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Old 11-16-2005, 07:18 PM #1
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Default Joseph Louis Barrow

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://www.ibhof.com/jlouis.htm
http://www.cyberboxingzone.com/boxing/jlouis.htm
http://www.sportingnews.com/archives...ts/140271.html
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.org/vis...joe_louis.html
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Old 11-16-2005, 07:24 PM #2
tracylee tracylee is offline
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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
Good post.
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:02 PM #3
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lol, how'd you think his last name was barrows


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.


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.


Sgt. Louis with daughter Jacquelin and wife Marva in 1943.
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:03 PM #4
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The Brown Bomber was G.O.A.T
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:06 PM #5
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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.
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:22 PM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beeatch!
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
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Old 11-16-2005, 08:37 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NextRocky
lol, how'd you think his last name was barrows


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.


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.


Sgt. Louis with daughter Jacquelin and wife Marva in 1943.
a documentary I watched told it all.
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Old 11-16-2005, 09:13 PM #8
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tyson has a pot belly
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Old 11-17-2005, 10:57 PM #9
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One of my favorite boxers of all time. The guy was a wrecking machine.
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Old 11-18-2005, 10:06 AM #10
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who joe or tyson ?
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