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Friday, June 22, 2007

Great Moments in Boxing History



June 22, 1937 marks the end of the era of the Cinderella Man, as Jimmy Braddock gets beaten by the perhaps the greatest boxer of all time, Joe Louis. Braddock, an Irish Catholic scrapper from a poor family was the uber-underdog in the Max Bear vs James Braddock fight on June 13, 1935. More on that history can be found here (06/03/05 entry) and some cool pix too.

But enough of those guys - today we are honoring Joe Louis, known as the Brown Bomber - in a class by himself for boxing longevity and titles. Today, June 22 marks the 70th anniversary of Joe Louis' first Heavyweight title. One of the greatest pugilists of all time. Joe Louis was 23 at the time, and he was knocked to the mat in the first round by 32 year old Jimmy Braddock. But he got up and proceeded to dominate the fight till it was called in the eighth round, as Jimmy Braddock was just getting pummeled. For the next six years, he defends his crown. Joe retires & goes off to join the war effort, where he served with distintion. Returns to the USA and wants his title back. So he got back in the ring, and in all won 25 title fight fights over eleven years. His record of 69 wins, 3 losses and 55 knock-outs is going to be pretty tough to beat. Muhammad Ali is also in this same rare air of boxing greatests - check out this video clip if you are an Ali fan like me.