Joe Louis as a champion and in his comeback

                         A PERFECT FIGHT AND A PERFECT SCORE

(New York Times, Sunday, January 11, 1942)

By John Kieran

There it stands. A perfect score for Joe Louis. Twenty consecutive victories
as the defendant of the world's heavyweight championship.

However, the word "defendant" may be a little out of character here. The
Shuffler is more noted for his attack than for his defense. This falls in
with the old saying that the best defense is a terrific attack. Which Joe
Louis has, with palms. Clenched palms, to be sure.

Buddy Baer was the target of some hoots as he left the ring. That was rather
silly on the part of the hooters. It was like hooting the Weather Man
because he didn't stop a snowstorm from coming down or hooting a
harbormaster because he didn't stop the tide from coming in. Buddy merely
looked bad because the Dark Destroyer was so good. Good? He was perfect! His
marksmanship was keen and Buddy made a wonderful target. A Marine Corps and
a Navy bugler opened the festivities with a bugle call. If they had waited
about three minutes they could have closed the big event by blowing taps
over Jacob Baer Jr.

Through the brief brawl it was the Shuffler who was the striking figure and
Buddy went out on the third strike. He was game enough, but not nearly good
enough to stay in there.

There were some onlookers who were looking for more for their money than a
bout that was over in less than three minutes. But this observer is all for
a short bout and a merry one. Those long debates often become pretty dull.

With this latest smashing triumph J. Shufflin' Louis once again earned the
grateful appreciation of countless editors of morning newspapers. He's their
"first-edition fighter." he gets the job over with in a jiffy. The copy
rolls in swiftly, the linotype machines click, the forms are locked up, the
presses start to roll, all in good time. The deadline is licked to a
frazzle. Hurray for Joe Louis, the "first-edition fighter"! And down with
those dawdling dummies who leave the esteemed editors huffing and puffing
and groaning as the deadline approaches and no decisive word comes over the

Those ticket purchasers who complained because the fight was so short were
illogical. That's like buying tickets to watch a foot race and then
complaining that the runners went too fast. The Shuffler is a great
attraction because he is such a destructive force. The faster he works, the
better evidence he is giving of his destructive ability.

For that matter Billy Conn, among those fighters around and about now, is
the only one who might be reasonably suspected of having a fair chance with
the Dark Destroyer. All others, as far as is known or the record shows,
would have only a faint, far, outside chance. They are almost a sure
thing -- "almost" is used as a life-preserver here in case of emergency --
to go down before the thunderbolts thrown by the Dark Destroyer. And sooner
rather than later.

Those who purchase tickets for the Louis bouts know that. Either that or
they shouldn't be allowed at large unless some small child is guiding them
by the hand. What they really pay to see is the great Joe Louis massaging a
victim into insensibility. The faster the victims fall, the better view they
get of the qualities that make the Dark Destroyer the outstanding figure
that he is in the ring. If a fellow like Billy Conn comes along to make a
sustained and thrilling fight of it, that's so much velvet for the ticket

After the bout was over Joe said that he was ready and willing to take part
in another for the benefit of some Army fund, just to balance the handsome
gift he had made to the Navy Relief Society. He would donate his services at
the same rate -- "free, gratis and for nothing."

That's a noble offer on the part of the heavyweight champion, but the other
boxing champions should not be berated too severely if they fail to follow
suit in putting their titles on the line and think nothing of it
financially. Alas, they are not as well off as J. Shufflin' Louis in many
ways. They never earned the money that Joe tucked away for his fistic work.
They do not stand out in their classes as Joe stands out in the heavyweight
realm. They wouldn't be nearly the gate attraction that Joe Louis is. Their
risks would be much greater and the return to a war charity would be much
less than Joe can produce.

These lesser fighters -- champions or contenders -- can contribute. But only
a magnificent fighter like the Dark Destroyer can make the magnificent
gesture. There, as in some other respects, Joe Louis is the king of them

This brings up the point that soon there will be needed some coordination in
the arranging of sports events for relief funds for various worthy purposes.
Otherwise there will be cross-checking into the boards, cut-throat
competition, organizational jealousy and, unless keen supervision is
maintained, even a brisk bit of racketeering. Games, athletes, spectators
and charities have been the victims of such things in the past. Despite the
shining example of honesty and generosity set by Joe Louis, the boxing game
is a field in which skullduggery is not unknown and some notable swindles
were perpetrated in the name of charity in years gone by.

It's the notion in this corner that the whole matter looms so large now that
somebody or some few bodies should be appointed to regulate the field all
the way across the nation and tie in the loose ends. Unregulated action
can't cover the field efficiently, completely or fairly. Unregulated
volunteers might include a few who, under the cloak of charity, were
unregulated plunderers. How about Jim Farley, Judge Landis or somebody like
that to take charge for the duration? Or write your own ticket. Something
surely should be done.

                            LOUIS SEEKS QUICK KAYO VS. BESHORE

(New York Times, January 3, 1951)

By James P. Dawson

DETROIT, Jan. 2 -- Like the chicken of the proverb, Joe Louis will be back
at the roost tomorrow night. When the Brown Bomber squares off against
Freddie Beshore of Harrisburg, Pa., in what is scheduled as a ten-round bout
at Olympia Stadium, he will be back at the scene of the beginning of the
meteoric career which brought him the world heavyweight championship and an
imperishable place in ring history.

Louis came out of the ranks of the Ford laborers here, to launch an amateur
boxing campaign, which was the foundation for the professional career he
started in 1934 in Chicago. He returns to the scene of earlier triumphs on a
comeback campaign that is no less important from his own point of view.

The Louis of those departed years was fired by youth's ambition to reach the
top. The Louis of today is consumed by an even greater ambition. Grimmer, to
be sure; desperate, in a strict analysis; foolhardy in the estimation of
many because it lacks the smooth, flawless coordination of mind and muscle
that goes with that priceless thing known as youth. But the ambition is
there. And, Louis is determined to satisfy it -- or fall, in the attempt.

Louis wants another crack at Ezzard Charles and the world heavyweight title.
He wants the income from boxing that he still commands, to be sure. But,
above and beyond this, Louis wants to confound the critics who have so
unceremoniously consigned him to the puglistic scrap-heap; he wants to
convince himself that he cannot retain the title he voluntarily surrendered
on retirement and failed to regain in battle against Charles last September.

The Louis pride is involved in this impending struggle. That he is back to
the status of a $6 box-office attraction is inconsequential to the Brown
Bomber of the past. Overlooked is the fact that not since he attained
prominence with the might of his fists has he been marketed at this modest
sum, a far cry from the $100-a-seat his appearance commanded in the second
championship bout with Billy Conn.

Pre-battle attention has fed this pride during three weeks of training.
Louis' workouts at the Sportsman's Gymnasium have attracted overflow crowds
to the stuffy little plant which was being abandoned until the Louis
admission money brought support. The crowds proved Louis still is popular.
They spurred the ex-champion to a training siege that has him at 211 pounds
and in better shape than he enjoyed when he fought Charles last September or
Cesar Brion in Chicago last November.

Louis will enter the ring against Beshore seeking a knockout. He wants to
improve on the fourteen-round knockout Charles scored over Beshore last
August. It is expected he will make his bid before a crowd of about 12,000.
Despite that the bout will be televised and broadcast. Promoter Nick Londes
predicts receipts of $40,000. Louis is fighting for 40 per cent of the
receipts, Beshore for 20 per cent.

On the outcome of the battle may depend whether Louis will press his
comeback campaign. A defeat, of course, would write finis to his career.
There could be no recovery from such a catastrophe. A disappointing showing
could interfere with a proposal to exhibit Louis in St. Louis later this
month, as part of a program of competitive preparation for another Charles

A knockout victory would carry the conviction Louis seeks, that he retains
enough of the old Bomber fire to carry on. The betting is 1 to 4, with Louis
the favorite.

Louis has made arrangements to fly out of here for Washington early Thursday
afternoon to officiate that night as referee in one of the bouts on the card
for the benefit of the family of the late Sonny Boy West.

(ED. NOTE -- Louis stopped Beshore in the fourth round and went on to either
kayo or decision Omelio Agramonte, Andy Walker, Agramonte (again), Lee
Savold, Cesar Brion and Jimmy Bivins before that fateful night, Oct. 26,
1951, when future champion Rocky Marciano left him battered and bleeding in
the final decision contest of his career.)

                             IN THE WAKE OF THE NEWS

(Chicago Tribune, September 29, 1941)

By Arch Ward

NEW YORK, Sept. 28 -- Who is this Lou Nova who tomorrow night will meet Joe
Louis for the world's heavyweight championship? What kind of a fellow is he?
This may be as good a time as any to talk about him, because in another 48
hours he may be just another member of the "I Met Joe Louis Club." . . .
Born in Los Angeles in 1914, Nova has earned his way to a title bout after
six years of professional fighting against an assorted collection of round
heels, stuffed shirts, and fair to middlin' performers . . . His record
includes a defeat by Tony Galento, who was maneuvered into pugilistic
prominence by his overindulgence in beer, thru managerial chicanery, and
violation of almost every rule of training, and one by Maxie Rosenbloom . .
. He has been held to draw decisions by Bob Pastor and Lee Ramage . . . His
second victory over Max Baer, which was accomplished this year, is his most
notable achievement . . . Nova has yet to be tested in the fires of
punishment . . . Up to now he never really has been in a tough spot . . .
Nobody can say whether he can take it . . . We'll know about that tomorrow
night, because no man has climbed into the ring with Louis and escaped
without enduring a sound physical beating . . . Joe's left jabs hurt an
opponent as much as most fighters' right crosses . . . And those straight
lefts keep blazing away with monotonous regularity . . . One thing you get
in Louis' bouts is action . . . Nobody comes away with a pain in the neck,
unless possibly his opponent . . .

Nova learned boxing fundamentals at San Francisco's Olympic Club, where Jim
Corbett, Fidel LaBarba, and other famous fighters put in their schooling . .
. He climaxed his amateur career with a victory over Otis Thomas, former
Chicago Golden Glover, in the finals of the national AAU tournament in St.
Louis in 1935 . . . He became a professional a few months later . . . If
Nova wrests the heavyweight crown from Louis, the ring will have a champion
of whom it probably will be proud . . . Nova, who first wanted to be a
football player at Sacramento Junior College, adheres strictly to training
rules . . . In 1937 he eloped to Yuma with Miss Bertha Robbins, daughter of
a botany professor at the University of California . . . They have a
daughter 2 1/2 years old . . . At the risk of alienating the pugilistic
fraternity we feel obliged to make known that Nova likes to read poetry . .
. He took up professional boxing as a career because he thought it was a
quick route to a substantial bank account . . . And who knows -- maybe he's

(ED. NOTE -- Louis knocked out Nova in the sixth round.)

                           ROBINSON SCORES KNOCKOUT VICTORY

(Associated Press, Saturday, Dec. 9, 1950)

BRUSSELS -- Ray (Sugar) Robinson, world welterweight champion, knocked out
Luc Van Dam of Holland in the fourth round tonight but he left the ring with
virtually all 15,000 spectators on their feet booing his victory.

The Dutch middleweight champion, who outweighed Robinson by a single pound,
was holding his own until late in the third round when the American uncorked
what appeared to be a low blow. Van Dam, who scaled 157 1/2, went down but
was saved by the bell.

He was carried to his corner, came out for the fourth round and was
flattened, this time by a left cross to the head. The end came at one minute
of the fourth.

Robinson, who next will box on a charity card at Frankfort, Germany, on Dec.
25, received approximately $70,000 for his efforts. Van Dam was paid

Until the questionable blow in the third the Dutchman was a distinct
surprise. In the first he scored frequently with lefts to Robinson's nose.
He continued his success in the second and Robinson was warned by Referee
Gustave de Baecker of Belgium for his tactics.

It was not until the third that Van Dam unlimbered his right. He was doing
well with it until Robinson dropped him with the blow to the stomach.

The victory was the second for Robinson on his invasion of Europe. On
November 27, he knocked out France's Jean Stock in the second round of a
bout in Paris.

Robinson said in the dressing room: "I hit him in the stomach above the
belt." He demonstrated with the help of his manager, George Gainford.

He added: "Van Dam is the best fighter I fought so far. He is smart."

(ED. NOTE -- Robinson's schedule turned out differently than noted above.
>From Brussels, he went to Geneva, winning a 10-round decision from Jean
Walzack on Dec. 16. Then he stopped Robert Villemain in the ninth round at
Paris Dec. 22. The tour concluded three days later in Frankfort, where he
kayoed hans Stretz in five rounds. Upon returning to the States, he TKOd
Jake LaMotta in the famous, 13-round war at Chicago to win the middleweight
championship of the world for the first time. Later in 1951, he returned to
Europe for another tour -- scoring wins in Paris, Zurich, Antwerp and Liege
before, first, being disqualified in Berlin for a kidney punch against
Gerhard Hecht (the commission later ruled it a "no decision" contest) and,
later, losing his middleweight crown in a 15-round shocker to Randy Turpin
in London.)

                            MIKE JACOBS TO NYC FOR CONFERENCE

(New York Times, Sunday, April 3, 1949)

Mike Jacobs returned to New York yesterday after a long period of
convalescence in Florida and declared himself ready, able and willing to get
back into the pugilistic picture, of which he was so long the dominant

Expressing himself as almost completely restored to well-being after the
cerebral stroke that afflicted him in December, 1946, the president of the
Twentieth Century Sporting Club stated that he returned to this city in
compliance with a request made by Brig. Gen. John Reed Kilpatrick, president
of the Madison Square Garden corporation.

Jacobs and his organization promote boxing on a "landlord and tenant" basis
with the Garden Corporation under a contract that has until May 31, 1951, to
expire. The Twentieth Century head said that Kilpatrick asked him to come to
New York for a conference to be held next week, but Jacobs added that he was
not in a position to disclose what the nature of the conference may be,
beyond saying that he had a fair idea.

One thing the promoter did stress, though. That was his intention to resume
active duties as head of his group, a task that has been performed
successively by his attorney, Sol Strauss, and his former publicity
director, Harry Markson. The latter is presently in charge of promotion,
while Strauss heads the legal department.

Before he was taken ill, Jacobs and the Twentieth Century were virtually
synonymous with top-bracket boxing promotions, mainly because of Mike's
alliance with Joe Louis as a ring lure. In the past year, however, two other
organizations, one headed by the now retired Louis and the other the
combination known as the Tournament of Champions, have threatened to take a
part of the Twentieth Century's promotions, a circumstance that
unquestionably motivated Mike's return.