to one of boxing’s all-time greatest upsets.

The date is June 19, 1936. Your ringside analyst is Edwin C. Hill, host of radio’s Human Side of the News. Your blow-by-blow commentator is Clem McCarthy, well known boxing and racing commentator whose distinctive voice helps make this fight a radio classic. Schmeling weighed in at 192, Louis at 196. The referee is Arthur Donovan. Neither Louis nor Schmeling is the reigning world champion, but the fight is slated, nonetheless, for 15 rounds.

Max Schmeling certainly had “seen somezing” plenty when he saw Joe Louis knock out Paolino Uzcudun in Madison Square Garden on December 14, 1935. Louis dropped his left after throwing his sensational short left hooks, often in rapid succession.

“It was, said Schmeling, “a barely noticeable, unconscious reaction, detectable only if one studied the boxer with the thorough, systematic observation of a scientist.”

And Joe Louis, the invincible Brown Bomber, would be knocked out by the ex-champ, Max Schmeling. It remains one of boxing’s all-time greatest upsets.

There would be a rematch, a rematch anticipated by the whole world. In 1938, Max Schmeling represented Nazi Germany, whose government preached that Negroes, like Jews, were inferior, sub-human beings.

It would be up to Joe Louis to reverse his knockout loss to Schmeling and become the first American black man to assume the role of a national hero.

The winner of the first Louis-Schmeling bout was supposed to face World Champion Jim Braddock for the title. Schmeling vs. Braddock was scheduled for June 3, 1937 at Madison Square Garden Bowl in Long Island City, New York. But Schmeling showed up for the weigh-in. Braddock did not, and the stage was set for the rematch in Yankee Stadium on June 22, 1938.

Braddock's no-show was the work of the promoter, Mike Jacobs, who feared the Nazi government would freeze the title in Germany if Schmeling faced Braddock and won.

If Schmeling would fight anyone for the world title, Jacobs vowed, it would be Joe Louis.

Emotions ran extremely high for this bout. Nazi Minister of Propoganda Josef Goebels had exploited Schmeling’s knockout of Louis two years earlier, and planned to make greater use of Schmeling if he beat Louis again and brought the world title back to Germany.

Boxing reached its peak, say many, on that night of June 22, 1938.

Your blow-by-blow commentator is again the dramatic Clem McCarthy. The governors of Connecticut, Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania are at ringside, as are New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, financial wizard Bernard Baruch, U.S. Postmaster General James Farley, film star Robert Taylor, and Bill Terry, manager of baseball’s New York Giant’s.


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About the Author:

Described by Muhammad Ali as the man who "...preserved boxing's special heritage, a heritage that might have been lost without your early insight," Bill Cayton is an authentic legend in the world of boxing.

Besides bringing boxing to television, Cayton built the world's greatest collection of fight films, saving for posterity films of such greats as Jack Dempsey, Jack Johnson, Rocky Marciano, Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Louis, and Muhammad Ali.

Named Manager of the Year an unprecedented 14 times, Cayton managed champions Wilfred Benitez, Edwin Rosario, Tommy Morrison, Vinny Pazienza, Michael Grant, and Mike Tyson, who for years was regarded as not only the most talented, but the best managed and best-marketed fighter in the world.

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