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The legacy of Joe Louis losing to Max Schmeling on June 16 | Boxing

HHistorical stories, in retrospect, are often grafted into sporting events. When Joe Louis, one of the world’s most famous black Americans, beat Max Schmeling in Germany in 1938 and suffered his first defeat, it was Schmeling’s Nazi hometown fascism in the free world’s patience. It was a symbol of.

With a brutal efficiency of 2 minutes and 4 seconds, Louis exploded with barrages of uppercuts, crosses, and hooks, placing his opponent on the canvas three times. By the time the fight ended with a technical knockout, Schmeling threw only four punches at Louis’ 31st, two of which he missed. Many spectators have not yet taken their seats.

With the victory, Louis delivered the geopolitical message that President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought when the fighter visited the White House just a few weeks ago. “Joe, you need muscles like you to beat Germany,” the New York Times said the president told Brown Bomber before the match.

Hitler passed Nuremberg race method A year ago, the extension soon led blacks like Louis, along with Jews and Roma, to be classified as legally inferior to whites in the empire.

The growing boldness of Nazi policy has caused international criticism, but for a black man who grew up as the son of an Alabama peasant and whose family was harassed by the KKK, a color to distinguish citizenship. The use was a very familiar aspect. Life in America.

It was a situation reflected in the sentiment surrounding the first meeting between the two fighters at Yankee Stadium, almost two years before Louis’ famous victory.

“Many white Americans cheered on the Germans when he fought in 1936,” Joseph Lewis Burrow Jr. tells the Guardian about his father’s challenge.

Those who supported Schmeling at Bronx that day went home happily as Louis, an odds-on-favorite, was knocked out in the 12th round due to the first defeat of his career.

“I felt disappointed with the entire black race because he couldn’t lose the fight. He was supposed to win it and win with a big applause,” he said from his home in Jacksonville, Florida. Louis Burrow Jr. said.

The defeat was even more serious as it happened on June 19th, the most recent date. Juneteenth dubbed To commemorate that day When news of the Emancipation Proclamation reaches the people of Galveston, Texas, and releases the last rebel slaves.

June 16th is the first time this year Marked as an official federal holiday In America, but 85 years ago, Louis’ defeat brought a day to mourn many black Americans.

Langston Hughes, a leading Harlem Renaissance, wrote about the aftermath of the defeat: “I walked on Seventh Avenue and saw a grown-up man crying like a child and a woman sitting on a curb with her head in her hand. That night when the news came that Joe was knocked out, all over the country. People cried everywhere. No one else in the United States had such an impact on Nigro’s feelings or on mine. “

Indeed, at Louis’ Prime Minister, his actions in the ring have been echoing around the world, as Luis Burrow Jr. details in his book Joe Louis: 50 Years and the Hero of the United States. That’s right. “As you know, Nelson Mandela was awake to hear his father’s fight on the radio with thousands of blacks in South Africa when he came to the United States after being released from Robben Island.” He wrote. “It gave them hope.”

But under the veneer of political narratives, the reasons for the loss of sport can often be much more violent.

“My dad was invincible Joe [who was 22 at the time] Louis Burrow Jr. will be fighting a man over the age of eight. He was spending more time on the golf course. “

It made Louis’s fight to avenge his loss even more compelling to fight the fans of the era. This was a thirst for action in the 1930s, when Louis fought and won 11 opponents in the two years waiting to see Schmeling again at Yankee Stadium. He won the heavyweight title from Jack Bradock in 1937, proving the perfect lure for Beltless Schmeling to agree to a rematch.

At the same time, Hitler opened the Buchenwald Memorial, annexed Austria and increased global tensions.

Schmeling was endorsed by Nazi propagandists as a poster boy of the Aryan race with a sacred fate. All of that was added to the battle drama, which sold out 75,000 tickets shortly after it was announced. The fighters involved did not necessarily share the build-up polarization.

“For some, it was freedom and democracy vs. fascism, FDR vs. Adolf Hitler. It meant different things for each person, but for Max and my dad, it was actually an encounter between two gladiators. “Luis Burrow Jr. says.

Louis was in the shape of his life and carried a ferocious hunger to the ring that night. His victory not only avenged the only loss of this career to that point, but also drove him to the center of American culture and worship.

“He was on the top page of every newspaper crease without killing the white man,” Luis Burrow Jr. said in the press. “I think everything in America praised him and the black America had a special affection. Many young boys were named. Louis or Joe, many young girls named Malva after my mother, and that was because of the praise they had for my father. “

It was public praise that went beyond naming the baby born behind his victory.

“Many of the civil rights icons said they could only do what they did, thanks to my dad. Jesse Jackson meant Jackie Robinson and Joe was before Jackie was there. “He says. “I knew Atlanta lawmaker John Lewis. [and one of the Big Six organizers of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington] And every time I met him, he talked about what my dad meant to him. The black man was the man who proved to America that he was not just a slave. “

Boxing celebrities also praised Louis.

“Muhammad Ali told me at my dad’s funeral that Joe Louis was really the best, and I’m going to believe in Ali because it was my man. I’m in Ali’s time “I grew up in,” adds Louis Burrow Jr.

world boxing The Council and Gleason’s Gym, founded in New York just months before Louis defeats Schmeling in the summer of 1938, celebrates Louis vs. Schmeling. Fight in one of many events across the United States on the anniversary weekend.

A special Juneteenth belt presentation at the local Eagle Academy for young men in Harlem, By former heavyweight champion Michael Spinks. It will help Spinks praise the boxer who “takes his jab”, he tells the Guardian by email. For Bruce Silverglade, the owner of Gleason’s Gym, Louis’ ability to inspire the next generation shows that it remains strong over all these years.

“He may have been a boxer for a long time, but he crossed the cultural sector during a tough time in the United States,” says Silvergrade. “Whites promoted him. He was a hero and therefore crossed racial barriers. Boxing is a sport that crosses barriers. My gym kids are all shapes, sizes, of different backgrounds It’s colored. All humans are trying to do the same, and people like Joe Lewis are connecting people. “

Due to all the emphasis on the racial and political differences that the battle was supposed to symbolize, it only built a lasting friendship between the two protagonists.

“I have a picture of Max and my dad,” says Luis Burrow Jr. “From a trip he went to Germany to cover the fight. Max appeared in my dad’s This Is Your Life. At that time I was only four or five years old. Their friendship was great. In fact, when my dad died, Max said he had lost a great friend. When I talked to him about my dad for a book, you could see a smile on Max’s face, and we talked in detail about the ’36 fight. ’38 battles, not so many! “

After all these years, Louis Burrow Jr. is clear when asked how he feels when he sees Schmeling fight back again.

“A word that comes to mind: Pride. He held the heavyweight title with dignity and elegance for almost 12 years, but Schmeling’s fight made him heavyweight because all America supported him. Changed from a champion to a true American hero. “

The legacy of Joe Louis losing to Max Schmeling on June 16 | Boxing

Source link The legacy of Joe Louis losing to Max Schmeling on June 16 | Boxing

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