Friday, November 29, 2013

Remembering Punches from the Past: Jim Braddock vs. Joe Louis

By Peter Silkov

When James Braddock defended his world heavyweight championship against Joe Louis on June 22, 1937, few expected him to retain the title, which he had won from Max Baer two years earlier, in a huge upset. Joe Louis was already seen by many as the best heavyweight in the world and practically invincible. But Braddock was determined to win or lose like a champion.

60,000 people at Chicago’s Comiskey Park Stadium saw Braddock come out and meet the ’Brown Bomber’ straight on, and in a spectacular twist, floored Louis momentarily in the 1st round with an uppercut.  But it was just a moment.  It was to be the defending champions only fistic success. From then on, Louis took control, and jabbed, hammered, and bloodied Braddock.  The champion wanted to go out on his shield, so, as the rounds went on, and the punishment escalated, Braddock fought back wilder and more desperately.  With eyes cut and closing, and his nose and mouth pouring blood, Braddock literally flung himself blindly towards his tormentor. Then in the 8th round it was finally over, at last.  Just a simple right hand from Louis, a full stop after so many rights and lefts, which had been thrown and landed previously.  One right hand and Braddock crashed to the canvas unconscious. When his handlers rushed into the ring and dragged him limply back to his corner, a pool of his blood stained the ring where he had laid and been counted out. Louis was the World Heavyweight champion, the first coloured Heavyweight champion since Jack Johnson.  Like Johnson, he would prove to be one of the greatest champions ever.
Braddock was not a great champion, but he had gone out fighting, throwing leather until he no longer had the consciousness to fight back.

Watch the fight:

Copyright © 2013 The Boxing Glove, Inc. Peter Silkov Art. All Rights Reserved. Peter Silkov contributes to and

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