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Definition: Louis, Joe from Philip's Encyclopedia

US boxer, b. Joseph Louis Barrow. He was nicknamed the 'Brown Bomber'. In 1937, Louis won the world heavyweight title from James J. Braddock. He retired undefeated in 1949. Louis fought 25 successful defences and scored 21 knockouts, including the historic 1938 defeat of Max Schmeling. He returned to the ring, lost on points to Ezzard Charles (1950), and was knocked out by Rocky Marciano (1951). Louis held the title longer than any other heavyweight.


Summary Article: Joe Louis (1914–1981)
from African American Almanac
Boxer

Born in a sharecropper's shack in Chambers County, Alabama, on May 13, 1914, Joseph Louis Barrow moved to Detroit as a small boy. Taking up boxing as an amateur, he won fifty out of fifty-nine bouts (forty-three by knockout), before turning professional in 1934. He quickly gained a reputation in the Midwest.

In 1935 Louis came east to meet Primo Carnera, a former boxing champion who was then staging a comeback. Louis knocked out Carnera in six rounds, earning his nickname “The Brown Bomber.” After knocking out ex-champion Max Baer, Louis suffered his lone pre-championship defeat at the hands of Max Schmeling, the German title holder who knocked him out in the twelfth round. Less than a month later, Louis knocked out another former champion, Jack Sharkey, in three rounds. After defeating a number of other challengers, he was given a title fight with Jim Braddock on June 22, 1937. He stopped Braddock in the eighth round and began the long championship reign that would see him defend his crown as often as six times in six months. Louis held the heavyweight championship for more than eleven years, longer than anyone else, and defended the title more often than any other heavyweight champion. His twenty-five title fights were more than the combined total of the eight champions who preceded him.

One of Louis's greatest fights was his 1941 come-from-behind, thirteenth-round knockout of Billy Conn. After winning a disputed decision over Joe Walcott in 1947, Louis knocked out the Jersey challenger six months later and went into retirement. Joe Louis died April 12, 1981, at the age of sixty-seven.

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