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.
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
Joe Louis Barrow, known as Joe Louis, was born May 13, 1914, in Lafayette, Alabama, and died April 12, 1981, in Las Vegas. He originally learned to
Champion boxer who, for many, came to symbolize the African American struggle for equality. Considered among the best heavyweight boxers of all...