Joe Louis vs Jersey Joe Walcott I – Highlights (Classic Fight, Controversial Decision)

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December 5th, 1947. On this day, the legendary Joe Louis aka “The Brown Bomber” makes the 24th defense of his World Heavyweight Championship against the defensive masterful counter puncher in Jersey Joe Walcott who was a 10-1 betting underdog.

Prefight records; Louis 56(48)-1, Walcott 44(27)-11-2.

In Jun 1937, Joe Louis defeated James J. Braddock aka “Cinderella Man” to begin his legendary reign as the Heavyweight Champion of the World. Louis was decked by a Braddock right uppercut early in the bout, but came back to dominate the iron chinned Braddock before putting him to sleep with a thunderous right hand. Braddock was unconscious for nearly 30 minutes after the KO.

Since then, Louis remarkably made 23 successful consecutive title defenses for nearly 10 years; from August 1937 to September 1946 mostly against top oppositions.

From January to Jun 1947, Arnold Raymond Cream better known as Jersey Joe Walcott had a successful 3-0 run against top contenders in Elmer Ray & Joey Maxim (2x); avenging his losses to both fighters last year. With that, it earned him the No. 1 contender spot to challenge reigning world champion Joe Louis.

Going into the fight, Walcott had notable wins over Joe Baksi, Lee Oma, Jimmy Bivins, Elmer Ray, Al Ettore, Curtis Sheppard (2x), Joey Maxim (2x) & Lee Q. Murray (2x). On the other hand, Louis in a decade as world champion had beaten a long list of top oppositions in Al Ettore, Lou Nova, Red Burman, Johnny Paychek, Tami Mauriello, Al McCoy, Gus Dorazio, Bob Pastor, Charley Retzlaff, John Henry Lewis, Tony Galento, Jim Braddock, Paulino Uzcudun, Jack Sharkey, Primo Carnera, Max Schmeling, Tommy Farr, Jack Sharkey, Max Baer, King Levinsky (2x), Bob Pastor (2x), Lee Ramage (2x), Billy Conn (2x), Abe Simon (2x), Buddy Baer (2x) & Arturo Godoy (2x).

From the opening bell, Louis was unable to connect with his power punches and combinations while constantly counter punched by the slick Walcott. Attempts to pin him on the ropes were unsuccessful as Jersey Joe’s footwork enabled him to effectively stay away from the ropes and Louis’ punching range.

Louis was down in rounds 1 and 4 and was largely outworked by the underdog.

However, Louis controversially retained his World Heavyweight Championship via SD with scores of 9-6. 8-6, 6-7. The Brown Bomber was well aware and rather disgusted with his own performance that he wanted to walk out of the arena before the decision announcement but was restrained by his corner.

A ringside poll of 32 boxing writers had 21 scoring in favor of Walcott and 10 for Louis. 1 had it a draw.

Enjoy this highlight of a classic, albeit controversial heavyweight showdown and remember to subscribe boxing heads! Keep your punches up!

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