June 22, 1938: The Joe Louis- Max Schmeling rematch took place– one year from the day Louis had won his 1st world Heavyweight title.
Louis was the winner and world Heavyweight champion, due to a technical knockout 2 minutes and 4 seconds into the first round. In all, Louis had thrown 41 punches in the fight, 31 of which landed solidly.
The fighters met once again in a sold-out Yankee Stadium in New York City. Among the more than 70,000 fans in attendance were Clark Gable, Douglas Fairbanks, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, and J. Edgar Hoover. The fight drew gate receipts over $1 million.
“Joe Louis vs. Max Schmeling” refer to two separate fights that are among boxing’s most talked-about fights. Schmeling won the first match by a knockout in round twelve, but in the second match, Louis won through a knockout in the first round. Although the two champions met to create a pugilistic spectacle remarkable on its own terms, the two fights came to embody the broader political and social conflict of the times.
As the first significant African American athlete since Jack Johnson, Louis was among the few focal points for African American pride in the 1930s. Moreover, as a contest between representatives of the United States and Nazi Germany during the 1930s, the fights came to symbolize the struggle between democracy and fascism.
Louis’ performance in the bouts therefore elevated him to the status of the first true African American national hero in the United States.
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