Those were the times of slavery in the United States and Alabama was one of the states par excellence of the black population. Joseph Louis Barrow Jr. was born there on May 13, 1914; He was the seventh child of a humble family and was orphaned at 4 years of age. At the age of 10 he moved with his stepfather to the city of Detroit, where he soon became fond of boxing.
He advanced an amateur career in which he won the prestigious Golden Gloves tournament in 1934, in that same year, on July 7, he jumped into professional boxing with Jack Blackburn as coach and John Roxborough as representative, with a victory by Ko. in the first round on Jack Kracken.
From then on he stood out in a different ring and reached an enormous activity to the point that he celebrated 15 fights in 1935, winning 12 of them for Ko. He had 24 wins when they faced him at Yankee Stadium in New York against German Max Schemeling on 19 June 1936.
The fight was a disaster for Louis who was overcome by the technique and veteran of the Teuton who ended up knocking him out in round 12. The defeat was very painful for Louis, who was already nicknamed the “Detroit Bomber”, but he continued his career and the 22 June 1937 knocked out champion James J. Braddock in Comiskey Park in Chicago Illinois in 8 rounds.
From then on, he exercised an iron dictatorship in the Maximum Division for more than 11 years and 8 months, which has caused him to be considered the best Heavyweight in boxing history. He completed 27 title defenses and it would have been more had he not been forced to participate in WWII.
In the fourth defense of his title he faced his executioner Max Schemeling by beating him and knocking him out in the same first round. Other rivals he defeated were: Max Bear and Primo Carnera in a non-title fight. Joe Louis faced several rivals twice in defense of his crown: Buddy Baer, Chilean Arturo Godoy, Abe Simón, Billy Conn and Jesrsey Joe Walcott. He also defended against prominent challengers whom he defeated only once such as: Lou Nova, Tomy Farr, Tony Galento, John Henry Lewis and Tamy Mauriello.
After his last defense on June 25, 1948 at Yannkee Stadium in New York, when he knocked out Joe Walcott in 11 rounds, he retired from boxing, but pressed for debt, he returned a few months later and on September 27, 1950 at the Yankee Stadium in New York An aging, fat and almost bald Joe Louis was defeated by unanimous decision by the monarch of the time Ezzard Charles. He still continued a little longer and on October 26, 1951 at Madison Sguare Garden he was knocked out in 8 rounds by rising promise Rocky Marciano. After this sad demonstration Louis left boxing for good.
This May 13, 2021 marks the 107th anniversary of the birth of this great boxing legend, probably the best Heavyweight in history. Years after his death, the World Boxing Council, through its President José Zulaiman, decreed May 13 as World Boxer’s Day in honor of Joe Louis.