View Full Version : Joseph Louis Barrow


Da Iceman
11-16-2005, 07:18 PM
Joe Louis Barrow was born in Chambers County, Alabama, at the foot of Buckalew Mountain on May 13, 1914.

When Louis filled out the forms for one of his first amateur fights, he didn't have enough room for his last name, Barrow. The legend thus began under the name Joe Louis and so it continued.

After some early defeats, Louis got a job at Ford, but continued boxing, dropping the Ford job as his amateur career took off. Initially trained by Atler Ellis and Holman Williams at Brewster, Louis took their advice and hooked up with George Slayton, manager of the Detroit Athletic Club. He made it to the Golden Gloves finals in Boston in 1933, but was defeated by Notre Dame football star Max Marek. After winning the National AAU light-heavyweight championship in St. Louis he went pro three months later. In 54 amateur bouts Louis won 43 by knockout, seven by decision and lost four, all by decision.

His earliest manager was John Roxborough, a wealthy black former basketball player and gambling magnate, whose family was prominent in the Detroit insurance business. Roxborough's brother was a state senator and his nephew was in the State Department. Roxborough brought in Julian Black, a Chicago numbers operator and nightclub owner. Together the two managed Louis until World War II. They moved Louis to Chicago in 1934 and hired former fighter Jack "Chappy" Blackburn to oversee his training.

Louis' first professional fight was against Jack Kracken on July 4, 1934. He earned $50. A year later he knocked out Primo Carnera and earned $60,433. After his first eight pro fights, he became known as the "Brown Bomber of Detroit." As a News columnist at the time put it, Louis "had risen like a star across the fistic heavens."

He won his first 27 pro fights with 23 knockouts. At the age of 21, he had knocked out Primo Carnera, Kingfish Levinsky, Max Baer and Paolino Uzcudum in a total of 12 rounds. In December 1935, Detroit News Sports Editor H.G. Salsinger wrote: "Louis is generally regarded as the greatest fighter of all time." In his first year and a half as a pro, his purses added up to $371,645 at a time when the average yearly salary was $1,250.

Louis himself was so generous and often naive in his generosity, that he never saved his money and spent the last half of his life trying to pay back money he owed from the first half. He gave away money to poor kids and friends from his youth and hangers on. He started a Detroit softball team, the Brown Bombers, and bought them uniforms and a team travel bus. He even repaid the city of Detroit the $250 his family received in welfare checks after his stepfather was injured in an auto accident. He bought uniforms for an entire graduating class of army officers from Jackie Robinson's officer training class. He bought businesses for friends, and invested in friends' schemes. The more he earned the more he gave away. In 1940, the Detroit News reported that Louis was riding on his newly purchased farm near Utica. An elderly Indian lived in a shack on the property and was worried that Louis would evict him. Louis rode his horse over and told him not to worry, but to move over to the other side of the hill where there was a frame house that would be more comfortable for winter.

Such a dedicated boxer was Louis that he married Marva Trotter two hours before his fight with Max Baer in September of 1935, won the fight and then began his wedding night. Fame and athletic success don't always go hand in hand. Although success brings fame, fame can sometimes hamper the road to success.

Schmeling, unlike many American fighters, was not afraid to fight Louis. He and his trainers watched films of Louis' bouts and saw that when Louis jabbed, he kept his left high; when he went for the hook, he set himself ever so slightly and lowered his left. Schmeling was advised to step back to evade the jab, and when Louis lowered his guard, to throw a straight right over Louis' left.

On June 19, 1936, Joe Louis' victory against Schmeling was so assured that the gate was half what was expected. The threat of a boycott of the match with the German by Jews who were trying to draw attention to Hitler's genocidal campaign also lowered attendance. A rainstorm caused the Yankee Stadium fight to be postponed to the next night. Forty dollar ringside seats, the highest ticket price for a fight at that time, also kept attendance down.

The fight ended in a surprise upset. Schmeling annihilated Louis. He hit him with 91 right leads. Schmeling took charge in the fourth round and kept it up; Louis lasted into the 12th round when he was counted out for the first time in his professional career. The loss hit the country and particularly the Black community hard. There was rioting in Harlem: a Harlem man who had bet on Schmeling was hospitalized with stab wounds and a possible skull fracture.

Joe Louis learned a lesson and never again took an opponent lightly.

On June 22, 1937, Joe Louis captured the heavyweight crown with an eighth-round knockout of James J. Braddock in Chicago. He successfully defended that title for 12 years, 24 times with 22 knockouts. His title defense became known as the "bum of the month" campaign.

One of his more memorable opponents included Tony "Two Ton" Galento, known as "the beer barrel that walked like a man." Galento dropped Louis in the third with a left hook, but Louis got up to finish him off. Arturo Godoy, a South American from Chile, befuddled Louis by planting a kiss on his cheek in the 14th round, losing only by a decision.

On June 22, 1938, a rematch with Max Schmeling was set up. This time Joe trained in earnest. The country was caught up in the symbolism of a black man fighting the representative of Nazi Germany's master race. Everyone was backing Joe Louis. He embodied the American ideal of a poor boy born in a log cabin. Two minutes, f our seconds into the first round, Schmeling went down and didn't get up. Joe Louis had redeemed himself and upheld the honor of the United States as the countries inched closer towards war.

Joe Louis' laconic style hid his wit. Before his 1946 rematch with Billy Conn, when reporters asked him how he would deal with that fighter's agility and quickness, Joe Louis coined his most famous remark: "He can run but he can't hide."

Always a patriot, Louis donated his purse from the January 1942 Buddy Baer fight ($65,200) to the Naval Relief Fund. The purse from his fight with Abe Simon ($45,882) went to the Army Relief Fund. That year Louis enlisted as a private, earning $21 per month. Louis served with Jackie Robinson, who credited Louis with doing much for blacks in the then segregated army, including getting Robinson and other blacks entrance to officer training school. Louis served for almost four years in the special services, performing exhibition fights, and boosting morale. He retired as a sergeant with the Legion of Merit decoration.

The army had banned Louis from fighting championships while in the service, so he did not fight officially again until a 1946 match with Billy Conn, which he won by a knockout in the eighth. But Louis had lost some of his skill during the war years. A 1947 match with Jersey Joe Walcott was a close decision after 15 rounds. After a 1948 rematch with Walcott, which Louis won in an eleventh round knockout, Louis retired.

He started an insurance company in Chicago, the Joe Louis Insurance company, in which he lost interest, and similar business ventures fell by the wayside. His wife Marva, who had divorced Joe in 1945 and remarried him in 1946, then divorced him for good in 1949. Joe had huge financial problems. He had given so much money away, he owed the IRS hundreds of thousands of dollars, his divorce settlement was large, and since his retirement, he had no way of earning the money. He decided on a comeback, but it was not a success. He lost to Ezzard Charles in 15 rounds of a championship bout. He retired for good in December of 1951 after Rocky Marciano knocked him out in the eighth on October 26, 1951.

Various businesses and financial schemes failed, and Louis gave up hope of ever paying the IRS the more than $1 million he owed. He went on quiz shows, even tried professional wrestling, but when he did win money, he just gave it away.

Louis married Rose Morgan in 1955, gave her an annulment in 1958, and married Martha Jefferson, a successful Los Angeles attorney who was the first black woman to practice law in California, in 1959. He lived in Las Vegas, working as a greeter and in public relations at Caesar's Palace, a job given to him by old army buddy Ash Resnick, then an executive of the casino.

He also worked with Sonny Liston and as an advisor to Muhammed Ali. Eventually Louis' health deteriorated to the point where he was confined to a wheelchair. His heart was bad: he had two operations, which long time friend Frank Sinatra paid for. Sinatra flew Louis to Houston to have Michael DeBakey perform surgery. Louis suffered a stroke a year before his death and eventually his heart gave out. Joe Louis died on April 12, 1981. He was 66.

W 68 (54 ko's) | L 3 | D 0 | Total 71

http://info.detnews.com/dn/history/louis/images/kaput.gif
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http://info.detnews.com/dn/history/louis/images/braddock.gif
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http://www.ibhof.com/jlouis.htm
http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/boxing/jlouis.htm
http://www.sportingnews.com/archives/sports2000/moments/140271.html
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/visitor_information/joe_louis.html

tracylee
11-16-2005, 07:24 PM
Lol, almost a year ago I posted that his real last name was Barrows, and all that about his first bout and there not being enough room on the card, etc. Nobody believed me either. Damn...I'm still in therapy over that :D
Good post.

Da Iceman
11-16-2005, 08:02 PM
lol, how'd you think his last name was barrows

http://info.detnews.com/dn/history/louis/images/dad.gif
Joe Louis' father Munroe Barrow, shown here with Joe's older siblings, was committed to an asylum when Joe was two years old and died when Joe was 4.

http://info.detnews.com/dn/history/louis/images/kiss.gif
Joe was a pimp. Louis married Marva Trotter two hours before his fight with Max Baer in 1935. Here he gets a kiss from Marva shortly after winning the bout by a knockout.

http://info.detnews.com/dn/history/louis/images/baby.gif
Sgt. Louis with daughter Jacquelin and wife Marva in 1943.

Da Iceman
11-16-2005, 08:03 PM
The Brown Bomber was G.O.A.T

phallus
11-16-2005, 08:06 PM
joseph louis barrow is the real greatest, well, him and the rock ( marciano), the way i look at it. joe is the greatest boxer puncher of all time and damn near the most complete fighter in his prime, his destruction of max schmeling in their rematch made me think joe louis is the michael jordan of boxing. he's tha greatest.

Da Iceman
11-16-2005, 08:22 PM
joseph louis barrow is the real greatest, well, him and the rock ( marciano), the way i look at it. joe is the greatest boxer puncher of all time and damn near the most complete fighter in his prime, his destruction of max schmeling in their rematch made me think joe louis is the michael jordan of boxing. he's tha greatest.
great post

tracylee
11-16-2005, 08:37 PM
lol, how'd you think his last name was barrows

http://info.detnews.com/dn/history/louis/images/dad.gif
Joe Louis' father Munroe Barrow, shown here with Joe's older siblings, was committed to an asylum when Joe was two years old and died when Joe was 4.

http://info.detnews.com/dn/history/louis/images/kiss.gif
Joe was a pimp. Louis married Marva Trotter two hours before his fight with Max Baer in 1935. Here he gets a kiss from Marva shortly after winning the bout by a knockout.

http://info.detnews.com/dn/history/louis/images/baby.gif
Sgt. Louis with daughter Jacquelin and wife Marva in 1943.

a documentary I watched told it all. :)

Da Iceman
11-16-2005, 09:13 PM
tyson has a pot belly

Imira
11-17-2005, 10:57 PM
One of my favorite boxers of all time. The guy was a wrecking machine.

Da Iceman
11-18-2005, 10:06 AM
who joe or tyson ?

Dempsey 1919
11-18-2005, 02:39 PM
http://info.detnews.com/dn/history/louis/images/kiss.gif
Joe was a pimp. Louis married Marva Trotter two hours before his fight with Max Baer in 1935. Here he gets a kiss from Marva shortly after winning the bout by a knockout.

what are you trying to make him out to be, jack johnson? he was the exact opposite of jack johnson, and that's the way he wants to be, and is remembered.

Imira
11-18-2005, 02:41 PM
who joe or tyson ?

Joe Louis. In terms of technique, stamina, overall ability, dominance, speed and power.

Max Baer was so afraid to fight Louis, he was telling the press that he wasn't afraid of him while putting his sock on outside his shoe. Louis was absolutely horrifying.

Dempsey 1919
11-18-2005, 05:09 PM
Joe Louis. In terms of technique, stamina, overall ability, dominance, speed and power.

Max Baer was so afraid to fight Louis, he was telling the press that he wasn't afraid of him while putting his sock on outside his shoe. Louis was absolutely horrifying.

yeah, that's fear if i ever saw it!

Imira
11-18-2005, 05:40 PM
Definitely.

Even the young Joe Louis began having problems finding guys to fight him. Nobody wanted any part of this man. He began taking smaller purses than his opponents in order to get them into the ring.

...Sometimes, even that didn't work. :D

Dempsey 1919
11-18-2005, 05:47 PM
Definitely.

Even the young Joe Louis began having problems finding guys to fight him. Nobody wanted any part of this man. He began taking smaller purses than his opponents in order to get them into the ring.

...Sometimes, even that didn't work. :D

i believe though that tyson was more feared.

Imira
11-18-2005, 05:56 PM
Just as feared, possibly.

More feared than Joe Louis? No way.

Da Iceman
11-18-2005, 06:21 PM
this would be a great fight.....

Heckler
11-21-2005, 03:19 AM
Joe Louis, technically the greatest fighter of all time, the greatest fighter... i still rank Ali above him for reasons stated in My thread, his inadequate, shuffling footwork and sometimes lumbering style would be his downfall against Ali... almost TOO orthodox... truly a great boxer

KidBlackie
11-21-2005, 12:00 PM
[[[[[[[[[[Joe Louis, technically the greatest fighter of all time, the greatest fighter... i still rank Ali above him for reasons stated in My thread, his inadequate, shuffling footwork and sometimes lumbering style would be his downfall against Ali...]]]]]]]]]]]]
===========================================

Joe Louis has a far better record than Ali and less controversial gift decisions. How can you say Louis' footwork is inadequate with a better record?

Heckler
11-21-2005, 06:05 PM
Really, GIFT decisions... i have never seen any of these, watch LOUIS fight, and its only inadequate in relation to Alis footwork, thus in a match his footwork would be inadequate against MUHAMMAD ALI not in general. Having a better record does not make you a better fighter, Ali fought extremely good opponents... beat 3 greats, won the championship 3 times... i view that 'record' as better then Joes.

KidBlackie
11-21-2005, 06:37 PM
Really, GIFT decisions... i have never seen any of these, watch LOUIS fight, and its only inadequate in relation to Alis footwork, thus in a match his footwork would be inadequate against MUHAMMAD ALI not in general. Having a better record does not make you a better fighter, Ali fought extremely good opponents... beat 3 greats, won the championship 3 times... i view that 'record' as better then Joes.
Joe never lost his title. I guess if he lost and regained it 3Xs you'd think he was better than Ali. Joe fought harder comp coming up and was fighting at a much higher level before he retired. Joe never got beat by a Neon Leon. Now go backwards from Leon and start adding up those gifts Ali got.

Imira
11-22-2005, 05:39 PM
Joe never lost his title. I guess if he lost and regained it 3Xs you'd think he was better than Ali. Joe fought harder comp coming up and was fighting at a much higher level before he retired. Joe never got beat by a Neon Leon. Now go backwards from Leon and start adding up those gifts Ali got.

Perfectly stated.

Dempsey 1919
11-22-2005, 06:49 PM
Joe never lost his title. I guess if he lost and regained it 3Xs you'd think he was better than Ali. Joe fought harder comp coming up and was fighting at a much higher level before he retired. Joe never got beat by a Neon Leon. Now go backwards from Leon and start adding up those gifts Ali got.

ali lost his title to the u.s. govt the first time, not in the ring. ali was older when fighting spinks than louis was at his last title defense, and louis supposedly got some gift wins at the end. almost all of ali's losses were because of the layoff.

Skydog
11-23-2005, 01:09 AM
ali lost his title to the u.s. govt the first time, not in the ring. ali was older when fighting spinks than louis was at his last title defense, and louis supposedly got some gift wins at the end. almost all of ali's losses were because of the layoff.

Ali got some gift wins, as well. That 3rd fight against Norton was definetly a win by Norton. Ali gave the worst performance of his career against a Jimmy Young, and easily lost, but because of his popularit, he won a split decision.

Just put it this way: Ali lost everything he had in his last fight with Frazier, and Louis lost everything he had in his fights with Walcott.

Imira
11-23-2005, 12:18 PM
Ali got some gift wins, as well. That 3rd fight against Norton was definetly a win by Norton. Ali gave the worst performance of his career against a Jimmy Young, and easily lost, but because of his popularit, he won a split decision.

Just put it this way: Ali lost everything he had in his last fight with Frazier, and Louis lost everything he had in his fights with Walcott.

I wouldn't say he lost everything he had in the Walcott fights. He was still able to come out of retirement and win clear decisions (no gifts) over top-ranked competition. It was his KO at the hands of Marciano, who was 10 years younger, that took it all out of him.

Da Iceman
11-24-2005, 10:06 AM
after that ezzard charles fight he was done

Heckler
11-24-2005, 02:53 PM
Ali beat the big 3... FRAZIER, FOREMAN, LISTON... Joe Louis didn't do anything that equates to that.. Ali got a gift decision against YOUNG AND NORTON... thats it. Ali was fighting after 3 years of inactivity and still managed to make a huge impact, with the loss of his 3 prime years. Its not just the ring record, but the sheer level of ability in the ring... And Joe wouldn't beat Ali... Beautiful technical skills, however he would really struggle because he had old school shuffling footwork, and he dropped his Left hand too low, Ali would pick him off from the periphery with his right cross.... someone with a perfect orthodox style would really struggle with an unorthodox boxer like Ali.... Kidblackie you obviously have something against Ali, i know theres lots of nuthuggers out there that don't see any of his flaws, but i do and yet i still come to the conclusion hes the best... and these GIFT decisions are blown way out of proportion by Ali haters.

Imira
11-24-2005, 05:28 PM
Louis did not carry his left hand too low after the first Schmelling fight. Besides, where he carried his left hand wasn't even the reason he lost the fight in the first place.

As far as fighters "picking him off from the outside", that's a bold statement. Louis was a master of parrying, feinting and slipping punches on his way in. His defensive ability would give Ali fits if he tried to play "keep away" with Louis from the outside.

Ali had the tools to outpoint Louis, but the decision would be closer than most people think.

Da Iceman
11-25-2005, 10:08 PM
i think louis would catch a prime ali(who had no chin) on the ropes and ko him

M26
11-26-2005, 09:48 AM
i think louis would catch a prime ali(who had no chin) on the ropes and ko him

I also believe that Joe Louis could defeat a prime Muhammad Ali, but I don't see him winning by ko. A late tko at best.

Muhammad Ali had no chin? I beg to differ. I consider him to have one of the most solid chins in heavyweight history.

Da Iceman
11-27-2005, 10:32 AM
I also believe that Joe Louis could defeat a prime Muhammad Ali, but I don't see him winning by ko. A late tko at best.

Muhammad Ali had no chin? I beg to differ. I consider him to have one of the most solid chins in heavyweight history.
a prime ali had no chin, he got the **** knocked out of him by cooper. im just sayin if joe caught him on the ropes in the later rounds he would get ko'ed

M26
11-27-2005, 03:16 PM
a prime ali had no chin, he got the **** knocked out of him by cooper. im just sayin if joe caught him on the ropes in the later rounds he would get ko'ed

I don't consider the 1963 version of Cassius Clay as the prime Muhammad Ali. He fought at his best in the years 1966-1967.

But you have a point in that Joe Louis could possibly stop Ali late if he managed to get to him. Nobody finished a hurting foe better than did Louis, and Ali could get hurt. Just check out round 11 versus Joe Frazier in 1971. If this was against Louis, I am not sure Ali would have survived that round.

Da Iceman
11-27-2005, 06:01 PM
ali would've been toast

leff
11-27-2005, 07:22 PM
now your just being silly, ali had a great chin

Skydog
11-27-2005, 09:36 PM
The Ali that fought Cooper and Banks was not Ali in his prime. Hell, he wasn't in his prime when he fought Liston. Ali started his prime when he fought Chuvalo. You can tell because he looks much bigger, and that first 1-2 he throws in the fight has more of a snap than anything he threw before that.

Da Iceman
11-27-2005, 11:30 PM
The Ali that fought Cooper and Banks was not Ali in his prime. Hell, he wasn't in his prime when he fought Liston. Ali started his prime when he fought Chuvalo. You can tell because he looks much bigger, and that first 1-2 he throws in the fight has more of a snap than anything he threw before that.
you guys must not know what a prime is. your prime is when you body heals faster from damage, and thats 18-28 years old. just because he was more fit in 1966-1967 doesnt mean that that was his true prime. his prime was 1961-1968, and at that time he didnt have a chin. but when he came back to fight frazier he did have one

Dempsey 1919
11-28-2005, 12:26 AM
Ali beat the big 3... FRAZIER, FOREMAN, LISTON... Joe Louis didn't do anything that equates to that.. Ali got a gift decision against YOUNG AND NORTON... thats it. Ali was fighting after 3 years of inactivity and still managed to make a huge impact, with the loss of his 3 prime years. Its not just the ring record, but the sheer level of ability in the ring... And Joe wouldn't beat Ali... Beautiful technical skills, however he would really struggle because he had old school shuffling footwork, and he dropped his Left hand too low, Ali would pick him off from the periphery with his right cross.... someone with a perfect orthodox style would really struggle with an unorthodox boxer like Ali.... Kidblackie you obviously have something against Ali, i know theres lots of nuthuggers out there that don't see any of his flaws, but i do and yet i still come to the conclusion hes the best... and these GIFT decisions are blown way out of proportion by Ali haters.

applause, applause!
well done.

Dempsey 1919
11-28-2005, 12:31 AM
you guys must not know what a prime is. your prime is when you body heals faster from damage, and thats 18-28 years old. just because he was more fit in 1966-1967 doesnt mean that that was his true prime. his prime was 1961-1968, and at that time he didnt have a chin. but when he came back to fight frazier he did have one

no, a prime is the absolute peak of an athletes physical ability, when he is the strongest, fastes and most durable, and anything else you can think of all at the same time. 1967 ali could take a punch (just that nobody knew it much), was strong, big, and had great stamina and condition. that was ali at his best.

Da Iceman
11-28-2005, 11:00 AM
no its when your body heals faster and takes punishment better and thats 18-28 or 29

Dempsey 1919
11-28-2005, 01:30 PM
no its when your body heals faster and takes punishment better and thats 18-28 or 29

primes differ depending on the sport you play, it's not the same for everything.

Da Iceman
11-29-2005, 06:59 PM
just shut the **** up and accept your wrong

Da Iceman
11-29-2005, 07:00 PM
oh yea if you watch sportscentury on joe louis they say he did have alot of affairs

Dempsey 1919
11-29-2005, 07:20 PM
just shut the **** up and accept your wrong

look, if a boxer turns pro at age like 18 or 19, will sports analysts say, "right now he is in his prime!" no, so 18 is not someone's prime.

Dempsey 1919
11-29-2005, 07:20 PM
oh yea if you watch sportscentury on joe louis they say he did have alot of affairs

whatever. :o

Da Iceman
11-29-2005, 10:40 PM
you know your wrong