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Joe Louis: His Ten Biggest Ring Victories

Updated on November 20, 2016

The Brown Bomber

"The Brown Bomber" Joe Louis holds two major records in boxing. He held the heavyweight title for 140 months and he holds the record for not only heavyweight but all weight classes with 25 successful titles defenses during a championship reign.

Although not graceful with footwork he was still great at cutting the ring off and his jab and power in both hands are second to none in boxing history.

Knockout Power!

Joe Louis knocked out Max Baer as an upcoming contender on his way to the  championship.
Joe Louis knocked out Max Baer as an upcoming contender on his way to the championship. | Source
Joe Louis knocked James J. Braddock out in the 8th round to win the heavyweight crown and begin his record breaking title run.,
Joe Louis knocked James J. Braddock out in the 8th round to win the heavyweight crown and begin his record breaking title run., | Source
Jack Sharkey sits with a concussion and major facial damage after having just gotten pummeled by The Brown Bomber.
Jack Sharkey sits with a concussion and major facial damage after having just gotten pummeled by The Brown Bomber. | Source
Joe Louis showed his crushing power by mowing down Italian Primo Carnera.
Joe Louis showed his crushing power by mowing down Italian Primo Carnera. | Source

Which One?

Which victory was Joe Louis's best?

See results

The Brown Bomber vs. The Pittsburg Kid

Joe Louis had to come from behind to knockout Billy Conn in their heavyweight title fight.
Joe Louis had to come from behind to knockout Billy Conn in their heavyweight title fight. | Source

Joe Louis vs. Jersey Joe Walcott 2

Joe Louis knocked out Jersey Joe Walcott in the 11th round in defense of his heavyweight crown.
Joe Louis knocked out Jersey Joe Walcott in the 11th round in defense of his heavyweight crown. | Source

Joe Louis's Top Wins

1. Joe Louis K.O. 1 Max Schmeling (1938) Schmeling handed Louis his first loss in their first fight but this one was entirely different. Louis was now heavyweight champion and Schmeling was the former heavyweight champion. As soon as the bell rung Joe Louis started throwing hard jabs and big hooks. Max took several hooks to the head and body followed by a short right hand that sent him down. Schmeling gamely got up but was met with a long overhand right and floored once more. Schmeling got to his feet and tossed out two slow jabs and Louis jumped on him firing hooks and uppercuts to the head, arms and body. The ref stopped the contest with Schmeling dangling on the ropes hanging on. Schmeling went into this match with a record of 52-7-4.

2. Joe Louis K.O. 13 Billy Conn (1941) The Brown Bomber defended his title against light heavyweight champion Conn twice winning both bouts by knockout. This article is about their first encounter. The fight was close throughout with Billy Conn holding a light advantage because of his speed of hand and foot. Louis landed his jab but could not put much else together as Conn kept moving around. In the 12th round Conn made Louis wobble badly and Conn almost finished Louis. The 13th round should have sen Conn moving and holding to guarantee a victory but instead pride got in the way. Conn opened up on Louis who landed a perfect left and right that abruptly ended matters. Billy Conn entered this bout with a resume reading 59-9-1.

3. Joe Louis K.O. 4 Max Baer (1935) Former heavyweight champion Baer was heavy handed but he could rarely land solidly on Louis. The first round was quite with Louis controlling the action with his stiff jab. In the second stanza Louis began to mix in short right hands that forced Baer to hold a bunch of times. In the third round Louis floored Baer for a short count and when he got back to his feet Louis put him on the canvas again with a huge right hand. Baer held on for dear life to survive the heat. The fourth round featured great two way action for about one minute. Louis landed to solid right hands that dropped Baer for the full count. Baer entered this contest sporting a record of 40-8.

4. Joe Louis K.O. 11 Jersey Joe Walcott (1948) Louis won an unpopular decision over future hall of Famer Walcott in their first encounter. This time Louis left no doubt about who the better fighter was. The first two rounds were close and in the third Walcott stepped to the side and cracked Louis with a hard left hook to floor him. Louis arose before a Count started and held his own the rest of the round. The fourth and fifth were close rounds as Louis landed his jab but not much else. Walcott started landing lead left hooks and counter rights in the 6th and 7th to pull ahead on the scorecards. Louis never stopped pressuring his foe however and in the 11th heat he uncorked a left and an even bigger right that separated Walcott from his senses. Walcott came into the ring with a record of 44-12-2.

5. Joe Louis T.K.O 6 Primo Carnera (1935) Louis took charge at once in his first big challenge during his rise but it turned out to be no challenge at all from the former Heavyweight champion. Louis used a terrific up jab to control the giant boxer in the first two rounds while landing a few long rights. The third round was slow because Carnera held on at every chance he could although Louis did work his body over. The final round of this bout was brutal as Carnera looked beaten and exhausted as the bell sounded. Louis put Carnera on the mat three times before the carnage was halted. Once with a combination and the last two knockdowns came courtesy of Louis's right hand. Carnera entered the fight with a record reading 81-7.

6. Joe Louis K.O. 8 Jim Braddock (1937) Louis met James Braddock for the heavyweight championship but started out cold. Louis rushed at Braddock but was caught with a hard right and fell on his butt! The Brown Bomber got to his feet and proceeded to destroy The Cinderella Man round after round. The jab was a key factor in the bout and it set up big right hands and left hooks from Louis. Braddock fought back gamely but Louis had far more power and he began hurting Braddock in the seventh with every shot he landed. Louis came out in the 8th and absorbed a hard left hook to the head from Braddock. It was James J. Braddock's final moment of glory because Louis landed a double jab and his patented short right and just like that Braddock falls on his side and is counted out. Braddock came in as heavyweight champion with a record of 45-23-4.

7. Joe Louis K.O. 8 Billy Conn (1946) Louis literally chased Conn around the squared circle. Conn landed his jab and some lunging rights but he mostly stayed on his bicycle. Louis could only land one shot at a time as Conn constantly retreated although they were hard single punches. Conn began to tire and in the sixth and seventh he stood a little more flat footed. Louis landed his jab and a fair share of chopping rights that seemed to daze Conn more than once. Louis came out fast to start the 8th round and Conn had no answer other than a jab. Louis finished off his opponent in brutal fashion as he landed a hard right cross that froze Conn and he then unloaded with a devastating right uppercut and a left hook that ended the contest without a count needed. The Pittsburgh Kid came into this match with a record of 62-10-1.

8. Joe Louis W15 Tommy Farr (1937)
Other than his defeat to Schmeling this was the hardest bout of Louis's career up to that point. This was the first time he ever went 15 rounds and he did not fade as he pumped a stiff, accurate jab the entire fight. This was the first time Joe Louis had to use skills rather than power to win a fight because Farr took all of the shots Louis had. Farr managed to win 4 or 5 rounds of the bout but otherwise Louis was just one step ahead with his jabs, combination punching and power. Farr landed some good hooks and uppercuts but not near enough for The Brown Bomber who won the last three rounds with accurate combination punching. Farr came into this bout sporting a record of 69-24-17.

9. Joe Louis K.O. 3 Jack Sharkey (1936) Louis was all over Sharkey from the start barely allowing Sharkey to even punch. Sharkey went down from a right hand early in the first but got up quick. Louis took a left hook and then floored Sharkey again with a short right cross.Sharkey looked worried entering the second heat and for good reason. Louis shook Sharkey in the second with left hooks to the body and jarring uppercuts which forced Sharkey to clinch. The third round was more of the same as Louis unloaded with both barrels. Louis landed a left hook followed by a right uppercut to put Sharkey on the seat of his pants and dazed. Sharkey got up but was out on his feet and Louis landed two rights to end the night. Sharkey came into this contest with a record of 37-12-3.

10. Joe Louis W15 Jersey Joe Walcott (1947) Louis and Walcott Meg twice but this is the first time which was for Joe Louis's heavyweight crown. Contrary to popular belief the match was close. Louis was floored in the first from a short left hook and lost the second as Walcott flashed his cute moves. Louis took the third by landing several combinations and was on his way to winning the 4th round when he was caught again by a short Walcott hook and knocked down again for a short count. The fifth and sixth rounds were Walcotts as well but the tide began to turn as Louis made adjustments and refuse to quit on himself. The final rounds were close with Walcott counter punching and Louis persuing and lunging but landing some too. Walcott entered the ring with a record of 44-11-2.

Joe Louis Crushes Max Schmeling in One Round

Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in defense of the heavyweight title and he gained revenge in the process.
Joe Louis knocked out Max Schmeling in defense of the heavyweight title and he gained revenge in the process. | Source

An American Hero

Joe Louis went to WW2 at the height of his career and boxed exhibitions to support the war effort. But it was his rematch fight against Germany's Max Schmeling at the height of Hitler's Nazi rise and with WW2 on the way that made all of America love Joe. Louis pummeled and knocked out Schmeling in one round. It was a win over that Hitler regime in everyone's eyes and everybody cheered and celebrated all night from the poorest to the richest in society.

Joe Louis was for that night anyway America's Hero.

The Brown Bomber Training on the Heavybag

Joe Louis is seen here blasting out the heavy bag.
Joe Louis is seen here blasting out the heavy bag. | Source

Joe Louis vs. Max Baer (Entire Bout)

Joe Louis's Losses

Max Schmeling
Ezzard Charles
Rocky Marciano
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
These are the only three men to have beaten Joe Louis.

Joe Louis Destroys Max Schmeling

Joe Louis Career Highlights

Birthplace of Joe Louis (La Fayette, Alabama

© 2014 Buster Johnson

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