Was Joe Louis the best Heavy Weight Champion of all time or was it Muhammed Ali? or Jack Dempsey, Foreman, Marciano, Liston?
You be the judge because we are showing the videos of the finest heavyweight champions of all time. Here’s some of my thoughts though.
Joe Louis’s style was beautiful.
With his hands held high where they should be, Louis was the epitome of economy as he stalked his opponents. His punches were short and to the point. Accurate and lethal, he delivered them on que with what his mind was calculating. Although obviously fast, Louis seemed more methodical than quick. Joe Louis was confident and businesslike with none of the bravado of a Muhammed Ali. A master finisher, Joe Louis took his opponents out with punches that seemed effortless.
The six foot one 197-pound Joe Louis won the heavyweight title from James Braddock.
This put him on the small side compared to most modern heavyweight champions.
From 1937 to 1948 Louis successfully defended his title 25 times. Of those, only three of his opponents went the distance. Out of 68 professional fights, he lost only three times, while scoring 54 knockouts for an average 80 percent Knockout ratio . As impressive as these numbers are, they are still just numbers. To get the full measure of Louis as heavyweight champion and how he stacks up against other great champions, you must watch him fight. Thanks to You Dailey Motion, we can bring those memorable fights back in time.
Let’s start off with Joe Louis winning the Heavyweight title from James Braddock. Who has been brought back to life in the movie “Cinderella Man”.
Comparison between Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis
In some ways Dempsey and Louis were similar heavy weight champions. Both could easily take an opponent out with a punch measuring no more than six inches. Both men were among the very heaviest punchers the heavyweight division had ever seen. But whereas Louis was a methodical and patient fighter who would masterfully set his opponent up, Dempsey was pure aggression incarnate. His savagery was palpable.
Both men were small by modern day heavyweight standards. Louis weighed only 200 pounds when he beat James Braddock for the world championship. And weighed just 205 for most of his career. While Dempsey weighed just 187 pounds when he took the world title away from Jess Willard. At 245 pounds Willard was a six-foot six giant standing five inches over Dempsey. While Louis and Dempsey shared identical heights of six-foot one inch.
The next fight pitted Joe Louis against Primo Carnera, the six foot six giant who had been slaughtered earlier by Max Baer.
You might want to compare this fight against Jack Dempsey’s championship bout against Jess Willard who equaled Carnera in size.
So who would win if Louis and Dempsey could have fought each other in their prime?
And how would either of them have fared against Muhammad Ali, who was the fastest heavyweight champion the world had ever seen? Well–it’s going to be awhile before I get those videos up of Dempsey and Ali, but when I do, I’ll let you make that call. Because I won’t.
But I will make this call. Both men. Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis would have massacred all the modern heavyweights of 2023.
Here you see him against Max Schmeling in in the first of their two all-time classics.
In the first fight (1938), the German, who had been knocked out by Max Baer in an earlier bout, knocks Louis out in the 12th round.
And this is the second classic fight between Joe Louis and Max Schmeling
In the return match held in June, 1938, Louis now Heavy Weight Champion after his knockout victory over James Braddock, easily dispatches Schmeling in just 2 minutes and 4 seconds.
One of Joe Louis’s most memorable heavyweight championship fights was against the Light Heavyweight champion, Billy Conn.
Louis weighed 199 pounds to the brash Irishman’s 169. The fight went 12 rounds with Conn well ahead of Louis on points. Instead of coasting to what might have been one of the most outstanding boxing upsets of all time, the audacious Irishman threw all caution to the wind and went for the knockout. It was a very unwise decision and Louis turned the tables by knocking Conn senseless with a perfectly timed right uppercut followed by a left hook.