Joe Louis vs James J. Braddock – Highlights (Classic KNOCKOUT)

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June 22nd, 1937. James J. Braddock aka “The Bulldog of Bergen” or “The Cinderella Man” defends his World Heavyweight Championship against the legendary “Brown Bomber” Joe Louis. Going into the fight, Louis and Braddock had prefight records of 31(26)-1 and 45(26)-23-4 respectively.

On June 13th 1935, Braddock scored his greatest career victory by upsetting reigning World Heavyweight Champion “The Livermore Larupper”, Max Baer to become World Heavyweight Champion via UD15. His incredible comeback from a career ending hand injury as well as his battles with destitute poverty during The Great Depression to World Heavyweight Champion remains one of the greatest underdog stories in the history of the sport.

Braddock was originally scheduled to defend his title against Germany’s Max Schmeling aka “Black Uhlan of the Rhine”. Schmeling had upset then undefeated rising star and 10-1 favorite Joe Louis with a knockout on June 19th 1936, a year before Braddock’s unforgettable triumph over Baer.

However, Braddock withdrew from the bout due to a hand injury. Braddock remained inactive for 2 years (partly due to the Schmeling fight cancelation) before facing Louis.

After being upset by Schmeling, Louis rebound back to his winning ways; going 7(6)-0 with notable wins over Al Ettore, Jack Sharkey & Bob Pastor to earn a shot at the World Heavyweight Title.

The determined Braddock was able to floor Louis with a right uppercut in the first round and continues to fight bravely despite being past his best against the 24 year old Louis who was well on his way to greatness. After taking tremendous punishment, Louis connected with a picture perfect right hand in the 8th round that left Braddock unconscious for nearly 20 minutes!

This is the only time that Braddock failed to beat the count in his career of 84 bouts.

“When he hit me with that left-right combination, I could’ve stayed down on the canvas for three weeks”, said Braddock. Joe Louis stated Braddock was the most courageous fighter he’s ever fought.

In January 1938, Braddock faced Tommy Farr in a competitive 10 rounder where Braddock won a close SD10. With this win, he became the No. 2 contender for Joe Louis’ title and was in position for a rematch. However, Braddock announced his retirement on February 1st, 1938 at 32 years of age.

His final record is 46(26)24-4 with notable wins over Tuffy Griffiths, Jimmy Slattery, Jack Roper, Corn Griffin, John Henry Lewis, Art Lasky, Tommy Farr & Max Baer.

* Braddock also had 10 bouts ending with newspaper decisions with a record of; 5-2-3.

As for Joe Louis, this victory marks the beginning of an unprecedented 12 year reign as World Heavyweight Champion where he achieved 25 consecutive successful title defenses; a record that remains unbroken in the history of the sport till this day.

Joe Louis would retire in 1948 and unretire 2 years later and went 8(3)-2 before retiring for good in 1951 with a final record of 66(52)-3.

Notable successful title defenses include; Tommy Farr, Bob Pastor, Al McCoy, Red Burman, Tami Mauriello, Lou Nova, Tony Galento, John Henry Lewis, Max Schmeling (rematch), Abe Simon (2x), Billy Conn (2x), Arturo Godoy (2x), Buddy Baer (2x), Jersey Joe Walcott (2x).

Notable non title fight victories; Bob Pastor, Al Ettore, Charley Retzlaff, King Levinsky, Jack Sharkey, Paulino Uzcudun, Primo Carnera, Max Baer, Jimmy Bivins, Lee Savold & Lee Ramage (2x).

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