The great Joe Louis was born on this day 99 years ago. Joe Louis “The Brown Bomber” was the Heavyweight Champion from 1937-1949. He was the World Champion for 140 consecutive months and 26 fights. Joe Louis was born Joe Louis Barrow in Lafayette, Alabama. His family moved to Detroit in 1926. Joe Louis would go 69-3 during his career. His most famous fight was his rematch against the German Max Schmeling. Schmeling had knocked out Louis in 1936 giving Louis his first professional loss. Louis was the World Champion but was still haunted by his loss to Schmeling. In the rematch on June 22,1938-on the eve of World War II- at Yankee Stadium before 70,00o Joe Louis destroyed Schmeling and Hitler’s idea of aryan supremacy. The fight lasted 2 minutes and 4 seconds. Schmeling was knocked down three times and after the third knockdown his manager threw in the towel. Schmeling managed to throw only two punches in the fight.
Joe Louis would fight past his prime for financial reasons. His retirement would be a troubled one. He died at the age of 66 in 1981.
Muhammad Ali is my favourite all-time athlete but I have to say Joe Louis was the greatest heavyweight champion of all-time.