The Highlights Of Heavyweight Champ Joe Louis

September 29, 2022

Joe Louis (1914 - 1981) rocks Jersey Joe Walcott with a powerful right New York. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

Before Muhammed Ali, a single name ruled over boxing history: Joe Louis. The People’s Champion himself said of Louis, “I just give lip service to being the greatest. He was the greatest.” A final professional record of 68-3 with 54 knockouts alongside his 12-year streak as heavyweight champion backs up that lofty title. However, the way the greatest fighters and boxing historians speak of Louis truly rubber-stamps his place in history.

The “Brown Bomber” also won a symbolic victory against the Nazis, served his country, and scared the living daylights out of many a fighter. Here are some highlights from the life of Joe Louis who, the famed cornerman Angelo Dundee called, “the finest human being God put on this earth in every way.”

“When you’re a great finisher, you’ll become popular. Joe Louis was a great finisher.” Mike Tyson

Fork In The Road

A rather portentous decision to take boxing classes instead of violin lessons took Louis down the road of fame and fortune. Undoubtedly, his mother forgave him for reappropriating her hard-earned money as his amateur career immediately took off. He won Detroit’s Golden Gloves light-heavyweight title barely out of his teenage years. Before he turned pro, he won 50 of 54 matches, 43 by knockout. Boxer Tommy Farr said of the up-and-comer, “Every time I hear the name Joe Louis my nose starts to bleed.”